Winter Events in Tacoma and Pierce County
This year, the winter brings Tacoma and Pierce County to life with experiences on foot, in the car, and on boats. From photo-worthy moments and sea-level excursions to adventures at the base of Mount Rainier, there's an exciting experience waiting for you and your family.
Go forth and delight in seasonal food and drink, pillowy mountain snowbanks, and joyful family outings. However you plan to enjoy the season, you'll find Pierce County is bursting with holiday cheer.
For even more holiday happenings in Pierce County, visit our events page. Many events have multiple dates.
Winter Events and Activities
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
November 25, 2022 - January 2, 2023
Magical lights and an illuminating holiday tradition that has been a mainstay of Tacoma and Pierce County 35 years. Tickets are timed-entry, so buy early and don't miss out on this magical experience.
November 25, 2022 - January 1, 2023 (5:30-9:00 p.m.)
The largest drive-thru display of Holiday lights in the Pacific Northwest, Fantasy Lights features almost 300 displays with a dedicated radio station of music to accompany them. And best of all...since you stay in your car, it's all-weather glee!
November 25, 2022 - January 2, 2023
Solstice Lights is a multi-media light and music installation, utilizing real-time weather data to produce an audio-visual display with Lakewold Gardens as its living backdrop. Featuring an array of immersive lighting, data-driven music, and live instrumentation, Solstice Lights brings the garden to life, with “data music,” a term coined by artist Samuel Stubblefield to describe an algorithm he designed to translate environmental data gathered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In this way, the installation is driven by environmental data and real-time weather systems, unifying locations hundreds or thousands of miles apart.
Washington State Fairgrounds
December 1-4, 2022
Step back in time to the Victorian Era with a Christmas festival featuring more than 500 exhibits decorated to the pinnacle of Victorian fashion, shops with thousands of unique holiday gifts, handcrafted items and specialty foods.
A general ambiance of small-town Americana settles over downtown Sumner, and is built into a Main Street lined with boutiques, bakeries, bookstores, and antique shops, with Holiday music piped in throughout the downtown area. Downtown storefronts are elaborately decorated, a red-and-green bridge-lighting show each day at dusk lights up the Cannery Way Bridge.
Longmire and Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park
This year, the Ranger-led snowshoe tours at Paradise are on a COVID-required hiatus, but in the meantime, you can rent snowshoes the National Park Inn General Store at Longmire ($14.50 for adults, $10.50 for children for a full day). Then, revel in a day of hiking around Longmire (the Trail of the Shadows is a great short hike), or road-conditions permitting, take them up to Paradise for wide-open snowfields and views that will stop you in your tracks. Whenever you’re heading to the mountain, plan ahead.
Ashford, Elbe, Eatonville
When you’re looking for some true social distance while staying close to the ones you love, think about booking a night or a weekend away at a cabin or lodge at Mount Rainier. Fireplaces, firepits, hot tubs and heated pools surrounded by pine trees and firs are just a few of the ways your family can enjoy some time together, away from the electric lure of screens. Although many of the cabins do include wifi, so take it as you will.
December 31, 2022 - January 19, 2023; see schedule for events
A festival of light art & sound, on view nightly in downtown Tacoma. Four nights of free outdoor performance. A Light Parade, Lighted Bike Ride and more. Come be the light.