The Seattle Lesbian’s Top 10 Guide to Holiday Shenanigans

The Seattle Lesbian’s Top 10 Guide to Holiday Shenanigans

- in Local

The Seattle Lesbian staff took a look at upcoming events throughout Washington state and came up with our Top 10 Holiday Fun Guide just for you. So whether you’re into short Nutcracker suites or a festival of reindeer, check out this handy dandy little cheerful guide to get you through the 2015 holiday season.

Short Nutcracker

December 4-13, 2015
Bellevue & Auburn

Evergreen City Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker
Evergreen City Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker

Evergreen City Ballet offers one-hour and two-hour versions of the holiday classic ballet The Nutcracker in Bellevue December 4 to 6, and Auburn December 12 to 13. Afterward, dancers meet the audience in the lobby.

Based on a novel by 19th-century romantic fabulist E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nutcracker weaves a magical tale of holiday adventure around one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire. It begins when young Clara receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, she suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a pitched battle between the toys and an army of mice. After saving the nutcracker with a well-thrown shoe to the Mouse King’s head, Clara and her now-living prince venture into the “Land of Snow” with beautiful dancing snowflakes and then the “Waltz of the Flowers.”

Throughout their adventures, Tchaikovsky’s dazzling inventiveness propels the dances of nimble flowers and regal fairy queens. The “Waltz of the Snowflakes” floats weightlessly above the angelic voices of a choir, whereas the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” tiptoes to the delicate, music-box chimes of a celesta. A medley of exotic national dances – including a Spanish bolero and Russian Trepak – add to the phantasmagoric celebration before the whole dream ends, as all dreams must.

Bavarian Christmas

December 4-6, 11-13, 18-20, 2015

Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival
Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival

Enjoy Christmas lights twinkling on snow, roasted chestnuts, sleigh rides, and caroling at the annual Leavenworth Christmas Lighting.

On Fridays, live musical performances of your favorite Christmas songs fill the streets from 4:00-9:00 p.m., interrupted briefly at 4:30 p.m. for the arrival of St. Nickolaus at the Front Street Gazebo, who welcomes children young and old with the story of his legacy and “gold” for the good boys and girls!

On Saturdays and Sundays live music begins at 11:00 a.m., and the festivities kick into full gear at 12:00 p.m. with the Arrival of Santa and Holiday Characters in a march from the Festhalle to the Gazebo.

Throughout the day you will find high-caliber performances in the Front Street Gazebo, including hand bell choirs, select dance performances from The Nutcracker, a top-ranking Army National Guard Dixie band, breakout solo artists, the best high school and professional choirs in the Pacific Northwest, and more!

You’ll also find carolers strolling through town, the smell of roasted chestnuts filling the air, sledding in Front Street Park, a traditional Gluhwein Tent (selling hot spiced wine and cider), guided “Winter Wonderland Walks” along Leavenworth’s Riverfront Park (on snowshoe if necessary!), a Christmas Story Corner, costumed Christmas characters (including Santa, Mrs., Claus, and Father Christmas), and more! On Sundays, kids can collect free cookies by following the “Cookie Crawl” map!

It all culminates each Saturday and Sunday with the Lighting Ceremony at 4:30 p.m., when a bit of pomp and circumstance brings about the lighting of the village with over half a millions lights!

Issaquah Reindeer Festival

December 1-23, 2015
Cougar Mountain Zoo

Issaquah Reindeer Festival
Issaquah Reindeer Festival

Visit Cougar Mountain Zoo when it’s decorated like the North Pole to welcome Santa with his reindeer and sleigh during the Issaquah Reindeer Festival (a tradition since 1988).

Watch Santa’s candy cane makers and embark on an unforgettable journey through Santa’s Magical Forest, all while gearing up for the big day. You can take a picture with Santa, visit his house at the North Pole, feed his reindeer and watch them play, and even stop by the post office to write or draw your very own letter to the big man with the beard. There’s even a traveling sleigh to ride in and don’t forget story time with one of Santa’s famous elves.

If giving back is important to you this season (and why wouldn’t it be?), the Issaquah Reindeer Festival donates toys to kids in need. Bring your new, unwrapped toy to the Festival and receive one free child’s admission to Cougar Mountain Zoo for your next visit between January and March.

Christmas Lights – Tacoma Zoo

December 1-31, 2015 (November 27 – January 3)
Point Defiance Zoo

Zoolights in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo
Zoolights in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo

Bundle up to admire half a million holiday lights and displays at Zoolights in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo. Experience a magical world of dazzling 3-D animal light displays, including a majestic polar bear family, a giant Pacific octopus, and a 17-foot tall tiger head.

Warm up in the steamy South Pacific Aquarium, ride a camel, and take a spin on the carousel. You can even wrap up your holiday shopping with these unique gift ideas.

