I’m looking very forward to the weekend! We have such a good list this weekend, especially with so many holiday-themed events. The lighting events look amazing, Santa visits, and more. What’s you’re family’s favorite thing to attend during the holidays?
Make sure to check out these fun ideas around the Northwest:
- Portland Staycation Ideas
- Seattle Staycation Ideas
- NW Weekend Getaway Ideas on a Budget (updated weekly)
And if you find a fun, frugal event that’s not listed, feel free to leave a comment so we can add that event to our list.
Cheap Event Tickets for Seattle Area
Head to Goldstar and select Family events to easily find these. Some of the tickets sell out fast, so it’s a good idea to buy ahead if you see an event your family would want to attend!
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! King for a Day – Spokane; $10 (reg. $20)
- StinkyKids The Musical – Tacoma; $7.50 (reg. $15)
- Fantastic Mr. Fox — Youth Production – Mercer Island; $6.50 – $7.50 (reg. $13 – $15)
- Bellevue Chamber Chorus: “Gloria! Masterworks for Christmas” – Kirkland; Comp -$10 (reg. $20)
- Bellevue Chamber Chorus: “Gloria! Masterworks for Christmas” – Bellevue; Comp -$10 (reg. $20)
- Seattle Festival Orchestra’s Holiday Concert – Seattle; $7.20 – $9 (reg. $18)
- AMC Yellow Tickets – Anywhere Except CA, NY, NJ; $9 (reg. $13.50)
- Comedy Sportz – Seattle; $5 (reg. $10)
- Find more Cheap Event Tickets for Seattle area on Goldstar HERE.
Cheap Event Tickets for Portland Area
Head to Goldstar and select Family events to easily find these.
- Not Another Christmas Letter: The Musical – Portland; $10 (reg. $20)
- KidsFest – Portland; $2.50 (reg. $5)
- Jean and the Wonderful Idea Machine – Portland; $5 – $7.50 (reg. $10 – $15)
- Find more Cheap Event Tickets for Portland area on Goldstar HERE.
Things To Do in Seattle Area
Friday, December 7th, 2018
Tree Lighting – Mountlake Terrace; 6:30pm; Free; The event features music, refreshments and Santa arriving by in a firetruck.
Mercer Island Holiday Tree Lighting and Firehouse Munch – Mercer Island; 6:30pm – 8:30pm; Free; Enjoy caroling and tree lighting with crafts, kids entertainment, and more.
Planetarium Show: Stars – Bellevue; 3 shows, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm; Free; You need to pre-register, tickets go fast for this planetarium show about the stars.
Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition – Seattle; 6pm – 8:30pm; Free; Dozens of caroling teams will sing on downtown Seattle street corners and Westlake Center.
Multi-Cultural Dinner – Seattle; 5:30pm – 7pm; $10 per family of 4 or more, $3 per individual; Take a culinary tour around the world. Use this annual Bitter Lake tradition to introduce your family to food from different cultures.
First Friday Night: Slush and Slime! – Olympia; 5pm – 9pm; Free with suggested $5 donation; Play with some slime, explore the science of snow and much more.
Google Lights – Kirkland; 5pm – 6:30pm; Free; Enjoy a giant tree and a light show synchronized to music. The show runs all season in the evenings. If you can bring an unwrapped toy, non-perishable foods, and a few dollars in your pocket to support local non-profits.
Diamond Street Lights – Centralia; 4:45pm – 11:55pm; Free; You turn on your radio to FM 88.7 and hear synchronized music with Christmas lights.
Garden d’Lights – Bellevue; 4:30pm – 9pm; $5 per person, Children 10 and under are free; troll a winter garden with more than 500,000 mini-lights in three-dimensional plant and critter shapes. No pets. View until December 30th, 2018.
Bellevue Arts Museum – Bellevue; 11am – 8pm; Free; Enjoy free admission to the museum.
Lil’ Gingerbread Event – Seattle; 11am – 2pm; $5 ages 5 and under; Decorate cookies and gingerbread houses.
