This weekend around the Sound: Christmas lights, music, theater, and food

December arrives and holiday celebrations and festivals are everywhere!

November 30, 2018
Christmas tree

© Andrea Masini |

It's the first weekend of December! No avoiding it now, we're really and truly in the holiday season. Have fun out there -- keep warm and and stay safe!

  • Penn & Teller Friday, 8:00pm, The Paramount.
  • Jim Brickman Saturday, 8:00pm, Benaroya Hall.
  • LeAnn Rimes Saturday, 8:00pm, Emerald Queen Casino
  • Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey Friday, 7:35pm. T-Birds host the Kootenay Ice at ShoWare Center in Kent.
  • Seattle Seahawks Football Sunday, 1:25pm. Hawks are at CenturyLink taking on the San Francisco 49ers.  FOX.
  • A Victorian Country Christmas Through Sunday. 500 booths with vendors in Victorian costumes selling art, jewelry, decorations, clothing, and toys at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup. Free parking.
  • Christmas tree lighting  Saturday. (multiple locations) See a free tree-lighting ceremony, usually with music.

·         Dec. 1 - Auburn at city hall

·         Dec. 1 - Bothell at Country Village

·         Dec. 1 - Gig Harbor at Skansie Brothers Park

·         Dec. 1 - Kenmore at city hall

·         Dec. 1 - Kent at Town Square Plaza

·         Dec. 1 - Kirkland at Peter Kirk Park

·         Dec. 1 - Normandy Park at Towne Center

·         Dec. 1 - Redmond at city hall

·         Dec. 1 - West Seattle at Junction Plaza Park

·         Dec. 1 - Woodinville at DeYoung Park

  • Winter Beer Fest Friday & Saturday. A ticket to Winter Beer Fest includes eight five-ounce samples from 50 Washington breweries, a ballot to vote for your favorites, and food truck cuisine for sale at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park for age 21+.
  • Seattle Sampling Artists’ Studio Tour  Friday – Sunday. Various Seattle locations.
  • Shop from 26 artists at 8 studios who make clothing, jewelry, glass, ceramics, prints, and more. Free.
  • The Nutcracker  Friday – Sunday. Ensemble Ballet Theatre performs The Nutcracker at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center.
  • The Nutcracker  Through December 16. Evergreen City Ballet offers one-hour and two-hour versions of the holiday classic ballet in Auburn, Bellevue, and Renton. After the performance, dancers meet the audience in the lobby.
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat  Through December 16.
  •  The Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber puts a colorful twist on the Old Testament at Seattle Musical Theatre at Sand Point.
  •  Peter and the Starcatcher  Through December 9.
  • A funny prequel to Peter Pan, featuring a boy and a girl in a madcap adventure “filled with music, mermaids, mayhem, and magic” at Shoreline Community College Theater for age 8+.
  • Drawing Jam Saturday. Get creative with drawing materials, open studios, live models, live music, and food trucks at family-friendly drawing day at Gage Academy of Art.
  • Jule Fest Saturday. A Scandinavian bazaar of arts and crafts, folk dancing, Vikings, a Christmas tree lighting, Lucia bride, bonfire, and Santa Claus in Poulsbo. Free.
  • Winter Festival & Crafts Fair Saturday & Sunday. This Phinney winter festival has 120 arts and crafts vendors, musicians and dancers, and lunch and baked goods at Phinney Center. Children age 12 and younger are free.
  • Redmond Lights    Saturday & Sunday. Everything starts at City Hall -- an afternoon holiday market, a tree lighting at 5 p.m., and fireworks at 6 p.m. Any time after 5 p.m., follow the trail of lanterns from City Hall past choirs and performers to Redmond Town Center for entertainment until 8 p.m. Free.
  • Christmas Lighting Festival  Through December 16. Enjoy Christmas lights twinkling on snow, roasted chestnuts, sleigh rides, and caroling at the annual Bavarian Christmas in Leavenworth. See the lights on Fri., Sat., Sun. Lighting ceremony is 4:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun.
  • Gingerbread Village
  • Through January 1, 9:00am to 9:00pm. See elaborate displays made mostly of food at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Free.
  • Reindeer Festival Through January 6. Visit live reindeer and watch a model train circle a winter landscape at Swansons Nursery. Free.
  • Festival of Trees Through Sunday.
  • View 21 designer trees in the lobby and driveway of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel during the annual charity event. See schedule for gala, family celebration, and teddy bear suite. Free to view.
  • Santa Train
  • Through-December 1-2; December 8-9; December 14-16
  • The Northwest Railway Museum runs a popular 20-minute train ride from North Bend to the Snoqualmie Depot for cookies and a visit with Santa.
  • Christmas Ship Festival Through December 23. Ride onboard with the choir, or listen from shore during the annual Christmas Ship Parade at various spots around Lake Washington & Puget Sound.
  • Snowflake Lane  Through December 24, 7:00pm. Enjoy a 20-minute show of lights, music, falling snow, young dancers, and drummers in uniform (Bellevue Way between N.E. 4th & N.E. 8th). Arrive early for the best view. Free.
  • A Christmas Carol  Through December 28. It’s ACT’s 43rd production of Charles Dickens’ epic classic at ACT Theatre.
  •  Annie Through December 30. She’s back! Red-headed orphan belts out catchy songs like “Tomorrow” in the popular musical at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
  • Enchant Christmas  Through December 30. A maze where you look for Santa’s reindeer, an ice-skating rink, Christmas shops, food vendors, music, and tons of photos ops at Safeco Field. Children age 3 and younger are free.
  • WildLights Through January 5.Seattle's wildest holiday lights festival returns with sparkling lights, faux snowball fights, up close animal encounters, hot chocolate and family delights. Experience brand new wild and wonderful light displays that will be featured throughout the zoo including a holiday light spectacular at the zoo’s south entrance which will now be open throughout the run of WildLights. 600,000 lights in animal shapes, real reindeer, night animals, carolers, and Santa some nights at Woodland Park Zoo. (Closed Dec. 12, 24, 25.) 
  • Winterfest  Through January 6. Enjoy holiday lights, skating at Fisher Pavilion (cost), folk dancers, carolers, dancers, ice sculptors, model trains, and entertainment at the Seattle Center. See schedule. Closed Dec. 25. Free.
  • Zoolights Through January 6, 5:00 to 9:00pm. Bundle up to admire half a million holiday lights and displays in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo from 5 to 9 p.m. Closed Dec. 24.
  • Garden d’Lights  Through December 30. Enjoy zillions of colorful lights and displays in the Bellevue Botanical Garden from 4:30 to 9:00pm every night.
  • The Nutcracker  Through December 28. Pacific Northwest Ballet performs George Balanchine’s classic tale, with a live orchestra, magnificent sets and costumes, and a huge cast in McCaw Hall.
  • An Improvised Christmas Carol Through December 24. Audience suggestions add funny twists to the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim by Unexpected Productions at Pike Place Market.