Seattle events calendar for December 2015. Festivals, fun things to do, Christmas events, Christmas lights, Christmas ships, New Year’s Eve parties, Seattle, WA.

Best events for 12 months
Best events for 12 months
December 2015
December 2015

Enjoy the best Seattle events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from Westlake Center in downtown Seattle, Washington.

Christmas tree festival

December 1 - 2, 2015 (also Nov.)

0.5 mile south

View 21 designer trees in the lobby and driveway of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel during the annual Festival of Trees charity event. See schedule for gala, family celebration, and teddy bear suite. Free to view.

Reindeer & Santa

December 1 - 23, 2015

14 miles east

Visit Cougar Mountain Zoo when it’s decorated like the North Pole to welcome Santa with his reindeer and sleigh during the Issaquah Reindeer Festival.

Reindeer & model trains

December 1 - 24, 2015 (also Nov.)

7 miles NW

Visit live reindeer and watch model trains wind their way through a winter landscape during the Reindeer Festival at Swanson’s Nursery. Free.

Bellevue street show

December 1 - 24, 2015 (7 p.m.)

10 miles east

Enjoy a 20-minute show of lights, music, falling snow, young dancers, and drummers in uniform on Snowflake Lane (Bellevue Way). Free.

Christmas play

December 1 - 30, 2015 (begins Nov. 27)

0.3 miles east

A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about the miraculous transformation of miserly Scrooge at ACT Theatre.

Winter at Seattle Center

December 1 - 31, 2015 (begins Nov. 27)

1 mile NW

Enjoy holiday lights, skating at Fisher Pavilion (cost), folk dancers, carolers, Sat. ice sculptors, and model trains during Winterfest at the Seattle Center. Closed Dec. 25. Free.

Christmas lights - Bellevue

Dec. 1 - 31, 2015 (Nov. 28 - Jan. 2)

11 miles east

Enjoy zillions of colorful lights and displays at Garden d’Lights in Bellevue Botanical Garden. Sometimes a line on free nights, which are Nov. 30; Dec. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Gingerbread houses

Dec. 1 - 31, 2015 (Nov. 24 - Jan. 3)

0.2 miles SE

See elaborate displays made mostly of food at the Gingerbread Village in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel. Free and open 24 hours.

Christmas lights - Seattle zoo

Dec. 1 - 31, 2015 (Nov. 27 - Jan. 3)

5 miles north

WildLights has 500,000 lights in animal shapes, real reindeer, night animals, and carolers at Woodland Park Zoo. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.

Christmas lights - Tacoma zoo

Dec. 1 - 31, 2015 (Nov. 27 - Jan. 3)

40 miles south

Bundle up to admire half a million holiday lights and displays at Zoolights in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo. Closed Dec. 24.

Smithsonian speakers

December 2, 2015 (6:30 p.m.)

0.9 miles SW

Hear 3 outstanding speakers and enjoy a reception when The Smithsonian Institution presents People > Passion > Purpose at the Frye Art Museum. Free.

Victorian Christmas

December 2 - 6, 2015

37 miles south

A Victorian Country Christmas has 500 booths with vendors in Victorian costumes selling art, jewelry, decorations, clothing, and toys at Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup.

Christmas ships parade

December 2 - 23, 2015 (begins Nov. 27)

Lake Washington & Puget Sound

Ride onboard with the choir or listen from shore at a bonfire during Christmas Ship Festival. See schedule.

Holiday comedy in Edmonds

December 3 - 20, 2015

16.6 miles north

Unruly kids take over the church pageant in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, which is followed by a short Hanukkah musical.

Christmas plays

December 3 - 26, 2015

Seattle, Edmonds, Renton

Caroling at Westlake

December 4, 2015 (6 to 8:30 p.m.)

0 miles

Hear 40 caroling teams sing outside Westlake Center, and then vote for your favorite at Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition or register teams.

Miracle on 34th Street

December 4, 2015 (7:45 p.m.)

0.6 miles SE

Watch a live radio production of Miracle on 34th Street (about a man claiming to be Santa and a girl who doesn’t believe) including a pre-show warm up, special sound effects, and a post-show reception at Town Hall Seattle.

Beer festival

December 4 - 5, 2015

7 miles NE

Try winter beers from 50 Washington breweries with food truck cuisine at Winter Beer Fest at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park, then vote for your favorites.

Tour artists’ studios

December 4 - 6, 2015

Seattle locations

Shop from two dozen artists in their studios making clothing, jewelry, glass, ceramics, prints, and more on Seattle Sampling Artists’ Studio Tour. Free.

Nutcracker ballet - Renton

December 4 - 6, 2015

14 miles south

Ensemble Ballet Theatre performs The Nutcracker at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center.

