Pierce County Parks has tons of holiday fun instore this winter for the entire family – including the dog! From November to December, here are some ways to enjoy the season with Pierce County Parks.
Fantasy Lights tickets go on sale Nov. 1
Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 for Fantasy Lights, the largest drive-through holiday light display in the Northwest. This year, the Spanaway Park event runs from Nov. 25, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023, and tickets must be pre-purchased online.
The festive two-mile drive along Spanaway Lake is a memorable tradition for the entire family. Fantasy Lights will operate every night, including holidays, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Visitors can enjoy the nearly 300 dazzling, vibrant displays from the comfort of their cars.
Tickets must be purchased in advance online. No tickets will be sold at the event. Those looking for nights with less of a wait at the gate should enjoy Fantasy Lights Mondays through Wednesdays for a more relaxed experience.
Admission is per vehicle and rates vary by date. The cost per vehicle is $15 during Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 4-8, and $20 during Dec. 2-3 and Dec. 9-25. Discounted ticket nights are $10 per vehicle and include Nov 28-Dec. 1 and Dec. 26-Jan. 1.
Learn more about the event and to purchase tickets, visit the Fantasy Lights website.
Shop local for the holidays
Start your holiday shopping early at Pierce County Parks’ Holiday Markets. Featuring more than 100 local artisan and craft vendors, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift for family and friends. While shopping, visitors can also enjoy holiday music, complimentary holiday photos, live entertainment, and more.
With three different locations each featuring different vendors, you can shop one or all three markets! Each market runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. plus admission and parking are free for shoppers.
Nov. 5: Lakewood Community Center (9112 Lakewood Dr. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499)
Dec. 3: Frontier Park Lodge (21714 Meridian E., Graham, WA 98338)
Dec. 10: Meridian Habitat Park (14422 Meridian E., South Hill Puyallup, WA 98375)
To learn more, visit the Holiday Markets website.
Festive ice skating at ICE Lights
From Dec. 1-31, experience ice skating like never before with ICE Lights at Sprinker Recreation Center.
The ice rink transforms into a winter wonderland featuring more than 35,000 twinkling lights, animated displays, falling snow, plus a choregraphed light show with a giant 20 ft. tall holiday tree in the center of the rink. All ages can enjoy skating or ice bumper cars this winter and experience the spectacle!
For more information on pricing and scheduling, visit the ICE Lights website.
Run, run reindeer! Registration is now open for the Reindeer 5K Fun Run/Walk!
Put on your best ugliest holiday sweater or festive attire and get ready to dash at the Reindeer 5K Fun Run/Walk! The event will be held virtually from Dec. 16 to 18 and in-person at Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail in Puyallup on Dec. 17 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
The virtual race option allows participants to do the 5K at their own pace and location of choice. Cost is $20 for all ages.
The in-person event features a pre-race warmup led by Jazzercise, hot cocoa or coffee, holiday music, giveaway opportunities and more! The 5K course is chip timed. Cost is $30 for ages 13 and up, and $20 for youth 12 and under. The race starts along the Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail and ends at Heritage Recreation Center.
Registration is open. Participants must pre-register online by Dec. 5. Each registration includes a race bib, keepsake medal and reindeer antler headband.
Santa Paws is coming to town
Dogs and their humans can celebrate the holidays at Chambers Creek Regional Park on Saturday, Dec. 3, with the return of the popular Santa Paws event.
Dress up your furry friend in their best holiday outfit and come on down to the Environmental Services Building outdoor ceremony lawn! From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be photo opportunities with Santa, treats and refreshments for both dogs and humans, and more holiday fun activities in store. Admission and parking are free.
To learn more, visit the Santa Paws website.
Tree giveaway and planning event with Santa
Help beautify and plant more trees in Pierce County!
On Dec. 10, Santa Claus is coming to Meridian Habitat Park to help plant trees and native plants with volunteers. Plus, we’ll be giving away one-gallon potted trees that make a lovely year-round feature in your yard. Three-time slots are available for the Pitch in for Parks volunteer registration.
How to participate
Date: Saturday, Dec. 10
Time slots for Pitch in for Parks volunteer events*:
Location: Meridian Habitat Park (14422 Meridian E., South Hill Puyallup, WA 98375)
*Free tree giveaway happening from 10 a.m.-noon.
Pierce County Parks’ Pitch in for Parks program gives free trees to community members from October through April of each year. Tree species and size are based on availability.
For more details on tree giveaways and volunteer opportunities, visit the Parks Natural Lands Volunteer website.
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Andriana Fletcher, Public Information Specialist