If you've been too busy shopping for gifts, baking cookies, or otherwise dealing with the responsibilities of everyday life to make fun holiday plans, you're not too late. We've rounded up all the seasonal happenings that don't require much advance planning and won't cost more than $10, from the Winter Solstice Night Market to a Charlie Brown Christmas concert, and from Collide-O-Scope: X-mess Edition to Populuxe Brewing's annual Orphan's Christmas Eve. For even more options, check out our complete winter holidays calendar.
Note: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day may affect dates for recurring events. Double check to be sure.
- Obec Festivus Celebration
Celebrate with all the traditional trappings of the Seinfeldian "holiday for the rest of us," including an unadorned metal pole, the "airing of grievances," snacks (in this case, bites from Tummy Yummy Thai), and of course, "feats of strength" (Obec will provide hot-out-of-the-dishwasher pilsner glasses for guests to show off their heat tolerance, and bartenders will be on hand for arm-wrestling or thumb-wrestling competitions). Complete all the elements for a token redeemable for $2 off any full pour of beer or flight rack.
(Ballard, free admission)
- Release the Nog Holiday Party
According to the BottleNeck Lounge, even the most vocal self-avowed nog haters will be seduced by their "sacred concoction" created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the bar manager at Clyde Common in Portland. His sophisticated, boozy version includes anejo tequila and amontillado sherry.
(Capitol Hill) MUSIC
- Annual Ugly Sweater Affair
If you have a tropical holiday jumper, there's no better time or place to wear it than this ugly sweater party with DJs Y2K Sound, XTen, Veteran, and Ro spinning high-energy Soca, Dancehall, reggae, hip-hop, and Afrobeats.
(First Hill, $10)
- BRRR! Winter Solstice Celebration
Dance in the shortest day of the year with a constellation of local hip-hop favorites. Lo-Fi’s multitude of eclectic corners will feature six acts throughout the night. The duo of Remember Face grafts abstract beats behind stoic storytelling, while Portland’s Blossom swirls autobiographical lyrics in R&B liqueur. The trap and boom bap of multi-instrumentalist Samurai Del will elasticize the evening’s energy, as DJ Kween Kay$h keeps the hype up and the cold out, while Portland producer Sxlxmxn is sure to fire up his recent EYRST record label remixes. Seattle rapper and singer-songwriter Mr. Hentvii hosts.AJ DENT
- The Friday Night Get Down
Dance into the holiday weekend with Noir Grime DJs Ohm-I, Klopfenpop, and Steven. Don't forget to enter a raffle for the chance to win a vinyl giveaway.
(First Hill, $5)
- Punk Rock Christmas: Spiderface, Klondike Kate, and More!
Join Seattle punks Spiderface for their Christmas show, with more local support from Dirty White Pants, Klondike Kate, Fatal Butterfly, No Buffer, and the Adverse Effect.
- Slay Bells: A Rock Christmas Party!
DJ Baby Van Beezly will throw all the season's tired traditions out the window for this "rock as fuck Christmas party," a throwback night featuring holiday jams by bands like Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182, the Darkness, Good Charlotte, and many more.
(Ballard, $10) PARTIES
- Eat, Drink & Be Ugly
Celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day with bites, cocktails like aged eggnog and hot buttered scotch, and live Vinyl Church DJs.
(Downtown, free) SANTA
- Bowling With Santa
Bowl with Santa and take holiday photos for just 10 bones.
- Selfies with Santa!
Bring your selfie sticks to the Cookie Counter for selfies with Santa. Donations will benefit local homeless communities in Tent City 3.
(Capitol Hill, donation) SEX
- Surprise Me! Last Minute Gift-Giving Tips
Babeland staffers will help you find sexy last-minute stocking stuffers "for the person who has everything." Enjoy free sips and sex tips while you shop.
