Christmas in the Northwest 2023 – Christmas Lights, Nativities, Santa Trains & More!

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Christmas in the Northwest

Christmas in the Northwest 2023

Where to Find Christmas Lights, Nativities, Santa Trains & More!

Christmas in the Northwest is a special time of the year and we are so fortunate to have so many special holiday events this season to enjoy. Many of them are even free. We have put together a BIG list of Christmas events & ways to celebrate the season with your family here in 2023.

You can also check out our Thrifty Northwest Mom Instagram page, or follow our deals group to get more updates on things happening around the Northwest too.

More Christmas in the Northwest Resources:

Free Santa Pictures in the Northwest

U Cut Christmas Tree Farms around Seattle, Tacoma & the greater Puget Sound

Plus, if you have a 4th or 5th grader, they can get a free Christmas Tree this year too!

Seattle Christmas Events 2023 & Beyond!

Below you will find a list of where to see Christmas lights in the Northwest, as well as Holiday events, Santa Trains and Snow activities. It is heavier on the Washington events, as those are what we are more familiar with, so if we missed some of your favorites elsewhere in the Northwest let us know and we will get them added.

Where To See Christmas Lights

Be sure to check each website for the most current dates and times that these events will be happening!

Christmas Lights in the North Seattle Area:

Lights of Christmas (also known as Stanwood Christmas lights or Warm Beach Christmas lights)-  Stanwood, WA; pay per vehicle (more for bus and limos).  The Stanwood Christmas lights is a drive-thru Christmas lights event this year (make sure to check their site for the exact days they are open). You do need to purchase tickets ahead of time & they are selling fast. You will see spectacular lights, dazzling displays, wave to Santa and Mrs. Clauswhile listening to Christmas music from the comfort of your own car. Fun for people of all ages and affordable for everyone.

Anacortes Wonderland Walk Light Show – Anacortes, WA; Free. Come enjoy the spirit of the holidays at the Wonderland Walk at Washington Park. The campground will be decorated with holiday cheer by local groups and organizations, and there will be live music, campfires, and hot chocolate.

Holiday Lane – Main Street, Concrete, WA; Free event. This is a special event where local businesses have a Christmas decorating contest & Santa will make an appearance at the brightly lit Town Tree, near the old fire hall on Main St. This year you can even watch a free holiday movie.

Wintertide Lights  – Everett, WA; Daily. Free admission but they are accepting canned food donations. This is a self-guided evening walk through their gardens, lit up for the season.

Check out the list of neighborhood Christmas light displays that Skagit Kid Insider has put together & other great Skagit County events going on as well.

Christmas Lights Seattle:

Christmas in Bellevue including Snowflake Lane – Bellevue, WA; Free. They will be offering twinkling lights, Christmas music playing & snow!

The Bellevue Botanical Gardens also offers a holiday light display each year as well!

Another popular Christmas event in Bellevue is the Bellevue Singing Christmas Tree, which is the largest Christmas production in the area.

Wild Lanterns – Seattle, WA at Woodland Park Zoo (closed some Mondays so check out schedule for those dates). Discover wild places and creatures from around the globe in this immersive lantern festival.

Winterfest – Free. Seattle’s Winterfest is a world of sparkling lights, amusements and spirited entertainment at Seattle Center Winterfest, presented by Symetra, Nov. 25 – Dec. 31, happening virtually here on our website and also in-person on our grounds. Throughout the five weeks of Winterfest, those in search of uplifting seasonal spirit or delightful diversion will find performances, our Winter Train & Village, our annual campus lighting display, and a New Year’s Eve Celebration.

Gileadvent Drive Thru Christmas Experience – Carnation, WA; Free event (donations accepted) This is a drive-thru event to experience the magic of a lit-up Camp Gilead wonderland. There will be hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, carolers, live excerpts from The Nutcracker, candy canes from Bucky, Christmas Stories with Lyle, a live nativity & more. Plus a free event button.

Snoqualmie Winter Lights – Snoqualmie, WA; Celebrate the traditions and magic of the season! Historic Downtown Snoqualmie. Music, Santa arrival, Ice Carver Installation and Demo, Selfies with Santa, and holiday cheer. Delight. Dine. Drink.

