Seattle for the Holidays

Seattle’s Festive Holiday Season: A Joyous Lineup of Events for All Ages 

An authentic German Christmas market, cheery light displays, and holiday boat parades are just the start 

It’s set to be the coziest Christmas season yet in Seattle, with the thrilling launch of the Seattle Christmas Market – sister to the Vancouver Christmas Market that’s been running annually since 2010 – as well as the return of beloved favorites like WildLanterns at the Woodland Park Zoo and a caroling competition at Pike Place Market. Find the whole lineup of events on


The inaugural Seattle Christmas Market is coming to Seattle Center for a month-long celebration, November 24 – December 24. More than 60 local Seattle vendors will make up the Christmas village and marketplace at the Fisher Pavilion and South Fountain Lawn, offering an authentic European experience, from traditional food and mulled wine to handcrafted goods and live entertainment. Visitors of all ages will be delighted by the 50-foot walk-through Christmas tree with over 50,000 twinkling lights, plus complimentary rides on the Christmas Carousel and entertainment within the ski-chalet-inspired Alpen Haus. Tickets go on sale in mid-October.  

On November 18 – 19, the National Nordic Museum will host its 46th annual Julefest: A Nordic Christmas Celebration. This event transforms the Museum grounds into a modern spin on the traditional Nordic holiday market with over 30 local artists, delicious holiday treats, and Nordic cultural performances.  

Find unique, authentic gifts from local indigenous tribes at both the United Indians Native Art Market, December 15 – 17, as well as the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center Native Art Market, taking place November 24 – 26. Support local indigenous artists while crossing off Christmas gift lists with clothing, jewelry, woodworking, drums, art prints, and more. 

The 28th Annual Magic in the Market, Pike Place Market’s longest-running holiday tradition, returns Saturday, November 25 with Santa meet-and-greets, caroling, eggnog, and plenty of local goods for sale. Visitors won’t want to miss the famous Market lighting ceremony at 5:00 p.m. 


Rediscover Charles Dickens’ Yuletide classic “A Christmas Carol”, proudly returning for the 48th year at ACT Theatre beginning November 24. 
Another must-see holiday performance, George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” returns to McCaw Hall November 24 – December 27 to delight audiences once more, a sparkling classic for all ages. 
“The Nutcracker has become the most successful and beloved work in the history of ballet, and it has always been an entry point for many into this world,” said Peter Boal, Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet. “The care and commitment exhibited by our rehearsal directors, student and professional performers, and a massive team backstage, onstage, and in the orchestra pit, is part of a wondrous tradition of welcoming and introducing people of all ages and all cultures to the magic of ballet, classical music, and live performance.” 

Catch another holiday classic on the stage withIrving Berlin’s White Christmas at the 5th Ave Theatre, November 25 – December 27. This merry and bright musical is full of dancing, laughter, and yuletide songs, based on the 1954 film.  

Enjoy a uniquely Seattle tradition at Pike Place Market, where The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition hosts local caroling teams to raise money for the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank. The musical holiday fun takes place December 1, from 6 – 9 p.m. 

The holiday tradition of delightful music from Seattle Men’s Chorusis also back. Revel in the nostalgia, hilarity, a Christmas conga, and an unforgettable sing-along at three Puget Sound area locations December 2 – 23. 

There’s no place like Benaroya Hall for the holidays! Join the Seattle Symphony for Holiday Pops, featuring conductor Stuart Chafetz and vocalist-trombonist Aubrey Logan. The dazzling program is full of holiday favorites, traditional carols, and plenty of yuletide cheer, with shows December 8 – 10. 

Another rich holiday performance not-to-be-missed is Black Nativity at INTIMAN Theatre, December 12 – 30. Langston Hughes’ Gospel Song-Play celebrates the Christmas story with actors, dancers, soaring vocalists, and a rousing city-wide gospel choir. 


Woodland Park Zoo’s larger-than-life festival WildLanterns returns November 10 – January 14. This interactive holiday experience is unlike any in the Pacific Northwest, featuring gorgeously lit animal lanterns from pandas in cherry trees to giant flowers and mythical creatures. 

“WildLanterns is a fully immersive and whimsical holiday experience that everyone can enjoy,” said Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO Alejandro Grajal. “If you’ve joined us in the past, you know the magic and can expect to see countless new lanterns this year.”   

Winter Brilliance also returns to Chihuly Garden and Glass this holiday season. The innovative light and music experience is back for its second year starting November 24 and running through February 29, 2024.   

Seattle Center Winterfest returns November 24 – December 31 with sparkling lights, amusements and spirited entertainment, including live performances, a Winter Train & Village, and the annual campus lighting display. It all culminates with T-Mobile New Year’s At The Needle, where revelers can watch the largest structurally launched fireworks and light display in North America. 

Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship™ Festival is back starting November 24 – December 23, 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 December 8.  

 The glitter of ice may surprise sports fans this winter, at the 2024 Discover NHL Winter Classic on January 1. Taking place at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, the Mariner’s home field will transform into an outdoor ice rink, where the Seattle Kraken and Las Vegas Golden Knights will battle it out, pitting the NHL’s two newest teams against one another.   

New Year’s Eve fireworks from the Space Needle over Lake Union. Photo by Alabastro Photography.


Hotel promotions and packages will be offered throughout the holiday season, with perks like complimentary bottles of wine, gift cards for holiday shopping, and spa credits.  

“W Seattle is the city’s leading luxury lifestyle hotel and the perfect escape for the holidays,” said Greg Campbell, Director of Sales and Marketing at W Seattle. “In collaboration with incredible local partners, such as Nordstrom, First Nature Tours, local liquor partners, and Picnic Party Seattle, we’re going all out this season to create incredible events for guests and the community to enjoy.”    

More details on hotel packages are to come. Visit for further details and updates. 

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