Neighborhood Travels

Holiday Lights at the Ronald Reagan Library

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I look forward to the Christmas season and holiday lights.  New this year is a gorgeous display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  I hoped to get a twilight viewing, but the earliest one can enter is 6:00 pm, long after sunset.  Undeterred, I took my camera and did the best I could.

I arrived on time and met long slow moving lines.  It was close to 7:00 before I finally entered the library grounds.

Trees in the forecourt at the Reagan Library
Trees in the forecourt decorated for the Reagan Library Holiday Lights

The main entrance to the library is off this courtyard.  I was surprised that it was open and visitors could still get to the cafe and store.  Traditional Christmas songs were playing which made a festive atmosphere.  There were a lot of children present, and they enjoyed this place with its spaces to run.  The best part of all this was the snow!

Snow falling in the courtyard of the Reagan Library
Snow falling in the courtyard of the Reagan Library

The darkness of the night, coupled with colored lights made getting a good exposure challenging.  There were a lot of people in the scene, none doing anything of interest.  Still, the snow fell, and I liked it.  We don’t get snow in Los Angeles.  In case you can’t tell, the snow is the weird streaks above the heads of the people!  There were times when it blew quite hard!

You didn’t think I would forget the jet, did you?

I wove my way around the library buildings.  The lights took one all the way to the back of the library and the rose garden.  I’m not entirely certain where they ended.  It was dark out there!

F-14 Tomcat as part of the Reagan Holiday Lights display
The F-14 Tomcat as part of the Santa Radar display!

The red and green lights were a nice touch.  The plane itself always looks good even if its a bit dark in the above photo.  For the event, the plane is serving as an escort for Santa’s sleigh.  As the season progresses, the radar tracking system will keep an eye on Santa’s whereabouts.

The journey of lights eventually led us up through a Northern Lights tunnel to the show’s finale, the Gift of Christmas!

The Gift of Christmas, the closing attraction at the Holiday Lights
The Gift of Christmas, the closing attraction at the Holiday Lights

The present and the balls change color.  It’s fun to watch!


  • I purchased my ticket online but stood in line for 45 minutes in the dark in the parking lot.  You’ve been warned!
  • This outing is a family-friendly event.  Do bring children.  It’s stroller-friendly.
  • You can purchase the Holiday Lights event separately.  You don’t have to tour the library.
  • Always check the website to make certain the event is available.  It’s closed Nov 30 and Dec 1.
  • The library restrooms, museum store and cafe are open.
  • The library parking lot is small and fills up quickly.  People were parking along the road by the time I left.

To see a few more images from the Reagan Library Holiday Lights, please click here.

Elizabeth Boatman

Traveler, explorer, memory maker and someone who's just downright curious about stuff. It's all about finding joy.

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