Update 2019: It appears the same drive-thru only rules apply many dates this year as well. You can read more about the rules and get up to date information at this link.
My continued adventure to find the best place to celebrate Christmas in Southern California lead me to Robolights and the extremely popular Thoroughbred St in Rancho Cucamonga over the weekend. This street is merely a collection of people who love Christmas and have so much cheer that they put up with the floods of gawkers wandering down their street all month to see their crazy light displays. It is a great and free way to get into the Christmas spirit for the whole family.
- Lights start appearing after Thanksgiving but gets going the first week of December. The show is done after Christmas Eve, I would assume.
Free to park, but make sure to abide by signs. In 2018-2019 you cannot walk through, or you will risk getting a fine.
- Bring cash to purchase goodies from the neighbors
- This is not a city-sponsored event
- BE RESPECTFUL this is someone else’s yard and neighborhood that they are sharing with you
There is a map at this website that the city made which will show you how to drive through the area. Since you cannot park anymore this map should help you make the most of your time.
This information was from 2016 when you could still walk through the area, so much of it may no longer be relevant.
After parking, you will just proceed to Thoroughbred St and start to walk the quarter-mile of lights. You really can take as long or as short as you would like on this adventure, but I like to take my time and soak in the views, find something to eat and just enjoy the Christmas spirit. Heck, they even have Christmas trash cans on this street!
As far as eating goes, many of the houses sell sweet treats ranging from churros to small donuts. They also often have water, coffee, and hot chocolate. It is great to buy from these houses as you are supporting the Christmas cheer they are providing.
Here are some of my favorite houses.
The Surfing House
This house captures the California surf culture and mixes it with Santa. They have a Santa in board shorts standing outside the house with a beer, a massive “elves surfing” cut out that you can enter your head into for a picture, and a coconut tells the weather.
The Steeler Nation House
This house was an eclectic assortment of everything. It had a Steelers player blowup, a Santa Yoda blowup and a sign that said “Happy Holidays from the Nutt House.” Just a house not taking itself seriously which I loved.
The Reindeer in a Hot Air Balloon House
This house had a lot of fun hanging plastic sculptures, one was of a reindeer in a hot air balloon, and another was of Santa kicking back on a slice of the moon, a fun set of displays.
The Nightmare Before Christmas House
One of my favorite holiday movies, I loved the cutout Jack that you could stick your face in and all of the other Nightmare Before Christmas characters.
The Churro House
It had a big lit-up churro sign outside and sold $2 churros that were super good. What more is there to say.
The Angel House
This house had a “stage for angels” in its front yard which was super cute, and children were begging their parents to let them climb on the stage.
I have never seen this before, but one house had an inflatable Grinch which inflated in and out of the house, it was awesome.
The House with the Old Firetruck
Let’s face it; old firetrucks are just plain cool. This one was parked in front of a house, and people were posing with it and enjoying being able to interact with a majestic firetruck up close.
Here is a video of my time walking Thoroughbred St. in 2014
Here are a few more houses that were stellar. There are so many good ones that I am sure I missed as well.
Lastly, when you reach the end of the road, they have a beautiful Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays display that goes over the entire street as you exit.
All in all, I am super thankful for this impressive group of human beings. They put up with the crowds and decorate their houses every year just to provide enjoyment to others. I wish there were more people like this in the world. Go check it out with your whole family, buy a treat and just enjoy yourself.
Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations for visiting this street or others and thanks for following along. People have noted times and other information in the comments.