These December festivals, fairs, parades, and expos in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan region have free or cheap admission ($15 or less). We sometimes include significant or popular events with an admission fee higher than $15, noting any available ticket discounts or volunteer opportunities that lower the cost.
November 28 – December 2, 2018. Victorian Christmas Festival in Puyallup. Shop in over 500 stores and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Enjoy a variety of entertainment on two states and Singing Nativity. Soak in the atmosphere of music, lights and décor, plus free sleigh and carriage rides. Dine on gourmet food, wine, and delicious taste treats throughout the festival. Get family photos with Santa at a package price of $25. Hours: Wed-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Free parking. Tickets: Adults: $12, Students/Seniors: $10, Military: $9 (ID verified at the gate). Kids 5 & under are FREE. Ticket sales at the gates are CASH ONLY. Discount on advance online tickets for Wed-Friday only, Adults: $10, Students/Seniors: $9, Military: $8 (ID verified at the gate). More info: https://www.avictoriancountrychristmas.com/
November 30 – December 2, 2018. Free Art Studio Tour in West Seattle and Ballard. This free, self-guided tour offers holiday shoppers a relaxed and intimate opportunity to meet the artists in their own environments. Shop from 26 artists at 8 studios who make clothing, jewelry, glass, ceramics, and prints. Free event. More info: https://www.seattlesampling.com/
December 1, 2018. Winterfest holiday celebration in Woodinville features family-friendly activities and treats provided by Winterfest Sponsors. The day includes 5k & 10k runs, a Holiday Fair, Live Music, Santa Procession, and Community Tree Lighting. More info: https://www.celebratewoodinville.com/
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 – 2, 2018. Redmond Lights Festival celebrates the welcoming of the Winter season with lights and activities that highlight the city’s diverse traditions, cultures, and faiths. Free event. More info: http://www.redmondlights.com/
- Saturday, December 1, 2018. Arrive before the light festival to browse unique homemade items from Northwest crafters at the Senior Center Holiday Market, open from 12pm-6pm. Redmond City Hall Campus: oak tree lighting, Holiday market, spectacular fireworks display, and entrance to the luminary walk. The Sammamish River and Redmond Central Connector Trails: enjoy 1 mile of luminaries, lights and performances. About a 20 minute walk from Redmond City Hall to Redmond Town Center. Redmond Town Center: Find an abundance of family activities such as free crafts and cookie decorating from our local faith and cultural groups, a holiday carousel and train rides, and more.
- Sunday, December 2, 2018. Another opportunity for a serene winter walk down the Sammamish River Trail to experience the light installations and activities at the Redmond Central Connector Park.
December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2018. Getaway: Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth (120 miles E). The quaint Bavarian village lights up for the holidays and Christmas spirit fills the streets. In and around Leavenworth you will find a variety of free and paid activities all day long, including live entertainment, window shopping, food, and winter sports (tubing, sleigh rides, dogsledding, snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing). Throughout the day you will find live performances, the smell of roasted chestnuts filling the air, a traditional Gluhwein Tent (selling hot spiced wine and cider), and costumed Christmas characters. St. Nickolaus arrives daily to welcome children young and old with the story of his legacy. Saturday and Sunday evenings, the Holiday Lighting Ceremony occurs at dusk (around 4:30 PM) with a bit of pomp and circumstance to light up Leavenworth with over half a millions lights. More info: https://leavenworth.org/event/
- December 1, 8, and 15, 2018. Customized Bus Tours take you to one of Washington’s most popular annual holiday traditions. During this full-day event, browse through the village’s quaint shops, savor German food from the street stands, enjoy live outdoor entertainment, let your kids sled down the snow hill, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and then gather at dusk (on Saturdays and Sundays) for the lighting ceremony as the town becomes ablaze in twinkling lights. Afterward, relax back on the bus as you return home filled with the holiday spirit. Tickets: $130. Discount tickets for Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival through Goldstar: $65. (When you make a purchase through our links, we might earn a commission at no additional cost to you.)
December 1-23, 2018 (started November 23). Argosy Christmas Ships sail to Seattle and Eastside communities to celebrate the holiday season. Christmas Ships sails to different Puget Sound waterfront communities, around 65 in total. Choirs onboard sing 20-minute performances, broadcast via state-of-the-art speaker system. You can join Argosy on board the Christmas Ship or the Parade Follow Boat. When: Friday-Sunday from November 23 -December 2, 2018 and nightly from December 5 – December 23, 2018 (except December 11). Where: Christmas Ships sail to different Puget Sound waterfront communities each night. Adult tickets:$38-$48. However, you can see the Christmas Ships for FREE at Shore viewing parties: to find out when the ships will be visiting a park near you, check the Argosy Christmas Ships Schedule. Or, join the flotilla in your boat. If you own your own boat, feel welcome to add lights to your vessel and join in the flotilla.
