Christmas in Seattle - 15 Ways to Have a fun-filled Christmas in the Emerald City

One of the best times to visit Seattle is in December, around Christmas, so that you get to witness all the holiday festivities and partake in the holiday cheer. During this time, the entire city is decorated in bright lights. There are Christmas trees at different spots, fun holiday-themed exhibitions and parades, and most stores offer various merchandise at discounted prices. Christmas in Seattle is full of fun and frolic and undoubtedly something to experience.

Here are 15 Fun Things to Do to Make your Christmas in Seattle Memorable:

1. Witness the classic Macy’s Parade

Santa's sleigh at the Macy's parade

One of the best ways to ring in the holiday season is to watch the Macy’s Parade organised on Thanksgiving Day. Starting in downtown Seattle and ending at 4th and Pine Streets, the extravagant parade comprises marching bands, colourful floats, costumed characters, pro sports teams and more. Santa is undoubtedly a part of it, and once the parade ends, he takes over his post at Macy’s where you can take pictures with him and hand him your wishlists! Moreover, there are fireworks following the lighting of the star atop the store.
Address: 7th & Pine St. to 5th Ave. to University St. & 4th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Timings: 9:00 am 10:00 am 

2. Pay a visit to the Annual Winter Festival & Crafts Fair

If you wish to get some Christmas shopping done without going to a mall, go to the Annual Winter Festival & Crafts Fair at the Phinney Center. It is known for stalls featuring goods by over 120 artists; you can find jewellery, apparel, pottery, homeware, wreaths and other gift items. Besides that, there are live music and dance performances, baked goodies, lunch items, coffee, an outdoor beverage garden offering various drinks, a quilt raffle, and so much more. 
Address: 6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, United States
Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

3. Experience the Christmas cheer with Winterfest

A Winterfest opening ceremony

The Seattle Center is known to host many holiday festivities, and one of them is the Winterfest. One of the most interesting attractions here is the Winter Train & Village inside the Armory, which involves going around a mini turn-of-the-century village with characters and animated scenes, in a tiny locomotive. Other forms of entertainment include the Dickens Carolers, different student group performances, ice skating demonstrations, an ice skating rink and more. If you visit the Center on New Year’s Eve, you can watch a concert and a fireworks show.
Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
Timings: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

4. See the massive Sheraton Grand Seattle Gingerbread Village

An exhibit at the Sheraton Grand Seattle Gingerbread Village

Another tradition part of Christmas in Seattle is the Annual Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Grand Seattle. Every year, Seattle architects work with the hotel’s culinary team to design and create some wonderful gingerbread displays. These displays are massive and have all sorts of candies and treats, and are meant to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Northwest chapter. This event features different themes each year, and you can also vote for the display you like best.
Address: 1400 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Timings: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

5. Walk under twinkling lights at the Lumaze: Lost in Lights festival

An installation at the Lumaze: Lost in Lights festival

Lumaze: Lost in Lights is an indoor winter festival in Seattle, decorated with a plethora of bright lights and Christmas decorations. There are interactive light gardens, a light maze, various illuminated structures, a licensed bar offering food and drinks, playgrounds for children and live music. You can also do some Christmas shopping while at the festival since it comprises several artisans and boutique businesses selling locally made goods. 
Address: 2001 W Garfield St, Seattle, WA 98119, United States
Timings: 11:00 am onwards (timings vary)

6. Don’t miss the Westlake Center’s Tree Lighting

The Christmas tree at Westlake Center

The Westlake Center’s Tree Lighting in downtown Seattle is one of the city’s Christmas traditions and takes place right after Thanksgiving. The lighting begins around 4:30 pm, and the event also includes music, snow flurries and other festivities. You will need to come as early as possible to find a good spot since it gets quite crowded. Moreover, Santa Claus goes around the crowds while fireworks are set off following the tree lighting. 
Address: 400 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Timings: 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

7. Enjoy the holiday festivities at Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market lit up during Christmas

The annual Magic in the Market event at Pike Place Market is a fun time to visit the market since it is decorated in bright Christmas lights. You can meet and take pictures with Santa who sits under the clock and also decorate cookies in the Market Atrium Kitchen. There are live music performances to enjoy, locally-made holiday gifts to buy, as well as food to try out. Different vendors sell various food items and beverages like doughnuts, cider, hot chocolate, cookies and more.
Address: 93 Pike St Room 310, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Timings: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