Light tunnel indoors at holiday magic

Christmas Lights in the South Seattle Area:

Zoolights – Point Defiance Zoo at Tacoma, WA; They have transformed the zoo into a colorful winter wonderland with over 700,000 lights for this Tacoma Christmas lights event. See dazzling 3-D animal light displays with new safety protocols. The changes are that the carousel, goat area & both aquariums will be closed. You need to purchase timed online tickets ahead of time. Other safety protocols are: face coverings, social distancing, one-way paths & outdoor areas only.

Fantasy Lights – Spanaway, WA; This is a drive – thru event. Drive through the 2-mile long Christmas lights display.  Tune your radio to AM1700 to listen to special holiday music while you drive.  Please anticipate very long waits, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Holiday Magic Event – Washington State Fairgrounds, Puyallup, WA; Take a wonder-filled stroll through magical lights, festive displays and holiday joy. This year’s event will feature more light displays, interactive exhibits, an ice skating rink and more!

Light up the Mansion at Meeker Mansion – Puyallup, WA; Free admission to drive thru the grounds. Drive thru this new holiday light display featuring the original lights from Puyallup’s historic Twinkle Lane. Drive thru the mansion’s carriage entrance & they will hand out candy canes & you can enjoy while you drive thru the beautiful grounds.

Holiday Light Display at Carpinito Bros – Kent, WA; Free admission. Pretty Christmas light display to check out while you are checking out their store & Christmas trees/wreaths and visit with the Reindeer!

Christmas Lights at MRCC – Enumclaw, WA; Free admission. Park your car, tune your radio to 91.7 FM and enjoy! Show repeats every half hour.

More Christmas in the Northwest Events:

Leavenworth Christmas Lights – Leavenworth, WA. Christmas lights in the town will be on from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day this year. Find out all you need to know about visiting Leavenworth this time of the year. The lights will always be on 7 days a week from Thanksgiving through February and we have scheduled lots of fun entertainment and events both midweek and weekends throughout the month of December. Weekends are very busy, so they recommend visiting on a weekday or after the holiday rush.

Small Town Holidays in the Lake Chelan Valley -Various events throughout the month, like festival of trees, and much more. Wineries will also have outdoor, tented, heated & cozy spaces with fireplaces & holiday lights. Great getaway location!

Christmastown USA  – Shelton, WA;  Wander thru a Christmas Tree Maze on First Street (open daily thru December) & free admission. It’s best viewed at night with thousands of lights to make a festive family picture.  Roast a marshmallow on the family fire pits or write a message on an oyster shell to hang on one of the giant trees. On weekends, there will also be an outdoor Christmas market, a gingerbread challenge & more.

There is also a Holiday Cocoa and Cookie Wagon rides in “Christmas Town USA – You will dine outside under the covered carriage as they give you a tour of the beautiful lights in town + music, hot chocolate & cookies!

Oregon Locations:

Oregon Zoo Zoolights Event  – Portland, OR; Prices vary depending on event and date. If you are a zoo member, you can get discounted admission (20% off).

Winter Wonderland – Portland International Speedway, Portland OR; Must buy tickets online before you go.  This is a drive-thru Christmas light display on the raceway with over 250 colorful light sets. They will have virtual goodie bags as well with a QR code they give you.  Discounted tickets can also be purchased at Portland metro Safeway and Albertsons at the customer service desk, starting in late November, until tickets are sold out.

Clackamas County Winter Fair – Clackamas, OR; This lighted festival is a quarter mile walk through experience featuring a 150 foot walk through tunnel, 200 foot building light display and a 30 minute Christmas tree show. Come explore our light displays and visit with Santa in Santa’s Village. Children 10 and under are FREE. Food and beverage will be available for purchase within the festival.

Christmas Activities:

Here are more Seattle Holiday Events, as well as options beyond too!

North of Seattle: 

Lighted Christmas Stroll through Pioneer Village – Ferndale, WA; Weekend Dates in December. Free admission. Stroll through Pioneer Village which will be lit up with beautiful Christmas lights (no indoor cabin access).

Seattle Holiday Events:

Issaquah Reindeer Festival

Photo courtesy of Issaquah Reindeer Festival

Issaquah Reindeer Festival – Cougar Mountain Zoo, Issaquah, WA; This is an exciting outdoor celebration at the zoo.  This year Santa or Rudolph will safely be taking photos outdoors in their Grand Traveling Sleigh! Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays, see all of your favorite animals and more.

Holiday Lights & Delights – downtown Seattle, WA; Dazzling holiday-themed light sculptures will come to life in Westlake Park, with more than 80,000 lights shining from larger-than-life installations of presents, arches, trees and more. This year, it will also feature an augmented reality adventure to designated spots throughout parks, sidewalks and plazas in the downtown Seattle retail core. Bring your smartphone to discover this digital winter wonderland hidden in plain sight.

