Updated for 2019
One of my favorite things to do to ring in the Christmas season is attend a local tree lightning. Something about seeing a tree lit outdoors makes you feel like the magic has finally arrived in the neighborhood. Here is a list of Christmas Tree Lightings in the South Sound, from Auburn to Olympia, and everywhere in between!
We strive for accuracy with all our listings, but we have provided links so you can confirm details before you head out!
South King County
The Landing at Renton –November 16th 6-8 p.m. Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with stilt walkers, tree lighting, live entertainment and a Frosty and Rudolph selfie station. Free!
Des Moines – First Friday in December every year. That will be December 6th this year.
Kent Station – Santa arrives November 30th. In the past there has been a tree lighting in conjunction, but I don’t see those details yet. I will update!
Auburn – Saturday, December 7 Auburn is shaking things up this winter with an improved lighted Santa Parade! A festive and fun parade that will now allow floats, tractors, horses, walking entries, and other motorized units that will light up Main Street! The parade will be followed by the lighting of the tree in front of City Hall with a visit from Santa!
Tacoma and Greater Pierce County
Milton – Saturday, December 7th Details TBA
City of Lakewood – Saturday, December 7th
You’re invited to join us for our 23rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting festivities Dec. 7, 2019.
Like last year, this year’s event features something for everyone. The expanded festivities run all day in and around Lakewood City Hall and are free for all ages.
Find one-of-a-kind gifts from 25 specialty vendors at the Candy Cane Lane Holiday Market and Craft Fair. Grab something to eat from food trucks and enjoy live entertainment.
Bring the kids to visit with Santa (we have two sessions), run in our Jingle Bell Dash or participate in the Lakewood Parade of Lights by building a float, singing, dancing or decorating a car. (Download parade entry packet).
End your evening with our annual Christmas tree lighting in front of Lakewood City Hall.
Event runs 1 to 7:30 p.m.
Sumner -Saturday, November 23rd Tree lighting, refreshments, and tours at the Ryan House Museum
The lighting ceremony is back at the brand new bridge!
Make memories with The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse as we break in the new bridge with our annual bridge lighting ceremony! The bridge will be lit promptly at six o’clock, but we encourage you to arrive earlier to enjoy the festivities! We will be in the spirit handing out complimentary cookies & hot apple cider! There will be live reindeer and a spectacular fireworks show! Vendor village will be setup at three o’clock for your shopping pleasure!
Don’t forget, Santa Claus will be with us for complimentary family photos! He will be here from 11-4 however, the line may be cut off earlier to get him outside on time!
Brown’s Point -Date TBA. Bonfire, tree lighting, Argosy Christmas Caroling Ship
Fife – Tuesday, December 3
Santa trades in his sleigh for a fire truck! Come celebrate the season with the Mayor and Santa as they use some holiday magic to light up the trees outside of City hall.
- Free photos with Santa, cookies and cocoa
- Date: Tuesday, December 3
- Time: 6 to 7 p.m.
- Cost: FREE
- Location: Fife City Hall
Tacoma, Pantages Theater – Saturday, November 30th
Since World War II, the south Sound community has gathered to celebrate at the corner of 9th & Broadway in downtown Tacoma. Gather for carols and photos with Santa. Make it part of your holiday tradition!
Schedule (timeline subject to change):
4:30 p.m. – Santa photos & Live Music
6:15 p.m. – Tree lighting with community photo
After the show, come see Cirque Dream HOLIDAZE at the Pantages Theater at 7:30 p.m.! Note from SFM: The tree lighting event is free and open to all; the show after requires tickets.
Old Town Tacoma – Saturday, December 14th This is a fun and free daytime event at the Job Carr Museum. Children’s choirs, cookies, cocoa and free Santa photos. In the past, it has included the lighting of the little tree in front of the museum.
University Place – Friday, December 6th
Invite your family and neighbors to come out for a very special evening and community event on Friday, Dec. 6 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. in Market Square for the lighting of the University Place Christmas Tree. This continues our tradition in U.P., with the annual Christmas tree lighting festivities beginning after dark amid the holiday lights of Market Square.
The fun will begin at 4:30 p.m. when school performances start. Santa arrives on a West Pierce Fire Truck at 5 p.m. As in years past, little dancers from University Place will be on hand to escort the Jolly Ol’ Elf inside for pictures at the Atrium fireplace while U.P. students perform festive holiday tunes outside in Market Square. The lighting of the tree will take place at 6 p.m. and Santa pictures will continue until 7:30 p.m. The cost of the photos will be $5 and benefit the Curtis Key Club of University Place.
Plan to make an evening out of this special celebration. Bundle up the kids and admire the twinkling lights while staying warm by the outdoor fireplace. What better way to mark the beginning of the holiday season than by making memories that will last a lifetime and celebrating with your community in the heart of U.P. – the Village at Chambers Bay.
We hope to see you on Dec. 6!
Puyallup, A Simple Wish – November 29th or 30th This is a ticketed show; 25.00/person with pre-registration required
Puyallup Main Street – December 7th Note from SFM: this is after the parade. Bring the kids downtown to welcome Santa to Puyallup as the jolly old elf arrives on one of Puyallup’s finest fire engines! Included in the festivities is the Holiday Market (12:00 pm- 7:00 pm) in the Pioneer Park Pavilion and the lighting of the Community Tree in the Park. Nibble on cookies and sip on hot cocoa as you watch the lighted delights pass by. This wonderful community tradition is a great way to kick off the holiday season.
Bonney Lake Tree Lighting – Saturday, December 7 6:00pm.
Sleigh your way to the annual Bonney Lake Tree Lighting Festival & Gingerbread House Contest. Enjoy free activities, music, refreshments, pictures with Santa, and help countdown the lighting of the tree. Bring nonperishable food to support the Bonney Lake Food Bank.
Gingerbread House Contest
The Bonney Lake Arts Commission and Kiwanis Club host the annual Gingerbread House Contest. Enter this fun and festive contest as a team, individual, or business. It all culminates in an evening of holiday cheer at the Tree Lighting Event when entries will be judged for prizes! Visit the city’s events page – www.cobl.us/events – for entry details.
Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, and Kitsap County
Fox Island – Annual events for island residents.
- Santa at the Museum – 1st Saturday in December at the Fox Island Museum
- Christmas Tree Lighting – 1st Sunday in December at the Nichols Community Center
Gig Harbor December 7th
Port Orchard – TBA
Thurston, Olympia, Lacey, and Dupont Area
Olympia – Last year’s festivities were on November 25th. Their website seems to be having big issues right now. I will update!
Tumwater – Saturday, December 14th
Lacey -December 2nd parade of lights at 6:30 followed by the tree lighting in Huntamer Park
We’ve got lots more holiday content coming your way soon! Be sure to check back!