Real talk: December can feel difficult for many people. Financial issues, complicated family dynamics, and other personal challenges often rear their ugly heads. Additionally, with its deeply northern location, the Seattle area can feel especially dark and wet this time of year, resulting in low energy and dips in one’s moods.
Curious about how people in even darker parts of the world handle winter, I recently read an article about a PhD student who spent a full year researching mental health in Tromsø, Norway. Tromsø is so far north that between late November and late January, the sun never climbs above the horizon.
Apparently, however, residents in this town largely avoid seasonal depression. As it turned out, Norwegians “view winter as something to be enjoyed, not endured.” Tromsø residents infuse everything they do with a sense of koselig—roughly translated as “coziness” and similar to the Danish hygge—through fires, warm drinks, candles, and fuzzy blankets. According to the article, the research student also reported that Norwegians typically form close-knit communities and that “Tromsø had plenty of festivals and community activities creating the sense that everyone was in it together.”
So, in order to help you embrace winter’s chill, spend more time with your loved ones, and include a little more koselig in your life, here’s our holiday event guide for the Seattle area.
When: December 7th-8th
Where: Magnuson Park Hangar 30
Cost: Suggested donation of $1 per person
Enjoy drinks and delicious street food as you peruse this market’s handmade, vintage, and other kinds of goods. The market also hosts music and other live performances.
When: December 8th
Where: Main Street, Bothell
Participants are encouraged to wear their craziest holiday sweaters as they stroll Bothell’s main street and enjoy wine, beer, food, and special shopping deals.
When: December 8th
Where: The Russian Community Center of Seattle
This party features stand-up comedy, musical performances, dancing, and delicious traditional Jewish and Chinese dishes.
When: December 11th
Where: Hotel Monaco, Seattle
Consistently one of my favorite holiday events, the Holiday Howl is open to dogs and their owners. Activities include both wine and dog-friendly snacks, photos with Santa, a Christmas selfie station, and adoptable dogs from the Seattle Humane Society.
When: December 14th
Where: Lake Union Park, Seattle
Cost: On-shore viewing is free
It’s not a true Pacific Northwest December without something nautical. This parade features brightly decorated boats and the Charles Dickens Carolers.
When: December 14-16th
Where: Benaroya Hall
There’s a reason Handel’s Messiah is a Christmas classic. The Seattle Symphony’s performance is sure to send delicious shivers down your spine as you relax and enjoy the beauty of this moving piece.
When: December 22nd
Where: Magnuson Park, Seattle
There’s no better way to beat the December blues than going outside in the fresh air and getting your blood pumping. Participants can run or walk a 5k, 10k, 15k, or half-marathon, or run and bike in a duathlon. A hot chocolate bar welcomes tired participants at the end of the races.
When: December 7th—December 28th
Where: McCaw Hall, Seattle
The Pacific Northwest Ballet’s dazzling show is well worth the money. I remember attending the Nutcracker a few times with my mother when I was younger, and it never failed to transport me.
When: November 23rd, 2018—January 5th, 2019
Where: Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle
Families with small children and adults looking for a magical experience will love Seattle’s classic Wildlights. The event includes sparkling lights, hot chocolate, and close-up animal encounters.
When: November 23rd, 2018—January 6, 2019
Where: The Seattle Armory
Cost: Free, except for the ice skating rink
Winterfest has everything, including sparkling lights, weekend performances, an ice rink, ice sculptures, and a winter train and village.
When: November 23rd—December 30th
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle
Cost: starting from $20
With the world’s largest Christmas light maze, this event looks truly magical. Guests also enjoy nightly entertainment, hot drinks, seasonal food, and an ice-skating trail with light displays.
The Pickett Street team wishes you a cozy and happy holiday season. To get in touch with the team, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-502-5397.