Arts & Entertainment

Holiday lights for cold winter nights

There are a variety of light displays to visit from late November through December.

As winter arrives and Thanksgiving passes, the holiday decorations start to pop up. It is a popular tradition for Washington residents to seek out light displays this time of year. Puget Sound offers a supple variety of light attractions for people to enjoy. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s available. 

Candy Cane Lane – Seattle

This neighborhood is one of the most notable light displays in Seattle and has been an institution since 1949. On Candy Cane Lane, multiple residents deck out for the holidays. The intricate design of their lights create a magical atmosphere. It is a great option for those who want a low-cost outing considering it is free of cost to peruse the neighbourhood, not including gas. You can see their lights up after Dec. 6 to New Years Day starting at 4 p.m. each day.

ZooLights –  Tacoma

Each year Point Defiance Zoo, in partnership with BECU, hosts a walk-through lights display. The zoo is transformed with over 700,000 lights. Visitors will be able to see a variety of 3D animal light displays such as an animated 22-foot rock crab, the giant tiger face or sasquatch hiding somewhere among the trails. There is also their infamous 100-ft light tunnel — ideal for selfies and group photos alike. 

They also have a cafe and outdoor kiosk to grab a hot cocoa or other wintertime snacks. Advertised as “[m]agical lights and a safe, classic holiday tradition,” the venue has taken strides to reduce COVID-19 exposure. These measures include timed online tickets, face coverings, social distancing, one-way paths and outdoor areas only. 

General admission is $11 Monday through Thursday and $14 Friday through Sunday. PDZ Members are half-price admission. BECU members can receive a $1 discount off general admission as well. It is open currently until Jan. 3 from 5-9 p.m.

Fantasy Lights – Spanaway

As one of the largest drive-through holiday light displays in the Northwest, Fantasy Lights is made up of over 300 displays that cover a scenic two-mile drive through Spanaway Park. A trademark of this venue is the preservation of each of their displays since opening 20 years ago along with featuring many animated scenes as well. Additionally, they build onto their collection each year, this year introducing a velociraptor. General admission is charged per vehicle at the gate. Prices range from $15-20 per vehicle/minibus and depends on the date. The show is currently open now through Jan. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Lights of Christmas – Stanwood

This drive through is hosted by Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center in Snohomish county. They claim to display over a million lights spread across 15 acres and also have costumed characters along with  a mailbox at their location to send letters to Santa. It is $20 per vehicle on weekdays and $25 on weekends and during the week of Christmas, snacks are also purchasable from the car. The park is open now on select days this month from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. In previous years, the park offered overnight accommodation and activities, however, due to restrictions this year, these activities are currently on hold.

Lighted Boat Parade

As a more unique take on the holiday spirit, the ships decorate up in lights to show their festivity. On Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m., the Tacoma Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade starts at the TYC basin as they travel across the Ruston Waterfront to Foss Waterway. It is free to see this sight from the parks or outdoor seating at a restaurant or public area per COVID-19 restrictions. 

Although there are still plenty of light attractions to visit, some notable institutions have decided to cancel due to pandemic-related causes. These include the Garden d’Lights in Bellevue, Enchanted Seattle, and the Christmas Ship Festival which parades around several Puget Sound waterfront locations. However you spend your holidays, I hope that it is filled with safety and warmth.