Weekend Highlight

Christmas may be over, but the spirit of the holiday season will linger for a few more days as the new year approaches. If you haven’t gone to see a holiday light display yet, there are still several opportunities to do so around the Seattle area, including The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood and WildLights at the Woodland Park Zoo.

The Lights of Christmas

This light festival is about an hour north of Seattle and features more than 1 million lights in varying displays, entertainment, children’s activities, shopping, food and more. The festival takes place at the Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center in Stanwood, Thursday-Sunday, Dec. 26-29, from 5 to 10 p.m.

Visitors will find themselves in themed areas, each with different features. At Joyland, you’ll find an ornament shop, a concert hall with performances from regional entertainment groups, a gift shop, a cookie-decorating area, outdoor food vendors and a dining tent. The Nativity Area will have a “Donut Hut,” carolers and the Elfland Toyshop where kids can decorate wooden ornaments or toys. At the Starlight Area, you can treat yourself to a hot drink and acoustic music or storytelling performances. At the Tinhorn Town Area, there will be an express train for all ages, country and bluegrass performances, food vendors and pony rides for children ages 6 and under. The Baylight Area will hold a prayer chapel and face painting. The Wonderland Area will have a talking Christmas tree, a light maze and a petting farm with animals.

The price of admission includes access to all live entertainment, train and pony rides, the petting farm, the talking tree and the light maze. Making a toy or ornament in Elfland or Joyland, cookie decorating and face painting cost extra. Some food vendors are cash only, but there will be ATMs located on site. Winter-weather attire is recommended, as parts of the event are outdoors. Warming fires will be located throughout the event as well. Guests are welcome to bring their own food if they would like. Pets are not allowed.


Take a trip to the zoo for WildLights, a light festival with fake snowball fights, animal sightings, hot chocolate and more. Visitors can experience WildLights from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26, to Sunday, Jan. 5.

More than 800,000 LED lights will be displayed throughout the zoo to depict wild animals and places in two and three dimensions. The ZooStore will be open for anyone looking for animal-themed gifts or souvenirs. For $3, visitors can ride the carousel, which will also be adorned with festive lights. Visitors can have indoor snowball fights in the Snowmazium, and those 21 and over can visit the Bear’s Den, a beer and wine garden. The den will be under a heated tent with bar seating, fire pits, animal encounters and more. There will also be an all-ages area with fire pits, food and hot drinks.

Visitors have the option of purchasing a visit to WildLights only or bundling a daytime zoo visit with WildLights. For those only attending the festival, animals won’t be out, but some indoor exhibits will be open for viewing.


The Lights of Christmas

Hours: 5-10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, Dec. 26-29

Location: Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center, 20800 Marine Drive, Stanwood

Cost: $13-$18; free/ages 3 and under

More info: thelightsofchristmas.com


Hours: 5:30-8:30 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 5

Location: Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle

Cost: $20.45-$27.45/daytime zoo and WildLights bundle; $12.95-$16.95/WildLights evening ticket only

More info: zoo.org/wildlights