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Festive Experiences in Seattle to Fuel Your Holiday Spirit

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

We’re officially into the second week of November, meaning the season of holiday cheer is rapidly approaching, or for some, has already begun. As we start to see a myriad of multicolor lights appear over the streets and shining out of windows, as Mariah Carey begins to play incessantly over the radio, and as innocent trees find themselves displaced in various living rooms and shop displays, it’s hard to remain indifferent to the festive excitement. If you’re looking for activities to foster the wonder of the winter months, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six magical activities that are sure to make you embrace the cold and revel in the warm spirit of the holiday season.

  1. 27th Annual Magic in the Market: 11/26, 11:00 am- 5:30 pm

Make your way down to Pike Place Market on November 26th for a day full of festivity. There are holiday activities for all ages happening throughout the event including photos with Santa himself, dance performances by the Can Can Culinary Cabaret, glass blowing demonstrations, arts and crafts, and cookie decorating. There will also be additional tents full of seasonal treats and drinks to keep you warm as you meander your way across the nine acres of the market. This is the perfect opportunity to do some holiday gift shopping and support some of Seattle’s local vendors. You won’t want to miss the “Deck the Pav” Holiday showcase at the MarketFront Pavilion where you can admire, shop for, and vote for your favorite handmade holiday treasures, decor, and ornaments. To finish off the event, at 5 o’clock pm, the Pike Place Market Lighting Ceremony will bring the whole place to life right under the infamous clock and sign. 

  1. Zoolights: 11/25 through 1/2 

The trip to Tacoma will be well worth your while to visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium during their Zoolights tradition. See the zoo magically transformed with an impressive walk-through display of over 800,000 lights. Find tickets online ranging from the reasonable prices of $12 on the weekdays and $16 on the weekend. The gift shop and carousel will both be open and operational, and you can find various snacks and drinks throughout the experience. This is a perfect event for a holiday date night, or for some fun with your family.

  1. Christmas Ship Festival: 11/25 through 12/23

Join Argosy Cruises for an unforgettable experience on the water. Tickets for this event are a bit pricier at $54 for adults, but you can rest assured that your money will be well spent on this hour and a half cruise on the beautifully decorated official Christmas Ship. If you’re willing to splurge a little extra you can experience one of the three special events this year: Opening Night, the Parade of Boats, or the Grand Finale. There is also the option to trail the Christmas Boat on a designated 21+ follow boat with a full service bar. If you don’t have the financial means, there are free onshore events where you can enjoy the festival magic as well. You can enjoy a choir performance or attend the Parade of Boats viewing party for absolutely no cost at all. 

  1. The Nutcracker Ballet: 11/25 through 12/27

A holiday classic, you don’t want to miss the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Enjoy an evening of dazzling magic, iconic holiday music, and breathtaking dance as you’re transported to the mythical Land of Sweets alongside Clara and her transformed prince. A family favorite, this performance is bound to fill you with childlike wonder and nostalgia. 

  1. Mr. Dickens and His Carol: 11/25 through 12/23

If the ballet isn’t for you but you love live performances, check out Seattle Rep’s holiday show: Mr. Dickens and His Carol. This charming adaptation of Samantha Silva’s novel provides a witty and unique twist on a Christmas classic and the story of its origin. Tickets range from $22 to $98 dollars depending on the evening you attend and the seats you choose, but on certain performance dates you can find student tickets for only $10. You’re sure to have your heart warmed and mind filled with holiday cheer as you leave the Bagley Wright Theater.

  1. A Bonsai Solstice: 12/17

This niche holiday experience is just a brief trip towards Tacoma to visit the Pacific Bonsai Museum for their ninth annual Bonsai Solstice. Bring your own flashlight and stroll to explore the world-renowned bonsai collection all decked out in soft holiday lighting. This event is completely free to attend, but a donation of $12 dollars is recommended to support the museum. After reveling in the beauty of the collection, spend some time exploring local restaurants, talents, and enjoying the community. 

This time of year is a time for joy, celebration, and fun with your closest friends and family. Bundle up and enjoy these cheery holiday experiences with your loved ones to really embrace the season. Whether you’re exploring the market or attending the ballet, have a safe and jolly holiday season and don’t forget to stay warm and dry.

A current freshman at Seattle Pacific University, I am pursuing a double major in Social Justice and Cultural Studies and Journalism. I'm originally from small town Colorado, but feel at home here on the west coast. I joined Her Campus to write about things that I'm passionate about and that make me happy.