Holiday Happenings: Savoring the Season In & Around Seattle

Courtesy Enchant Christmas

No matter how you feel about the season ahead, these upcoming November and December weeks provide plenty of excuses to happily cozy up indoors—or to get out into that fresh PNW air—with those you love most. Here are some ideas on where to find relaxation and revelry—within city limits and well beyond.

In the Seattle Area 

In addition to all these Seattle-area festivities and gatherings, consider the following:

Mischievous, Enchant Christmas® returns to T-Mobile Park for its second year, from November 22 through December 29. While “snow” falls gently around you, wander the World’s Largest Light Maze with hot cocoa in hand. Explore all-new food options and a Christmas Market experience with 70-plus local artisans, glide along an ice-skating trail, and savor live entertainment as you soak up this downtown Seattle winter wonderland.

The Can Can Culinary Cabaret holiday show Wonderland runs through January 5, and you won’t want to miss out on the fun! Located underneath Pike Place Market, the company produces both adult-appropriate nighttime fun (take a date or friends!) as well as family-friendly weekend brunch shows (every Saturday and Sunday). The venue’s food is surprisingly tasty and sourced from nearby purveyor neighbors situated right there in the Market.

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker at The Triple Door is bawdy fun for ages 17+. The show runs December 12 through 29, and the award-winning wintertime spectacle features top-notch local dance talent, opulent costuming and original choreography from classically trained, internationally recognized artist Lily Verlaine. This season’s production features original music inspired by the iconic Tchaikovsky ballet score arranged by Jasper McCann and music scholars Kate Olson and Michael Owcharuk, played live by a nine-piece jazz orchestra.

Greeting the Season, Nov. 30, 2013
Photo courtesy MOHAI

Argosy Christmas Cruises: Mark your calendars for November 29 through December 23, when Seattle celebrates the season in maritime style. During the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship festival, a Pacific Northwest holiday tradition since 1949, a nautical parade visits communities along the Puget Sound (from Tacoma to Kirkland). Choirs onboard sing 20-minute performances to these communities (all broadcast via speaker system), or watch from bonfire-warmed spots along the beach and cozy restaurants and bars overlooking the action.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® returns to Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall from November 29 through December 28. Featuring sets and costumes by Ian Falconer, the production delights all ages with Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, performed live by the mighty PNB Orchestra. (Note from the organizers: “Be mindful of unauthorized third-party online ticket resellers! When purchasing tickets for PNB’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, order directly through PNB for peace of mind.”)

Image by Chance of Endless Reflection Photos 7
Image by Chance of Endless Reflection Photos

It’s Snowflake Lane’s 15th anniversary this year (running from November 29 through December 24), and they will celebrate their 500th show on December 19. Here are some fun stats about the extravaganza, presented by The Bellevue Collection:
• More than 600 individuals audition each year to be one of the show’s cast members
• Each show includes 16 floats, 7 Snow Princesses, more than 50 Toy Drummers, 90 Snow Flurry color guard, 45 holiday themed costume characters, 7 Snowstorm characters, 50 Jingle Belle dancers, 18 stilt walkers and Santa Claus
• Nightly falling snow is made by more than 50 snow machines
• More than 400 ColorBlast building lights shine along the show path
• More than 125,000 peppermint lollipops get handed out during the run of the show
• Each year more than 250 drumsticks are used by the performers

The second annual Snow Day event comes to Denny Park with a Grand Opening Party on December 6 (at 4 p.m., free and open to all ages). Snow Day SLU is an immersive winter lights display that transforms Denny Park into a winter wonderland that includes a winter market, 21+ beer garden, activities for children, live entertainment and more. The winter lights display remains up in Denny Park through January 19, 2020.

Photo courtesy Woodinville Wine Country

Woodinville Wine Country’s “St. Nick’s – Taste the Season” returns Friday, December 6, through Sunday, December 8. The three-day event includes tasting and toasting at more than 30 wineries and, new this year, event attendees can take advantage of complimentary Cellar Hopper passes, meaning free transportation to and from participating tasting rooms. Cheers!

