28 Holiday Happenings Not to Miss

Glad tidings abound in the Emerald City!

By Patrick Hutchison December 6, 2011


This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Seattle Magazine.


Pacific Northwest Ballet: The Nutcracker

Try and spot the Wild Thing hidden within Maurice Sendak’s famous set display during the ballet’s iconic presentation of The Nutcracker. 11/25–12/27. McCaw Hall; pnb.org

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker

Naughty nutcrackers are back at The Triple Door with new choreography by favorite performers Waxie Moon, Kitten La Rue and Miss Indigo Blue, wearing spanking-new costumes for this risqué rendition of The Nutcracker. 12/14–12/24. Triple Door; thetripledoor.com


Seattle Men’s Chorus: Cool Yule

A live swing band accompanies the Seattle Men’s Chorus for traditional hits such as “Let It Snow” and “Sleigh Ride” interspersed with comedic interludes by characters from CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. 11/26–12/23. Benaroya Hall; flyinghouse.org

The Snowman

Based on the classic children’s book by Raymond Briggs, the animated movie The Snowman is screened above a live performance of the soundtrack by Seattle Symphony. 12/3. Benaroya Hall; seattlesymphony.org

Black Nativity

Black Nativity is back for its 14th year, telling the original Christmas story gospel-style, with some inspired additions, such as poetry by Langston Hughes and choreography by Spectrum Dance Theatre’s Donald Byrd. 12/8–12/24. The Moore Theatre; stgpresents.org

Holiday Pops at Seattle Symphony

Satisfy your urge to hear classic holiday pop songs with EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony)-award winning composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch. 12/8–12/11. Benaroya Hall; seattlesymphony.org

Seattle Pro Musica: Celtic Christmas

Christmas choral music from the Emerald Isle comes to the Emerald City as Town Hall hosts an evening of traditional Celtic music and original work by composers from Ireland, Wales and Scotland. 12/10. Town Hall; townhallseattle.org

Handel’s Messiah

Swoon to Handel’s dramatic “Hallelujah” chorus, conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni. 12/16–12/18. Benaroya Hall; seattlesymphony.org

The Big Spin: Baby Loves Disco

Seattle’s biggest throw-down, blowout Hanukkah party adds another element of child-friendly fun this year: a special edition of the wildly popular kids’ dance party known as Baby Loves Disco. Shake your dreidels in the air like you just don’t care! 12/18. Showbox SoDo; thebigspin.org

Earshot Jazz: Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music

Join special guest tap dancer Alex Dugdale, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and guest vocalists Nichol Eskridge and Everett Greene for the 23rd annual performance of the Duke’s “Sacred Music.” 12/26. Town Hall; townhallseattle.org

St. James Cathedral New Year’s Gala and Concert

Professional choir groups and a full orchestra fill St. James’ massive and ornate interior with Christmas music by Bach, leading up to a grand finale and big surprise when the new year arrives at midnight. 12/31. St. James Cathedral; stjames-cathedral.org

New Year’s Eve with Seattle Symphony

Ring in the new year with class and a powerful performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, featuring the exuberant “Ode to Joy.” 12/31. Benaroya Hall; seattlesymphony.org


Beasley’s Christmas Party

Taproot Theatre plays host to a story inspired by turn-of-the-century, small-town Americana, crazy neighbors and hopeful holiday spirit. 11/25–12/30. Taproot Theatre; taproottheatre.org

Dina Martina Christmas Show

Dina Martina returns to the Re-Bar for another year of holiday stories, songs and and tipsy revelry, all in her inimitable train-wreck drag style. 11/25–12/31. Re-Bar; rebarseattle.com

Owen Meany’s Christmas Pageant

Book-It Repertory Theatre takes on this adaptation of John Irving’s best-selling novel A Prayer for Owen Meany, which traces little Owen’s weird, wonderful and unwavering quest to play the baby Jesus in a church Christmas pageant. 12/2–12/23. Seattle Center; book-it.org

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol

Get the zany side of the classic story as Jacob Marley—Ebenezer Scrooge’s former business partner and ghost in chains—attempts to save Scrooge’s soul as well as his own. 12/2–12/24. Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse; seattlepublictheater.org

Homo for the Holidays

Seattle’s LGBT community celebrates the fourth year of this high-energy alternative holiday show, featuring burlesque, comedy, dance, theater and song. 12/16–12/18 & 12/22–12/24. West Hall at Century Ballroom; centuryballroom.com

Short Stories Live! A Rogue’s Christmas

Beloved local notables, including Paul Dorpat and Randy Hoffmeyer, read short holiday-inspired stories by John Cheever, Damon Runyon and others in a show that is irreverent, hopeful and heartwarming. 12/18. Town Hall; townhallseattle.org


Gingerbread Village at Downtown Sheraton

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the 19th annual gingerbread village returns with a new theme, “Holiday Express.” 11/22–1/1/2012. Sheraton Seattle; gingerbreadvillage.myevent.com

Seattle Center Winterfest

Get a glimpse of Seattle Center’s progressing renovations and expanded Center House at this year’s Winterfest, featuring live music, food, ice skating and thousands of twinkling holiday lights. 11/25–12/31. Seattle Center; seattlecenter.com


Pump up your holiday cheer with camel rides, a carousel and more than a half-million lights at Point Defiance. 11/25–1/1/2012. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium; pdza.org

Polar Plaza

Tacoma’s Tollefson Plaza gets a new ice rink for the holiday season, with hot cocoa and skate rentals to boot. 11/25–1/2/2012. Tollefson Plaza; polarplaza.com

Christmas Ship Festival

These popular holiday cruises feature a live choir as the festively lit ship travels to more than 45 Puget Sound–area communities. 11/26–12/23. Multiple locations, including Pier 55; argosycruises.com 

Bellevue Magic Season

Theater at the Meydenbauer Center and live holiday music at The Bravern spark holiday cheer that continues with Bellevue’s seasonal ice rink, Snowflake Lane and the Garden d’Lights. 11/26–1/9/2012. Downtown Park, Bellevue; magicseason.com

Santa’s Lights Tour

Santa is at the wheel of several vintage Metro buses for three-hour tours of Seattle’s best holiday light displays. 12/10. Second Avenue S and S Main Street; mehva.org

The Blind Boys of Alabama

Gospel veterans of more than 70 years, the Blind Boys of Alabama bring us their Grammy Award–winning Christmas show. 12/20. Benaroya Hall;

A Christmas Carol at ACT

Only Scrooges would miss Dickens classic Christmas story, with local actors David Pichette and Jeff Steitzer taking turns as Ebenezer this year. 11/25–12/24. ACT; acttheatre.org

Ice Skating at Cal Anderson Park

For the first time, an ice skating rink will grace Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill. BYO skates or rent a pair; sparkly costumes optional. 12/6–12/24. Cal Anderson Park; capitolhillicerink.com


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