Updated for 2017!
This list has all kinds of events, mostly one or two day happenings. If you’ve looking specifically for a Santa breakfast, a holiday show, a Nutcracker, or a tree farm, we have separate guides to those we’ve linked to at the bottom of this post!
As always, while we strive for 100% accuracy, we’ve also provided links so you can double check event details before you head out!
Below, you’ll find tree lightings, Santa visits, Santa breakfasts, parades, ice skating, gingerbread house making, and more! Events are listed by geographical area and ordered by date.
Need help finding something or want to get your group’s event listed? Just let me know by emailing me at email@example.com
South King County
Dowtown Renton November 25th
Destination Des Moines Holiday Tree Lighting & Pajama Party Friday, December 1st, 2017 at 6 – 7:30PM
Join Destination Des Moines and our sponsors for this annual family event in Des Moines. Caroling, live music, face painting & photos with Santa.
Start your holiday season off at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, with an evening of entertainment, holiday spirit, and stunning visual effects. A fun event for young and old alike. This event draws thousands of spectators each year.
Winterfest in Normandy Park December 2nd
Kent – Saturday, December 2, 3:30pm-7:30pm. Winterfest in Kent with a parade through downtown with Santa, a tree lighting at 5:30pm, and other festivities during the day Info. is at the bottom of that link at the Kent Station site.
Federal Way Saturday December 2nd Tree Lighting at Town Square Park Music and Santa arriving via fire truck
Federal Way Jingle Bell Brunch – Saturday, December 2 10-11:30AM
- Visit Santa
- Mrs. Claus to deliver your letter
- Photo opportunities —bring your camera!
- Dance around in the snow with some special guests
- Live entertainment
$12/child 12 years & under 253-835-6916
December 7th, 5:30–7:30pm Come join Mrs. Claus and Special Guests for cookie decorating, beverages, holiday music, photo booth opportunities and fun! This is a great way to make holiday cookies and leave the mess to us.
Parent participation required. Cookies are for kids only. Preregistration required. $3 per person,
Auburn Santa parade and fun– Saturday, December 2nd, 4:30pm. A family event celebrating the season with a Santa parade, community caroling and commencing with the lighting of the Christmas tree at Auburn City Hall. Great, family event with fun all day!
Tree Lighting in Burien Wednesday, December 6th
Late Play Date With Santa at the White River Valley Museum In Auburn December 7th 6-8PM Drop in and Free admission. Bring your camera to snap a photo with Santa. Free fun and themed activities for children 3-12
Highline Christian Church Living Nativity December 8th and 9th
Auburn Santa Breakfast – Santa Breakfast, Saturday, December 9th. Two separate seatings at 8:30am and 11:00am. Little ones can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, enjoy a pancake breakfast, and entertainment. Tickets are $6-$9.
Tacoma and Greater Pierce County
Nov. 23, 2017-Jan. 1, 2018
The largest holiday drive-through display in the Northwest, featuring nearly 300 elaborate displays and thousands of sparkling lights. The beautiful two-mile drive along Spanaway Lake has become a memorable lakeside tradition for the entire family.
Admission is charged per vehicle at the gate:
- $14 per vehicle /mini-bus (up to 24 passengers)
- $45 for each bus with 25 or more passenger capacity
- Special Half Price Nights:
- November 27-29 and December 4-5
Only $7/vehicle at the gate
- Fantasy Lights will operate every night including Christmas and New Year’s Day, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- November 27-29 and December 4-5
Tacoma Tree Lighting at the Pantages Theater – Saturday, November 25 Join the community for the 72nd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting. Gather for carols and photos with Santa! carols first, followed by tree lighting.
Puyallup, A Simple Wish – November 24-25, 7-8:30. This is a paid show; tickets are 20.00. Enjoy refreshments and photos with Santa and the princesses after.
Reindeer at Watson’s Nursery, Puyallup – Ongoing! Donner and Blitzen are spending their holiday vacation at Watson’s! Free Santa visits select weekends Free!
