Holiday Calendar

2012 Seattle Holiday Calendar of Events



Inspecting Carol
Seattle Repertory Theatre
Nov. 23 – Dec. 23

ELF-The Musical
5th Avenue Theatre
Nov. 30 – Dec. 31

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
A Contemporary Theatre (ACT)
Nov. 23 – Dec. 30

The Wizard of Oz
Seattle Children’s Theatre
Nov. 15 – Jan. 6

Return to Paradise
Teatro ZinZanni
Oct. 5, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013

Owen Meany’s Christmas Pageant
Book-It Repertory Theatre at Seattle Center
Dec. 6 – 23

Black Nativity
The Moore Theatre
Dec. 6 – 23

It’s Your Wonderful Life
Wing-It Productions
Nov. 23 – Dec. 21


The Paperboys Sixth Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Meltdown
The Triple Door
Nov. 23 – 24

The Lost Christmas Eve
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
KeyArena at Seattle Center
Nov. 24

Brandi Carlile with Seattle Symphony
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Nov. 23 – 25

Morlot Conducts Mahler
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Nov. 29 and Dec. 1

Baby It’s Cold Outside
Seattle Men’s Chorus
Benaroya Hall
Nov. 30 – Dec. 22

Kindermusik Holiday Spectacular – A Family Concert
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 1

Mahler’s Fourth Symphony
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 2

Sweet Honey in the Rock: Celebrating the Holydays
The Triple Door
Dec. 4 & 5

Holiday Pops
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 6 – 9

Baroque Celebration!

Town Hall Seattle
Dec. 29

Yefim Bronfman
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 10

Handel’s Messiah
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 14 – 16

An Irish Christmas with Eileen Ivers
without Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 18

A Festival of Lessons & Carols
without Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 23

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 28 – 30

New Year’s Eve: Concert, Countdown and Celebration
Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
Dec. 31


Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center
Dec. 7 – 29

A Holiday Fantasia
Bel Canto Performing Arts Society
Daniels Recital Hall
Dec. 15

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
The Triple Door
Dec. 11 – 27

The Baltimore Consort: Wassail! Wassail!
Town Hall Seattle
Dec. 14


The DSA Holiday Carousel presented by KING 5 benefitting Treehouse
Nov. 23 – Jan. 1

Bring the entire family to Westlake Park and experience the illuminated whirling and twirling tradition of the Holiday Carousel presented by KING 5. Net proceeds benefit the work of the Downtown Seattle Association and Treehouse, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to giving foster kids a childhood and a future. Learn more at

Holiday Carousel Hours of Operation*
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Special Hours
Nov. 23** 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Dec. 9, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Dec. 24, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Dec. 25 Closed
Dec. 31, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan.1, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

*Dates and times subject to change due to inclement weather or other unforeseen conditions.
**Carousel will open after the Macy’s Holiday Parade, close at dusk for the lighting of the Westlake Center Holiday Tree and Macy’s Star, and reopen after the event.

Ride the Ducks Holiday Lights Tour
Nov. 24 – Dec. 30, weekdays 6 p.m., weekends 5 p.m.
Westlake Park

Grab some holiday bells and hop on board a sleigh ride tour of the holiday lights in downtown Seattle with a wacky captain. This 40-minute adventure tour is a party on wheels.

Seattle Center Winterfest
Nov. 23 – Dec. 31
Seattle Center

The 74-acre Seattle Center campus, illuminated in twinkling lights, sets the scene for five weeks of free and affordable, fun-filled activities and entertainment. Winter Train and Village and Winterfest Ice Rink return, along with Saturday afternoon ice sculpting and performances by more than 100 student groups.

Winter Train and Village
Nov. 23 – Dec. 29, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Special Hours: Dec. 24, closes at 4 p.m.; Dec. 25, closed
Center House – free event
The Winter Train and Village takes you back in time. This Winterfest favorite is a turn-of-the-century miniature village and train, complete with buildings, lights, snow and a towering train depot.

