2020 Update in progress
As always, while we strive for 100% accuracy, we’ve also provided links so you can double check event details before you head out!
Below, you’ll find tree lightings, Santa visits, Santa breakfasts, parades, ice skating, gingerbread house making, and more! Events are listed by geographical area and ordered by date.
Need help finding something or want to get your group’s event listed? Just let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
South King County
November 28th-January 1st 4-8PM daily at Gene Coulon Beach Memorial Park and Piazza Park. Note from SFM: Based on the location, I believe this is the free lights event that has always been called Clam Lights in the past, but I’m not 100% sure on that.
White River Valley Museum in Auburn has a variety of virtual events this year.
The Argosy Christmas Ship festival has been cancelled this year.
Santa Hat giveaway in Normandy Park December 5th This is a drive thru event; no traditional lighting/Winterfest this year.
Kent – No traditional event this year, but the Kent Lions will provide lights and music at Town Square Park during the season, Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas.
Federal Way-To the best of my knowledge, all traditional holiday events in Federal Way have been cancelled. If you know differently, let me know!
Auburn Jolly, Holiday Lane on December 5th-a drive thru event at Les Gove Park with displays to see. You do need to register for this, and some time slots are full already.
Auburn is also hosting virtual Santa visits and other fun, plus they are putting together a list of area light displays.
Tacoma and Greater Pierce County
Drive thru light show. Vehicle admission starts at 15.00 on Non-Peak Nights. November 21-29; December 6-10, and December 13th-17th. Peak Nights December 4th-5th; 11th-12th, and 18th-27th are 20.00.
Reindeer at Watson’s Nursery, Puyallup – Ongoing! Donner and Blitzen are spending their holiday vacation at Watson’s ’til the December 24th! This is a quick, free outing outside. The interior of Watson’s is also lovely this time of year, though I would probably not want to do it with a stroller or with toddlers with grab-y fingers.
No Santa this year, but they have decorated the whole area, and you are welcome to come by for a DIY photo op. There is a train themed Christmas tree that I know some of your kids will love! The Bridge will also be lit up in the evening, though there is no official event.
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop Tacoma – Yes, you can still see Santa at Bass Pro this year. Follow the link for detailed safety information.
- Timed online tickets only (no gate tickets). *BECU members get $1 discount
- NOTE: Both aquariums, goat area and the carousel will be closed for safety
- Face coverings required (age 5+)
- Those with medical exemptions to wearing a face covering may book Zoolights tickets on the following Mondays from 7:30-9pm (last entry 8pm): Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14
The play area is not an option this year, but there are five new ways to get a Santa photo or experience. Some are sold out, but they have also been releasing new dates/times as they’ve come out, so follow their Fb page, too.
No ice skating this year, but Point Ruston has trees and some festive shopping.
Free, 5-7 minute drive through event present by members of the LDS church Located in the parking lot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 512 Valley Ave, Sumner WA, enter off Mead McCumber. The drive-thru should last around 15 minutes, please come anytime throughout the two hour event
Lakewood is doing a, “Reverse Parade of Lights,” on December 12th.
What is a reverse parade? We’re glad you asked!
Typically, the City’s Parade of Lights features a variety of floats, local marching bands, and classic cars that travel on a parade route through Downtown Lakewood with spectators lining up on the streets to view the procession.
Due to COVID-19, to ensure social distancing, we are turning the Parade upside down or more aptly in “reverse.” The “Reverse” Parade of Lights will feature a stationary display of floats and vehicles lined up around Lakewood Towne Center’s perimeter road. Spectators will drive-thru Colonial Plaza to view the floats and vehicles. The City will provide music.
Additionally, Santa has indicated that he will be there!
Fort Nisqually offers a variety of virtual alternatives this year, including Victorian Christmas Music at Home.
Christmas at Fort Steilacoom Maybe? Pending?
CHRISTMAS AT FORT STEILACOOM
Saturday, December 12 (DUE TO COVID-19 THIS EVENT IS PENDING)
Celebrate the Christmas season as living historians in period clothing present a period candle light Christmas. The gift shop will be open for holiday shopping. Tickets to the event will be available for purchase in the Interpretive Center/Quarters 4. Admission: Adults $5, Children $3, Family (2 Adults, 3 Children) $10. The event runs from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Check www.historicfortsteilacoom.org for event updates. Follow Historic Fort Steilacoom on Facebook and Instagram.
The Job Carr Cabin Museum is closed, but they have been offering take and go craft kits for kids. There is a holiday ornament offered in December.
First Night in Tacoma – December 31. A family-friendly, arts-centered, alcohol free celebration of New Year’s Eve that takes place throughout the Downtown Tacoma theater district. Purchase buttons for admission to activities. More here
Polar Bear Plunge -TBA; traditionally New Year’s Day
Gig Harbor/Port Orchard/Kitsap Area
PenMet Parks is offering a variety of holiday fun including holiday themed Putt-Putt and Polar Express themed kids’ night outs. Registration required and do read all the details.
NOTICE >> Due to a construction project, Discovery Baptist will not be having a 2019 Living Nativity.
Oly Lightstravaganza is free and open to all. The lights will be on 4:45 – 10:30 pm, November 29, 2020 through the New Year.
Please bring donations for the Thurston County Food Bank (cash, check to TCFB, or non-perishable food).
***Please Note: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, visitors will not be permitted on our property. The display is set up to be viewed from the street or sidewalk. As well, we will not be hosting events nor handing out free cookies and cider.***
Holiday lights, over a mile of garland, snow, Nutcracker selfie sets and MORE!
Olympia, WA – Busy elves throughout Olympia are preparing for the Annual ‘Downtown for the Holidays’, presented by WSECU. Traditionally, the kickoff for our holiday season takes place the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Given the pandemic, the traditional kickoff events will not take place, but our holiday season will commence with Small Business Saturday on November 28 through the end of December. Decorations, special window displays, parking freebies and more
Due to COVID-19, our traditional, in-person events will not take place this year. However, we have several options for you to enjoy this special time of year! Check back for additional choices. Stay safe and healthy!
Holiday Lights with Songs and Stories
Although we aren’t able to gather for the official lighting of the Christmas Tree and Huntamer Park, you can bring the family by the park to enjoy the lights and tune in to listen to Santa reading a Christmas story! We’ll even have some fun songs you can sing along to. We will have Instructions on how to tune in posted at the park and on our website. Sponsored by Interstate Batteries. Nightly, December 1 – 31, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Huntamer Park
Zoom with Santa!
Give your child a chance to chat with Santa at the North Pole! You can select the 10-minute session of your choice at registration. If you would like more time for additional kids, please purchase separate, adjacent time slots. Registration closes November 23, or when sessions are full. Tuesday, December 1 (you select the time) From the North Pole to your home, via Zoom Fee: $12 per up to 10 minute session Register: Click here.
Cookies with Mrs. Claus: Virtually amazing! Ages 6 – 12
Join Mrs. Claus and one of Santa’s elves and create the perfect Christmas treat, at home! Each kit contains 4 (or 10) cookies and all the frosting and special touches to help you create your masterpieces! You will also get video link with step-by-step instructions on how to decorate the cookies. Mrs. Claus will even share a special story with you! Register by December 4th
Friday, December 4
For more information, visit the Signing Santa website
And….If you liked this list, you’ll also enjoy our other holiday guides, too! Be sure to check back as we’re updating all of them now!
As always, let me know if I’ve missed something great! I’d love to add it. Email me at email@example.com