Dec 7, 2022 - News

Seattle's 2022 holiday lights guide

Lights form colorful shapes while silhouetted people walk through.

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Photo: John Froschauer, courtesy of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Twinkling, colorful lights are wonder-inducing for kids during the holiday season, and can also be a romantic date idea for adults. So why not check out some displays?

Here are a few events that are making the holidays bright in and around Seattle this year.

Winterfest at Seattle Center

Lights strung around the trunks of Christmas trees shine different colors, with lights reflected on the wet pavement below.
The lights flash different colors at 6pm daily as part of Seattle Center's Winterfest. Photo: Melissa Santos

Illuminate Winterfest lights up the trees at Seattle Center every evening through February, with a flashing, colorful light show at 6pm daily by the International Fountain.

Plus: From 10am–6pm daily through Dec. 31, visitors can view a 19th-century model train and village inside the Armory Food & Event Hall.

Where: 305 Harrison St., Seattle

Lights Up at the J

The Stroum Jewish Community Center is holding a daily light show in celebration of Hanukkah.

When: 4–9pm through Jan. 1

Where: Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island

Candy Cane Lane

houses with pointed roofs are decorated with holiday lights that reflect on the wet street below.
Candy Cane Lane in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

Dates: Usually lit through early January, this collection of about two dozen homes in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood goes all out for the holiday season — with colorful lights and glowing lawn decorations you can drive past or experience on foot.

  • If you decide to take the short stroll through the lights, you can hear Christmas music playing from a house or two.

Getting there: Type "Candy Cane Lane" into Google Maps and it will take you there, or navigate to the entrance at the corner of Park Avenue NE and NE Ravenna Boulevard.

  • If you choose to walk, park on side streets, or there are a few spots nearby at Ravenna Park.
  • Before 7pm, you can snag hot cocoa or a cup of Joe from Seven Market and Cafe to help keep you warm.
  • Canned food donations are collected in bins at the end of the route.

Green Lake Pathway of Lights

The loop around the lake, along with the docks and nearby paths, will be lit with thousands of twinkling candles for this one-day event.

  • Music and refreshments will be served — and for at least the first hour, five hot air balloons will float over the park, glowing with colored lights.

When: Dec. 10, 4:30 to 7:30pm

Where: Green Lake Park, 7201 East Green Lake Dr. N

Pro tip: You may have better luck parking on nearby streets or in a distant lot, instead of directly next to the Green Lake Community Center or the playground.

WildLanterns

Glowing lanterns in the shape of birds are perched on a light-up branch.
WildLanterns at the Woodland Park Zoo. Photo: Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc.

Dates: Through Jan. 22, 2023

Woodland Park Zoo's annual light show features giant, glowing lanterns in the shapes of animals and naturescapes. There are five different sets of lights you can explore with different themes — the "All About Bugs" section with lit-up dragonflies is a surefire hit for kids.

  • Getting advance tickets online is advised, as many dates and times are already selling out.

Hours: 4–9pm (last entry at 8:30pm)

Where: 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle

Fantasy Lights

This two-mile drive in Pierce County bills itself as the largest drive-through holiday light event in the Northwest, featuring about 300 displays.

Be smart: The wait to enter can stretch into the hours on weekends. Monday through Wednesdays are a better bet.

  • Organizers strongly advise you to buy tickets in advance to ensure you can get in.
  • Admission is $20, although there are discount nights.

When: 5:30–9pm through Jan. 1

Where: Spanaway Park, 1000 Military Rd. South

Holiday Magic at the Puyallup fairgrounds

This holiday extravaganza at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup includes a laser show, light displays, a Christmas market, a game area and the chance to ride on Santa's Express Train.

Cost: Tickets range from $20 to $25 for adults, less for kids; ice skating costs $8 extra.

Dates: 4:30–9:30pm on Dec. 1–4, 8–11, 15–18, and 20–23; check schedule here.

Details: Free parking in the Green Lot

Zoolights

Arches of lights with a child running through.
Photo: Katie Cotterill. Courtesy of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma lights up with this annual display. Timed tickets must be bought in advance — get them before they sell out.

When: 4:30–10pm, through Jan. 2

Where: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma

Renton Holiday Lights

Renton's lovely waterfront park is lit up for the holidays for all of December, with additional festive events sprinkled throughout the month.

When: 5-9pm through Jan. 1

Where: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N

Redmond Lights 2022

Redmond showcases holiday lights and art displays in its downtown park all through December.

When: 5–11pm daily through Jan. 4.

Where: Downtown Park, 16101 Redmond Way

Snowflake Lane

Bellevue's popular holiday parade lights up the street with music, drummers, dancers, lights and falling snow.

When: 7pm everyday through Dec. 24

Where: On Bellevue Way, from NE 4th to NE 8th Streets (between Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square)

Evergreen Christmas Lights in Bothell

The Evergreen Church building lights up nightly with a sparkling display. Plus, there are 12 nights of concerts, a light tunnel, a snow zone with a blizzard every 15 minutes and free cookies.

When: 6–9pm through Dec. 24

Where: 3429 240th St. SE, Bothell. A parking lot is located off 35th Ave. SE.

Wintertide Lights at the Everett Arboretum

As part of the city's Wintertide events, the Everett Arboretum and Gardens will turn into a glowing winter wonderland nightly in December.

When: 4–8pm through Dec. 31

Where: 145 Alverson Blvd., Everett

Leavenworth Village of Lights

A snowy street with Bavarian-style buildings lining it, all lit with colorful lights.
Leavenworth's main drag a few days before Christmas 2021. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

If you're up for a drive over the mountains, it doesn't get more Christmas-y than downtown Leavenworth's Village of Lights each December.

  • The main drag and side streets of the Bavarian-themed town are brightly lit, with a sparkling center square and plenty of holiday events.
  • Expect snow.

When: Leavenworth's Christmastown events, including live music and food vendors, run every night through Dec. 24. The lights will stay on until February.

Where: The spectacle is concentrated along Front Street and Front Street Park in downtown Leavenworth.

Trees laced with purple, red and other colored lights.
Trees lit for the holiday season in downtown Leavenworth. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

Menorah lightings

6pm Tuesday, Dec. 20: Menorah lighting at U-Village. Located in front of Piatti.

5:15pm Monday, Dec. 19: Grand Menorah Lighting at Volunteer Park. Includes live music, latkes and gifts for kids.

5:30pm Tuesday, Dec. 20: Chabad of Downtown Bellevue will light the Menorah on the third night of Hanukkah on the great lawn in Downtown Park. The event will include traditional food, hot drinks and music; Pre-registration required.

For more Menorah lightings and Hanukkah events in the Puget Sound region, check out these lists from Seattle Child and ParentMap.

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