29 Local Events to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

The best bets for holiday entertainment this month

By Anakaren Garcia


December 4, 2019

This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the December 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.


Enchant Christmas
Through 12/29
The world’s largest Christmas-light maze returns with a Christmas market, ice skating trail and larger-than-life light sculptures featured in a new interactive adventure to find Santa’s missing gifts. Times and prices vary. T-Mobile Park; enchantchristmas.com

Lumaze: Lost in Lights
Celebrate the season with this indoor light festival featuring colorful and festive light gardens, illuminated structures and interactive backdrops set for your perfect holiday photo. (Plus: playgrounds for kids and a licensed bar for adults.) Times and prices vary. Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Pier 91; lumazelights.com/seattle-christmas

The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
Help raise funds for the Pike Place Market Senior Center & Food Bank while also enjoying some good old-fashioned Christmas caroling from teams competing at sites throughout downtown, leading up to a final sing-off. 6–8:30 p.m. Westlake Center, downtown; pikemarketseniorcenter.org/figgy-pudding

Jingle Bell Run
Come and join this 12K, 5K or 1-mile fun run for the Arthritis Foundation; the event is celebrating 35 years of jingling all the way for an arthritis cure. 7 a.m. Prices vary. Westlake Park, downtown; events.arthritis.org

Christmas Ship Parade of Boats
This fifth annual boat parade lights up Lake Union with brightly decorated boats led by the official Spirit of Seattle Christmas Ship. Hop on with Santa and the Dickens Carolers for an evening of family-friendly fun. 7 p.m. From Lake Union Park heading west through Fremont Cut; argosycruises.com/christmas-ship-parade-of-boats

Pathway of Lights
Follow the lights along the Green Lake loop and enjoy the live music and hot air balloons, weather permitting, during this Seattle tradition. 4:30 p.m. Free. Green Lake, 7201 E Green Lake Drive N; Facebook, “Green Lake Community Center”

Snowflake Lane
Through 12/24
Mardi Gras meets winter wonderland in Bellevue for a full month of nightly winter-themed parades down Snowflake Lane, featuring falling snow, colorful lights and festive dancers. 7 p.m. Free. Bellevue Way NE between NE Fourth Street and NE Eighth Street; snowflakelane.com

Garden d’Lights

Through 12/31
Illuminated plants, animals and waterfalls made from more than a half million sparkling lights transform the flora and fauna of Bellevue Botanical Garden during this annual outdoor spectacle. 4:30–9 p.m. Prices vary. Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue; bellevuebotanical.org

Woodland Park Zoo’s WildLights
Through 1/5/2020
More than 700,000 colorful lights take the shape of animal favorites at this glowing winter playground. Keep an eye out for faux-snowball fights and special appearances from the zoo’s nocturnal denizens. Times and prices vary. Woodland Park Zoo, Phinney Ridge; zoo.org


Christmastown: A Holiday Noir
Through 12/24
This holiday thriller follows a hard-boiled detective on a case in the seedy underbelly of Christmastown. Times and prices vary. Seattle Public Theater, Green Lake; seattlepublictheater.org

BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon: All I Want for Christmas Is Attention
How do you get through the holidays? For drag superstars Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme, a little sugar, a little spice and a lot of your attention are all it takes. 8 p.m. Prices vary. Neptune Theatre, University District; jinkxanddela.com

A Christmas Carol
Through 12/28
ACT’s 44th production of A Christmas Carol takes Scrooge on another ghost-filled tour through Christmas past, present and future to transform his holiday spirit. Times and prices vary. ACT – A Contemporary Theatre, downtown; acttheatre.org

Christmas Killings at Corgi Cliffs
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a “Dragatha Christie” murder mystery; enjoy this dinner-and-a-show experience from playwright (and risqué shadow-puppet wizard) Scot Augustson, featuring local drag artist Butch Alice. Times and prices vary. Café Nordo, Pioneer Square; cafenordo.com


