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SEE Holiday Lights, Seattle Area.
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Christmas Lights 1998, various
List last updated 12/31/1998, 2:35AM.
Reviews last updated 11/29/1999, 12:25AM.
© 1998, 1999, 2000 by the author. All rights reserved.
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Explanation and Key
Underlines below mean places we've gone to or are interested in visiting, mostly Seattle.
Certain bolds accidental through search engine.
Words in [ ] are my comments on our visits.
* and a number (e.g., *7) is my personal rating which was pretty subjective,
and with no guidelines but my mood! (And a somewhat shoddy memory; I should take a pen!)
For a page with links to these articles, and lots more, go to
There are links below to the articles, but there are MORE article links at the link above!
Around town, a full slate of holiday [goings on]
by Cathy Reiner [Thank you, Cathy!]
Seattle Times staff reporter
ON THE EASTSIDE
Bellevue offers "The Magic Season" with thousands of lights in Downtown Park, just south of Bellevue Square. Also featured: a large ice skating rink ($4 admission, $2 skate rental), music and performing arts in the park, and other activities. Bellevue Art Museum, in Bellevue Square, has "A Children's Holiday Celebration," a show of hands-on color and shape, free daily through Jan. 17, 425-451-2455.
Drive through Marymoor Park to see 135 large light displays, both animated and static. Take the 1 1/2-mile drive from 5 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays or 6 to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, through Dec. 30, at 6064 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond ($10/car, $15/van, $25/limousine, $60/bus. 206-236-4901.) [Drive-through only. You have to stay in your automobile. The displays were okay, not great. Lots of displays were off. The teenager at the end seemed to think we couldn't go back and drive through again. The only reference to the Christ of Christmas that we remember was Merry Christmas. *7]
Walk through Bellevue's "Garden D'Lights" at Bellevue Botanical Gardens, 12001 Main St., 4 to 10 p.m. daily, tomorrow through Jan. 3. (Free, 425-452-2750.)
Renton's Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park presents "Clam Lights," a lighted walk along Lake Washington, 5 to 9 p.m. nightly, Dec. 11 through Jan. 2, at 1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N.E. (Free, 425-235-2560).
Federal Way's "Enchanting Nights at Holiday with Lights" opens next Friday at Enchanted Village and runs through Jan. 2. More than half a million lights decorate the village. Twenty rides will be open, including the Wild Thing Roller Coaster. Also music, entertainment and Santa, 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4-10, 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 11-Jan. 2 (closed Dec. 24-25) at 26201 Enchanted Parkway S. ($6-$8, under 3 free; 253-661-8000). [I went to see this. Hey, it was fun. Cold, but fun! If YHWH wills, and we live, someone call me if you want to go this year! *8]
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium hosts "Zoolights," with a half-million lights depicting animals, landmarks and nursery rhymes. Take the walking tour 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Jan. 3 (closed Dec. 24-25), 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma ($3.95, under age 4 free, 253-591-5337).
"Fantasy Lights" is a drive-through tour of 50 illuminated displays of animated and holiday scenes, 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Jan. 3. Start Pacific Avenue South and Military Road in Spanaway, Pierce Co. ($8 per car, 253-593-4176).
Journey to Monroe for Evergreen Christmas Fair and Light Festival at Evergreen State Fairgrounds, 17 miles east of Everett on Highway 2. Lights on 4 to 10 p.m. daily, Dec. 4 to 24, with a carousel, carolers, trolley rides and Santa visits. Holiday gifts and crafts 3 to 10 p.m. Dec. 4 to 13 (adults $3, kids 8-18 and seniors $2, under age 8 free, 360-794-4780).
Country Village has old-fashioned shops outlined in lights along with animated displays, including a 30-foot sea serpent in the pond. Drive or walk through the village, 23730 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell. Lights on dusk to midnight, 425-483-2250
Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp near Stanwood is a festival of lights, music, food, theater, children's events and crafts, 4 to 10 p.m. Dec. 3-6, 10-13, 17-23 and 26-30, 20800 Marine Drive, Stanwood ($6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 ages 4 to 12, 800-228-6724).
Light displays illuminate the holidays
[Heavily edited with numerous omissions.]...
Emilio and Beverly Palermo's extravagantly lighted Burien home....
The house, just northwest of the airport, has become widely known for the vivid glow it casts on the hillside. It even attracts attention from the air.
Right at 5 p.m., Beverly or Emilio are at the side of the house, where there are more than 100 circuit breakers to flip-flip-flip. Then suddenly, the yard goes from a forest of wires to a fairyland of lights, sights and music.
