A Few Fantastic Holiday Events in Seattle for 2016

If you’re looking for a few Holiday Events in Seattle to help you get into the spirit, you’re in luck! No matter what your persuasion, there’s something for you and yours in Seattle this year. From holiday light displays to Kwanzaa celebrations, to sponsored runs, and everything in between, Seattle does a fantastic job of honoring all walks of life and all sorts of celebrations during the Holidays. So, if you’re stuck looking for some special ways to celebrate your traditions this year, of if you’re looking for opportunities to start new traditions, we’ve got quite the list for you. Here it goes:

Holiday Light Displays

What’s a list of Holiday Events in Seattle without some Holiday Light Displays?! Lights and decorations are a classic hallmark of the Holidays. The truly majestic light displays in the area give adults a unique opportunity to experience some Holiday nostalgia while giving youngsters the opportunity to create new Holiday memories filled with magic and wonder. Here are few Holiday light displays happening just around the corner from Eleanor Apartments:

WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo –  5:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Nov 25, 2016 to Jan 1, 2017

Experience the Woodland Park Zoo, brighter than ever before. For 36 nights during the holiday season, the Woodland Park Zoo, just across Greenlake from Eleanor Apartments, lights up with Holiday spirit. There’s an opportunity to meet Santa, an indoor snowball fight, a special Seahawks night, and a ton more! For more info, go here.

Holiday Light Displays Seattle WA

Sam Lights – 6–9 PM THU DEC 15 2016

Sam Lights Seattle WA

Moving from Zoos to Museums, if you’re still in the mood for a dazzling light display and animals aren’t quite your thing, then the SAM Lights display at the Olympic Sculpture Park is a good bet. The Olympic Sculpture park in Belltown is a wonder in and of itself, but during the winter, it’s something else entirely. The Z path through the park is lit with hundreds of luminaries, and the Paccar Pavilion is given a psychedelic makeover with a truly incredible light installation. There’s also food, music and a ton more. For more info, go here.

Candy Cane Lane in Ravenna / Roosevelt –  SAT, DEC 3, 2016 – SUN, JAN 1, 2017


Here’s a holiday event in Seattle not to be missed, especially if you live in Roosevelt. It’s right around the corner from Eleanor Apartments! Candy Cane Lane is a row of 23 Tudor style homes dating back to the 20’s, which go all out during the holiday season. with lights, music, and incredible holiday displays, this sweet neighborhood has been a Seattle holiday institution for more than six decades.

Green Lake Pathway of Lights – 4:30-7:30 Dec 10


Green Lake Pathway of Lights Seattle WA

The Greenlake light display is another great option for an outdoor Holiday light display that doesn’t confine you to a neighborhood. The Pathway of Lights, presented by Seattle’s Parks and Rec department, is always the second Saturday in December, from 4:30pm-7:30pm. This annual tradition brings Seattleites together to light up the night during one of the darkest months of the year in a celebration of light and the many holidays of December.

Jet City Improv’s ‘Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas’

Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30, NOV 25 – DEC 23

jet city improv Seattle WA

Hey, maybe the whole Holiday lights thing seems a little ole’ fashioned to you. That’s fine. There’s still plenty of Holiday Events in Seattle and fun to be had! If you’re looking for a more ‘adult’ way to celebrate the holidays, check out Jet City Improv in the U-district, just a quick trip from Eleanor Apartments. Having run for nearly a decade, Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas is a beloved Improv show wherein audience members write down real life Christmas Anecdotes only to have them reinterpreted and improvised by the cast. It turns out Uncle Mike is a lot like that one Uncle we all have…you know, the one that nobody likes.

RUN for a Cause

We couldn’t have a list of Holiday events in Seattle without a few charitable runs in the mix. The Holidays are a great opportunity to spend some time giving back and/or fundraising for worthwhile organizations. There are plenty ways that you can give back to your community this Holiday Season, but many in Seattle opt for fundraising via sponsored runs and races. If you’re up for getting a little exercise and having some fun while also benefiting some noble causes, here are the races for you.

The Ugly Sweater Run11 am 12/3 Marymoor Park

The Ugly Sweater Run Seattle WA

Rummage up the Ugliest Sweater you can find and celebrate the Holidays by participating in the Merriest 5K of the year. Join thousands of runners, walkers and prancers from Seattle to benefitting One Warm Coat, an organization that has been providing warm coats to those in need since 1992. For more info, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Jingle Bell RunSun, Dec 11th, Westlake Center

Jingle Bell Run Seattle WA

The 30th annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk, presented by the Arthritis Foundation, is a  fantastic way to get outside and get moving in order to raise funds and awareness towards America’s #1 cause of disability. Make sure to wear a holiday-themed costume, tie some jingle bells to your shoes, and show off that ugly Christmas sweater. There are a few different races that you can complete as an individual or as a team. For more info, visit the Jingle Bell Run’s Facebook.

The 12k’s of Christmas – Sat, Dec 21 8am

The 12k’s of Christmas Seattle WA

Join the ranks of almost 3000 fellow runners and walkers for this fantastic Holiday event at Heritage Park in Kirkland.This run features both a 5k and a 12k that benefits foster children. Registration is at 8am, followed by a yoga warm-up session, a 5K at 9am, and the 12K at 9:30. It’s a family and dog-friendly event and strollers are allowed. The finish line festival includes refreshments with more than 30 booths from vendors and sponsors. Don’t miss it!

