The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, Washington, has been a part of my family’s holiday season since before our twins were born. I have pushed a double stroller through the lights, abandoned ship soon after entering the lights (off day for the toddlers), and been quietly in awe of the lights for every Christmas for as long as I have been a mom. My twins remember The Lights of Christmas as “the Christmas festival,” and every year their experiences and their reactions become a measure of how much they’ve grown.
This year I have twin kindergarteners, and let’s just say that they’re very independent. Sometimes darting here and there, they know the lay of the land – where the petting farm is, where the tunnel of lights is, when to point out Rudolph’s nose and Santa’s rooftop sleigh.
The Lights of Christmas is a large but manageable 15 acres. The many volunteers are kind and welcoming to us, with big smiles and enthusiasm. It’s a kid-friendly place, although we see young couples, multi-generational family groups, and packs of friends all enjoying the lights and pointing out their favorites in many different languages.
There are over one million lights in impressive and funny displays. This year, we liked the leaping orcas and the swimming fish, and the model train village at Joyland Central Station was a big hit. I’ve always liked the angels and my twins enjoyed the petting farm’s goats and llamas. This was the first year we made it onto the Polar Express Train Ride, and after some angst in the line (the wait was short, anticipation high), my twins enjoyed waving at everyone while taking the grand tour.
In our house, life is busy and we have a lot of commitments. Our simple strand of Christmas lights sometimes barely makes it up onto the house by mid-December. At The Lights of Christmas, the vision of that much work, that much planning and effort to celebrate the holidays, is something my husband and I admire every year.
The Lights of Christmas is a holiday tradition that I hope will always be part of my kids’ lives. With all of the impressive lights, music, and tasty food, it is still a quiet and reflective place for me. You see the hands of caring people when you visit The Lights of Christmas. I’m not sure what can get better than that.
Some tips from our visits:
Photos: You’ll want to take photos of your family and friends but remember that it’s a night display, with low light and moving subjects – a challenge for most of us. Have a good charge on your camera or phone and try photos at the larger displays with multiple light sources.
What to wear: There are fun indoor activities, but much of the experience is outside. The paths are a mixture of pavement and dirt, so plan to dress warmly for the weather with comfortable walking shoes. With babies, bring your carrier or sturdy stroller. There were rentals at the entrance.
Cash for food: The Lights of Christmas opens at 5 p.m. and we spent about two hours there this year. That’s dinner time, or at least “I’m hungry, mom!” time. Bring cash for food. There are ATMs available. We saw lots of budget-friendly food options, like pizza, burgers, sandwiches, donuts, salads, coffee and warm drinks.
Helpful website: The Lights of Christmas has a new website that was really helpful for me. It has directions, information about costs, discounts, activities, and online reservations for the shows and accommodations. Check it out at www.thelightsofchristmas.com.
From twin-mom.com and my family, I wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and good health to you and your family in the New Year!
Disclosure: twin-mom.com received admissions to The Lights of Christmas for review purposes this year. Opinions are the writer’s own.
About twin-mom.com and Linda Jenkins:
twin-mom.com is a blog about family life and travels in the Pacific Northwest, with some wish list finds just for moms, too. Follow Linda and her busy family as they enjoy close-to-home and accessible family fun.
Former attorney Linda Jenkins is a Pacific Northwest travel, food & wine, and lifestyle writer. Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers including 425 Magazine, South Sound Magazine, NWLawyer, The Everett Herald, The Seattle Times, and The Tacoma News Tribune. Read more…
Written work and photographs on twin-mom.com are copyrighted material. All rights reserved.
Follow twin-mom.com on: