42 Events In and Around Seattle for Holiday Fun

Enjoy gingerbread houses, cabaret, zoo lights and more this season
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Your turkey has settled and it's time to swap the PSL for eggnog, for the holidays are here. Whether you prefer to celebrate with burlesque dancers, towering wintry ice sculptures, good old-fashioned ice skating (available at Seattle Center, in Bellevue or in Redmond) or all of the above, this index of more than 40 events (listed by neighborhood, then starting date) ensures you won’t miss out. The season is on! 

Bellevue
Magic Season Ice Skating

11/28–1/11/2015. Kick off the season right by gliding around Bellevue’s outdoor Magic Season Ice Arena. Times and prices vary. Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 NE Fourth St. bellevuedowntown.com/events/magic-season

Snowflake Lane
11/28–1/1/2015. Watch it snow every evening at Bellevue Square’s classic Snowflake Lane and catch performances by 200 live toy soldiers and a glittering light show. 7 p.m. nightly; free. On the Sidewalks between Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place; bellevuecollection.com/snowflakelane/

Garden d’Lights
11/29–1/3/2015. Delight is guaranteed at Bellevue Botanical Garden’s annual feast of lights, where over half a million sparkling bulbs transform the garden into a holiday wonderland. 4:30-9:30 p.m.; days and prices vary. Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main S.; gardendlights.org


Capitol Hill

Homo for the Holidays
12/11–12/27. Turns out when you ask Santa for something outrageous, he delivers. Seattle burlesque and drag stars dazzle in this irreverent evening. Times and prices vary. Oddfellows Hall, 915 E Pine Street; centuryballroom.com

On Christmas Night: From Darkness to Light
12/13 and 12/19. Seattle Choral Company is back for the holidays with familiar carols to brighten the season. 8 p.m.; $25. St. Mark’s Cathedral, 10th Ave E; seattlechoralcompany.org   

 

Downtown Seattle
A Christmas Story, The Musical

Through 12/30. Step away from the TV and let Ralphie delight you in song this year, bunny suit and all. Times and prices vary. 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 5th Ave; 5thavenue.org 

Festival of Trees
Through 12/3. Swing by the Fairmont Olympic Hotel lobby ASAP and enjoy a feast of trees on display, each with a photo and story of a Seattle Children’s Hospital patient. Trees available for purchase at the end of the display. 24 hours and day, 7 days a week; free. Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St; seattlefestivaloftrees.com

Gingerbread Village
Through 1/5/2015. The downtown Sheraton presents its annual array of edible real estate. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; free. Seattle Sheraton Hotel, 1400 6th Avenue; gingerbreadvillage.myevent.com

Wonderland Caberet Show
Through 12/28. Carnivale meets cabaret in the new show from Can Can Presents, featuring song, dance and old-school sexy winter sparkle. Times and prices vary. Can Can Kitchen and Cabaret, Pike Place Market, 94 Pike St; cancan.strangertickets.com

Winter Village at Westlake Park
11/28–1/1/2015. Spin around on A Christmas Story’s Holiday Carousel and benefit the Downtown Seattle Association and the Treehouse, a local nonprofit that provides resources to foster children. Also, new this year: at the opposite end of Westlake Park, hit up the Holiday Recharge Lounge to fuel your mobile device, purchase snacks, and enjoy family fun and educational games, courtesy of the Seattle Children's Research Institute. Times and prices vary. Westlake Park, 4th and Pine St.; holidaysinseattle.com

Joe Mabel

A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol  
11/28–12/27. This time, the audience gets to decide how Scrooge and Tiny Tim fare in Dickens’ classic tale. Times and prices vary. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley; unexpectedproductions.org/show/Christmas

Argosy Christmas Ship Festival
11/29–12/23. All aboard this 64-year-old Northwest tradition: a sail to over 45 waterfront communities around the Puget Sound, complete with live choirs singing on the ship. Times and prices vary. Argosy Cruises, 1101 Alaskan Way; argosycruises.com

