Seattle In Winter

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94 Holiday Things-To-Do Around The Sound

So much to enjoy here at home

November 19, 2019

Tree Lightings

Festival of Trees Display 

November 23 - Dec. 4, 2019

View 20 designer trees in the lobby and driveway of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel during the annual free Christmas tree festival. Also consider the ticketed gala (Nov. 23), free family celebration (Nov. 24), and free teddy bear suite & gingerbread house (Nov. 29 to Dec. 26).


Westlake Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration

November 29, 2019

Tree & star lighting includes a countdown to the lighting of the outdoor Christmas tree at Westlake Center. Downtown Seattle Association has not updated its web page for this event.


Christmas tree lightings

November 29 - Dec. 7, 2019

multiple locations

See a free tree-lighting ceremony, usually with music.

·         Nov. 29 - Bellevue at Bellevue Place

·         Nov. 29 - Seattle at Westlake Center (no page yet)

·         Nov. 30 - Seattle at Pike Place Market

·         Nov. 30 - Tacoma at Broadway & 9th Street

·         Nov. 30 - Edmonds at Centennial Plaza

·         Dec. 1 - Olympia at Sylvester Park

·         Dec. 5 - Puyallup at State Fair Center (cost)

·         Dec. 6 - Mercer Island at Mercerdale Park

·         Dec. 6 - Mountlake Terrace at Evergreen Playfield

·         Dec. 6 - Renton at Coulon Park

·         Dec. 6 - Sammamish at city hall

·         Dec. 6 - University Place (south of Tacoma)

·         Dec. 7 - Kent at Kent Town Square Plaza

·         Dec. 7 - West Seattle at West Seattle Junction


Holiday Tree Lighting 

November 30, 2019 (6:15 p.m.)

This Tacoma tree lighting is a Tacoma tradition at Broadway & 9th Street. Free.


Christmas Lighting Festival

December 6 - 22, 2019

Enjoy Christmas lights twinkling on snow, roasted chestnuts, sleigh rides, and caroling at the annual Bavarian Christmas. See the lights on Fri., Sat., Sun. Lighting ceremony is 4:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun.



Nutcracker Ballets

The Nutcracker 

November 29 - Dec. 28, 2019

Pacific Northwest Ballet performs this ballet by George Balanchine, with a live orchestra, magnificent sets and costumes, and a huge cast in McCaw Hall.


The Nutcracker  

December 6 - 8, 2019

Ensemble Ballet Theatre performs at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center.


The Nutcracker

December 7 - 8 & 14 - 15, 2019

Emerald Ballet Theatre performs with new sets and a live orchestra in Bothell at Northshore Performing Arts Center on Saturdays and Sundays.


The Nutcracker

December 6 - 22, 2019

Auburn, Bellevue, Renton

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.


The Nutcracker 

December 13 - 23, 2019

Everett & Edmonds

Olympic Ballet Theatre performs, including shorter children’s versions on two days.

·         Dec. 13 to 15 - Everett Performing Arts Center

·         Dec. 19 to 23 - Edmonds Center for the Arts


Nutcracker Sweets

December 13 - 21, 2019

Ballard & Shoreline

This Short Nutcracker is a one-hour version of the classic ballet featuring ”beautiful music, gorgeous costumes, and exciting dancing” by students and professionals in Ballard & Shoreline.



December 14 - 15, 2019

The  Cornerstone Studio has a cast of 70 youthful and exuberant dancers at Bellevue Performing Arts Center.



Light Festivals


November 29, 2019 - Jan. 4, 2020

Indoor Christmas lights has half a million lights, interactive features, illuminated sculptures, an artisan marketplace, food trucks, breweries, and wineries at Smith Cove Cruise Terminal on Pier 91.



November 29, 2019 - Jan. 4, 2020

Christmas lights – at Woodland Park Zoo has 800,000 lights in animal shapes, plus animal encounters, fire pits, snowball fights, a lighted carousel, hot chocolate, and adult beverages at Woodland Park Zoo from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.. Closed Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 24, 25. Free parking.