Winterfest Ice Rink

Ice Sculpting
Nov. 24, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 31; 12 p.m.
Outside Fisher Pavilion – free event
Artistry and ice unite to express the season. Watch internationally acclaimed, award-winning artists at work as their ice creations unfold or stop by to see the glistening results. Each Saturday an ice master will carve a different design.

Winterfest Entertainment - Seattle Men’s Chorus
Nov. 24, 12:30 p.m.
Armory/Center House
Seattle Men's Chorus sings songs for the season on Center House stage.

Winterfest Entertainment - Cat Pack with Unexpected Productions
Nov. 25, 12:30 p.m.
Armory/Center House
Seattle's long-running improv troupe performs a musical Rat-Pack show.

Winterfest Entertainment - SANCA Youth Performance Company
Dec. 22, 12:30 p.m.
Armory/Center House
Acrobatics, juggling, clowning, tightrope and more. Free event.

Winterfest - Garfield High School Jazz Band

Dec. 23, 1:00 p.m.
Armory/Center House
Nationally renowned Garfield Jazz Band performs a holiday concert.

New Year’s Eve with Rhythm Nation
Dec. 31, 8:15 p.m.
Armory/Center House
Ring in the New Year with the rockin' sounds of the Northwest’s premiere dance band.

Ivar’s 19th Annual Clam Lights Ceremony
Nov. 30 – Dec. 31
Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

Enjoy the sights of one of the largest lighted displays on the Eastside, views of the Argosy Christmas Ship Parade, and live music with Ivar’s Dancing Clams for a fun holiday tradition.

EverGreen Escapes Holiday Brew Tour
Dec. 1 – 31; Friday – Sunday, 1:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Taste the taps of Seattle with EverGreen Escapes for a fun and festive tour of Seattle’s holiday lights and neighborhood breweries. Pick-up and drop-off at any downtown Seattle hotel or Columbia Sportswear retail store (290 Pine St.). Age restrictions: 21+.


Marketplace at the Wing Luke Museum
Nov. 3 – Dec. 22
Holiday shopping specials and family fun can be found at the Marketplace.

Festival of Trees Ceremony
Nov. 17 5:30 p.m. (Gala Dinner)
Nov. 18, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. (Family Oriented Celebration)
Tree Viewing from Nov. 17 – 28
Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Come see a display of beautifully decorated Christmas trees, each with its own unique theme and style. Each tree is dedicated to a courageous Seattle Children’s Hospital patient and is available for pre-purchase or bid. Trees will be on display for two weeks.

Macy’s Holiday Parade & Star Lighting
Nov. 23, 9 - 10 a.m.; Star Lighting at 5 p.m.
The annual parade begins at Seventh Avenue and Pine Street; loops through downtown streets ending at Fourth Avenue and Pine Street. The parade features more than 25 floats, marching bands and drill teams and culminates with Santa’s arrival. The Macy’s Star will be lit for the holiday season that evening at 5 p.m.

Westlake Center Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks

Nov. 23, 4:45 p.m.
Fourth Avenue and Pine Street

Celebrate at Westlake Center as downtown Seattle lights up with bright holiday lights. The Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 4:45 p.m. will include a fireworks show and the tree will remain illuminated through Dec. 31.

Macy’s Santaland®
Nov. 23 – Dec. 24
Third Avenue and Pine Street, Sixth Floor
Straight from the North Pole, Santa Claus will take his holiday post at Santaland following Macy’s Holiday Parade. Family potraits with Santa are available this holiday season at Santaland.

Nordstrom Santa Lane
Nov. 23 – Dec. 24
Sixth Avenue and Pine Street
Santa finds his stylish side and makes a comfortable little home at Nordstrom in downtown Seattle. Families are invited to visit him and take photos that will last a lifetime.

Pacific Place Winter Wonderland
Nov. 23 – Dec. 31, 6 p.m.
Pacific Place, 600 Pine St.

