Updated for 2018!
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 Saturday, November 24th
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 1st
Destination Des Moines Holiday Tree Lighting Friday, December 7, 6 pm – 7 pm at Big Catch Plaza
Join Destination Des Moines and our sponsors for this annual family event in Des Moines. Caroling, live music, face painting & photos with Santa.
Burien Tree Lighting – TBA
Kent – Saturday, December 1, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Winterfest in Kent with live entertainment from local musicians, story time at the library, and free hot cocoa, cider and popcorn! Santa arrives at 5 pm for the tree lighting and other festivities.
Federal Way Saturday, December 1st Tree Lighting at Town Square Park with Music and Santa
Federal Way Jingle Bell Brunch – Saturday, December 1st 10:00 am – 11:30 am
- 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
December 6th, 5:30–7:30 pm 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 Tree Lighting – Saturday, December 1st, 4:30 pm. 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 – Details TBA
Late Play Date With Santa at the White River Valley Museum In Auburn December 6th 6 – 8 pm Drop-in, free admission. Bring your camera to snap a photo with Santa. Free fun and themed activities for children 3-12
Auburn Santa Breakfast – Santa Breakfast, Saturday, December 8th. Two separate seatings at 8:30 am and 11:00 am. Little ones can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, enjoy a pancake breakfast, and entertainment. Tickets are $8-$10.
Tacoma and Greater Pierce County
Fantasy Lights, Spanaway – Nov. 22, 2018 – Jan. 1, 2019
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 26-28 and December 3-5
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 26-28 and December 3-5
Tacoma Tree Lighting at the Pantages Theater – Saturday, November 24, 5:30 pm. Join the community for the 73rd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting. Gather for carols and photos with Santa! Carols first, followed by tree lighting.
Puyallup, A Simple Wish – November 23, 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 ’til December 24th! Free Santa visits select weekends Free!
Santa visits: November 30th 11 am – 4 pm
December 7th 11 am – 4 pm
December 14th 11 am – 4 pm
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.
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 23-25: Photos from 11-4
December 1-2: Photos from 11-4
December 8th: Photos from 11-4
December 9: Photos from 11-4
Reindeer on site!
December 15-16: Photos from 11-4
Horse drawn carriage rides
December 22-23: Photos from 11-4
Horse drawn carriage rides
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, SANTA NEEDS TO BE BACK TO HIS SLEIGH DAILY BY 4! To accommodate, 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!
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 23th-January 6th, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm. 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, November 14th – February 2nd. The Grand Plaza at Point Ruston will be transformed into a winter wonderland! Follow link for admission details and holiday hours.
Victorian Country Christmas, Puyallup Fairgrounds November 28th – December 2nd. Holiday fun for all ages! Over 500 stores, dining, concerts, stage shows, Santa and much more!
University Place Tree Lighting – Friday, December 7th, 4 pm – 7:30 pm. Tree Lighting and festivities.
Lakewood – Saturday, December 8 Day-Long Holiday Event – Tree lighting, parade & fun with Santa!
Run in the Jingle Bell Rock 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run, find one-of-a-kind gifts at the Candy Cane Lane Holiday Market and Craft Fair, visit with Santa & participate in the parade by building a float, singing, dancing or decorating a car. End your evening with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in front of Lakewood City Hall.
Multicare Festival of Trees, Tacoma November 30 – December 1, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Greater Tacoma Convention Center
Adults: $6, Children 5-12: $2, Children under 5: FREE
Bring your family and friends for a stroll through the glittering display of trees. Festival is open to the public during select hours on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1. Enjoy live community entertainment, games, photos with Santa and shopping at the Mary Bridge Brigade Gift Shop.
A 19th Century Christmas at Ft. Nisqually Saturday December 1st 11 am – 4 pm
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.
Event admission is $8-$10, and children 3 and younger are free. For more information call (253) 404-3970.
Tree Lighting in Milton – Saturday, December 8th, 3 pm – 8 pm, Milton City Hall. Santa, crafts, snacks, tree lighting and much more!
Old Town Tacoma – Saturday, December 8, Santa visits the Job Carr Cabin Museum. 1 pm – 3:30 pm.
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.
Santa Visits the Conservatory in Wright Park Saturday, December 1st, 10 am – 3 pm
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 1st, 5:00 pm. 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 Pioneer Park! This wonderful community tradition is a great way to kick off the holiday season!
Bonney Lake Tree Lighting – Saturday, December 1, 6:00 pm. 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
Free holiday fun at Sunrise Village/South Hill living nativity, wagon rides, Santa, and other fun December 1st, 8th, and 15th from 3 – 6 pm
Holiday Tree Lighting with Santa in Fife Tuesday, December 4th 6 – 7 pm, Fife City Hall
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.
Santa Breakfast in Fife December 8th 9 am – 11 am, Fife Community Center
Santa and Mrs. Claus invite you to breakfast. Kids will create a holiday craft and share their Christmas wish list 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, 11/29. Admission: Participants 3 years and up – $3, 2 years and under – Free
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 Tuesday, December 11, 6:30 pm, Scandinavian Cultural Center
Hour long program with traditional Swedish song, dance, and a children’s performance. $5 general admission, reception to follow.
Christmas at Fort Steilacoom December 8
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 8, 10 am – 3 pm
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 suggested donation.
