Updated for 2020
Due to Covid restrictions many community tree lightings and holiday parades around the South Puget Sound have been cancelled; however, there are some tree lighting and Santa arrival events still going on, plus some cities are doing brand new, socially distanced events, including spots in Renton, Auburn, and Lacey, among others.
Read on to find out if there is a tree lighting or other event going on near you!
We strive for accuracy with all our listings, but we have provided links so you can confirm details before you head out! Also note that these listings were updated last on 11/14/2020. Covid can change things fast, and we are not responsible for any of these events or in charge of any of the rules about them. You knew that, right?
South King County
Drive-Thru Holiday Spectacular
Join us for a FREE Drive-Thru Holiday Spectacular on Saturday, November 21st, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM located on North 10th Place. Vehicles will enter North 10th. Place near The Rock Wood Fired Pizza.
To the guest who arrive early, will need to legally park at The Landing and enter the roundabout at 5:00 PM or shortly after to be admitted down North 10th Place at 5:00 PM.
All vehicles must drive 5mph through the event area. No parking or getting out of the vehicle is allowed. The last vehicle will be let in at 7:00 PM.
This event will include the following:
- Laser light shows
- Live music performances
- Holiday stilt walkers
- Special appearance by Johanna Jones from American Idol Season 17
- Frosty, Rudolph and the Holiday Teddy Bear
- Special live Santa finale
Des Moines – TBA? First Friday in December every year. I do not see an update about 2020 yet.
Saturday, November 30 | 10am to Noon Santa arrival event includes refreshments and entertainment and visits with the fire department and Kent Police. Santa will make his grand entrance just before 11am and the activities will be going on until noon.
Coming early for pics? The line for Santa pics will wrap around in front of the Santa house (around the fountain) – so one parent can stand in line to save your spot while the other parent and the kids can enjoy the activities…
Once the photos begin we will help everyone get in the usual line from the side door down the ramp.
Auburn – A socially distanced, “Jolly Holiday Lane,” is being offered this year.
Les Gove Park, 12th ST SEDescription
FREE to attend – Auburn Food Bank donation or monetary donation to the VRFA’s virtual toy drive encouraged.
Join us Saturday, December 5th for a socially distanced Jolly Holiday Lane. Drive through the Lane at Les Gove Park. View an array of lighted displays including a decked out fire engine, a scene from the nutcracker, a giant snow globe and more! Children will be given a goodie bag of treats and be able to drop their letter off to Santa! Cocoa will be handed out along the Lane by our wonderful Senior Center Staff. All while staying safe inside your car and wearing a mask when applicable. Spectators and display participants must register.
December 5th 5-8PM Make sure to register!
Tacoma and Greater Pierce County
Milton – December 5th-details TBA. No in person lighting but plans for a modified event are in the works.
You’re invited to join us for our 24th annual Christmas Tree Lighting festivities Dec. 5, 2020.
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 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) and participate in the Lakewood Parade of Lights by building a float, singing, dancing or decorating a car.
End your evening with our annual Christmas tree lighting in front of Lakewood City Hall.
Note from SFM: I will keep an eye on this event to see if Covid restricts it further. This post was last updated on 11/14/2020
Sumner -Saturday, November 23rd Tree lighting, refreshments, and tours at the Ryan House Museum
Brown’s Point -Date TBA? Bonfire, tree lighting, Argosy Christmas Caroling Ship I do not see a 2020 update yet.
Holiday Drive-Thru Tuesday, December 1st
Tacoma Arts Live is hosting a variety of virtual activities. I do not believe there is any public tree lighting event this year.
The Job Carr Cabin Museum is currently closed. There are some socially distanced craft activities for kids worth checking out, though.
University Place – Traditionally the first Friday in December
Note from SFM: This info. was on their site on 11/14/2020. I will keep my eye on it to see if Covid restrictions change this event.
Invite your family and neighbors to come out for a very special evening and community event on Friday, Dec. 4 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. School performances, Santa on a fire truck, and other fun.
Puyallup, A Simple Wish – Due to Covid restrictions no in person events are currently planned.
Puyallup Main Street – The Santa Parade in Puyallup has been cancelled. The Holiday Market may be on if the county moves into phase 3 or 4 (looks super unlikely as of this writing). I would guess that lights will go on the tree in a non public way, but who knows?
TBA? Site says an update is coming soon.
Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, and Kitsap County
Fox Island – TBA? These are annual events for island residents, traditionally on the dates below; however, I do not see them on the calendar this year.
- 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 Traditionally early in December. I cannot find info. on a 2020 event. I’ll update this if I find one going on.
Thurston, Olympia, Lacey, and Dupont Area
From their site: Olympia downtown kicks off the holiday season this year with new traditions. Please stay tuned for the exciting details of how downtown Olympia is celebrating this year.
The parade, Santa Visits and Tree Lighting have been cancelled.
Tumwater – TBA? Tree lighting page is not updated. I’ll let you know if I find one.
Traditional, in person events will not take place, but there are several alternatives this year including
Holiday Lights with Songs and Stories at Huntamer Park nightly.
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 at Huntamer Park
See their site for info. on Zoom with Santa and other fun options.
We’ve got lots more holiday content coming your way soon! Be sure to check back!