‘Tis the season to chase the dream of uninterrupted conversation by dialing up a sitter for a much needed date night. And if there’s a city rife with reasons to kiss the kids and say, “See ya later,” Seattle’s the one. With a stellar restaurant scene, world-class theaters and top-notch services, there are plenty of grown-up options for you and your sweetie to pick from. To help you choose, we’ve narrowed down December’s offerings and picked our 10 favorites.

photo by Lluvia Walker

photo: Lluvia Walker

Dinner & Drinks at Pike Place Market

Zig Zag Café
Regulars may grumble at this promotion of their favorite spot, but for those who don’t know, or who haven’t been in a while, The Zig Zag is Seattle’s bar scene. Classic, quaint and undoubtedly cool, this hidden spot’s warming glow—from both the lighting and the hooch—lures any happy patron into having just one more. Psst… order the Manhattan.

1501 Western Ave., #202 (down the stairs, under the pedestrian bridge)
Seattle, Wa 98101
Online: zigzagseattle.com

Place Pigalle
“The Pig” as it’s known by Market insiders has been a mainstay for decades. With its lurid, brothel-linked past to its current, nearly thirty-five-year class, Place Pigalle is a must-do meal any time of year. Their menu features original recipes of Steamed Mussels Pigalle, Calamari Dijonnaise and stunning seasonal fare by Chef Tom Schultz that matches the majestic views, making this spot definitely worth the cost of a sitter. Psst… there’s no bad seat in the house, and, although the restaurant can’t guarantee a table, asking for tables 3, 4, or 13 won’t hurt.


81 Pike St. (past Pike Place Fish Market, towards the water)
Seattle, Wa 98101
Online: pacepigalle-seattle.com

OK, this spot isn’t exactly in the market, but it’s a leisurely two-block stroll past the Gum Wall down Post Alley and is 100% worth the 100 steps it’ll take you to get there. Another, rather hidden spot, Lecosho is the next-gen location of Matt Janke… you know the Matt of Matt’s at the Market. With happy hour and small-plate signature dishes like Brown Butter Spaetzle and Sausage and Lentils with Poached Egg, you’ll be set up for a very fine evening, indeed. Psst… ask if Lisa made the soup du jour. If so, get it! You won’t be disappointed.

89 University St. (down the Harbor Steps and on the left)
Seattle, Wa 98101
Online: lecosho.com

photo by Jennifer Durban

photo: Jennifer Durban

Beer, Books, Bubbles & Bivalves

What better reason to get all dolled up and ditch the kids for the evening than to raise a glass of an adult beverage at a hooch-centric event near you? From Seattle’s craft beers, numerous wine bars and foodie havens—there are several to choose from.

Washington Brewers Guild – Winter Beer Fest
Want to start with some brewskies? At the beginning of December, the Washington Beer Guild will host their Winter Beer Fest at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park. More than 50 breweries will be represented and will be serving up a taste of their wares, all while benefiting the Washington Brewers Guild, an advocacy group for Washington brewers. If you like your robust winter warmers, malty stouts and barrel-aged gems, ye best be gettin’ to this event posthaste!

Dates: Dec. 2-3, 2016
Times: 5 p.m.-9 p.m. on Dec. 2; noon-4 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Dec. 3
Cost: $30 in advance; $35 at the door (while supplies last). Admission includes a tasting glass and eight 5oz beer tastes.

Hangar 30
Warren G. Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115
Online: washingtonbrewersguild.org/festivals

Cookbook Author Talks – The Book Larder 
If you’re a book lover and also love to engage with authors and their writings, this is a tasty little spot that may truly strike your fancy. When The Book Larder opened near the top of Fremont Ave. in 2011, local foodies kicked themselves time and again because they hadn’t ever come up with the concept. Part dedicated cookbook store, part cookbook collector’s delight and part demo space, this nook-of-a-foodie bookstore is a place that parents can and should enjoy both with, and without their offspring.