December 1-23, 2018. Reindeer Festival in Issaquah. Issaquah Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo, from December 1-23 features Santa at 10:30am – 4:00pm (with breaks throughout the day to check on his Reindeer). Photo prices: $15 for the first photo in a special Reindeer Festival photo folder; $10 for each additional photo or $5 for 3 photos using your own camera. Tickets: $15.50 General (13+), $14.50 Senior (62+), $12.50 Children (2-12), Under 2 is FREE. Discount for groups of 12 or more: $1.00 off each admission when paid in one combined payment. More info: http://cougarmountainzoo.org/
December 1-24, 2018 (started November 10). Reindeer Festival at Swanson’s Nursery. Meet Santa’s reindeer, Dasher & Comet. Visit the reindeer every day when they return to Santa’s workshop to help deliver presents. You can also 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 our early closing. More info: http://www.swansonsnursery.com/
December 1-24, 2018 (started November 23). Snowflake Lane Christmas parade in Bellevue. Celebrate the holiday season at Snowflake Lane in Bellevue, the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan region’s most festive holiday scene. The fun begins the day after Thanksgiving and continues nightly through Christmas Eve. Every night 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. More info: http://snowflakelane.com/
December 1, 2018 – January 1, 2019 (started November 20). Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Hotel. Gingerbread Village at the 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 using Text to Vote on your cell phone. Free event, donations are encouraged to benefit yhe Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. More information: http://www.gingerbreadvillage.org/.
December 1, 2018 – January 6, 2019 (started November 23). Free Winterfest holiday activities at Seattle Center. Five weeks of free and affordable family activities and holiday-inspired festivities. Most activities are open 10am-6pm, though some have shorter or longer hours. Free activities: Winter Train and Village in the Armory, free entertainment in the Armory, , ice sculpting outside Fisher Pavilion on Saturdays. New Year’s Eve Celebration with cover band Sway in the Armory, plus DJ Dance Party light show at International Fountain. Paid activities: Vendors offer a wide variety of fresh local foods and beverages for purchase. Winterfest Ice Rink in Fisher Pavilion ($2-$8).
December 1, 2018 – January 6, 2019 (started November 23). Winter Wonderland at Redmond Towne Center. Santa’s Workshop and Photos ($27-$65), Carousel ($4 suggested donation), Holiday Train ($4 per rider), Skating Rink ($7 per session includes skates), Noel fresh Tree Farm, donate to Northwest Harvest, Giving Tree, free trampoline and story times. Free and paid activities. More info: https://redmondtowncenter.com/rtc-events/
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 8, 2018. TUBACHRISTMAS concerts are presented around the world. Tuba and euphonium* players everywhere are invited to participate in one or more of the TUBACHRISTMAS events. And the public is invited to these free Christmas concerts. TubaChristmas reflects on the legacy of all great artists and teachers whose heritage and honor has given today’s tuba players high performance standards, well-structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values, and a camaraderie envied by other instrumentalists. More info: http://tubachristmas.com/
- BELLINGHAM – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 11:00 am. Bellingham Ferry Terminal, 355 Harris Ave., Old Fairhaven, Bellingham, WA
- POULSBO – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 3:00 pm. Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park Band Stand, 18809 Anderson Pkwy, Poulsbo, WA
- SEATTLE – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 3:00 pm. Main Stage, Seattle Center Armory
December 14, 2018. Christmas Ships Parade of Boats through the Fremont Cut. Watch from shore or participate in your decorated boat. Register your decorated boat (it’s FREE) to be part of the Parade. Participating vessels will be judged by an onshore panel of local media and maritime personalities and awards will be given to the most creative and festive boats. More info: https://www.argosycruises.com/christmas-ship-parade-of-boats/
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 21, 2018 – January 1, 2019 (closed December 24-25). Model Train Festival in Tacoma. History and holiday magic unite at the Washington State History Museum during the Annual Model Train Festival in December, a showcase of the most spectacular and detailed model railroad scenes in the Pacific Northwest and the largest permanent model train layout in Washington. Take free Santa pictures with you and your family on December 22-23 from 11 AM – 3 PM. The pictures will be instantly e-mailed to an address of your choosing. Tickets: Adults (18+) $14. Seniors (65+), Students (6-17) and Military $11. Children (5 and under) FREE. Family (2 adults, 4 children under age 18) $40. Discounts: EBT Card $1 off per person or $2 off family. December 23 is Teen Tix day—show your card and get in for $5.00. More info: http://www.washingtonhistory.org/visit/wshm/eventsprograms/trainfest/
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