Holiday burlesque

December 4-5 and 11-12, 2015

5 miles SE

The Best Burlesque Pageant Ever is an over-the-top adult comedy at Columbia City Theater.

Short Nutcracker

December 4 - 13, 2015

Bellevue & Auburn

Evergreen City Ballet offers one-hour and two-hour versions of the holiday classic ballet The Nutcracker in Bellevue Dec. 4 to 6, and Auburn Dec. 12 to 13. Afterward, dancers meet the audience in the lobby.

Comedy of errors

December 4 - 13, 2015

12 miles north

Based on the film starring Carol Burnett & Michael Caine, Noises Off reveals hilarious backstage antics as small-town actors try to perform a play, at Shoreline Community College Theater.

Bavarian Christmas

December 4-6, 11-13, 18-20, 2015

117 miles east

Enjoy Christmas lights twinkling on snow, roasted chestnuts, sleigh rides, and caroling at the annual Leavenworth Christmas Lighting.

Nutcracker ballet

December 4 - 28, 2015 (begins Nov. 27)

1 mile NW

The Nutcracker by George Balanchine features a live orchestra, magnificent sets and costumes, and a huge cast in McCaw Hall at Seattle Center.

Christmas lights - Wild Waves

December 4, 2015 - Jan. 2, 2016

25 miles south

See colorful displays with a million lights, and go on rides at Holiday with Lights in Federal Way. Closed Dec. 14-17 and 24-25.

Drawing day

December 5, 2015

2 miles NE

Get creative with drawing materials, open studios, live models, live music, and food trucks at family-friendly Drawing Jam at Gage Academy of Art.

Champagne tasting

December 5, 2015 (2 to 5 p.m.)

4 miles north

Sample champagne and sparkling wine from 14 stations, with appetizers, at Champagne & Bubbles Extravaganza at Wine World and Spirits.

Yoga party

December 5, 2015 (8 to 11 p.m.)

4.1 miles north

A ticket to the Seattle Yoga Holiday Party includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, live performances, music, and DJ dancing at OmCulture.

Lights in Redmond

December 5, 2015

15 miles NE

Redmond Lights starts with singers & dancers at city hall at 4 p.m. When the holiday lights go on at 5 p.m., follow 100 luminaries past choirs and performers to Redmond Town Center for activities & carols to 8 p.m.

Scandinavian Christmas

December 5, 2015

22 miles NW via Bainbridge ferry

Jule Fest is a free Scandinavian bazaar of arts and crafts, folk dancing, Vikings, a Christmas tree lighting, a bonfire, a Lucia bride, and Santa Claus in Poulsbo.

Charles Dickens festival

December 5, 2015

35 miles south

Dickens Festival at Stadium has street singers, a Victorian costume contest, horse carriage rides, craft vendors, a luminary parade, Santa, and a music show in Tacoma’s Stadium District.

Craft show

December 5 - 6, 2015

1 mile NW

Shop for hand-crafted clothing, jewelry, toys, stationery, art, candles, housewares, and food at Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show in the Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center. Repeats in July. Free.

Phinney winter festival

December 5 - 6, 2015

5 miles north

The Winter Festival & Crafts Fair has 100+ arts and crafts vendors, musicians and dancers, and lunch and baked goods at Phinney Center.

Santa Train

December 5 - 19, 2015

36 miles east

The Northwest Railway Museum runs a popular 20-minute Santa Train from North Bend to the Snoqualmie Depot for cookies and a visit with Santa.

Holiday exchange

December 6, 2015 (6 to 9 p.m.)

5.5 miles NW

No money changes hands at the Barter Fair & Holiday Party. Instead, bring things you cooked, made, or do as a service to trade at Ballard Alki Lodge. Free.

Pet friendly run/walk

December 6, 2015 (9 a.m.)

16.2 miles SE

Join the K9 Candy Cane 5K Fun Run and Walk from Renton Community Center up the beautiful Cedar River Trail, either with or without a leashed dog.

South-end pops concert

December 6, 2015 (2 p.m.)

23 miles south

Federal Way Symphony plays holiday favorites and classical music at the Holiday Concert at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Federal Way.

Celtic Christmas

December 6 - 18, 2015

multiple cities

Celtic Yuletide by Magical Strings is Irish music, dance, storytelling, juggling, and songs in Bellevue, Kent, Leavenworth, Mt. Vernon, Seattle, and Tacoma.

Christmas concert

December 7, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

Seattle and Tacoma

A PLU Christmas [sound] features the choir, chorale, and orchestra of Pacific Lutheran University at Benaroya Hall.

Dance films

December 7, 2015 (7 & 8:30 p.m.)

