In the chaos of gift-buying, searching for the perfect party outfit, and organizing holiday travels, it’s easy to forget that some of the season’s most enjoyable events are free. In fact, there are so many free holiday events happening this month that it was impossible to fit them all into this list. Here’s a guide to just a few of the best free holiday events in Seattle and surrounding areas this December.
Festivals and Other Events
What could be better than holiday shopping while strolling through fragrant pines and mingling with two real-life reindeer? This holiday festival includes a model train display, Christmas trees for sale, gifts and holiday decorations for sale, live music, and Santa Claus and holiday yurt photo ops.
The Sheraton’s Gingerbread Village has been a Seattle tradition for 25 years. Each year, architects from the city’s top firms, as well as master builders and the Sheraton’s culinary teams, design intricate and stunning gingerbread creations. The event is free and donations go to the JDRF Northwest Chapter.
When: November 24th – December 24th, every night at 7pm
Where: Sidewalks between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square, NE 4th to NE 8th Streets, Bellevue
This parade includes falling snow, lights, holiday music, and appearances from Santa every night. Plan to arrive between 6 and 6:30pm to find the optimum parade-viewing spot.
Pioneer Square Holidays 2017
When: December 9th, 11am-3pm
Where: Occidental Square, Downtown Seattle
The only thing cuter than a dog in a holiday costume is hundreds of dogs in holiday costumes. Even if you don’t have a four-pawed loved one to bring, this event is open and free to the public. The day includes entertainment, treats, and a doggy costume contest at noon.
When: December 3rd, 11am-1pm
Where: Northgate Mall (Seattle) and Crossroads Mall (Bellevue)
This event is perfect for kids; activities include making edible dreidels and decorating Hanukkah placemats, taking photos, and competing for prizes.
Wear your pajamas and bring an extra pair to donate while enjoying live music, arts and crafts, food trucks, Hanukkah storytime, and more.
Anyone is invited to attend this winter solstice celebration that offers food, song, light, community, and an informal reflection on the past year. The theme for this year’s celebration is empathy and evidence.
When: December 9th, 11am-5pm
Where: Various locations around Stadium High School, Tacoma
For those of us literary nerds, this festival celebrates the author of A Christmas Carol and transports attendees to an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas. The event includes actors dressed as Dickens characters, a Victorian costume contest for dogs, vendors, and carriage rides.
Des Moines Tree Lighting
When: December 1st, 6-7:30pm
Where: Big Catch Plaza, corner of 216th and Marine View Drive, Des Moines
Evergreen Community Orchestra Christmas Concert
When: December 11th, 2:30pm
Where: Northwest Music Hall in the Everett Mall
Mukilteo Community Orchestra Young Artist’s Concert
When: December 17th, 2pm
Where: Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Avenue, Mukilteo