Winter Wonderland at Pacific Place offers a full schedule of free musical performances and nightly snow shows in the atrium at 6 p.m. Capture a moment with Santa with a keepsake photo, or purchase an illuminated snowflake wand, benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital. New this year, Buddy the Elf from 5th Avenue Theatre’s Elf – the Musical will be at select snow shows .

Gingerbread Village
Nov. 20 – Dec. 31
Sheraton Seattle Hotel lobby

The Sheraton Seattle hosts the 20th Annual Gingerbread Village, “Once Upon A Time.” Each year, talented Sheraton chefs are paired with local architects and together they spend more than 400 volunteer hours each year designing, baking and building the colossal gingerbread village that welcomes more than 100,000 visitors. The event is free, with donations benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Northwest Chapter.

Woodland Park Zoo’s WildLights presented by Key Bank
Nov. 23 – Jan. 1, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
601 North 59th St.

Woodland Park Zoo launches its first ever winter lights festival this 2012 holiday season featuring approximately 375,000 LED lights presenting and two and three dimensional animals, reindeer visits, holiday carousel, and festive winter refreshments.

Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Nov. 18, 2:30 – 6:00 p.m.; Nov. 19 – Dec. 24, Monday-Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday-Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
411 University St.

Designed by local designer Kevin Bradford, The Fairmont Olympic Teddy Bear Suite will delight children of all ages with hundreds of holiday teddy bears and festive décor. Bring your camera for photos, and time for perusing a variety of teddy bear themed story books. Admission is with a suggested donation; all proceeds benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Magic in the Market
Nov. 24, 1 - 5 p.m.
Pike Place Market

Shop for the holidays in the especially festive atmosphere of Pike Place Market. The afternoon features Dickens Carolers singing a cappella throughout the Market, photos with Santa and a tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. with a countdown led by Santa.

Nutcracker Brunch
Dec. 8, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

Pacific Northwest Ballet presents a fun-filled holiday event for children and families. Meet real Nutcracker characters and enjoy crafts, prizes, a delicious brunch, and a mini-performance of the Nutcracker to delight both the young and young-at-heart alike.

Santa at the Space Needle
Nov. 23 – 25, Dec. 2 – 3, 8 – 9, 15 – 16, and 20 – 24, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Space Needle Observation Deck

Santa and his elves can be found at the top of the Space Needle this holiday season. After telling Santa what is on their wish list, kids are invited to visit the Space Needle arts and crafts station to make and take home a complimentary keepsake.

Christmas Carnival
Nov. 26, noon – 8 p.m.
Westin Seattle Hotel

Usher in the yuletide spirit with family and friends at a Christmas Carnival, hosted by Providence O’Christmas Trees. This fun-for-all community event will showcase 15 elaborately designed Christmas trees for viewing. Families are invited to enjoy entertainment by magicians and balloon artist and participate in craft stations and photos with Santa, a free event.

Holiday Tree Lighting in Pioneer Square
Dec. 6, Time TBD
Occidental Park (S Main St. and Occidental Ave. S)

Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition
Dec. 7, 5:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Westlake Center (Pine Street between Third Avenue and Seventh Avenue)

The Great Figgy Pudding Competition celebrates the holiday season by filling downtown streets with caroling teams singing their hearts out to raise money for the Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank. Proceeds benefit low income and homeless seniors and families living in downtown Seattle.

Argosy Christmas Ship Festival
Nov. 24 – Dec. 23
Times and departure locations vary

Decorated with thousands of white lights, the Spirit of Seattle – the Official Christmas Ship – leads a flotilla of brightly-lit boats during the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival. Each night, the Argosy Christmas Ship sails to different Puget Sound waterfront communities. Choirs onboard sing 20-minute performances to these communities, all broadcast via a state-of-the-art speaker system.

Annual Christmas Ships Parade to MOHAI
Nov. 24
Museum of History and Industry

Get a sneak preview of the new MOHAI location, the first destination of the Annual Christmas Ship Parade, by welcoming Santa and the sparkling ships into Lake Union Park.