November 29, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020

Bundle up to admire 700,000 holiday lights and displays, plus the South Pacific Aquarium at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo from 5 to 9 p.m. Closed Dec. 24.


Redmond Lights

December 7 - 8, 2019

Holiday night in Redmond at city hall has 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. The trail is also lit Sunday evening. Free.


Green Lake Pathway of Lights 

December 14, 2019

Take a walk following glowing luminaries on the Green Lake lights, which includes live music at four locations, rain or snow or stars. Free.



Fairs and Festivals


Reindeer Festival

November 15 - Dec. 24, 2019

Visit live reindeer and watch a model train circle a winter landscape during the Reindeer & model train at Swansons Nursery. See the web page for other scheduled activities. Free.



November 29 - Dec. 31, 2019

Enjoy holiday lights, skating at Fisher Pavilion (cost), folk dancers, carolers, dancers, ice sculptors, model trains, and professional entertainment during Winter at Seattle Center at the Seattle Center. See schedule. No events on Dec. 25. Free.


Christmas Ship Festival

November 29 - Dec. 23, 2019

Lake Washington & Puget Sound

Ride on the main ship with the choir, or on a “follow boat” for adults, or listen from shore (unless the schedule says the shore event is private) during the Christmas ship parade with many departure points.


Christmas Ship Parade of Boats Night

December 13, 2019 (7 to 9:30 p.m.)

The 65 lit and decorated boats that begin passing through the Fremont Cut about 8:30 p.m. Free to watch onshore.



November 23 - 24, 2019

This Nordic holiday brings Christmas to the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard, with Scandinavian food, craft booths, musicians, dancers, a beverage garden, and access to the museum. Kids 13 and younger are free.


Native Holiday Gift Fair

November 29 - Dec. 15, 2019

Shop for fine art, native crafts, cards, jewelry, and smoked salmon at the Native craft fair at the Duwamish Longhouse in West Seattle on Nov. 29, 30, and Dec. 1, 13, 14, 15 in 2019. Free.


Barter Fair & Holiday Party

December 1, 2019 (4 to 6 p.m.)

No money changes hands at this Holiday exchange. Instead, bring things you cooked, made, or do as a service to trade. There will be food, drinks and music at Sunset Hill Community Club in Ballard. Free.


Issaquah Reindeer Festival 

December 1 - 23 and 26 - 30, 2019

Visit Cougar Mountain Zoo when it’s decorated like the North Pole to welcome Santa with his reindeer and sleigh.


A Victorian Country Christmas 

December 4 - 8, 2019

Victorian Christmas market has 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.


Winter Beer Fest 

December 6 - 7, 2019

A ticket to this beer festival 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+.


Winter Festival & Crafts Fair

December 7 - 8, 2019

The 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.



December 14, 2019 (noon)

Wear a Santa suit or a holiday costume to a Santa bar crawl, which begins at Westlake Park and then heads to 15 city bars until closing time. Bring cash for faster lines. Drinking on streets and sidewalks is illegal.



Fun Runs

K9 Candy Cane 5K Fun Run and Walk 

December 8, 2019 (9:15 a.m.)

Join the Pet friendly run/walk from Renton Community Center along the beautiful Cedar River Trail, either with or without a leashed dog.


Jingle Bell Run 

December 8, 2019

Wear a costume or tie on bells for the morning 12K, 5K, 1 mile, or 1K kids’ run at Westlake Center. Walkers and dogs are welcome.


Holiday Fun Run

December 21, 2019 (10 a.m.)

You’re welcome to dress for the holidays when you join (5K, 10K, 15K), followed by hot chocolate and cider at Magnuson Park.


Jingle Bell Run 

December 24, 2019 (10:30 a.m.)

Run or walk 3 miles at Wright Park in Tacoma. Costumes are welcome.



