Three Things Thursday: Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park

Peace on Earth

Here’s yet another holiday offering for Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”


Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park

Ever since moving to Tacoma we have heard about the huge, beautiful holiday lights display in Pierce County’s nearby Spanaway Park. When our retirement community offered a bus trip to see the lights, my husband and I immediately signed up.

Spanaway Park
14905 Bresemann Blvd. S.
Spanaway, WA

Fantasy Lights runs annually from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. It features more than 300 separate installations of lighted art spread out along a two-mile roadway that winds through Pierce County’s Spanaway Park.

The event has its own Facebook page, although the latest activity there is from December 2014. At that time several people posted that they would not be attending because the nativity scene had been removed. Also, the prices listed on that page are apparently also from a year ago, as they have gone up slightly.

One of the big draws of this event is that you drive through rather than walking, which makes it a perfect activity for a retirement community. The Pierce County official web site warns that there can be a wait of an hour or more to get into the park on weekend nights and advises a mid-week visit instead. We went on Tuesday night. Our bus driver tuned in to the FM station that broadcasts holiday music performed by a local high school to add to the holiday experience.

I took a lot of pictures and had to throw out most of them. The possibility of getting good photos is small for several reasons:

  • Your vehicle is moving, albeit slowly.
  • It’s dark, and you’re too far away to use flash.
  • The road winds back and forth, which means there’s always another display farther away behind the one you’re trying to shoot.
  • When you try to take photos out of one window, you also have reflections on the window of displays on the other side of the road. Individuals in cars can eliminate this problem by opening windows, but people on our bus didn’t want to do that. We saw another solution to this problem in the car ahead of us: They opened their sunroof and stood up to take pictures.

For all of these reasons, my photos aren’t very good. Because they look better at smaller sizes, I’ve kept most of them smaller than my usual blog photos. You can click on photos to see a somewhat larger version, but you probably won’t like it any better.

Here are the best of my photos:

(1) Santa’s Sleigh and Reindeer

Santa, sleigh, and reindeer

(2) Octopus


He’s not particularly Christmasy, but I’m partial to the Giant Pacific Octopus, which is native to these parts.

(3) Pirate Santa

This is the best one of the many photos I took.

Santa on pirate ship


I leave you with this holiday admonition:

Have a safe holiday

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