Seattle Men’s Chorus: Our Gay Apparel  
11/29–12/22. Ugly Christmas sweaters are encouraged at this campy, fun and unfailingly bright and gay extravaganza of holiday songs. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St; flyinghouse.org/smc

Ham for the Holidays
12/4–12/21. Demented local comedy duo Dos Fallopia returns to ACT with an irreverent holiday sketch show and stockings stuffed with satire. Times and prices vary. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St; acttheatre.org

27th Annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
12/5. Bundle up and listen to over 40 groups carol it out for a good cause: all proceeds benefit the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank. To compete, email Zoë Freeman at zoe@pmsc-dtfb.org. 6-8:30 p.m.; free. Westlake Center, 400 Pine St.; pikemarketseniorcenter.org 

Seattle Pops: Holiday Pops with Cirque Musica
12/5–12/7. Bring your family and sing along as the Seattle Symphony plays the holiday hits that keep getting stuck in your head. Bonus: Cirque Musica brings jugglers, acrobats and, yes, mimes to the mix. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St; seattlesymphony.org

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
12/11–12/27. For those who prefer naughty over nice, this annual take on The Nut is heavy on innuendo and light on clothing. Times and prices vary. The Triple Door, 216 Union St; landofthesweets.com

The Coats A Cappella Concert
12/19–12/21. No instruments needed, don’t miss the return of the Northwest’s most renowned a cappella band. The group got its start busking in Pike Place Market and now enjoys a full-time international performance career. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St; seattlesymphony.org

Handel’s Messiah
12/19–12/21. The Seattle Symphony, Chorale and soloists perform the classic Hallelujah chorus. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St; seattlesymphony.org

A Christmas Carol
11/28–12/28. Once lauded by the Seattle P-I as the “Granddaddy of all holiday shows,” this classic completes the season.Times and prices vary. ACT Theatre, 700 Union Street; acttheatre.org

 

First Hill
Seattle Baroque Orchestra: European Christmas Potpourri   
12/6. Go for Baroque with this celebration of the earliest Christmas music, featuring harpsichord and soprano. 8 p.m.; prices vary. Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave; earlymusicguild.org

Magical Strings: Seattle Celtic Yuletide Concert
12/13. A whole new take on “ginger” bread, this Celtic-harp and hammered-dulcimer-heavy concert has an olde Irish accent. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave; magicalstrings.com

Pacific Musicworks: J.S. Bach Christmas Oratorio
12/19. Our local band of period instrumentalists and vocalists perform three of Bach’s festive Christmas oratorio cantatas. 8 p.m.; prices vary. St. James Cathedral, 804 9th Ave; pacificmusicworks.org 

Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music
12/20. Earshot Jazz presents the 26th annual concert, a swinging show featuring Ellington’s personal take on “sacred music.” 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave; earshot.org 

Fountain of Life
12/20. Medieval melodies accompanied by instrumentalists make up this Christmas Letabundus at St. James Cathedral. 8 p.m.; prices vary. St. James Cathedral, 804 9th Ave; medievalwomenschoir.org

 

Green Lake
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

12/13–12/24. For the 14th consecutive year, the Herdman crew brings fresh life (and plenty of laughs) to a classic tradition. Times and prices vary. Seattle Public Theatre at the Bathhouse, 7312 West Green Lake Dr. N; seattlepublictheater.org

 

Kirkland
The Nutcracker
12/5–12/7. The International Ballet Theatre brings the time-honored showpiece to Kirkland, toeing out holiday spirit in classical ballet. Time and prices vary. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave; kpcenter.org

Geoffrey Castle’s Celtic Christmas
12/12–12/13. The electric violin savant is joined by Irish singers, dancers and bagpipe blowers. 8 p.m.; prices vary. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave; kpcenter.org 

 

Mercer Island
The Big Chanukah Show

12/20. Celebrate Chanukah with a vaudeville-style performance featuring Jewish Chanukah-related music, comedy and other entertainment. 7 p.m.; prices vary. Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 East Mercer Way; brownpapertickets.com

 