Santa at the LeMay Car Museum December 8, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Santa is driving in to ACM this holiday season to upgrade his ride! Join Santa 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 FREE for ACM Members or included with ACM admission as a digital download.
- Saturday, December 8 from 11 am – 3 pm
- Sunday, December 9 from 11 am – 3 pm
- Saturday, December 15 from 11 am – 3 pm
- Sunday, December 16 from 11 am – 3 pm
Brown’s Point Bonfire and Caroling Date TBA! If you are interested in this, keep an eye on their website for the date announcement.
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.
2018 Christmas Bonfire Party: TBD
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 12th 11 am – 12 pm
Join Bonnie Beaudoin in the tropical atmosphere of the Conservatory for storytelling along with a short hands-on art project.
Book: Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman
Science: The Seasons
Art: Sparkly Pine Cones
Kids will have fun learning about nature and plants through stories and crafts. Suggested donation $3.
Cocoa and carols at the conservatory Friday, December 14th
Join in a sing along at the festive Conservatory at Wright Park, 6 pm – 8 pm. 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 14th, 5 pm – 8:30 pm. Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and the elves parade through Steilacoom before stopping at Saltar’s Elementary School.
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 8-22nd. 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, 10:00 am or 12:00 pm start time. A refreshing 3 mile run or walk through Wright Park.
Winter Wildland at NW Trek December 29-30, 930 am – 3 pm. Watch animals enjoy special themed enrichment treats and activities; included with admission. NW Trek is pricey; 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 – Tuesday, January 1, 11:30 am and 12:00 pm – 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
Tuesday, November 20 at 4 pm
Wednesday, November 21 at 11 am
Celebrate the season of giving by helping assemble and deliver Thanksgiving baskets. November 20th and 21st. Thanksgiving food donations accepted.
Gig Harbor Tree Lighting – Saturday December 1st 2018 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 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, Rainier’s Rhubarb, refreshments and a visit from Santa on the fire truck!
Santa at the Fox Island Museum – Saturday, December 2, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm, FREE. crafts and a treat. Free event for Fox Island children
Gig Harbor Pen Met Parks Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, December 1, 9:00 am- 11:00 am. Enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa, holiday crafts, entertainment, and more! Tickets are $8/person. Pre-register online.
Fox Island Tree Lighting – Sunday, December 2nd. Enjoy a holiday concert and Christmas tree lightning. Use link to navigate to the date on the calendar.
TideFest – Gig Harbor High School; Saturday/Sunday, December 1-2. Fine arts and gifts festival.
Pictures with Santa at the Log Cabin Museum – Port Orchard; December 1/2 and 8/9. Have your photo taken with Santa and the vintage Christmas tree at the Log Cabin. Donations accepted.
Letters to Santa – Key Center Fire Department; Sunday, December 2, 3 pm -4 pm. Free community event! Letters to Santa is hosted by Key Pen Parks and the Key Center Fire Department. It is held at the Key Center Fire Station, 8911 Key Peninsula Highway KP N, Lakebay, WA 98349. Kids may come and decorate a cookie and write their letters to Santa! This is a great place to come before heading over to the KC Corral for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Light Up the Night – Harbor History Museum
Celebrate Gig Harbor’s Scandinavian heritage at Harbor History Museum’s 5th Annual Light Up the Night festivities. 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 beginning November 14, or at the front desk. For more information contact Zachary Sokolik, Marketing and Events Coordinator at 253.858.6722 ext. 5 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lighted Boat Parade – Gig Harbor; Saturday, December 8, 5 pm – 9 pm. A parade of lighted boats from Arabella’s to the public dock.
Menorah Lighting at Uptown Tuesday, December 4th, 6:30 pm.
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!
NOTICE >> Due to a construction project, Discovery Baptist will not be having a 2018 Living Nativity. Check back next year to see their new campus in 2019!
Oly Lightstravaganza November 25, 2018 through the New Year
Opens November 25th! This is a private home that goes all out with lights and opens their yard up for the community to walk through! The lights will be on 4:45 – 10:30 pm, November 25, 2018 through the New Year. Visitors are encouraged to bring donations for the Thurston County Food Bank (cash, check to TCFB, or non-perishable food).
Downtown for the Holidays Olympia Santa, a parade, a tree lighting, and much more! November 25th
Providence Christmas Forest – Olympia Providence Christmas Forest 2018 public viewing will be held December 1-2, 9 am – 5 pm at the Hotel RL by Red Lion (2300 Evergreen Park Dr SW) in Olympia.
Dupont Tree Lighting December 1st, 5 pm at Ross Plaza
- Lacey Parade of Lights & Christmas Trees Lighting
Monday, December 3, 6:30 p.m. Huntamer Park in Woodland Square more »
- Signing Santa Friday, December 7, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Chambers Prairie Elementary more »
- Cookies with Mrs. Claus Monday, December 10, 6:00 p.m. Jacob Smith House
- “E” is for Evergreen Wednesday, December 12, 10:30 a.m. Lacey Timberland Library more >>
- Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 15, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Lacey Community Center
13th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Tumwater – Saturday, December 8
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!
TBA 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 (pricey) 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 2018
As always, let me know if I’ve missed something great! I’d love to add it. Email me at email@example.com