Snow Holds Barred

Events to Get You in the Holiday Spirit (However Reluctantly)

The holidays are here, whether you like it or not.

By Malia Alexander December 13, 2021

The PNB's production of The Nutcracker is about as classic as it gets.

 And just like that, the months have flown by and the best time of year (or worst, depending on who you ask) has arrived. For those of us who started prematurely prepping for the holidays on November 1, here are some things you can do now that it’s finally socially acceptable to blast Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

Nov 29–Dec 1
Providence O’Christmas Trees
After two years, Providence O’Christmas is pivoting from their in-person yuletide tradition of a Silver Bells luncheon and gala dinner to a drive-thru tour of decorated trees in the Westin Seattle’s garage. Each of the three drive-thru options supplies cookies and milk, a photo with Santa, and even full to-go meals. The most important part? It supports those in need of health care, housing, and hospice services. Westin Seattle garage, $25–125

Dec 1
A John Waters Christmas: It's a Yuletide Massacre 
After spending nearly two years confined to his hometown of Baltimore, the “queer Confucius” is going back on the road to celebrate his 25th Annual Xmas Tour. Infamous for extravagant comedic Christmas parties, Waters will bring his signature bawdy irreverence to this holiday monologue. The Neptune Theater, Various

Dec 7–26
A Christmas Carol
Christmas is nothing without this Dickens classic, this quintessential tale, making sure our Ghosts of Christmas of Past are dealt with by the time the curtain closes. Allen Theater, $27–59

Dec 10–31
Washington State Fair
The Puyallup fairgrounds hosts a new walk-thru holiday extravaganza that includes a Yeti bar and firepit, replacing the usual endless supply of burgers and fries. With six different activities to choose from, like ice skating and a laser show of lights to a Holly Jolly market featuring fudge-in-a-cup, everyone will be in the holiday spirit, maybe even more so at the mention of free parking. Washington State Fair, various

Dec 16
Holiday Night Market
Pike Place’s MarketFront Pavilion transforms into a Yuletide paradise, sporting seasonal cocktails at the Polar Bar and food booths from local eateries like Brewmaster’s Bakery and Spice Bridge. Holiday tunes will be provided by a handful of musical guests including Alex Rassmussen and DJ Simone BG. The night market wouldn’t be complete without some shopping—around 20 vendors will also be in attendance, showcasing everything from pottery to candles. Pike Place MarketFront Pavillion, free to attend

Dec 16–19
Holiday Pickleball Smash
What’s more Seattle than pickleball? Players will gather on the courts of Eastside Tennis Center in a weekend-long holiday tournament to battle for a spot on the podium. The competition is open to anyone 12 and up, and will be divided by skill set. If you think you’ve got a chance at gold, act fast: Registration closes on December 8. Eastside Tennis Center, starting at $50

Dec 17
Sips and Snowballs Wine Walk
Are the holidays really even meant for adults? Thanks to this Kirkland wine walk (with its 21+ policy), now they can be. On the walk, you can explore some of the many galleries and boutiques that downtown Kirkland has to offer, and enjoy the time to vent about the in-laws you’ll see in a week or the impossible present that your kid keeps begging Santa for. Kirkland Urban and Heathman Hotel, $25–30

Thru Dec 18
Jingle All the Gay
The theater is back, and so is the iconic Kitten N’ Lou with one of Seattle’s most beloved “holigay traditions.” This year’s limited run is sure to put even a certified Scrooge in the Christmas spirit, ringing in the season with song, dance, and the perfect amount of “holiday hilarity." West Hall, $35–250

Jingle All the Gay–not quite as classic as The Nutcracker, but almost sure to call forth nutcracker puns.

Image: Marcia Davis

December 18
Redhook Winterhook Wonderland
Seattle’s first microbrewery toasts the holidays with a celebration at BrewLab. The party comes equipped with a photographer to capture guests in the throes of candid holiday cheer and plenty of Redhook’s seasonal ale to go around. BrewLab, free to attend

Through Dec 19
Holiday Concerts in Westlake Park
Every Sunday, melodies from local musicians like Shaina Shepherd, the Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project! and Roosevelt Jazz Band will flood downtown in celebration of the holidays. Westlake Park, free to attend

Dec 21
Winter Solstice Luminary Walk
Take a walk through historic downtown Chelan, all the way to the Old Bridge, to commemorate the winter season on the shortest day of the year. The scenic route, decked with more than 1000 lights, allows a step back from the hustle of the holidays to decompress. Downtown Chelan, free to attend.