1.2 miles east

Next Dance Cinema features local and international dance on screen at Northwest Film Forum. Films are different at the two times.

Rock concert

December 8, 2015 (3 p.m.)

1 mile NW

Deck the Hall Ball is an annual marathon concert that features popular bands at Key Arena, run by Seattle radio station KNDD 107.7 FM or “The End.”

Menorah lighting

December 8, 2015 (6 p.m.)

5.1 miles NW

The Public Menorah Lighting In Ballard includes music, dancing, dreidels, and latkes at Bergen Place Park.

Gospel Christmas

December 9, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Talkin’ Christmas features gospel and soul holiday tunes at Benaroya Hall.

Christmas with Sherlock Holmes

December 10 - 19, 2015

13 miles SW

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol features the famous British detective and the ghost of criminal mastermind Moriarty at Renton Civic Theatre.

Holiday concert

December 11 - 13, 2015

0.5 miles south

Holiday Pops features the Seattle Symphony, University of Washington Chorale, Seahawks drummers, and singers at Benaroya Hall.

Contemporary dance

December 11 - 13, 2015 (8 p.m.)

1.2 miles east

Next Fest NW Performance is a contemporary dance series at Velocity Dance Center.

Short Nutcracker

December 11 - 19, 2015

Ballard & Shorewood

Nutcracker Sweets is a one-hour version of the classic ballet in Ballard Dec. 11 to 13 and a slightly longer version in Shoreline Dec. 19.

Musical comedy

December 11 - 20, 2015

7.2 miles NE

In sentimental She Loves Me, store clerks unknowingly write each other secret love notes at Seattle Musical Theatre in Magnuson Park.

Nutcracker Ballet - north end

December 11 - 20, 2015

Everett & Edmonds

Olympic Ballet Theatre performs The Nutcracker at Everett Performing Arts Center Dec. 11 to 13, and Edmonds Center for the Arts Dec. 17 to 20.

Dog holidays

December 12, 2015 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

1 mile south

Bring your four-legged friend in costume to Pioneer Square Howlidays for a costume contest (register in advance), agility course, dog park, carolers, and cocoa at Occidental Park.

Cookie sale

December 12, 2015 (10 a.m.)

1.1 miles NW

Shop for holiday treats at CookieFest at Seattle Center’s Amory Loft (food circus top floor). Free.

Green Lake lights

December 12, 2015 (4:30 to 7:30 p.m.)

4.5 miles north

Take a walk following glowing luminaries on the Green Lake Pathway of Lights, which includes live music at four locations, rain or shine. Free.

Affordable art

December 12, 2015 (2 to 8 p.m.)

5 miles south

Art Under $100 features 70 artists, free crafts, DJ music, and food trucks at Seattle Design Center.

Ukrainian holiday

December 12, 2015 (5 p.m.)

8 miles east

Hear a Ukrainian chorus perform Christmas music at Carol of the Bells, followed by a Ukrainian bake sale at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Medina.

Burlesque Christmas

December 12, 2015 (8 p.m.)

11 miles NE

KPC’s Campy Christmas is billed as fierce, fabulous, and festive. It’s a campy evening of drag, satire, and holiday traditions turned on their heads at Kirkland Performance Center for age 18+.

Native craft fair

December 12 - 13, 2015

6.6 miles NW

Shop for art prints, clothing, jewelry, woodworking, drums, and lunch at Native Art Mart at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Discover Park. Free.

Jingle Bell run - Seattle

December 13, 2015

0 miles

Wear a costume or tie on bells for the morning 5K Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis and 1K kids’ run at Westlake Center. No dogs.

Seattle jazz

December 13, 2015

1.5 miles NW

Hear the entire score of the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, preceded by cocktails at Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center.

Food truck festival

December 13, 2015 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

3.5 miles north

Shop from 20 food trucks during Winter Feast at the Fremont Sunday Market.

CityClub lunch

December 14, 2015 (noon)

0.1 miles north

Hear local leaders discuss current events at Seattle CityClub’s Annual Year in Review at the Westin Hotel.

Holiday cabaret

December 14 & 22, 2015

5.7 miles SW

After Hours Holiday Cabaret is a festive show at ArtsWest in West Seattle.

Bellevue concert

December 15, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

9 miles east

Brass Band Northwest plays Christmas and holiday music with guest singers at Unto Us a Child is Born at Bellevue Presbyterian. Donation.

Eastside family musical

December 17 - 20, 2015

18 miles NE

Harry Connick Jr. wrote jazzy music for The Happy Elf, a story about turning naughty children nice at Redmond High School’s Performing Arts Center.

Handel’s Messiah

December 18 - 20, 2015

Seattle & Everett

Handel’s Messiah is a holiday tradition.

