Seattle events calendar for January 2016. Best festivals, fairs, fun things to do, Martin Luther King Day events, kids activities, free entertainment in Seattle, Washington.

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Best events for 12 months
January 2016
January 2016

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

Mileage is from Westlake Center in downtown Seattle, Washington.

Free state parks

January 1, 2016


New Year’s Day is one of the State Parks Free Days, so you can spend it exploring any of these 140 Washington State Parks. Free.

New Year’s Day run/walk

January 1, 2016

7 miles NE

Resolution Run 5K and Polar Bear Dive includes an optional dip in the cold waters of Lake Washington, awards, snacks, and a beer garden at Magnuson Park.

Polar Bear Plunge - Seattle

January 1, 2016 (noon)

8 miles NE

Join 1000 people wading into Lake Washington to celebrate the new year at the Polar Bear Plunge, or just watch from shore. Costumes are encouraged. Matthews Beach Park has limited parking. Free.

Model train festival

January 1, 2016 (begins Dec. 21)

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.

Polar Bear Plunge - Tacoma

January 1, 2016

41 miles south

Jump into the cold waters of Puget Sound at Polar Bear Plunge at Point Defiance boat launch, and then warm up at heating tents with hot drinks. Separate kids’ plunge. Free.

Christmas lights - Wild Waves

January 1 - 2, 2016 (also Dec.)

25 miles south

See colorful displays with a million lights, and go on rides at Holiday with Lights in Federal Way.

Gingerbread houses

January 1 - 3, 2016

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.

Willy Wonka with candy

January 1 - 3, 2016 (also Dec.)

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.

Christmas lights - Seattle zoo

January 1 - 3, 2016 (also Dec.)

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

January 1 - 3, 2016 (also Dec.)

40 miles south

Bundle up to admire half a million holiday lights and displays at Zoolights in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo from 5 to 9 p.m. Closed Dec. 24.

Art walk

January 7, 2016

1 mile south

Head to historic Pioneer Square for the January First Thursday Art Walk, when art galleries open their doors to introduce new exhibitions and artists. Free.

Free museums

January 7, 2016

Seattle locations

Visit these free on the first Thursday of the month.

Puyallup Home and Garden Show

January 8 - 10, 2016

36 miles south

Get help for your home and garden at the Puyallup Home & Garden Show in the Showplex at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. The website includes a coupon.

MLK celebration

January 14, 2016 (12 to 1 p.m.)

0.4 miles NE

You’re welcome to attend the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at the Paramount Theatre. Free.

Nordic films

January 14 - 17, 2016

1.2 miles NW

See contemporary films, both short and long, from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden at Nordic Lights Film Festival at the SIFF Film Center.

Remodeling expo

January 15 - 17, 2016

0.5 mile east

Get ideas for your dream home from speakers, vendors, and remodeling experts at the Northwest Remodeling Expo at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Science-fiction convention

January 15 - 17, 2016

15 miles south

Rustycon is a science-fiction and fantasy convention that focuses on literature, science, art, costumes, and gaming at Hilton Seattle Airport.

Monster trucks

January 15 - 17, 2016

33 miles south

Big trucks with big wheels make big noise and excitement at Monster Jam in the Tacoma Dome.

MLK celebration

January 16, 2016 (noon)

1.5 miles east

The annual Community Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. includes a keynote speaker and live gospel music at Mount Zion Baptist Church. Free.

Ellensburg beer festival

January 16, 2016

107 miles east

WinterHop BrewFest includes a souvenir glass, five tastings from 20 microbreweries, and music in downtown Ellensburg.

Wedding show

January 16 - 17, 2016

0.5 mile east

Live and breathe weddings at the Seattle Wedding Show in the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Expect fashion shows, discount gowns, and 400 vendors.

Leavenworth ice festival

January 16 - 17, 2016

119 miles east

Enjoy invigorating outdoor events like snow sculpture, tug ‘o war, ice-cube scramble, snowshoe racing, dog sledding, and the famous Smooshing Contest at the Bavarian Icefest in Leavenworth.

Model trains - Seattle

January 16 - 18, 2016

1 mile NW

See dozens of model-train displays and layouts, try hands-on activities, and ride the kid-sized train at the Model Railroad Show at the Pacific Science Center.

Tango show

January 17, 2016 (4 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

Forever Tango features a couple from TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” world-class dancers from Argentina, a traditional Argentine 1930s style vocalist, and an 11-piece orchestra at Benaroya Hall.

