If you're visiting the Pacific Northwest this November and December, you'll find plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday season no matter where you go, but the city of Seattle—as the largest Northwest city—hosts some of the best Christmas events in the region.
From annual festivals, concerts, and shows to dazzling lighting displays and Christmas villages, you're sure to find something to put you in the Christmas spirit on your trip to Seattle this year.
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 just before or after the New Year. While most displays in the area are walk-through, you'll also displays like Fantasy Lights in Spanaway or neighborhood displays like Candy Cane Lane that you can drive through instead. Additionally, many of the area's largest lighting attractions also offer festive events, holiday markets and Christmas performances throughout the season.
One of the best places to celebrate the holiday season in Seattle is Enchant Christmas at T-Mobile Park—home of the city's Major League Baseball team, the Seattle Mariners—from Nov. 22 to Dec. 29, 2019.
The main attraction at Enchant Seattle is the "world's largest Christmas light maze" which takes up the majority of the baseball field. With the price of admission, you can also enjoy access to an ice skating trail, holiday market, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as special concerts, shows, and events throughout the season.
A beloved tradition for over 25 years, the Sheraton Seattle’s Annual Gingerbread Village, which features confectionery sculptures created by some of the city's top architecture firms, builders and culinary teams. Each year brings a new theme around which all the gingerbread creations revolve. The 27th Annual Gingerbread Village will be on display in the lobby of the Sheraton Grand Seattle from Nov. 23, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2020. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The Seattle Center—a 74-acre arts, educational, tourism and entertainment complex—hosts a month-long celebration called Winterfest every year from the day after Thanksgiving to early January. Featuring ice sculptures, student showcases, a miniature winter train village display, an ice rink, and plenty of events and attractions for all ages, Winterfest offers guests plenty of ways to celebrate the winter holidays. Along with all the wintery goodness, one of the best things about Winterfest is that it's so easy to pair with other holiday fun. Go see a show at one of the Seattle Center theaters, go out to dinner or grab a quick bite to eat at the Armory, or enjoy the holiday happenings after you visit the Pacific Science Center or MoPop.
Winterfest will kick off on Nov. 29, 2019 and runs until Dec. 31, 2019.
On the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28, 2019), Macy's Seattle rings in the holiday season with its annual holiday parade and star lighting event. Festivities begin at 9 a.m. with the parade, which runs in a loop through downtown Seattle starting at 7th Street and Pine Street. In the evening (at around 5 p.m.), the giant star hanging on the Macy's storefront at 300 Pine Street will be lit for the first time of the holiday season; a fireworks show will take place just after dusk if the weather allows.
Westlake Park—located just a little further downtown from Macy's on Pine Street—is the home of Seattle's official Christmas tree each year. On the day after Thanksgiving (note that this pairs super well with the parade and star lighting), you can enjoy an evening of festive holiday activities as you watch the tree light up for the first time of the season.
The event kicks off around 4:30 p.m. with the tree lighting and will also feature special musical performances by local bands and choirs as well as visits from Santa Claus (fresh off his Macy's Parade float). The annual holiday market will also open for the season during the event and will be open on select dates until just before Christmas.
Bellevue Collection is a shopping center in Bellevue that hosts a series of events each holiday season, including a nightly parade down Bellevue Way known as Snowflake Lane. The Snowflake Lane parade takes place every night at 7 p.m. from Nov. 29 to Dec. 24, 2019. Along with the block-long parade, the event will also feature fake snowfall, dazzling lights, dancers, and festive musical performances. Before or after the festivities, you can shop till you drop at over 180 stores at the Bellevue Collection.