Looking for festive things to do in Seattle this December?
December is one of the liveliest and most magical months of the year in Seattle. Whether you’re excited for holiday celebrations, hustling to find the perfect locally-made gift, in search of lights and festive cheer, or just want to find some moments of calm during this busy month, there is something on this list for you. The best part is that many of these events in Seattle are cheap or even free!
Read on for the ultimate list of all the most festive things to do in Seattle this December:
1. Experience the lights of Astra Lumina
Astra Lumina: A Night Walk Amongst The Stars is coming to Seattle starting on December 8. The Seattle Chinese Garden will be transformed into an enchanted luminary night walk with projections and music that will amaze all ages. Get tickets here.
2. Go to Harry Potter™: Magic at Play
If you rewatch the Harry Potter movies every winter, then you need to visit the Harry Potter™: Magic at Play experience while it’s open in Seattle throughout December. All ages will enjoy exploring this interactive experience that offers fun photo opportunities in every room. Reserve your spot here.
3. See an authentic Spanish flamenco show
The international tour of Authentic Flamenco presents Paula Rodríguez is in Seattle on December 15. This is a rare chance to see a renowned flamenco artist performing in the stunning Leo K. Theatre at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Some tickets are still available here!
4. Take a short road trip for Holiday Magic
The Washington State Fair is turning its fairgrounds in Puyallup into a winter wonderland on select days this month starting on December 1. There will be ice skating, delicious food, a Christmas market, light displays, and more! Get tickets and all the info on the Holiday Magic website.
5. Go on a mystery picnic adventure
Looking for a fun experience gift to share with someone this holiday season? Mystery Picnics will send you on a self-guided adventure to collect a yummy picnic spread from local artisans. You can get tickets for the Bainbridge Island Mystery Picnic or the Bellingham Mystery Picnic for select dates throughout December and into the new year.
6. Watch a caroling competition at Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is always high on our list to visit during the holiday season, since you can shop for all sorts of unique gifts while enjoying the market’s holiday light displays. If you can go on the evening of December 1 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. you’ll catch the annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, which is a free holiday event for a good cause.
7. Bundle up for Concerts Under the Stars
Looking for a unique date night in December? You can enjoy a stunning view of Seattle and a cocktail while listening to live music atop The Olympic Rooftop Pavilion. You can get tickets now for these concerts coming up this month: ABBA Under The Stars on December 6 and A Very Sinatra Christmas Special on December 13 and 17.
8. See a Christmas movie with live music
9. Try Dining in the Dark
Go on a unique dinner date this month courtesy of Dining in the Dark. This dining experience in Seattle lets you put your tastebuds to the test as you enjoy a meal blindfolded at The Columbia Tower Club on December 20. Book your seat here.
10. Hometown Holidays in West Seattle
From December 1 through December 14, downtown West Seattle (also known as The Junction) has several events planned for holiday cheer. Events include selfies with Santa, a cocoa and coat drive, and a holiday art walk. Don’t miss the GLOWS (Glorious Lights of West Seattle) Festival on December 9! See the full schedule on the West Seattle Junction website.
11. Catch a Holiday Candlelight Concert
Talented string musicians will be performing holiday classics while candlelight illuminates stunning Seattle venues this December. You can get tickets now for these upcoming Candlelight Concerts:
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift at The Museum of Flight on December 12
- Candlelight: Holiday Special Featuring “The Nutcracker” and More at Town Hall Seattle on December 19
- Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” and More at Arctic Club Hotel on December 22
12. A holiday arts festival and market
On December 2 you can head to Gage Academy in Capitol Hill for an all-day community arts festival. There will be a holiday arts sale (where you can purchase a unique gift of artwork for under $500), a drawing jam with live models, free art supplies, live music, an after-hours bar, and more. It’s $10 at the door and free for youth under 18.
13. Save money at the movies
If you’re planning to go to the movies this December, make sure to take advantage of discounted Regal Cinemas tickets. Get your discounted Regal Cinemas ticket here.
14. See Santa and a tree lighting at Ballard HolidayFest
On Saturday, December 2 the annual Ballard HolidayFest is taking place in Marvin’s Garden Park from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. This free holiday festival will have a tree lighting, free photos with Santa, live music, festive food and drinks, and more!
15. Play at Kringle’s Filling Station
You can play endless rounds of Christmas Ski-Ball and slot cars, get festive holiday photos taken, and drink hot cocoa straight from a vintage gas pump at Kringle’s Filling Station this December. Get tickets here.
16. Dress up (or down) for Seattle’s GeekWire Gala
If you’re a part of Seattle’s tech community, you won’t want to miss out on getting tickets for this year’s GeekWire Gala. This 21+ event is on December 6 at Showbox Market and is a chance to have some festive fun with other tech workers in Seattle. There will be drinks, dancing, and an awards ceremony. You can wear anything from cocktail attire to a T-shirt.
17. Take advantage of free Seattle museum days
There are several Seattle museums that offer free admission on select days every month. The majority of these are coming up on Thursday, December 7. Check out the full list via our guide to Seattle museum free admission days.
18. Go to a hockey game
The Seattle Kraken are playing several exciting home games at Climate Pledge Arena throughout December, with the first game being against the New Jersey Devils on December 7. See the full schedule of this month’s games in Seattle.
