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Where to enjoy spectacular holiday lights

See wild animals and places re-created in thousands of LED lights and some animals (including reindeer) nightly at Wildlights Woodland Park Zoo

Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren


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.


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. olympicmanor.org


Phinney Ridge/Greenwood Monkey Lights. Look for 150 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. monkeywood.org


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. 31, and 5 p.m. to midnight Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1. FREE, all donations will benefit West Seattle Food Bank and Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation. 3908 S.W. Charlestown St., West Seattle. westseattlelights.com


WildLights. 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. 3 (closed Dec. 24-25). $. Free parking. Entry at west gate only. Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle (Phinney Ridge). zoo.org 


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. rentonwa.gov


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 Jan. 2. $, free ages 10 and younger, tickets available online (pre-purchase recommended). Free parking nearby. Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue. gardendlights.org


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. snowflakelane.com



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 Jan. 1. FREE, donations welcomed for the food bank and Ben Towne Foundation. 16504 112th Pl. N.E., Bothell (adjacent to Cedar Park Church). keenerschristmas.com


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. Dec. 17-29 (closed Dec. 24-25). $$. Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood. thelightsofchristmas.com


Holiday Tour of Lights. Hop aboard the 20-minute Merrysville Express Rotary Train and see 30 winter scenes done in lights. 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, Dec. 10-19, plus Dec. 21-23 and 26. $. Cedarcrest Golf Course, Marysville. marysvillewa.gov


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. 19. FREE. First Street and Avenue D. historicdowntownsnohomish.org


Snohomish Riverside Candlelight Walk. Celebrate the winter solstice with a walk on the Snohomish River Trail, illuminated by luminarias placed by volunteers. 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 21. FREE. Riverside Trail, downtown Snohomish. historicdowntownsnohomish.org



Zoolights. 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. 3 (closed Dec. 24). $ to $$, free ages 2 and younger. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma. pdza.org


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. 31, and 5 p.m. to midnight Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1. FREE, all donations will benefit Maple Valley Food Bank and Cops with Cancer. 22629 S.E. 263rd Pl, Maple Valley. westseattlelights.com


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



Christmas Lighting Festival Leavenworth. Live entertainment, Santa, refreshments and more, plus nightly lighting of the downtown village. Activities Dec. 18-20; lights stay up through mid-February. See schedule online. FREE. Leavenworth. leavenworth.org


Christmas in Big Valley Poulsbo. 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. 2. $, free ages 5 and younger. 26730 Big Valley Road, Poulsbo. christmasinbigvalley.com


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