Walk through a winter wonderland during the Festival of Trees, November 19 through 30. An annual tradition since 1978, this event fills the lobby of downtown’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel with 27 artfully designed Christmas trees. Each has a unique theme, from “Cat in the Hat Christmas” (a white tree bedecked with Dr. Seuss baubles and red-and-white striped hats) to “Peppermint Chill” (an eight-foot-tall stunner chock-full of peppermint swirls). Each tree is dedicated to a patient at Seattle Children’s Hospital and is sold to benefit Seattle Children’s Autism Center and uncompensated care at the hospital.
When the sun goes down, Woodland Park Zoo comes alive for WildLights. Starting November 25, 600,000 LEDs transform the walkways and North Meadow of the zoo into glowing animal shapes and exotic destinations. Apart from the fabulous visuals, more holiday activities abound, including indoor snow and frosty fun in the Snowmazium, rides on the historic carousel, and even a meet-and-greet with Santa’s reindeer. Pay a visit to the nocturnal animals, snap a photo with Saint Nick, and warm up with fresh doughnuts, hot chocolate, and mulled wine.
Join visitors and locals alike on December 10 for a nighttime walk around Green Lake. During this holiday tradition, hundreds of lanterns illuminate the 2.8-mile paved pathway around the urban lake. Bundle up and participate in the stroll to hear local musicians and choirs singing festive tunes at various stops along the way. It’s the perfect way to add some joy to a chilly winter night.
Add this Seattle Symphony classic to your holiday list. The magnificent sounds of Handel’s Messiah fill Benaroya Hall, December 16 through 18. Led by Grammy Award–nominated conductor Stephen Layton, this triumphant performance tells the story of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. Stirring soloists and the symphony’s internationally acclaimed orchestra and choir combine to breathe life into Handel’s moving score, making this performance a must for any music lover.