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An elaborate light display, including a corridor of arches lit in white, a large christmas tree lit in white to the right surrounded by light blue lights spiking up from the ground,, and smaller white-lit christmas trees to the left. Shutterstock

Where to see holiday lights in and around Seattle

Go experience some magic

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If you’ve lived around Seattle for a while, you know that, between our high longitude and endless cloud cover, our winters are extremely dark. But there’s an upside: We put up twinkle lights early and often, with many a street tree glowing by the end of October, even before the holiday lights season.

But when it’s finally time for our elaborate light displays, we go all-out—and our creations really pop against our long winter nights. From meticulously designed park promenades supremely extra expressions of fandom, we have a little something for everyone, whether you like your holidays to be quaint or, pun intended, absolutely lit.

Most of these places start up around the beginning of December, so start charting those holiday magic courses.

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1. The Hawk House

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11217 NE 100th St
Kirkland, WA 98033

Every year, general contractor Anthony Mish goes all-out in his lighting display, with a bold Seahawks-centric design that’s earned his home the name “The Hawk House.” It had to go dark for one year because the bright lights and traffic were a little too much for the quiet neighborhood, but it returned after getting permits from the city of Kirkland. Part of that is limited hours for the display, so make sure to check the schedule when it’s posted.

2. Candy Cane Lane

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NE Park Rd
Seattle, WA 98105

This corridor of gorgeous Tudor Revival homes near Ravenna Park has been coordinating a major light display since 1949, called Candy Cane Lane. It’s a great chance to see a wide collection of classic house holiday lights all in one place—without snooping around your neighborhood too much.

3. Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo

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5500 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 548-2500
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It’s cool enough that the Woodland Park Zoo is open late into the night for a little while each year—giving non-daytime people a chance to see the sights. But a variety of festive sights and activities mingle with the animal encounters for a full winter wonderland, including a carousel and snowball fights in addition to elaborate holiday light displays.

4. Winterfest at Seattle Center

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305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-7200
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One of Seattle’s most iconic winter events transforms the Seattle Center campus into a one-stop destination for the most magical of holiday traditions, including an ice-skating rink and a model train winding through a quaint winter village. Of course, the Center’s pathways are lined in plenty of holiday lights.

5. Denny Park

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100 Dexter Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-4075
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A relatively recent addition to the Seattle holiday light circuit, this South Lake Union park has been lighting up the night since 2018. This one’s full of more modern festivities, including a grand-opening celebration with a beer garden, holiday market, DJs, and food trucks.

6. Freeway Park

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700 Seneca St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 684-4075
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Freeway Park is an underrated destination for holiday-lighted walkways, with staircases and paths connecting First Hill to a wide swath of downtown, including the Convention Center. Landscape architecture enthusiasts will appreciate the clever use of a freeway lid and the iconic brutalist fountain, part of the Lawrence Halprin park design.

7. The Seattle Great Wheel

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1301 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 623-8607
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The Great Wheel always has some kind of festive light situation going on, and the winter holidays are no exception. Surrounded by the holiday lights of the waterfront, this massive Ferris wheel will give you a view of city lights from 175 feet.

8. Enchant at T-Mobile Park

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1250 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 346-4000
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For an extremely large and elaborate light immersion, this holiday event promises the largest holiday light maze in the world, plus an ice-skating trail and a holiday market.

9. Ivar’s Clam Lights at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

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1201 Lake Washington Blvd N
Renton, WA 98056
(425) 430-6700
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Every year, Ivar’s takes advantage of Gene Coulon’s linear park design for a festive light-filled path along Lake Washington, in an easy-to-navigate long, paved road.

10. Bellevue Botanical Garden

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12001 Main St
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 452-2750
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This Bellevue Botanical Garden tradition, which highlights the whimsy of its plants with holiday lights—and some surrounding garden- and nature-themed displays, like butterflies, birds, and even a twinkling waterfall.

1. The Hawk House

11217 NE 100th St, Kirkland, WA 98033

Every year, general contractor Anthony Mish goes all-out in his lighting display, with a bold Seahawks-centric design that’s earned his home the name “The Hawk House.” It had to go dark for one year because the bright lights and traffic were a little too much for the quiet neighborhood, but it returned after getting permits from the city of Kirkland. Part of that is limited hours for the display, so make sure to check the schedule when it’s posted.

11217 NE 100th St
Kirkland, WA 98033

2. Candy Cane Lane

NE Park Rd, Seattle, WA 98105

This corridor of gorgeous Tudor Revival homes near Ravenna Park has been coordinating a major light display since 1949, called Candy Cane Lane. It’s a great chance to see a wide collection of classic house holiday lights all in one place—without snooping around your neighborhood too much.

NE Park Rd
Seattle, WA 98105

3. Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo

5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

It’s cool enough that the Woodland Park Zoo is open late into the night for a little while each year—giving non-daytime people a chance to see the sights. But a variety of festive sights and activities mingle with the animal encounters for a full winter wonderland, including a carousel and snowball fights in addition to elaborate holiday light displays.

5500 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

4. Winterfest at Seattle Center

305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109

One of Seattle’s most iconic winter events transforms the Seattle Center campus into a one-stop destination for the most magical of holiday traditions, including an ice-skating rink and a model train winding through a quaint winter village. Of course, the Center’s pathways are lined in plenty of holiday lights.

305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109

5. Denny Park

100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

A relatively recent addition to the Seattle holiday light circuit, this South Lake Union park has been lighting up the night since 2018. This one’s full of more modern festivities, including a grand-opening celebration with a beer garden, holiday market, DJs, and food trucks.

100 Dexter Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

6. Freeway Park

700 Seneca St, Seattle, WA 98101

Freeway Park is an underrated destination for holiday-lighted walkways, with staircases and paths connecting First Hill to a wide swath of downtown, including the Convention Center. Landscape architecture enthusiasts will appreciate the clever use of a freeway lid and the iconic brutalist fountain, part of the Lawrence Halprin park design.

700 Seneca St
Seattle, WA 98101

7. The Seattle Great Wheel

1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101

The Great Wheel always has some kind of festive light situation going on, and the winter holidays are no exception. Surrounded by the holiday lights of the waterfront, this massive Ferris wheel will give you a view of city lights from 175 feet.

1301 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101

8. Enchant at T-Mobile Park

1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

For an extremely large and elaborate light immersion, this holiday event promises the largest holiday light maze in the world, plus an ice-skating trail and a holiday market.

1250 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

9. Ivar’s Clam Lights at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056

Every year, Ivar’s takes advantage of Gene Coulon’s linear park design for a festive light-filled path along Lake Washington, in an easy-to-navigate long, paved road.

1201 Lake Washington Blvd N
Renton, WA 98056

10. Bellevue Botanical Garden

12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005

This Bellevue Botanical Garden tradition, which highlights the whimsy of its plants with holiday lights—and some surrounding garden- and nature-themed displays, like butterflies, birds, and even a twinkling waterfall.

12001 Main St
Bellevue, WA 98005