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 2023, 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 so be sure to bookmark this and check back regularly.
Here are the top 40 things to do in Seattle this January:
1. See a Candlelight Concert in Seattle
Don’t miss out on these beautiful upcoming Candlelight Concerts in stunning Seattle venues:
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift at the Lotte Hotel
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele at Lotte Hotel
- Candlelight: Skrillex to Zedd – Electric Legends on Strings
- Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” and More 118987
If you’d like to treat someone else, you can purchase a Candlelight gift card!
2. Get tickets for The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One In Seattle
If you love FRIENDS™ then you cannot miss this immersive experience coming soon to Seattle. Get your tickets now for The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One in Seattle before it sells out.
3. Explore Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
Treat yourself to an immersive art experience this January at Seattle’s Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.
4. Walk among Dinos Alive
All ages will delight in the moving, life-size dinosaurs at Seattle’s Dinos Alive: An Immersive Experience.
5. See a discounted movie with an AMC Black Ticket
If you want to go to the movies this January, do yourself a favor and snag a discount by getting this AMC Black Ticket.
6. Brave the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge
On Sunday, January 1 at exactly noon, hundreds (if not thousands) of Seattleites will welcome the new year by plunging into frigid water. Read all about how to participate in the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge before you go.
7. Take advantage of free state parks day
Sunday, 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.
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. 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! 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 4 to January 12, the Northwest Film Forum will present a 95-minute screening of short films from the 2022 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.
12. Celebrate the Vietnamese Lunar New Year
Seattle’s Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebrations start on January 14 and 15 at Seattle Center. Tết in Seattle will run from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days at Armory Food & Event Hall and Fisher Pavilion. This is a free, family-friendly event!
There are several other Lunar New Year celebrations happening in Seattle as well; read about them here.
13. Join the Community Celebration of Martin Luther King
On January 13, South Seattle College is hosting the 50th Annual Community Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. starting at 9:30 a.m. You’ll be able to enjoy a hot breakfast, music, speakers, and more while celebrating his legacy.
14. Shop a Black-owned business marketplace
On Saturday, January 14 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. there will be a pop-up marketplace at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute in Central District—support local Black-owned businesses for MLK Day weekend!
15. Participate in a MLK Day rally and march
On Monday, January 16, continue the MLK remembrance by joining this rally and march at Garfield High School in the Central District. There will also be workshops, a job fair, and more. See the day’s schedule here.
16. Celebrate the reopening of NW African American Museum
On Monday, January 16 you can visit the Northwest African American Museum as it reopens its doors after a years-long closure. They will have a family-friendly celebration all day for Martin Luther King Day, as well as an after-party starting at 5:00 p.m. for ages 21 and up. Read more about the museum and the event.
17. Visit a national park for free
Washington state is home to three stunning national parks such as Olympic National Park which boasts beaches, mountains, and a rainforest. You can visit the parks for free on January 16 in honor of Martin Luther King Day. If you didn’t get a chance to visit any of the Washington state parks on January 1, you can also choose to visit a state park on this day instead.
18. See an incredible acrobatic burlesque show
From January 19 to January 29, The Triple Door is putting on Bohemia: a mystical cabaret set in 1890s Hungary.
19. Learn all about deep sea creatures
If you’re interested in the deep sea, don’t miss this live speaker from National Geographic at Benaroya Hall. You’ll have three chances to catch From Shallows to Seafloor on January 22, 23, and 24.
20. Attend a masquerade ball
On January 27 there will be a masquerade ball in Capitol Hill! Get tickets now for Masquerade XIII at Century Ballroom.
21. Enjoy a free chamber music performance
Seattle Chamber Music Society is performing their Winter Festival at Benaroya Hall at the end of January through the beginning of February. Week one is January 27 through 29. You can purchase tickets or enjoy a free recital before each performance if you’re on a budget.
22. Join the Seattle onesie pajama pub crawl
What’s more fun and cozy than getting dressed up in a silly onesie pajama and doing a pub crawl with your friends? Seattle’s Onesie Pub Crawl 2023 is on January 28.
23. Go to the 2023 Seattle Wedding Show
Planning a wedding? You won’t want to miss the Seattle Wedding Show taking place on January 28 and 29 in the Washington State Convention Center. You’ll be able to browse discounted wedding gowns, lots of wedding vendors, and more.
24. Watch indie movies from the Sundance Film Festival
From January 28 to 30, the Northwest Film Forum in Capitol Hill will be screening films from the Sundance Film Festival. Individual film screening tickets go on sale in early January; NWFF members can purchase a festival pass now for $55.
25. Celebrate Asia with Seattle Symphony
On January 29, you can enjoy live music and dance at Celebrate Asia at Benaroya Hall. Tickets start at $25.
26. 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
27. 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.
28. See the Lunar New Year lion dance at the waterfront
This free, family-friendly event takes place on January 22 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Pier 62. There will be a lion dance and fire pits to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
29. 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. It’s typically on the third Monday of every month but is taking place on Tuesday, January 17 this year in observance of MLK Day. You can also choose to share your work in a virtual open mic on the first Monday of the month instead.
30. 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.
31. 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!).
32. Make going out for drinks a whole experience
33. 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.
34. 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.
35. Visit a new lobster roll shop
Conveniently located right across from Pike Place Market, Luke’s Lobster brings Maine style and flavor to Seattle while using locally-sourced Dungeness crab and local beer. They just opened in the beginning of January; check them out!
36. 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.
37. 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
38. 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 (and most convenient) getaway destinations near Seattle.
39. 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.
40. Go to this new happy hour in the Seattle Spheres
You don’t need a reservation to pop into Willmott’s Ghost for their new happy hour. This stunning Italian restaurant located inside the Seattle Spheres is now offering specials on antipasti, spritzes, and more from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. Enjoy!
Psst: Make sure you’re following us on Instagram for even more ideas for things to do in Seattle this January!