Seattle really knows how to celebrate Christmas. Winter is the perfect time to get out of town and explore the Pacific Northwest. Grab your best friends or your boyfriend and hit the road this winter. Seattle is the perfect place to plan a weekend getaway or a last minute trip with friends. Steal some time away from Vancouver and try celebrating Christmas like our friends do down past the border.
Who knew that Seattle was so festive, anyway? I'm actually surprised by how many incredible holiday events they have planned this winter! Down below, we've included every single major event, parade and convention that you need to check out in Seattle this Christmas. Oh, and we've even included all the local spots that Seattle residents love to visit during this time of year.
If you plan to hit up Seattle at some point this winter, then here is a complete guide to everything and anything holiday related in this beautiful city.
Let's get started!
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Where: 7th Ave & Pine St // Seattle
Why you should go: I think we can all agree that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an American tradition that we Canadians know nothing about. We don't have Macy's department stores in Canada nor do we have Thanksgiving in November, but why not take part in this epic American tradition when you're visiting Seattle! The parade will be on November 24 from 9 AM to 10 AM.
Where: 6th Floor 1601 3rd Ave // Seattle
Why you should go: Head over to Macy's after the parade to get pictures with Santa. Not only can you meet the Christmas man himself, the department store is always decked out with Christmas decorations. It's definitely a sight you don't want to miss. This event begins on November 23 and runs until December 24.
Santa's Arrival Parade
Where: 575 Bellevue Way // Bellevue
Why you should go: On November 24 get ready for Santa's Arrival at this Seattle parade. Apparently, they like parades in America? But this one is especially epic. If you have time, definitely make the drive out of Seattle to watch this spectacular event. You can watch Santa officially arrive and kick off the Christmas season at Bellevue Square.
Westlake Center Tree Lighting
Where: 400 Pine St // Seattle
Why you should go: On November 24, join the rest of Seattle to watch the official Westlake Center tree lighting! This annual event brings all of Seattle's residents to one magical place. This tree lighting is the official start of the holiday season in Seattle! The Macy's Holiday Star will also be lit at the same time. The square will also a carousel, and an evening fireworks display!
Magic in the Market
Where: Pike Place Market // Seattle
Why you should go: On Saturday, November 25, Santa is coming to town... or actually, he's coming to the market! Take photos with Santa at Pike Place Market, watch multiple live performances, and watch the market's 20-foot tree sparkle with lights!
Wild Lights at the Zoo
Where: 5500 Phinney Ave N // Seattle
Price: Early bird $9.95, Regular $11.95
Why you should go: Seattle's biggest zoo celebrates the holiday season by putting on this incredible light display. Open from November 24 to January 1, you can visit the Wild Lights display at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Seattle Art Museum
Where: 1300 First Ave // Seattle
Price: Prices vary depending on exhibit
Why you should go: If you're touring Seattle's downtown core, make sure to walk by the Seattle Art Museum. They always put on a beautiful light display to celebrate the holiday season! While you're there, grab tickets for one of their exhibits, the SAM is known for being the best art museum in the state!
Winterfest Ice Sculpting
Where: Fisher Pavilion // Seattle
Why you should go: On November 25th, you can go down to Fisher Pavilion and watch an award-winning artist create a masterpiece out of ice. Every year, Janson Iwakami is invited back to create a stunning piece of art. Make sure to check out what he creates this year!
Winterfest Ice Rink
Where: Fisher Pavilion // Seattle
Why you should go: What's more fun than skating at an outdoor rink in the middle of a city. Grab your friends or your boyfriend and skate circles around this cute outdoor rink! $7 includes your admission and skate rentals, so don't worry about lugging your pair with you.
40th Annual Festival Of Trees
Where: 411 University St // Seattle
Why you should go: Step inside one of Seattle's most beautiful hotels, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel and enjoy the 40th annual festival of trees. Visit this ornate hotel and take a walk through their luxuriously designed trees. This event begins on November 18 and ends on November 29.
Where: Downtown Seattle
Why you should go: Get lost in a sea of Santas in Seattle this December! This awesome event brings over 1500 Santas together in Seattle's downtown core. If you're interested in registering, click here. It's $5-10 proceeds go to charity and you will have a wristband that gets you free cover at a bunch of venues, drink specials and entry to their costume contest!
25th Annual Gingerbread Village
Where: 1420 Fifth Ave // Seattle
Why you should go: Every year the Sheraton hotel creates a delicious and detailed gingerbread display for the city! This year's gingerbread display will be extra special to celebrate 25 years of this Seattle tradition. Architects, builders and culinary chefs have come together to create this year's intricate village. Last year they built Hogwarts, and they even had moving staircases inside the gingerbread school! You need to check out what they come up with this year.
McMurtrey's Red-Wood Christmas Tree Farm
Where: 13925 Redmond-Woodinville Rd NE // Redmond
Why you should go: We have Stanley Park, and our friends passed the border have the Redwoods. Take an unconventional trip to a Christmas tree farm when you're visiting Seattle that specializes in redwood trees! This is how the Seattle residents have an authentic Christmas, and it all starts with picking the first tree! It's also a great spot for a photo op.
Salish Lodge & Spa
Where: 6501 Railroad Ave // Snoqualmie
Why you should go: In BC we have Scandinave Spa in Whistler Village, and in Seattle, they have Salish Lodge & Spa. Just on the outskirts of the main city, you can find this idyllic spa nestled in the serene outdoors. This lodge is situated right at the top of the Snoqualmie Falls. You won't want to miss this view!
Seattle Space Needle
Where: 400 Broad St // Seattle
Why you should go: Every year the Space Needle has an observation deck party where you have a sky-high view of the new year's eve fireworks display... but if you can't grab tickets, you can join the thousands of people that gather at the bottom of the needle to watch the spectacular view!