8 Merry Things to Do on Christmas Day in Seattle

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If you find yourself wondering what to do on Christmas Day with the kids, we’ve got you covered. From outdoor adventures and mini road trips to holiday lights and a reason to wear your ugly sweater, you’ll be surprised at how much there is to do around Seattle on December 25. Here’s to making the day a memorable one with your kids!

Editor’s note: As things continue to evolve due to the omicron variant, please remember to double check information for the most up-to-date changes before packing the kids in the car for an adventure.

Downtown Bellevue Association

Go Ice Skating

Whether you want to head to the Eastside or drive north to Everett, the 25th of December is a great day to go on an ice skating adventure. So grab your skates if you've got 'em! The day's "required attire" at the Bellevue rink is your best ugly sweater, and the Pacific Ice rink will have festive music and hot coca at the ready, so you can warm up when you're done. Advance tickets are recommended for both rinks. 

Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink
100 100th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, WA
Event details

Pacific Rim Plaza
1028 13th St.
Everett, WA
Event details

Erin Cranston

Find a Magical Garden

If it's a dry day, there's no better place to find winter cheer than at Bellevue's Garden d'Lights. This intricate display at the Bellevue Botanical Garden includes plants, flowers, birds, animals and a cascading waterfall that's sure to delight your little on-lookers. The lights are on from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., so you can head out after the day's events and take it all in. Psst! You'll need to purchase tickets online ahead of time.

Bellevue Botanical Garden
2001 Main St.
Bellevue, WA 
Event details

Bundle Up for a Hike

We'll keep our fingers crossed for a sunny winter day so you can take the kids hiking on Christmas. Heading out for an easy hike at a nearby park, sanctuary or forest preserve is a great way to get the kids outside for some fresh air—a tall order with all the rain we've been having. Waterfalls and streams are especially magical this time of year. Just remember to wear layers, bring water and have spare socks (along with other winter essentials) in your pack before you head out.  


© Angela Sterling

Enjoy the Nutcracker at Home

If you want to take the kids to see George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at McCaw Hall, but you're not quite sure they're up to it yet, try streaming the digital production at home. It's available from Dec. 20-28, 2021. It's the perfect way to get your annual sugarplum fairy fix, without the fuss. To watch at home, simply purchase your digital ticket, then let the kids dance, sing and take as many potty breaks as they need while you stream.

Take a Road Trip

If you’re longing for a white Christmas, pack up the kids, gas up the family roadster and head towards the Cascade Mountains. There are two spectacular family-friendly day destinations waiting for you there. At Suncadia Resort, you'll find all the winter activity your family needs—ice skating, tubing, snowshoeing and more in one location. And with restaurants that will be serving up eats all day, you can keep everyone happy from sun up to sun down. The Bavarian town of Leavenworth (pictured) will be festooned with over 500,000 lights and decorations, from one end of the main drag to the other. Stop in the shops, sit down to a hearty meal and take it all in before heading home. The best part? Both are perfect destinations for an overnight, too.


Catch a Good Flick

Catching a flick on the big screen has long been a Christmas Day tradition. Maybe that's why so many good movies are released over the Christmas weekend. This year, families can sit down to Sing 2 for another chance to sing along with Buster Moon and his favorite performers as they coax a reclusive rock star back to the stage. Disney's Encanto also makes its way to theaters the week of Christmas. It's music, magic and an inspiring tale about recognizing your own gifts. Then on Christmas Day, sit down to American Underdog, the tale of a stock boy turned NFL pro. Sports fans of all ages will be inspired by this tale. All of these movies are rated PG.

Downtown Seattle Association

Light Up the Night

You can drive around your own neighborhood to look at Christmas lights or head to a decked out 'hood like Candy Cane Lane, but if you really want to get up close and personal with a dazzling holiday light display, it doesn’t get any better than the Holiday Lights & Delights at Westlake Park or Occidental Square. The oversized light sculptures of presents, ornaments and arches aren’t just for ogling at—some are for walking through too. Add in an augmented reality experience that reveals winter magic all around and you’ve got every reason to get out and explore on December 25.

Westlake Park
401 Pine St.
Seattle, WA

Occidental Square
117 S. Washington St.
Seattle, WA
Event details

Hit the Slopes

If a day on the mountain sounds good to you, you're in luck. Our wet winter has meant early snowfall in the mountains, so most of the Seattle-area ski slopes are open already. Whether you've got a season pass or you need to grab a lift ticket for the day (they're selling out fast!), there's no better day to carve than Christmas, when the slopes are less crowded than usual. So strap your skis onto the rack and head to the hills today! 

—Allison Sutcliffe, Kristina Moy & Jeffrey Totey

Feature image: iStock


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