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Spectacular Holiday Light Displays

You'll be dazzled by more than 600,000 lights at the 29th annual edition of Zooights.

Photo Courtesy of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium


From simple to spectacular, holiday light displays are one of the most festive and fun ways to celebrate the season. We’re focusing more on the spectacular, with a roundup of lights that would give Clark Griswold a run for his money. Some are free, others require admission or accept donations – you’ll find the details below. Don’t forget your camera!



Argosy Christmas Ship Nearly every night through Dec. 23, the brightly lit Christmas Ship and its flotilla of lighted boats stops at a different waterfront community while a choir performs for everyone on board and on land to enjoy. You can find a listing of scheduled stops here, plus ticket information if you want to ride aboard the ship.

Light Up the Night See an animated, 3D light show projected on the Sixth Avenue side of Pacific Place. Nightfall daily through Dec. 31. FREE. Pacific Place, Downtown Seattle.

Olympic Manor Neighborhood North of Ballard is the Olympic Manor neighborhood, where many homes are decorated with lights. It’s easy to navigate by car or on foot. FREE. N.W. 85th Street and 23rd Avenue N.W., Seattle. 

Phinney Ridge/Greenwood Monkey Lights Look for more than 200 glowing monkey silhouettes on businesses along Phinney and Greenwood Avenues in Seattle. Also noteworthy is a 17-foot-tall “Glow Cone” on the old air raid siren at N. 67th Street in front of the Phinney Neighborhood Association. FREE. 

West Seattle Lights See a 25-minute synchronized light show (tune your radio to 101.9 FM) 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 5 to 10 p.m. weekends through Dec. 30, and 5 p.m. to midnight Dec. 24, 25 and 31. FREE, all donations will benefit West Seattle Food Bank and Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation. 3908 S.W. Charlestown St., West Seattle. 

WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo. See wild animals and places re-created in thousands of LED lights. Indoor and outdoor displays, some animals on view (including reindeer), and more. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24-25). $. Free parking. Entry at west gate only. Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle (Phinney Ridge). 

Ivar’s Clam Lights Renton’s holiday light display shines 5 to 9 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1. FREE. Gene Coulon Beach Park, Renton. 

Candy Cane Lane. Neighbors on this charming street have been decorating with lights for some 60 years, with lovely displays on just about every house. Consider parking nearby and walking through to cut down on emissions (and to get a better view). Nightly through Jan. 1. FREE, non-perishable food donations welcomed. N.E. Park Road, off of N.E. Ravenna Boulevard, Seattle (Ravenna).



Garden D'Lights Bellevue Botanical Garden creates a winter garden with more than 500,000 mini-lights in three-dimensional plant and critter shapes. No pets. 4:30 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. $, free ages 10 and younger, tickets available online (pre-purchase recommended). Free parking nearby. Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue. 

Bellevue Magic Season: Snowflake and Celebration Lanes It snows nightly on a parade of live toy soldiers and other characters, music and a light show. Snowflake Lane 7 p.m. daily through Dec. 24, Celebration Lane performances Dec. 26-31. FREE. Sidewalks of Bellevue Way and Northeast Eighth Street, Bellevue. 



Keener’s Christmas See the Keener family’s home decorated in more than 100,000 lights and other displays. Tune your radio to 91.7 FM for accompanying music. 6 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31. FREE, donations welcomed for the Hopelink food bank and Ben Towne Foundation. 16504 112th Pl. N.E., Bothell (adjacent to Cedar Park Church). 

The Lights of Christmas Jaw-dropping light displays, live music and drama, pony and train rides, nativity, Bruce the (talking) Spruce and more. Lodging available (reservations required). 5 to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 18, and nightly Dec. 20-28 (closed Dec. 24-25). $$. Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood. 

Holiday Tour of Lights Hop aboard the 20-minute Merrysville Express Rotary Train and see 30 winter scenes done in lights. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 8-10, 15-17 and 19-22. $. Cedarcrest Golf Course, Marysville. 

Freestyle Christmas Lights Cruise Classic cars, trucks and motorcycles all decked out in lights will cruise a loop around downtown Snohomish. 6 to 7 p.m. Dec. 17. FREE. First Street and Avenue D. 



Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.  See nearly 600,000 holiday lights, including depictions of animals and local landmarks. Warm up in the steamy aquarium, ride a camel ($) or the antique carousel ($). 5 to 9 p.m. through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24). $ to $$, free ages 2 and younger. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma.

Fantasy Lights Drive through 2.5 miles of animated displays at Spanaway Park. Tune your radio to FM 95.3 to hear holiday music performed by a local high school. 5:30 to 9 p.m. through Jan. 1. $$. Spanaway Park, Spanaway. co.pierce.wa.us

Maple Valley Lights See a 25-minute synchronized light show (tune your radio to 101.9 FM) 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 5 to 10 p.m. weekends through Dec. 30, and 5 p.m. to midnight Dec. 24, 25 and 31. FREE, all donations will benefit Maple Valley Food Bank and Cops with Cancer. 22629 S.E. 263rd Pl, Maple Valley. 

Wild Waves Holiday with Lights Light displays, rides, Santa photos, entertainment and more. See online for schedule. Various hours and days through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 24-25). $ to $$, free ages 2 and younger. Wild Waves Theme Park, Federal Way. 

Holiday Light Display and Canned Food Drive Bring nonperishable food bank donations and see an animated light display with music. 6 to 9 p.m. nightly through Jan. 2. Insurance West, 11602 101st Ave. E., Puyallup.



Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival Live entertainment, Santa, refreshments and more, plus nightly lighting of the downtown village. Activities weekends through Dec. 18; lights stay up through mid-February. See schedule online. FREE. Leavenworth. 

Christmas in Big Valley Walk a lighted path decorated with over 65,000 lights and discover an outdoor model train layout, Santa’s village and nativity scene. 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1. $, free ages 6 and younger. 26730 Big Valley Road, Poulsbo. christmasinbigvalley.com


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