There’s still time to take in Christmas lights this season, and there’s one over-the-top way to do it: aboard a bright red double-decker bus that practically screams Christmas.
“The bus is fully decorated and Christmasy, with lights and a Christmas tree, holiday music and one of Santa’s helpers to make sure everyone has a good time,” says Jonathan Pring, owner of the Real London Bus Company, a Valley firm that offers two holiday lights tours per night through Dec. 30.
“The 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tours have been really popular; we don’t have any of those open until after Christmas. But we still have a lot of availability for the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. tours — every single night, just about,” he says.
The authentic English buses are available by private charter only and cost $400 to $500 per tour. Sounds pricey, but with room for 60 passengers, that works out to approximately $7-$8 per person.
“In the East Valley, we visit the Mormon Temple in Mesa and neighborhoods where the whole street has gotten together and created phenomenal lights displays. We try to stop where we can and let people get out and wander around,” says Pring, a native Londoner.
Included in the ride are complimentary hot cocoa and caroling sing-alongs. Passengers are welcome to bring their own food and drink aboard, including alcohol.
“We do a mixture of adult parties where there’s lots of drink, and it’s kind of a wild adults’ tour, and we do children and family tours. People are welcome to customize their tour how they wish. We get a broad mix, from families and office Christmas parties to groups and college kids,” he says.
The bus is also available to take revelers from party to party on New Year’s Eve. Pricing for Dec. 31 is $200 per hour, with a required five-hour minimum.