Jose Gonzalez Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dust off your fedora, take a trip back to the ’60s and enjoy Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in its entirety—returning for its seventh year. 1 and 7 p.m. Prices vary. Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, Seattle Center; strawshop.org

Seattle Symphony: Messiah
In this December tradition, the Seattle Symphony and its 120-member, all-volunteer chorale bring Handel’s greatest work to life. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, downtown; seattlesymphony.org

Seattle Men’s Chorus: ’Tis the Season
Through 12/22
A leader in the international LGBTQ choral movement, Seattle Men’s Chorus keeps the caroling tradition alive with signature showmanship and revamped Christmas classics. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, downtown; seattlechoruses.org


A John Waters Christmas
Famously filthy film director John Waters is back with his one-man show, here to deliver unto you answers to pressing holiday questions like “Should you disrupt living crèche celebrations this year in the name of political action?” 8 p.m. Prices vary. Neptune Theatre, University District; stgpresents.org/neptune

Scott Shoemaker’s War on Christmas
Already a yuletide tradition, Scott Shoemaker’s off-the-rails variety show returns for another round of holiday madness after last year’s inaugural run. Times and prices vary. Re-Bar, Denny Triangle; rebarseattle.com

The Dina Martina Christmas Show
With her one-of-a-kind drag style and humor, deranged songstress Dina Martina—and her famously “overburdened costumes”—spread plenty of holiday cheer. Times and prices vary. ACT – A Contemporary Theatre, downtown; acttheatre.org

Homo for the Holidays: Jingle All the Gay
Top-shelf burlesque duo Kitten N’ Lou are back with their holiday offering of song, dance, comedy and strip tease, delivered by an all-star cast. Times and prices vary. West Hall, OddFellows Building, Capitol Hill; strangertickets.com

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
An opulent departure from traditional ballet, Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann’s show is back with some titillating twists on snowflakes and sugar plum fairies. Times and prices vary. The Triple Door, downtown; thetripledoor.net

Buttcracker V: The Last Thrust
Now in its final year, the modern-dance-meets-hair-metal Buttcracker is going out with all the glory of ’80s rock ’n’ roll, showcasing old favorites, new moves and special guest performers. Times and prices vary. Erickson Theatre, Capitol Hill; theatres.seattlecentral.edu


Mark Morris Dance Group brings winter wit in The Hard Nut. Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The Hard Nut
This quirky Nutcracker reimagining by the Mark Morris Dance Group brings a “cascade of wit and wintry beauty” to the classic story by E.T.A. Hoffman. Times and prices vary. Paramount Theatre, downtown; stgpresents.org

Emerald Ballet Theatre
Emerald Ballet Theatre, led by former Bolshoi ballerina Viktoria Titova, presents its 13th annual Nutcracker, conducted this year by EBT Orchestra music director David Waltman. 2 p.m. Prices vary. Northshore Performing Arts Center, Bothell; emeraldballet.org

Tacoma City Ballet
Now in its 34th year, TCB’s production of this magical holiday show will be performed for the first time in the newly renovated Pantages Theater. Times and prices vary. Pantages Theater, Tacoma; tacomacityballet.com

ARC Dance
12/13–15, 2/21
This version of the holiday classic is even family-friendlier than usual, as it brings students of Arc School of Ballet and professionals from ARC Dance together on one stage. Times, prices and venues vary. arcdance.org

Olympic Ballet Theatre
In addition to Nutcracker performances in both Edmonds and Everett, OBT will present matinee shows that will include a demonstration of behind-the-scenes production techniques, called “The Introduction to the Magic of Theatre.” Times, prices and venues vary. olympicballet.org

International Ballet Theatre
International Ballet Theatre’s 19th annual production features a cast of 80 young performers alongside professional dancers and visual performance artists. Times and prices vary. Meydenbauer Theatre, Bellevue; ibtbellevue.org

Pacific Northwest Ballet
Through 12/28
Popular illustrator Ian Falconer’s set and costume designs animate the classic Tchaikovsky soundtrack at PNB. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center; pnb.org

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