There are at least 500 heavy-duty extension cords hundreds of dolls, figurines and animated toys dozens of lighted angels, reindeer and snowmen their power bill. Last year it topped $4,000 for the month the lights were on.
"We kept blowing out the street lights," Emilio says. "Now we have 75,000 watts, enough power for a 500-unit apartment building here."
The family has been decorating the home for more than 30 years, each year adding more lights and more displays.
GO SEE IT:
The glow on the horizon lets you know you're nearing the Palermo home at
12605 14th Ave. S. [Burien] Lights are on from 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 5 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. [We went, but boo hoo, the lights were turned off. I imagine it's potential is *6-8]
Where to see commercial light displays
Exquisite light displays are a beloved part of the winter holidays in a growing number of parks and other places.
Bellevue: Garden D'Lights is a mystical quarter-mile walk through Bellevue Botanical Gardens, 12001 Main St., 4 to 10 p.m. daily through Jan. 3. (Free, 425-452-2750.)
Bothell: Country Village has old-fashioned shops and buildings outlined in lights, plus animated displays including a 30-foot sea serpent in the pond, a windmill and a 10-foot dragonfly. Walk or drive through at 23730 Bothell-Everett Highway. Lights are on dusk to midnight daily. (Free, 425-483-2250.)
Federal Way: Enchanting Nights at Holiday with Lights at Enchanted Village has a half-million lights decorating rides, shrubs and buildings. Twenty rides are open, including the Wild Thing Roller Coaster and Ring of Fire. There's music, puppet shows, Santa visits and more, 6 to 10 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 (closed Dec. 24-25) at 26201 Enchanted Parkway S.. (Kids under 48 inches $6, larger folk $8, kids under 3 free, 253-661-8000.) [Mentioned above. *8]
Monroe: Evergreen Christmas Fair and Light Festival at Evergreen State Fairgrounds, 17 miles east of Everett on Highway 2. Lights on 4 to 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 24, with a carousel, carolers, trolley rides and Santa visits. Shop for holiday gifts and crafts 3 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow. (Adults $3, kids 8-18 and seniors $2, under age 8 free, 360-794-4780.)
Redmond: Northern Lights is Marymoor Park's first drive-through of 135 large light displays. Take the 1.5-mile drive 5 p.m to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 6 to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, through Dec. 30, at 6064 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond. ($10/car, $15/van, $25/limousine, $60/bus. 206-236-4901.) [Mentioned above. *7]
Renton: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park presents Clam Lights, a quarter-mile lighted walk along Lake Washington, 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at 1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N.E., at the south tip of Lake Washington, west of Highway 405. (Free, 425-235-2560.)
Seattle: Seattle Center is a fairyland [?] of white lights on trees, shrubs, buildings and byways. The International Fountain has nightly shows of lights and music, and Winterfest includes a daily array of entertainment in Center House and an ice rink in the Flag Pavilion ($4 to skate, $2 for skate rentals). Center House and ice rink close early Dec. 24 and are closed Dec. 25. Many events are free. (206-684-7200.)
Stanwood: The Lights of Christmas, at Warm Beach Camp near Stanwood, features hundreds of thousands of lights with folksy Tinhorn Town music (bluegrass and Victorian carolers), a Victorian tea room, dinner theater, a petting farm, pony and wagon rides, storytellers, Santa and crafts. Festivities 4 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow, Dec. 17-23 and 26-30 at the camp, 20800 Marine Drive, Stanwood. (Adults $6, seniors $5, $4 ages 4-12, 800-228-6724.)
Tacoma: Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium hosts Zoolights, with more than half a million lights depicting animals, landmarks and nursery rhymes. Santa and live reindeer on grounds during the walking tour, which loops through the zoo, 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Jan. 3 (closed Dec. 24-25), at 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. ($3.95, ages 3 and under free, 253-591-5337.)
Tacoma: Fantasy Lights in Spanaway Park is a driving tour of 50 huge illuminated displays. Some are animated and many have holiday or Northwest scenes, such as Mount Rainier, 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Jan. 3. Start from Pacific Avenue South at Military Road in Spanaway. ($8 per car, 253-798-4176.)
Where to see the lights
It's beginning to look a lot like winter holidays around Puget Sound, with wonderfully lighted houses to see in every neighborhood.