Pioneer Square Holidays – Seattle; 1pm – 5pm; Free; Horse-drawn carriage rides, Holiday Hooky Hour, a doggy costume contest, the Pioneer Square Neighborhood Holiday Market, and more.
Fremont Festivus and Lenin Lighting – Seattle; 11am – 7pm; Free; Fremont First Friday Art Walk, the Fremont Sunday Market, and the first-ever Fremont Music Festival, the weekend will be full of free, enlightening, family-friendly and engaging events.
Zoolights – Tacoma; 5pm – 9pm; $6-$12; See the Zoo transformed into a colorful winter wonderland with more than a half-million lights. The holiday spirit comes aglow in this magical world of dazzling 3-D animal light displays. Enjoy this until January 6th, 2019.
Ivar’s Clam Lights – Renton; 5pm – 9pm; Free; See this beautiful light display nightly through January 1st, 2019.
Seattle Center Winterfest – Seattle; 10am – 6pm; Free; Enjoy festive, fun-filled, free and affordable activities await those in search of uplifting seasonal spirit or delightful diversion from the hustle and bustle of the holiday routine. Runs through January 6th, 2019.
Reindeer Festival – Seattle; 9am – 3pm; Free; Visit reindeer Dasher and Blitzen, plus see a model train layout, enjoy live music, visit santa and shop for the holidays. Runs through December 24th, 2018.
Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink – Bellevue; 11am – 11pm; $15 general admission (includes skate rental), $10 for ages 8 and younger (includes skate rental) OR $11 for general admission (bring your skates), $6 for ages 8 and younger (bring your own skates); Enjoy some fun skating at the rink with the family during the grand opening. They have a bunch of different discounts available as well, go HERE to check it out. They’re open until January 13th, 2019!
2018 Holiday Carousel – Seattle; 11am – 8pm & 11am – 9pm; $4; Enjoy the fun and festive Carousel now until January 1st, 2019.
Gingerbread Village – Seattle; 9am – 9pm; Free; Celebrate the gingerbread building to help raise money for the Northwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Runs through January 1st, 2019.
Holiday Craft Market – Seattle; Noon – 5pm; Free; Find that perfect Christmas gift and get your shopping done. Open until December 23rd, 2018.
Holiday Express Train and Poinsettia Display – Seattle; 11am – 4pm; Adult $4, Children $2; Go check out the The Holiday Express Train and Poinsettia display this Friday. Enjoy it now through January 1st, 2019.
Winter Wonderland – Redmond; 10am – 8pm; Free; Create smiles and joyful holiday traditions this season at Redmond Town Center’s annual Winter Wonderland holiday festival. Enjoy activities and events, including spirited rides on the polar express train, Hyatt House horse carousel, and more. Enjoy holiday activities until January 6th, 2019.
Fantasy Lights – Spanaway; 5:30pm – 9pm; $14 per car; Drive through 2.5 miles of animated displays at Spanaway Park. They do have half-price nights, just check the website for when. The lights will be around until January 1st, 2019.
Snowflake Lane – Bellevue; 7pm; Free; Experience the wonder of falling snow, dazzling lights, festive music, toy drummers and dancers, and see all your favorite characters! This fun event runs through December 24th!
Mommy Matinees at the Movies – Seattle; 9:30am; Children 5 and Under Free, Adult tickets are Matinee Pricing; Every Friday you can show up with your young children and don’t have to worry about interrupting anyone with a crying or antsy little one. Actually, enjoy yourself, worry-free.
Saturday, December 8th, 2018
Holiday Fun at Sunrise Village – Puyallup; 3pm – 6pm; Free; Bring the family for lots of free festive fun at Sunrise Village. Pictures with Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides, a petting zoo with a living nativity, plus more special events.
