Are you sensing all the festive energy in the air this year? I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely seen holiday lights and Christmas trees up earlier than usual this time around. And I’m allll for it.
Last year, I shopped for gifts like I was single-handedly trying to save all the small businesses and I declared sledding at Mount Rainier my new holiday tradition. All of this opened my eyes to how much our area has to offer and the countless things there are to do this time of year, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite local events. If you’re feeling festive this season, check them out.
Event dates: November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Bundle up for this outdoor holiday lights spectacle. For 34 years, Point Defiance has given Tacoma’s local zoo a makeover with over 800,000 lights and an underwater Santa. Book your entrance in advance, watch the meerkats play in stockings and keep an eye out for Sasquatch — we hear he makes an annual appearance.
Event dates: December 4 and December 11, 2021
Back again for its 6th year is the ultimate holiday shopping event in Downtown Tacoma. With over 150 vendors expected during its two days, you can be sure to get all your gifts this season locally. Support small businesses, take a carriage ride, and even get pictures with Santa to send out to your favorite people. Or just put it up on your fridge — no wrong way here.
Event dates: November 20, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Spanaway Park can rightfully claim it’s the largest holiday lights display in the Northwest. It features two miles of nearly 300 displays and thousands of lights — all viewable from the comfort of your car. If you prefer to walk, get there before it opens up to vehicles for an incredible experience up close.
Event dates: December 10-12, 17-23 and 26-31, 2021
This year’s Holiday Magic event is open for a walk-through, immersive experience. Light displays, food/drinks and interactive holiday exhibits will be spread out throughout the fairgrounds. An ice skating rink is also making its debut this year, so feel free to show off any skills.
Event dates: December 11, 2021
Ever wanted to dress up as Santa and run across Tacoma? Well now you can. Santas, elves and reindeer will take over the streets of Downtown Tacoma for a half marathon or 5k. So whether you want to prepare yourself for all the holiday eating about to take place, or just want some exercise, registration is still open!
Event dates: Vary depending on snow levels
Unleash your inner child with sledding and tubing at Mount Rainier. Take a trip up to the mountains for an experience like no other. The Paradise area carves out various snow lanes for you to slide down and (at times) catch some air. This is the only designated area where sledding is permitted in the National Park, and is open to all ages.