Seattle events calendar for December 2016. Festivals, fun things to do, Christmas events, Christmas lights, Christmas ships, New Year’s Eve parties, Seattle, WA.

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Best events for 12 months
December 2016
December 2016

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

Distance is from Westlake Center in downtown Seattle, Washington.

Victorian Christmas

December 1 - 4, 2016 (begins Nov. 30)

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.

Twilight Zone theater

December 1 - 17, 2016 (begins Nov. 18)

0.3 mile NW

Watch three episodes of Rod Serling’s sci-fi TV show live onstage when Theater Schmeater presents The Twilight Zone: Live! in Belltown.

Christmas ships parade

December 1 - 23, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

Lake Washington & Puget Sound

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

Christmas plays

December 1 - 24, 2016

Seattle, Edmonds, Renton

Christmas improv

December 1 - 24, 2016 (also Nov.)

0.4 miles SW

Audience suggestions add funny twists to the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim at An Improvised Christmas Carol by Unexpected Productions at Pike Place Market.

Reindeer & model trains

December 1 - 24, 2016 (begins Nov. 12)

7 miles NW

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

Bellevue street show

December 1 - 24, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

10 miles east

Enjoy a 20-minute show of lights, music, falling snow, young dancers, and drummers in uniform on Snowflake Lane (also known as Bellevue Way). Arrive early for the best view. Free.

Winter at Seattle Center

December 1 - 31, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

1 mile NW

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

Christmas lights - Bellevue

December 1 - 31, 2016 (begins Nov. 26)

11 miles east

Enjoy zillions of colorful lights and displays at Garden d’Lights in Bellevue Botanical Garden from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. There may be a line on free nights, which in 2016 are Nov. 28, 29, 30 and Dec. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Gingerbread houses

Dec. 1, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017 (begins Nov. 22)

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, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017 (also Nov.)

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, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017 (also Nov.)

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.

Caroling at Westlake

December 2, 2016

0 miles

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

Beer festival

December 2 - 3, 2016

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.

Nutcracker ballet - Renton

December 2 - 4, 2016

14 miles south

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

Short Nutcracker

December 2 - 18, 2016

Auburn, Bellevue, Renton

Evergreen City Ballet offers one-hour and two-hour versions of the holiday classic ballet The Nutcracker in Auburn, Bellevue, and Renton. After the performance, dancers meet the audience in the lobby.

Bavarian Christmas

December 2 - 18, 2016 (Fri. to Sun.)

117 miles east

Enjoy Christmas lights twinkling on snow, roasted chestnuts, sleigh rides, and caroling at the annual Leavenworth Christmas Lighting. Lights are on Fridays, but ceremony is Saturdays and Sundays at 4:30 p.m.

Nutcracker ballet

December 2 - 28, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

1 mile NW

Pacific Northwest Ballet performs The Nutcracker by George Balanchine, with a live orchestra, magnificent sets and costumes, and a huge cast in McCaw Hall.

Drawing day

December 3, 2016

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.

Yoga party

December 3, 2016 (8 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 3, 2016

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.

Ugly Sweater Run/Walk

December 3, 2016

15 miles east

Wear your ugliest sweater for the Ugly Sweater Run 5K and after-party at Marymoor Park in Redmond.

Scandinavian Christmas

December 3, 2016

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.

Craft show

December 3 - 4, 2016 (preview Dec. 2)

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 3 - 4, 2016

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.

Christmas concert in Tacoma

December 3 - 10, 2016

Seattle and Tacoma

A PLU Christmas features the choir, chorale, and orchestra of Pacific Lutheran University at Benaroya Hall and also in Tacoma.

Nutcracker Ballet - north end

December 3 - 11, 2016 (2 p.m.)

16 miles NE

Emerald Ballet Theatre performs The Nutcracker with new sets and a live orchestra in Bothell at Northshore Performing Arts Center.

Santa Train

December 3 - 17, 2016 (dates below)

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. Dates in 2016: Nov. 26, 27; Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17.

Christmas lights - Wild Waves

December 3 - 31, 2016

25 miles south

See colorful displays with a million lights, and go on rides at Holiday with Lights in Federal Way. Closed December 12 to 15 and 24 to 25. Schedule.

Winter solstice celebration

December 4, 2016 (4 to 9 p.m.)

1 mile south

Secular Solstice promises “songs, stories, laughter, light, and beauty” to bring Seattleites together and brighten the darkest days of winter at FlutterStudios.

