Seattle has a variety of cheery festivities during the holiday season. Visitors and locals alike can see the city’s iconic spots decked out, from life-size animal lanterns illuminating the Woodland Park Zoo, to Santa welcoming photos on the revolving glass floor of the Space Needle, and a brand-new light and music display projected onto the stunning Winter Brilliance exhibit at Chihuly Garden and Glass.

These holiday happenings are not to be missed.Find the whole lineup of events on seattleholidays.com.

VERY MERRY LIGHT AND MUSIC DISPLAYS

• Woodland Park Zoo’s light festival, WildLanterns (zoo.org/wildlanterns), returns with new displays this holiday season, as well as returning fan favorites. Visitors will enjoy an interactive, larger-than-life holiday experience unlike any in the Pacific Northwest, beginning Nov. 11.

• A new experience is arriving at Chihuly Garden and Glass (chihulygardenandglass.com) this holiday season. Launching Nov. 17, Winter Brilliance will offer guests a brand-new original light and music experience. Using innovative video projection technology, this immersive installation was created to project onto the stunning Winter Brilliance exhibit, originally created for the Barney’s New York flagship store in Manhattan in 2015 for their famous annual holiday window display.

Seattle Center Winterfest (seattlecenter.com/events )offers a world of sparkling lights, amusements and spirited entertainment, including live performances, a Winter Train & Village and the annual campus lighting display. It all kicks off Nov. 25.

Downtown Seattle’s Tree-lighting Celebration (downtownseattle.org/events) will dazzle once again on Nov. 25, accompanied by a full slate of performances.

Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship™ Festival (argosycruises.com) is back starting Nov. 25 as well, offering a classic Seattle holiday celebration that has been a Northwest tradition since 1949. Board a festive ship decorated with hundreds of shimmery white lights and sail to different Puget Sound waterfront communities – around 40 in all. A live choir and reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” will warm the soul, or adult guests can opt for the 21+ ugly sweater party aboard a following boat. Those who would rather enjoy shoreside can catch a 20-minute choir performance broadcast from the ship, or join the Parade of Boats Viewing Party Dec. 9.

• Finally, celebrate the New Year at T-Mobile New Year’s At The Needle (spaceneedle.com/newyears), where revelers can watch the largest structurally launched fireworks and light display in North America at Seattle Center.

 

HOLIDAY MARKETS AND LIVE PERFORMANCES

• On November 19-20, the National Nordic Museum will host its 45th annual Julefest: A Nordic Christmas Celebration (nordicmuseum.org). This cultural community event transforms the Museum grounds into a traditional outdoor Nordic market with over 30 local artists, traditional holiday fare and Nordic music and dance performances. 

• Find unique, authentic gifts from local Native tribes at both the United Indians Native Art Market (unitedindians.org/events), starting Nov. 19, as well as the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center Native Art Market (duwamishtribe.org/events), Nov. 25-27. From clothing, jewelry, woodworking, drums, art prints and beyond, these gift options not only beautifully reflect the historic and cultural contributions of Seattle’s tribal communities but support native artists as well.  

• Theatre-lovers of all ages won’t want to miss the timeless magic of Charles Dickens’ Yuletide classic “A Christmas Carol,” (acttheatre.org/a-christmas-carol-2022), proudly returning for the 47th year at ACT Theatre beginning Nov. 25.

George Balanchine’s "The Nutcracker" (pnb.org/nutcracker) will also return to McCaw Hall beginning November 25. Showcasing Tchaikovsky’s timeless score performed by the world famous PNB Orchestra, as well as PNB Company dancers in show-stopping roles, this is a holiday treasure for audiences young and old.

• The 27th annual Magic in the Market (pikeplacemarket.org/event), Pike Place Market’s longest-running holiday tradition, returns Nov. 26 with holiday activities for the whole family. Highlights include a Market holiday lighting ceremony, visits with Santa, holiday treats and plenty of shopping options.

Then, on Dec. 2, return for some pure joy at The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition (pmsc-fb.org/figgy-pudding) from 6 – 9 p.m.

• Robert McPherson, known as Seattle’s Drunken Tenor, is back for a repeat of his hit comedy special, "A Very Drunken Christmas Carol" (seattleopera.org), starting Dec. 9. This tipsy retelling of the time-honored Christmas classic offers a heady cocktail of opera, comedy and holiday favorites ideal for getting into the spirit of the season.

 

SPECIAL SANTA SIGHTINGS

• Santa can be spotted in some unique locations this year, including within an all-glass sleigh at the Space Needle beginning Nov. 25, offering complimentary digital photos with admission. He’ll also be diving in — literally — for a quick story time and photo opportunities from within a tank at the Seattle Aquarium (seattleaquarium.org), beginning Dec. 3.