A Guide to Seattle’s Must-Do Downtown Holiday Attractions
We’ve gathered all the Seattle Christmas events in one spot so your fam can get into the holiday spirit with ease
After a couple of quiet years, Seattle is buzzing again this holiday season with returning and new favorite holiday events to explore. In fact, with so many things to do in downtown Seattle, you and the kids don’t need to go anywhere else to find (or spread) winter cheer. Our list (don’t worry, we checked it twice) includes everything from Santa sightings and steamy cups of hot cocoa paired with carolers to festive music, dancing nutcrackers, and a lot more. So get out your calendar, it’s time to schedule the Seattle Christmas events you really want to make time for this season.
Seattle holiday events you won’t want to miss
Kringle's Filling Station
Part arcade, part neighborhood hangout, Kringle's Filling Station is perfect for families with older children. This pop-up event has set up shop along Aurora Ave. at an old gas station. Legend has it that the Kringle Family has come to offer hot chocolate out of the old gas tanks (don't worry, it's completely safe and sanitary!), let guests play unlimited rounds of "Ski-Ball", play "Reindeer Games" or sing holiday karaoke. You even have exclusive access to the Kringles' private office. Add-ons include the brand-new Speedway Slot Cars and photo booth aboard Santa's new-and-improved sleigh (you'll have to see it to believe it).
Good to Know: Be sure to order your tickets online to reserve your time.
Dates: Nov. 25, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023
8211 Aurora Ave. N.
While you're at Seattle Center, be sure to swing into Chihuly Garden and Glass to see Winter Brilliance. The display features over 700 hand-blown glass sculptures and combines glass art, video projection technology, and music for a full-sensory experience. One of the newest Seattle Christmas events, it celebrates the magic of the season in a whole new way. Catch the show in Gallery 1 into the new year when you visit.
Dates: Nov. 17, 2022-Feb. 28, 2023
Chihuly Garden and Glass
305 Harrison St.
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
With lavish sets and costumes designed by Ian Falconer (of Olivia fame) and the ever-mesmerizing choreography of Balanchine, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker is a forever favorite for many Seattle families. This full-length show is best suited for school-aged kids, but theatergoers of all ages will be glued to their seats for the entire two-plus hour show, basking in the care and craftsmanship of this delightful production. The 40-foot-tall Christmas tree, snow flurries on stage and Mother Ginger’s magical skirt (it weighs more than 60 pounds!) are all part of what makes this production one of the best around.
Insider Tip: A sensory-friendly performance is scheduled for December 21 at 2 p.m.
Dates: Nov. 25-Dec. 27, 2022
321 Mercer St.
Paddington Saves Christmas
Another theater production you won't want to miss is SCT's latest. Even the tiniest theater lovers will be able to enjoy this holiday show, starring their favorite clumsy Bear, Paddington. With his telltale red hat and blue coat, they’ll fall for Paddington’s innocent antics as he works to save Christmas from being a total disaster. It all starts out simply enough—with Paddington and Mrs. Bird making the holiday marmalade (for Paddington’s sandwiches, of course). But oops!—they’ve run out of sugar. A trip to borrow some from grumpy neighbor, Mr. Curry, turns into more than Paddington bargained for when he agrees to help out with household chores in exchange. Things sort of snowball from there, leaving poor Paddington to fix it all before December 25. The show runs for 70 minutes with no intermission.
Insider Tip: There is a sensory-friendly performance scheduled for Dec. 11 at 11 a.m.
Dates: Nov. 15-Dec. 31, 2022
Seattle Children's Theatre
201 Thomas St.
Holiday Lights & Delights
Ride the monorail from Seattle Center to Westlake Park to take advantage of this larger-than-life holiday display that features over 80,000 lights. All season long, enjoy memory-making moments with Holiday Lights & Delights and enjoy free, family-friendly activities at Westlake Park and Occidental Square each weekend. Don't forget your phones! In addition, enjoy live music by local artists on Fridays (Dec. 9 & 16) from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. at Westlake Park. This is where you'll also find Family Fun featuring crafts, characters, and snow flurries on Saturday, December 10 and 17. Or you can head on over to Pioneer Square on the same days to hear live carolers while sipping free cocoa and munching on cookies from noon-3 p.m.
Dates: Nov. 25, 2022-Jan. 7, 2023
401 Pine St.
117 S. Washington St.
Related: Watts Up: The Coolest Light Displays in Seattle You Need to See
Pop-Up Ice Skating Rink at Occidental Square
For one weekend only, families can enjoy this pop-up ice skating rink in downtown Seattle. Free for everyone, the ice rink will be filled with skaters of all ages and abilities. If you’ve got your own skates, bring them along. If not, they’ll have skates on hand to borrow. Just remember to bundle up—this rink is totally outside.
Date: Dec. 9-11, 2022
117 S. Washington St.
Related: Take a Spin around Seattle's Seasonal (& Year-Round) Ice Skating Rinks
Did you know that when Santa isn’t supervising elves and delivering toys, he's scuba diving? Come see for yourself when he dives in the Seattle Aquarium’s Window on Washington Waters exhibit this holiday season. While you're there, enjoy live holiday music, story times with Santa, marine mammal meet and greets, and more.
1483 Alaskan Way