DECEMBER 20-21FOOD & DRINK
- Winter Solstice Night Market
This edition of the now-monthly Seattle Night Market (spearheaded by South Lake Union Saturday Market’s Ryan Reiter) is held over a weekend in which the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year, winter solstice, falls. Hence the name. It’s also indoors, which makes for a comfortable shopping (and eating) experience, with more than 150 booths, food trucks, and restaurant pop-ups that offer “locally made wares and tasty fare” spread all throughout Magnuson Park’s giant (20,000-square-foot) Hangar 30. Separate tickets into the Winter Solstice Beer Festival include samples of wintry brews from upwards of 25 local and regional breweries. Oh, there’s live music, too. In sum, it’s a groovy, beery, shoppy good time.LEILANI POLK
(Sand Point, free)
- United Indians Holiday Art Market
Fill up on salmon and Indian tacos while you shop for artful handmade wares from tribes across Washington State.
DECEMBER 20-JANUARY 15VISUAL ART
- Dark Winters Night
Many local artists and artisans show off their knack for creating eerie, chilly, and sinister sights.
(University District, free)
Opening reception Friday
THROUGH DECEMBER 21PERFORMANCE
- Naughty or Nice Burlesque
Celebrate the good and naughty aspects of the season in a video-mapped "virtual winter wonderland."
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21FOOD & DRINK
- Drunken Christmas Carols
You're invited to tipsily croon some holiday standards, enjoy a "stout-nog" (eggnog blended with stout), and craft your own "sexually inappropriate" holiday ornament at this irreverent holiday party. There will also be live music by Ryan Bisson and food and drink specials, and Middleton Brewing will release their new Li'l Sixer beer.
(Everett, free) GEEK
- 2nd Annual Yule Ball
Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall herself invites you to don your finest robes for this Harry Potter-themed yuletide affair. They'll have special treats and teas for the occasion, as well as a professional photographer ready to capture your cosplay.
(Wallingford, free) MUSIC
- 3rd Annual Cascade Country Christmas
Join some of the best regional country music artists as they perform stripped-down, acoustic versions of their tracks for an evening of Cascadian Christmas vibes.
- Caroling Under Gary's Canopy
The Phinney Neighborhood Community Chorus will lead a holiday sing-along under a covered canopy, boosted by a fire pit and hot cider.
- Holiday Sweater Party
Treat the holiday sweater collecting dust in the back of your closet to a night at the club with DJ Lady Jane.
(Capitol Hill, $10)
- The Hunt & Gather - Monorail Espresso Holiday Thing
Join DJs Pezzner, Doza, Brit, and Kid Hops for a zippy night of dance music and espresso from Monorail Espresso. Bring warm clothing to donate to Seattle's Union Gospel Mission homeless shelter.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- Kris Kringle's Christmas Mingle 3
With some help from a horn section, local musician Zechariah Valette will play all your holiday favorites while a live painter makes art before your eyes. You can also snap a photo with Krampus Klu and drink special drinks.
- Kristmas at the Kraken!!!
Join the Kraken crew for their pre-Christmas show, with sets by Primary Pulse, Sunmother, and Jaws Was Real, as well as an ugly Christmas sweater contest.
(University District, $7)
- Leif Totusek - Candela - Winter Solstice Celebration
Jazz mainstay Leif Totusek will play world fusion compositions on Soukous guitar and Cuban Rumba-inspired percussion on the winter solstice.
(Green Lake, free)
- Make Music Winter Solstice Gathering
Hop between two time-honored Issaquah locations (the Depot and the historic Shell station) for holiday storytelling and sing-alongs ranging from blues to old-timey folk.
- The Music of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'
Because the Royal Room does the music of Charlie Brown every year, every year I have to write this love poem to the core tune, "Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)," this masterpiece of American culture. It is, I think, one of the most beautiful pieces of jazz ever composed. Listening to it is like watching the falling snow through a window. The room is warm, something is roasting in the oven, and outside, the flakes are falling faintly through the universe and upon the trees, the hedges, the water gutters, the telephone poles, and the rooftops of a thousand apartment buildings. This is where you want to be forever. This is Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)." It opens with a trembling bass, like someone coming out of the cold, stamping their feet, brushing the snow off their shoulders, hanging their winter coat, rubbing and blowing on numb fingers, and entering the living room where there is a window, watching the flakes falling faintly upon all the buildings and the living. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Columbia City, $5/$10)
- Name That Tune: Holiday Hits Edition!
Drag queen and trivia host extraordinaire Betty Better will quiz you on holiday songs at this all-ages edition of Name That Tune.
