If you want to feel merry and bright this holiday season, you don’t have to search far with the abundance of seasonal events that not even Scrooge himself could miss. From intimate tree lighting ceremonies and sensory-friendly ice skating rinks to a burlesque-style Nutcracker, the following are the top holiday events in Washington.
Now through Dec. 23: Mr. Dickens and His Carol
The untold tale of Charles Dickens will be taking the stage at The Seattle Rep this December for performances showcasing the story of how the famous author faced the harsh realities of poverty and publishing and still managed to create his most beloved novel, “A Christmas Carol.” The play, “Mr. Dickens and His Carol,” will run on select nights until Dec. 23, with admission starting at $17.
Now through Jan. 16: Oly on Ice
If you find yourself in Olympia this holiday season, be sure to stop by Oly on Ice at Isthmus Park for a day of ice skating, live performances, cozy string lights, family-friendly activities and more fun. The holiday pop-up will be available until Jan. 16., with ticket prices varying but starting at $5 for little ones. If you are looking for a sensory-friendly ice skating experience, be sure to visit the rink on the weekend for a private, hour-long ice skating session from 10 to 11 a.m.
Now through Jan. 30: Wild Lanterns
A lantern festival is taking place at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle on select days through Jan. 30. The immersive light experience is a local favorite that will take you inside large-scale nature and animal displays, with representation from wildlife all over the globe. This year’s showcase will be bigger than ever before, with new exhibits and encounters to experience. In addition to the light display, the zoo will offer hot cocoa, snacks and much more.
Nov. 25 to Dec. 23: Christmas Ship Festival
A Northwest tradition that has been running for 70 years and counting, the Christmas Ship Festival is back for 2022 with more festive fun. The holiday event in Washington will feature its staple seasonally-inspired sips, a boat parade spectacular, a live choir reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” your favorite holiday songs and much more. Santa will be available both onboard and on the shore for meet and greets, with photo-op opportunities as well.
Nov. 26: Magic in the Market
The holidays have returned to Pike Place Market for its 27th year of merry and bright seasonal magic. The annual event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The festivities will include the hands-on Hanukkah kid’s crafts in collaboration with Stroum Jewish Community Center, where little ones can create DIY menorahs and edible dreidels; a holiday cookie-decorating class with Chef Traci of Atrium Kitchen; glass-blowing demonstrations; free photos with Santa; and more leading up to the Pike Place Market tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. The evening is free and open to the public.
Dec. 1 to Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol
The beloved tale of Ebenezer Scrooge is hitting the stage at A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle on select nights from Dec. 1 to Dec. 24. The holiday favorite, “A Christmas Carol,” will feature all of its staple charm, magic and inspiring Christmas cheer that visitors have come to love. Tickets are $39 per person and can be purchased online.
Dec. 1 to Dec. 30: Wagon Rides, Fire Pits and Wine Flights
Bundle up and head to Yakima this December for a family-friendly, horse-drawn wagon ride through the Red Mountain vineyards covered in a blanket of snow. The ride will take you on a tour of the stunning grounds, leading up to a spot to warm up around a fire pit, enjoy a flight of wine and craft some s’mores. The wagon ride is $10 per person, and the fire pit experience is $10 for a reservation. The winter event will only be available until Dec. 30.
Dec. 1 to Dec. 31: Seattle Center Winterfest
A holiday extravaganza that almost needs no introduction––Winterfest, will return on Dec. 1 and will run until Dec. 31. The annual holiday event in Washington will be taking place at the Seattle Center, featuring live performances, a winter train ride and village to explore, holiday light displays, water shows, ice sculpting, seasonal treats, holiday-inspired sips, shopping and so much more to help leave you feeling merry and bright.
Dec. 2: The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition is back in full swing this holiday season, this time at Pike Place Market on Friday, Dec. 2. The Seattle tradition is running for its 36th year, featuring a caroling face-off to support Pike Market Senior Center and Pike Market Food Bank. Last year’s event raised a million dollars for charity and aims to bring the same donation amount this time around. The holiday event in Washington also features warm, seasonal drinks, holiday music and late-night shopping. The night will run from 6 to 9 p.m.
Dec. 2 to Dec. 4: U-Cut Christmas Trees
With three massive fields to explore, hot apple cider to keep you warm and a station to write a letter to Santa—there is no better spot to grab your Christmas tree than at Big Lake Trees in Mount Vernon. In addition to finding the perfect tree, visitors can purchase wreaths, ornaments, candy canes and even sign up for DIY ornament and wreath-making classes. The tree farm will be open from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4.
Dec. 3: Mighty Tieton Holiday Crafts and Antiques Bazaar
For the vintage-eclectic loved ones in your life, visit the 16th annual Mighty Tieton Holiday Crafts and Antiques Bazaar for a fine selection of provisions, holiday sips and curated vendors offering unique, vintage items. In addition to finding the perfect holiday present and enjoying a stroll with a cup of warmth in hand, the shopping event will also have a surprise visit from Ol’ St. Nick. Admission varies depending on your shopping time but starts at $3. Profits from the vintage experience will benefit Tieton Arts & Humanities.
Dec. 3: Christmas Tree Lighting at Gilkey Square
Kick off the holiday season with a trip to Gilkey Square for its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 3. The stunning light display will illuminate the town and bring its beloved Christmas tree to life for the cold season. The event will also offer meetings with Santa after the tree lighting has finished. The ceremony will run from 5 to 6 p.m. and is free to attend.
Dec. 7 to Dec. 23: Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
Seattle’s most glamorous holiday show has returned to The Triple Door for its 16th season from Dec. 7 to Dec. 23. The unique award-winning show offers a modern and adult spin on the traditional Nutcracker tale, one with high heels, glitter and world-class burlesque performers. This year’s performance is slated to be more electrifying than previous, with veteran dancers and familiar favorite characters set to take the stage. Admission for general seating starts at $70, while VIP begins at $85. The show is 21-plus, with performances running daily (with the except of Mondays).