Dates: Dec. 4, 5, 7 & 12, 2016
Times: Vary; see website for times
Cost: Free; RSVP online

4252 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98103
Online: booklarder.com/events/2016-12

Oysters & Bubbly at BottleHouse 
If those words alone aren’t enough to get you out of the house, let’s talk! First, the PNW is one of the best locales for fresh, succulent oysters in the world. Second. Bubbles! Seriously, though, the delicate, sophisticated effervescence of sparkling wine has forever lovingly coupled with the briny, fresh, sometimes wild flavors of freshly-shucked oysters. And, to top it off, the combo itself is reason enough to send the kiddos to bed! 

At this Dec. 14 event, slurp oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Co. and sip bubbles from around the globe while enjoying live Brazilian music from Maracjuo Duo. Psst… if you can’t make this one, look for their next event on Feb. 8, 2017.

Date: Dec. 14, 2016
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Cost: $32 ticket includes 6 oysters, 5 pours and live music; purchase tickets online

1416 34th Ave.
Seattle, Wa 98122
Online: bottlehouseseattle.com

Hot Stove Society date night

photo: Hot Stove Society 

For the Hands-On Foodie

Cooking classes are a fun way to get together with friends, your better half or to meet new, like-minded people. With the guidance of skilled chefs and otherwise-adept professionals, you’ll endeavor together in preparing edible, and sometimes decadent treats. Seattle offers cooking classes, year-round, but something fun about lessons in December, is the chance to learn how to create some seasonal favorites and holiday treats. A major purveyor of hands-on experiences is none other than Seattle’s own Tom Douglas. Offering classes nearly every day of the month, there’s something for everyone’s palate including a crab class with cookbook author and crab aficionado, Cynthia Nims, a class called Big Beautiful Roasts with chef Chris Schwartz and holiday cookie decorating with pastry sous chef Sandra McKee. 

View the December class schedule online.

Hot Stove Society
2000 4th Ave.
Seattle, Wa 98121
Email: hotstove@tomdouglas.com
Online: hotstovesociety.com

photo by Michael Doucette

photo: Michael Doucette

Overture, Curtains & Laughs

Escaping reality—and parenthood—for an evening is always a welcome gift for the wary. Lucky for us, there are a plethora of entertaining engagements in December. In addition to the annual and seasonal classics like The PNB’s Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, The Musical, there are other, more off-the-beaten path shows that makes for a fun evening, too.

Welcome to Wonderland – Teatro ZinZanni 
More than just dinner and a show, an evening under the red velvet tent never disappoints. This theater in the round features aerialists, illusionists, big laughs and spectacle that’s been called “Cirque de Soleil on acid.” Psst… order the wine flight—-an in-house sommelier that pairs the best wines with each course. This allows you to concentrate on the show—and your bursting sides—without having to look at the menu more than once.

Dates: Now through Feb. 26, 2017
Times: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Pricing starts at $99 per person and includes a five-course meal and three-hour show; purchase tickets online or at the Box Office

222 Mercer St.
Seattle Wa, 98109
Ticket office: 206-802-0015
Online: zinzanni.com/seattle/shows/wonderland

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
Grab a cocktail and get ready to do the Linus to Vince Guaraldi’s, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Performed by the Jose Gonzales Trio in its entirety, this jazzy holiday classic is sure to deliver a nostalgic smile to any and all kids at heart.

Dates: Dec. 11, 2016
Times: 1 p.m. Family Matinee; 6 p.m. Main Event
Cost: $15-$24; purchase tickets online

201 Mercer St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online: strawshop.org/charlie-brown.html

The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge – Taproot Theater
Whatever happened after Scrooge’s miraculous Christmas-morning epiphany? Taproot Theater has its take on the matter in their production of The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge. Taking Dickens’ classic tale one step further, Scrooge charges Jacob Marley and the Holiday Spirits with a laundry list of complaints, including assault and trespass. Lots of laughs and good cheer abound, despite Scrooge reverting to his old, scroogey self.

Dates: Now through Dec. 30, 2016
Times: Varies; view times online
Cost: $20-$47; purchase tickets online

204 N. 85th St.
Seattle, Wa 98103
Online: taproottheatre.org/the-trial-of-ebenezer-scrooge

There are so many other reasons to get out and enjoy the city. What’s your favorite date night activity? Tell us in the Comments below.

— Kelly Doscher