Twinkling and colorful holiday light shows are a favorite way for families to enjoy the winter holiday season. The Seattle/Tacoma region hosts several amazing light shows that seem to become more extravagant and creative each year. You'll find these lights in local zoos, gardens, and parks as well as on the local waters. All of these light shows are held after dark, so be sure to dress warmly.
Christmas Ship Festival
Argosy Christmas Ships, bedecked with holiday lights, lead a parade of decorated boats around Lake Washington, Lake Union, or Puget Sound locations, varying with each night's schedule.
You can participate by booking a place on an Argosy cruise, by joining in with your own lighted and decorated boat, or by watching from the shore.
Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Every year, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium puts on a lavish holiday light display. After strolling through the zoo paths to view the twinkling decor, you can enjoy live holiday entertainment, take a carousel ride, warm up with some hot chocolate, or pose for family photos. Advance Zoolights tickets may be purchased at Fred Meyer, online, or at a zoo kiosk.
Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo
The region's newest Christmas-time attraction, Wildlights features hundreds of thousands of colorful, energy-efficient LED light displays. During your Wildlights visit, you'll get to stroll through the pathways of the western section of Woodland Park Zoo after dark to experience festive scenes from nature. Strolling carolers, live reindeer, snow play, and ice sculptures are other things you might have the chance to see and do.
Advance tickets are highly recommended and can be purchased online.
Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park
A drive-through extravaganza of holiday lights with close to 300 displays and thousands of sparkling lights, all along a two-mile stretch at Spanaway Lake. You can tune into local radio station FM 93.7 for show music.
Admission is per vehicle, so fill up your car or van with friends and family.
Garden d'Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden
Throughout the holiday season, these Bellevue gardens burst into color with displays of holiday lights draped throughout the landscaping, in the trees, on the ground, and all around, including special Christmas and garden characters and scenes.
Snowflake Lane in Bellevue
Colorful lights, sparkling decorations, and festive costumes are all a part of the evening festivities in downtown Bellevue. Held along Bellevue Way and NE 8th among all the awesome Bellevue shopping, Snowflake Lane features faux snow, toy soldier drummers, holiday characters, and live entertainment on several stages. Bellevue's Snowflake Lane takes place on most evenings throughout the holiday season
Neighborhood Holiday Light Displays in Seattle/Tacoma
Just driving around and enjoying the twinkling lights and decorations is a fun and free way to enjoy the holiday season. Several Seattle neighborhoods go all out each year, and have become a holiday evening's entertainment in their own right. About.com's Guide to "Seattle/Tacoma, WA" has put together info and directions to some of the best, including Candy Cane Lane and Olympic Manor.