Seattle Christmas Events 2016

The Best Things to Do, Concerts, Festivals, and More

Seattle Christmas Events
Copyright Joe Mabel

When it comes to the end of each year, there's no denying it - the holiday season fills the air (or at least, it certainly fills all commercial spaces)! There are many ways to get into the holiday spirit, but one of the best is to enjoy some of the area's Christmas and holiday happenings. Seattle and surrounding cities have an array of theaters and venues, many of which host holiday events in November and December. Local festivals and Christmas light display are also a great way to get out and enjoy the holiday season!

Christmas Light Displays
From Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo to Zoolights in Tacoma, the Seattle area's Christmas light displays open up the day after Thanksgiving and remain open until the New Year. Most displays are walk-through. Others are drive-though. Find your perfect experience.

December Events
Beyond the run of holiday events throughout December, there are also plenty of shows, concerts and other events that happen all year round at venues in Seattle.

Gingerbread Village
Each year, this gingerbread sculpture is out to impress. It is, hands down, the largest gingerbread house (or castle or other structure) you're likely to see anywhere.
When: November 22-January 1
Where: Sheraton Seattle lobby

Polar Plaza in Tacoma
The only ice skating rink in the South Sound is in downtown Tacoma. Enjoy some hot chocolate or even ride a camel, special events or a train ride for the kids.
When: Opens after Thanksgiving and stays open until the early New Year
Where: At Tollefson Plaza, across from Tacoma Art Museum

Winterfest Ice Rink
Part of Seattle Center's wider Winterfest, this is one of a few ice skating rinks that open for the season.
When: November 25-January 2
Where: Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion

Macy's Holiday Parade
In the morning, the Macy's Parade fills the streets with holiday cheer. At 5 p.m., the Macy's star will be lit for the first time this season.
When: November 25, 9 a.m.
Where: The parade route starts at 7th and Pine in downtown Seattle, loops through downtown, and ends at 4th and Pine.

Westlake Center's Annual Tree Lighting
Enjoy a festive holiday atmosphere, meet Santa and watch Seattle's downtown tree light up for the first time for the season!
When: 5 p.m.
Where: Westlake Center Plaza in downtown Seattle

Snowflake Lane
Each night at 7 p.m., fanfare takes to the streets outside of Bellevue Square, including drummers, a parade and falling snow.
When: November 25-December 21
Where: The Bellevue Collection

George Ballanchine's The Nutcracker
An all new production of Pacific Northwest Ballet's famous annual Nutcracker performance.
When: November 25-December 28
Where: McCaw Hall

Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena
The region's largest open-air ice skating rink! But don't worry, there's a cover over it. There are beverages and snacks on-site, music, lessons and more.
When: November 25-January 8
Where: NE 1st Street and 102nd Avenue NE, one block south of Bellevue Square

It's a Wonderful Life
When: November 25-December 18
Where: Lakewood Playhouse
How much: $19-$25

Christmas Ship Festival
Wait onshore for the Christmas Ship to arrive to a stop in your town, or ride the Christmas Ship or one of the following ships, or even join the parade with a boat of your own.
When: November 25-December 23
Where: Ports throughout the Seattle-Tacoma area

A Christmas Carol
The traditional Charles Dickens tale about Ebenezer Scrooge and three ghosts who visit him to guide him back into the spirit of Christmas.
When: November 25-December 28
Where: ACT Theatre

Magic in the Market
Pike Place Market gets into the spirit with Dickens Carolers, photos with Santa, and a tree lighting at 5 p.m.​
When: November 26, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: Pike Place Market

Tacoma Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
Tacoma's giant Christmas tree has been lit and placed in downtown Tacoma since the late 1800s, and has been a holiday tradition run by the Broadway Center for decades. Join in a viewing of "The Sound of Music," sing along, and then stay to see the 50-to-60-foot tree light up for the first time this year.
When: November 26, 5 p.m.
Where: Pantages Theatre, Tacoma

Santa Train
Ride a vintage train out to Snoqualmie where kids will get to meet Santa. Kids get small gifts from Santa himself, and you'll have time to visit the little town of Snoqualmie, too.
When: November 26-27, December 3-4, December 10-11, December 16-17
Where: Leaves from North Bend

Winterfest decks out Seattle Center with lights, but also brings in special happenings, from an ice skating rink to a model train and town.
When: November 27-December 31, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily
Where: Seattle Center

A John Waters Christmas
A one-man show by the very same John Waters of "Hairspray" fame. The show is for adults only, and is definitely something a little different.
When: December 2, 8 p.m.
Where: Neptune Theater

Saint Nick's Taste the Season in Woodinville
Woodinville Wine Country puts on several events to make sure all is merry at the wineries, including Chateau Ste. Michelle.
When: December 2-4
Where: Chateau Ste. Michelle

Ugly Sweater Run
When: December 3, 11 a.m.
Where: Marymoor Park

Yoga Holiday Party
When: December 3, 8 p.m.
Where: Om Culture in Wallingford

Redmond Lights
An evening filled with family fun at the Redmond Town Center. The evening includes a tree lighting, a stroll down the Luminary Walk, live music and family activities.
When: December 3
Where: Redmond City Hall and Redmond Town Center

Silver & Soul by Seattle Men's Chorus
The Seattle Men's Chorus likes to add a bit of cheeky comedy into Christmas. Expect traditional Christmas songs as well as some lesser-known international ones, too.
When: December 4-22
Where: Benaroya Hall

Holiday Parade of Lights Cruises
Where: Several ports of departure, including Pier 66 in Seattle, Kirkland Marina Park, and WaterWays Home Port at 2441 N. Northlake Way, Seattle
When: Starts November 27

The Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition
Carolers compete to find the best carolers in town! Funds raised benefit Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank.
When: December 2, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Westlake Center, 4th and Pine, Seattle

Urban Craft Uprising
When: December 3-4
Where: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

Winter Festival & Crafts Fair
When: December 3-4
Where: Phinney Center

PLU's Christmas Celebration
When: December 3, 4, 9 and 10
Where: Lagerquist Concert Hall, Pacific Lutheran University

Sounds of the Season
When: December 4, 2:30 p.m.
Where: Pantages Theater

The Nutcracker
While not as grand as PNW's version, the Tacoma City Ballet puts on a lovely production of "The Nutcracker" at the historic Pantages Theatre.
When: December 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18
Where: Pantages Theatre, Tacoma

The Nutcracker & The Tale of the Hard Nut
When: December 9-18
Where: Pantages Theater

Seattle Men's Chorus
When: December 10, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Rialto Theater

When: December 15, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Chapel Hill Presbyterian, Gig Harbor

The Christmas Revels
When: December 17-21
Where: Rialto Theater

Model Train Festival
When: December 21-23
Where: Washington State History Museum

Jingle Bell Run
When: December 24, 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Wright Park, Tacoma