Credit: Devon Hammer
Quite a few COVID-safe light shows emerged last year, and lucky for us, some are returning this year. There are many more options for families to bask in winter sparkle this holiday season compared to last year. For a reasonably priced outdoor walking show, you're going to want to add Dazzle in Maple Valley to your holiday bucket list.
We checked it out last year and with two energetic little kids. We loved the on-foot outing where we could enjoy fresh air and getting the wiggles out while marveling at the beautiful light installations. We hear this year’s displays will be even more spectacular! The show opens Thursday, Dec. 2, and happens on select dates through Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. (Book soon as tickets are selling fast!)
What to expect at Dazzle
Dazzle is located on the grounds of New Community Church in north Maple Valley. This church has an expansive property that apparently was once a golf course. The grounds are dotted with little mounds and hills which certainly look like they could have been a golf course in the past. The gravel path weaves through the interesting terrain which is the perfect backdrop for the festive displays.
The light displays at Dazzle delighted our young kids. They especially loved the Loch Ness Monster (and hearing about the tale), the very large tree adorned with lights to the tippy top (“the giant Christmas tree” as my 3-year-old called it) and running in and out of the light tunnel.
Another highlight was getting to see Santa. Dazzle's St. Nick stands on the porch of a house on the property. It is beautifully decorated and aglow with Christmas lights and a Christmas tree. The kids were allowed to sit on the steps of the porch while Santa peeked out from behind the tree for a self-service photo op.
What parents should know
Walking the gravel path through the entire display took us about 30 minutes. We went the day after opening night and there was plenty of space for spreading out. There is a bit of a hill at the end so be prepared to carry tired little ones. Strollers would work well, too.
Heated bathrooms are available at the end of the path.
On the way to the event, we stopped for hot chocolate, unaware that they sell hot beverages and snacks at the entrance.
When we arrived and were showing our tickets, there were letters to Santa pages for kids to fill out. However, there wasn’t really a place for the kids to write or draw on them, and the mailbox to place the letters in is at the end of the walk. For those reasons, we didn’t do this activity.
If this would be an important or exciting part for your kids, I suggest using the printable download and bringing your completed letter with you.
Dazzle was created by a group of event companies who were out of work last year due to the pandemic, hoping to bring holiday cheer to families. I am big on getting my kids as much outdoor time as possible (which becomes incredibly difficult in the winter), so I loved this outdoor, walking light display option.
Our young kids ages 5 and under entered free and just my husband and I had to buy tickets. We found the event well worth the $25 or so (after taxes and fees). I recommend this show to families with young kids or anyone who loves to be outdoors. It's sure to add some holiday cheer to your winter, and bonus, you can count it as your visit with Santa, too.
If you go...
Where: The show is located on the grounds of the New Community Church in north Maple Valley. Parking is free.
When: The event runs Dec. 2–23, 2021, on select days, 4:30–8 p.m.
Cost: Tickets are $10–$15 per person; ages 5 and younger are free but still require an online ticket. Tickets vary based on the date and time. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly encouraged, however, you can purchase them at the gate using a QR code to the Eventbrite page. Cash is accepted as well.
Other details to note: There are heated bathrooms available for use. Hot cocoa, hot cider and snacks are available for purchase at the beginning of the walk. Non-perishable food donations are accepted at the entrance if you would like to donate to the Maple Valley Food Bank.
More holiday haps for Puget Sound families:
Editor's note: This article was first published in 2020 and updated for 2021.