- The Sneaky Freaky Pajama Jam vs Ugly Sweater Party
Instead of confining your flannel pajamas and holiday sweaters to the home, show off your tacky-cozy loungewear at a dance party with DJs Basskids and Kescendo.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- Winter Solstice Party
Get down to house and funk with DJs Austin Robertson and Drawbird and enjoy live comedy from Raven Hollywood, Richard Bowen, and other performers at this winter solstice party.
(Pioneer Square, $10)
- Winter Soulstice with Uniting Souls
DJs Madly in Dub, Ramiro, and Derric Deep Thorsen will womp-womp you into the lighter half of winter at this solstice dance party.
(Ballard, $7/$10) PARTIES
- Naughty or Nice Holiday Party
Don a creative holiday outfit and make it on the naughty list at this boozy party.
(South Lake Union, free) PERFORMANCE
- Lava Lava X Mas Santa VS Krampus
At this party thrown by Match Game, Re-bar's hilariously ribald comedy series, get photos with Santa and Krampus and enjoy some "secret Kram-ta" gifts.
(Belltown, free) SANTA
- 2nd Annual Holiday Bazaar & Soulful Santa
A soul music-loving Santa will groove in for free holiday photos. Shop for gifts from local vendors while you wait your turn.
(Columbia City, free)
- Filson Santa
A particularly outdoorsy Santa will swing by Filson to take photos with kids and families. Enjoy drinking chocolate, hot cider, and complimentary gift wrapping while you wait.
- Garland the Holiday Mermaid
Garland the mermaid will emerge from the Puget Sound to take the place of Santa Claus in your holiday photos. If you tell her your wishes, she promises to swim them all the way to the North Pole, because she's nice like that.
(West Seattle, free)
- Santa at Oddfellows
Snap photos with Santa on the Oddfellows patio and munch on cookies. If you have warm clothing you don't wear, bring it along to donate to Mary's Place.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- Santa at Ravenna Brewing!
Bring your own camera to this family photo op with Santa.
(Ravenna, free) SEX
- The Longest Night: Winter Solstice Top 5 Sex Tips
Make the most of the longest and sexiest night of the year by picking up tips "for keeping that yule log burning all night" from Babeland educators.
(Capitol Hill, free) SHOPPING
- Beyond Space Holiday Market
Grab a beer from Gold Bar and a treat from Oro Kitchen as you shop for last-minute holiday gifts.
(Chinatown-International District, free)
- Chateau Ste. Michelle Holiday Bazaar
Pair your holiday shopping experience with warm mulled wine, festive nibbles, and live carolers.
- Chop Suey Holiday Market
Over 20 vendors will fill the music venue for this 21+ holiday market bolstered by live DJs. Proceeds will benefit the Rock N Roll Toy Drive for Byrd Barr Place.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- Rare Treats Pop-Up Market
Buy stuff (vintage clothes, household goods, gifts, and more) from lovely local vendors and artists like AB Glanz, Cordelia Funk, Cucci Binaca, Kilnwitch, Mona Real, and Unruly Patchouli.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- TapeGod Holiday Market
This holiday edition of the monthly cult media market and swap is the best place to find gifts for your friends who still own VHS players.
(Capitol Hill, free) SOLSTICE
- 2019 Snohomish Winter Solstice Walk
Candles will light up the Snohomish trail at sunset to keep the cold, dark night aglow.
- 2019 Winter Solstice Walk
Take a luminary forest walk, make holiday crafts, warm up with hot drinks, and enjoy the Americana stylings of Bryan Rust.
- A Bonsai Solstice
Tour the enchanting bonsai collection under holiday lights, and enjoy free hot cocoa and coffee, live music, and free custom poetry. Bring your own flashlight.
(Federal Way, donations accepted)
- Solstice Shenanigans: Diversi-tree Trimming!
Bring an ornament to hang on the tavern's rainbow tree and be bestowed with a gift at this party hosted by Fantasy Arts, Events & LARP, whose favorite holiday is the winter solstice.
- Winter Solstice Bonfire
Stay roasty-toasty on the longest night of the year by bringing your own food, drinks, and firewood to this casual bonfire.
