Seattle's Child

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2023 holiday events you should start thinking about now

If you love early holiday planning, check out these events

Here are a few 2023 holiday events you may not want to miss.

holiday events 2023

WildLanterns and ZooLights

Tickets are on sale for Woodland Park Zoo’s popular WildLanterns. Dates are Nov. 10-Jan. 14. Hours are 4-9 p.m. nightly; tickets are issued for a particular date and time.

Sensory-friendly nights will be offered three times: once each in November, December and January. Those dates are Nov. 15; Dec. 6 and Jan. 11. On these nights, WildLanterns will feature low sensory experiences to provide a comfortable holiday adventure for everyone.

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma runs Nov. 24-Jan. 1, also with timed tickets. It is a “colorful winter wonderland” with more than 800,000 lights, plus goats in holiday coats and bonfires for making s’mores (and something called “pudgy pies”!) More details about the event here.


Holiday stage productions

The 5th Avenue Theatre presents “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical” from Nov. 25-Dec. 24.

If you’re not familiar with this classic, here’s the description: “After World War II, two veterans begin a successful song-and-dance act, following two singing sisters to their Christmas gig at a Vermont resort lodge.” It features the classic standards “Blue Skies,” “How Deep is the Ocean” and, of course, “White Christmas.” It has been called “a delightful musical that stands the test of time.” More information here.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s annual holiday tour will come to Climate Pledge Arena for two shows on Saturday, Nov. 25. This year’s show is titled “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve – the Best of TSO & More.” It is described as a new and larger presentation of its previous “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve.”

The two Seattle shows are at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from the early show will go to The Salvation Army, and a portion of the proceeds from the late show will benefit Northwest Harvest.

“The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” follows the journey of a runaway who breaks into an abandoned vaudeville theater on December 24. The teen is discovered by the theater’s caretaker, who uses the ghosts and spirits from the building’s past to turn her life around. The rocking, blazing and laser-lit performance features TSO’s greatest hits, fan favorites and surprises. Ticket information here.


Christmas Ships

Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival will sail from Nov. 24-Dec. 23. People participating on board one of the boats can enjoy: seeing Santa Claus, hearing a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” hearing choirs perform and more.

In addition, there are special 2 p.m. sailings that are perfect for families with younger kids and will include having cookies with Santa and a special coloring surprise.

Christmas Ship tickets range from $40-54 and are free for kids under 3. Schedule and details here.


A new holiday market

Early-bird tickets go on sale in mid-October for the Seattle Christmas Market. This new event will transform Seattle center’s Fisher Pavilion and South Fountain Lawn into a “European-inspired outdoor Christmas village and community marketplace” from Nov. 24-Dec. 24.

It will feature live entertainment, food and gifts with dozens of vendors in traditional wooden huts. In addition, there will be a 50-foot walk-through Christmas tree, a free (with admission) Christmas Carousel and a light display called Lover’s Lane.

The event’s early publicity does not give ticket prices but encourages people to join a newsletter list for full information.


After the holidays

(Psst: Event tickets make great holiday gifts!)

Cirque du Soleil returns in January with the family-friendly production “Corteo” at Climate Pledge Arena.

Corteo, which means cortege in Italian, is a joyous procession. The show tells the story of a clown who envisions his own funeral, but it is not a sad story. Cirque du Soleil shows feature an engaging carnival atmosphere including aerial acrobatics, teeterboard, juggling and more. “Corteo” will have a short run in Seattle, five shows (one of which is a matinee) from Jan. 17-20. Ticket info here.

Single tickets go on sale Oct. 3 for the very popular, irreverent Broadway hit “The Book of Mormon,” which will have a limited engagement Jan. 9-14, 2024, at The Paramount Theatre. Find tickets here beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 3.


Check Seattle’s Child often for family fun all year round!

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.