The warm, twinkling glow of holiday lights displays across the Northwest certainly does wonders to lift your spirits as the nights grow long, dark, wet, and cold. Paired with piping hot beverages and tasty homemade treats, it’s no wonder holiday light adventures are so popular for date nights, family nights, or just to go for an evening stroll.
While it’s hard to choose – you might find a fabulous stretch of lights in any neighborhood in the Northwest – here are some of our favorite experiences for the best holiday lights in the Northwest.
Peacock Lane, Portland, Oregon
Perhaps one of the most famous Christmas light displays in the Northwest, Peacock Lane is a short stretch of street in Southeast Portland (near 39th and Belmont) where every house has elaborate holiday decor. It’s a local holiday tradition to see what the latest displays are, from Snoopy to the Grinch with dancing candy canes. Unfortunately, its popularity is also crushing with traffic; try parking several blocks away and walking, particularly on pedestrian night where cars are not allowed – dates and times are available on the Peacock Lane website.
Winter Garden a Glow, Boise, Idaho
Over 20 years running, the Idaho Botanical Garden’s premier winter event is a must – over 300,000 lights await you, as well as choral music, visits from Santa, model trains, and more. You can even pop into the store and pick up a pair of “holiday specs” to transform your experience (and see some magical thing hidden in the light displays).
Downtown Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth is a wonderful small town getaway, well-known for its quaint atmosphere and historic architecture. The village swells with visitors during the holidays taking in the wonderful holiday light displays and Christmas shopping opportunities, all framed by a snowy backdrop. Spend a couple of nights so you can enjoy everything the town has to offer, from food and drink to sledding and other great family experiences! Leavenworth.org has a full schedule of events as well as other recommendations for accommodation and more.
Christmas in the Garden, Silverton, Oregon
Silverton is most well known by locals and tourists for it’s famed waterfall hiking trail, By night in winter, the town becomes an attraction for The Oregon Garden’s wonderful holiday light experience. There’s a Christmas shopping market, a busy ice skating rink, live music and other special events throughout the holiday season.
Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington
Seattle has big city holiday light displays all across town (the iconic Pike Place Market in it’s holiday decor being one of many must-see spots), but one of the most special displays we love is called WildLights at the Woodland Park Zoo in North Seattle.Enjoy not just the lights, but faux snowball fights,ride the carousel, meet the reindeer, sip tasty holiday beverages, and much more.
Winter Spirit, Lewiston, Idaho
Located at the Locomotive Park in Lewiston, the train-inspired displays at Winter Spirit is one of the most warming experiences across the Northwest. Whether you’re wandering the forest of colored trees or waiting for cookies with Santa, you’ll definitely find that Winter Spirit lives up to its name.
Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood, Washington
Looking for not just the best, but the largest, holiday lights display in the Northwest? Warm Beach Camp is where it’s at! The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood is the largest, and it is incredible. Over one million lights await you. Piping hot foods, a variety of choices for dinner theatre events, and more all make this experience not just sparkling lights but a true holiday destination getaway.
Zoolights, Portland, Oregon
Last but not least is one of Portland’s most popular holiday attractions, Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo. Lots of treats are available, including “light up” cotton candy and hot cocoa, in addition to experiences such as a train ride and carousel. But the star of the show is the looping, kaleidoscopic light walk that transforms the evening chill into holiday warmth.