8. Grab yourself a glass at the Winter Beer Festival

A bunch of drinks

If the idea of grabbing a few beers during the Christmas season appeals to you, participate in the Winter Beer Festival organised at the Seattle Center. Hosted by the WA Brewers Guild, the festival features beer from about 50 breweries and includes ark malty stouts, barrel-aged gems, wintery beers, and other kinds of unique beers you would surely enjoy. You need to get tickets for the event, including a tasting glass and 8 5 oz beer tastes.
Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
Timings: 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm

9. Put on your skates and go ice skating

Ice skating at the Winterfest

While Seattle doesn’t experience frigid winters and snow is rare, ice rinks are set up around the city for people to enjoy some ice skating during the holiday season. One of them is the Winterfest Ice Rink at the Seattle Center. There is enough room for you to skate around, and there are ice sculptures, student showcases, music and dance shows, and much more to add to your experience. 
Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
Timings: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

10. Surround yourself with multiple Santas at the SantaCon

A glimpse of the fun SantaCon

Meant for those above the age of 21, SantaCon is essentially a group of people dressing up as Santa Claus and engaging in some holiday fun. While it is organised worldwide, in Seattle, it is in the downtown area that the people gather and visit different pubs, bars and restaurants which host the event. Participants are given a wristband outside these venues, and admission is free during certain hours of the day. As a memento of the day, you get to take a group picture at the Pike Place Market Center and Occidental Square.
Duration: 2 days
Hosting venues: Triple Door, Trinity Nightclub, Hard Rock Cafe etc.

11. Participate in Argosy’s Christmas Ship Festival

Argosy's Christmas ship all lit up

If you want to spend some time aboard a ship this holiday season, Argosy’s Christmas Ship Festival is the way to go. This includes setting sail on or around the Spirit of Christmas, which the Official Christmas Ship decorated extensively with multiple bright lights. Open during December, the ship goes around the Puget Sound and has on-board choirs that perform for those on board and those in boats around. If you can’t book a ticket to go onboard, you can always wait on the shore to watch the ship come and go. 
Address: 1101 Alaskan Way, Pier 55, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98101, United States

12. Ride the Holiday Carousel at Westlake Park

The Holiday carousel at Westlake Park

A fun Christmas activity for children is visiting Westlake Park to ride the outdoor Holiday carousel. The colourful horses are decorated for the holidays, and the carousel is open even on Christmas Eve, till 5:00 pm. Once you are done going up and down on the carousel, make your way over to the special holiday food truck, which is open during lunch and dinner time, to grab something to eat. 
Address: 401 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Timings: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm

13. Visit the Seattle Aquarium to see the diving Santas


Designed specifically for the little ones, the Window on Washington Waters exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium during Christmas time features Santa Claus scuba diving in a tank! Moreover, the fun exhibit also includes holiday music and some of the most well-known children’s entertainers like Mikey Mike, the Rad Scientist, Caspar Babypants and Recess Monkey. Children get to enjoy storytime with Santa and also get to have a marine mammal meet and greet.
Address: 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

14. Be mesmerised by the lights display at Enchant Christmas

Enchant Christmas at T-Mobile Park

If you want to visit a fascinating lights display in Seattle, make your way to T-Mobile Park. It sets up the world’s largest light maze called “Mischievous,” holiday shops and craft workshops, and a Kid’s Zone during the holidays. There is a large ice rink for you to skate in and fun games and activities to participate in. For children, Santa Claus is on-site and snow to play with, while everyone can enjoy live entertainment. 
Address: 1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, United States
Timings: 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm

15. Explore the different Christmas trees at the Festival of Trees

A tree from the Seattle Festival of Trees

A tradition that has been around for over 40 years, the Festival of Trees at the Seattle Fairmont Olympic Hotel features over 20 beautifully decorated Christmas trees scattered around the lobby. The festival would include witnessing tree-lighting, storytelling, having some tasty food and hot cocoa, listening to the choirs, and more. You buy gifts from some of the vendors there and read inspiring stories of patients from the Seattle Children’s Hospital, with any proceeds from tree sales going to the hospital’s Autism Center and Uncompensated Care Program.
Address: 411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Timings: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
There is no shortage of fun holiday-themed activities to engage in when it comes to having a wonderful Christmas in Seattle. The many festivals, parades, exhibitions, shows, markets and much more are sure to make your holiday season an unforgettable one and allow you to experience what Christmas in the city looks like.

This post was published by Arushi Bhowmick

Share this post on social media
Google +

Top Hotels In Seattle

Comments on this post