Phinney Ridge
Monkey Lights

11/29–12/30. New this year: 150 handmade “escaped zoo monkeys” light up Phinney Ridge with primate appeal. Evenings; free. Along Phinney and Greenwood avenues, between 59th and 87th streets; phinneycenter.org  

 

Redmond
Seize the Season at Redmond Town Center

11/28–1/3/2015. Indulge in this month-long holiday festival filled with ice-skating, carousel and holiday train rides and of course Santa. A new Winter Market of local artisans and food vendors this year provides something for everyone. Prices and times vary. Redmond Town Center, 7525 166th Ave NE; redmondtowncenter.com

Redmond Lights
12/6. Celebrate a range of holiday traditions, cultures and faiths while strolling amid twinkling lights, music and other entertainment. Start with the City Hall Campus Lighting, then proceed down the Redmond Central Connector Luminary Walk and wrap up the evening at with refreshments and kids crafts at Redmond Town Center. 4–8 p.m.; free. Redmond City Hall, 15670 NE 85th St; redmondlights.com  

 

Renton
Ivar’s Clam Lights 

12/5–1/1/2015. Ivar’s “All Is Clam, All Is Bright” celebration features clam lights dancing along the shore and more. Nightly from 5–9 p.m.; official lighting ceremony 12/5. Free. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd N; rentonwa.gov 

 

Seattle Center
“White Winter Tower with Golden Putti”
Glass Exhibition
Through 1/28/2015. Welcome winter from the comfort of the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum with this spectacular 14-foot-tall white and gold tower on display through the end of January. Tours, art activities and musical performances for families and children of all ages also available throughout December. Times and prices vary. Chihuly Garden and Glass, 305 Harrison St; chihulygardenandglass.com

Seattle Center Winterfest
11/28–12/31. If all you want for Christmas is an ice rink, sparkly lights, Dickensian carolers and live music, head to Seattle Center. Times and prices vary. Fisher Pavilion, 305 Harrison St; seattlecenter.com 

Nutcracker
11/28–12/28. Love it again, for the last time: At its 31st year, this will be the final season the Pacific Northwest Ballet will perform the Maurice Sendak version of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. Complete the mood with a Trophy Sugar Plum cupcake during intermission. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St.; mccawhall.com

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision
12/12–1/4/2015. Snozzberries are back! Indulge in the 1971 classic the best way possible—with a complimentary “Wonkariffic” goodie bag of sweets. Times and prices vary.  SIFF Film Center, 511 Queen Anne Ave N; siff.net

 

South Lake Union
Dina Martina Christmas Show
11/28–12/31 You laugh, you’ll recoil at this annual “cringetacular” celebration, featuring Seattle’s favorite local “hot mess with a heart of gold.” Times and prices vary. Re-Bar, 1114 Howell St. dinamartina.com 

 

Tacoma
ZooLights
11/28–1/4/2015. Meander through the menagerie aglow with a half-million colored lights. Bonus points for a camel ride. 5–9 p.m. daily except Dec 24; prices vary. Point Defiance Zoo, 5400 N Pearl St.; pdza.org 

 

Tukwila
Expedited Photos with Santa

Through 12/24. Skip the wait to see St. Nick this year by pre-selecting and paying for your photo package online before you visit. Print your Santa Fast Pass at home, then the day of, scoot through the special Fast Pass line. Times and prices vary. Westfield Southcenter in Macy’s Court, 2800 Southcenter Mall; westfield.com/southcenter

 

University District
A John Waters Christmas

12/9 The filmmaker and self-proclaimed “Pope of Trash” brings his unparalleled brand of yuletide perversity to the University District. Prepare to be aghast and highly amused. 8 p.m.; prices vary. Neptune Theatre, 1303 NE 45th St; stgpresents.org 

 

Vashon Island
Winterfest Weekend

11/28-30 Skip the stress of Black Friday and kick off the season on Vashon time. Start with a lighting ceremony and the first-ever holiday song smackdown (you’ll have to go to know!) on 11/28 at 5 p.m., then the fourth annual Gingerbread House Tour all weekend. Free. Vashon Island Chamber of Commerce, 17141 Vashon Hwy SW; vashonchamber.com

 

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