The historic Mission Inn in Riverside creates an impressive light display… (Mission Inn Hotel & Spa )
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside will flip the switch at sunset Friday (yes, Black Friday) on a few holiday lights -- about 3.6 million. The 19th annual Festival of Lights at the landmark hotel makes its debut with fireworks, freshly fallen snow, horse-drawn carriages, 400 animated elves, angels and other decorative figures as well as Santa and live reindeer.
If you've never seen this hotel in its holiday finery, postpone the shopping, grab the kids and mingle with the carolers to begin the season in style. This year the hotel plans to leave the light show up an extra week until Jan. 8.
The deal: The Mission Inn offers several packages for visitors who want to stay over the holidays and see the lights firsthand. I like the Eat, Drink and Be Merry package for $199 plus tax that includes a one-night stay Mondays through Thursdays, free valet parking and a $25 credit good at the hotel's restaurant or spa.
When: The offer is good through Jan. 8.
Tested: I found availability for a room with a queen- or king-sized bed on Dec. 11 for the $199-plus-tax rate (prepaid and nonrefundable). The extras that come with this package are nice, but staying during the light show is what really makes this offer dazzle.
Contact: Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, 3649 Mission Ave., Riverside, (800) 843-7755