Seattle's Magical Holiday Celebrations

A little holiday cheer is never hard to find in Seattle, where the festive feeling casts a warm glow on the city all December long. For tidings of comfort and joy, look no further than a packed calendar of seasonal events. 

When the Mariners are away, the elves come out to play. In T-Mobile Park, Enchant (through Dec. 29) is back this year to transform the stadium into a larger-than-life winter wonderland, the centerpiece of which is a giant light maze with a 100-foot-tall pine tree. Among the luminescence, try to find the gifts misplaced by the mischievous Eddie the Elf. 

A second light maze in the city is new this year, inside Pier 91’s Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. Lumaze, an indoor Christmas festival and market, promises more than two million twinkling lights, a trackless train to hop on, seasonal food and beverages and all the selfie opportunities your Instagram account could crave (through Jan. 4).

For an outdoor lights celebration, take a walk on the wild side. Faux snowball fights, historic carousel rides, nocturnal animal encounters and 800,000 energy-efficient LED lights make Woodland Park Zoo’s WildLights (open most evenings through Jan. 5) a wildly fantastic place to celebrate the season.

Kids will get a kick out of the Swansons Reindeer Festival at Swansons Nursery, through Dec. 24, when they get to meet Santa’s helpers themselves. In addition to palling around with Dasher and Blitzen, take a photo inside a decorated yurt and shop the central greenhouse filled with holiday décor galore. 

There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than by being swept up in the fantastical world of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” as performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet in McCaw Hall, which always gets gussied up for the season (through Dec. 28).

For a totally different twist on the classic tale, The Triple Door hosts an adults-only burlesque version of “The Nutcracker” called “Land of the Sweets.”  In this production, which runs through Dec. 29, the music gets a jazz makeover and the characters are more naughty than nice.

Across the street in Benaroya Hall, the Seattle Symphony hosts a number of holiday-related shows throughout December, including “A Festival of Lessons & Carols” on Dec. 23, which features the angelic voices of the Northwest Boychoir and Vocalpoint! Seattle recounting the story of the Nativity. 

Beginning on Dec. 22 this year, Hanukkah lasts for eight nights; look for giant outdoor menorahs, accompanying lighting celebrations and Hanukkah-related activities around town in spots like downtown’s Westlake Park, Ballard’s Bergen Place Park and Kirkland’s Marina Park

After welcoming 2020 with a bang by watching the New Year’s Eve at the Needle fireworks show, start this next decade off right with the Resolution Run & Polar Bear Dive at Magnuson Park on Jan. 1. Jump into Lake Washington 100 yards before the finish line for some extra mojo to carry into 2020.