Holiday Lights


Point Defiance Zoo- Nov 23th -Jan1st

Open every night except Dec 24th. from 5-9pm.  Prices $7 online and $8.25 at the gate.

I have been to Zoolights many times and the kids always love running around the zoo and aquarium and watching all the lights.  The zoo also has a light recycling program, where you drop off lights that do not work any longer rather than throwing them in your own trash.  The money made from recycling these lights go into the conservation fund and help support the animals at the zoo. This year they have added Santa scuba-ing with sharks and ZIPLINING!

Fantasy Lights 

Spanaway Park – Nov 22nd – Jan 1st

5:30-9pm.  $13/vehicle, $28/mini bus, $45/bus

If you have a packed vehicle, then this might be cheaper than Zoolights.  This is a drive through venue, rather than a walk through like with Zoolights.  The displays are just as good at both venues however.  They even have a locally broadcast station (93.7) you can listen to the Christmas music as you see all the different displays. * for picture and CBS Seattle

Holiday Lights – Federal Way

Click here for this neighborhoods slide show of beautifully decorated homes. This neighborhood is Federal Way, by Redondo.

The entrance to the neighborhood is located at 1st Avenue S. and S. 300th Place. To get there, take Exit 143 off Interstate 5 and head West on S. 320th Street. Take a right at 1st Avenue S. and head north until you get to S. 300th Place. The displays go all the way around the block.

Light Show – Puyallup-ish

from Mat and Kelly Koohns put together a light show that plays to four different songs: “Wizards in Winter” and “Wish Liszt” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, “Deck the Halls” by Mannheim Steamroller, and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee. The light show is located just off Canyon Rd. and 38th St. at: 3727 178th St. E., Tacoma, WA 98446 and runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. When you get there just tune into 107.1 FM and enjoy.

Holiday Events for Dec 1st weekend

I don’t know about you, but the fact December starts on a Saturday is really messing with my head. So much to do the first weekend in December, there is NO way I can hit all my favorites.  What are you doing this weekend?

Victorian Country Christmas Festival

Puyallup Nov 28th -Dec 2th

Wednesday November 30th through Sunday December 4th from 10-9pm (10-6pm on Sunday), enjoy a festival of fun.  Entrance is

  • $10 for adults
  • $8 for Seniors/Students
  • $7 for military
  • Children 5 and under are FREE!

People dress in period Victorian dress and shop a Victorian themed marketplace as well as other crafters, vendors.  Children events take place throughout the day and include Santa tram rides, carolers and more.  Click here for coupon information.  Parking is also free at the Puyallup Fairgrounds

Festival of Trees to Support Mary Bridge Childrens Hosiptal

Dec 1st & 2nd at Tacoma Convention Center
Adults $6/ Children 13-18 $2/ Children under 13years old are FREE

Come play games in the lobby, take a craft home to share with someone special, have your picture taken with Santa and find unique treasures in the  Gift Shop. Festival brings out the holidays spirit in us all with fun activities for the whole family.But, good news, general admission to admire the trees, the lavish gifts underneath them, partake of the great local entertainment is only $6 for adults and $2 for students. Children under age 12 are FREE!  My family loves the music, the tree lights and its a great way to spend the afternoon in downtown Tacoma.  To keep from having to pay to park on the city streets, park at the Tacoma Dome, ride the free light rail to the Convention Center.  We also usually pay to get the kids pictures taken with Santa there.  They have a really good one!  There are also games and fun little things to keep the kiddos busy right outside the tree venue, but they cost tickets.  Pretty reasonable, but just as a heads up.

Victorian Holiday Celebration

Conservatory at Wright Park Dec 1st 10-3pm

At the Conservatory in Wright Park in Tacoma, from 10-3pm, staff and volunteers dress in period Victorian dress will answer questions, serve refreshments and take donations of socks, mittens or cash for the Tacoma Rescue Mission family shelter.  You can even purchase a Santa picture with the whole family for $15.  This is a very noble cause and think of the look on your kids faces when they are able to pick out and donate the socks and mittens of their choice.

Kent Winterfest

December 1st from 3:30-9pm

A Holiday Reading, Santa Parade and Tree Lighting are part of the festivities at the 31st annual Winterfest presented by the Kent Lions Club.

Town Square Plaza
2nd Ave N & W Harrison St
Kent,WA 98032

19th Century Christmas at Ft Nisqualy

Ft. Nisqualy at Point Defiance: December 1, 2012. 11am-4pm
Adults: $7.50/ Kids(4-17): $5/ Military, Student, Senior $6

Experience a real old-fashioned Christmas! Take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern holidays and step back in time to savor the lilting sounds of penny whistles, the aroma of ginger biscuits, Christmas dances and the slower pace of the Christmas season in 1855.