Santa visits: December 1st 12pm-4pm
December 8th 12pm-4pm
December 15th 12pm-4pm
Santa will be making his Friday visits to the store soon! Visiting Santa is free of charge. I believe it’s a Bring Your Own Camera opportunity.
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop Tacoma – Gather the family and come to experience the joy of a classic Christmas. Stay for FREE games, crafts and activities that celebrate the season. And, don’t miss the FREE photo with Santa!!! Ongoing-see link for schedule Free-unless you buy something 🙂
Zoolights, Tacoma – November 24th-January 1st, 5:00pm-9:00pm. Explore over half a million lights at the zoo, take a camel ride or get warm in the South Pacific Aquarium.
Northwest Santa – Northwest Santa will come to your home, take a photo, hear children’s Christmas wishes, and even give a gift. Last year registration for this free, in home Santa experience started on Black Friday. Stay tuned to the Northwest Santa Facebook page for details.
North Pole at the Fair, Puyallup – Reserve a photo time with Santa and enjoy a full afternoon at the North Pole, with an entire village just for kids. You can also buy tickets just to play at the Pole if you don’t need or want a photo-new this year is the “Season Pass,” option! Get a reservation now for early season/midweek discounts.
Indigo Frozen Fountain-Ice Skating at Point Ruston *new location for this temporary, outdoor ice skating event in Tacoma child’s admission is 10.00 adult admission with skates is 12.50
Santa Land and Carriage Rides, Sumner at the Old Cannery Free!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Santa will be at The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse for complimentary photos with your families! Schedule is as follows:
November 24-26: Photos from 11-4
December 2-3: Photos from 11-4
December 9th: Photos from 11-4
Reindeer on site!
December 10: Photos from 11-4
December 16-17: Photos from 11-4
Horse drawn carraige rides
December 23: Photos from 11-4
Horse drawn carraige rides
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, SANTA NEEDS TO BE BACK TO HIS SLEIGH DAILY BY 4! To accomodate, we will have to cut the line off. In previous years, we have had to do this as early as 1 o’clock. Please be prepared for a longer wait time, as Santa likes to spend quality time with each and every child.
As always, the photos are complimentary. We are accepting food and monetary donations to benefit the Sumner Food Bank. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
The Extreme Christmas Tree Lighting is the 29th-see link for details on a discount to that event with a toy donation.
University Place Tree Lighting – Friday December 1st Tree lighting and festivities.
Lakewood – Friday, December 1 Tree lighting and fun with Santa!
Have your picture taken with Santa, buy unique gifts from boutique vendors along our new Candy Cane Lane, see the Winter Wonderland LEGO displays made by local children.Enjoy family-friendly activities including “Minute-to-Win-It” games, crafts, live entertainment, and food vendors.
Multicare Festival of Trees, Tacoma Friday, December 1st (9 AM – 1 PM) and Saturday, December 2nd (10:30 am-2:00 pm)
Festival brings out the holidays spirit in us all with fun activities for the whole family. Enjoy live community entertainment, games, pictures with Santa and shop for unique treasures in the Mary Bridge Brigade Gift Shop. Admission General: $6 each Students (ages 13-18): $2 each Children 12 and under: free
A 19th Century Christmas at Ft. Nisqually Saturday December 2nd 11AM-4PM
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern holidays and experience a real old-fashioned Christmas at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum.
A highlight of the event is the arrival of the yule log, towed in by young visitors at 1 pm. Everyone can join in greeting the yule log with toasts and Christmas Carols. Guests will have a chance to take home a piece of the log for their own holiday fire.
Throughout the day, guests of all ages can join in parlor games, make ornaments, and create pomanders. Father Christmas will be available for visits and photos. This year Fort Nisqually is excited to welcome artist Lauren Muney of Silhouettes By Hand.
Event admission is $8-$10, and children 3 and younger are free. For more information call (253) 591-5339.
Tree Lighting in Milton – Saturday, December 2 Santa will arrive to light the tree around 5:00pm. Photos with Santa, crafts, snacks, and other fun beginning at 3PM
Old Town Tacoma – Saturday, December 2, Santa visits the Job Carr Cabin Museum.
