The Point: Metrolink trains to Festival of Lights start Friday, November 29 and run through December 21

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Riverside is preparing to celebrate the season with the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa’s 27th annual Festival of Lights, beginning with the “Switch-On Ceremony” on November 29 and continuing Fridays and Saturdays through December 21. Avoid the hassles of traffic and parking by riding Metrolink to enjoy the downtown fun.

Experience holiday decorations and more than five million lights, the Artisans Collective with original art and free public arts workshops, lighted displays, horse-drawn carriages, carousel and Century Wheel rides, food galore (mini fried doughnuts, anyone?), the UCR Snow Globe with a 14-foot replica of the University’s Bell Tower, and, of course, Santa Claus. And don’t forget to add some excitement to your visit with live music and dance at the Entertainment Stage near City Hall.

Metrolink is ready to take you there from Perris, Orange County, and Riverside County for just $7 round trip for adults and seniors; up to three children 18 and under ride free per adult. The Festival of Lights Train will run on Fridays from Los Angeles Union Station and Orange County. Saturday service includes rides from Perris. After reaching the Riverside-Downtown Station, passengers can ride a free Riverside Transit Agency shuttle or walk .8 miles to the heart of the festival.

For the trip home, be sure to board the shuttle at least 45 minutes before your train leaves the station.

The Festival of Lights is rated as one of USA Today’s 10 best public holiday lights displays. To move Riverside to the top of the leaderboard (it’s trailing Duluth, Minnesota and Springfield, Massachusetts), vote up to once daily.

For more information, visit

Train Station