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Winter events happening in and around Seattle

Plan ahead for the holiday season. ❄️

A woman in a red dress carries a striped umbrella at Bellevue's Snowflake Lane parade.

Snowflake Lane in Bellevue is always a big draw.

Photo via the Bellevue Collective

Table of Contents

Get your fuzzy socks and hot cocoa ready, Seattle. From light displays to holiday performances and festive parties, winter is where the Emerald City thrives.

Gather the family and friends and celebrate what makes the holiday season special with this guide featuring winter events happening between December and February.


Snowflake Lane | Friday, Nov. 24-Saturday, Dec. 24 | 7 p.m. | Between Bellevue Square + Lincoln Square, Bellevue | Free | Every night through Christmas Eve, the sidewalks in downtown Bellevue turn into a winter wonderland parade.

Issaquah Reindeer Festival | Thursday, Dec. 1-Saturday, Dec. 23 + Tuesday, Dec. 26-Saturday, Dec. 30 | 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. | Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 SE 54th St., Issaquah | $13-$16 | Yes, Rudolph and the whole gang will be there.

Woodinville Winterfest | Saturday, Dec. 2 | 3-6 p.m. | Various locations around Woodinville | Free | Hop on a sleigh, snap pics with Santa, and munch on treats before the big tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

People dressed up in Santa outfits drink at Pike Taproom in Pike Place Market

SantaCon has gotten a bit mellower in recent years, but is still a party and a half.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Holiday parties and events

SantaCon | Saturday, Dec. 9 + Saturday, Dec. 16 | 12 p.m.-2 a.m. | Downtown Seattle | $7.50-$35 | A horde of drinking Santas will take over downtown Seattle — you can be one of them.

Twinkle Twinkle | Friday, Dec. 1 | 4:30-6:30 p.m. | Freeway Park, 600 Seneca St., Seattle | Free | Enjoy s’mores and cocoa by a bonfire as you bask in the lights from Seneca Plaza — donations will be collected for the YWCA and Mary’s Place.

Holiday markets

Seattle Christmas Market | Friday, Nov. 24-Saturday, Dec. 24 | Various times | Seattle Center | $6-$30 | Eat Bavarian snacks, sip on German beers + mulled wine, and get some shopping done at this European-style holiday market.

Native Arts Market | Friday, Dec. 15-Sunday, Dec. 17 | Times vary | Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center | Free | Shop from local Native creators and artisans and score gifts like drums, carved items, jewelry, and more.

South Lake Union Winter Market | Thursday, Dec. 8-Friday, Dec. 9 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | 2250 Seventh Ave., Seattle | Free | Peruse ceramics, jewelry, toys, and other gift ideas — there are snacks, too.

Seattle Restored Winter Market | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 12-6 p.m. | 1501 Fifth Ave. | Free | Pop-up shops that make use of otherwise empty storefronts will have gifts like suncatchers and baked goods from 24+ vendors.

Light displays

WildLanterns | Friday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Jan. 14 | 4-9 p.m. | Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle | $26-$35 | Don’t worry — the zoo’s large, lighted animal statues don’t bite.

Seattle Center’s Winterfest | Friday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Dec. 31 | All day | Seattle Center | Free | Everything’s merry and bright all around the grounds — including the International Fountain.

Astra Lumina | Friday, Dec. 8-Sunday, Jan. 7 | Various times | Seattle Chinese Garden | $29-$37 | Get lost in the cosmos with this traveling light art installation that mixes celestial visual components with astral ambient music.

Christmas Ship Parade of Boats | Friday, Dec. 8 | 7:30-9:30 p.m. | Evanston Plaza on the Fremont Cut, Seattle | Free | Sip on hot beverages and watch the decked out Argosy vessels float by.

Ballet dancers on stage in white dresses for "The Nutcracker"

Visions of sugar plum faeries will dance in your head.

Photo by Angela Sterling

Holiday performances

George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” | Friday, Nov. 24-Wednesday, Dec. 27 | Various times | McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle | $27-$206 | Winter magic comes alive as the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s sugar plums, candy canes, and flowers dance across the stage.