(Ballard, free) VISUAL ART
- Performance Potluck Salon
The Degenerate Art Ensemble will gather filmmakers, artists, performers, organizers, writers, and other artistic types for a potluck and art share. Hear from such diverse and fascinating creatives as video artist Etsuko Ichikawa, painter Paul Rucker, LandForms Dance, actor/director Paul Budraitis, butoh dancer Shoko Zama, and many others. Bring rubber boots, blankets, and hand warmers for the homeless if you can.
DECEMBER 21 & 28FAMILY
- Winterfest Ice Sculpting
A different ice carver each week will chip a featureless block into a shiny, short-lived work of art outside the Fisher Pavilion.
(Seattle Center, free)
THROUGH DECEMBER 22PERFORMANCE
- Christmas Carol Junior
For those too young and sensitive to deal with Christmas ghosts, this adaptation casts cute little elves as Present, Past, and Yet to Come.
(Bellevue, $10) SHOPPING
- Holiday Craft Market
A trip downtown during the holidays warrants a visit to Urban Craft Uprising's annual market, where you'll find all sorts of handmade gifts throughout the season.
(Downtown, free) SOLSTICE
- Solstice Stroll
Brighten up the darkest days of the year by walking through an illuminated garden, which will be open each day until the winter solstice passes.
(Shoreline, $10 suggested donation)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22FOOD & DRINK
- Light Up the Night - Burger Fest
What do Jews and burgers have in common? You’ll find both at this annual Hanukkah celebration hosted by CYP Seattle and Chabad of Downtown in Westlake Park. There will be a giant menorah lighting, to-go boxes featuring hot gourmet burgers and latkes (because who needs fries when you have those crispy potato pancakes?), all made with love by Rabbi Shmuly Levitin’s wife, Chaya, and some volunteers, plus hot drinks and doughnuts, a mitzvah tank, live music by a Hasidic rock band, and a holiday market. In sum, delicious, festive, and fun. And admission is free! LEILANI POLK
(Downtown, free) HANUKKAH
- Giant Menorah Lighting & Gelt Drop in Ballard
The first night of Hanukkah will be met with a menorah lighting, traditional treats like latkes, jelly doughnuts, and chocolate coins (which will rain down from an extended fire ladder in a "Great Gelt Drop"), and kids' activities.
- Glow in the Dark Chanukah Celebration and Menorah Lighting
Renton mayor-elect Armonoda Pavone will give greetings at this Hanukkah celebration complete with a raffle, glow-in-the-dark crafts, traditional treats, and live music.
- Grand Menorah Lighting 2019!
Shoreline will light up its nine-foot menorah and dole out doughnuts, latkes, and raffle prizes on the first night of Hanukkah.
- Grand Menorah Lighting at Kirkland Marina Park
A human dreidel on stilts will shower you with gelt on the first night of Hanukkah—can't get more festive than that. Also on the docket: a giant menorah lighting and live music.
- Grand Menorah Lighting at Volunteer Park
Join Chabad of Capitol Hill for a menorah lighting and latkes on the first night of Hanukkah. All children in attendance will receive a free gift.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- SnoCo Giant Menorah Lighting
Join Lynnwood City Council officials and Seattle-based klezmer band Klez Katz at this eight annual menorah lighting followed by a Hanukkah sing-along.
- A Very Goth Hanukkah
Witchy local burlesque artist Morgue Anne will haunt Everett on the first night of Hanukkah with AFK resident DJ Dave. Stay for the festive food and drink specials.
(Everett, free) KWANZAA
- Kwanzaa Service and Potluck
This Kwanzaa service and potluck will return for the 11th year.
(South Lake Union, free) MUSIC
- Ballard Civic Orchestra: Las Posadas Holiday Fiesta
Let the Ballard Civic Orchestra lead you through a celebration of la Navidad, with a collection of Spanish poetic and musical villancicos and more holiday music, followed by a fiesta including food, piñatas, and dancing.
(South Park, free)
- Holiday Concert 2019 Eastside Symphony Orchestra
The Eastside Symphony Orchestra will play renditions of holiday favorites like Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride and A Christmas Festival.
- Flammable: A Very Pezzner Christmas!
