Back to Attractions

Light up the season by experiencing local light displays

Walk or drive through light shows

Fantasy Lights is the Northwest’s largest drive-through holiday lights display. Courtesy photo

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

Nothing quite warms up a chilly December evening like a Christmas light display. Stroll or drive through the lights, admire the setups, which usually include some animated displays (a surefire hit with the kiddies) and sip on some hot chocolate as you go. If the weather is clear, head for an outdoor display, but if the weather is rainy, the South Sound is home to one of the few drive-through displays in the area.

Fantasy Lights (14905 Bresemann Blvd. S., Spanaway)

Glowing along the edges of Spanaway Lake, Fantasy Lights is the Northwest's largest drive-through holiday lights display - a boon during rainy Decembers. There are more than 300 displays, including tunnels of light, reindeer that leap over your car, and plenty of holiday good stuff like gingerbread men, Santa and wrapped gifts. If you don't bring your own holiday tunes along, you can turn to 95.3 FM. Fantasy Lights opens on Thanksgiving and runs each night from 5:30 to 9 p.m. until the New Year. Be warned that Friday and Saturday nights have long waits (up to an hour).

Admission is $14 per vehicle. Purchase discount tickets at Lakewood Community Center or Sprinker Recreation Center, or print a coupon from the website (

Zoolights (5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma)

If what you seek is a walk-through light display, then look no further. Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium serves up lights and more. As you enter the gates to the zoo, the restaurant to your right has hot chocolate and other warm beverages, which is ideal on cold nights. Wander the light displays set up around the zoo grounds, and peek at the few animals awake for the night (the meerkats always like to say hi). There's also a carousel and camel rides. But perhaps the most unique facet of Zoolights is that you can catch scuba-diving Santa in the shark tank on Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23.

Admission is $10 at the front gate, but you can get tickets for $8.50 if you purchase in advance at Fred Meyer. Groups of 10 or more get in for $7.50 each.

Wild Waves Theme Park (36201 Enchanted Pkwy. S., Federal Way)

With more than one million lights, Wild Waves is decked out with holiday cheer from Dec. 4 to Jan. 2. Like Zoolights, Wild Waves has more than just lights going on - many of the rides are open, including Kiddie Land rides. Santa also sets up shop at Wild Waves until just before Christmas, so you can stop by for photos, or visit Toyland where kids can write letters to Santa (suspicious ... considering he's right there at the event), do some crafts or join in sing-a-longs.

Admission is $9.99 if you buy in advance online, or $7.99 per person for groups of 12 or more in advance online.

The Christmas Ship Festival

A unique way to see some Christmas lights is either to wait for or board the Christmas Ship. Each year, Argosy Cruises in Seattle decks the Royal Argosy in lights and sends it to ports all around the Puget Sound. The ship is joined by other lighted boats and journeys to a second port, where a choir sings to people waiting on shore as well as to the people on board. The Christmas Ship is coming to Tacoma Dec. 13. It's free to wait onshore near the Museum of Glass at 5 p.m. to hear the choir and check out the lights, or ride the ship for $49-$59.

To the North ...

If you're venturing north, you can also find more light displays at Woodland Park Zoo and the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

Read next close


How toot sweet

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search