Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Holiday lights all around! Your 2021 guide

Great places to brighten up late fall and winter.

Seeing the holiday lights is one tried and true (and safe) way to feel festive during a pandemic – oohing and aahing and enjoying warm, tasty treats with a crowd without ever having to venture indoors. So, keep your masks handy and enjoy! Here are some upcoming displays in and around Seattle. (Remember to book ahead online.)

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 second year. Runs Nov. 12 to Jan. 30. 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. 26 to Jan. 8. thelightsofchristmas.com 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. 26 to Jan. 2. pdza.org Read a parent review here. Also: Buy tickets early!

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. 26 to Jan. 2. co.pierce.wa.us/1253/Fantasy-Lights

Google Holiday Lights in Kirkland: This event is back after taking 2020 off. Google’s musical holiday light display features 10,000 LED lights custom-programmed to holiday music at the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The display runs  from 5-10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1. Free parking in the Google surface parking lot and on the first level of Google Building D, 451 Seventh Ave. S., Kirkland.

Holiday lights in Renton: Walk through the display at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park from 5-9 p.m. nightly 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.

The new holiday event DAZZLE is described as “a lighting spectacular” that “will thrill the senses of the entire family.” It’s a Maple Valley walk-thru wonderland with LED lights and music that started in 2020, at the height of the pandemic. This year, look for a creation station. DAZZLE starts on Dec. 2. dazzlenw.com

This year, Holiday Magic will be a walk-through event with whimsical light displays (and food stands) at the Fairgrounds in Puyallup. Runs Dec. 10 to Dec. 31. thefair.com

More holiday stuff!

Gift-worthy cookies for the holidays

These Seattle art studios help kids make handmade gifts with heart

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.