If you'd like a guided bus tour of lights, there are several to choose from:
Santa Special: Ride a historic Metro bus with Santa for a two-hour tour leaving at 7 p.m. today only, at Second Avenue South and South Main Street, across from the downtown Seattle Fire Department headquarters. Buses load about 30 minutes earlier, no reservations. (Adults $5, seniors and children 2-11, $4. 206-633-4590.)
Everett Holiday Light Tours: Bus tours of lights offered, at 7 p.m. Dec. 16, 17, 18 and 20 and at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 19, leaving from the Everett Transit bus stop on West Mall Drive in front of the Everett Mall Sears. Only one 40-person bus each tour, so you may want to purchase tickets ahead at the Transit Center, 3225 Cedar St., Everett. ($5 plus two nonperishable food donations, 425-257-8803.)
If you're heading out to see the lights on your own, here are some places readers have suggested you visit:
Ballard: A friendly competition has created a winter wonderland at 32nd Avenue Northwest and Northwest 71st Street in Ballard, where extravagantly decorated houses on each corner have gingerbread villages, animated Santa figures, electric reindeer and much more. Neighboring houses also get into the act. Look for the candy-cane-striped flagpole.
Another great house nearby is at 7361 21st Ave. N.W., where reindeer fly off the roof and there are thousands and thousands of colorful lights. In another part of Ballard, at 351 N.W. 52nd St., there's a train on the fence, reindeer on the roof, stars, a lighted fisherman and boat, snowmen and more.
[We saw some of these above, but I don't remember which! Sorry. They sure were traffic-stoppers! One of them gets *7-8.]
Capitol Hill: A classic three-story Capitol Hill home at 1422 E. Aloha St. is detailed with thousands of white lights outlining dormers, gutters and windows. It's topped with green eaves, bushes are covered in red lights and large lighted candles are in the windows.
Lake City: Two cul-de-sacs south of Northeast 125th Street and east of 15th Avenue Northeast have many houses with lights and there is often a Santa at the corner waving and handing out candy canes. [One is south of NE 125th St. at 22nd Ave NE *7.5. I don't know about the other. An additional smaller display just a few blocks away is north of 125th at 24th Ave NE *4.]
Off Lake City Way about Northeast 105th Street (north of the Spaghetti House) is a home on Fischer Place Northeast with every detail outlined in flickering and chasing lights. [This is just one house. Have to get there from L.C.W. from a different street since there is no 105th turnoff. *7]
North Seattle: Always lots of good lights around Olympic Manor. This year the 9000 block of 22nd Avenue Northwest has almost every house decorated. Not far away, at 9701 Dayton Ave. N., are some lovely lights, and a bit farther north, starting at 12020 Evanston Ave. N., are a number of houses to see. [Olympic Manor is really something. (1998 got a 7-8. 1997 got a 8-9.) *8-9]
Queen Anne: More than 100 farolitos (Southwest-style lights in cut-out bags) light the yard at 2309 Nob Hill Ave. N. Icicle lights decorate the house.
University: Candy Cane Lane on Park Road Northeast, north of Ravenna Boulevard Northeast, a longtime tradition of decorated homes, opens tomorrow, but there is often a line of cars to get onto the short street. [You can easily park a block away and walk. Walking might be better since this is a very short lane. (With children I'd guess it's an 8-9. It has had a single, large, spinning display for the last couple of years.) *7]
West Seattle: A street of lights - more than 20 decorated houses - greets visitors to 41st Avenue Southwest off Southwest Barton Street west of 35th Avenue Southwest. Fences, a courtyard, decks, windows and shrubs are lined in lights at 4006 35th Ave. S.W., north of the West Seattle Freeway off Andover Street.
A lighted manger, elaborate lights and glowing figures at 12818 S.E. 29th St., Bellevue.
There's much competition among neighbors in the Valley High neighborhood on Northeast 30th Place, west of Bellevue Way. Ten houses are decorated, including a toyland at 10039 N.E. 30th Place with Santas, toy soldiers, lighted animals and many chaser lights. [We went out of our way to see them. Maybe I should stick to my own area of town. *5]
Burien: Neighbors in the 400 block of South 126th Street decorate with many icicle lights, stars in the trees, Santas in chimneys and large lighted cut-out characters. Look for Mr. and Mrs. Claus walking about the neighborhood.
Bothell: Santa's workshop began as a hobby 37 years ago; now the extended family helps put up floodlighted candy canes, a chimney with Humpty Dumpty up top, a Christmas train with Santa, a flying Dumbo and much more at 10617 N.E. 195th St., a mile from downtown Bothell near Maywood Hill School.
