5 places to find dark season joy in Seattle

1) Neon Lights

Seattle winters are long and dark, but they’re made quite a bit brighter thanks to the city’s unofficial obsession with neon signs. Make a scavenger hunt out of it and see how many you can photograph, both inside restaurants and bars and out on the city streets. A particularly iconic sign, the Elephant Car Wash, sits at 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.

Neon lights everywhere at the Public Market Center in Seattle

Allie Tripp

Various locations, Downtown

2) Laser Dome

Looking for something fun to do at night but can’t find a live concert that strikes your fancy? Check out the schedule for Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome shows. The shows feature music from single artists like Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Pink Floyd, and Daft Punk or more general themes like ‘movie magic’ alongside spectacular laser light shows.

people enjoying the show at the Laser Dome in Seattle

at: Pacific Science Center, 200 2nd Avenue North, Seattle Center

+1 206 443 2001


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3) New Year's Day Bonfire

The first day of the year brings a spectacular bonfire tradition to Golden Gardens Park. Local residents transport their dead and dying Christmas trees to the beach to be lit on fire and entertain participants and observers alike. Bring some hot cocoa and a blanket!.

burning christmas trees at the Golden Garden Park on New Year's

Flickr user: Alice

8498 Seaview Place NW, Ballard

4) Zoo Lights

The Woodland Park Zoo takes advantage of longer nights to offer an incredible light show every winter. All ages will enjoy these wildlife-themed light displays.

red and purple lights and panda-shaped lanterns at the Woodland Park Zoo

5500 Phinney Avenue North, Phinney Ridge

+1 206 548 2500


5) Seattle Christmas Boat Parade

While winter may not be high season for boaters in the Pacific Northwest, they do go all-out each December for the annual Christmas Boat Parade on Lake Union. Participants compete for prizes for best in show and other themes, but really the public is just grateful for a chance to admire all the work they put into elaborate light displays.

decorates ships at the Seattle Christmas Boat Parade

Flickr user: Shutterbug Fotos

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