Zoolights Top 10 Fun Activities
Tips for your Zoolights visit
Zoolights Map

Christmas Ship Parade

December 2-23, 2015 (begins November 27)
Lake Washington & Puget Sound

Christmas Ship Festival
Christmas Ship Festival

Ride onboard with the choir or listen from shore at a bonfire during Christmas Ship Festival. The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship festival has been a Pacific Northwest tradition since 1949. Every year, the Argosy Christmas Ship sails to different Puget Sound waterfront communities, over 45 in total. Choirs onboard sing 20-minute performances to these communities, all broadcast via state-of-the-art speaker system. On shore, thousands of people gather around roaring bonfires anticipating the arrival of the Christmas Ship.

The Christmas Ship Lead Boat Includes:

  • A 2+ hour cruise exploring various festive waterfront locations throughout Puget Sound
  • A choir onboard performing throughout the night
  • Meet Santa Claus and listen as he reads “Twas the Night Before Christmas”
  • Ho, Ho, Ho Contest and other holiday activities
  • Kids holiday craft area
  • Full-service bar available for the purchase of specialty cocktails, wine, beer, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks

Christmas Ship Parade Boat Includes:

  • A 2-3 hour cruise following the Lead Boat exploring various festive waterfront locations throughout Puget Sound
  • Meet Santa Claus and listen as he reads “Twas the Night Before Christmas”
  • Ho, Ho, Ho Contest and other holiday activities
  • Kids holiday craft area
  • Full-service bar available for the purchase of specialty cocktails, wine, beer, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks

Book your reservation and find more information about the Christmas Ship Parade here:

Caroling at Westlake

December 4, 2015
Westlake Center

Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition

Hear 40 caroling teams sing outside Westlake Center, and then vote for your favorite at Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition or register teams.

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit as dozens of caroling teams sing their hearts out on downtown Seattle street corners in and around Westlake Center. The top teams then compete in a sing-off on the Figgy Main Stage.

There are lots of ways to enjoy Figgy Pudding! You can enjoy the music, volunteer to produce the event, or get in on the action and form a caroling team.

To form your own caroling team, or for more info, contact Head Figlet: Zoë Freeman at 206.728.2773 (ext 8) or send an email to:

Download the 2015 Figgy Pudding Team Registration Packet

Jingle Bell Run

December 13, 2015
Westlake Center


Wear a costume or tie on bells for the 5K Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis at Westlake Center. Run or walk a 5 kilometer route with your team members and celebrate the season by giving.

Event festivities begin with Santa arriving to welcome all participants and then it’s on to the Elf Village, Photo Booth and Costume Contest judging. Parents/guardian escorts are okay, but this run does not allow any four-legged family members so you’ll have to leave Fido at home.

Fees are listed below.

Rudolph Runners: $45.00
Competitive Runners who will be timed.

Dashers Dashers: $40.00
Non-Competitive runners

Santa Striders: $40.00

Santa Striders – Timed: $45.00
Walkers who would like to be chip timed.

Seattle Children’s Hospital – Run with the Elves: $10.00

Kids 1K Fun Run Snooze: $25.00
Sleep in but still support the cause and earn an event shirt!

K9 Candy Cane 5K Fun Run and Walk

December 6, 2015 (9 a.m.)
Renton Community Center

UP14162_2015 Candy Cane Run Logo SmallJoin the K9 Candy Cane 5K Fun Run and Walk from Renton Community Center up the beautiful Cedar River Trail, either with or without a leashed dog. This one is designed for our four-legged companions – and those who love them!

Competitive runners, fun runners, walkers, and families are all invited to this annual event. Accurate and professional chip timing is provided, if registered before November 29, each participant receives a hooded sweatshirt. Race participants will also enjoy random prize giveaways, post-race refreshments, pictures with Santa, and a fun holiday atmosphere.

A pet food drive will be onsite. Bring a can/bag of pet food to benefit the Seattle Humane Society for Seattle/King County.

Victorian Christmas

December 2-6, 2015

A Victorian Country Christmas
A Victorian Country Christmas

A Victorian Country Christmas has 560 booths with vendors in Victorian costumes selling art, jewelry, decorations, clothing, and toys at Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup.

Step back in time into a Victorian village where holiday music fills the air! Enjoy gourmet food, wine and delicious taste treats throughout the festival. Visit two beautiful theaters and see countless professional stage shows, The Singing Nativity and concerts. Soak in the atmosphere of music, lights and décor.

In case you needed additional incentive to check it out, there are free cookies for kids and a Cinderella Coloring Station.

Winter Beer Fest

December 4-5, 2015
Magnuson Park

Winter Beer Fest
Winter Beer Fest

And now a little something for the adults.

Try winter beers from 50 Washington breweries with food truck cuisine at Winter Beer Fest at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park, then vote for your favorites. The beer lineup includes dark malty stouts, robust winter warmers, barrel-aged gems, and many, many more.

Dates & Hours:
Session 1: Friday, December 4, 5:00-9:00pm
Session 2: Saturday, December 5, noon-4:00pm
Session 3: Saturday, December 5, 5:30-9:30pm

Separate tickets required for each session.
Doors open 15 minutes before each session begins. Taps close 30 minutes before closing each session.

Check out more local holiday events here:



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