Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Holiday lights all around! Your 2022 guide

Great places to brighten up late fall and winter.

Seeing the holiday lights is one tried and true way to feel festive – oohing and aahing, enjoying tasty treats and spending time together outdoors. Here are some upcoming displays in and around Seattle. (Remember to book ahead online.)

At the Zoo

At Woodland Park Zoo’s WildLanterns in Seattle, watch out for light-up jellyfish, tigers and bears. (Oh, my!) The revamped display is in its third year. Runs Nov. 11 to Jan. 22. zoo.org Also:Pro tips from a family who went with two small kids. Also: Buy tickets early!

The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood continues as a drive-thru event this year. Highlights: Hot mini doughnuts, kettle corn and costumed characters. Runs Nov. 25 to Nov 27, and weekends in December.Visit thelightsofchristmas.com  for more info. Also: Find out how our 2020 reviewers liked it and read their tips

Zoolights illuminates Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma with 700,000 dazzling LED lights. Look out for light tunnels, the baby tapir, the flame tree and Sasquatch! Runs Nov. 25 to Jan. 2. pdza.org Read a parent review here. Also: Buy tickets early!

Large shows and at the fairgrounds

Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park was ready for the pandemic as the state’s largest drive-thru light display. The illuminated trail runs alongside scenic Spanaway Lake. Runs from Nov. 25 to Jan. 1. co.pierce.wa.us/1253/Fantasy-Lights

 

This year, Holiday Magic will be a walk-through event with whimsical light displays, holiday activities (and food stands) at the Fairgrounds in Puyallup. Runs Thursday through Sundays in December. thefair.com

At the gardens

Swansons Nursery: Families will enjoy a magical holiday outing seeing thousands of glowing lights around the gardens. Nov. 12-Dec. 23

Bellevue Botanical Gardens d’lights: Follow the pathways through the garden and discover a variety of brightly lit displyas. You’ll discover plant and animal shapes, rock formations, butterflies, bees ad birds at the Garden d’Lights at Belleevue Botanical Gardens. Nov. 26- Dec. 31

City lights

Rain or shine, head to your local tree-lighting ceremony. Watch a parade, sip hot chocolate and catch the magic of holiday displays. Arrive early to stake out a prime spot for viewing.Dates and locations vary. FREE. Here’s a short list of events:

Holiday lights in Renton: Walk through the display at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park from 5-9 p.m. nightly starting December 3 through Jan. 1. Holiday lights will also decorate Piazza Park, 233 Burnett Ave. S., and the light poles in the downtown business core along South Third Street.

Evergreen Christmas Lights: A Bothell tradition: Hundreds of thousands of lights will cover an entire church building and will be synchronized to music. Stop into the pavilion for warm cookies, treats, a winter village and train exhibit. December 4-24.

Village of Lights Christmastown
Drive over to Leavenworth as the town celebrates with more than half a million lights, music and entertainment, holiday characters, kids’ activities, roasting chestnuts, Santa photos and more! December 1-31. FREE.

Evergreen Christmas Lights
A Bothell tradition: Hundreds of thousands of lights will cover an entire church building and will be synchronized to music. Stop into the pavilion for warm cookies, treats, a winter village and train exhibit. December 4-24. FREE

Kenmore Luminary Walk

Head on over to Log Boom Park for an evening of celebration, food, music and fun! December 2

More holiday fun

Gift-worthy cookies for the holidays

These Seattle art studios help kids make handmade gifts with heart

Winter and holiday festivals

Catch a kid-friendly show at the theater

About the Author

Jillian O'Connor

Jillian O’Connor is managing editor of the Seattle's Child print magazine. She lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and a dog named after the Loch Ness Monster.