Tacoma brass concert

January 17, 2016 (3 p.m.)

39 miles south

The annual Sounds of Brass Concert is held at Tacoma Community College. Donation.

Free state parks

January 17 - 18, 2016


Celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Sunday and Monday, which are State Parks Free Days, exploring any of these 140 Washington State Parks. Free.

MLK Day breakfast

January 18, 2016 (7 to 8:30 a.m.)

0.2 miles SE

The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast includes food, a speaker, and a gospel choir at the Sheraton Hotel.

MLK Day march & rally

January 18, 2016

2 miles east

Martin Luther King Jr. Rally and March includes speeches and workshops at Garfield High School, followed by a march at 12:30 p.m. to the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building for a rally. Free.

MLK Day in Tacoma

January 18, 2016 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

34 miles south

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration features a keynote speaker plus music, dance, and poetry at Greater Tacoma Convention Center. Free.

Free national parks

January 18, 2016

All national parks

Entry is free at Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks on Free Entrance Days in the National Parks. Expect more people and less parking than usual.

Tacoma RV Show

January 21 - 24, 2016

33 miles south

Check out hundreds of recreational vehicles at the Tacoma RV Show in the Tacoma Dome. Repeats Oct.

Children’s Film Festival

January 21 - 31, 2016

1 mile east

See the best and brightest in international cinema for children ages 3 to 12 at the Children’s Film Festival Seattle at Northwest Film Forum.

Chamber music

January 22 - 24 and 29 - 31, 2016

0.5 mile south

Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Winter Festival at Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall has a free recital before each performance. Repeats in July.

Antique and collectibles show

January 23 - 24, 2016

37 miles south

Billed as America’s Largest Antique & Collectible Show, this event has 400 vendors selling furniture, glassware, slot machines, movie memorabilia, estate jewelry, paintings, mechanical banks, and toys at the Washington State Fair Events Center. Repeats Nov.

Alternative wedding show

January 24, 2016

1.9 miles south

Find vendors of handmade items and innovative services for unique weddings at Lovesick, plus fashion makeovers, neo-burlesque performances, live music, and a bar at Showbox SoDo for ages 21+.

Fishing, hunting, camping

January 27 - 31, 2016

36 miles south

Washington Sportsmen’s Show has seminars and exhibitors at the state fair center in Puyallup.

Tacoma Home and Garden Show

January 28 - 31, 2016

33 miles south

The Tacoma Home & Garden Show fills the Tacoma Dome with home-improvement vendors, seminars, and thousands of plants.

Strange beer festival

January 29 - 30, 2016

54 miles NW via Bainbridge ferry

Enjoy beer in odd flavors from dozens of breweries and watch live music and entertainment at Strange Brewfest at American Legion Hall in Port Townsend.

Leavenworth music concert

January 29 - 30, 2016

117 miles east

Hear 14 acts indoors over two days at Timbrrr! Winter Festival in Leavenworth, counterpart to the Timber! Outdoor Music Festival in July. Most events age 21+.

Boat show

January 29 - Feb. 6, 2016

1.5 miles south

Seattle Boat Show, which promises 1000 boats and watercraft on display plus 200 boating seminars, is at CenturyLink Field, with a free shuttle to boats in the water at South Lake Union.

Belgian beer festival

January 30, 2016 (12 & 5:30 p.m.)

1.1 miles NW

Buy a ticket to Belgianfest and you can choose 10 beers to taste out of 100 brewed in Washington using Belgian yeast at Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center for age 21+.

Free trapeze show

January 30, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

2.5 miles south

The Student Show at Emerald City Trapeze features students performing a diverse array of aerial arts, high flying trapeze, and circus acts. Free.

Frog day

January 30, 2016 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

35 miles north

Enjoy kids’ activities, see Princess Amphibiana and the mayor introduce a frog named Snohomish Slew, dance to music, and meet firefighters on Snohomish Ground Frog Day. Free.

Chocolate & drinks

January 31, 2016 (6 to 9 p.m.)

0.3 miles SW

Wine, spirits, cider, and mead pair deliciously with chocolate, artisan cheese, savory food, dessert, and music at Pike Chocofest at Pike Brewing Company.
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© Seattle weekend planner for January 2016 events, fairs, festivals, and best things to do in Seattle, Washington.