Thoroughbred St Christmas Lights in Rancho Cucamonga

Thoroughbred St-29Update 2017: This event may only be accessible via car in 2017, be sure to research up to date news articles before making the trek.

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.

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  • 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 2017 you cannot walk through, or you will risk getting a fine.
  • Bring cash to purchase goodies from the neighbors
  • BE RESPECTFUL this is someone else’s yard and neighborhood that they are sharing with you

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Getting There

Thoroughbred St is located off Sapphire St. I recommend getting off on Carnelian St then heading North to Hillside where you will make a left. From here you will drive down to Sapphire St then make a left. From Sapphire St, I recommend parking on Jennet St as this is the street right above Thoroughbred and usually has a good amount of parking with a limited amount of walking (do not park in 2017, just drive through as walking is not allowed). This will save you from being stuck in all the traffic waiting to turn onto the street and drive-thru it.

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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!

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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.

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Here are some of my favorite houses.

The Surfing House

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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.

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The Steeler Nation House

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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.

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The Reindeer in a Hot Air Balloon House

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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

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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

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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

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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.

The Inflatables

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Center map

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  • pat

    Wow! That is amazing… When I see displays like this, I wonder where they store it all, the rest of the year.

    • Thanks for the comment and I agree!

      • Kia

        I went one year and in front of one of the house they were selling tamales. Are they still doing that l hope so. The tamales were the best

        • I am not sure about that one, but will check if I get a chance to go this year again!

  • BabyChoi

    I am lucky to live in Rancho Cucamonga and since discovering the Thoroughbred St. lights, it’s now tradition each year for me to take my 12 year old dog to go see the Thoroughbred lights! He gets to wear his Santa suit and I get to wear my Santa hat and it’s a lovely time to get you in the holiday spirit. It does get crowded and it’s alot of walking, searching for a place to park but it’s a fun night out.

  • britt

    what are the days this is open?

    • It is open every night.

  • jessica

    when is the last day?

    • Honestly I have no idea. It is just a group of home owners that put up the lights so it is whenever they decide to take it down. I would assume around the 1st of the year but maybe someone can comment and let us know when it generally is.

  • Anne

    This is amazing! It’s so unfortunate I just saw your post today…but I’ll definitely keep this in mind for next year! P.s. I’ve just gotten back to California after being away for school, your blog makes me so excited being back here and just wanting to explore everything in this state! Love your blog!

    • Thanks for the comment and I hope the blog helps you find a lot of cool spots!

  • Marisela Torres Olivera

    When does this start? Can’t wait to go!

    • I’m not 100% sure but I would assume there would be a decent amount up by the first week of December, maybe someone in the comments can let us know an exact date.

  • GooliZAP

    do they still sell treats during the weekdays?

    • Not sure about this year but they did last year.

  • Marlene

    Are they on Sunday night’s?

    • They usually do it all nights of the week but I do not know anyone there so I can’t confirm. Maybe someone can help out in the comments

  • Gina Sanchez

    Do you know what time it’s over tonight ?

    • I have no idea, but I can’t imagine it goes on much past 9:30 or 10.

  • diana moreno

    December 11-24th from 4pm to Midnight!! I hope this helps (:

    • Thank you for the awesome information!

  • vanessa

    does it go on during the week? like this week?

    • Based on other comments people have left, yes it should be going until Christmas eve, then it ends I am told.

  • Jennifer

    So no light show today???? 12/25?

  • Nikunj

    Quick question…Are the lights still there today? Or I missed it this year…😞

  • Jasmine Sandoval

    can anyone tell me the days and times for this year PLEASE!???

    • Jayme roque

      Usually 10pm. But since it gets dark early, i usually go around 6:30 & its perfect!

  • Dondi

    No more lights ?? Last day over already??

  • Matt

    The City of Rancho Cucamonga has ruined this beloved tradition by unanimously voting to shut it down for good. Your tax dollars at work.

    • Really? Is there a news article about this?

    • Greg Powers

      The citizens of Rancho Cucamonga have been paying for for all of the traffic control for this event for years. if it was any other event the organizers would be required to get permit and pay for the additional police, traffic control and trash pickup.

  • Shala

    There’s no Sapphire exit off of the freeway. You can exit Carnelian but you must drive up a Sapphire from 19th street. Also, no waking this year. If you choose to, you will get a $50 ticket. You must drive through to see the lights…. so parking on Hillside isn’t a good idea. It’s blocked off… All surrounding streets will be for homeowners only. You have to have a pass to get through…

    • Andrea Reyes

      Do you know why we can’t walk through it anymore?

      • Greg Powers

        Traffic, parking and pedestrian safety.

      • Cherish Wicker-Lamb

        You can walk it through the 14th. 15th starts no walking.

  • Cherish Wicker-Lamb

    You can walk the lights through December 14. The 15th-24th is no pedestrians.

  • Harmony Maes

    Is there a certain radio station playing during the show?

  • Kelly Myers

    What time is the latest to go?