As the weather gets colder and Seattle becomes frozen, it becomes harder to find fun things to do in and around the city. This guide is here to help you find some fun holiday and winter activities in the city so that your friends and you can get out and about even when the weather is chilly!
Candy Cane Lane- One of the longest winter traditions in Seattle is Candy Cane Lane in Ravenna. Since 1949, this one street in Ravenna (right off of the UW campus) has decked itself for holidays in dazzling light displays complete with a carousel and many candy canes. Candy Cane Lane is located at N.E. Park Rd, which is just a short drive or walk from campus, and it is open for most of December. A nearby store sells hot chocolate and if you want to do some good during the holidays, you can donate at a food drive that sets up nearby. The lights are truly beautiful and some of the decorations are elaborate so make sure you take your time as you stroll, and maybe even walk through a second time!
Snowflake Lane: If you are willing to travel a bit further from campus and Seattle trying to make it to The Bellevue’s Collection Snowflake Lane is an excellent choice. Every evening in December the main street by Bellevue Square becomes Snowflake Lane a holiday extravaganza complete with music, dancing performers, stilt walker, cheery music and even a snowfall finale. This event is hugely popular (and very busy) but is a great way to get some holiday shopping done with friends followed by a holiday performance. If you decide to visit after Christmas, the event transforms into Celebration Lane to celebrate the New Year!
Snow Fun: Are you a skier or snowboarder? Do you like sledding or snowshoeing? Then you have picked the best place to go to college! Just a couple of hours away from the UW there are several different ski resorts that are perfect for a one-day adventure! The more popular ones include the Summit at Snoqualmie Pass, Steven’s Pass and Crystal Mountain all of which offer skiing, snowboarding and other snow activities. If you are not up for swooping down the slopes there are many wintery hikes you could explore as well as the charming Bavarian town of Leavenworth. Leavenworth is filled with unique shops and restaurants as well as holiday fun such as tree lighting and is high enough in the mountains that it often has snow. So grab some friends, find a ride and explore all of the snowy activities Washington has to offer, just make sure to always be prepared for inclement weather, check roads/conditions before going and stay safe when exploring!
Gingerbread Houses at the Sheraton: If you want to gaze at some of the most amazing gingerbread houses ever created then head downtown and pay a visit to the Seattle Sheraton where some of the city’s most innovative bakers and engineers come together to create an amazing display of gingerbread houses. Every year the houses are different (I went once when there was a Hogwarts themed one) but they always amaze with intricate details and tasty looking designs. If you make it to this event be sure to spend some time walking around festive downtown and if you have time do some window-shopping or visit one of the many restaurant choices. The theme this year is “May the Holidays Be With You” (think Star Wars) and the exhibit is free and open from late November until the New Year 24 hours a day.
5. Winterfest at Seattle Center: If you are looking for an all-encompassing event filled with holiday and winter fun then Winterfest at Seattle Center is for you. This annual event is a favorite featuring a train display and an ice skating rink as well as various live performances from local students, ice sculptors and carolers. The event is free to enter but some activities do include a small charge and it runs from late November until the end of December. It is a great way to pack a lot of winter fun into one activity and an excellent spot to go with a group because there are so many different choices. In addition to exploring the Seattle Center, the Space Needle and downtown are all very close if you want this to be a full day of exploring.
Whatever you decide to do to find some winter fun, be sure you bring some friends with you and get out to explore our great city. It may not be sunny or warm out but Seattle still has plenty to offer despite the colder weather and the city really does a charming job of finding the holiday spirit!