“Land of Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker” | Friday, Dec. 1-Thursday, Dec. 28 | Various times | The Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle | $70-$95 | If you’re more into bawdy takes on the twinkle-toe tale with fun costumes, this is the show for you.

“A Very Die Hard Christmas” | Wednesday, Nov. 22-Friday, Dec. 23 | Various times | Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle | $29-$38 | Yippee-ki-yay — everyone’s fave holiday-themed action movie gets a hilarious stage parody.

“Wonderland: A Carnival of Winter Wonder” | Thursday, Nov. 16-Sunday, Jan. 7 | Various times | Can Can Culinary Cabaret, 95 Pine St. | $69-$195 | The sultry performance group will whisk you away into a frosty world of musical numbers, acrobatics, and lots of flirtatious dancing.

“Black Nativity” | Tuesday, Dec. 12-Saturday, Dec. 30 | Various times | Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway | $5-$115 | This play, written by the late and great Langston Hughes, blends powerful vocal performances from a gospel choir with sharp dance moves.

Holiday Pops | Friday, Dec. 8-Sunday, Dec. 10 | Various times | Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle | $36-$125 | Jaunty seasonal hits are sure to put a pep in your step.

Seattle Men’s Chorus Presents: A TREEmendous Holiday | Saturday, Dec. 9-Saturday, Dec. 23 | Various times | Benaroya Hall, 200 University St. | $44-$104 | This holiday performance is pretty fruity — it bills itself as the “Pacific Northwest’s gayest sing-a-long.”

Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley | Wednesday, Nov. 22-Saturday, Dec. 30 | 10:30 a.m. + 7:30 p.m. | Taproot Theatre Company, 204 N. 85th St., Seattle | $27-$41 | This Jane Austen-inspired play imagines a holiday extravaganza among the Darcy and Bennet fams.

“Elf” in Concert | Friday, Dec. 29-Saturday, Dec. 30 | Various times | McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St. | $50-$70 | Your favorite holiday movie gets even better when its accompanied by a live orchestra.

The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show | Thursday, Dec. 21-Sunday, Dec. 24 | Various times | The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle | $35-$65.50 | These fab performers — once dubbed “The Queens of Christmas” — are back for their wild annual show.

New Year’s Eve celebrations

New Year’s Eve at the Center | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 4:30 p.m.-1 a.m. | Seattle Center | Free | Come early for free music, dance performances, and snacks — then stay for the Space Needle fireworks show at midnight.

Countdown to Elegance: A Glamorous New Year’s Affair! | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 7 p.m.-1 a.m. | Columbia Tower Club | $330-$510 | Nothing says glamour quite like celebrating in the tallest building in Seattle. Enjoy cocktails, a three-course dinner menu, dancing, and some funny celebration hats.

Black Tie New Year’s Eve in the Penthouse | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. | Hotel Sorrento | $150 | End 2023 with a tasty dinner at the hotel’s restaurant STELLA before heading up to the seventh floor for a champagne toast, light snacks, a live pianist, and stunning views of downtown.

NYE Prix Fixe Tasting | Sunday, Dec. 31 | Various times | Seabird, Bainbridge Island | $250 | Fuel up for a party with this eight-course menu that features dishes like Dungeness Crab gougère and halibut with marinated squash.

Rhythms and Resolutions: A Music-Infused New Year | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.-1 a.m. | Block 41, 115 Bell St., Seattle | $150 per person | You can do good while partying it up — this event benefits local radio station KNKX with live jazz from Lee Oskar & Friends and Duende Libre. There’s a champagne toast and light bites.

New Year’s Eve with Kenny G | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 7:30 p.m. + 10:30 p.m. | Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley | $150-$209 | The saxophone legend with local roots will help end the year on a smooth note — enjoy a four course meal while you groove along.

“Moulin Rouge!” New Year’s Eve Sing-along | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 6-8 p.m. | SIFF Cinema Uptown | $13-$14 | What better way to start a new year than by learning how to love and be loved in return? And don’t worry, you’ll be out of the movie in time to enjoy any other festivities.

Gatsby’s Penthouse NYE | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. | King Street Ballroom & Perch, 255 S. King St. | $109-$1,049 | It’s all glitz and glam at this penthouse party featuring drinks, DJs, party favors, casino tables, and deals on hotel rooms.

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