Pet friendly run/walk

December 4, 2016 (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 4, 2016 (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 4 - 16, 2016

multiple cities

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

Holiday chorus

December 4 - 22, 2016

Seattle, Tacoma, Everett

Seattle Men’s Chorus sings holiday songs at Benaroya Hall, as well as Tacoma Dec. 10, and Everett Dec. 17.

Dance films

December 5, 2016

1.2 miles east

Next Dance Cinema features local and international dance on screen at Northwest Film Forum.

Rock concert

December 6, 2016

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.”

Weird holiday movies

December 7, 14, 21, 2016

3.6 miles north

West of Lenin theater screens different cult and indie films on Wednesdays, including “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” in Fremont.

CityClub lunch

December 9, 2016

0.5 mile east

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

Christmas radio show

December 9, 2016 (8 p.m.)

0.6 miles SE

Watch a live radio production of A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about the miraculous transformation of miserly Scrooge), including live music, sound effects, and a pre-show warm up at 7:45 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle.

Holiday concert

December 9 - 11, 2016

0.5 miles south

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

Contemporary dance

December 9 - 11, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

1.2 miles east

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

Short Nutcracker

December 9 - 17, 2016

Ballard & Shorewood

Nutcracker Sweets is a one-hour version of the classic ballet in Ballard Dec. 9 to 11 (SOLD OUT), and a slightly longer version in Shoreline Dec. 17.

Nutcracker Ballet - north end

December 9 - 18, 2016

Everett & Edmonds

Olympic Ballet Theatre performs The Nutcracker at Everett Performing Arts Center.

Willy Wonka with candy

December 9, 2016 - Jan. 2, 2017 (also Nov.)

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. 2016 dates: Nov. 25-27, Dec. 9-11 & 16-24 & 26-Jan. 2.

Dog holidays

December 10, 2016 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

1 mile south

Bring your four-legged friend in costume to Pioneer Square Howlidays for a costume parade, dog treats, a pop-up dog park, carolers, and cocoa at Occidental Park.

Cookie sale

December 10, 2016 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

1.1 miles NW

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

Green Lake lights

December 10, 2016 (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 three locations, rain or snow or shine. Free.

Affordable art

December 10, 2016 (2 p.m., VIP 1 p.m.)

5 miles south

Art Under $100 features 70 artists, free crafts, DJ music, and food trucks at Seattle Design Center. Free unless you pay $20 to go an hour early.

Pet adoption day

December 10, 2016 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

8 miles NE

Check out 100 adoptable cats and dogs at Merry Mutts & Meows, which has animal shelter staff on hand and vendor booths in The Hangar at Magnuson Park. Free.

Charles Dickens festival

December 10, 2016

35 miles south

Dickens Festival at Stadium has a Victorian costume contest, puppet show, carolers, circus arts, and craft vendors in Tacoma’s Stadium District. Schedule. Also visit Victorian Holiday Festival at the botanical conservatory via horse carriage rides.

Tour artists’ studios

December 10 - 11, 2016 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Seattle locations

Shop from 34 artists at 9 studios who make clothing, jewelry, glass, ceramics, prints, and more on Seattle Sampling Artists’ Studio Tour. Free.

Jingle Bell run - Seattle

December 11, 2016

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.

Seattle jazz

December 11, 2016 (1 & 7 p.m.)

1.5 miles NW

Hear the entire score of the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas at Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center. The evening performance has cocktails for sale beginning 6 p.m.

Food truck festival

December 11, 2016 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

3.5 miles north

Shop from 20 food trucks (plus the usual 100 market vendors) during Winter Feast at the Fremont Sunday Market.

Holiday exchange

December 11, 2016 (4 to 7 p.m.)

6 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 Royal Drummer Cafe. Free.

Bellevue concert

December 13, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

9 miles east

Brass Band Northwest plays Christmas and holiday music with guest singers at Silent Night at Bellevue Presbyterian. Donation.

Appalachian Christmas music

December 15, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

4 miles NE

An Appalachian Christmas features violinist and composer Mark O’Connor and his family playing Appalachian music in Meany Hall at the University of Washington.

Handel’s Messiah

December 16 - 18, 2016

Seattle & Everett

Handel’s Messiah is a holiday tradition.

Santa bar crawl

December 17, 2016 (noon)

0.3 miles SE

Wear a Santa suit or a holiday costume to SantaCon, which begins near the Pike Place Market at a location to be announced and then heads to city bars. Free.

Christmas jazz

December 17, 2016 (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.

Doggie pub crawl

December 17, 2016 (1 to 4:30 p.m.)

0.9 miles south

A ticket to Santa Pup Crawl gets you drink specials and gets your leashed dog treats at three bars in Pioneer Square for age 21+. Ugly holiday sweaters welcome.

Light-saber battle

December 17, 2016 (gather 8 p.m., start 9)

1.6 miles south

Glow Sword Battle is an all-ages event in the parking lot behind Pyramid Alehouse. Buy a glow sword online to pick up, or bring your own. Free.

Salsa dance

December 17, 2016 (3:30 p.m.)

2.3 miles SE

The Holiday Salsa Celebration features Mambo Cadillac playing irresistibly danceable high-octane salsa and Latin jazz music, with an optional salsa lesson at 3:30 p.m. at Artspace Hiawatha Lofts.

High-flying acrobatic show

December 17 - 18, 2016

3 miles SE

The Love & Gravity show by Acrobatic Conundrum portrays romance and relationships in juggling acts and aerial acrobatics 20 feet in the air at 12th Avenue Arts.

Native craft fair

December 17 - 18, 2016

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 Discovery Park. Free.

Craft fair

December 17 - 18, 2016

8 miles NE

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

Eastside Nutcracker

December 17 - 18, 2016

12 miles east

The affordable Nutcracker by Cornerstone Studio has a cast of 70 youthful and exuberant dancers at Bellevue College.

Christmas show

December 17 - 18 and 20 - 21, 2016

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 17, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017

33 miles south

Watch model trains run through detailed scenes of the Pacific Northwest, and see railroad-history exhibits at the Model Train Festival at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. Santa visits for photos Dec. 21 to 23. Closed Dec. 24 and 25.

Christmas movie

December 21 - 24, 2016

1.3 miles NW

A ticket to the classic movie White Christmas (featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney) includes free jingle bells and a pre-film music-video sing along with Christmas songs at SIFF Film Center.

Jingle Bell Run - Tacoma

December 24, 2016 (10 a.m. & 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, 2016 (music 11 a.m., film noon)

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 play

December 27, 2016 (8:30 p.m.)

0.3 miles east

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

Bollywood New Year

December 30, 2016 (9 p.m.)

5 miles SE

Dance into the new year a day early at Bollywood Masquerade, a DJ dance party playing the sounds of India at Columbia City Theater for age 21+.

High-flying acrobatic show

December 30, 2016 (8 p.m.)

3 miles SE

Acrobatic Conundrum presents its New Year’s show “Volume 4” with aerial acrobatics, juggling acts, rope art, and hoop diving from 20 feet in the air, all to live music at 12th Avenue Arts.

New Year’s Eve restaurants

December 31, 2016

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, 2016 (9 p.m.)

0.5 mile south

New Year’s Eve Classical Soul of Motown includes classical music performed by the Seattle Symphony, dancing to midnight, a countdown, and a champagne toast, at Benaroya Hall.

New Year’s Eve - Columbia Center

December 31, 2016

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. Arrive early due to a capacity limit.

New Year’s Eve at Chihuly

December 31, 2016 (8 p.m.)

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, 2016 (8 p.m.)

1 mile NW

Indulgence is billed as Seattle’s biggest New Year’s Eve bash, with 2,000 guests, 3 performance stages, comedy, dancing to live music, and access to most exhibits at Experience Music Project for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve science

December 31, 2016 (9 p.m.)

1 mile NW

SPECTRA 2017: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches has laser shows, science exhibits and live demos, dancing to DJ music, a champagne toast, and a view of the Space Needle fireworks at the Pacific Science Center for age 21+.

New Year’s fireworks

December 31, 2016 (midnight)

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 sell out early.

New Year’s Eve film

December 31, 2016 (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

December 31, 2016 (6:30 p.m.)

1.5 miles south

Resolution is a massive celebration with 6,000 balloons, 500 pounds of confetti, a dozen bands (listed on Facebook), aerial acrobatics, lighting effects, dancing, and bars at WaMu Theater for age 18+.

New Year’s Eve show

December 31, 2016 (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 for all ages.

New Year’s Eve in Tacoma

December 31, 2016 (6 p.m.)

33 miles south

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