If the tail end of the weekend presents an insurmountable obstacle to going out, like, say, to work, then the Sunday before Christmas is your ticket—there’s no slower workweek than the last one of the year (notwithstanding the indentured servants, *ahem,* sorry, I mean elves, chained inside Amazon fulfillment centers). It’s the perfect excuse to pay a visit to the longest running house night west of Chicago in the form of Flammable—all the better on a night when they are hosting one of Seattle’s finest electronic music exports. Pezzner has carved out a career of intriguing beeps and bloops for more than two decades. His October EP for respected German label Get Physical teeters on the edge of musique concrète before diving into four-on-the-floor rhythms. It’s just the right balance of chin-stroking and booty-shaking that has made him such a local treasure. GREGORY SCRUGGS
- Seattle Mandolin Orchestra Chanukah Concert
The Seattle Mandolin Orchestra will play Hanukkah and Christmas favorites at this laid-back concert. Be prepared for a sing-along.
- Table & Chairs Holiday Show 2019
In an effort to combat homelessness and foster the holiday spirit, Table & Chairs will present a free and inclusive fundraiser show and party with performances by Christian Pinnock's Scrambler, Santa Neil and the Kringles, Ian Murdoch, and Maria Männistö, with all proceeds and donations going directly to Urban Rest Stop, an organization that provides clean and safe facilities where individuals and families experiencing homelessness can use restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities.
(University District, free) SHOPPING
- BadWill Market - Holiday XL Edition at Rhino Room & Now or Never
Shop, booze, and schmooze all Sunday long at the BadWill Market, returning to Capitol Hill with tons of vintage apparel, handmade jewelry, beauty and grooming products, and more gift-worthy wares from local vendors.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- Burien Winter Market
The first annual Burien Winter Market will have local goods for sale and activities for the whole family.
- Good LUC Market Winter Show
This holiday art market highlights gifts made by womxn, LGBTQ+ folks, and people of color, with over 40 vendors to choose from.
(South Lake Union, free)
- All Day Vinyl- Holiday Edition
Bring in your favorite holiday vinyl for the staff to throw on the decks while you enjoy festive drinks and snacks and shop for records.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- Public Menorah Lighting and Fire Truck Coin Drop
Issaquah will host Hanukkah events around town throughout the week, from a family-friendly coin drop and fire truck tour at Grand Ridge Plaza (Dec 22) to a menorah lighting and dreidel light show on Front Street (Dec 24).
MONDAY, DECEMBER 23FILM
- Collide-O-Scope: X-mess Edition
Every month is a good month to see Collide-o-Scope, but December's edition of this wildly trippy found footage extravaganza will be really festive, with Krampuses, scary Santas, unnerving animation, and other treasures—plus free popcorn, Red Vines, and prize drawings.
(Downtown, $10) HANUKKAH
- The Royal Room 1st Annual Chanukah Celebration
Nibble on latkes while you sway to festive klezmer-laden jams by the Klein Party, Orkestyr Farfeleh, Brivele, Ari Joshua Quartet, and John Zorn's Masada cover band I Am What I Am.
(Columbia City, no cover)
- U-Village Menorah Lighting
If you prefer to spend the first night of Hanukkah at home, take your family to U-Village on the second night for a klezmer-filled celebration and menorah lighting with Chabad of Seattle.
(University District, free) LIGHTS
- Christmas Ship Grand Finale
It's your last chance to see the parade of twinkling boats sail by on Lake Union. Watch the spectacle from the shore to hear Choir of the Sound carolers. Seattle Parks & Rec will host a free bonfire at Gas Works Park.
(Various locations, free) MUSIC
- Seattle Throwback - Holiday Nostalgia Party
Spend the eve of Christmas Eve dancing to early-millennium hits from DJ N8.
- Ugly Sweater Karaoke Party
Drink up some liquid courage in the form of $6 Jameson and Lunazul drink specials before hitting the stage for a little karaoke. Up the bravery ante by donning an aesthetically abrasive sweater.
THROUGH DECEMBER 24FAMILY
- Snowflake Lane
Every year, downtown Bellevue turns into a winter wonderland not just for one night but for a whole dang month, with (fake) falling snow, jolly live music, and a nightly parade filled with dancers and toy drummers.
(Bellevue, free) LIGHTS & DISPLAYS
- Evergreen Lights 2019
Over half a million lights will dance around to live music every night of December. Watch the show from a heated viewing area and keep extra warm with cocoa and cookies.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24FOOD & DRINK
- Hopvine Holiday Cookie Party
Decorate a cookie (pre-baked in the Hopvine kitchen) and drink beer in between your other holiday engagements.
