Picture it now. Hundreds of merrymakers gather together, eyes pointed skyward. Suddenly, the towering Macy’s tree erupts with glittering light that bounces off gleaming skyscrapers all around. To the left, kids jump on the holiday carousel. To the right, carolers belt out classic Christmas tunes. The holidays have arrived and the city is brimming with festive spirit! Check out our list of things to do in Seattle this December and ensure your season is filled with cheer.

Discover Seattle

A Christmas Carol – Now – December 28

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at ACT Theatre! (Christmas Carol Cast 2016) #thanksgiving #theatre #seattle

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Looking to celebrate the season with some old-fashioned flair? A night out at the theater is just the ticket! Join the ACT Theater for their annual performance of the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. More than a century old, Charles Dickens’ timeless tale continues to remind us the spirit of giving is what’s truly worth celebrating – during the holidays, or any time of year!

The Nutcracker – Now – December 28

The first Nutcracker of the season starts now… #pnbnutcracker #❄️

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This month, the curtain rises on one of the must-see events of the holiday season. Featuring choreography by George Balanchine, The Nutcracker is presented by the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Showcasing Tchaikovsky’s cherished score played live by the PNB Orchestra, with gorgeous scenery and costumes by celebrated author and illustrator Ian Falconer (Olivia the Pig), this is a Christmas tradition that truly should not be missed.

Snowflake Lane – December 1 – 24

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!❄️ #snowflakelane

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Bellevue might be best known as the shopping mecca across the lake, but come December its streets come alive with dancing, lights and snow. That’s right, we said snow! Pack up the kids and head east to experience downtown Bellevue’s transformation into Snowflake Lane, a fantastical wonderland filled with Christmas characters, trumpeters, drummers and sparkling lights that will delight your whole family.

Winter Feast & Holiday Bazaar – December 17

Shop and eat local at Fremont’s annual Winter Feast & Holiday Bazaar. Food trucks from all over the Seattle area (this year the total is more than 100!) come together for your sampling pleasure. Warm up with an expertly crafted cup of Joe from True North Coffee Roasters or get in touch with your inner Canuck and grab a basket of freshly made poutine from The Skinny Potato.

Once you’ve fueled up, take some time to peruse the stalls of Fremont Sunday Market for unique vintage and handcrafted presents for your loved ones. Need more gift ideas? Fremont Vintage Mall is a safe bet for one-of-a-kind gems from eras past. Reward your generosity with a sudsy pint at nearby Fremont Brewing to round out the day.

Renegade Craft Fair – December 17 – 18

We dread it every year. The throngs of people, long lines, endless traffic and not to mention outrageous cost of last-minute holiday shopping. Well fear not, present procrastinators! The Renegade Craft Fair is coming through town just in time to offer you an artisan alternative to crowded shopping malls and unoriginal gift giving.

They make it easy on you, with two days’ worth of meaningful, handmade goods from all around the Northwest. Go ahead and finish off your shopping in one go, your friends and family will thank you!

Holiday Lights – December

We love the @argosycruises Christmas Ship Festival, a Pacific Northwest tradition since 1949! 🎄🛥 #ChristmasShip #PNW

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Make the most of Seattle’s waterfront location and hop aboard Argosy’s Spirit of Seattle as a dazzling caravan of boats cruise around seaside communities to perform classic tunes during the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival.

Wild Lights! Let the season begin! #wpzwildlights #holidaylights

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Meanwhile, Wildlights at the Woodland Park Zoo brings a dash of holiday magic to your favorite animal exhibits. Pay them a visit after hours and you’ll find a gleaming winter wonderland complete with Santa, his reindeer and an indoor faux-snowball fight. Hang onto your WildLights ticket to receive half off daily zoo admission between December 1st and the 14th!

Don’t forget to make a trek over to the Eastside! Every year more than half a million lights transform the Bellevue Botanical Garden into a glittering winter wonderland, and this year it’s bigger and brighter than ever. Garden d’Lights is a night all ages can enjoy, with displays of twinkling flowers, birds, aquatic animals and more set amid the natural beauty of the garden.

New Year’s Fireworks – December 31

New Years fireworks off the Space Needle ❤

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As you look out over Lake Union, you fix your eyes on the Space Needle and the countdown begins: 3…2…1… BOOM! The spectacular display is twice as striking with its mirror image splashed across the lake’s surface as the clock ticks over to midnight.

New Year’s at the Needle is Seattle’s most watched fireworks show, but did you know you can join the party on the observation deck? Enjoy dancing, prizes and a champagne toast above the entire city.

Whether it’s holiday shopping, light displays, fireworks or comforting food, December is all about the holiday spirit. While it might be tempting to stay inside to avoid the winter weather, you’ll regret missing out on the festive fun that Seattle has to offer this time of year!

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Clipper Recommends:

  • Have little ones to entertain? The Seattle Children’s Museum invites you to explore festivals from around the world at the Festivals of Light, running December through January 15th.
  • Light up the night with the SAM Lights at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Enjoy a free night of temporary art installations and hundreds of luminarias, as well as hot beverages and sweet treats.