Christmas Lights in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue & Beyond

Zoolights Tacoma

Kristin Kendle

Checking out cool Christmas light displays (or more than one!) is a popular tradition for many Seattle-area residents. No matter where you live in the Puget Sound region, there is a professional light display somewhere near you. From neighborhood shows like Candy Cane Lane to professional setups at Woodland Park Zoo and Bellevue Botanical Garden, Seattle goes all out for the holidays.

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Candy Cane Lane

Seattle Candy Cane Lane
Nick Gunderson/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images
Candy Cane Ln, Seattle, WA 98105, USA

Candy Cane Lane is in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood and is unique as far as Christmas light displays go. It is also free because rather than a zoo or botanical garden or Seattle Center, Candy Cane Lane is a series of homes on NE Park Road. Every year, these homes deck themselves out for the holidays. The result? A neighborhood with a magical holiday atmosphere sure to be a hit with kids, but also beautiful and impressive enough to delight adults.

Where: Northeast Park Road off Ravenna Boulevard in Seattle
When: Mid-December until about January 1, usually from 4 to 11 p.m. and until midnight on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

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Christmas Ship Festival

Seattle Christmas Ship
Kristin Kendle
Puget Sound, Washington, USA

The Christmas Ship Festival comes to you! Each year, Argosy Cruises sends its Christmas Ship out to cities located up and down the Puget Sound—Seattle, Tacoma, and everywhere in between. You can ride along on the Christmas ship to enjoy a live choir as well as boxed meals, snacks and drinks. If you want to enjoy the Christmas Ship Festival, check the schedule to find out when this floating light parade is coming to your town. The festival visits more than 50 communities. At each stop, people wait beside bonfires. When the parade arrives, the choir on the Christmas Ship sing to those waiting on shore as well as to those on the ship.

Where: Check the Christmas Ship schedule to find out which ports are welcoming the ship each night.
When: Typically the last week of November to the last week of December.

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Bellevue Garden d’Lights

Bellevue Botanical Garden
Steve Ginn/Flickr/Public Domain
12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
Phone +1 425-452-2750

With more than a half million lights, Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Garden d’Lights is a walk-through light display, much like Zoolights in Tacoma. Fitting with the location, the displays are botanical—giant butterflies, flowers, spiders set in beautiful twinkling webs, peacocks with shimmering tail feathers, and more. This is an especially perfect option if you want a Christmas lights display that's a little different than usual as you'll find a lot less Santa and a lot more beautiful botanicals here.

When: Typically the last week of November to the last week of December, 4:30 - 9 p.m. each night.
Where: 12001 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98005

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Snowflake Lane

Snowflake Lane Bellevue
John & Lisa Merrill/Getty Images
227 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA

While not a Christmas light display per se, Snowflake Lane in Bellevue combines Christmas lights, a light show, and music to ring in the holidays every night. Snow falls from the sky (artificial, but it’s still very cool). Drummer boys climb onto platforms all up and down the street, which is lined with trees covered in lights. Then a parade of more toy soldiers, reindeer, fire engines, and Santa. This very well may be the best seasonal shopping experience in the Puget Sound area.

When: Typically the last week of November to Christmas Eve, nightly at 7 p.m.
Where: Snowflake Lane takes place on the streets around Bellevue Square (NE 4th to NE 8th); Celebration Lane fills the sidewalks at The Bellevue Collection.

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Point Defiance Zoolights
Christine Majul/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407, USA
Phone +1 253-404-3800

In the South Sound, there may be no better place to view amazing holiday lights than Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium during Zoolights. Lighted displays are set up all along the walking paths at the zoo, including moving displays. Another highlight is that sometimes Santa shows up in a diving suit at the aquarium. A snack shop is open with hot chocolate and other warm food and beverages.

Where: Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
When: Typically the last week of November to the first week of January, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Fantasy Lights

Fantasy Lights Tacoma
Kristin Kendle
14905 Bresemann Boulevard South, Spanaway, WA 98387-8517, USA
Phone +1 253-798-4177

Fantasy Lights is the largest drive-through Christmas light display in the Northwest and is located just outside of Tacoma. Stay in your car, turn on some Christmas music, and enjoy a leisurely drive through two-miles of displays. Often when it opens for the season, Fantasy Lights closes to cars and welcomes in walkers. Some nights do involve long lines to get in, but the perk of this is that traffic moves slower so you get more time to look at the displays!

Where: Spanaway Park, Military Road and 152nd Street, Spanaway, Washington 98387​
When: Typically the last week of November to the first week of January, 5:30 to 9 p.m.

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Winterfest Seattle Center
Kristin Kendle
305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Phone +1 206-684-7200

Seattle Center is a lovely place to enjoy the holiday atmosphere. Parts of Seattle Center have Christmas lights galore, while the Armory and Fisher Pavilion both host a number of free Christmas performances. Also at the Armory, a huge miniature town with trains and moving characters is set up. And as a special bonus—there’s an ice skating rink!

Where: Seattle Center
When: Typically the last week of November to the last week of December.

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Holiday With Lights at Wild Waves

Wild Waves Theme & Water Park
Courtesy of Wild Waves Theme & Water Park
36201 Enchanted Pkwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003, USA
Phone +1 253-661-8000

This unique lights display allows you to ride the rides at Wild Waves Theme Park, visit Santa, or catch a show. The entire theme park is decked out in a million lights, making this perfect for families with kids who enjoy a ride or two with their holiday fun.

Where: Wild Waves, 36201 Enchanted Parkway, Federal Way
When: Select nights in December.

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Ivar's Clam Lights

Ivar's Clam Lights
Ivar's Restaurants
1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056, USA
Phone +1 425-430-6700

One of the largest Eastside Christmas displays, Clam Lights decks Gene Coulon Park out with Christmas lights. You'll see plenty of Christmas scenes, but also Ivar's Dancing Clams. This isn't the biggest display in the area, but it's free and a lot of fun. The Argosy Christmas Ship often stops by at least once per season and there are other nights you'll find entertainment. Of course, Ivar's is nearby if you want a cup of clam chowder to pair with your holiday lights.

Where: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA, 98056
When: Typically the last week of November to the first week of January, 5 - 9 p.m.

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Enchant Christmas

Enchant Christmas Seattle

Courtesy of Enchant Christmas

One of the newer Christmas lights displays in the Seattle area, Enchant Christmas at T-Mobile Park is spectacular. The display is set up as a maze of Christmas lights on the field and takes up nearly 100,000 square feet of sheer twinkly goodness. Each year, the maze has a theme or a story behind it and features objects to find in the maze like reindeer who have run away or toys that a mischievous elf has hidden. Along with the maze, there's also a Christmas Market where you can buy a snack or bite to eat as well as shop from artists and crafters.

Where: T-Mobile Park

When: Typically the last week of November to the last week of December.

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Lumaze Seattle

Another newer display is the indoor Lumaze Seattle at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. Wander through a million lights set up in displays, tunnels, but also interactive displays like hanging picture frames, LED hopscotch, LED swings and more. There's also a Christmas market with about 30 craft and artisan vendors to explore. Several food trucks and other food and drink options will also be out in force.

Where: Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91, 2001 W Garfield Way, Seattle, WA 98199

When: Typically the last week of November to the first week of January.

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The Best Christmas Lights in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, and Beyond