Fourth Annual Santa Claus Photo Event
Dec. 15, noon – 6 p.m.
Red Lion Hotel Lobby

Wright Spirit Celebration
Dec. 15
Museum of Flight

Celebrate the Wright brothers' first flight, along with the spirit of the season. Santa will arrive by aircraft at 10:00 a.m., and then he and Mrs. Claus will greet children in the Great Gallery until 2:00 p.m. Performances of holiday music by the Seattle Lutheran Bell Choir and the Boeing Employees' Orchestra of Flight at noon.

Holiday Festival
Dec. 20, noon
Daniels Recital Hall

Holiday Specials: A Festival of Lessons and Carols
Dec. 23, 7 p.m.
Benaroya Hall

New Year’s Eve Fireworks at the Needle
Mon., Dec. 31, midnight
Space Needle, 400 Broad St.

Join more than 50,000 people ringing in 2012 at the base of the world-famous Seattle Space Needle. The fireworks display boasts more than 2,000 pyrotechnic effects. Watch free from the ground or splurge for a more lofty view from the observation deck.


Seattle Marathon
Nov. 25
Seattle Center

Join in on this beautiful rolling course with hilly sections and scenic views of downtown Seattle and Lake Washington. Experience views of the city that are unsurpassed on these RRCA and AIMS certified 26.2 and 13.1 mile courses. Walker-friendly. Family oriented.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk – 5k and 1k
Dec. 9, Children’s 1k at 8:20 a.m., 5k waves begin at 8:50 a.m.
Westlake Center

Kick-off the holiday season with the Arthritis Foundation at the Seattle Jingle Bell Run/Walk. Interested participants are encouraged to dress in a holiday-themed costume as past participants have tied jingle bells to their shoelaces.


Women in the Shadows: The Film Noir Cycle
Seattle Art Museum
Oct. 4, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 29, Dec. 6 2012, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

The Rolling Stones 1972, Photographs by Jim Marshall
EMP Museum
Through Jan. 6, 2013

Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris
Elles: SAM
Seattle Art Museum
Oct. 11, 2012 – Jan. 13, 2013

Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket
EMP Museum
Oct. 20, 2012 – Jan. 20, 2013

Hear My Train A’ Comin’: Hendrix Hits London
EMP Museum
Nov. 17, 2012 – Jan. 1, 2013

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs
Pacific Science Center
Through Jan. 6, 2013

Homelessness Exhibit Opening Reception
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
Dec. 6, 7 – 8 p.m., free and open to the public

MOHAI Grand Opening
Museum of History and Industry at Lake Union Park
Dec. 29, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The Puget Sound’s largest museum of history celebrates its community-wide grand opening at its new location with free admission for all, special programming and activities, and extended hours.

MOHAI New Year’s Family Day
Museum of History and Industry at Lake Union Park
Jan. 1, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

MOHAI’s Grand Opening week continues with a full roster of new programs for kids and families in 2013—bring the whole family and be one of the first to experience the fun!

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Great Wheel

About the Holidays in Seattle Campaign:
Holidays in Seattle, a marketing collaboration of the downtown Seattle Association/Metropolitan Improvement District, Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau and Seattle Center, highlights the unique and enriching holiday experience of Seattle’s city center, from Seattle Center to Pioneer Square. The goal of the campaign is to enhance the economic impact of the 2012 holiday season by promoting the diversity and wealth of holiday attractions, events and promotions that make Seattle’s center city the premier holiday destination in the Northwest. Campaign organizers hope to expand the campaign in future years to leverage greater seasonal growth in retail, restaurant, hotel, arts and entertainment and other Seattle business. For more information, including event calendars, hotel deals and more, visit

Follow the campaign on Twitter at or like the Facebook page at .

Media Contacts:
Kauilani Robinson, SCVB,, (206) 461-5839