Season's Greetings from Seattle
Collected by Stephanie Perry , AFAR Local Expert
Visiting Seattle for the holidays? From a gingerbread house competition to Scuba Santa Claus, we like to put our own festive twist on the season. Join us for the celebration!
85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Walk, cycle or people-watch along the shores of Elliott Bay, a downtown stretch known for its circusy flair and spectacular vistas. You can ride the Great Wheel or visit the beloved Seattle Aquarium, home to wolf eels, sea otters, and the world's...
1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Here’s one Santa we’re willing to bet you haven’t seen before: Diving Santa, a festively attired scuba diver (beard and all) who jumps into the Seattle Aquarium’s Window on Washington Waters tank on December weekends. Kids can ask Diving Santa...
520 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
If you’ve been itching all year for an excuse to don your Santa suit, here’s your chance: Seattle Santarchy is a raucous annual costumed pub crawl dedicated to raising holiday spirits (in every sense of the word). Just look for the herd of...
401 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
During the month of December, a holiday carousel springs up in downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park. Kids and adults can hop on the colorfully illuminated ride for a suggested donation of $2 per person. You’ll get some great holiday pictures, and best...
300 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98181, USA
For generations of Seattle shoppers, Macy's Holiday Star is a guiding light during the holiday season. The famous 161-foot high, 3,600-bulb star is officially lit each year at the conclusion of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, at the same time...
411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Set on what was once the original campus of the University of Washington, this downtown landmark was opened in 1924, and now sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Its stately spaces have played host to generations of weddings, proms,...
12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
The Bellevue Botanical Garden puts a unique twist on the tradition of admiring holiday light displays with its hugely popular Garden d’Lights show. With thousands of hours of help from volunteers, the botanical garden is transformed into an...
2655 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
The indigenous people welcomed the first European settlers in 1851. Soon reports reached Scandinavia, like Ostenson Stine's: "When you throw your eye upon Puget Sound, and behold the fleet of fish barges, rolling upon her briny breast, a...
301 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
The Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker” has been a beloved Northwest holiday tradition for years. For the 2015 holiday season, the ballet has retired the old Maurice Sendak-designed sets in favor of a brand-new set designed by children’s...
1400 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
The Sheraton’s Gingerbread Village might just be Seattle’s sweetest holiday attraction. From just before Thanksgiving to just past New Year’s, you can join the crowds oohing and ahhing over the large and wonderfully detailed confectionary...
305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
A favorite with train enthusiasts, dollhouse collectors, and lovers of holiday tradition, the Seattle Center’s Winter Train and Village is a sprawling, intricately detailed turn-of-the-century village built on a miniature scale, featuring...
500 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
There are many Santas throughout Seattle — and more than one in downtown Seattle alone — but Nordstrom’s Santa surely has the most elaborate set-up: a colorful gingerbread house full of antsy kids and stoic parents waiting for their turn with the...
405 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Early in December, dozens of caroling teams brave the cold downtown Seattle streets for the annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition. Stroll through the blocked-off streets around Westlake Park, listen to local groups belting out holiday...
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