New to the Seattle area, Lumaze Lost In Lights makes its premiere appearance from November 29 through January 4 on the Seattle waterfront at Pier 91 (the cruise ship terminal). The indoor family-friendly event and holiday-themed destination includes a large interactive light garden, vendor market, experiential photo setups along with food trucks, enticing drinks and even live music. For a limited time, Lumaze is also offering season passes for 20% off online (use code: “Seattle20” through December 12).

Photo credit: Lumaze

On December 1, 8, 15 and 22, the Burien Winter Market brings to Town Square Park free photos opps with Santa at his workshop, craft vendors, music and more! The market is held from noon to 4 p.m.

Kimpton Alexis Hotel Seattle photo by Adela Lee

Looking to gently send your loved ones to a hotel this season? Check out Kimpton’s clever ‘Save your Sanity’ and ‘Relocate your Relatives’ packages. You can find these on the pages of all four Seattle properties, listed under the  Offers/Packages and Promotions tabs.

Photo courtesy The Edgewater

At The Edgewater located on the downtown waterfront, Six Seven restaurant serves special holiday menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas ($85). On Thanksgiving, try first-course highlights like butternut squash bisque and foraged mushroom risotto, before tucking into such main-course standouts as cedar-planed king salmon and roasted natural turkey with sourdough stuffing, whipped potato, glazed veggies, cranberry chutney and brown butter gravy. For Christmas, main dishes range from Moroccan spiced beef short ribs to miso-glazed black cod. (Envision sweet treats like the flourless chocolate torte and key lime pie as the grand finale.)

Farther Afield

the DOUGLAS_In Room Dining_1
Photo courtesy the DOUGLAS

Looking for a nearby getaway? Take a jaunt across the border to Vancouver, where decadent rooms await at the DOUGLAS (and the American-Canadian exchange rate remains in our favor). While in town, check out these holiday-time highlights: Aurora, Capilano Suspension Bridge – Canyon Lights , Vancouver Christmas Market and Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain.

Nelson Farm_winter_Snow_RobPerry
Photo courtesy Suncadia Resort

Less than two hours east of Seattle, Cle Elum’s Suncadia presents an entire wintertime guide—to be enjoyed in its serene, mountain setting. Some of the best offerings?  In addition to skiing and tubing options, you’ll find snowshoe & brew tours, the resort’s on-property ice skating rink and the tree lighting ceremony on November 29.

In the Washington capital, lace up your skates for the “Oly on Ice” pop-up rink that’s located right on the waterfront and shows off views of the Capitol Building (between November 22 and January 20). Also kick off the holiday season on December 1 with Olympia’s “Downtown for the Holidays” celebration, or take photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus during weekend brunches at Olympia Oyster House, from 9-11 a.m. between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Courtesy Alderbrook Resort & Spa

At Hood Canal’s dreamy Alderbrook Resort & Spa, enjoy seasonal to-do’s like complimentary Santa Selfies (taken in the lobby from December 1 through 22, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) and Cocoa Cruises on Lady Alderbrook (available Saturdays and Sundays, November 30 through December 22). Eat, drink, and be merry at the restaurant’s Christmas Eve Brunch, Christmas Dinner and New Year’s Eve Dinner—feasts that show off local bounty and the culinary team’s extreme talent. The New Year’s feast gets capped off with live music, fireworks and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight.

Photo courtesy Vallea Lumina/Moment Factory

In Whistler, Vallea Lumina illuminates the scene. The fantastical experience combines 4D digital art with nature and storytelling, during an engaging experience all ages will love.

Aura Restaurant Brunch Table
Courtesy Aura/Inn at Laurel Point

In Victoria, B.C., the season bustles with holiday markets, cozy cocktails and an endless list of ways to soak up the spirit in this charming Canadian city. Make The Inn at Laurel Point your central home base; the exquisite waterfront property is in the final stages of an exciting refresh, and special room offerings and seasonal happenings sweeten the deal even more. For example, this Christmas Day Brunch Package allows you to enjoy the talent of Aura’s culinary team while unwinding in this luxurious Victoria hotel.

Wishing peace, health, happiness and good cheer to all!