7 Holiday Events That Will Make You Want To Head To Seattle This Winter

Driving through the dark downtown city streets of Seattle, all is quiet in my car. My three kids have already fallen asleep, and we haven’t even hit the highway yet. Music is playing quietly and I smile as I take in the last bit of holiday glow from the buildings and trees that we pass, before we turn off onto the highway towards home. 

We’ve just enjoyed an action-packed weekend in Seattle, with long days spent strolling the streets, enjoying the holiday festivities outdoors, and working our way through the city’s best hot spots. Evenings were spent dining out, and then snuggling up in our spacious suite for some quiet together-time. 

When it comes to finding some holiday fun that the whole family can enjoy, a visit to Seattle is a must. From the world’s largest light maze, to a floating parade of festive boats, there’s so much to see and do south of the border.

Only a 2.5 hour drive from Vancouver, you can enjoy a festive escape to Seattle too, where you can disconnect from the busyness of December, and reconnect with each other. Here are just 7 of the city’s holiday events that you’ll want to add to your to-do list when you head to Seattle this winter.

Enchant Christmas

1) Enchant Christmas 

Head to T-Mobile Park for a can’t-miss winter wonderland under the stars. Stroll through the world’s largest light maze, go ice skating on the outdoor rink, visit with Santa, and shop the Christmas market for holiday gifts (or a keepsake for yourself). More Info

Christmas Ship Festival

2) Christmas Ship Festival 

Hop aboard a festive ship covered in lights and experience one of Seattle’s most treasured traditions firsthand! The Christmas Ship Festival has been a holiday mainstay since 1949, and features Santa visits, choir music performances, kids’ crafts and activities, and more. If you’d prefer, you can enjoy watching the boats go by from Seattle’s scenic shore. More Info

(Note: be sure to pre-purchase your tickets before you go as this event sells out quickly!)

Wildlights Woodland Park Zoo

3) Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo is already a top attraction for visitors coming from Vancouver, but have you seen the zoo at night? See the zoo grounds come alive at night with thousands of lights displayed throughout the outdoor space, plus enjoy faux snowball fights, enjoy up-close animal encounters, visit live reindeer, and then warm up with hot chocolate and delicious holiday treats. More Info

Lumaze Seattle

4) Lumaze by Glow Gardens

In its first year in Seattle, Lumaze brings a magical indoor winter wonderland to the city! The Light Garden features a stunning light tunnel, LED hopscotch and swings, and dazzling light displays that dangle from above. The event also features live entertainment, illuminated structures and a playground for kids, as well as delicious food and beverage options and visits with Santa. More Info

Holiday Tea

5) Holiday High Tea at The Georgian (Fairmont Olympic) 

Treat your family to a delightfully decadent lunch of hot tea and tasty, tiny sandwiches and treats. The seasonal offerings are made in-house, the perfect way to warm up and connect after a day of fun outdoors. Don’t forget to take in the magic of the hotel which is fully decked out for the holidays! Check out their life-sized Gingerbread House, and pay a visit to their Teddy Bear Suite (decorated with over 100 bears!), as well as their annual festival of trees celebration as well. More Info

Space Needle

6) See Holiday Lights From The Space Needle

A visit to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the top of the world-renowned architectural icon that is the Space Needle, which has recently undergone a $100-million-dollar “Spacelift” to include new features like The Loupe, the world’s first and only revolving glass floor, and the tilted Skyrisers (glass benches) which can be found on the refreshed open-air observation deck. Take in the sweeping views of the city (Tip: visit at night for lesser crowds and a spectacular view of the holiday lights), and don’t forget to snap a selfie before you descend back down into the city. More Info

Sheraton Seattle's Gingerbread Village
Photo: Christoper Nelson

7) Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Grand

A local tradition since 1992, the Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Grand is where local chefs, architects, and children work together to build elaborate gingerbread creations, with proceeds going towards the JDRF for juvenile diabetes research and support. Crowds can get crazy so go early (or book your stay at the hotel for early access!). More Info

Sheraton Grand Seattle

Where To Stay: The Sheraton Grand Seattle

Stay at the Sheraton Grand Seattle during the holiday season and get exclusive access to the Gingerbread Village display. The rooms are spacious, elegant, and cozy, creating the perfect home base for your holiday stay. The suites are perfect for larger families, the top-floor pool is a hit with the kids, and the hotel is centrally located, giving you easy access to many of the city’s top attractions. 

Book a spacious room located in the heart of the city, and enjoy the “Book and Save” package this holiday season, which includes a discount of up to 20% off the best available rate when you prepay for your stay. More Info


For local holiday fun, check out our latest issue, available on stands now at a location near you, or read the full issue online here.

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