Santa Visits Old Town is a FREE family-friendly event. We invite the community to celebrate the season at Tacoma’s birthplace. Our cozy cabin fireplace is the perfect setting for your keepsake Santa picture! Bring the whole family and make a memory. Performances, crafts, treats, and free photos.
Winter Faire at Tacoma Waldorf School Sat, December 2, 11am – 3pm
Warm your heart for the holiday season at the annual Tacoma Waldorf School Winter Faire! Fun activities for the whole family include: craft making, puppet plays, a nourishing café and delicious treats, fabulous musical entertainment, and other magical experiences. Do some holiday shopping for natural toys and books from our school store, handmade items from local vendors, beautiful crafts made by our parents, and more!
Note from SFM: This is a wonderful event open to all, and it would also be a great opportunity if you’ve been curious about a Waldorf education. Their fb page is here
Santa Visits the Conservatory in Wright Park Saturday December 2nd 10AM-3PM
Join us for this much anticipated visit from Santa and his reindeer friends. Memorialize the holidays in the beauty of the Conservatory with a professional photograph with Santa for $15. cookies, crafts and and jolly good times provided.
$3 suggested donation W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory
316 South G Street in historic Wright Park
Puyallup Main Street – Saturday, December 2, 5:00pm. Bring the kids down to welcome Santa! See the jolly old elf arrive on one of Puyallup’s finest fire engines! Included in the festivities is the Holiday Market (12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) in the Pioneer Park Pavilion and the lighting of the Community Tree in the Park! This wonderful community tradition is a great way to kick off the holiday season! Nibble on cookies and sip on hot cocoa as you watch the lighted delights pass by.
Bonney Lake Tree Lighting – Saturday, December 2, 6:00pm. Enjoy activities, music, refreshments, pictures with Santa, and the tree lightning. Public Safety Building – 18421 Veterans Memorial Drive E (Directions)
The City of Bonney Lake and the Kiwanis Club are again sponsoring annual holiday Tree Lighting and Food Drive activities! Come join the fun! Activities and music, refreshments, candy, pictures with Santa, and the annual tree lighting ceremony. Drop food donations off at the Food Bank, which is adjacent to the Public Safety Building and the community Christmas Tree.
Holiday Fest in Proctor – TBA This was Saturday the 3rd last year. I *think* it will probably be Saturday the 2nd this year.
Free holiday at fun at Sunrise Village/South Hill living nativity, wagon rides, Santa, and other fun December 2, 9th, and 16th from 3-6PM
Holiday Tree Lighting with Santa in Fife Tuesday, December 5th 6-7PM
Santa trades in his sleigh for a fire truck! Come celebrate the season with the Mayor and Santa as they use some holiday magic to light up the trees outside of City hall.
Free photos with Santa, cookies/hot cocoa.
Date: Tuesday, December 5
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Fife City Hall
Santa and Mrs. Claus invite you to breakfast. Kids will create a holiday craft and share their Christmas wishlist with Santa. Children must attend with a parent or responsible adult. Bring your camera for a picture with Santa. Breakfast will be served from 9:15-10:15 a.m. Must pre-register by Thursday, 12/7.
Note from SFM: See our other guides for info. on Fife Santa runs with the fire and police departments and the Fife area Nutcracker.
St Lucia Fest at PLU Hour long program with traditional Swedish song, dance, and a children’s performance. Sunday, December 3
Christmas at Fort Steilacoom December 9
Living historians will present a period candle-light Christmas in the remaining officers’ quarters. The gift shop will also be open for Christmas shopping. Tickets will be available at the Fort Steilacoom Interpretive Center in Quarters 4 during the event, 4 to 7:30 p.m. Adults $5, children $3, family $10 (parents & kids).
Victorian Holiday Festival at the Seymour Conservatory December 9 10AM-3PM
Frolic and folly at our annual Victorian Holiday Festival honoring Tacoma’s historic Victorian-styled Conservatory. Staff and volunteers will be dressed in beautiful costumes. Enjoy live music, crafts and delightful refreshments. 3.00 suggested donation
Santa at the LeMay Car Museum December 9 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Santa and Mrs. Claus are driving in to ACM this holiday season to upgrade their ride!