Holidays at the Pike Place Market – Check their schedule for all of this years events happening!

Molbaks – Woodinville, WA; See a list of their holiday events, to find out what is happening this year.

Swanson’s Nursery – Seattle, WA;  While there will be no reindeer visiting, you can still visit Swanson’s Nursery to enjoy many holiday themed events in theres “A Pacific Northwest Holiday”.

Areas south of Seattle: 

Christmas Mini Golf

Photo courtesy of King Family Fun Center

Reverse Parade of Lights – Lakewood, WA; The Parade of Lights will be in reverse with a stationary display of floats & vehicles lined up in Colonial Plaza. People can drive thru Colonial Plaza to view the floats & vehicles & there will be Christmas music & Santa will be there to wave to, as well.

A Christmas Experience Enumclaw, WA; Purchase your tickets online for a timed entry. Join them December 9th and 10th at the Enumclaw Expo Center for A Christmas Experience! Event hours are Saturday from 4PM to 9PM and Sunday from 4PM to 8PM. Come celebrate all things Christmas from holiday performances, Santa photos, kids crafts and games, to a journey through Bethlehem town and Live Nativity!

Drive Thru Nativity

Photo Courtesy of Drive Thru Nativity

Living Nativity – Quincy, WA Free tickets. Free, outdoor walk through living nativity with costumed guides, wise men, shepherds, Bethlehem townsfolk and manger scene. Live animals, Nativity Around the World 

Christmas Island at Maytown – Maytown, WA; Free admission.  Enjoy the marvelous sights and sounds of this historic display! Drive through or park and enjoy free coffee and treats.

A Victorian Country Christmas – Puyallup at the Washington State Fair Grounds.

Santa Trains in the Northwest:

Snoqualmie Yuletide Express

Photo Courtesy of Northwest Railway Museum

Santa Express Rides – (almost sold out for this year – currently found seats open for 12/15 though) Snoqualmie, WA Join Santa and his elves on the Yuletide Express on this new 25-minute holiday train ride, guests will board the festively decorated antique coaches at the historic Snoqualmie Depot. The excursion will travel west to the top of Snoqualmie Falls, pausing briefly at the crest to see the impressive and awe-inspiring view of the river valley below before returning to Snoqualmie. Every child will receive a small gift from Santa, and each ticket-holder will receive two (commercially packaged) cookies.

Santa Holiday Train – Chehalis, WA; Santa will be handing out candy canes and visiting with each and every family on the Santa Holiday Train.

The Polar Express – (not happening this season – but they are running a Holiday Timber Train if you want to book that ride) Chehalis, WA; All Aboard for this magical train ride to the North Pole! Bring the kids and listen as The Polar Express ™ is read aloud, cocoa is sipped and Santa drops by to visit with each child!

Mt Hood Christmas Train – Hood River, OR. Ride the Mount Hood Railroad Christmas Train to the North Pole to pick up Santa and his elves! This new event is based around their own storybook – ‘The Mount Hood Railroad Christmas Train’.

Snow Tubing at Summit at Snoqualmie

Snow Activities in the Northwest

Here are some great ways for families to get out and enjoy the snow and outdoors this winter in the Northwest.

Snow Tubing & Sledding in Washington – Check out our big list of all the best places to go sledding & tubing in Washington,

Snow Tubing & Sledding in Oregon – Check out our big list of all the best places to go sledding & tubing in Oregon.

Snow Shoeing in Washington – Snowshoeing is a great family fun activity – learn about snowshoeing at Mount Rainier as well as general snowshoeing tips

Winter Hikes – Hiking is a great way to get outdoors & spend time together as a family. These hikes are all great ones to do in the wintertime too (although Gold Creek Pond will involve winter gear as there is now snow there, but it’s still very easily accessible with kids)


  1. The Junior Junction School, in Auburn, is hosting a Bazaar on Tuesday December 6th from 6-8pm with all proceeds benefiting Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society. Vendors include: Pampered Chef, ThirtyOne, Mary Kay, Osbourn Books, Tastefully Simple. There will also be a Bake Sale. The address to the school is 13303 SE 288 St, Auburn, WA 98092

  2. Come see Christmas Island! It is set up in Maytown @ 2920 Tierney St, Olympia Wa. 98512. It is free ,opened every night from dusk till 9:30 ish and on Friday & Saturday nights we have refreshments and a cozy fire going in the barn. Opening night is Saturday,Nov.30 at 6 pm!