(Capitol Hill, free) HANUKKAH
- Chanukah Movie Night
Feast on kosher Chinese food (a beloved Jewish tradition over the holidays) from Teapot and cozy up to watch a family-friendly movie. Bring a $10-or-under gift if you want to participate in the white elephant exchange.
(Mercer Island, free)
This open-door party promises latkes, sufganiyot, and an open bar with wine, beer, and a signature cocktail, as well as a menorah lighting and games.
(University District, $8/$10) MUSIC
- Xmas Eve Karaoke!
Belt your way into the yuletide at this karaoke party with drink specials and free pizza (while it lasts). Kiddos are welcome.
(University District, free) PARTIES
- 5th Annual Orphan's Christmas Eve
Alone on Christmas Eve? Not anymore. This annual potluck will once again welcome misfit toys to come together for a night of beer-drinking (they'll be tapping some special brews for the occasion), noshing, and dancing.
- Bridget Maloney's Corvus Christmas Eve
Swing by for bingo, Christmas movies, holiday cocktails, and Christmas gifts with beloved local bartender Bridget Maloney.
(Capitol Hill, free)
- A Very Slushie Disco Xmas
Local disco boys Joey Webb and JAME$ERVIN will join resident DJ Ben Meadow on the decks for your holiday-party pleasure. They'll have boozy slushies and other drink specials to boot.
(Capitol Hill, free) PERFORMANCE
- Ghosts of Winter
"Gothic Royalty" Morgue Anne will reveal the haunting side of the holidays in this performance set in a haunted castle. It co-stars Lazarus Rise, Vesper Verboten, Acherontia Styx, Annie Position, Kir Royale, and Jesus la Pinga.
(Everett, $10) VISUAL ART
- Holiday Card Writing Happy Hour
Every Tuesday in December, sip a warming libation and churn out holiday cards for your loved ones. Pens and stationery provided with a food or drink bill of $25 or more.
(First Hill, free)
- Xmas GGNZLA Karaoke
For the third year in a row, GGNZLA Karaoke will host a multi-day Christmas party in which all donations will go to YouthCare's Isis House, their residential home for LGBTQIA youth. So show up, grab a cocktail (or mocktail), and sing your little heart out for a good cause.
(Capitol Hill, free)
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25FESTIVALS
- Asia Fest
Celebrate Asian cultures with music, dancing, and more at this free festival.
(Tacoma, free) HANUKKAH
- Chanukah on Ice
Enjoy free admission to the Shoreline skating rink, where you'll find a doughnut bar and a kid-focused craft station.
(Shoreline, no cover) MUSIC
- Miracle on Howell St: Tony H., Blueyedsoul, DGW, Sharlese
The legendary nightclub/theater venue Re-Bar will be just as magical and wish-granting as Santa Claus at the eighth annual iteration of this party inspired by the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. Dance the night away to local DJs, including Tony H, blueyedsoul, Sharlese, and Dane Garfield Wilson.
- Xmas Karaoke- Unsilent Night
Go out for tiki cocktails and karaoke on Christmas Day.
(Capitol Hill, free)
THROUGH DECEMBER 27SHOPPING
- Seward Park Clay Studio Holiday Show and Sale
Buy handcrafted clay goods—from functional kitchenware to works of art—at this holiday market.
(Rainier Valley, $10 suggested donation)
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27KWANZAA
- Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia
Celebrate Kwanzaa with free art activities for all ages.
(Atlantic, free) MUSIC
- Holiday Ball with Steel Beans, Long Day on Mars, Dragontail Peak
Everett-based lightly funky rock group Steel Beans claim to have been "exhibiting their variegated tonal opulence since 2007." They'll be joined by Long Day on Mars and Dragontail Peak for a "Rock n Roll Holiday Ball."
(Belltown, $10) PARTIES
- Bad Gift Exchange Party with Bad Santa
Take your unwanted holiday gifts (sweaters that don't fit, candles that smell too much like ice cream, etc.) for a sneaky gift exchange bolstered by an appearance from Bad Santa, who will lazily encourage such behavior.
