Enjoy the South Sound’s Holiday Light Displays

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Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo

I had a Clark Griswold moment a couple weeks ago while trying to untangle and assemble lines of twinkling lights in white, red and green in our yard. At one moment, snowflakes were blinking and green and red trees we’re sparkling. I turned away for 5 minutes, and upon my return, all that was lit was one green globe. The rest of the yard was pitch black.

The culprit was a blown fuse. With the help of a YouTube video, I was able to replace the fuse, and separate out the lights to avoid a repeat black out performance. I couldn’t help but wonder what the workers who set up Zoolights or Fantasy Lights go through to make sure their dazzling light displays are working.

If you’re not one who likes to deal with blinking lights, tiny fuse boxes or strands of electrical wire, then make sure you take the time to visit one of the South Sound’s holiday light displays. The two big ones are Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, and Fantasy Lights in Spanaway.  The Zoolights display is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. now through January 1, 2013. It is closed Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve). There are over half-a million lights on display featuring animals such as ice skating puffins and fun tiger cubs. Santa is even scuba diving with the sharks on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this year. The price is $8.50 per person, and kids under the age of 2 are free. Discounted tickets can be purchased at any Fred Meyer store.

Monday, December 10 is Military Monday at Zoolights. Show your military I.D. at the front gate from 5 to 9 p.m. and receive a discounted Zoolights ticket for $6.75. Thursday, December 13 is Girl Scout Night at Zoolights. Girl Scouts must in a uniform or wear a Girl Scout pin to receive the $6.75 Zoolights discount from 5 to 9 p.m.

If you would rather stay in your car and view some amazing holiday lights, then look no further than Fantasy Lights in Spanaway Park. Now in it’s 18th year, it’s the largest drive-through Christmas Light display in the Northwest. The two-mile drive is dotted with displays of bears fly kites and reindeer leaping over your car. The price is $13 per vehicle. If you’re bringing a mini-bus or larger, the price increases to $28 and $45 respectively. Discounted tickets can be purchased at the Lakewood Community Center, Sprinker Recreation Center, and the Garfiled Book Company at PLU. You can also receive a $3 off coupon by visiting Pierce County’s Parks and Recreation website. Spanaway Park is located at  14905 Gus G. Bresemann Rd. S. (Military Road and 152nd Street) in Spanaway, Washington 98387.

Because we live in such a diverse region, our holiday light viewing is not restricted to just land. For something with a more northwest flare, check out the Olympia Yacht Club’s Parade of Lighted Ships on Saturday, December 8 starting at 6 p.m.  This year, ships decorated in a theme of Christmas Toys will cruise through Budd Inlet. You can watch the parade from Port Plaza Dock next to Anthony’s Homeport restaurant.  The Tacoma Yacht Club’s Lighted Boat Parade will take place on Saturday, December 15 at 5 p.m.

Enjoy the beauty, and creativity, that this holiday season brings out in all of us – hopefully with out a blown fuse.


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