Thru Dec 23
A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol 2021
The timeless tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge as you’ve never seen it before–the annual show is different every year, as a new, twisted version of the literary classic emerges from collaboration between the audience and actors. Market Theatre, $20 online or $25 at the door

Thru December 23
Christmas Ship Festival
The Spirit of Seattle has been cruising the Puget Sound since 1949, bringing seaside Christmas magic to almost 40 different waterfront communities. Coined the city's official "Christmas Ship", the vessel will set sail again this year, decked with lights and equipped with a choir, Santa himself, and a full-service bar. Various prices, various locations

Thru Dec 24
Naughty or Nice Burlesque
This year, Seattle’s top burlesque artists like Ruby Mimosa and Inga will flood the W Seattle’s Living Room Bar with performances that give new meaning to Christmas cheer. W Seattle,  free

Thru December 24
Kringle’s Filling Station
Hotopp Creative Studio turned their vintage garage space into Otis and Sparky Kringle’s filling station, brimming with activities like ski-ball, karaoke, and a photo-op with the Kringle brothers and their sleigh. The gas pumps even dispense hot chocolate—talk about Christmas magic. Greenlake, $10

We want to live in a world where gas pumps dispense hot chocolate year round. 

Through Dec 24
Sugar Plum Gary
In its fifth year, this interactive comedy show centers around Gary, a man who has been possessed by the holiday spirit ever since Santa paid him a visit. By opening with, “Does anyone have a question about Christmas?” Gary gives the audience an opportunity to ponder and discuss the mysteries and magic of the holiday. 18th and Union or Virtual, various.

Thru Dec 24
Snowflake Lane
Holiday floats chock full of toy drummers, sugarplum fairies, and elves parade through the streets of Bellevue under falling snow and lights every night. Leave your car in the parking garage and snag a spot along the sidewalk to immerse yourself in the magic. Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square, free to attend

December 25
Hula Hula Karaoke Night
Returning for its 16th year, the tiki bar’s annual Christmas celebration includes all the tropical standbys, from mai tais to pina coladas to the bar’s spin on a daiquiri. There is a plethora of snacking options to choose from, along with bigger plates if you manage to work up an appetite singing Wham!’s Last Christmas on the last night it’s acceptable to do so. Hula Hula, various 

Through Dec 26
Welcome Home: A Holiday Concert
As live entertainment continues to stage a comeback, so does  the Village Theatre with its seasonal concert. The evening consists of performances by Anti Alhadeff, Kyle Nicholas Anderson, Jordan Bolden, Kataka Corn, and Shaunyce Omar, featuring Christmas classics including “This Christmas” and “Santa Baby”.  Seattle musicians Aaron Martin Davis Normal, Andrew Pang, Jamael Nance, and Olivia Hamilton will come together as a quartet for a night full of winter cheer. Francis J. Gaudette Theater, $22-62.

Thru Dec 28
The Nutcracker
Enchantment returned to McCaw Hall earlier this year when Pacific Northwest Ballet opened its doors for the first time since the pandemic. George Balanchine’s Christmas classic will be available for live viewing, but those not yet ready to return to in-person shows have the option of attending a livestream. McCaw Hall, various

Through December 30
Issaquah Reindeer Festival
Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elven assistants have touched down in their home away from home, Cougar Mountain Zoo, where their off-duty reindeer can mingle with the inhabitants of the largest zoo-based reindeer farm in the country. The photo ops are plentiful. Cougar Mountain Zoo, $17 including zoo admission

Thru Dec 31
Seattle Center Winterfest
Christmas is illuminating Seattle Center for the entire month, continuing the 40-year tradition of displaying a nineteenth-century model train and village in miniature. Chan Kitburi and Janson Iwakami, master ice carvers, create a new ice sculpture each week, and performers like D’Vonne Lewis Trio and Bailadores de Bronce take over the Armory Stage on different weeks. Seattle Center, free to attend

Through January 1
Candy Cane Lane
This residential street tucked against Ravenna Park continues the annual drive thru tradition with a Nutcracker-themed carousel and houses displaying gingerbread men and an abundance of candy canes. Park Road NE and NE Ravenna Boulevard, free to attend

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