The holidays are only a few short days away, and the thing that makes them so wonderful in this part of the world is there are a ton of fun December things to do in Seattle no matter what your age. Likewise, there are activities for every interest, whether you enjoy lights, theater, singing or even sweet treats. With so many events around town, this is the perfect opportunity to carry on an old tradition and revisit one of your favorite activities from when you were younger or try something new and start a tradition of your own.
Take in Sparkling Lights Around the Town
If one of your favorite parts of the holiday season is taking in lights displays, be prepared to be dazzled. Nearly everywhere you look, you can see lights of all shapes and sizes decorating buildings and attractions. Let your imagination go wild and experience WildLights to see you favorite furry friends at Woodland Park Zoo joined by a menagerie of animals created out of lights. While most of the live animals will be sleeping during the evening, there are a few nocturnal ones (such as sloths and Indian flying foxes) you can visit in the Day Exhibit. At the north end of the zoo there will also be two special guests to greet visitors during the holiday season – reindeer! If you are interested in viewing more classical lights displays, check out the Holiday Brews and Bulbs Tour, which is a holiday lights tour with a fun twist. During this excursion you will be driven through Seattle’s festively decorated neighborhoods so you can take in the lights and scenic views. What makes this tour different is that long the way you will be stopping to tour three local craft or microbreweries and try some of their tasty brews, talk about holiday cheer!
In Seattle, not only can you see lights on land, but you can see them on the water as well. Find a location near the water (or even on the boat itself) during the Christmas Ship Festival and watch as the Christmas Ship leads a parade of boats all decked out in lights around the waterfront. If you are one the designated parks the ships stop at, you will get hear the on board choir serenade everyone with Christmas Carols.
For those of willing to travel outside the city limits to view lights, head east to the Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival. Step back in time in this Bavarian village to enjoy fresh roasted chestnuts, hot spiced wine and mulled cider served inside a traditional Gluhwein tent, caroling, costumed characters such as Santa and Father Christmas strolling around town, snowshoeing, sledding and plenty of opportunities for shopping. Of course, the highlight of the day is the lighting ceremony itself, which illuminates Leavenworth with thousands of sparkling lights.
Carols and Plays Full of Holiday Cheer
Arts lovers will rejoice this holiday season, as there a variety of festive performances around town. If you are in to traditional holiday shows, you can catch “A Christmas Carol” at the ACT Theatre, which has been running for the past 39 years. This year is also the final time the Pacific Northwest Ballet will be performing the Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker, so make sure you see this other long-time favorite before it is gone. In addition to the classics, there are a few new productions that are sure to bring grin or two. The Seattle Theatre Group presents “Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,” which brings the famous tale to life on stage. For even more laughs and singing, check out “A Christmas Story, The Musical,” which uses singing to retell the trials and tribulations of the movie’s Ralphie during Christmas time.
Ring in the New Year in Style
Although New Years seems like it is a long way off at this point, the end of December will be here before you know it. Luckily, there are almost as many options for celebrating the new year in Seattle as there are Christmas. One thing everyone should do at least once, if possible, is celebrate New Year’s at the Needle. Gather at the bottom of the Space Needle (make sure to bring something warm, to wear and to drink) and watch as fireworks shoot off from the top when the clock strikes midnight. If you would be prefer to be a bit warmer, join one of the parties inside. You can view the fireworks and art from the New Year’s Eve pARTy at Chihuly Garden and Glass or there are a few parties that take place inside the Space Needle itself, either the SkyCity Soiree or the Observation Deck Dance Party, which will give you unique views of the fireworks.