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 | Now-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.
Winter Beer Festival | Friday, Dec. 2-Saturday, Dec. 3 | 5:30-9:30 p.m. with additional 12-4 p.m. session on Saturday | Magnuson Park 30, Seattle | $40-$45 | Pour your heart out over local stouts and seasonal spiced delights.
Pinehurst Holiday Pop-up Market and Festival | Saturday, Dec. 10 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Zylberschtein’s Deli Parking Lot, 11752 15th Ave. NE, Seattle| Free | Book shopping with great snacks and live ukulele music? Sounds festive to us.
Issaquah Reindeer Festival | Thursday, Dec. 1-Friday, 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. 3 | 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.
Holiday parties and events 🎉
Seattle SantaCon | Saturday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 17 | 12 p.m. | Begins in downtown Seattle | $7.50-$30 | Join the hordes of bar-hopping Kris Kringles and elves in revelry.
Winter Solstice Holiday Night Market | Friday, Dec. 16-Saturday, Dec. 17 | 5-10 p.m. | Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Seattle | $15-$35 | Indulge in some retail therapy from 100+ vendors.
Holiday Night Barket | Saturday, Dec. 3 | 5-9 p.m. | Dog Yard Bar, 1546 NW Leary Way, Seattle | Free | Pups can run amok, get a photo op with Santa, and even help you make pawprint ornaments.
Shop and Sip with Seattle Restored | Sunday, Dec. 11 | 1-5 p.m. | Elsom Cellars, 2960 Fourth Ave. S., Seattle | Free | Pop-up participants in this small biz initiative gather for a big, end-of-the-year shopping extravaganza.
Twinkle Twinkle | Friday, Dec. 2 | 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.
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.
Maker Magic Handmade Market | Sunday, Dec. 18 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Block 41, 115 Bell St., Seattle | Free | No need to fret if you’re procrastinating on holiday shopping — this local creator space has got you covered.
Figgy Pudding Caroling | Friday, Dec. 2 | 6-9 p.m. | Pike Place Market, 85 Pike St., Seattle | Free | The 37th annual event is at the market this year, making music and raising money for the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank.
Holiday Art Market | Friday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 11 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | Kirkland Arts Center, 620 Market St., Kirkland | Free | Support local artists and stuff those stockings.
Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack | Thursday, Dec. 1-Saturday, Dec. 24 | Thurs.-Sat. 4 p.m.-12 a.m. | Navy Strength, 2505 Second Ave. | Free | If you’re someone who prefers to spend their holidays at the beach, this pop-up will help you forget about about the cold rain.
Light displays 💡
WildLanterns | Now-Saturday, Dec. 3 | 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 Illuminate Winterfest | Now through mid-February | All day | Seattle Center | Free | Everything’s merry and bright all around the grounds — including the International Fountain.
Christmas Ship Parade of Boats | Friday, Dec. 9 | 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.
GLOWS: Glorious Lights of West Seattle | Saturday, Dec. 3 | 5-6 p.m. | The promenade at California Avenue | Free | This festive fashion show with lighted outfits awards prizes to the best glow-ups.
Winter Brilliance | Now through the end of February | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Chihuly Garden & Glass, 305 Harrison St., Seattle | Free with price of admission | The icicle-like sculpture is enhanced with stunning audio and video projections.
Holiday performances 🎟️
George Balanchine’s: “The Nutcracker” | Friday, Dec. 2-Tuesday, 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.
A Very Drunken Christmas Carol | Friday, Dec. 9-Monday, Dec. 19 | Various times | Tagney Jones Hall at Seattle Opera, 363 Mercer St., Seattle | $40-$50 | The classic Dickensian story takes a dramatic turn (as operas do) into the chaos of alternate realities and soprano duos.
“Land of Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker” | Wednesday, Dec. 7-Friday, Dec. 30 | 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” | Thursday, Dec. 1-Tuesday, Dec. 20 | Various times | Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle | $29-$38 | Yippe-kiy-yay — everyone’s fave holiday-themed action movie gets a hilarious stage parody.
Holiday Pops | Friday, Dec. 9-Sunday, Dec. 11 | Various times | Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle | $36-$125 | Jaunty seasonal hits are sure to put a pep in your step.
Christmas with Creed Bratton | Sunday, Dec. 18 | 8 p.m. | The Neptune Theatre, 1303 NE 45th St., Seattle | $29-$39 | Did you know the actor behind the lovably odd character from “The Office” character has an impressive musical career?
The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley | Wednesday, Nov. 30-Friday, 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.
The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show | Wednesday, Dec. 21-Saturday, Dec. 24 | 8 p.m. | 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.
Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” | Thursday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 4 | Various times | Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle | $35+ | The movie will be projected on a big screen and accompanied by the Seattle Symphony orchestra
“Twas’ the Night...” | Friday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 4 | Various times | Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland | $25-$30 | Kids will love this twist on the iconic poem, which features perspectives from the mice, cats, and Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick.
New Year’s Eve celebrations 🥂
NYE Boat Party | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.-1 a.m. | Emerald City Party Boats, 1611 Fairview Ave. E., Seattle | $110-$500 | Hop aboard the Spirit of 76 Yacht for a great view of the Space Needle fireworks.
Canlis NYE Space Prom | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m. | Canlis, 2576 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle | $315 | Bust out those silver jumpsuits — the legendary fine-dining restaraunt is bringing their famed New Year’s shindig back with a futuristic theme.
Midnight in Paris: A New Year’s Eve Soiree | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. | The Winemakers Reserve Woodinville Tasting Room, 15902 Redmond-Woodinville Rd., Woodinville | $35-$135 | Raise a glass to 2023 with a 1920s Parisian theme and Big Band music.
T-Mobile New Years at the Needle | Saturday, Dec. 31 | Times TBD | Seattle Center + virtual | Free | The city’s biggest fireworks display now includes some augmented reality when you watch on the screen.
New Year’s Eve Concert, Party, and Countdown | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m. | Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle | $60-$155 | Start the year off in epic fashion with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth.