With 40 bands on four stages, Freakout Festival “offers gritty guitars, hypnotic light shows, and tasty libations” for age 21+ to enjoy. Venues include The Crocodile, 2505 1st Ave. in Seattle. The smaller Freakout Weekender happens each spring.
Clave Gringa Quartet performs Cuban music “from the classically oriented danzon and cha-cha-cha styles to the African folkloric sounds and rumba” in the piano showroom at Stage 7 Pianos, 12037 124th Ave. NE in Kirkland. The band website has videos.
Sample local beers and ciders, and meet Northwest craft brewers in the beer garden at Brewallup Craft Beer Festival, which includes “a full lineup of bands and a night market” at Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 9th Ave. SW in Puyallup. Bring age 21+ ID.
Shop from 200 vendors of vintage and modern toys, comics, and collectibles at the Washington State Toy Show at Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 9th Ave. SW in Puyallup. Children age 12 and younger are free. Repeats twice a year.
Watch films from an obscure country with a taste for dark humor at the Romanian Film Festival at Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave. in Seattle. All films have English subtitles. Some films offer question-and-answer sessions with directors on Zoom.
Strawberry Festival has two days of entertainment, music, food vendors, and family activities at Town Square Park, 480 SW 152nd St. in Burien. The petting zoo is Saturday and the car show is Sunday. FREE
Newport Ski Swap is a huge consignment sale that includes skis, snowboards, snowshoes, and winter clothing at Newport High School, 4333 Factoria Blvd. SE in Bellevue. FREE except the first hour on Friday. Entry time can be reserved.
The Port Gamble Ghost Conference features paranormal investigations, guest speakers, classes, and ghost tours in the historic town of Port Gamble, beginning at Port Gamble Theater, View Drive NE in Poulsbo. Pre-register.
WildLanterns features “large-scale animal and nature scape lanterns representing wild places from around the globe” including bugs, dinosaurs, tigers, peacocks, and dragons, with snacks for sale at Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. N in Seattle. Free parking. Enter by 8:30 p.m. (Closed Nov. 23, Dec. 24 & 25, and most Mondays.)
Celebrate “the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance” at Diwali: Lights of India, with classical and folk dances, henna and face painting, Indian food, an art gallery, and craft making at Seattle Center Armory, 305 Harrison St. in Seattle. FREE
Veterans Day Ceremony includes remarks by the mayor of Bellevue, recognition of veterans by “senior officers from each armed forces service,” bagpipes, and the playing of taps at Sunset Hills Memorial Park, 1215 145th Place SE in Bellevue. FREE
The Veterans Day Parade & Observance includes veterans’ units, military vehicles, motorcycles, 25 marching bands, and floats moving along E Main St. (from E St. to A St.). See related events on their web page. FREE
Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca “features a company of dancers, singers and musicians” in an emotional show that reflects the political turmoil and injustices of 18th and 19th century Spain at Meany Center for the Performing Arts, 4040 George Washington Lane NE in Seattle.
Buy a ticket online, then drive two miles past “300 elaborate displays” of holiday lights at Fantasy Lights in Spanaway Park, 14905 Bresemann Blvd. S in Spanaway. Hear holiday music in the park on radio station 1700 AM. Open every night except Nov. 20 to 23.
Taste “some of the most prestigious single malt, premium Scotch whiskies and other unique whiskies from around the world” with unlimited light bites at Whiskies of the World at The Rainier Club, 820 4th Ave. in Seattle. Bring age 21+ ID.
Shop from “100+ local crafty food and beverage vendors” at Gobble Up, organized by Urban Craft Uprising in Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park, 6310 NE 74th St. in Seattle. Examples of what you’ll find include sauces, teas, kitchenware, and food trucks. Held in June & November. FREE
A ticket to Renton Wine Walk includes a souvenir glass and 10 tokens to sample wine in downtown businesses where you can meet the winemakers, beginning at Rain City Market, 700 S 3rd St. in Renton. Bring age 21+ ID. Held in summer, fall, and winter.
Julefest is a popular outdoor Christmas event with Nordic food, craft booths, kids’ activities, musicians, and a beverage garden, plus access to the National Nordic Museum, 2655 NW Market St. in Seattle. Free for children age 11 and younger. Expect scarce parking.
The Tree-Lighting Celebration pre-show entertainment begins at 3 p.m., the countdown to light the tree and giant star begins at 5 p.m., and a post-show concert follows in Westlake Park, 401 Pine St. in Seattle. FREE
GeekCraft Expo Seattle Holiday Market promises “gifts for the geeks on your holiday shopping list” handmade by 100 vendors in Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park. Friday costs more. Free for age 12 and younger.
Save yourself a flight to Japan and watch three sumo stars wrestle in six live matches during Sumo + Sushi for age 21+, with optional sushi, sake, and beer at WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S in Seattle.
Ride on the main ship with the choir, or on a “follow boat” for adults, or listen from shore (unless the performance is marked P for private in the schedule) during the Christmas Ship Festival with many departure points.
Arrive early to park and find a good viewing spot for the 20-minute show of lights, music, falling snow, young dancers, and drummers in uniform on Snowflake Lane (Bellevue Way between N.E. 4th & N.E. 8th). FREE
Enjoy holiday lights, folk dancers, carolers, musicians, model trains, and Saturday ice sculptors during Winterfest at the Seattle Center. See entertainment schedule on web page. No events Dec. 25. FREE
See a million lights, beautiful displays, and costumed characters as you drive your car through The Lights of Christmas, 20800 Marine Drive in Stanwood. Then park and see Santa’s Village. Last day for Santa is Dec. 23. Open Nov. 24 - 26, 30, Dec. 1 - 3, 7 - 10, 14 - 17, 20 - 23, 26 - 30, 2023. Video (2 minutes).
Bundle up to admire 800,000 holiday lights and displays at Zoolights from 4:30 to 10 p.m. at Point Defiance Zoo, 5400 N Pearl St. in Tacoma. The kids area has goats. The adult beer garden has fire pits. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.
Joy to the World features the Tacoma Concert Band playing “family friendly holiday music to kick off the holiday season” at Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway in Tacoma. (Go to the box office to get free tickets for children age 17 and younger.)
The popular Santa Train includes a gift from Santa. The 25-minute ride departs from Snoqualmie, and the 2-hour ride with kids’ activity stop departs from Northwest Railway Museum, 205 E McClellan St. in North Bend.
Enjoy zillions of colorful lights and displays at Garden d’Lights in Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main St. in Bellevue. Free for age 10 and younger. You must buy timed tickets online. Some weeknights are cheaper. Closed Dec. 25.
A ticket to Family Sing-Along includes a “sing-along concert featuring the Northwest Boychoir Apprentices and the Seattle Girls Choir” followed by dinner, surrounded by a dozen decorated Christmas trees in the ballroom of The Westin Seattle, 1900 5th Ave. in Seattle.
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, 110 9th Ave. SW in Puyallup. Free parking.
Animation Show of Shows screens 10 international short films “which deal with both the anxieties and hopes of a world faced with a seemingly endless series of existential crises” at SIFF Cinema Egyptian, 805 E Pine St. in Seattle. National website.
Aerial Americana is “a celebration of local musicians and acrobatic artists” for all ages, with a chamber orchestra, trapeze acts, and a bar available at Emerald City Trapeze Arts, 2702 6th Ave. S in Seattle. For all ages.
A ticket to the Cider Maker’s Dinner includes a reception with appetizers and a four-course dinner paired with cider to benefit hunger relief at The Factory Luxe, 3100 Airport Way S in Seattle for age 21+.