Your guide to the best holiday light displays around Seattle

While Seattle is not quite in its pre-pandemic pre-pandemic state, many traditional vacation activities are happening this holiday season.

If you’ve already experienced the lights and sounds of Leavenworth, or just prefer a more low-key activity, we’ve rounded up some of the best light shows in the area. Stay in your car or wander around, these displays can be enjoyed at your own pace. Remember to bring a mask and, in some areas, your vaccination card.

Read on to learn where to find Seattle’s best Christmas light displays.

Christmas lights will be displayed around the Westlake Center in downtown Seattle on December 8, 2020.

CLAIRE MAULDING, ESPECIALLY FOR THE SEATTLEPI

Downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle is officially lit for the holidays. From now through January 9, enjoy more than 135,000 twinkling lights in Westlake Park and Occidental Square. Walk through a world filled with larger-than-life gifts, ornaments, bows and more. The screenings in both parks are free and family-friendly.

A person dressed as Santa Claus stands in front of the Menashe family's Christmas show on December 21, 2019 in West Seattle, Washington.

A person dressed as Santa Claus stands in front of the Menashe family’s Christmas show on December 21, 2019 in West Seattle, Washington.

Kristina Moy, Seattle PI

West Seattle

The Menashe family usually display gigantic festive lighting in their West Seattle home. Thousands of twinkling lights, mechanical displays, and more can be seen in Block 5600 on Beach Drive from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. through January 1. After downsizing in 2020 to avoid attracting large crowds, the full-fledged exhibit is back this year and bigger than ever. New for 2021: a lifelike, animatronic singing Santa Claus.

Courtyard decorations found in the Olympic Manor development near the Ballard neighborhood.Courtyard decorations found in the Olympic Manor development near the Ballard neighborhood.Gilbert W. Arias / Seattle Post-Intelligence

Olympic Mansion, Crown Hill

Drive through the Olympic Manor neighborhood on Crown Hill in north Seattle to see numerous festive homes in mid-December. Hop on at NW 85th Street and 22nd / 21st Avenues NW or NW 90th and 24th Avenues NW and don’t forget the hot chocolate.

Stanwood's Lights of Christmas display is a drive-through event for the second time.

Stanwood’s Lights of Christmas display is a drive-through event for the second time.

Stanwood’s lights of Christmas

Stanwood

Stanwood’s Lights of Christmas spectacle is a drive-through event for the second year running. Drive comfortably and warmly in your car past spectacular lights and intricate displays and wave to Santa Claus and the woman. Grab the keys and turn the carols on for this one.

A giant dragon made of lanterns can be found at the WildLanterns event at Woodland Park Zoo.

A giant dragon made of lanterns can be found at the WildLanterns event at Woodland Park Zoo.

Jeffrey Totey

Woodland Park Zoo WildLanterns

Now through January 30th, enjoy the Woodland Park Zoo WildLanters and Christmas light shows. Woodland Park Zoo will remain open for day visits and evening exploration at its WildLanterns holiday event. According to King County’s regulations, day and night entry requires vaccine verification or a negative COVID test.

Kent

This year’s Very Merry Christmas House takes you down Sesame Street with handcrafted props and over 60,000 music-synchronized lights. Follow the signs from Covington / Sawyer Road to reach the Land of Elmo and Big Bird. The show is free so drop by your car or ask the homeowners to wear a mask when you pass. Lights come on at dusk and stay on until 11.30pm. Canned donations are also accepted for the Black Diamond Senior Center / Food Bank.

Pioneer Square is decked out for the 2018 Holidays.

Pioneer Square is decked out for the 2018 Holidays.

Owen R./Yelp.com

Pioneering place

Seattle’s Pioneer Square is celebrating the holidays again with its fully-lit mall. From celebrating and supporting small businesses to coffee breaks and maker markets, indulge yourself in this free event and enjoy free parking on Saturdays.

Performers dance with peppermint umbrellas during the Snowflake Lane parade in Bellevue.

Performers dance with peppermint umbrellas during the Snowflake Lane parade in Bellevue.

Snowflake Alley

Snowflake Lane in Bellevue

The popular Snowflake Lane Parade has now returned to Bellevue Way every night through December 24th. Watch as elves, snow princesses, drummers, snow-loving creatures, and Santa Claus himself pass by. Masks are recommended when standing in the major parades and are required anywhere in the Bellevue Collection.

An illuminated tunnel at the Evergreen Church's Christmas exhibition in 2016.

An illuminated tunnel at the Evergreen Church’s Christmas exhibition in 2016.

Raja B./Yelp.com

Bothell

Evergreen Church is celebrating the 10th year of its Evergreen Christmas Lights Show. The free event starts at 6 p.m. and is open until 9 p.m. The outdoor event is free for everyone, no reservation or ticket required.

A display from Spanaway's Fantasy Lights 2019.

A display from Spanaway’s Fantasy Lights 2019.

Nik T./Yelp.com

Spanaway Park

Spanaway’s Fantasy Lights claims to be the greatest vacation drive-through experience in the Northwest. With over 300 detailed displays and thousands of lights, the two-mile drive is a holiday tradition in Washington.

Redmond Lights 2019 snowflake tree

Redmond Lights 2019 snowflake tree

Goli S./Yelp.com

Redmond

Now through January 5th, enjoy the free installation of Redmond Lights in Redmond’s Downtown Park. New this year: the STQRY app runs a self-guided tour that ends at Redmond Town Center for additional holidays.

A Christmas display at the Washington State Fair in 2018.

A Christmas display at the Washington State Fair in 2018.

Gabriel M./Yelp.com

Puyallup

The Washington State Fair’s Holiday Magic event is back this year and claims to be bigger, better, and brighter. Experience the magic of Christmas with lights, interactive displays, food and drinks on selected days in December. A vaccination certificate or a negative COVID test is required for entry. Tickets are on sale now.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Zoolights setup.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Zoolights setup.

Katie Cotterill / Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Tacoma

The classic Zoolights experience is back at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. With over 800,000 lights, see a giant Pacific octopus, giant tiger face, Seahawks tree, and a replica of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Tickets are on sale now.

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