Snow and Spiced Lattes: How to Spend Christmas in Seattle

Seattle has a plethora of ways to celebrate this festive season

Whether it’s enjoying a pumpkin spiced latte at the original Starbucks or shielding from the cold in one of the many museums on offer including Chihuly Garden and Glass or Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle has a plethora of ways to celebrate this festive season. The friendly city is a beautiful destination to visit during the winter, with its surrounding snow-covered mountains and trees.

T-Mobile New Year’s at the Needle

Why not have a bucket-list experience this New Year with T-Mobile New Year’s at the Needle? The largest structurally launched fireworks and light display in North America, travellers can watch bright colours bleed into the sky to ring in the new year. For the best view, watch from the Seattle Center or see the Space Needle light up from one of the many viewing spots around the city.

Magic at the Market, Pike Place Market (26 November)

One of the most famous markets all year round, Pike Place Market at Christmas is even more remarkable. Kick off the festive season with the 27th annual Magic at the Market, where families can meet Santa whilst listening to the sound of carolling and sipping on eggnog. Taking place on the 26 November with a vast artisan craft offering, it’s the perfect place to purchase Christmas gifts for loved ones. The unforgettable day will lead up to a famous Market lighting ceremony, which will take place at 5pm.

WinterFest (25 November-31 December)

The five weeks of WinterFest at Seattle Center are bound to lift seasonal spirits with the Winter Train and Village – a yearly tradition which has been displayed for over 40 years. Its annual lighting display, ice sculpting, fire pits and food vendors are sure to keep visitors entertained during the opening day celebration on the 25th of November, while each weekend will feature live performances and more. Entertainment will be supplied by local dancers, musicians and comedians, providing the perfect seasonal line-up.

Downtown Holiday lights and delights

Enjoy magical moments all season long in downtown Seattle with events by the Downtown Seattle Association and Metropolitan Improvement District. Get in the spirit with the annual Tree Lighting Celebration at Westlake Center on 25th November presented by Alaska Airlines. Be mesmerised by over 140,000 dazzling lights at Holiday Lights & Delights, presented by Amazon. Snap the perfect selfie under larger than life illuminating light sculptures in Westlake Park. Westlake and Occidental Square will host family friendly activities every weekend including live holiday concerts, meet & greets with costumed characters and many sweet treats. All events are free and open to the public.

Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival

A Northwest tradition since 1949, Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival is a ship-to-shore holiday celebration that shouldn’t be missed. The official Christmas ship, the Spirit of Seattle is decorated with hundreds of beautiful white lights and sails to around 40 different Puget Sound waterfront communities. Talented choirs on board perform to guests, other boats and communities that gather on the shores.


Explore the zoo like never before at WildLanterns –  an all immersive experience featuring large scale animal and nature cape lanterns. Offering a larger than life event, visitors can experience wild places from around the world in a new light. A journey can be taken through the glowing Garden Delights to A Walk Among African Animals, where beautiful flora and fauna can be found. The Asian Safari and Oceania Animal Odyssey offers a new perspective on the world’s most beautiful animals. Festive sweet and savoury treats will also be available to keep guests suitably refreshed.

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