Seattle Aquarium makes a splash with this nine-day extravaganza all about Pacific Northwest sea creatures and marine animals. In advent calendar style, each day features a different aquatic theme and includes special talks and hands-on activities, from animal meet-and-greets to diver shows to feedings. The fishy fun starts December 26 with plankton, eventually covering jellies, rockfish, puffins, corals, otters, and more.
A holiday tradition since 1949, the decked-out Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship sails to around 65 waterfront communities over the course of five weeks, starting November 25. Book a ticket on the lead boat for a two-hour cruise featuring an onboard choir singing throughout the evening, story time with Santa Claus, a holiday gift shop, and a kid’s craft area. Other festival highlights include the Parade of Boats on December 16, when decorated ships gather on Lake Union and cruise west through the Fremont Cut, and the Grand Finale on December 23, which sweeps from Lake Washington to Gas Works Park for a final sail. If you can’t score a ticket, stake out a spot on the shore to watch the parade of lights.
Some of Seattle’s most splendid skyline views unfurl on the 35-minute ferry ride from downtown to Bainbridge Island. Drive or walk aboard the iconic vessel from Pier 52, then set sail across Elliott Bay for picturesque sights of the city and its forested surrounds. Cozy up in a booth with a hot drink or lean against the rail on the outdoor deck for a wind-in-your face view. After docking at the quaint island town, the fantastic eateries and boutiques of Winslow Way are just a five-minute walk away.
Head under the sea with some of Disney’s most beloved characters at The 5th Avenue Theatre, November 23 through December 31. This production of the Broadway musical follows princess Ariel as she seeks independence, battles Ursula the sea witch, and decides whether to trade in her mermaid fins for a chance at true love. Director Glenn Casale’s reimagined production features aerial elements, dazzling costumes, set designs inspired by pop-up books, and plenty of legendary songs like “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.”