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7 Holiday Things To Do In Seattle

October 20, 2023 By CityPASS

Visiting Seattle during the holidays is fun, as this city hosts some of the most magical Christmas events in the Pacific Northwest. You will have no problem finding fun things to do in Seattle.

In fact, it may be challenging to narrow down the best choices. Fortunately, we've done the hard part for you. We've compiled a list of the seven best holiday fun events to experience on your next trip to Seattle over the holiday season.

Is Seattle a Good Holiday Destination?

Not only is the Emerald City beautiful, with Mount Rainier majestically standing in the background, but December is a wonderful time to visit Seattle. The city comes to life with lights and holiday decorations at every turn. There are parades, plays, and fun holiday-themed exhibits to see.

There are so many Christmas things to do in Seattle that you should start marking your calendar now. Suppose you're still wondering what to do in Seattle for Christmas. Why not check out these Christmas activities Seattle has to offer?

Top 7 Things To Do in Seattle During the Holiday Season

From holiday shows to festive light displays, there's holiday cheer all across Seattle during this season. Let's look at our top seven Seattle Christmas activities this year.

1. Enjoy the Downtown Holiday Lights and Delights

You'll want to visit one of the top free Seattle Christmas events. The Downtown Seattle Holiday's Lights and Delights offers a spectacular holiday display with thousands of lights.

The event kicks off with the annual Tree Lighting Celebration right after Thanksgiving at Westlake Park. After that, Westlake Park and Occidental Square, formerly Pioneer Square, offer free, family-friendly entertainment with light sculptures, treats, and an ice skating rink. The holiday events will continue until early January.

2. Lift Your Spirit at the Seattle Center Winterfest

Another downtown Seattle Christmas celebration you won't want to miss is the Seattle Center Winterfest. Winterfest kicks off on Thanksgiving and lasts for five weeks. There will be entertainment, activities, music, live performances, holiday-themed movies, food, and much more holiday merriment.

Winterfest also has a delightful display known as the Winterfest Train and Village. The Winterfest Train and Village display has been a holiday favorite for over 40 years. Bring your kids and let them enjoy the miniature train display and delight in a Seattle favorite. The Seattle Center campus will also be decorated with festive lights across the grounds, perfect for taking a holiday photo for your scrapbook.

3. Watch the Fireworks From the Space Needle

Winterfest has a fireworks display ringing in the new year at midnight on New Year's Eve at the Space Needle. There's a dance party at the top of the needle, and many people decide to watch the fireworks from the grounds below. You can even watch the fireworks display from the water by renting a boat or a kayak.

4. Experience the Magic of WildLanterns at Woodland Park Zoo

Another can't-miss experience in Seattle during Christmas is the WildLanterns at Woodland Park Zoo. WildLanterns features brightly lit lantern sculptures in the form of zoo animals. You can even see some animals from the past or mythical animals such as the White Dragon or the Pegasus. In the feathered friend's section, you'll see brightly lit birds. The polar region displays the animals that live in the cold and snowy regions.

There's an interactive exhibit where you can immerse yourself in the wild. WildLanterns is a one-of-a-kind experience that's sure to put a smile on the faces of everyone in your group.

5. See the World Through Light and Glass at the Chihuly Garden

This exhibit was made for Barney's store in New York in 2015 to put in their holiday window display. However, in 2021, Winter Brilliance was brought to Chihuly Garden and Glass.

The exhibit features projection technology and around 700 hand-blown glass marvels. There are lights, music, and glass of many different kinds, all in the form of icicles, made into a captivating winter-themed exhibit.

6. Visit the Sheraton Grand Seattle's Gingerbread Village

One of the activities that many locals and tourists look forward to is the annual Sheraton Seattle Hotel Gingerbread Village. This Gingerbread Village is located in the hotel lobby. It displays many different and very creative gingerbread houses made by locals. These houses are not your average small gingerbread houses, they are rather complex and intricate villages and towns.

Beginning at the end of November and until early January, you can come to see the gingerbread sweets display while you're in Seattle during the holidays.

7. Watch the Parade at Bellevue Square

A Christmas Seattle tradition you'll want to see is the parade at Bellevue Square. This annual festive event occurs on Bellevue Way in downtown Bellevue. The procession, named Snowflake Lane, is filled with live toy soldiers, drummer boys, special characters, and holiday music, with lights marching to Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place.

What's neat is that this parade takes place each night during the holidays, so you can capture the magic more than once if you'd like. There will also be falling snow, and a special guest, Santa Claus, will join in on the fun. Kids can get a picture with Santa Claus at Bellevue Mall. Snowflake Lane is a favorite holiday event you won't want to miss.

Get Into the Holiday Spirit With CityPASS® Tickets

If you'll be spending the holidays in Seattle, you now have a full list of places that you can go to enjoy the local festivities. What's even better is that you can save money with CityPASS® tickets.

Enjoy the fireworks at the Space Needle and visit the Seattle Aquarium, plus admission to three more popular things to do in Seattle at a significant discount. Make the most of your holiday trip to Seattle this year.

Seattle Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in Seattle, we recommend finding lodging near Seattle's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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