Best Holiday Events in Seattle 2018
'Tis the season for an amazing variety of holiday events and celebrations in Seattle! If you're ready to get into the holiday spirit, you'll have lots of options during the month of December. To help get you started, we've put together an overview of some of the holiday activities, festivals, concerts, and other events you can enjoy this season. So, without further ado, here are our picks for the best holiday events in Seattle. Happy Holidays and we hope you have a wonderful time celebrating!
Single-Day Holiday Events
December 8th - The Chanukah Party
Celebrate the last couple days of the Festival of Lights with The Chanukah Party. The event starts at 8 p.m. at the Russian Community of Center of Seattle and it's hosted by Blammer & Wong. With live music, food, stand-up comedy, and dancing, it will definitely be an evening to remember! Tickets are required.
December 8th - Green Lake Pathway of Lights
Enjoy a peaceful and beautiful stroll around Green Lake along paths lit up with over 2,500 candles. In addition, there will be four music stages set up around the lake with performances by local artists. The event starts at 4:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation to benefit the FamilyWorks Family Resource Center & Food Bank.
December 14th - PhinneyWood Phestivus
PhinneyWood Phestivus is all about trolley rides, food, and art! Take a free trolley ride along Phinney Avenue N and Greenwood Avenue N from the zoo up to 87th. Along the way, make sure to keep your eyes out for the 200+ lighted monkeys hanging out in local businesses. The monthly Art Up Chow Down Art Walk will be happening on the 14th as well, which provides a great opportunity to check out local artists as well as local delicacies. Piper Village in Greenwood will be transformed into Santa Clause Lane with live music, kids' activities, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.
December 15th - SantaCon
Santas, santas, and more santas! At the Seattle SantaCon 2018, expect to see about 2000 people dressed up as Santa, parading through downtown Seattle, and enjoying drinks at local establishments. Dressing up is not required but strongly recommended. The fun starts at noon (although the first venue has yet to be announced at the time of this writing) and continues until 2 a.m. Tickets are required.
December 15th - Santa's Landing Party
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving at the Museum of Flight by plane at 9:45 a.m.! Inside the museum, they'll meet with children and there will also be live music and a variety of festive workshops. The outdoor event is free but to participate in indoor events, you'll need to purchase museum tickets.
December 22nd - Seattle Secular Solstice
Presented by the Seattle Effective Altruists, the Seattle Secular Solstice is an event where people of all faiths and backgrounds can gather together in celebration. Featuring lots of food and songs, the event focuses on celebrating humanity's accomplishments. Donations are optional, but appreciated. The festivities begin at 4 p.m.
Ongoing Holiday Events Through the Month
Until December 22nd - Pioneer Square Holidays
There will be a nice variety of events in Pioneer Square to choose from during the month of December. Most events are scheduled for weekends, making them easy to enjoy even if you don't live or work nearby. With a holiday market and sleigh rides, discounts at nearby stores, and even a dog costume contest, there's a little bit of something for everyone!
Until December 23rd - The Christmas Ship Festival
An annual tradition since 1949, the Christmas Ship Festival is definitely one you don't want to miss out on. For the full experience, opt to book a two- to three-hour cruise on the lead ship, The Spirit of Seattle, or its Follow Boat. Both vessels will be decked out with beautiful white lights and feature an on-board choir. While the ships will be sailing to about 65 different waterfront communities, tickets for these cruises sell out quickly - especially for weekend nights. If you aren't able to purchase a cruise ticket, you can still enjoy the sight of these beautiful ships from the shore along the cruise route or at the official Parade of Boats Viewing Party.
Until December 24th - Reindeer Festival
If you've always wanted to meet part of Santa's reindeer team, here's your chance! Dasher and Comet will be at Swanson's Nursery for the Reindeer Festival! Not only will you get to learn more about them, but there will also be a holiday marketplace, a model train village, Santa, Christmas trees, and live music.
Until December 24th - Snowflake Lane
There's something special about holiday parades and even more so when there's falling snow, lots of dazzling lights, dancers, and more. Snowflake Lane at the Bellevue Collection has nightly parades until Christmas Eve as well as entertainment, Santa, shopping, and the opportunity to help less fortunate children and families.
Until December 30th - Enchant Christmas
For the holiday season, Safeco Field has been transformed into a winter wonderland! In addition to seasonal food, live entertainment, a holiday market, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Enchant Christmas also boasts a huge Christmas light maze and an ice skating trail. The event is bursting with holiday spirit! It's a wonderful choice for families with plenty to keep the kiddos entertained. Tickets are required.
Until December 30th - Garden d'Lights
At the Bellevue Botanical Garden, you'll be able to enjoy the Garden d'Lights show that features over a half million lights in the shapes of plants, animals, and more. The exhibit is open nightly from 4:30 - 9 p.m. In addition to the dazzling light display, refreshments are available and there will also be live music on select nights. Tickets are required.
Until January 1st - Clam Lights
There will be another huge holiday light display at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton with Clam Lights, presented by Ivar's Restaurants. With over 200,000 lights adorning trees and shrubs along the water walk, this waterfront display is exceptionally beautiful. The lights are on nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. The exhibit is free and so is parking!
Until January 1st - Gingerbread Village
Benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Gingerbread Village features creations from local master builders, architects, and culinary teams. The 2018 theme is Welcome to Whoville so you'll be able to see re-creations of scenes and the town from Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." The event is at the Sheraton Grand Seattle. As the event is a benefit, a $5 per person donation is recommended and appreciated.
Until January 5th - WildLights
Head to the Woodland Park Zoo to enjoy beautiful light displays and other fun activities at WildLights. In addition to all the sparkling lights, select indoor animal exhibits will be open and there are indoor snowball fights at the Snowmazium. Choose from food options including hot chocolate, chowder, and pizza as well as beer, wine, and cider for the over 21 crowd. The display is open nightly from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., with closures on December 12th, 24th, and 25th. Tickets are required.
Until January 6th - Winterfest
There are tons of amazing holiday activities to choose from at the Seattle Center Winterfest. From ice sculpting and ice skating to variety shows and live bands, there's something new to enjoy just about every day of the festival. Events are held at various locations in Seattle Center and most are free. (The ice skating rink does charge admission and skate rental fees.)
Until January 6th - Winter Wonderland
Redmond Town Center will be home to the incredible Winter Wonderland throughout the month and into early 2019. Just some of the events include a tree lighting ceremony, fireworks, live music, ice skating, story times with Santa, and pet photos with Santa. The holiday train and the skating rink charge admission but all other events are free.