Washington's most spectacular attractions are even more switched on during the holidays. Unpredictable and idiosyncratic, the light shows differ from any you may have seen.
Of all Washington's light displays, Ivar's Clam Lights are the most idiosyncratic. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is transformed by the arrival of bright Christmas scenes and dancing clams. Enjoy a spot of clam chowder at Ivar's or board the Argosy Christmas Ship, which docks here at least once each holiday season.
There's no more dynamic display of Christmas lights than that at Point Defiance Zoo, where Santa arrives in a diving suit, ready to plunge into the aquarium. Explore trails through the animal-themed light displays to warming treats and hot chocolate.
Some 500,000 lights twinkle in the scenic setting of Tacoma's Botanical Gardens. Keeping with this context, the garden is illuminated with nature-themed displays, including sparkling spiderwebs, oversized butterflies, and glittering peacocks.
Don't miss out on the electrifying drive-through display on show just outside of Tacoma. Two miles of glowing Christmas decorations are certain to fortify flagging Christmas spirits. The light display is popular and so pretty you won't even mind the occasionally slow-paced flow of traffic through the exhibit: more time to twinkle!
During the holiday season, Washinton is transformed into a winter wonderland. Your family will be thrilled by experiences such as meeting real reindeer, exploring an indoor Christmas village, and the appearance of wetsuit-clad Santa Claus.
No matter what time of year it is, children go wild for Wild Waves. With a huge variety of rides and attractions to discover, the park becomes even more magical over the holidays. Come and visit Santa's Grotto, or wonder at the impressive light displays that illuminate this magical venue.
Located in the Ravenna neighborhood, this typical suburban line of 1920s housing becomes the site of a glittering Christmas fantasy. Complete with life-sized gingerbread houses, real reindeer, and inflatable candy canes, this pretty district is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.
From the sparkling Christmas lights that deck its grand halls to the miniature Christmas village housed in the Armory, children will have a ball discovering the Seattle Center's many Christmas delights. Look out for moving characters in the miniature town, and don't leave without a glide around the indoor ice rink.
Snowflake Lane in Bellevue comes alive in the winter, with Christmas lights accompanied by realistic snowfall and parades featuring fire engines alongside reindeer, toy soldiers, and Santa Claus. The area is bursting with the best shops in all of Puget Sound, perfect for picking up last-minute Christmas gifts.
Whether you and your beau are indulging in a glass at a Victorian winter wine garden or grabbing a selfie amid snowfall, Washington proffers plenty of romantic holiday entertainment. Travel to a Bavarian village for Christmas or board a floating Santa's sleigh decked in twinkling lights.
Like Santa's sleigh, Christmas comes to you when you sail away with Washington's Christmas Ship Festival. The Christmas Ship, with a deck illuminated with hundreds of twinkling Christmas lights, transports you between Christmas celebrations in Seattle and Tacoma. Float on Puget Sound between bonfire-lit stops. A choir and Christmas parade complete this unforgettable and uniquely Washington experience.
Treat yourself to a little Christmas retail therapy at Washington State Fair Events Center, which puts on a special show during the festive season. At the Victorian Christmas Village, step back in time to Christmases of yore and celebrate the holiday the old-fashioned way. Join in with choral concerts, try Victorian treats, and hunt for gifts at more than 500 pop-up stores.
Those in search of the romance of Old-World Christmases need not look further than Leavenworth. This alpine village is especially switched on during the holiday season, when the Christmas Lighting Festival draws crowds from out of town. Bavarian-style buildings nestle comfortably beneath snow-dusted peaks. Make your way to the Nussknacker Haus to marvel at the wooden nutcrackers, or shop for traditional Christmas decorations at Kris Kringl. Couples can cozy up at Icicle Brewing, where the light brews are local and the bar snacks are sophisticated.