Seattle’s Festive Best: Top 15 Holiday Events to Enjoy This Season

Holiday Events in Seattle 2023

As the holiday season approaches, Seattle transforms into a winter wonderland, brimming with festivities that cater to everyone’s tastes. From holiday light displays and Christmas markets to festive concerts and snow sports, there is truly something for everyone. Here are the top 15 holiday events in Seattle that you don’t want to miss.

1. Christmas Tree Lightings

Watch a tree-lighting with family and friends to kick off the magic of holiday season. Most Christmas tree lighting events have music in some form. Many also have other family-friendly activities before and after the tree lighting.  Head over Westlake Park on Friday after Thanksgiving at 3:30 p.m. to enjoy local live music, costumed characters, and giveaways. It all leads up to the main event at 5:00 p.m. when Westlake Park lights their 45-foot holiday tree, followed by a spectacular fireworks show!  Pike’s Place Market kicks off the holiday season with their annual Magic in the Market celebration Saturday after Thanksgiving from 11am-5:30pm with plenty of holiday spirit across all 9-acres of the historic neighborhood. Bring the whole family to meet Santa, listen to caroling, sip some eggnog, and shop for loved ones, all leading up to the famous Market lighting ceremony at 5pm. If you’re not in Seattle on Saturday, head over to Tacoma for the 78th annual Tacoma holiday tree lighting beginning at 5:00 p.m at the Pantages Theater (901 Broadway) to usher in the holiday season! Arrive early for a delightful performance of Joy to the World by Tacoma Concert Band. 

2. Winterfest at Seattle Center

Winterfest at Seattle Center is a month-long celebration featuring ice-skating, live music, and cultural performances. Connect to a world of sparkling lights, amusements and spirited entertainment at Seattle Center Winterfest, presented by Symetra, Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, 2023.

3. Pike Place Market’s Magic in the Market

This iconic market transforms for the holidays with festive decorations, a holiday lighting ceremony, and appearances from Santa. It’s a perfect spot for unique holiday shopping and savoring seasonal treats. Visit Magic in the Market to explore activities and events all season long!

4. Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival

A quintessential Seattle tradition, the Christmas Ship Festival features a parade of boats adorned with shimmering lights, sailing to different communities around Puget Sound with live choirs onboard. A holiday tradition since 1949, The Spirit of Seattle™, the Official Christmas Ship™, is decorated with hundreds of shimmery white lights and sails to different Puget Sound waterfront communities – around 40 in all. Choirs on board the Christmas Ship™ perform to guests aboard, to follow boats, and to communities gathered on shore.

5. Seattle Festival of Trees

Experience the elegance of the season at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, where beautifully decorated trees light up the lobby. Each tree is uniquely themed and designed, creating a mesmerizing holiday atmosphere. Tickets to the annual gala are now available

6. Bellevue’s Snowflake Lane

Just across Lake Washington, Bellevue’s Snowflake Lane is a spectacle of live toy soldier drummers, animated snow characters, music, and a nightly snowfall – a magical experience for the entire family.

7. Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus Holiday Shows

Enjoy the festive sounds of the season with the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus as they perform holiday classics and new favorites in their annual holiday concerts.

8. WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

Discover the wild side of holiday lights at Woodland Park Zoo’s WildLights. The zoo comes alive with thousands of sparkling lights replicating wild animals and exotic locales.

9. Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel

A heartwarming holiday tradition, the Teddy Bear Suite features a room filled with cuddly teddy bears and festive décor, perfect for memorable holiday photos.

10. Gingerbread Village

Marvel at the creativity and detail of the 29th annual Sheraton Grand Seattle Gingerbread Village where local architects and chefs team up to create intricate, edible structures, each a work of art in its own right. The Gingerbread Village runs from November 21st, 2023 – January 1st, 2024.

Take a spin on the festive carousel in Westlake Park. It’s not just fun for kids but also a charming nostalgic experience for adults, set against the backdrop of downtown Seattle’s holiday lights.

12. Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival

A short drive from Seattle, Leavenworth is a Bavarian-style village that lights up with over half a million lights. The Christmas Lighting Festival is a must-see for its magical ambiance.

13. Seattle Symphony’s Holiday Concerts

The Seattle Symphony offers a range of holiday concerts, from Handel’s Messiah to a jazzy ‘Holiday Pops’ program, providing the perfect soundtrack to the season.

14. Nutcracker Ballet at Pacific Northwest Ballet

A time-honored tradition, the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s performance of ‘The Nutcracker‘ is a holiday spectacle of dance, music, and stunning set designs running from November 24 – December 27th.

15. New Year’s Eve at the Space Needle

Ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display at the iconic Space Needle. It’s a breathtaking event that caps off the holiday season in grand fashion. Tickets are on sale now.

As the holidays approach, Seattle’s array of events offers something special for everyone. Whether you’re a local or visiting, these events are sure to fill your holiday season with joy and wonder. And what better way to get to these events than with Premier Airport Shuttle’s private holiday charters? Avoid the hustle and bustle of public transportation or rideshares and arrive in style with our luxury shuttles. Book your private charter today and travel in comfort and convenience. Happy holidays!

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