Theatre and Concerts


A Christmas Carol 

November 29 - Dec. 28, 2019

 The Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about the amazing transformation of miserly Scrooge at ACT Theatre.


Christmas Humor

November 30 - Dec. 29, 2019

·         Nov. 30 to Dec. 22 - Inspecting Carol is a comedy behind the scenes of a Christmas play in Edmonds.

·         Nov. 30 to Dec. 24 - Christmastown: A Holiday Noir is an adult detective comedy at Seattle Public Theater.

·         Dec. 6 to 21 - Nuncrackers is a comedy about Nuns performing a Christmas show in Renton.

·         Dec. 7 - 29 The Flight Before Christmas is set in an airport at West of Lenin.


Cirque Dreams Holidaze 

November 30, 2019 (7:30 p.m.)

This Christmas show in Tacoma features flying reindeer, jumping gingerbread men, rousing music, amazing costumes, and Santa at Pantages Theater.


Celtic Yuletide

December 1 - 21, 2019

multiple cities

An Irish music, dance, storytelling, juggling, and songs performed by Magical Strings, with shows in Kingston, Kent, Leavenworth, Tacoma, Seattle, Mt. Vernon, and Bellevue.


An Improvised Christmas Carol

December 1 - 22, 2019

Audience suggestions add funny twists to the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim by Unexpected Productions at Pike Place Market.


Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition 

December 6, 2019

Hear dozens of caroling teams sing outside Westlake Center, and then vote for your favorite, or register a team.


An Appalachian Christmas

December 6, 2019

 Featuring violinist and composer Mark O’Connor and his family playing Appalachian music at the Everett Theatre.


Angels in the Architetecture: A Holiday Celebration 

December 6, 2019 (7:30 p.m.)

 Featuring the Tacoma Concert Band playing “some of the most beautiful classic melodies of the season, plus transcriptions of rarely performed works with a holiday theme” at Pantages Theater.


Holiday Pops 

December 6 - 8, 2019

A Holiday concert that features the Seattle Symphony, vocalists, and University of Washington Chorale, at Benaroya Hall.


The Hard Nut 

December 6 - 15, 2019

Witty and irreverent, this Modern Nutcracker is a retro-modern take on the beloved Nutcracker, with gender-bending snowflakes, twinkle-toed G.I. Joe’s, and a Soul Train-style dance line at The Paramount Theatre.


A PLU Christmas 

December 7 - 15, 2019

Seattle and Tacoma

Christmas concert features the choir, chorale, and orchestra of Pacific Lutheran University, performed at Benaroya Hall in Seattle (Dec. 9) and PLU in Tacoma (Dec. 7 - 8 and 14 - 15). Usually sells out.


Handel’s Messiah

December 7 - 22, 2019

Seattle & Everett

Hearing Handel’s Messiah is a holiday tradition.

·         Dec. 7 - Federal Way Performing Arts Center

·         Dec. 14 to 15 - Orchestra Seattle in Kenmore & Seattle.

·         Dec 20 to 22 - Seattle Symphony & Chorale at Benaroya Hall


Holiday sax concert

December 8, 2019 (7:30 p.m.)

Saxophonist Chris Mitchell plays yuletide classics, including his passionate take on “Let it Snow” at the Four Seasons Hotel.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

December 8, 2019 (1 & 7 p.m.)

Hear the entire score of the holiday classic at Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center. The evening performance has cocktails for sale beginning at 6 p.m.

Goodbye, Christmas

December 10, 2019 (7:30 p.m.)

Performed live onstage as a radio production, this Live radio show is an original holiday drama about two baseball broadcasters, featuring local radio hosts, live music, and sound effects at Town Hall Seattle for all ages.


Deck the Hall Ball

December 10, 2019 (5 p.m.)

An annual marathon concert that features popular bands at WAMU Theater, run by Seattle radio station KNDD 107.7 FM or “The End.”


