To fully experience the magic of Christmas, check out our list of activities and must-see places in and around Seattle!


Gingerbread Village

From November 20th to January 1st, no trip to downtown Seattle would be complete without a visit to the 26th annual Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle, benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The theme of this year’s Gingerbread Village is “Welcome to Whoville”.  The hotel invites visitors to stroll through the fantastic and whimsical world of Dr. Seuss’ imagination.  Seattle’s most prestigious architectural firms, master builders, and culinary teams have come together to recreate famous scenes from the beloved story, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Seattle Festival of Trees

From November 17th to December 2nd, admire 21 ornate designer trees in the lobby and driveway of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel during the annual Festival of Trees.  A fun family outing for all ages.


In the gardens:

Zoo Wildlights

A festival of twinkling lights, fake snowball fights, new light displays, and encounters with wild and wonderful animals. Hot chocolate and delicacies for everyone, from November 23rd to January 5th.

Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden

From November 24th to December 30th, take a stroll in the garden and admire more than half a million sparkling lights placed throughout this beautiful garden; thousands of lights are used to create fanciful forms of plants, birds, animals, and waterfalls (Every night from 4.30 pm-9:00 pm).

On the water:

Christmas Carol Argosy Cruise

The boats of Argosy Cruises will be decorated with lights from November 23rd until December 23rd for the annual Christmas parade. Over the course of the month, the ships will visit 65 communities around Lake Washington and Puget Sound. A special children’s cruise is also possible aboard Santa’s official ship. If you do not wish to embark, from the shore you can watch as the festive ships pass by, enjoying Christmas carols and community bonfires.

In the streets:

Seattle: My Macy’s Holiday Parade

On November 22th, a grand parade through the streets of the city center to the doors of the Macy store: 25 tanks, the local college and high school fanfares, nearly 650 costumed characters, and of course the Santa Claus who will inaugurate Santaland.

Illumination of the famous Holiday Star shining brightly in downtown Seattle for over 60 years. Macy’s Star lighting is paired with the Westlake Center tree lighting and the Downtown Seattle Carousel at Westlake Park. Lighting at 17 hours followed by fireworks (weather permitting).

Bellevue: Christmas Parade in the center of Bellevue: Snowflake Lane

Along the sidewalks of Bellevue Way at the mall, Friday, November 23th at 7 pm, parade and arrival of Santa Claus in sleigh, then lighting ceremony of a 30-foot Christmas tree at Bellevue place Wintergarden.

Every evening at 7 pm until December 24th, whatever the weather, watch for 20 minutes a happy parade of lead soldiers and princesses, accompanied by catchy music, percussion, musicians, twinkling lights and snowfall.


Christmas Markets

The whole month of December, the markets are scattered throughout Seattle and its region. West Lake Park, Pike Market, sodo … local crafts, Christmas decoration, tasting, there is everything!

Christmas Tree Lighting

On December 1st or 7th witness the illumination of Christmas trees in music:

December 1st: Auburn at city hall, Bothell at Country Village, Gig Harbor at Skansie Brothers, Kenmoreat city hall, Kentat Town Square Plaza, Kirkland at Peter Kirk Park, Normandy Park at Towne Center, Redmond at city hall, West Seattle at Junction Plaza Park, Woodinville at DeYoung

December 7th: Mercer Island at Mercerdale Park, Mountlake Terrace at Evergreen Playfield, Sammamish at city hall, University Place in Market Square.

On ice:

Ice Skating Trail in Safeco Field

Safeco Field abandons baseball facilities for ice skating from November 23th to December 30th. It’s the first time!The stadium is transformed into a labyrinth of lights. You can skate on an ice track of about 8500-square-foot in music.

In fact, the skating rink is a loop that symbolizes a floating river set in a world of light sculptures, Christmas trees and illuminated arcades. (Ice skates will be available for rent for $ 10.) A Christmas market is also set up with different vendors, from interior decoration to jewelry and gourmet dishes.

Bellevue Ice Skating Arena

Throughout the holiday season, from November 24th to January 15th, the Bellevue Rink will be installed outdoors in the downtown park

Happy Festive Season!