(Wedgwood, free) PERFORMANCE
- A Very Noir Holiday
QTPOC drag performers celebrate the holidays with hot looks and moves.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28HANUKKAH
- Kadima Chanukah Party
Bring your own menorah, candles, and other holiday miscellany to this community Hanukkah celebration complete with a Havdalah (a ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat), latke-making, and karaoke. Don't forget to bring hats, gloves, and other gently used winter clothes to donate to Kadima's Immigration Justice Committee.
(Madrona, free) MUSIC
- Northwest Chorale: Handel's Messiah
Lend your voice or instrumental abilities to the Northwest Chorale's annual Handel's Messiah Sing- and Play-Along, which goes through the entire piece with lively audience participation. Scores will be on loan, or bring your own copy.
- Shagnasty, Fuzz Droner, Buffalo Preacher, Los Bongquistadors
Join local high-energy rock groups Shagnasty, Fuzz Droner, Buffalo Preacher, and Los Bongquistadors for a "post-Christmas brain-cleansing to help end the season."
(Greenwood, $7) PERFORMANCE
- KINGS: A Drag King Show
Flipping the traditional drag script, the Kings of Kremwerk will bring royalty to the stage, with a rotating monthly theme. This time, it's a "Holiday Fantasy Dream Party," wherein the kings will "[get] lit around some trees." Get it?
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29HANUKKAH
- Hanukkah Party at Lumber Yard
The final night of Hanukkah will be met with a big queer party complete with a buffet of brisket, sufganiyot, and latkes, a candle-lighting ceremony upstairs, and tunes and classic music video compilations from Video DJ Andy.
(White Center, free) MUSIC
- Country Holiday Hangover: The Lowdown Drifters, Darci Carlson, Santa Poco
The Lowdown Drifters play heavy, Northwest-tinged country direct from Stanwood, WA, and will be joined by Darci Carlson and Santa Poco for this "country holiday hangover" show.
THROUGH DECEMBER 30LIGHTS & DISPLAYS
- Bright Nights in Burien
Burien Town Square Park will come aglow with twinkly lights every night of the season (including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
THROUGH DECEMBER 31FAMILY
From a winter train village to an ice rink, and from music and dance performances to ice sculpting, Winterfest promises five weeks of free festive cheer for all ages. This week brings performances by the Not-It's (Dec 21), Lelavision (Dec 22), Klez Kidz (Dec 23), the Dickens Carolers (Dec 26), Magic Rich (Dec 28), and more.
(Seattle Center, free) LIGHTS & DISPLAYS
- Maple Leaf Lights
Take some time to appreciate the lengths to which people have gone to illuminate their houses with impressive Christmas light displays.
(Maple Leaf, free)
- Garden d’Lights
Whimsical flora and fauna, birds, animals, and cascading waterfalls get the holiday light treatment at Bellevue Botanical Garden's annual display. (To be clear, actual birds and animals will not be strung with lights.) Wander the grounds and take photos among the "half a million" bulbs.
THROUGH JANUARY 1LIGHTS & DISPLAYS
- Candy Cane Lane Holiday Lights Festival
1920s-era Tudor homes in Ravenna have been boasting impressive light displays every holiday season since 1949. Stroll along Northeast Park Road taking in Nutcracker-themed havens complete with sleighs, reindeer, sugar plum fairies, and blow-up candy canes galore. Win prizes in the ugly sweater contest on Dec 20-21.
- Clam Lights Presented by Ivar's Restaurants
Every night, Ivar's powers up the park with thousands of Christmas lights depicting various clammy characters. Is this where clams go to heaven after you eat them at Ivar's?
- Sheraton Grand Seattle Gingerbread Village
For the 27th year in a row, diabetes research center JDRF Northwest has invited local architecture firms to use their skills for a holiday tradition: crafting an elaborate gingerbread village that uses 1,850 pounds of gingerbread, 150,000 pieces of candy, 350 pounds of fondant, and 15 gallons of egg whites, according to press materials. This year's theme is #ElfLife, featuring pixies, gnomes, and pucks from across genres.
THROUGH JANUARY 19LIGHTS & DISPLAYS
- Snow Day SLU
Denny Park's winter light display will provide a magical, twinkly respite from dark Seattle winter days.
(Queen Anne, free)