Annual Green Lake Pathway of Lights – Seattle; 4:30pm – 7:30pm; Free; Come join us for this FREE holiday event for the whole family! Stroll the glimmering Green Lake circuit, paths, and docks which will be lit with thousands of twinkling candles. If the weather is good we’ll have hot air balloons again from 4:30-5:30pm only.
Discovery Day – Des Moines; 10am – 2pm; Free; Enjoy free viewing of the marine biology and aquarium facility of Highline College.
Apple Festival at Lattin’s Country Cider Mill & Farm – Olympia; 9am – 5pm; Free, $5 parking; Take the family and enjoy some fall fun with apple tasting, music, maze, farm animals, face painting and so much more fun.
Sunday, December 9th, 2018
Sunday Public Sail – Seattle; 10am – 3pm; Free; Enjoy a nice 45-minute boat ride. Sign up for a slot in person, they have several trips throughout the day and space is limited.
Monday, December 10th, 2018
PlayDate SEA – Seattle; 5pm – 8pm; Free; Enjoy free admission to this fun indoor play place every Monday after 5pm.
Things to Do in the Portland Area
Friday, December 7th, 2018
Family Movie Night – Portland; 6pm; Free; Enjoy a free showing of the movie Frozen with the family! Food and beverages will be available to to purchase, thanks to The Oregon Public House. Chairs will be provided, and you are welcome to bring blankets and get comfy on the floor. Doors open at 5:45pm, movie begins at 6:15pm.
Happy Valley Parade Operation Santa – Milwaukie; 6pm – 9pm; Free; During this holiday toy and food drive, fire district volunteers and employees lead Santa’s fire engine parade down neighborhood streets to collect toys and non-perishable food items, which are used to fill hundreds of food boxes for families in need. Donated new toys bring a little extra Christmas cheer to children. Donated funds are used to purchase perishable items for food boxes, and help cover miscellaneous expenses.
Christmas Concert – Portland; 6:30pm – 8:30pm; Free; Enjoy a lovely concert with the family by folk rock band Chasing Ebenezer and Betsy Lance.
Public Menorah Lighting and Festival of Lights Celebration – Portland; 4pm – 6pm; Free; Chabad of Oregon hosts the 35th Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting at Director Park. They’ll have music, foods, children’s crafts, and more.
Black Santa Claus is Coming to Town 2018! – Portland; 2pm – 9pm; Free; It’s time for Santa to visit the Woodlawn Neighborhood! Bring your kids to take a spirited professional photo with Santa Claus. Every child will receive a free photo and a candy cane.
Portland Art Museum – Portland; 5pm – 8pm; $5; Enjoy museum admission for just $5 per person after 5pm.
The Wandmaker’s House – Portland; 6pm – 10pm; Adults $15, Children 3-10 $10; The Wandmaker’s House is an immersive photo and game experience. You’ll have 45 minutes to explore a series of unique rooms, take photos, and discover what happened in the house.
Zazzy Zoe Plays Music – Portland; 4:30pm – 5:15pm; $5-$10 suggested donation; Enjoy live music for the family to enjoy together.
Saturday, December 8th, 2018
Winter Faire – Portland, 10am – 4pm; Free entry, activities are $1-$20; Journey into the Crystal Cookie Cave, dip beeswax candles, get crafty in the woodworking & sewing rooms, wind yarn into a jump rope, visit the Wishing Stone Wizard, and indulge in sweets and treats at our beloved Winter Faire! Activities range from 1 – 10 tickets, and cost $1 per ticket. Morning, afternoon, and full day wristbands are available for pre-sale, and provide unlimited access to the activities open during those hours.
Elf Movie Showing – Vancouver; 2pm – 5pm; Free; Enjoy a free showing of the movie Elf! Popcorn, candy, pizza, soda, and juice available for purchase. Reserve your seats! Concessions open at 2 pm in the Lounge Doors open at 2:30 pm and the show begins promptly at 3:00 pm.