Join the Claus family for a photo op in a 1906 Cadillac Model K Tulip Touring Car. Kids receive a free slot car voucher for the ACM Speed Zone! Santa photos are included with ACM admission as a digital download.
- Saturday, December 9 from 11am – 3pm
- Sunday, December 10 from 11am – 3pm
- Saturday, December 16 from 11am – 3pm
- Sunday, December 17 from 11am – 3pm
A wonderful family event for the holiday season, the Christmas Beach Party is fun for all. Head down to the beach where a giant bonfire will warm you up. A countdown leads to the lighting of our Christmas tree. Shortly after, the Argosy Christmas Caroling Ship makes a stop by the Clubhouse and serenades us from the water with Christmas songs. Bundle up and come on down.
2017 Christmas Bonfire Party: Monday 12/11/17
BPIC December General Meeting (in clubhouse) 7:00 PM
Bonfire Beach Party: 7:45 PM
Tree Lighting: 8:00 PM
Argosy Christmas Caroling Ship: 8:25 PM
Winter Story Hour at the Conservatory in Wright Park December 13th 11AM-12
Join Bonnie Beaudoin in the tropical atmosphere of the Conservatory for storytelling along with a short hands-on art project.
This month featuring Winter Gardens: Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam
Art: Snowflake Design
Kids will have fun learning about nature and plants through stories and crafts. Suggested donation 3.00
Cocoa and carols at the conservatory December 16th Join in a sing along at the festive conservatory at Wright Park 6-8PM
Bring the family and enjoy a hot cocoa bar and caroling at the Conservatory.
$3 suggested donation
Elves and Bells Around Town, Steilacoom – Friday, December 15. Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and the elves parade through Steilacoom before stopping at Saltar’s Elementary School CHECK
Gingerbread House Making at Pierce County Libraries Various dates and times from December 2nd-17th. Many that require registration are full, but check yours. There are also several drop in locations. These are FREE, and you can attend an event at any library; it doesn’t have to be the one nearest you.
Puppets Please Holiday Show – Various locations, December 9-20th These colorful marionettes will be touring throughout the Pierce County Library System to bring you a holiday themed in the round show for all ages! All ages, drop in event. Readers have enjoyed this in the past!
Jingle Bell Run – Tacoma December 24, 10:00am or 12:00pm start time. A refreshing 3 mile run or walk through Wright Park.
Winter Wildland at NW Trek December 29-31. Watch animals enjoy special themed enrichment treats and activities; included with admission. NW Trek is pricy; SFM recommends investing in an annual pass if you’d go more than twice this year.
First Night in Tacoma – December 31. A family-friendly, arts-centered, alcohol free celebration of New Year’s Eve that takes place throughout the Downtown Tacoma theater district. Purchase buttons for admission to activities.
Polar Bear Plunge – Friday, January 1, 11:30am and 12:00pm; FREE. If you’re daring, take a plunge in the Puget Sound on New Year’s Day at the Pt Defiance Marina boat launch. There will be heaters and free hot drinks following the plunge.
Gig Harbor/Port Orchard/Kitsap Area
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – Gig Harbor Paradise Theater; various shows and times through December 9th
Gig Harbor Tree Lighting – Saturday December 2nd 2017 | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Gig Harbor’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting is the official kickoff to the holidays in Gig Harbor. Come join friends and neighbors for entertainment galore, including live music, Rainiers Rhubarb, refreshments and a visit from Santa on the fire truck!
Santa at the Fox Island Museum – Saturday, December 2, 1:00pm-4:00pm; FREE. crafts and a treat. Free event for Fox Island children
Gig Harbor Pen Met Parks Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, December 2, 9:00am-11:00am. Enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa, holiday crafts, entertainment, and more! Tickets are $8/person. Pre-register online
Fox Island Tree Lighting – Sunday, December 3. Enjoy a holiday concert and Christmas tree lightning. Use link to navigate to the date on the calendar need to update
Living Nativity – Discovery Baptist Church, Gig Harbor; Saturday/Sunday, December 2/3, Mingle with over 200 characters and real animals in this living nativity that takes you back in time to Bethlehem. Free
TideFest – Gig Harbor High School; Saturday/Sunday, December 2-3. Fine arts and gifts festival.
