5 Can’t-Miss Holiday Festivals in Seattle

Posted on: November 12, 2015

Seattle’s holiday spirit never ceases to amaze. Our great city is host to a number of festivals, and locals are really in for a treat this winter. From celebrations on the water to more traditional gatherings, one thing is for certain – there’s never a dull moment in this town. Put on your coat, grab your mug of hot cocoa, and hang on tight, because we’ve got another phenomenal lineup for the season.

Here’s your guide to some of our favorite events scheduled around this time of year:

Circus Tent Art Event

This winter, try mingling at the Circus Tent Art Event! The November 17th festivities are hosted by Seattle’s own Teatro ZinZanni. Enjoy circus/cabaret shows from some of the best performers around as you peruse the dozens of paintings, custom jewelry booths, and glasswork. Being one of the most unique shows in the area, this event brings together talented local artists for an exhibition and showcase of some of their favorite works. Whether it’s shopping in the 100 year old Belgian spiegeltent, or sparking up a great conversation with another like-minded individual, you’re certain to have an enchanting time. Tickets include a glass of sparkling wine and complimentary appetizers throughout the night. It’s truly an evening of shopping, entertainment, and holiday fun.

Festival of Trees

The Seattle Festival of Trees is the perfect on-theme event this holiday season. A local favorite since its inception in 1978, this event is all about showing off the creativity that goes into Christmas tree decorating. Hosted by members of the Dr. Forrest L. Flashman Guild, an organization aiming to raise funds for the Seattle Children’s Hospital, the proceeds of this thoughtful gathering will go toward paying off debt for patients who receive uncompensated care. From November 21-December 2, the celebration sees a lineup of uniquely decorated trees, each accompanied with the story of a brave pediatric patient fighting for a better life. When it’s all said and done, this charity showcase brings visitors together for a week of beautiful holiday decorations as the community rallies around a heart-warming cause.

Gingerbread Village

One of Seattle’s favorite winter events this time of year is the Gingerbread Village hosted by Sheraton Hotels. A partnership between the hotel chain’s culinary team and local architecture firms, every year teams get together to interpret a new theme into glorious larger-than-life gingerbread houses. This year’s theme is Star Wars, definitely a crowd-pleaser. And, bonus: the price of admission goes toward donations benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Stop by November 24 – January 3 and experience this season’s top holiday creations yourself – you’ll be glad you did.

Christmas Ship Festival

Another can’t miss holiday festival in Seattle is the 2015 Christmas Ship Festival, November 28- December 23. Hosted by Argosy Cruises, this event has been a Pacific Northwest tradition since 1949. Every year, the cruise line sets sail for over 45 destinations in and around the Seattle area. Choirs on board each ship serenade the nearby towns from the water using top of the line speakers to fill the crisp Washington air with the perfect selection of Christmas jingles. Book yourself a ticket on a participating ship for a truly one of a kind experience, including holiday crafts for the kids, and even the opportunity to meet Santa. If the shore’s more your style, become one of the thousands of attendees who come out every year to experience the event from land.

Figgy Pudding

A feel-good event for all involved, The 29th Annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition on December 4th pits teams against each other in a battle of voices and holiday spirit. Competitors start the festivities by caroling in Downtown Seattle and around Westlake Center. As the event moves forward, the top teams are asked to compete on the Figgy Pudding stage. Drawing crowds in excess of 10,000 people every year, this gathering has blossomed into one of the top feel-good festivals of the year. Proceeds benefit the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank. Whether you volunteer, enter your own caroling team, or are just there to take it all in as a bystander, there are a lot of ways you can show support for this great event.

This November and December, take part in our city’s holiday traditions as thousands flock to some of Seattle’s favorite winter events. From art to entertainment, you’re sure to find a niche that suits your needs for this time of year. We’re fortunate to be living in a city bustling with so much life and charisma. With dozens of places to visit, deciding where to go can be a challenge. This guide will point you in the right direction.

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