Season’s greetings from Seattle Southside! If you’re like us, and you enjoy the holidays as much as Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, then Seattle’s Backyard is the place for you. From holiday buffets and shopping extravaganzas to legitimate Santa encounters, there are more than a few opportunities to check out local events to get in the holiday spirit!

Top 8 Holiday Events in Seattle Southside

  1. Holiday Buffets
  2. See Santa Clause at The Museum of Flight
  3. Christmas Tree Lightings
  4. Argosy Christmas Ships
  5. Rainier Symphony's Joyous Celebration
  6. Anniversary Sale / Holiday Party at Seattle Chocolate
  7. Bowling with Santa at Family Fun Center
  8. Holiday Shopping at Westfield Southcenter


1) Holiday Buffets

Buffet playyer with fall colors

Everyone enjoys a hearty holiday meal and in Seattle Southside, plenty of local restaurants offer special menus and buffets. From Salty’s at Redondo Beach, to Basil’s Kitchen, to 13 Coins, there’s plenty of food to go around. But don’t wait! These brunches/dinners tend to fill up fast. Reservations are highly recommended.


2) Santa’s Fly-In at The Museum of Flight

Santa waving in front of Cessna aircraft

When Santa’s sleigh is in the shop and the reindeer are resting, he flies around the world in a plane like the rest of us (usually in a Cessna). Before his big night, he makes a pitstop at The Museum of Flight! Santa’s Fly-In gives kids the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their holiday wishes and a special concert is held with the Boeing Concert Orchestra and Caspar Babypants!


3) Tree Lightings

Close up of christmas tree ornaments and lights

Being a multi-city destination has its advantages. This is especially true around the holidays when you can attend multiple community events in one city, then take a quick drive to the other and do it all over again. The cities of Des Moines and SeaTac both have major tree lighting events. So, grab your cocoa or hot apple cider and ring in the holidays with the locals!


4) Argosy Christmas Ships

Argosy Christmas Ship

The supremely unique holiday event makes its way to Seattle’s Backyard on December 13th. The brightly lit Argosy Christmas Ships make their first stop at Des Moines Beach Park with the Dickens Carolers, then travel a little further south to Redondo Beach for a bonfire and second performance. If you’re not in the holiday spirit by the end of the night, well, I guess you might find good company in Ebenezer Scrooge.


5) Rainier Symphony's Joyous Celebration

Rainier Symphony

The Rainier Symphony will be hosting their annual Winter concert at the Foster Performing Arts Center in Tukwila. The Joyous Celebration will feature renditions classic seasonal songs as well as holiday favorites. Bring the family for a spectacular holiday performance! 


6) Anniversary Sale/Holiday Party at Seattle Chocolate

Seattle Chocolate bars in holiday packaging

Get 25% off storewide at Seattle Chocolate and enjoy festive food and drinks throughout the decorated shop at this Anniversary Party! This sale includes everything in the shop including the special seasonal flavors! You'll also have a chance to take a factory tour to see how to famous truffle bars are made. Don't forget to enter the raffle for a chance to win some exciting prizes!


7) Bowling with Santa at Family Fun Center

Bowling with Santa at Family Fun Center Flyer

Did you know Family Fun Center now has a bowling alley? Did you also know that Santa goes bowling there once a year?! For only $9.50, enjoy one round of bowling, shoe rental, cookies, hot chocolate, and all the selfies with Santa you could ever want! Psst...There will also be guest appearances by the Grinch and Elsa! Don't miss it!


8) Holiday Shopping at Westfield Southcenter

Westfield Christmas Santa Display

Looking for something specific for that special someone? Odds are, Westfield Southcenter will have it. Plenty of boutique shops and big box stores go all out for the holiday season. Plus, dozens of pop-up shops deck the halls (and the food court). In December, we recommend visiting Westfield during the week – to say that it gets a little busy on the weekends in the winter would be the understatement of a century. Happy holidays!