Gig Harbor Christian School   Concordia Lutheran School   Tacoma Summer Camp at Charles Wright        

South Sound Holiday Events

  • Sharebar
Puyallup Mall Santa

The Holiday Events Guide is Sponsored by Santa Portraits at the South Hill Mall. It’s worth the trip to get a portrait done by a professional photographer!


Welcome to the Sounds Fun Mom Holiday Events Guide!

Christmas events around Tacoma and the South Sound

Below, you’ll find tree lightings, Santa visits, Santa breakfasts,parades, ice skating, gingerbread house making, and more! These one or two day events are listed by area and date.

If you’re looking for performances of The Nutcracker or other seasonal fare, scroll down.

Need help finding something or want to get your group’s event listed? Just let me know!

South King County

November 23rd, Tree Lighting at the Landing in Renton

November 29th-December 23rd Argosy Christmas Ships  Lighted ships with choirs visit waterfront communities around the Puget Sound. You can book a ride on one (pricey) or attend a free event in conjunction with one of their stops. Here is the complete schedule.

November 29thTree Lighting in Edgewood Santa, too.

November 30th Santa arrives at Kent Station

December 6th First night of Clam Lights at Gene Coulon Park  6-9PM

December 7th Tree Lighting in Renton-Piazza area downtown

December 7th Kent Winterfest Holiday Parade, Santa, carousel and family activities, tree lighting

December 7th-Santa Parade and Tree Lighting in Auburn Snacks and crafts, community caroling, parade and tree lighting. Santa’s regular open house hours begin.

December 7th Santa’s arrival and tree lighting in Milton Look for more info. in the free, community newspaper around town-The Signal

December 12th Holiday themed late play date at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn  free admission; crafts

December 14th Santa Breakfast in Auburn   I have a complete list of area Santa breakfast events here

December 14th Holiday high tea at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn 15.0 person

Tacoma and Greater Pierce County

November 22nd First day of Ice Skating in Downtown Tacoma at the Franciscan Polar Plaza continues through out the season; here is their website for special events and advance purchase

November 28th-January 1st Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Lake (Drive-Thru) 3.00 off coupon here only printable coupons will be accepted; no smart phone option

November 29th-December 23rd Argosy Christmas Ships  Lighted ships with choirs visit waterfront communities around the Puget Sound. You can book a ride on one (pricey) or attend a free event in conjunction with one of their stops. Here is the complete schedule.

November 29th Bridge Lighting and Fireworks at the Old Cannery in Sumner  Santa arrives at 11AM and stays until 3:30. Vendor craft fair at 2PM bridge lighting followed by fireworks begins at 5PM sharp

November 30th-December 24th  The reindeer are in at Watson’s nursery in Puyallup Santa is there on the 6th, 13th, and 20th from 12-5

Sleigh Rides and Santa at the Old Cannery in Sumner Visit with Santa and get a Free picture! Santa  is there November 29th, 30th, December 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, and 21st and 22nd. Time for children with special needs from 9-11AM on the 15th. Horse drawn Carriage Rides are available on the weekends for 2013 on December 14th-15th and 21st-22nd from 11am to 4pm. Note that the lines for Santa do get long, and although his regular hours are 11AM-4, they are often closed off by 1PM so Santa can make it back to his sleigh on time. Plan ahead and arrive early.

November 29th-January 5th Zoolights at the Point Defiance Zoo

November 30th Tree Lighting at the Pantages in downtown Tacoma carols, Santa 5:30

December 1st It’s a Wonderful Life movie event in Fife shopping, pizza dinner, movie, meet Karolyn Grimes who played Zu Zu in the movie

December 1st City of Buckley tree lighting

December 3rd Tree lighting with Santa in Fife 6-7PM free photos with Santa, cocoa

December 4th-18th  Gingerbread House Making at Pierce County Libraries Various dates; Link opens a pdf  Some are drop-in, but others require registration and they do fill fast. Find the library you want on the list, and then go to the calendar view for sign ups. You can use the tools in the left sidebar to search by location.

December 4th-8th Victorian Country Christmas at the Puyallup Fairgrounds Gift festival with strolling entertainers in Victorian dress, Santa train ride, and carousel  **There is a ticket deal right now through Amazon Local. See this post for details.

December 5th-Tree Lighting and Santa Visit at the Job Carr Museum in Old Town Tacoma 4-6PM

December 6th St Lucia Fest at PLU 7PM Hour long program with traditional Swedish song, dance, and a children’s performance

December 6th- Christmas Tree Lighting in Lakewood Free activities; kiddie parade; Santa visits

December 7th Santa Parade in Puyallup Tree lighting follows

December 7th and 8th Multicare Festival of Trees Beautifully decorated trees and entertainment. Tacoma

December 7th Tree Lighting in University Place A full day of fun ending with the tree lighting

December 7th Firefighters Food Drive and Pancake Breakfast East Pierce Fire and Rescue serves up flapjacks for just 3.00. Bring donations of food or warm clothing. Good chance you’ll see Santa.

December 7th Tree lighting in Bonney Lake

December 7thSanta Parade in Sumner 3:30

December 7th-19th Century Christmas at Ft.Nisqually Experience an 1855 Christmas at Hyas Sunday. Admission charged.

