Seattle's Child

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Holiday lights all around! Your 2023 Guide

Brighten up your night at these light shows

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 fourth year. Runs Nov. 10 to Jan. 14.

Also:Pro tips from a family who went with two small kids.

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. 24 to Jan. 1.

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. 24 to Jan. 1.


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. 24 to Nov 26 and 30 and weekends in December.

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

At parks, gardens, etc.

Swansons Nursery: Families will enjoy a magical holiday outing, seeing thousands of glowing lights around the gardens. Nov. 11-Dec. 31

Bellevue Botanical Gardens d’Lights: Follow the pathways through the garden and discover a variety of brightly lit displays. You’ll find plant and animal shapes, rock formations, butterflies, bees and birds at the Garden d’Lights at Belleevue Botanical Garden. Nov. 25- Dec. 31

Green Lake Path of Lights is back from a pandemic absence. Bundle up and walk the illuminated 2.8-mile path while listening to music; 4:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.

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 6-8:30 p.m. nightly starting December 2 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 be synchronized to music. Stop into the pavilion for warm cookies, treats, a winter village and a train exhibit. December 1-24. [Here’s a review from a family who recently attended.]

Village of Lights Christmastown
Drive over to Leavenworth as the town celebrates with over half a million lights, music and entertainment, holiday characters, kids’ activities, roasting chestnuts, Santa photos and more! Lights on Thanksgiving through February. FREE.

Kenmore Luminary Walk

Head to the Kenmore City Hall Lawn for an evening of celebration, food, music and fun! December 1, 4-7 p.m.

Neighborhood Lights

Candy Cane Lane: Visit this neighborhood light show in Seattle. Sunday to Thursday: 4:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday: 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Keener’s Christmas: Head to Bothell for this spectacular light show. Bring canned food to donate and enjoy this drive-thru show. December 1-31.


More holiday fun

Winter and holiday festivals

About the Author

Jillian O'Connor

Jillian O’Connor lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and a dog named after the Loch Ness Monster.