Volunteer Opportunity Found!

In a prior post, I wrote about finding volunteer opportunities for me and the kiddos. I did some Imagesearching and found a website called Volunteer Match. This website lets you search for ways to volunteer in your community. It looks to have a large database of volunteer opportunities, not just in the Pacific Northwest.

I am looking for a way to give not just things or fund raise (Movember is almost over), but to give more of ourselves. I know we all hate chores, even the name CHORE sounds daunting. Its not soft and short and musical like the word FUN or FUNNY. But, I can’t imagine not being able to change a light bulb or mop my floor. Not glamorous by any means, but it can make a world of difference to someone. And, my guys are pretty good little helpers around my house. Minor Home Repairs for Elderly and Disabled is something I think we can all get behind. This might actually be doable!

Volunteer Chore Services, Catholic Community Services SW

How many volunteers does it take to change a light bulb? One. Imagine if you were sitting in a wheel chair and your overhead kitchen light went out. Who are you going to call? Volunteer Chore Services receives frequent requests for help with everything and the kitchen sink from Pierce County’s low-income elders and disabled adults. Can you paint a wall? Clean a gutter? Fix a clogged sink? Replace a faucet? Build a ramp? Repair appliances? Wash windows? Make a difference in someone’s life…it only takes a few hours a month!

via Minor Home Repairs for Elderly & Disabled: Volunteer Chore Services, Catholic Community Services SW Opportunity – VolunteerMatch.

The Nutcracker Ballet

Nutcracker Ballet in the South Sound

The Nutcracker Ballet is a staple of the holiday season.  I love the theater, and the ballet, but with kids, my money seems to sink into shoes for their ever growing feet, or to replace something they have recently broken.  *Sigh*  But the holiday season does let me indulge a little, and I get to force some culture on my boys’.  This website has links to Nutcracker performances from Hoquiam to Auburn, Olympia, Seattle and Tacoma.  Ive been to many and my favorites are:

Pacific NW Ballet

Sets designed by Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are).  The set is amazing and the performances are the best in town.  However, because this is the most proffessional gig in town, the prices are also pretty steep.  Prices range from $28adult/$26child for off-peak performances on 2nd tier side, to $123/$113 for peak-golden circle center.  When going with children, try to get close to the aisle as they will inevitably need to go potty or give you some other reason for a quick escape.  Tickets information can be found here:


  • If you have a group of 15or more individuals, you can get 20% off the ticket price!
  • If you have a teenager, book ahead and register with the Teen Tix website, and you can score a $5 ticket!
  • 25yrs old and younger? Pay only $15 for a ticket on a Thurs or Friday.

Tacoma City Ballet

Pantages Dec 8th through Dec 23rd Saturdays and Sundays only – 3pm
Tickets range from $19 – $60
Order tickets online

Washington Contemporary Ballet

Mt Tahoma HS Theater – Tickets are $18 & $15
Sat. Dec 15th at 2pm & 7pm
Sun Dec 16th at 2pm
Order online

Ballet Northwest

December 11th through the 20th
Tickets range from $14-$30 and shows run on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays from .

Studio West Dance Academy

Olympia at the Minnaert Center for the Arts performances with ticket prices ranging from $17-$30.  Shows are Dec 17th, 18th and 19th.

Evergreen City Ballet

Auburn Performing Arts Center or the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center.  Prices range from $13 to $29.  Shows are Dec 10th & 11th in Auburn and Dec 16-18th in Renton.

Moscow Ballet Presents the Nutcracker

From the website, it appears the Moscow ballet is putting on a performance in W.Washington in Aberdeen. I will admit, I had to Google WHERE Aberdeen was. For those in the same boat, it is approximately miles West from Olympia. To order, the link on the website took me to the webpage for the venue – but tickets were not available and neither was the show listed. You might try calling 360-532-9348.

Ugly Sweater Contest via Tacoma News Tribune

This contest reminds me of my Grandma. She loved us and would love ugly sweaters. Growing up we were always allowed to open up 1 gift from my grandma who lived in California on Christmas Eve. It gave us a special time to cherish something she sent from so far away. But honestly, it was a great time to laugh, because lets face it, not all Grandma gifts are cool.

Some were good, most were not. I still have the rag doll she made for me one Christmas when I was about 8 or 10. But, I definately chucked the shiny gold plastic vanity set she “re-gifted” out of her gift closet circa 1975. (Ahem BEFORE I was born!)

So, if you have a Grandma that has “gifted” you with an Ugly Sweater for Christmas, or maybe a beloved Aunt gave you an old box of clothes on the way to donation bin. If you haven’t been so lucky: Try and see what beauties you can find there. Enter the contest, have fun with it – wear it to work perhaps. 🙂

Happy holidays