Cookies with Santa – Portland; 2pm – 4pm; $8 event entry without photo, Slots with Santa $16/family; Enjoy a visit from Santa, cookie decorating, food/beverages and kid-friendly activities. And new this year: a Santa storytime!
Cha Cha the Clown/Elf Visit – Gresham; 1pm – 2pm; Free; Cha Cha the Clown will be coming in as an ELF! They will read a story and then put on a performance for all to enjoy. Come in and clown around with us.
Woodstock Tree Lighting – Portland; 5pm; Free; Fun tree lighting with music, crafts for kids, free hot cocoa, s’mores and more.
Humanistic Hanukkah Party – Portland; 2pm – 4pm; Free; Join Kol Shalom, a Humanistic Jewish community for their annual Hanukkah Party. Bring your menorah and come for the children’s performance, latke tasting and singing traditional Hanukkah songs.
Brick Builders – Beaverton; 11am – Noon; Free; Kids 3-5 can create with DUPLO bricks and kids ages 4-11 can create with LEGOs. Ages 3-11 with adult.
Winter Holidays at the Tram – Portland; 11am – 3pm; Free; There will be holiday-themed crafts so even the littlest ones can make a gift to share. You can also pick up a Tram-logo item for the hard-to-please folks on your list. We’ll have activities for the kids from 11 am-3 pm. Enjoy the views from the Tram anytime between 9 am-5 pm. Kids 6 and under ride the Tram for free with a fare-paying adult.
Alumbrados – Winter Lights at the Mercado – Portland; 5pm – 8pm; Free; To welcome the holiday season, on December 8 we will have a “Noche de velitas” (Candles’ Nightlight), live music and kids’ activities.
Holiday Choral Performance – Portland; 10:30am – 11am; Free; Listen to the voices of children ages 10 to 18.
Winter Celebrations – Milwaukie; 9:30am – Noon; Celebrate winter holiday traditions from around the world with live music, games, crafts and food! Treat yourself to the hot chocolate bar, enjoy cheerful holiday songs and create memories with a visit to the photo booth.
Hats Off to Frosty – Hand Puppet Show – Portland; 2pm – 3pm; $8-$10; Enjoy this fun and a festive puppet show.
Gingerbread House Crafting – Portland; $10; 9am – 1pm; Have a chance to create a gingerbread house for 5 Saturdays in December.
Gingerbread Adventures – Portland; 9:30am – 5pm; Adult: $14.50, Senior (63 +) $11.25, youth (ages 3-13): $9.75; Features hands-on activities, science demos, festive decorations, and one-of-a-kind sculptures, and more. This is open until January 1st, 2019.
Guided Nature Walk – Portland; 10am – 11:30am; Free; Explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. This weekends theme is to sleep or travel? Hibernation and migration.
Sunday, December 9th, 2018
Sensory Friendly Santa – Portland; 9am – 10pm; Free; Children with autism and their families are invited to meet Santa in a safe and sensory-friendly environment! Register online.
Grinch Storytime and Meet – Portland; 11am – 11:30am; Free; We’ll be reading Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Afterward, get your picture with the Grinch himself.
Holiday Handbell Concert – Beaverton; 4pm – 5:30pm; Free; Pacific Ringers is a local community handbell ensemble. Come to enjoy music celebrating the sounds of this holiday season.
Magic & Wonder: An Improvised Fairy Tale – Portland; 2pm – 3pm; $5 per child; This fantastical improvised show uses your child’s imagination to inspire a brand new fairy tale that will premiere right before their eyes! Parents and Guardians attend for free.
Barnes & Noble Saturday Storytime Enter your zip code to see special storytime events at your local Barnes & Noble store.
Michaels’ Kids Club – every Saturday from 10am-noon; $2 for children ages 3 and up with all supplies included. There are also special projects for spring break. Check your local Michael’s store to see if they are participating in this weeks’ project.
Lakeshore Learning Stores– every Saturday from 11am-3pm there are fun free crafts at Lakeshore Learning Stores for ages 3 and up. Check with your local store to see if they are participating.