‘Tis the Season: Vasona Lake Serpent, Dinosaurs, Santa and More to Light Up December Nights

Tickets are going fast for the County’s always popular ‘Fantasy of Lights’ holiday event at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. – The glinting and twinkling, glimmering and shimmering family-favorite holiday tradition “Fantasy of Lights” is coming back to Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos, and again, tickets are going fast.

The Dec. 3 and 4 walk-thru tour, in which the sights and lights can be enjoyed while on a leisurely stroll of the grounds, sells out within hours of tickets being released for its two-day run. The County of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department spaces out the times when tickets are available, with the last opportunity beginning at noon on November 20. Tickets for the nightly drive-through tour, which run Dec. 6 through 30, are available but popular pre-Christmas time slots are already being booked up.

Tickets are available at https://parks.sccgov.org/fantasy-lights-2022.

There’s some new eye-catchers added for this year in the form of a field of glowing flowers. Debra King, a program coordinator for the County Parks and Recreation Department, said the idea is to create some visuals with a “different kind of ambiance,” inspired by light shows such as Sensorio in Paso Robles.

“We’ve seen what other places have done, they have rolling hills covered in lights, with individual light stands; it creates a beautiful ambiance,” she said. “We can’t do that all at once, but we are slowly piecing it together, that feel of a fantasy woodland forest.”

And, of course, the menagerie of smile-illuminating exhibits remains: The prehistoric sounds and not-so-prehistoric lights of the Dino Den, where a brontosaurus tears leaves from a tree while T-Rex makes a ruckus nearby. There’s the Serpent of Lake Vasona, hoopster Santa, and multiple light tunnels where attendees are treated to a full-spectrum rainbow wash. There are also old favorites that many attendees first saw as a child, decades ago.

“Sure, some of our attractions could be considered vintage at this point,” King said with a laugh. “And there is plenty of nostalgia for longtime attendees.”

King said they saw a huge spike in popularity during the pandemic – after all, in 2021 they really were one of the only public things for families to do for holiday entertainment. The tickets aren’t flying out the door quite as fast this year, but she said they would always eventually sell out before the pandemic and expects to see the same this year.

“I am really happy that the community still enjoys the event,” King said. “There are a lot of other venues out there again, everybody is open now, and even with all those other options people are still very interested in Fantasy of Lights.”


By Eric Kurhi, Office of Communications and Public Affairs

FUN FACTS

•             All told, the displays consist of approximately a half-million individual light bulbs.

•             Incandescent bulbs were replaced with LEDs – each by hand – starting in 2015.

•             There are a few classic displays that still use incandescent bulbs. Try to spot them!

•             The switch to LEDs saves energy! It cut the number of generators used to power them in half, despite the growing number of displays.

•             The lights start going up in early September – much to the dismay of some park-goers. “We do get complaints,” said Park Program Coordinator Debra King. “They say ‘It’s too early for Christmas!’ I get it, but that’s unfortunately when it needs to begin to be ready by December.”

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