Happy New Year, Seattle! It’s not only a new month, but a brand-new year for exploring our city. If you’re looking for some exciting things to do in Seattle in January 2024, we have plenty of options for you. Whether you’re interested in catching a live show, getting outdoors, going shopping, or seeing an immersive exhibition, there’s something on this list for you. The best part is that many of these events are cheap or even free!
This list is mostly in chronological order, and we will add more events as they pop up! Be sure to bookmark this and check back regularly.
Here are the top things to do in Seattle this January:
1. Brave the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge
On Monday, January 1 at exactly noon, hundreds of Seattleites will welcome the new year by plunging into the frigid water at Matthews Beach. Read all about how to participate in the annual Seattle Polar Bear Plunge before you go.
2. Combine a New Year plunge with a 5k
If you really want to challenge yourself at the beginning of 2024, you could register here for the Club Northwest Resolution Run and Polar Bear Dive on January 1. The 5k run/walk starts at 10:30 a.m. at Magnuson Park and the polar plunge portion is optional. There will be prizes for top finishers, free hot beverages, a beer garden for ages 21+, and a free kids race.
3. Explore Harry Potter™: Magic at Play
The Harry Potter™: Magic at Play experience is an immersive world in Seattle that enchants all ages—and tickets are still available for select dates in January. Get tickets here!
4. Take advantage of free state parks day
Monday, January 1 is free state parks day in honor of New Year’s Day. Check out our guide to the best Washington State Parks to plan your adventure.
5. Walk through Astra Lumina
Astra Lumina: A Night Walk Amongst The Stars recently opened in the Seattle Chinese Garden and if you haven’t experienced it yet, you can still get tickets for select dates this January. It transforms the garden into a magical night walk experience full of music and whimsical light displays. Book your time slot here!
6. See a hockey game
There are plenty of opportunities to catch a hockey game in Seattle this month! The Seattle Kraken will be playing an exciting home game at Climate Pledge Arena on January 1 as well as on January 4, 21, 24, 26, and 28.
7. Catch a Candlelight Concert in Seattle
Don’t miss out on these beautiful upcoming Candlelight Concerts in stunning Seattle venues:
- Candlelight: The Best of Metallica and Schubert on January 10
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele on January 11
If you’d like to treat someone else, you can purchase a Candlelight gift card!
8. Visit a Seattle museum for free
You’ll be able to enjoy free access to Seattle museums in January if you have the inside scoop. Most of the free museum days occur on the first Thursday of the month but it varies. Read our guide to free museum admission in Seattle.
9. See the zoo lit up for WildLanterns
Don’t miss out on the WildLanterns light festival at Woodland Park Zoo before it’s gone after January 14! This winter experience is fun for all ages. Read all about WildLanterns before you go.
10. Catch the Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour
From January 3 to January 14, the Northwest Film Forum will present a 90-minute screening of short films from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. General admission is $14. Get more info about the Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour here.
11. Join a Seattle art walk
Multiple Seattle neighborhoods hold an art walk every month—and they’re free! Read all about the various Seattle art walks coming up this January.
12. Observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
On January 15, you can join several celebrations in Seattle for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day including the annual Northwest African American Museum event and a march and rally in the Central District. There will also be free entrance to national and state parks on this day.
13. See an incredible acrobatic burlesque show
From January 18 to January 28, The Triple Door is putting on Bohemia: a mystical cabaret set in 1890s Hungary.
14. Be amazed by the Harlem Globetrotters
Seattle may not have a NBA team anymore (we miss you, SuperSonics) but at least we can catch the Harlem Globetrotters on their world tour on January 27 at Climate Pledge Arena. Get tickets here.
15. Go to the 2024 Seattle Wedding Show
Planning a wedding? You won’t want to miss the Seattle Wedding Show taking place on January 27 and 28 in the Seattle Convention Center. You’ll be able to browse discounted wedding gowns, lots of wedding vendors, and more.
16. Shop at Seattle weekend markets
Seattle always has amazing weekend markets with crafters, vintage goods, and food trucks even in the winter months. Visit these Seattle markets this January:
- Fremont Sunday Market: every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. under the Fremont Bridge.
- Ballard Farmers Market: every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Ballard
- University District Farmers Market: every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on University Way NE
- West Seattle Farmers Market: every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in West Seattle
- Capitol Hill Farmers Market: every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Capitol Hill
- Georgetown Flea Market: the first Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Georgetown
- SODO Flea Market: the second Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in SODO
17. Take advantage of free events at Frye Art museum
Seattle’s Frye Art Museum has ongoing free events such as mindfulness meditation, storytelling, and hands-on art making. Get all the info on the Frye Art Museum website.
18. Share your writing in a free open mic
Every month Hugo House hosts an in-person open mic for writers that is free to attend and participate in. You can also choose to share your work in a virtual open mic instead.
19. Visit the Seattle Spheres
The Spheres are one of Seattle’s coolest attractions, but you can’t just walk in whenever you want. Read our guide to snagging a reservation to tour the Seattle Spheres.
20. Warm up in a sauna or hot tub boat
Winter blues got you down? Warm up this January with the help of our guide to Seattle’s best saunas, hothouses, and hot tubs (including hot tub boats!).
21. Make going out for drinks a whole experience
22. Try Seattle’s best non-alcoholic cocktails for Dry January
Doing Dry January (or just not drinking for any reason)? We recently created a huge guide to all the best places in Seattle to find a non-alcoholic beverage. Make it your mission to try as many yummy mocktails in Seattle as possible this January.
23. Experience the best cookie in Seattle
Apologies if this ruins your New Year’s resolution, but we went taste-testing and determined the 10 best cookies in Seattle. You’ll have to decide for yourself which one deserves the number-one spot.
24. Go to a Capitol Hill dance party
Want to go dancing in Seattle? You have options, especially if you head to Capitol Hill:
- Neumos has various themed dance parties, such as a Beyonce night and a Taylor Swift night.
- Chop Suey has a reoccurring Dance Yourself Clean indie dance party on Saturday nights as well as their Monday night House Party.
- Gold Bar hosts their Don’t Think dance party every Thursday night.
25. Treat yourself to a delicious meal
Not sure where to eat this month in Seattle? Check out some of our best food and restaurant roundups:
- The best Italian restaurants in Seattle
- The best burgers in Seattle
- A popular vegan diner that just reopened
- Seattle’s best places for breakfast
26. Go on a day trip or weekend getaway
Want to get out of the city for a day or two? Check out our guide to 10 of the coolest getaway destinations near Seattle or our roundup of the most charming winter towns in Washington for a snowy getaway.
27. Take a scenic train ride
Seattle is an excellent starting point for several really cool train trips that you can take this month. The Amtrak Cascades has finally resumed its route between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. You can also book a winter getaway on these two train routes from Seattle that were named among the most scenic in the U.S.
Psst: Make sure you’re following us on Instagram for even more ideas for things to do in Seattle this January!