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Riverside: Santa, snow, skating at Mission Inn's Festival of Lights

November 27, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
  • The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside will flip the switch for the 21st annual Festival of Lights at the landmark hotel. Pictured is a scene from a previous year's display.
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside will flip the switch for the… (Mission Inn Hotel & Spa )

Had enough of Thanksgiving and Black Friday? Then head to the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside on Friday where fresh snow, horse-drawn carriages, Santa Claus and the annual Festival of Lights will nudge you into the next holiday season.

The historic hotel's owners Duane and Kelly Roberts will flip the switch at 4:30 p.m. today on one of the most beloved holiday decorations in Southern California. For more than two decades, the block-long Mission Revival hotel that opened in 1876 becomes etched in lights -- more than 3 million this year. There will be a fireworks display after the lighting too.

As part of the display, more than 400 animated characters appear amid the lights to transform downtown Riverside into an old-fashioned winter scene. Folks who arrive early can take a spin at the nearby ice-skating rink (on Main Street between University and Mission Inn avenues) starting at noon until 11 p.m. The rink will be open daily until Dec. 20.

The light show continues until Jan. 4. Visitors who want to linger overnight can indulge in the Holiday Lights and Delights package for $239 plus tax that includes a docent-led tour of the castle-like hotel, hot toddies or peppermint hot chocolates, free valet parking and more.

Info: Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, (951) 784-0300
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