For December 2018, we inspected the Greater Seattle on the Cheap calendar and website for free events that might be especially worthy of your consideration. Since we publish hundreds of events every month, we like to highlight a few fun and interesting events each week you may not want to miss. Sometimes it’s hard to recommend just 10. This list has 14 types of events, some with many different locations and times. It’s a mix of winter holiday, Christmas, and other free events to take you away from seasonal madness.
December 1, 2018. FREE Christmas tree lighting celebrations in cities around the Puget Sound region. Most have music. Some have other family-friendly activities and holiday markets before and after the tree lighting. Food is often available. Check their link for details. Free events.
- Auburn Christmas tree lighting at city hall, 4:30 PM
- Bothell Christmas tree lighting at Country Village, 4:00 PM
- Gig Harbor Christmas tree lighting at Skansie Brothers Park, 5:00 PM
- Kenmore Christmas tree lighting at city hall, 4:00 PM
- Kent Christmas tree lighting at Town Square Plaza, 2:00 PM
- Kirkland Christmas tree lighting at Marina Park, 3:00 PM
- Lake Stevens Christmas tree lighting on Main Street, 5:30 PM
- Merrysville Christmas tower lighting in Comeford Park, Marysville, WA, 5:00 PM
- Mill Creek Christmas tree lighting at Town Center, 3:30 PM
- Normandy Park Christmas tree lighting at Towne Center, 5:00 PM
- Redmond Christmas tree lighting at city hall, 5:00 PM
- West Seattle Christmas tree lighting at Junction Plaza Park, 3:00 PM
- Woodinville Christmas tree lighting at DeYoung Park. 3:00 PM
December 1, 14, and 15, 2018. Stargazing around Puget Sound. Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) organizes monthly star parties in area parks. These outdoor stargazing events are free, family-friendly, and open to the public. Also, Tacoma Astronomical Society (TAS) hosts free public viewing sessions each month at Pierce College near Fort Steilacoom. On nights with clear skies TAS volunteers provide telescopic observations of the night sky. On cloudy nights, indoor lectures, demonstrations and workshops will be available regardless of the weather. Free events, donations are gladly accepted. More info: https://www.greaterseattleonthecheap.com/free-stargazing-seattle/
December 1, 18, 15, 22 and 29, 2018. Free aquarium and marine science center in Des Moines. Every Saturday year-round, you can visit the Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center, the marine classroom and public aquarium of Highline College. They boast a 38-foot Gray Whale skeleton, have a 3,000 gallon open-flow aquarium with thousands of native Puget Sound marine creatures, plus two touch tanks, live virtual scuba dives, and more. Great for kids, ADA compliant, and dog-friendly. Don’t hesitate to drop by. Free event. More info: https://mast.highline.edu/
December 2, 3, 4, and 6, 2018. Menorah Lighting takes place around the region as the Jewish population celebrates Hanukkah from December 2 – 10, 2018. Join the fun. Free events.
- Sunday, December 2, 2018, 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Hands-on Hanukkah in Seattle and Bellevue. Northgate Mall (Seattle) and Crossroads Mall (Bellevue). Make your own menorah, frost delicious cookies, and build creative dreidel or menorah sun-catchers. Event is free, but please RSVP so enough supplies can be made available.
- Sunday, December 2, 2018, 12:00 pm. Menorah Lighting at Marina Park. Location: Kirkland waterfront Park – Kirkland, WA.
- Sunday, December 2, 2018, 4:00 pm. Chanukah celebration in Lynnwood hosted by Chabad of Snohomish County. City Hall, 19100 44th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036. Treats, gelt, menorah kits, face painting, balloon twisting.
- Sunday, December 2, 2018, 4:00 pm. Menorah Lighting at Shoreline City Hall, 17500 Midvale Ave N – Shoreline, WA.
- Sunday, December 2, 2018, 4:30 pm. Menorah lighting in Ballard hosted by Chabad of Northwest Seattle. Bergen Place Park5420 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107.
- Sunday, December 2, 2018, 5:00 pm. Menorah Lighting in Issaquah. On Front Street.
- Sunday, December 2, 2018, 5:00pm pm. Menorah Lighting on Queen Anne Hill, corner of Crockett St and Queen Anne Ave (same as summer farmers market).
- Monday, December 3, 2018, 6:30 pm. Menorah Lighting in Issaquah. Grand Ridge Plaza.
- Monday, December 3, 2018, 6:30pm. Menorah lighting in Tacoma. Enjoy music, dancing, doughnuts, dreidels, and latkes. In front of the Broadway Center, corner of Broadway & 9th.
- Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 5:30 pm. Menorah lighting in Green Lake hosted by Chabad of Northwest Seattle. Lake Side Plaza, 7900 E Green Lake Dr N, Seattle, WA 98103.
- Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 6:30pm. Menorah lighting in Gig Harbor. Singing, dancing, latkes, doughnuts, and dreidels. Uptown Mall, 4701 Point Fosdick Drive, Gig Harbor, WA.
- Thursday, December 6, 2018, 4:30 pm. Menorah Lighting at Snoqualmie Library.
- Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 5:00 pm. Menorah Lighting and Burger Fest at Westlake Park hosted by CYP Seattle & Chabad of Downtown. Westlake Park, 401 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101. Menorah Lighting, Gourmet Burgers, Hot Latkes, Mitzvah Tank, Music, Hot drinks, Holiday Market.
- Thursday, December 6, 2018, 6:30 pm. Menorah Lighting in University Place (south of Tacoma). Enjoy music, dreidels, doughnuts, latkes, and dancing. University Place City Center, Bridegport Way W, University Place, WA.
December 7, 2018. Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition in downtown Seattle is one of the city’s most magical and festive nights and attracts nearly 10,000 people to enjoy holiday music in the streets. Dozens of caroling teams sing their hearts out on downtown Seattle street corners in and around Westlake Center. The top teams then compete in a sing-off on the Figgy Main Stage. The event raises funds for the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank which offer free meals, free groceries, one-on-one counseling, and other services to our low-income and homeless neighbors in need. Free event. More info: http://www.pikemarketseniorcenter.org/figgy-pudding/
December 7, 2018. Christmas tree lighting celebrations in cities around the Puget Sound region. Most have music. Some have other family-friendly activities and holiday markets before and after the tree lighting. Food is often available. Check their link for details. Free events.
- Google Lights on the Cross Kirkland Corridor, 5:00 PM
- Mercer Islandat Mercerdale Park, 6:30 PM
- Mountlake Terraceat Evergreen Playfield, 6:30 PM
- Sammamishat Commons Plaza, 5:00 PM
- University Place (south of Tacoma) in Market Square, 4:00 PM
December 8, 2018. Dicken festival & carriage rides in Tacoma. Victorian Revelry in the Historic Stadium Business District at the Dickens Festival featuring horse drawn carriages from 12:00-4:00 PM. From 12:00-3:00 ride to W.W.Seymour Conservatory “Victorian Days” with poinsettia exhibit and musical performances. From 3:00-4:00 PM ride through the Stadium Historic business district. Free event. More info: http://dickensfestival.net/
December 14, 2018 – January 20, 2019. Immersive light display ‘Snow Day’ in Denny Park. When winter arrives we all hope for a Snow Day, a chance to escape the drudgery of your week and go out and play. “Snow Day in Denny Park” is an Immersive Winter Lighting Display. As they days grow shorter, the night will get brighter! Grand opening on December 14 from 4PM-9PM features holiday-themed entertainment, interactive crafts for the kids, food trucks, a holiday beer garden, giant snow globe photo booth, and mini holiday market. Free event. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2221248061280037/
December 1-23, 2018. Argosy Christmas Ships (Friday-Sunday thru December 2 and nightly December 5-23, except December 11). The ships sail to different waterfront communities around Puget Sound and Lake Washington, around 65 in total. Choirs onboard perform, broadcast via state-of-the-art speaker system. Adult ticket are $38-$48, but you can see the Christmas Ships for FREE at shore viewing parties or join the flotilla in your boat. To find out when the ships will be visiting a park near you, check the Argosy Christmas Ships Schedule.
December 1-24, 2018. Reindeer Festival at Swanson’s Nursery. Visit the reindeer every day and learn more about these incredible animals during “Meet the Reindeer” presentations, offered Monday-Friday at 11am and on weekends at 11am and 4pm. Reindeer selfie, anyone? Note: the 4pm session on December 24th will be a special ‘Bon Voyage’ party held at 2pm to accommodate an early closing. Free event. More info: http://www.swansonsnursery.com/
December 1-24, 2018. Snowflake Lane in Bellevue is one of the region’s most festive holiday scenes. Every night through Christmas Eve at 7pm on the sidewalks between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square, experience a Christmas parade under falling snow and dazzling lights accompanied by festive music, toy drummers, dancers, and favorite holiday characters. Free event. More info: http://snowflakelane.com/
December 1, 2018 – January 1, 2019. Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Hotel has been one of Seattle’s most beloved holiday traditions for over 25 years. Local architecture firms and trade associations team up with the Seattle Sheraton hotel culinary team to design, bake, and build extravagant gingerbread masterpieces. Vote for your favorite creation. Free event, donations are encouraged to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. More information: http://www.gingerbreadvillage.org/.
December 31, 2018. Free New Years Party at Seattle Center featuring the cover band Sway to rock in the New Year in the Armory on from 8pm – 11:45pm. Then head outside for a DJ Dance Party with a light show at International Fountain and the fireworks show from the Space Needle. Free event. More info: http://www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest/
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