Saturday, December 2nd at 10am
Sunday, December 3rd at 10am and 6pm
Proceeds to benefit the Gig Harbor Police Jay Cox Fund
Free hot chocolate with a toy donation to Toys for Tots
Pictures with Santa at the Log Cabin Museum – Port Orchard; December 2/3 and 9/10 Have your photo taken with Santa and the vintage Christmas tree at the Log Cabin. Donations accepted.
Breakfast with Santa – Key Center Fire Department; Saturday, December 2, 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am. Enjoy crafts, breakfast and special time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets are $5/advance $10/at the door.
Light Up the Night – Harbor History Museum
Celebrate Gig Harbor’s Scandinavian heritage at Harbor History Museum’s 4th Annual Light Up the Night festivities on December 8th from 5:00-6:30pm. Crafts, games, and traditional Scandinavian snacks are the star at this family-friendly event. $2 admission for all ages.
Tickets can be purchased online at the Harbor History Museum’s Buy Tickets page or at the front desk. For more information contact Elizabeth Langford, Education Coordinator at 253.858.6722 ext. 6 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lighted Boat Parade – Gig Harbor; Saturday, December 9 A parade of lighted boats from Arabella’s to the public dock. Look under “Events,” for details from last year.
Menorah Lighting at Uptown Thursday, December 14th at 6:30pm
The Chabad Jewish Center of Pierce County will host the public Menorah Lighting at Uptown. This celebration is open to the public and will include singing and dancing, traditional Latkes, games and food. It will be fun for the entire family!
Opens November 26th This is a private home that goes all out with lights and opens their yard up for the community to walk through! Free but donations for the food bank are welcomed or get “Soup Tickets,” at Thriftway. Be sure to read all the details on their fb page for parking and so forth. This is their, “Opening night.” Also check the page for hours.
Downtown for the Holidays Olympia Santa, a parade, a tree lighting, and much more! November 26
Providence Christmas Forest – Olympia Providence Christmas Forest 2017 will be held from Tuesday, November 28 thru Sunday, December 3, at the Hotel RL by Red Lion (2300 Evergreen Park Dr SW) in Olympia.
- Signing Santa Friday, December 1, 2017 6:30-9:00pm Chambers Prairie Elementary
- Lacey Lighted Vehicle Parade & Lighting of the Christmas Trees Monday, December 4, 2017 6:00-7:30pm Huntamer Park in Woodland Square more »
- Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 9, 2017 9:00-10:30am
- Lacey Community Center more »
- Cookies with Mrs. Claus Monday, December 11, 2017 6:00-7:00pm Jacob Smith House more »
13th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Tumwater – Saturday, December 9
The Tumwater Christmas Tree Lighting Festival is held each year on the 2nd Saturday in December, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the Tumwater City Hall & Headquarters Fire Station.
This popular holiday event includes games, holiday crafts, performances by local and school choirs, and of course, the lighting of the tree. Santa will arrive on an antique fire truck after the ceremonial tree lighting to share his joyful laugh and spread some holiday cheer. Join us at this special event; you are sure to have a festive time!
Dupont Tree Lighting
Santa Arrives by helicopter at the Olympic Flight Museum
Here, There and Everywhere
Argosy Christmas Ships – throughout the South Sound all season Lighted ships with choirs visit waterfront communities around the Puget Sound. You can book a (pricy) ride aboard the ship or attend a free event in conjunction with one of their stops. View the complete schedule here. If you scroll down the schedule, you can find South Sound stops and decide if you want to catch them when they stop or book a ride
And….If you liked this list, you’ll also enjoy our guides to
still updating for 2017
As always, let me know if I’ve missed something great! I’d love to add it. Email me at email@example.com