Credit: Ryan Hawk
Can't Miss Holiday or Seasonal Event
Winner: WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo
Viewing WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo is a favorite holiday tradition for ParentMap readers, who voted it the winner again this year. This annual lights extravaganza is certain to create lifelong holiday memories. Everyone loves the wild animals and exotic destination scenes, which are illuminated by more than 700,000 LED lights. Guests warm up around fire pits, have indoor snowball fights at Snowmazium, take night rides on the carousel and visit select indoor exhibits that are home to nocturnal animals, such as sloths and fruit bats.
Set against the beautiful backdrop of Bellevue Botanical Garden, Garden d’Lights features more than a half million sparkling lights formed into whimsical shapes of plants, flowers, birds, animals and cascading waterfalls.
Snowflake Lane, The Bellevue Collection’s holiday show, is another favorite, with free nightly performances featuring giant snowflakes, live holiday music, toy soldiers, girls with tambourines and live toy drummers on stilts.
Swansons Nursery’s Reindeer Festival in North Seattle features its namesake reindeer, as well as a camel, a model train set and other magical holiday décor. Greet Santa and enjoy the convenient on-site café with an indoor koi pond while picking out your holiday greenery.
There are many productions of “The Nutcracker” staged around the Puget Sound region each year, but the one by Emerald Ballet Theatre in Northshore, which features a combination of its own students and guest dancers from professional companies, is the one readers rave about.