Holiday Happenings That Illuminate Seattle + Make the Season Merry and Bright

Seattle is a city that likes to celebrate the good things in life–any season of year (and no special occasion needed). Events and festivals pack the schedule year-round, and the indoor ambience at cafes, bars and restaurants (think white twinkly lights strung from rafters and exposed brick walls) tend to be cozy and inviting, even in the dead of summer. 

Yet when winter does finally roll around, Seattle seems to emit even more of an enchanting glow. Holiday happenings in November, December and well into January help ring in the season and the New Year. Residents and visitors alike delight in joyous gatherings of food and drink that feature music and merriment, fireworks and family-friendly fun.

In addition, while local venues stage holiday-focused events in cozy spaces, popular attractions open their doors during unlikely hours. For example, the Woodland Park Zoo opens its gate at nighttime and gets illuminated with a bounty of lights. And as part as a beloved annual tradition, the city's omnipresent waterways fill with glowing boats during the annual Christmas Ship Parade. New Year's Eve brings even more pizzazz, as the city shoots off fireworks from tall buildings and barges, lights bonfires along beaches and releases enchanting paper lanterns from shores around the city.  

Pike Place Market

In celebration of the holiday season and its more than 500 merchants who create uniquely hand-crafted gifts, Pike Place Market invites guests to Magic in the Market on Saturday, November 26. Sights, smells, and sounds create a head-spinning...  Read More

Macy's Holiday Parade

Macy's is always a strong presence in Seattle's holiday celebrations, and this wonderful parade only cements its association. This year's Macy's Holiday Parade takes place on Friday, November 24 (stepping off promptly at 9 a.m. on the corner of...  Read More

5th Avenue Theatre
Photo courtesy of Photo by Bruce Bennett

The 5th Avenue Theatre proves a perfect holiday outing that all your loved ones can enjoy together; this winter "The Little Mermaid" delights audiences from November 23 through the end of December. The venue's known as one of the nation's...  Read More

Ahoy matey! One of this city's best features? All of its beautiful bodies of water. So one of the best ways to experience this city? Well, come on abroad and see for yourself! Year-round, Argosy Cruises offers scenic Lake Washington tours that...  Read More

New Year's Eve at the Space Needle
Photo courtesy of Courtesy Space Needle

For more than 20 years, New Year's Eve fireworks at the Space Needle have illuminated the city. The 605-foot Space Needle once again will display Seattle's traditional New Year's Eve fireworks show with thousands of pyrotechnic effects at...  Read More

Christmas Ship Festival
Photo courtesy of Argosy Cruises

Mark your calendars for November 25 through December 23! Once again, Seattle celebrates the season in maritime fashion. The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship festival is a holiday celebration that has been a Pacific Northwest tradition since 1949....  Read More

Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel
Photo courtesy of Sheraton Seattle

Sheraton Seattle Hotel is a contemporary urban retreat in the heart of downtown, and every winter, the venue brings one of the city's most beloved holiday traditions to its lobby. This year, the much-discussed Gingerbread Village wows visitors...  Read More

Dating to the late 19th century, this grand venue has been restored to the glory it knew as a movie theater in the 1920s, making it a perfect destination for a special holiday-time outing. Choose from a variety of performances throughout the...  Read More

Woodland Park Zoo
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

WildLights kicks off at Woodland Park Zoo November 25 and continues through January 1, bringing back Seattle's wildest winter holiday lights festival presented by Sound Credit Union (5:30-8:30 p.m. nightly). Wild animals and wild places get...  Read More

The Triple Door
Photo courtesy of The Triple Door

Located in Seattle's historic Mann Building, this intimate and sophisticated award-winning music and dinner theater occupies the renovated space that formerly housed the Embassy Theater, originally a 1920's vaudeville house. From December 9...  Read More


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne