Pacific Northwest

The Best Winter Celebrations in the Pacific Northwest

Last updated 25th July 2022
The Pacific Northwest is home to stunning natural beauty, as well as lively cultural hubs. This winter, celebrate the season with spectacular festivals and events across the region. Whether your family loves towering Christmas trees, light shows or a Nutcracker performance, you’re sure to find an outing the whole family will love. Who knows? You might even start a new family tradition with one of these fun-filled festivities in the PNW!


  • New to Seattle this year, Enchant Christmas is an immersive holiday light experience that will transport visitors to a world with Christmas trees up to 80 feet tall, larger-than-life ornaments, twinkling snowflakes and, of course, Santa in a glittering sleigh. The event will make its Seattle debut at Safeco Field, November 23 – December 30. Enchant offers a twinkling maze where guests will search for Santa’s reindeer, an ice-skating trail and a lively music lounge.
  • Sheraton Seattle’s Annual Gingerbread Village is an annual event where Seattle’s top architecture firms, master builders and Sheraton culinary teams get together to design, bake, and build amazing gingerbread displays as a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
  • Kick-off to the holiday season with Pike Place’s Magic in the Market, on Saturday, November 24th. Shop local and support small business owners at Stockings and Stuffers, a highlight shopping event featuring Pike Place Market craftspeople selling holiday stockings and little gifts to stuff them with, along with craft demos in the MarketFront Pavilion. Additional events will be hosted at the Pike Place Market throughout the holiday season!
  • The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival is a ship-to-shore holiday celebration that has been a Northwest tradition since 1949. The Spirit of Seattle, the Official Christmas Ship, is decorated with hundreds of shimmery white lights and sails to different Puget. Choirs on board the Christmas Ship perform to guests aboard as well as to the Follow Boats and to those communities gathered on shore.
  • From Nov. 23 – Dec. 31, the Seattle Center Winterfest is filled with free and affordable activities such ice sculpting and ice skating. The festival opens with Holiday Harmony and rings in the New Year with spectacular fireworks, Fountain of Light dance party and live music by premier cover band, Sway.
  • New Year’s at the Needle: The Space Needle will light up the Seattle sky at the stroke of midnight this New Year’s Eve with a 10 minute musically choreographed pyrotechnics display.  More than 40,000 revelers will gather at the Seattle Center campus to watch the show and hundreds of thousands more will watch the Seattle tradition from surrounding buildings and hillsides as they welcome the arrival of 2019.
  • Seasonal Sundays at Chihuly Garden and Glass: Every Sunday from Nov. 25-Dec. 16, Chihuly Garden and Glass hosts festive live music performances from local artists in the Glasshouse, which is the centerpiece of Chihuly Garden and Glass and holds one of the largest suspended sculptures artist Dale Chihuly has ever created.
  • Woodinville Wine Country – St. Nick’s Holiday Food & Wine Tasting: the annual Woodinville Wine Country holiday tradition returns to Columbia Winery on Nov. 30th. Sample pours from more than 30 Washington wineries and enjoy a diverse array of dishes from Columbia Winery’s culinary team.
  • Nutcracker with Pacific Northwest Ballet: From Nov. 23- Dec. 28, PNB’S best-selling holiday classic is a fantastical combination of Ian Falconer’s unique design, Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, and the entire Company in show-stopping roles.


  • After the holidays are over, Oregon WinterFest is something to look forward to in Bend, Oregon. From February 15–17, families can enjoy music, live shows, ice sculpting, fire pits, a play zone for kids and more.
  • For the second time in more than 50 years, Oregon will be supplying the U.S. Capitol with the towering Christmas tree known as “The People’s Tree” — and decorating it with 10,000 ornaments made by Oregon kids. Celebrate the noble fir in Bend as it heads from the Willamette National Forest to Washington, D.C. There will be hot chocolate, cider, cookies and ornament-making booths, too.
  • Sunriver’s Grand Illumination is a particularly sparkly way to start the season, complete with fireworks, train rides, sleigh rides, a grand tree lighting, live music and an appearance by Santa. Plus, the Oregon Observatory will have its telescopes on hand for viewing after dark.
  • From February 7-9, 2019 guests of all ages can attend the 4th annual Portland Winter Light Festival, a city-wide event showcasing illuminated art installations, vibrant performances, and stunning kinetic fire sculptures throughout our city. Bonus: It’s free to all!
  • Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights is an annual tradition in southern Oregon that takes place at River Forks Park. Visitors can marvel at over 500,000 lights and 90 animated displays while driving through this winter wonderland. The world’s largest nutcracker, Herr Woody Winterguard, standing 41 feet tall, welcomes visitors. Kids can catch up with Santa and enjoy cookies and warm cider.