19. Join a Hanukkah dance party
Town Hall Seattle is hosting the “danceable tunes” of Global Rhythms: The Klezmatics for the first night of Hanukkah on December 7. Pre-show Jewish deli food and beverages start at 6:00 p.m. Get tickets here.
20. Shop and sip in Ballard
Join the festive Ballard Cocktail Trail on December 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. You get to try festive cocktails while searching for holiday gifts at local boutiques. Get tickets on the Visit Ballard website.
21. Walk along the Green Lake Pathway of Lights
On December 9 the annual Green Lake Pathway of Lights will be lit up after sunset for a free, family-friendly event. In addition to the lights, there will be live music, sweet treats, and hot drinks.
22. Spread cheer during Seattle SantaCon
You can get dressed up as Santa and participate in this year’s Seattle SantaCon on December 9 or December 16. There will be drink specials, a costume contest, and more!
23. Participate in the Jingle Bell Run
Run for a good cause at this year’s Seattle Jingle Bell Run on December 10 at Green Lake. Of course you’re encouraged to wear your favorite holiday getup for the run. Register and get more details on the Arthritis Foundation website.
24. See Wonka at the reopened Cinerama Theater
This beloved movie theater was formerly known as the Seattle Cinerama Theater and is now renamed the SIFF Cinema Downtown. Regardless of what you call it, Seattleites are excited for the iconic theater’s reopening day on December 14 (and the return of the chocolate popcorn!). The theater’s first movie showing will be the new Wonka.
25. Eat and drink at Winter Beer Fest
There will be Washington craft beer, food, and entertainment at the Winter Beer Fest on December 15-16 at Magnuson Park Hangar 30. Get tickets here.
26. See lit-up bonsai trees
You can visit Pacific Bonsai Museum for the Winter Bonsai Solstice on December 16. From 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. the museum’s bonsai collection will be lit up with holiday lights, and there will also be hot chocolate and more. This kid-friendly event is free with a suggested donation of $12.
27. Cheer on the Seattle Seahawks
It’s football season! The Seattle Seahawks are playing two exciting home games this month on December 17 and December 31. If you can’t get tickets to the games at Lumen Field, watch in comfort at one of Seattle’s best sports bars.
28. Enjoy free holiday fun at Pike Place Market
From December 18 through December 22, Pike Place Market is hosting Crafty’s Handmade HoliDAYS. There will be a free event every day from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., ranging from ornament painting to live holiday music. While you’re there, you can get your holiday shopping done and enjoy a delicious meal.
29. Walk through a lit-up forest at the Arboretum
On December 22, you can visit the Washington Park Arboretum for the annual Arboretum Winter Solstice Walk. For $25 (tickets sold in advance) you get to enjoy a free festive alcoholic beverage, holiday crafting, and live holiday music while exploring this luminary forest walk. Ages 21+ only.
30. Visit Winterfest at Seattle Center
Winterfest is back for the holiday season at Seattle Center! Now through December 31, there will be a winter train and village display, daily light shows, and live performances every weekend.
31. Explore Wildlanterns at the zoo
The Woodland Park Zoo is currently lit up for the holiday season with a fantastic evening lantern display. Read all about this year’s Wildlanterns before you go.
32. Visit the Village of Lights in Leavenworth
Leavenworth, WA is known for taking Christmastime very seriously. You can now visit any day of the week to find stunning holiday light displays, food and shopping, live entertainment, and more. See more info about their Christmastown on the Leavenworth website.
33. Bundle up for ice skating
If you’d like to go ice skating to the tune of holiday music this winter, there are several options in Seattle and the surrounding area. Check out our guide to Seattle ice rinks.
34. Shop locally for gifts at Seattle’s holiday markets
There’s nothing better than buying local, handcrafted goods for holiday gifts. Luckily Seattle has plenty of places to find such a thing—and we’re not just talking about Pike Place Market. See our round-up of all the Seattle holiday markets coming up, including this year’s new Seattle Christmas Market!
35. Visit Seattle’s Gingerbread Village
The Sheraton Grand Seattle’s annual Gingerbread Village is back now through January 1. You can visit the hotel Sundays through Thursdays from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm to see the famous, larger-than-life gingerbread houses for free (donations will go towards Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Northwest Chapter).
36. See the Seattle Christmas Ship Festival
You can’t miss this beloved Seattle tradition! Get this year’s schedule of events on the Argosy Cruises website.
37. Partake in Downtown Holiday Lights & Delights
Downtown Seattle has several festive events planned for this holiday season, from a free ice skating rink in Pioneer Square to live concerts. Get the schedule and more info on the Downtown Seattle website.
38. Get a festive cocktail at Seattle’s Christmas-themed bars
Several Seattle bars and restaurants turn into winter wonderlands for the holidays. Check out our full round-up of the most festive holiday bars in Seattle.
39. See a live holiday performance
From The Nutcracker ballet to a hip-hop version of A Christmas Carol, Seattle has a wide variety of live performances coming up that will put you in a festive mood. We rounded up some of Seattle’s best holiday concerts, plays, and more in our guide of things to do in Seattle for the holidays!
40. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Seattle
Stay tuned for our full guide to spending New Year’s Eve in Seattle. For now, we’ll call out Seattle Center as an excellent place to be on New Year’s Eve in Seattle. There will be free music in the Armory, a dance party at the International Fountain, and—of course—fireworks above the Space Needle at midnight.