Winter Holiday Events in and around Seattle Southside
The holiday season is full of magic, fun, and delight, no matter how old you are!
Whether you're a veritable Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation or a little bit of an Ebenezer Scrooge, there's a holiday event around Seattle Southside that will bring a smile to your face.
The largest mall in the Pacific Northwest, Westfield Southcenter Mall offers lots of shopping opportunities to help you find gifts for everyone on your list. Plus, the festive and fun decorations and Santa photos make for a classic holiday experience for all. Check out the nightly "snowfall" at the main south entrance every night at 5PM for a wintery treat, behold the Whimsical Wonders light display, and explore all the fun to be had around the mall.
SeaTac Holiday Bazaar (November 5)
Shop for locally made hand-crafted gifts with a festive atmosphere at this fun annual tradition. Find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for the whole family, holiday décor, and much more. The event is free to attend, and the Candy Cane Café will be serving up festive drinks and snacks to help get you into the holiday spirit.
Des Moines Holiday Market (November 5)
A special holiday edition of the beloved Waterfront Farmer's Market, this holiday-themed farmer's market will feature local produce and handicrafts from around the region, plus delicious food trucks, holiday photo opportunities, and fun for all ages!
For a limited time, get the Seattle Seawolves rugby gear you've been eyeing for up to 40% off! Jerseys, T-shirts, hats, rugby balls, scarves and more are available at a much lower price on their online store.
The weekly Burien Farmer’s Market becomes the Holiday Market as the holiday season kicks off. While the Burien Farmer’s Market takes place year-round, the Holiday Market highlights local artisans making fantastic gifts, decorations, and festive snacks. Plus, you can find farm-fresh ingredients to help make your festive feast a bit more special.
Spice Bridge Food Hall plays host to global gifts, treats, and more for a holiday market inspired by the international flavors of the restaurants in their restaurant incubation program. Don't just stop by and get gifts -be sure to go to the food hall itself and eat your way around the world with their fantastic selection of food by local aspiring restauranteurs.
Merry and Bright
Tree Lighting Ceremonies (SeaTac Dec. 2 at 5PM, Des Moines Dec. 2 at 5PM)
Feel the magic of the holidays and warm community spirit at local tree lighting ceremonies. These annual events are a great way for people to come together and kick off the holiday season. Family-friendly activities like caroling, crafts, bounce houses, and more are available to help keep everyone entertained, and rumor has it Santa himself may make an appearance!
Get wild with your holidays! Both major local zoos do holiday themed lighting displays every year. ZooLights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (pictured above) uses twinkling holiday lights to create beautiful displays themed around wildlife and nature, with a major highlight every year being the recreation of Mt. Rainier in Christmas lights! WildLanterns at Woodland Park Zoo features beautiful large-scale lanterns shaped like wild animals, natural scenes, and more, sure to wow you no matter your age, including a giant walk-through shark!
The first ever Des Moines Burning Boat Festival will be held on New Year's Eve at Des Moines Beach Park and is sure to be a great way to ring in the new year! Plus, ticket sales will go to support Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care, a service which provides mental health and substance use disorder care to people in our area. Attendees will write down their wishes, regrets, anything they want to send out with the end of the year, and place them on a boat, which will be set out to the waters and burned at midnight in the style of a Scottish "Up Helly Aa" celebration to mark the end of the Yuletide season.
Holiday Sweets and Feasts
Burien Holiday Cookie Crawl (December 3)
Explore local businesses and taste your way through Burien as you nosh on a wide variety of delicious cookies. Tickets must be purchased in advance and they often sell out, so make sure to buy them early!
Seattle Chocolate Anniversary Sale (December 8)
The holidays aren’t complete without a little something sweet! And since Seattle Chocolate celebrates its birthday on December 8th, the timing is perfect to stock up on chocolates for stocking stuffers and more. The entire store will be 20% off to celebrate this sweet occasion, plus you can get expert gifting advice from their chocolate ambassadors! And if you join them from 5-7PM, there's a promise of something bubbly to toast their 31st anniversary with. Yum!
Why worry about the stress of cooking up your own holiday feasts when you can have professional chefs cook you up a feast you’ll never forget? Bonus: You don’t have to do the dishes afterwards! Local restaurants offer holiday feasts, buffets, and specials throughout the holiday season. Check out our Holiday Dining Guide for the full details on where to eat this holiday season. We’ll update this article as we get specifics, but you’re sure to find something delicious in Seattle Southside!
There are multiple ways to enjoy this maritime Yuletide delight, whether or not you’re a big fan of riding on a boat! Ride on the all-ages Christmas Ship along with carolers and a reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, while enjoying festive beverages and beautiful views of the shoreline. Some cruises will even be visited by Santa! Two of the events also include a grown-ups-only (21+) ugly Christmas sweater party on a boat that follows the Christmas Ship if you'd like something a bit more raucous without the kids. If you’d prefer to stay on dry land, you can cozy up beside a bonfire and watch the ship cruise by while being serenaded by the Christmas carolers on board thanks to a state-of-the-art speaker system. Check the schedule for tickets, times and locations.
Winterfest at Seattle Center (November 25-December 31)
View an adorable miniature village and train set decorated to look like a late 19th-century town in the full swing of holiday celebrations. This display has come out for every Winterfest for over 40 years! On the weekends, the stage in the armory is home to performances by dancers, musicians, and more to help get you in the holiday spirit. And at night, Seattle Center twinkles with thousands of festive lights.