Seattle Center is the scene for Winterfest–five weeks of free and affordable family activities and holiday-inspired fun. The festivities begin the day after Thanksgiving and go until New Year’s Eve. The Seattle Center grounds are open 365 days a year. The Armory, Fisher Plaza, and other buildings are closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Throughout the five weeks of Winterfest, those in search of uplifting seasonal spirit or delightful diversion will find holiday-themed performances, Winter Train & Village, an annual campus lighting display, and a New Year’s Eve Celebration.
Most activities are open 10am-6pm, though some have shorter or longer hours. Many of the activities take place indoors at the Armory Main Level and Fisher Pavilion. There are also some outdoor activities on the plaza in front of Fisher Pavilion and around the International Fountain.
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Seattle Center Winterfest activities
The Armory closes at 4pm on Christmas Eve and is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.
International Fountain music starts at 10 am and ends at 9:00 pm. The cascading waterfall is on 24 hours a day. Lighting of the International Fountain is on an astro timer, set for 30-45 minutes before sunset. Lighting will be on until the fountain goes off. The music should be on anytime the fountain is actually operating. It shuts off between programs. Fountain of Light at International Fountain 5:15–8pm.
OPENING DAY CELEBRATION November 24, 2023. Winterfest Opening Day kicks off at noon at International Fountain with a special Ice Spectacle. Watch as talented artists create original works of art in ice. Warm yourself by our fire pits, listen to roving carolers, and sample s’mores and other warm concessions courtesy of Ceres Roasting Company.
SEATTLE CENTER LUMINATA. The annual tradition of decking out the Seattle Center campus with twinkling lights in the trees and other specialty light features across the grounds. Pop by Seattle Center after dark and delight in the wonderland of light! Sponsored by Climate Pledge Arena.
WINTER TRAIN & VILLAGE. Delight in viewing a late 19th-century model train and village display, installed inside the Armory Food & Event Hall. This annual tradition has been on display for over 40 years! The train operates 10am to 6pm daily. Donations accepted to keep the train operating.
ARMORY STAGE ENTERTAINMENT. Each weekend enjoy live performances on the Armory Stage while you check out Winterfest Train & Village or grab a bite to eat at an Armory food merchant.
WINTERFEST WORLD BAZAAR. Shop for your holiday gifts at a special World Bazaar offering goods created by our Festal community partners. Browse a rotating roster of vendors Friday through Sunday, Noon to 6pm.
CHRISTMAS MARKET. Seattle newest Holiday Tradition. Admission $20/adult; save $5 with advance online purchase. Children under 6 FREE. Fisher Pavilion and South Fountain Lawn at Seattle Center will be transformed into a European-inspired outdoor Christmas village and community marketplace. A true feast for the senses with festive decorations, daily live entertainment, sweet and savory treats, hot chocolate and Glühwein (hot mulled wine), and beautifully handcrafted gifts at over 60 local and international vendors, the Seattle Christmas Market is the perfect place to celebrate the magic of the holiday season.
FREE NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION. FREE New Year’s Eve Celebration offers entertainment and festivities throughout the Seattle Center grounds. Pop by the Armory between 8pm and midnight and hear the soulful sounds of premier Northwest band Groove Nation. At 10pm, head out to International Fountain for a Fountain of Light show, with DJ Supreme La Rock. Just before midnight, find your spot outside to view T-Mobile New Year’s at the Needle, the Space Needle’s drone show and firework extravaganza. Plus, food merchants and other vendors. This is the city’s place to be on New Year’s Eve!
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- Here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- More free and cheap things to do every day: Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Still more ideas for frugal fun: Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page.
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Upcoming Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa & Holiday Events
The following events on our calendar include holiday events of all kinds.
Friday, December 1, 2023
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