  3. Everett UCC Winter Wonderland Holiday Bazaar is Nov. 9, 9:30 – 5; Facebook event here:

    Holiday Boutique @ The Hollywood Schoolhouse in Woodinville, November 13-17th. Wed 4-8, Thurs-Sat 9:30-8, Sunday 10-5.

    MOPS Boutique in Everett; November 23rd from 10 to 5.

    Designer Disaster Sale at IUOE Union Hall in Bothell, December 14 from 10-5

  4. Church On The Hill
    2nd Annual Christmas Bazaar
    Saturday, December 7, 9 AM – 4 PM

    11715 214th Ave E, Bonney Lake, WA 98391

    FREE Entrance – FREE Parking – FREE Candy Canes

    Family Christmas Photos!

    Crafters, Vendors, Gently Used Christmas Decor, Raffle Prizes, Bake Sale, Hot Cocoa, Coffee, Christmas Music, Christmas Movies, Candy Canes. Family Friendly Atmosphere

    For Vendor info: [email protected]

  5. Live Nativity 2013 Road to Bethlehem

    December 16th through the 20th, 7:00pm to 8:30pm, Calvary Chapel Eastside’s Lakemont Parking Lot; 5130 164th Ave SE, Bellevue, 98006. Join us for our annual live Nativity, “Road to Bethlehem,” featuring live actors, animals, and the true story of Christmas! Invite your friends and neighbors!


    Saturday, December 6th. 2014
    8am – 3pm
    Don Argo Community Gym, by the Carbonado School
    427 – 4th Street, Carbonado, WA

    Make sure the kids bring a letter for Santa!
    Come support local Artists & Crafters & our Kids.

    We have a bit of everything!
    Lots of Homemade Crafts, Blankets/Quilts, Jewelry, Sweet Treats, Seasonal Gifts, Crochet Items, Holiday Theme Gifts, Paper Crafts, Photobooks, Vinyl Decals, and much, much more!

    PSC will have raffles throughout the day, & a Bake Sale.

    contact Teri Graves @ 360-200-5307

  7. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we will host a bazaar and sale at our office ! Get some early holiday shopping done and support a great cause. We’ll have vendors, like: Usborne Books, Scentsy, Simply Fun, Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, doTERRA, and we’ll even have paraffin hand dips from a licensed cosmetologist on Sunday. There will also be a bake sale with gluten-free options, snacks, crafts for kids, and lots of donated items up for sale. We’ll also have some items to give away. Don’t miss out!

  8. Do you know of any way for low income families to recieve help from Christmas charities or an angel tree program in the Sumner area? For a single mother of a special needs child who has zero income and can provide proof.

    1. Hi J –

      I am not familiar with any on a first hand basis (but I will ask some folks who might be, and get back to you if I find more). I do know that many programs are run through DSHS, and I did find some info for Christmas help if your in Pierce County here that you might want to call and see if you can find out more – https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/pierce_county_free_christmas_ass.html (sounds like applications might be done at your childs school in your area, and I know we do giving trees at my kids schools, so I might also check in with the front office at your childs school for more info).

      Here is another list of more agencies in your area that may be able to help out https://lowincomerelief.com/free-christmas-toys-pierce-county-wa/

      and https://www.toyrescuemission.org/

      Another place you might ask for resources is your local food bank, or fire department. They may be able to guide you to distribution centers if they do not do it themselves.

      Will be praying for your family this year.

    2. Yes! Calvary community church, has an angel tree program. If the child is in school, the counselor can but the information in. If not contact them directly!

  9. Silver Bells Christmas Bazaar in Puyallup is a fantastic event helping nonprofit animal rescues! This year it takes place on November 23rd 2019 at the Pioneer Pavilion🐾 you can find us on Facebook, Puyallup Patch, event brite and more! Free admission and parking!

  10. Arlington Festival of the Nativities’s photo.
    Change Cover
    Nativity Festival
    Public · Hosted by Arlington Festival of the Nativities
    Dec 13 at 3 PM – Dec 15 at 9 PM
    17222 43rd Ave NE, Arlington, WA 98223-7892, United States

  11. Lil Norway……..Downtown POULSBO is all decked out for the holidays! Santa is there and there are horse and carriage rides (check availability). Great way to spend the day.

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