WinterFest 11/25-12/31

WinterFest Seattle WA

The granddaddy of Holiday events in Seattle, WinterFest is the annual festive celebration at Seattle Center. Comprised of an impressive collection of sparkling lights, kid-specific detours, and spirited entertainment, The Seattle Winterfest is five weeks of free and affordable, fun-filled activities and live performances that are meant to uplift and remind you what the holidays are all about! And there really is so much to do:

Winterfest Ice Rink

Winterfest Ice Rink Seattle WA

Nov. 25 – Jan. 2, 2017; Sunday – Thursday 11am – 8pm; Friday – Saturday 11am – 10pm) Fisher Pavilion – *may be subject to holiday hours

Winter Train & Village


Nov. 25 – Dec. 31, 10am – 6pm Seattle Center Armory FREE (2$ suggested donation)

Winterfest Ice Sculpting 

WinterFest Ice Sculpting Seattle WA

Saturdays: Nov 26 – Dec 31 12 noon – 2pm Outside Fisher Pavilion FREE

Winterfest Student Showcases

Winterfest Student Showcases Seattle WA

Native American Art Showcase – December 17th and 18th, 2016 10am – 4pm

Native American Art Showcase Seattle WA

If you’re interested in Native American Artwork and you relish the chance to support local tribes, here’s a holiday event in Seattle just for you! Why not get a little of your holiday shopping done at the Native Art Mart at the Daybreak Indian Cultural Center in Discovery Park? The showcase will feature beautiful work from Native American Artists. Many different tribes will be represented, and there will clothing, jewelry, woodworking, drums, prints, and a ton more! The event is free and open to the public and it’s truly a great way to support Native Art while finding some incredibly unique goods and gifts for your loved ones.

GingerBread Village at the Sheraton SeattleNovember 22, 2016 – January 1, 2017, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day

GingerBread Village at the Sheraton Seattle WA

We absolutely had to include the Sheraton Hotel’s annual gingerbread village in our list of Holiday events in Seattle this season. This marks the 24th year in which the Sheraton Hotel’s culinary squad has teamed up with local architects and designers to create one of the most impressive Gingerbread house displays in existence. The display is free to the public with suggested donations going to the PNW’s JDRF chapter, benefiting Type 1 Diabetes research. Yet another opportunity to take part in the holiday spirit while helping a noble cause!

Kwanzaa Celebrations In Seattle

Performers Rehearse For Kwanzaa Festival Seattle WA

If you celebrate Kwanzaa, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of Holiday events in Seattle that allow you to do so. Here’s just a few happening around town:

Steward parish

Kwanzaa Celebration on Thursday, Dec 27th at 7pm!

St. John Bosco Catholic Church

Kwanzaa Celebration Friday, December 28 7:00pm

Seattle Unity Church

Kwanzaa Celebration Sunday, December 30 12:15pm

Immaculate Conception

Kwanzaa Mass and Reception – Sunday, December 30


Northwest African American Museum

Kwanzaa Celebration December 17, 12-5pm

SJCC’s Menorah ManiaDec 17 at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

SJCC’s Menorah Mania Seattle WA

Looking for a Holiday event in Seattle centered around Hanukkah? Head over to the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island for Menorah Mania, the centers annual community-wide Hanukkah celebration on December 17th. There’s fun for the whole family. Plus, you’ll be treated to performances from the Klezmatics and more! For more info, visit the SJCC’s site, here, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Seattle Children’s Museum Festivals of Light – Thanksgiving to Jan 15th


The Festivals of Light is truly a Holiday event in Seattle that’s meant for all. As folks from all walks of life gear up for the many cultural celebrations that happen during the Holiday season, we often lose sight of the fact that there are so many different folks celebrating in their own way. The rich cultural diversity that’s present in Seattle is one of the things that makes this city truly great, and that’s what the Seattle Children’s Museum aims to illustrate with its Festivals of Light celebration. The aim is to provide children and their families the opportunity to explore a variety of celebrations and festivals that take place in the winter months. It is important to note that the Museum does not directly celebrate the holidays. Often these traditions are closely connected to beliefs that a family holds. For that reason, the Museum offers the chance to explore the holidays throughout the month, and we let those who hold those beliefs celebrate as they see fit on the actual dates of the holiday.

Here’s a full list of the celebrations they’ll explore this year:

  • Diwali
  • Santa Lucia
  • Las Posadas
  • Loi Krathong
  • Winter Solstice
  • Pasko
  • Kwanzaa
  • Hanukkah
  • Lunar New Year

For a list of times, dates, and more info, go here.

There you have it! There’s certainly plenty of Seattle Holiday events to fill your docket this December. Seattle provides its citizens with a rich cultural diversity and a true sense of community, no matter how you celebrate. Beyond each individual celebration, these different events each exemplify what makes the Emerald City so great, not just during the holidays, but year round.

At Eleanor Apartments, we’re committed to providing our residents with a true Seattle experience, one that celebrates all people and forms of celebration. If you’re interested in joining our community and living the quintessential Seattle lifestyle, please get in touch today! In the meantime, Happy Holidays!