Scenes from Lumaze (left) and Enchant (right): two local light shows. Credit: JiaYing Grygiel
Two big, spendy indoor light shows are competing for your holiday dollars this year. Lumaze: Lost in Lights is new this year, and Enchant Christmas is back in Seattle for its second year. (And these are on top of a an already hefty roster of holiday light shows.)
If you're considering going to either Lumaze or Enchant, we’ve tallied up our impressions in different categories so you can decide which one might be right for your family.
Lumaze fills the 100,000-square-foot-plus cruise ship terminal at Seattle's Pier 91; Enchant claims to be the world’s largest light maze covering 300,000 square feet of T-Mobile Park.
Is bigger better? There’s just more of everything at Enchant. Lumaze has some holiday market and food vendors; Enchant has many, many more. We spent three hours at Lumaze and felt like we covered it all. At Enchant, I cut my kids off after three hours (it was a school night) and all the way to the car, they asked when we could come again.
No winners here — both are very expensive.
Lumaze tickets are $19.99–$22.99 for adults and $14.99–$16.99 for kids, plus $15 for parking. Enchant tickets are $19.99–$32.99 for adults and $14.99–$23.99 for kids, plus $20 for parking. Note that the cheaper tickets are only available during times less conducive to families, like weeknights and late entries.
The exterior of T-Mobile Park is all decked out in strings of glittering lights. It’d be pretty hard to miss that something very special (Enchant) is happening inside.
We actually drove over the Magnolia Bridge on our way home from Enchant the other night, and there’s no way you’d even know there was another major light show (Lumaze) happening on the pier below. Lumaze could definitely use some giant, lit-up arrows pointing the way. (Read our review for essential tips on finding your way.)
Best light maze
Lumaze has a little of everything. It was fun to walk around and discover all the different shapes, from Santa’s sleigh to cupcakes to a fairytale castle — all beautifully done up in lights.
The sculptures at Enchant are strictly holiday-themed: ornaments, presents and trees. So, more visual uniformity, which appeals to my design aesthetic, but not as interesting for kids.
Both shows have a fun feature where you can jump on lights to change the color. The Lumaze version worked a lot better for us, so kids got that instant gratification.
Best non-maze kids' activities
Lumaze wins this category.
The kids zone at Enchant is just an area with some squishy foam blocks, which you can play with anywhere. And you didn’t drop $20 on parking for your kids to watch a movie at the Enchant cinema. The ice rink is popular; perhaps a little too popular. We passed on the $10 skate rental skates and bumpy ice. (You can bring your own skates if you have them.)
My kids loved the indoor playground at Lumaze. There are LED light-up swings and seesaws, and a gingerbread house-themed play structure. We also loved the mini train ride, the "Glowcomotive" (no extra charge).
Best Santa photo op
Hands down, Enchant wins here. Santa’s Landing is a beautifully designed landscape where Santa sits on a crescent moon surrounded by mountains. It’s all perfectly lit. You can take personal photos for free, and the cheapest pro option, a 4x6 print, is $12. Come wearing your cutest Christmas clothes, because this photo is going to be a keeper.
At Lumaze, Santa’s chair is covered with lights, but Santa isn’t lit. Unfortunately, you’re going to get a bad photo with underexposed faces.
Overall holiday spirit
Enchant just felt more polished to me. A toy soldier greets visitors at the entrance (not a guy in a polo shirt). At the exit, pointy-eared elves hand out gold medallion chocolates embossed with an “E.” Enchant really seems to have thought out the details.
The first floor of Lumaze felt cramped and dark. You really can’t compete with the spaciousness of a baseball stadium. I also disliked the turf flooring at Lumaze, which was a sloppy safety hazard.
It's worth noting that while covered, Enchant is outdoors and we kept our coats on; plan ahead if the weather is very cold when you go. Lumaze is entirely indoors.
The bottom line
Lucky for me, I got to experience both this year. If I had to choose one to take my kids to next year, I'd choose Enchant. It’s more expensive, but it’s bigger, slicker and better. That said, there's lots of fun stuff at Lumaze, too. Happy light shows to all!
If you go...
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