Where to find the best Christmas lights all around the Sound

Lots of communities put up elaborate holiday displays, but so do private citizens. Here's where to find the most breathtaking lights around the Sound.

December 17, 2019
Christmas lights on a house

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Back in the day, a few weeks before Christmas my dad would hang a string of colored lights above the front porch or around the trunk of a tree next to the driveway, and call it good. Maybe there'd be one house on the block where some ambitious do-it-yourselfer would go big, with lights in every tree and a life-size nativity scene in the front yard, but things were generally pretty tame. 

Well, things are different now. All around the sound, homeowners take it upon themselves to outdo everyone else with mind-blowing displays: lights, sound, inflatables, animated creatures . . .  it's a regular National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

If you want to explore some of the more breathtaking holiday extravaganzas, both at private homes and at public installations that actually charge admission but feature some amenities and performances, let me steer you in the direction of two great lists: Dazzle ‘Em With These 18 Holiday Light Displays and 18 Must-See Holiday Attractions in Downtown Seattle

As a West Seattleite, I'm in awe of the Menashe Family Lights at a big house on Beach Drive. The Menashe family has been stopping traffic for years with their 300,000-plus lights and other Christmas artifacts. I don't exactly know why they do it, or how they stay friendly with their neighbors, but it's a pretty spectacular experience.

Speaking of getting along with your neighbors, on the east side, Issaquah's Nutcracker Lane is a cul-de-sac where everybody's gone all-in to create a fantastical wonderland with lights and props and music. 

On the more professional side of things, south Sounders look forward to the annual family fave Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Zoolights with lights and 3-D displays and even a camel ride. (Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle does their WildLights, too, which features an indoor snowball fight -- since we can't depend on the weather to provide the material for an outdoor snowball fight.)

We just had our company Christmas party at a new contender for Christmas light supremacy --  Lumaze: Lost in Lights. This is a huge indoor operation at the Smith Cove Cruise Ship Terminal near Magnolia. They've opened in about 10 countries around the world and now it's our turn. It's great for kids, with playgrounds, a train, live music, a maze, and more than a million lights. Oh yeah, and food and a bar for parents. You may need an Advil when you get home what with all the music and the train whistle and the gleeful kiddos, but it's pretty stunning.

Really, every neighborhood has its holiday highlights, so if you want to channel your inner Clark Griswold without actually doing the work yourself, visit these links

Dazzle ‘Em With These 18 Holiday Light Displays and 18 Must-See Holiday Attractions in Downtown Seattle

pack the kids into the Family Truckster and bask in the glory of the season. Have fun!

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