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. Have some festive fun at Kringle’s Filling Station
This family-friendly holiday experience is full of games, hot cocoa, and Christmas karaoke. It’s in Seattle now for select dates throughout December. Get your tickets for Kringle’s Filling Station while it’s here!
2. Catch a Holiday Candlelight Concert
Talented string musicians will be performing holiday classics while candlelight illuminates the stunning Lotte Hotel in Seattle this December. There are only a few tickets left for this Candlelight Concert Holiday Special so get yours now!
3. Step into Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
This immersive art exhibition in Seattle lets you experience Van Gogh’s work and life like never before. There are still tickets available this December for Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.
4. Have your mind blown at Dinos Alive
Another cool immersive experience in Seattle is Dinos Alive. In this exhibition that’s fun for all ages, you get to walk among life-size, moving dinosaurs!
5. 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 this Thursday, December 1. Check out the full list via our guide to Seattle museum free admission days.
6. Experience Holiday Magic
The Washington State Fair is turning its fairgrounds in Puyallup into a winter wonderland on select days this December. There will be ice skating, delicious food, a Christmas market, light displays, and more! Get all the info about Holiday Magic.
7. 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 holiday light displays. If you can go on the evening of this Friday, December 2 you’ll catch the annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, which is a festive holiday event for a good cause.
8. Warm up with hot cocoa at Freeway Park
Head over to Freeway Park on Friday, December 2 for the annual Twinkle Twinkle holiday event. From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. there will be a bonfire, s’mores, hot cocoa, and carolers! This is a free event for all ages.
9. See a Christmas movie with live music
10. See lit-up bonsai trees
You can visit Pacific Science Museum for A Bonsai Solstice on December 17. From 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. the museum’s bonsai collection will be lit up with holiday lights. This kid-friendly event is free with a suggested donation of $12.
11. Walk through Lights at the Arboretum
On December 17 and 18, visit the Washington Park Arboretum for their Winter Solstice Walk. Your ticket to this luminary forest walk includes a crafting session to make some “holiday swag” as well as a free glass of champagne on December 17 if you’re over 21.
12. Dress up 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 7 at Block 41 and is a chance to have some festive fun with other tech workers in Seattle.
13. Get your Drawing Jam on
On Saturday, December 3 you can head to Gage Capitol Hill for a fun day of art demos, activities, music, and more. From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. all ages are welcome (members and kids age 12 and under get in for free!). Then, after the main event, there is a 21+ happy hour with small bites, drinks, and more art. If you’re interested, it’s recommended that you pre-register on the Gage Academy website.
14. Walk along the Green Lake Pathway of Lights
On Saturday, December 10 the pathway along Green Lake will be lit up from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a free, family-friendly event. In addition to the lights, live music, and refreshments, there will be hot air balloons if the weather is right for it.
15. Compete in the Glorious Lights of West Seattle
On Saturday, December 3 there will be a holiday light fashion show at the Junction in West Seattle. If you, your pet, or your group show up in a light-up costume you could win a monetary prize. Get more info on the West Seattle Junction website.
16. Spread cheer during Seattle SantaCon
You can get dressed up as Santa and participate in this year’s Seattle SantaCon on December 10 and 17. There will be drink specials, a costume contest, and more!
17. Participate in the Jingle Bell Run
Race for a good cause at this year’s Seattle Jingle Bell Run on Sunday, December 11 at Green Lake. Of course you’re encouraged to wear your favorite holiday getup for the run. Get more details on the Arthritis Foundation website.
18. Visit Winterfest at Seattle Center
Winterfest is back now for the holiday season at Seattle Center! From now through December 31, there will be a winter train and village display, daily 6:00 p.m. light shows, and live performances every weekend.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. Shop locally for gifts at a Seattle market
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.
23. 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).
24. Choose your Seattle tree lighting adventure
The Seattle tree lighting ceremony in Westlake Park already took place on the day after Thanksgiving, but there are a couple more tree lighting events coming up in Seattle this Saturday, December 3. Choose between the West Seattle Holiday Festival tree lighting and the Ballard HolidayFest tree lighting. Both sound like a rollicking good time!
25. Witness a Menorah lighting
On Tuesday, December 20 there will be a free menorah lighting event at University Village. You’ll find the fun outside of Piatti at 6:00 p.m.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
There is also a festive Ballard Cocktail Trail on Friday, December 9th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; get more info and tickets on the Visit Ballard website.
29. 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!
30. 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.