Holiday lights viewing is an ideal way to spend time with friends and family no matter the weather. With twinkling homes and neighborhoods galore throughout Thurston County, choose to visit tried-and-true favorites or discover a newly decorated gem. You never know, this may encourage and inspire you to transform your house into the jewel of the block.
Displays range from drive-through tours to walking paths amidst lights, music, animatronics and even Santa and his elves. Many displays double as charitable fundraisers so bring canned food or cash donations to insure this winter is warm and wonderful for one and all.
Lights and Light Shows
Oly Lightstravaganza is one of the biggest displays around. With almost 60,000 lights, this show at 1515 10th Avenue SE in Olympia is open from 4:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. from November 26 through January 3. Visit their website or Facebook page for photos, videos and details including when. Donations of cash, checks or non-perishable food will be accepted to benefit the Thurston County Food Bank.
Check the Events section of their Facebook page for updates on when their beloved Cookie Shack will be open offering cookies and hot cider, all generously donated by the hosts, the Bowerman family, along with local friends, family and businesses. As this is a private home, offered free of charge, please be respectful and full of holiday cheer (and patience).
The Lights at Ken Lake have been a holiday destination for nearly 10 years. But 2017 is the bittersweet final year of the McGough family’s extravagant display. Held at 2228 Lakemoor Drive SW in Olympia, the synchronized music and lights are also a Thurston County Food Bank fundraiser and run from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. nightly. Visit this holiday tradition for the last time this year and be sure to thank the McGough’s for over 30 years of holiday happiness.
Tumwater’s Cottage Treehouse is also a charitable holiday fundraiser. The display at 3747 107th Avenue SW lets guests park and walk through more than 100,000 lights with a small shop selling hot cider, cookies and holiday gifts. Donations for the downtown Union Gospel Mission are gladly accepted.
Steamboat Island is always lovely but during the winter visit 5410 66th Avenue NW for lights galore.
Don’t miss Olympia’s Cove Neighborhood, located near Henderson Boulevard and North Street or Tumwater’s Farm Neighborhood off Yelm Highway near Henderson Boulevard. Both of these drive-thru opportunities are perfect stretches of multiple homes that offer “ohhs and ahhs” to those in the front and back seat.
Dedicated Home Decorators
The Cook family’s home at 6708 Prairie Ridge Drive NE in Olympia offers lights from 4:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. (except Christmas when they’ll wrap up at 10:00 p.m.) until the New Year. The family has erected more than two dozen Christmas trees, multiple Santas, Frostys and a winter wonderland of creatures.
Christmas comics take over, with a little help from friends on TV and the silver screen. Santa and his elves hand out candy canes surrounded by customized displays at 1630 26th Avenue NE in Olympia. This home offers a semi-circular driveway to drive-thru their display, too.
A long-time lover of holiday lights, new homeowner Allison dedicates this year’s display to her siblings, active service members in the US Navy, and their longstanding tradition of driving around as a family looking at the lights. Don’t miss her display at 1149 Rockcress Drive SE.
Come by 2520 Island Drive NW for inflatables galore, an international Nativity scene, and dogsleds, huskies, dinosaurs, and even Snoopy. This one’s a drive-by that’s well worth the trip to the Carlyon Beach neighborhood.
Come Downtown for the Holidays for shopping, dining and more. Many local businesses participate in Twinklefest’s elaborate lighting contest with decorated store-front displays voted on by window-shopping visitors from near and far. After strolling the streets with your local latte in hand, visit Twinklefest online to vote for your favorite.