2017 Seattle Christmas and Holiday Guide

The Best Things to do and Places to Go

Christmas in Seattle and other Puget Sound cities is a fun time of year. The area lights up with holiday fun, light displays, Christmas trees, fun plays and musicals, and events. While the weather outside can be wet and dreary throughout November and December, one of the best ways to forget about the weather and create a cozy holiday atmosphere is to get out and enjoy the area's events.

Whether you’re looking for a quaint local event or major holiday fanfare, you can find it somewhere between Seattle and Tacoma.

  • 01 of 05
    Seattle at Christmas
    ••• Connie Coleman/Getty Images

    Many holiday events kick off on Thanksgiving weekend. Aside from the Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Seattle, this is the weekend that most of the area holiday light displays open to the public, ice skating rinks open, and - of course - the area shopping malls get much, much busier with Black Friday out in full force. Small business Saturday follows and encourages all shoppers to get out and support local businesses. Maybe you want to avoid the madness that is Thanksgiving weekend, but if you want to jump into the holidays head first, this is the perfect time to do it!

    Things to do on Thanksgiving Weekend:

    Go Black Friday shopping

    Shop on Small Business Saturday

    Lights displays open

    Ice skating rinks open

  • 02 of 05
    Seattle Christmas Ship
    ••• The Christmas Ship. Kristin Kendle

    Going to stroll or drive through a Christmas lights display is a family tradition for many—and for good reason. Few activities will get you more into the spirit of the holidays than sipping some hot chocolate, surrounded by twinkling lights. There are several large light displays in the area, from Bellevue Garden d’Lights, to Candy Cane Lane in Seattle, to Clam Lights in Renton and Zoolights in Tacoma. If events aren’t your scene or you don’t want to pay the price of admission, never fear. There are neighborhoods, especially in Seattle, known for encouraging residents to decorate their homes, like Candy Cane Lane. But even a drive around any given neighborhood is likely to result in at least a few houses that really went all out.

    Some of the best Christmas light displays include:


  • 03 of 05

    From going ice skating to Winterfest at Seattle Center to catching a holiday play, the options on how to celebrate your holiday season are many. You can enjoy getting out on the water with any number of holiday-themed cruises. You can pair shopping with holiday fanfare at Bellevue's Snowflake Lane. Or you can shop from vendors and crafters rather than departments stores at events like Puyallup's Victorian Country Christmas.

    Find out exactly what’s on this year with this list of holiday events in the area (updated usually in October or November each year).

    Some of the area's best events:


  • 04 of 05

    You could go to a lot to pick out your Christmas tree, but if you want a Christmas experience—go to a tree farm. Tree farms are often much more than a place to cut down a fresh tree. Like pumpkin patches, many have activities going on to spice up the holidays, and they're a popular tradition for many families in the area. Hot cider and cocoa, cookies, visits with Santa, hayrides and other kinds of farm and family-friendly fun. Many farms will have selections of pre-cut trees as well as open space where you can venture out and find your own perfect tree so you can customize not only the tree you bring home, but your experience.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Seattle isn't exactly a winter wonderland during November and December. We rarely get snow and ice, so you might not think of wintery activities - but that doesn't mean we don't have any around. Several ice skating rinks open up usually on Thanksgiving weekend and provide a way to add some extra winter charm to your holiday season. Rinks are located strategically throughout the Seattle-Tacoma area, with the Winterfest rink at Seattle Center and Polar Plaza in Tacoma.