As if your iCal had any room to add anything else this holiday season, the city of Seattle wants to add to it (don’t worry, fun stuff only!). Or at least make sure you spend your time wisely. After all, the holidays only roll around once a year.
A city already brimming in tradition, Seattle is in no way lacking come holiday time. Starting November 28th (the day after Thanksgiving), the streets of Seattle will be lit up kicking off their annual holiday campaign for locals and visitors alike, which can be seen throughout the city through the first of the year.
From Uptown to Downtown and all the streets, shops, museums and restaurants in-between, the Emerald City is filled with family fun adventures, girlfriend getaways, romantic escapes and more to celebrate the holidays. Take a weekend and grab the girls to knock out your holiday shopping and sip some bubbly along the way while finishing off the busy weekend at the spa for facials (Four Seasons Seattle is highly recommended for this). Rather spend your evenings at the theatre or listening to live music or sipping vino at one of the most buzzed about restaurants? Whatever your fancy, you’ve got options in Seattle.
Since packed schedules and holidays have become more and more synonymous, here are my personal picks for must-sees and must-dos this holiday season, starting with Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker (age appropriate of course), now in its 9th season, at The Tripledoor December 11 – 27. Be sure to schedule time to head over to Paramount Theatre to catch a showing of the ever-popular How the Grinch Stole Christmas! December 2 – 7.
Who doesn’t have time for the Grinch this holiday season? If you say you don’t have time for that, bah-hum-bug to you.
Make an evening out of it. Grab a bite at one of Seattle’s amazing restaurants like Wild Ginger, then catch the holiday favorite Stowell and Sendak Nutcracker with Pacific Northwest Ballet at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center November 28 – December 28.
If you’re a fan of beer you’ll definitely want to check out EverGreen Escapes “Brews and Bulbs” Holiday Tour (December 12 – 28 – weekends only), for a festive tour through Seattle’s holiday lights and neighborhood breweries while sipping on seasonal brews and acquainting yourself with the business of local microbrewers. Must be 21, for more information, visit Evergreen Escapes.
Looking for something slightly more quirky? Check out the Ride the Ducks Holiday Lights Tour where you’ll see the beautiful city aboard a holiday-themed amphibious land craft, fully decked in lights from and narrated by wacky captains belting out holiday carols. This unique 40-minute tour will highlight popular holiday traditions and celebrations in the city. Pro tip – you must love quirky and definitely dress warm.
Already a festive city, Seattle will up the ante this holiday season with various and dazzling light displays throughout the city at hotspots like Pike Place Market, aboard Argosy cruise ships, on a winter trolley or throughout the streets of the city and beautiful neighborhoods, not to mention the decked out hotel lobbies and storefronts. No one gets into the holiday spirit like the high-end hotels in Seattle.
Unless of course your name is Clark Griswald.
A few other things to put on your holiday calendar:
– Jingle Bell Run/Walk – 5k and 1k on December 14th, in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation. Get into the holiday spirit by dressing with bells during your walk/run.
– A Christmas Story Holiday Carousel at Downtown’s Westlake Park returns November 28th. Kids of all ages are welcome to take a spin. There is a $3 suggested donation, which benefit the work of Treehouse.
– Woodland Park Zoo’s WildLights: Recreating the natural wildlife environment with thousands of sparkling LED lights, guests can enjoy a holiday-themed safari of indoor and outdoor light displays inspired by exotic animals and destinations from around the globe through January 4th. (www.zoo.org/wildlights)
– Want to learn to cook, bake or become a mixologist in time for the holidays? Check out Willows Lodge, located just outside Seattle (in Woodinville), as they host their signature Holiday Boot Camp, for its sixth straight year. A weekly series of cooking, baking and cocktailing classes aimed to help novices navigate the challenges of holiday entertaining will delight locals and guests.
– A Christmas Story at The 5th Avenue Theatre, November 25 – December 31
– Seattle Symphony Orchestra – Cirque Musica, December 5 – 7
A few of our favorite Holiday Packages throughout the city:
– Four Seasons Hotel Seattle – For those in need of a shopping escape, the Shopper’s Holiday Package is the perfect getaway. Not only does the package include overnight accommodations, it also includes a $200 Nordstrom gift card, two holiday beverages in ART Lounge and a $50 spa credit toward a much needed massage or facial.
– Hotel Ändra – The Be Merry Package includes overnight accommodations, two glasses of champagne upon arrival, $40 dining credit to enjoy at Tom Douglas’ iconic Lola restaurant, and valet; starting at $239.
– Inn at El Gaucho – The Ring INN the New Year Package includes a one-night stay in a Belltown Jr. Suite, $100 Dining Credit at El Gaucho Seattle, complimentary valet and a bottle of bubbly. Add an extra night for just $100 more.
– Inn at the Market – The Holiday Package includes overnight accommodations, valet parking, $75 gift certificate toward dinner at either Café Campagne or Chan, $50 gift certificate for shopping at either Watson Kennedy or Fini and a festive holiday treat in your guest room.
– Kimpton Seattle Hotels – The Hotel Monaco, Hotel Vintage and the Alexis Hotel feature the “SOS” or Save Our Sanity rate. The rate includes 20 percent off the best available room rate, two complimentary glasses of champagne at the hotel bar and holiday discounts from Pacific Place shopping center. Rate code: SOS.
– The Roosevelt – The VIP Broadway Package with one night accommodations in a Deluxe King Junior Suite with two main floor Premier Tickets to the selected Broadway performance and date, $40 dining voucher and complimentary valet parking.
– Courtyard by Marriott – Pioneer Square & South Lake Union: The Deck the Malls Package includes a $50 VISA Gift Card per room/per stay, deluxe accommodations and free high speed Internet access.
– Seattle Airport Marriott – The Seasons Eatings Package includes a $50 restaurant credit, valet parking and destination-dining guide. The icing on the cake: a nutcracker treat from a local Seattle chocolatier.
– Seattle Marriott Waterfront – The Santa’s Sleep Over package includes a welcome greeting from Santa himself, a classic holiday movie and the perfect winter warm up treat of hot chocolate and holiday cookies.
Happy Holidays from all of us at GirlsGetaway and our friends in Seattle!
Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Be sure to follow Jayme’s travel and sports adventures on Twitter @jaymelamm.