December 7th Victorian Holiday Celebration at the Seymour Conservatory at Wright Park  Santa on hand/professional photos available; children’s stories; staff in Victorian costumes

December 7th Santa Breakfast in Fife 9-11AM 5.00 pre-register  See this list for a complete round up of area Santa breakfasts

December 7th Holiday Fest in Proctor Santa visits, pancake breakfast, strolling musicians, and more

December 7th  Santa at the Fire Station  Pancake breakfast at the Puyallup station on the 7th; open houses and Santa photo ops at other Tacoma and Puyallup stations on the 7th and 14th; I’ll have a complete round up of Santa visits and runs with the fire department coming soon!

TBA  Tree lighting in Orting

December 8th-Let it Snow! Free Community Festival at the Tacoma Art Museum

TBA Christmas tree lighting in Steilacoom  It was the 7th last year.

December 14h Historic Christmas at Fort Steilacoom

Christmas Tree Lighting at South Hill Date still TBA Remind me to update this one.

December 14th Santa at the LeMay Museum

December 21st Free showing of the Polar Express at the Grand in Tacoma

December 20th and 21st  Got Princesses? Tree lighting, stories, and special guests at A Simple Wish in Puyallup Tickets 20.00 a person. Call for reservations There is also an open house at Simple Wish the day of the Santa Parade, and a Belle event on December 15th. Their events do sell out, so I’d get tickets in advance if this is a must for you.

December 2oth Parents Night Out/Last Chance shopping event in Puyallup  Fees and registration required on pg.5

December 24th Jingle Bell Run Chip timed 5K at Wright Park Bring donations for the rescue mission. Deadline 12/22. No day-of. 10.00 For ages 4 and up. Entry fee includes jingle bells.

December 26th-January 1st- Winter Wildland at NW Trek Watch animals enjoy special themed enrichment treats and activities; included with admission Trek is pricey; SFM recommends investing in an annual pass if you’d go even twice this year.

December 31st-First Night in Tacoma  Family friendly New Years with activities at a variety of venues. More on this to come.

January 1st Brrr!! Polar Bear Plunge at the Pt.Defiance Marina

Gig Harbor/Port Orchard/Kitsap Area

TBA Santa arrives at Uptown in Gig Harbor

November 30 Winterfest at Peninsula High School

December 1st Fox Island Tree Lighting

December 2nd Menorah Lighting at Uptown Gig Harbor

December 7th Santa arrives at Uptown in Gig Harbor at Teaching Toys and Books Too1-5PM

December 7th and 8th Tidefest at Gig Harbor High School

December 7th and 8th Living Nativity at Discovery Baptist in Gig Harbor; walk-through only now

December Free holly cuttings at Wilkison Farm Park in Gig Harbor While supplies last

December 7th-Festivals of Chimes and Lights Port Orchard Day long event with fun run; free showings of Polar Express, tree lighting, Santa, and more

TBA Pictures with Santa at the Log Cabin Museum in Port Orchard  1&2nd and 8th &9th

December 7th Santa breakfast with the Key Center Fire department  register in advance

December 7th Tree Lighting in Gig Harbor also touch tanks with Harbor Wild Watch before

December 7th PenMet Parks Breakfast with Santa in Gig Harbor 8.00/person  pancake breakfast; entertainment; photos with Santa Make reservations

December 7th Santa at the Fox Island Museum The museum hosts children’s activities monthly. Be sure to check ‘em out!

December 14th Lighted Boat Parade

December 15th Messiah Sing along at Fox Island united Church of Christ

Thurston/Olympia/Lacey/Dupont Area

December 1st Parade and tree lighting in Olympia Also carriage rides and Santa visits  live caroling and Santa photos available Saturdays through December

December 4th  Opening Day of the Providence Christmas Forest in Olympia

TBA  Tree lighting in Dupont

December 5th Tree Lighting in Lacey

December 8th Santa arrives by helicopter at the Olympic Flight Museum

December 14th Historic Christmas Celebration at the state capitol museum in Olympia enjoy decorated mansion, petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides, and more

All Over

Santa visits with fire fighters and Santa runs on fire trucks  **I haven’t done this post yet this year, but I promise it’s coming!

Santa Breakfasts


The list of South Puget Sound Nutcrackers

Singing Christmas Tree by Life Center in Tacoma Runs the 6th-22nd

The Nutcracker the movie at select movie theaters December 17th

Performances of The Wizard of Oz by Paradise Theater in Gig Harbor  through December 15th

Miracle on 34th Street at Sumner Manestage November 30th-December 21st

The Chronicles of Narnia at the Lakewood Playhouse December 12th-22nd

Aladddin by Center Stage Theater in Federal Way November 30th-December 22nd

Best Christmas Pageant Ever in Port Orchard November 22nd- December 21st

Lyle the Crocodile at Olympia Family Theater

It’s a Wonderful Life  at Tacoma Little Theater

 Puppets Please! December Holiday themed marionette show rotates around Pierce County Libraries Free event

As always, let me know if I missed something great! I’d love to add it.


  1. You missed the Gig Harbor Nativity Festival, December 6, 7, and 8th from 1pm-9pm

  2. Amanda Holmquist says:

    Bahaha never mind! I totally didn’t see how you organized the list by county…. sorry about that! Mommy moment!

    • No worries! You scared me for a minute, though-lol.
      My kids are always in that parade with their Scout troop. I’m hoping it will be a little warmer this year. Crosses fingers!!

  3. Dave Wright says:

    Also there’s the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at the U of Puget Sound. Sunday 12/8, 7 pm, free (food donations accepted for local food banks). Features performances by Adelphian Concert Choir.

  4. Your listing says the Polar Express will show at the Grand on 12/21, but their site says the movie on the 21st is How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Speak Your Mind