Dickens Festival at Stadium 

December 14, 2019

Charles Dickens festival has characters in Victorian costumes, puppet shows, dressed up dogs, music, drums, and dancers in Tacoma’s Stadium District. Also visit Victorian Holiday Festival at the botanical conservatory via horse carriage rides.


Seattle Festival Orchestra 

December 14 - 15, 2019 (3 p.m.)

Holiday concert plays a variety of holiday music ranging from traditional to modern at Faith Lutheran Church.


The Christmas Revels 

December 14 - 18, 2019

Christmas show in Tacoma is a family-oriented celebration of the winter solstice. Expect music, dance, theater, song, and storytelling at Rialto Theater in Tacoma.


The Christmas Revels 

December 14 - 18, 2019

Christmas show in Tacoma is a family-oriented celebration of the winter solstice. Expect music, dance, theater, song, and storytelling at Rialto Theater in Tacoma.


A Christmas Story: The Musical

December 19, 2019 (8 p.m.)

Based on the popular film, this Christmas musical follows the adventures of Ralphie, a boy who only wants a BB gun to make his life complete, performed by Edmonds Driftwood Players at The Wade James Theater.


White Christmas 

December 20 - 24, 2019

A ticket to the classic movie (featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney) includes free jingle bells and a pre-film music-video sing along with Christmas songs at SIFF Film Center.


A Christmas Carol

December 21, 2019

 The Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about the amazing transformation of miserly Scrooge when he’s visited by ghosts at Pantages Theater.


General Frolicking Fun


Snowflake Lane 

November 29 - Dec. 24, 2019 (7 p.m.)

Enjoy a 20-minute show of lights, music, falling snow, young dancers, and drummers in uniform on this Bellevue street show (Bellevue Way between N.E. 4th & N.E. 8th). Arrive early for the best view. Free.


Macy’s Holiday Parade

November 29, 2019 (9 to 10 a.m.)

See marching bands, costumed characters, floats, and Santa Claus at the annual Holiday parade. It follows Pine Street from 7th to 5th, follows 5th Avenue to University, then turns right and follows 4th Avenue to Pine, where Santa leaves his sleigh and goes into Macy’s. Free.


Magic in the Market

November 30, 2019

Pike Place holiday event includes music, Santa, live reindeer, and a 5 p.m. Christmas tree lighting at Pike Place Market. Free.


Santa Train 

November 30 - Dec. 21, 2019

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.


Providence O’Christmas Trees: Family Preview

December 2, 2019 (4 to 8 p.m.)

See 15 decorated Christmas trees that will be auctioned off, watch live entertainment, make kid crafts, and meet Santa Claus during Free family Christmas show in the ballroom of The Westin Seattle. Free.


Pioneer Square Howlidays 

December 5, 2019 (5 to 7 p.m.)

Bring your four-legged friend in costume for dog treats, a pop-up dog park, carolers, cocoa, and a costume contest at noon at Occidental Park.


Wreath Making + Wine Tasting

December 15, 2019  (5 p.m.)

Make a holiday wreath to take home while you taste four wines at Beaumont Cellars in Woodinville for age 21+.


Winter Solstice Night Market 

December 20 - 21, 2019

Family-friendly Indoor festival has street food, art vendors, and live music at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park. An optional ticket to its Winter Solstice Beer Fest includes eight tasting tokens (4 ounces each) so you can sample from 30 breweries.


Seattle Secular Solstice 

December 21, 2019 (4 to 9 p.m.)

Winter solstice celebration promises “food, light, song, and camaraderie” to bring Seattleites together and brighten the darkest days of winter at St. Patrick Catholic Church. Donation.


Ugly Sweater Holiday Party Cruise

December 21, 2019 (boarding 8:30 p.m.)

Wear a tacky Christmas sweater aboard, which includes a drink ticket, appetizers, city views, DJ music, and an ugly sweater contest, departing from north Lake Union for age 21+.