Appalachian Christmas music

December 19, 2015 (8 p.m.)

0.5 miles west

An Appalachian Christmas features violinist and composer Mark O’Connor playing Appalachian music at the Moore Theatre.

Craft fair

December 19 - 20, 2015

8 miles NE

Renegade Craft Fair offers indie crafts, artisan food, and music at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park. Free.

Affordable Nutcracker

December 19 - 20, 2015

11 miles east

The low-budget Nutcracker by Cornerstone Studio has a youthful cast that wows with breakdancing and acrobatics at Bellevue High School.

Christmas show

December 19 - 23, 2015

34 miles south

The Christmas Revels is a family-oriented celebration of the winter solstice. Expect music, dance, theater, song, and storytelling at Rialto Theater in Tacoma.

Model train festival

December 21, 2015 - Jan. 1, 2016

33 miles south

See model train displays on all floors, and get a photo with Santa Dec. 21-23 at the Model Train Festival at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. Closed Dec. 24 and 25.

Willy Wonka with candy

December 22, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016

1.3 miles NW

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision includes a bag of “fragrant and tasty treats” to eat as you watch Gene Wilder at SIFF Film Center.

Jingle Bell Run - Tacoma

December 24, 2015 (noon)

36 miles south

Run or walk 3 miles at the Jingle Bell Run at Wright Park in Tacoma. Costumes are welcome.

Movie: Fiddler on the Roof

December 25, 2015

1.5 miles NW

See a film about Jewish tradition, eat Chinese food, and hear Klezmer music at Fiddler on the Roof Sing Along, an annual tradition at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

Christmas jazz

December 26, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

0.6 miles SE

Sacred Music by Duke Ellington features the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, plus guest vocalists, a chorus, and a tap dancer at Town Hall Seattle.

New Year’s street show

December 26 - 31, 2015 (7 p.m.)

10 miles east

Celebration Lane USA is a 20-minute exuberant display of bright lights, rocking music, and drummers dancing with costumed characters on Bellevue Way. Free.

New Year’s Eve restaurants

December 31, 2015

Seattle locations

Find a list of restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations for New Year’s Eve at OpenTable.

New Year’s Eve symphony

December 31, 2015 (9 p.m.)

0.5 mile south

New Year’s Eve: Concert, Countdown & Celebration features classical music performed by the Seattle Symphony, dancing to midnight, a countdown, and a toast, at Benaroya Hall.

New Year’s Eve - Columbia Center

December 31, 2015 (10 a.m. to 1 a.m.)

0.6 miles SE

Watch the Space Needle’s fireworks from atop the city’s tallest building at New Year’s Eve at Sky View Observatory, with champagne, wine, beer, and appetizers for sale. Limited room, no reservations.

New Year’s Eve at Chihuly

December 31, 2015

1 mile NW

New Year’s Eve pARTy includes appetizers & dessert, live music and dancing, a tour of the exhibits, and a champagne toast with a view of the Space Needle’s fireworks through the Glasshouse ceiling at Chihuly Garden and Glass at Seattle Center for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve at EMP

December 31, 2015

1 mile NW

Indulgence is billed as Seattle’s biggest New Year’s Eve bash, with 3,000 guests, 3 performance stages, comedy, and dancing to live music at Experience Music Project for age 21+, with museum access.

New Year’s Eve science

December 31, 2015

1 mile NW

SPECTRA 2016: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches has aerial acts, fire sculptures, laser shows, dancing, appetizers, champagne, and a view of the Space Needle fireworks at Pacific Science Center, age 21+.

New Year’s fireworks

December 31, 2015

1 mile NW

The Space Needle at Seattle Center is the tallest structure on earth to launch fireworks. Wear a winter coat to watch the free show from the ground. The parties upstairs are sold out.

New Year’s Eve film

December 31, 2015 (9 p.m.)

1.4 miles NW

Watch the glamorous film with Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman at Moulin Rouge! New Year’s Eve Sing Along, including champagne at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

New Year’s Eve party

Dec, 31, 2015 (6:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.)

1.5 miles south

Resolution is a massive celebration with 6,000 balloons, 500 pounds of confetti, aerial acrobatics, spectacular lighting effects, music, dancing, and bars at WaMu Theater for age 18+.

New Year’s Eve show

December 31, 2015 (8 p.m.)

4 miles NW

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza is a variety show done by the Moisture Festival with appetizers and midnight champagne at Hale’s Ales Palladium. Kids OK.

New Year’s Eve in Tacoma

December 31, 2015

33 miles south

First Night Tacoma fills the last day of the year with family-friendly entertainment, including a short parade, fun run, music and dance shows, puppets, and a fiery midnight spectacle in downtown Tacoma.
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