Edmonds: Two elaborately decorated townhouses at 7617 206th St. S.W. share a wall and many Santas, reindeer and candy canes. Doors are wrapped like packages and lights are everywhere.
Everett: A couple of wonderfully decorated neighborhoods off the Everett-Bothell Highway, Silver Firs, off 19th Avenue Southeast and 100th Street Southeast, and Eastmont, north and east of 100th Street Southeast.
Federal Way: Santa and nine reindeer are on the roof at 2215 S.W. 332nd St. Mickey and Minnie, Snoopy and Frosty and other characters are in the yard.
Issaquah: A mind-boggling display of a dozen lighted and very detailed dollhouse-size castles and buildings at 350 Third Place N.W., at Dogwood Street. Out front is a 20-foot-tall, 44-foot-long circus tent with a roller coaster (for dolls), carousel, animated characters and more. Up top a life-size Santa and Nutcracker greet visitors. Park and walk around; it's worth walking a couple of blocks to get up close and see it all.
Another Issaquah home has multicolored lights festooning eaves, windows, doors, bushes and fences at 4225 258th Ave. S.E.
Kent: There are snowmen, angels, decorated buildings and thousands of lights at 12614 S.E. 217th Place. More angels, stars, a tree of elves and hundreds of strings of lights decorate 13722 S.E. 202nd Place.
Kirkland: The trees, shrubs, houses and yards of five homes are filled with lights on Finn Hill, off 91st Place Northeast and Northeast 133rd Place.
Lynnwood: Get a hint of the massive light display at 17221 Spruce Way from I-5 as you travel north of Alderwood Mall and look west just before the 164th Street Southwest exit. Two lighted 40-foot trees beckon visitors to Santa's workshop, gingerbread houses, a North Pole scene and many thousands of lights.
Maple Valley: Lake Wilderness Lights in the Lake Wilderness Country Club community is an annual event where some 200 houses light up. From Highway 169 in the middle of Maple Valley, turn south on Witte Road and drive one mile to the entrance. Today, 6 to 9 p.m., bring a donation or a new unwrapped gift for the local food bank.
Mill Creek: There is a cul-de-sac of about 25 wonderfully lighted homes in the Sunrose subdivision off Trillium Boulevard and 142nd Place Southeast. They are among hundreds of homes that decorate for the annual lighting contest in the large residential community.
Normandy Park: Toy soldiers line the driveway, there's a nativity scene out front and reindeer and a big star on the roof at 602 S.W. Colewood Lane. At least six houses on the cul-de-sac do large displays of lights and characters. To find them, take First Avenue South through Burien, turn west on Southwest 186th Street and go two long blocks to Colewood.
Redmond: Just south of Marymoor Park on Marymoor Hill at 16220 N.E. 50th St. is a home with a lighted sleigh and reindeer out front, lighted wreaths in every window and thousands of multicolored lights on bushes, trees and outlining the house. [It was off at 9PM when we went.]
Renton: A carousel and handmade displays of Santa going over the moon, Mrs. Claus cooking, elves making toys and a bear band light up 3908 N.E. 10th St.
Sammamish: There's an elaborate display of lights on buildings and trees, including green "palms" with purple tops, at 4637 227th Place S.E. in Highland Park. Many neighboring homes are also decorated, mainly in white.
On the Redmond side of the plateau in Heritage Hills (near Sahalee), a home at 2509 227th Place N.E. has a huge display. A few of the features include a "waterfall" into a sparkling "lake," lighted deer around it and a Frosty in a snowstorm of twinkle lights.
Shoreline: Snow people, a huge Nutcracker and almost 400 strings of lights illuminate a house at 824 N. 196th Court (at Linden Avenue North).
Near North 175th Street and Palatine Avenue North are two homes where the families compete each year to see who can put up the most lights and yard art.
[Do not recall these in Shoreline. Maybe a 6 for the first, and a 7.5 for the other? I don't know. Sorry. 11/29/1999. *?]
Snohomish: A gazebo of animated santas and elves, a Santa train, an ice-skating bear, shooting stars, a bear who peeps out of a stump, toy soldiers, candy canes and more at 17806 87th Ave. S.E. Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, a nativity scene, trains, Santa's Workshop and Mrs. Claus are part of this delightful display at 9002 180th St. S.E. [Oh no, Tigger. "The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things. Their tops are made out of rubber. Their bottoms are made out of springs. They're ??opsy, ??opsy, ?opsy? Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. (But) the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is -- I'm the only one. I'm the only one!]Internal personal use only. Internal personal use only. Internal personal use only.
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