1) The most advertised of course is ZOO Lights at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma.
For ticket rates click here. You can pre-order, pay at the door or purchase at Fred Meyer. Military and Pierce County residents may qualify for a discount as well as Zoo members. There is a little cafe where you can order coffee and treats to keep you warm while you stroll through the park. Get warmed up in the toasty aquarium, you may even want to treat the kiddos to a festive camel ride!
2) Last year we learned about Fantasy Lights. This is a park you drive through at less than 5 mph, the kids can get out of their car seats, open the windows, moon-roof, put the top down, there is even a radio station you can tune into to hear Christmas music played by a local high-school band. You can print out a $3 coupon from the Pierce County website. Expect a wait on weekends, and you may want to make a pit stop before entering the park. It's a fun, low key event, and don't forget to pack the car with cocoa and cookies!
3) Okay now I'm just searching the web, so these recommendations are not from personal experience. Garden d'Lights in Bellevue. Check out their website for directions, ticket rates, and even free admission nights!
4) Clam Lights at Coulon Park runs nightly between 5-9pm with an annual kick off each season full of festivities ending with a visit from the Argosy Christmas Ship.
5) Speaking of which, the Argosy Christmas Ship. This was my first Christmas gift to Jeremy while we were dating. We had a fancy-ish dinner in downtown Kirkland, boarded at Carillon Point, cruised down Lake Washington passing lots of beautiful, lit-up homes including the Gates mansion. Once we got to Bellevue, our destination, we were greeted by a bay full of private yachts all decked out in Christmas lights--pretty cool.
6) Stanwood's The Lights of Christmas gathers more than 40,000 people each season and features 1.2 million lights, pony rides, Polar Express Train Rides, with the option of a gourmet Dinner Theater. I did not even know this existed 5 minutes ago...we have to go!
Other helpful links:
For a regional listing of private neighborhoods and individual homes click here. I grew up going to the Viewpointe at Redondo, a 44 home neighborhood. One year there was even an open house for the public to attend, I remember getting cider and cookies, kind of a fun memory.
Candy Cane Lane for some reason gets a lot of hype, but we were pretty disappointed the year we went and my sister's family went last year and said it was a dud. My opinion--don't bother.
Kerry Park in Queen Anne keeps coming up, apparently a good view of the City Lights including the iconic Space Needle's Christmas Tree.