The Season’s Best Fests

by Northwest Travel & Life Staff

There are hundreds of events and festivals throughout the Northwest during the holiday season. You can find at least one in virtually every town and city, from dazzling light displays to Christmas markets to holiday parades. Here are some of the season’s best fests that are worth traveling to. 

Snowflake Lane, Bellevue, WA 

The spectacle of Snowflake Lane in downtown Bellevue has become a perennial showstopper during the holiday season. Even better, it’s free. You’ll experience falling snow, dazzling lights, festive music, toy drummers, dancers and your favorite characters in this nightly parade that takes place throughout the season. The show, presented by The Bellevue Collection, begins at 7:00 p.m. every evening between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square. Claim your spot on the sidewalk and enjoy the show. Downtown Bellevue is a hub for dining, shopping and entertainment, so before and after the show, you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained. While you are in Bellevue, you can also check out the light displays at Bellevue Botanical Garden. Learn more about Snowflake Lane at snowflakelane.com. Plan your visit to Bellevue by visiting visitbellevuewa.com.

ZooLights, Tacoma, WA

The Point Defiance Zoo lights up with dazzling displays in keeping with its zoo theme. Bears, whales, a sasquatch and any number of critters take shape as 700,000 lights are strung throughout the zoo. Local landmarks are part of the show as well as the Narrows Bridge and Mt. Rainier are also depicted in the light displays. ZooLights has become a favorite tradition among locals and draws visitors from every direction. Buy tickets in advance at pdza.org/event/zoolights. Plan your stay in Tacoma at traveltacoma.com.

Noël, Vancouver WA, 

Noël, a traditional outdoor Christmas market, takes place throughout the holiday season in downtown Vancouver. It features several vendors selling Christmas-themed food, toys and crafts, ideal for an old-fashioned holiday shopping excursion. Adults can imbibe at a cocktail bar pop-up, and the whole family can enjoy carriage rides and other festive holiday traditions. It’s a perfect place to get in the holiday spirit. Find out more at noelvancouver.com. Plan your stay in the historic city of Vancouver at visitvancouverusa.com.

Winter Garden Aglow, Boise, ID

The Idaho Botanical Garden is spectacular in every season, but during Winter Garden Aglow, it transforms into a sparking wonderland. Stroll through the 15 acres of gardens at the base of the Boise foothills to enjoy the magical light displays. And while you are visiting Boise, head downtown to view the Holiday Tree at The Grove Plaza and stroll the downtown streets to check out the festive window displays. Learn more and purchase advance tickets at idahobotanicalgarden.org. Check out downtown Boise holiday festivities at downtownboise.org. Plan your stay in Boise at boise.org

The Coeur d’Alene Resort Holiday Light Show, Coeur d’Alene, ID

Some spectacles are doubly spectacular, like the Holiday Light Show at Coeur d’Alene Resort Not only are there more than 1 million lights illuminating the grounds with whimsical displays, but they reflect on the lake, capped off with spectacular fireworks. If there was ever a holiday event worth the drive, this is it for its artistry and uniqueness. Book a reservation at the Coeur d’Alene Resort or one of the city’s other lodgings and make a holiday getaway out of it. Learn more at cdaresort.com. Plan your holiday trip to the city of Coeur d’Alene at coeurdalene.org