Holidays

19 Holiday Light Displays to Check Out in the Seattle Area: 2021 Edition

Holiday Magic at the Fairgrounds, WildLanterns, and More
December 8, 2021
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Holiday Magic at the Puyallup fairgrounds has plenty of attractions worthy of a mini road trip, from a holiday light tunnel to the cozy Yeti Bar complete with a fire pit. (Washington State Fair)

Winter is cold and dark, it's true, but who needs sunlight when you can bask in the glow of holiday light displays? This year promises plenty of great options, and we've rounded up some of our top picks for the season below, from Candy Cane Lane Add to a List to WildLanterns Add to a List at the Woodland Park Zoo. You can also find many more neighborhood displays on this Google Map created by Everett residents Jason and Diana Pittman, or check out our complete holidays calendar for other ways to celebrate the season.


Jump to: Free Displays | Ticketed Events


Descriptions in quotes were provided by the event organizer.

FREE DISPLAYS

SEATTLE

Candy Cane Lane Add to a List
1920s-era Tudor homes in Ravenna have been boasting impressive light displays every holiday season since 1949. Stroll along Northeast Park Road taking in Nutcracker-themed havens complete with sleighs, reindeer, sugar plum fairies, and blow-up candy canes galore.
(Northeast Seattle, through Jan 1)

Freeway Park Illuminations 2021: "Wayfinding" Add to a List
A group of seven local artists including Sarah Fetterman and the Seattle Design Nerds have created installations to light up Freeway Park's "well trodden plazas and unexplored corners, providing inspiration while enhancing safety."
(Freeway Park, through the new year)

Lights, Lights and More Lights Add to a List
"Be dazzled by soaring light sculptures and more in Westlake Park and Occidental Square this season. Step into and under larger-than-life installations of presents, arches and trees built from more than 135,000 lights. Light displays in both parks are free and family-friendly." 
(Westlake Park and Occidental Square, through Jan 9)

Olympic Manor Holiday Lights Add to a List
Ballard homeowners go all out at this community light display. Crank up the Christmas tunes and take a drive through the neighborhood.
(Ballard, through Jan 2)

SLU After Dark Add to a List
Take yourself on a self-guided tour of South Lake Union's four interactive light installations in Van Vorst Plaza, Nitro Pizza, re:Invent Plaza, and Day 1 Playfield.
(South Lake Union, through Dec 31)

Winter Porch Light Parade 2021 Add to a List
Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, and Shoreline residents can try their luck at a grand prize for their porch or front-yard light displays. If you're not a participant, you can still walk or drive around the neighborhood to enjoy the sights.
(North of Seattle, through Dec 31)

Winterfest Add to a List
Seattle Center's campus is decked out in twinkly lights for the season, adding to their Winterfest offerings of all sorts of performances, a winter train village, ice-sculpting, and more.
(Seattle Center, through Dec 31)

EASTSIDE

Lights Up at the J Add to a List
"Celebrate the Festival of Lights with an interactive light display! This holiday season, we’re creating our own magical world of lights for families to explore at the J. Walk among our light-covered trees, make shadow puppets, play with color changers, and explore our imaginative light exhibit. The display is best experienced in the dark, so plan to stop by after 4 pm."
(Stroum Jewish Community Center, through Jan 3, free)

Redmond Lights 2021 Add to a List
"Redmond Lights is a celebration of light, art, and culture. 2021's experience is a free, month-long art and light installation at Downtown Park. Take a self-guided tour of the installations, then follow the lights down Cleveland Street to 164th Ave NE to reach Redmond Town Center where the festivities continue!"
(Redmond Downtown Park, through Jan 5, free)

Snowflake Lane Add to a List
Every year, downtown Bellevue turns into a winter wonderland not just for one night but for a whole dang month, with (fake) falling snow, jolly music, and twinkling lights every night until Christmas Eve.
(Bellevue Square, through Dec 24, free)

ELSEWHERE

Leavenworth Village of Lights: Christmastown! Add to a List
"This December, midweek and on weekends, we plan on celebrating our eye popping display of over half a million lights with music & entertainment, holiday characters for your photo ops, carolers, kids’ activities, roasting chestnuts, Santa photos and so much more! No more 'flipping of the switch' on Saturdays and Sundays. Instead, the town lights will shine bright every day of the week."
(Leavenworth, through Feb, free)

TICKETED EVENTS

SEATTLE

WildLanterns presented by BECU Add to a List
The Woodland Park Zoo is taking a more realistic approach to its beloved annual holiday light display by lining its paths with glowing lanterns in the likeness of tigers, snow leopards, aquatic creatures, zebras, and other exotic animals.
(Woodland Park Zoo, through Jan 16, $25-$30)

EASTSIDE

Dazzle Add to a List
"Come thrill your senses in the walkable holiday light magic that is DAZZLE, an annual Christmas tradition! Walk the pathway and enjoy the lights, activations, and photo-worthy memories. A stunning wonderland awaits as you stroll down the pathway discovering each illuminated treasure."
(New Community, Maple Valley, Dec 9 - 23, $10 - $15)

Garden d’Lights Add to a List
Whimsical flora and fauna, birds, animals, and cascading waterfalls get the holiday light treatment at Bellevue Botanical Garden's annual display. (To be clear, actual birds and animals will not be strung with lights.) Wander the grounds and take photos among the "half a million" bulbs.
(Bellevue Botanical Garden, through Dec 31, $5)

SOUTH OF SEATTLE

Holiday Magic Add to a List
The Washington State Fair is bringing a host of yuletide activities to its Puyallup grounds. Walk through a tunnel of lights at the Light Extravaganza, check out "displays celebrating holiday traditions from around the world," or catch a laser show set to holiday music. Ice skating, a fire pit bar, and a Christmas market round out the adult-friendly offerings, while kids can ride the Santa Express train or ride the merry-go-round.
(Washington State Fair Events Center, Dec 10 - 31, $20 - $22.50)

Zoolights Add to a List
Holiday traditions don't get more classic than strolling through the zoo when it's transformed into a luminous wonderland of 3-D animal light installations. Displays from previous years have included hammerhead sharks and sea turtles, a majestic polar bear family, and a giant Pacific octopus. You can see this year's lit-up creatures by following a guided path laid out for social distancing.
(Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma, 
$12 - $15)

Christmas in Color Add to a List
"Drive through millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. Drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. Take your time enjoying this lighting extravaganza - we won’t judge you if you join the kids with your face pressed against the window!"
(Wild Waves Theme Park, Federal Way, through Jan 2
, $35 - $45)

ELSEWHERE

Fantasy Lights Add to a List
"Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park is the largest holiday drive-through display in the Northwest, featuring nearly 300 elaborate displays and thousands of sparkling lights. The beautiful two-mile drive along Spanaway Lake has become a memorable tradition for the entire family."
(Spanaway Park, through Jan 2, $10 - $40)

The Lights of Christmas Presents: A Drive-Thru Christmas Add to a List
"See spectacular lights, dazzling displays, [and] wave to Santa and Mrs. Claus, while listening to Christmas music from the comfort of your own car. Fun for people of all ages and affordable for everyone. Grab your keys, pack up the kids, and get out of the house for an event with Christmas spirit in Snohomish county."
(Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center, through Jan 8, $25 - $55)

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