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.

Shop ‘Til You Drop!

Westfield Christmas Santa Display

Westfield Southcenter Mall (Ongoing)

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.

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.

Burien Holiday Market Days (Dec. 1, 8, 15, & 22, 10AM-4PM)

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.


Merry and Bright

Tree Lighting Ceremonies (SeaTac Dec. 2 at 5PM, Des Moines Dec. 3 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!

A twinkling display of holiday lights at Zoolights in Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

ZooLights (Nov. 25- Jan. 2) and WildLanterns (Nov. 11-Jan.22)

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!


Holiday Sweets and Feasts

Burien Holiday Cookie Crawl (Dec. 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 (Anniversary is December 9, actual event date TBD)

The holidays aren’t complete without a little something sweet! And since Seattle Chocolate celebrates its birthday on December 9th, the timing is perfect to stock up on chocolates for stocking stuffers and more. Previous years have included discounts, limited-edition offerings, and special events to celebrate this sweet occasion.

Holiday Buffets (Dates/Locations TBD)

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. We’ll update this article as we get specifics, but you’re sure to find something delicious in Seattle Southside!


Holiday Magic

Argosy Parade

Argosy Christmas Cruises (November 25-December 23)

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 (Dates TBD)

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.