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Mission Inn Festival of Lights, Riverside, CA

Updated on September 15, 2014

The Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California is a family tradition

Riverside California's Mission Inn is a historical landmark but for our family, the Festival of Lights is a family tradition. Many of my memories are of my parents and my children oohing and ahhing over the lights. My parents are no longer here but the Mission Inn is a reminder of past Christmas's and family togetherness.

Now the Mission Inn is our grandson's favorite place to go for Christmas. For three years we have promised him a try at ice skating. This was his year. It was not as easy as he thought and now he will admit to being tired but he had a really good time. Besides the gingerbread stand and the hot cocoa, it is also a great place to shop at all the boutique stores that line the streets.

This is a photo of the back of the Mission Inn on the east side. Regardless where you are, the Mission Inn is most welcoming at Christmas.

By the way, if you make a trip to the Mission Inn in December, it is cold and jackets are required. It rained earlier in the morning.

Nutcrackers guard the entrance to the Mission Inn

Animated Singers line the sides of the Mission Inn

Another part of the Mission Inn with Nutcracker's guarding the building

Connected by an arial walkway, the Mission Inn continues on the next block. This building is also decorated.

Ready to skate

During the holiday season, the setup a portable ice skating rink. Not a lot of people in our area ice skate so it's always fun to watch.
During the holiday season, the setup a portable ice skating rink. Not a lot of people in our area ice skate so it's always fun to watch. | Source

Ice skating for the first time - I just have to share a little of the skating

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You can bring your own ice skates

Lake Placid Metro Boy's Adjustable Figure Ice Skate (Medium (2-5))
Lake Placid Metro Boy's Adjustable Figure Ice Skate (Medium (2-5))

If we had an ice skating rink nearby, we might consider skates.


Photo taken from the skating rink - Mission Inn towers in the background


Bougainvillea at the Mission Inn

We live less than 30 miles from the Mission Inn and cannot grow Bougainvillea. Riverside has very few days with hard frosts which is one of the reasons the Hotel and Spa is so popular. Although it was and can be cold, it is not cold enough to keep visitors from wandering the shops and the restaurants and there are many of both to choose from.

Mission Inn history

The history is long and interesting

"The property began as a two-story, 12-room adobe boarding house called the "Glenwood Cottage" built by civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller in 1876. In 1902, Miller's son Frank changed the name to the "Mission Inn" and started building obsessively, in a wild variety of shapes, until he died in 1935", from Wikipedia

The Mission Inn has been a favorite of Presidents, including William Taft who had a special chair to accommodate his size. It's even makes me look small. The Reagan's have been visitors and Pat and Richard Nixon were married there. A couple of other memorable visitors have been Henry Ford and Booker T. Washington. Bette Davis was also married there. There are many more but even we have eaten in their restaurants and someday, want to spend a night there (not in December).

Mission Inn Lights - It is hard to take a bad picture even with a camera that is no so great.

I hope you've enjoyed your visit to the Mission Inn - Feedback is welcomed

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Ann Hinds: Bummer! Thanks for the info!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      @anonymous: I wish it were because we would get treats there all year. It's only there at Christmas time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Is the little shack that sells gingerbread desserts up all year?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your lens. I would love to visit the Mission Inn, particularly at Christmas. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      sure did love your photos and the reading, thank you indeed.

    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 5 years ago

      Looks like good fun! :)