Lights, Camera, Action! Can’t-Miss Christmas Tree & Menorah Lightings

The holiday season takes on a special significance this year with Hanukkah falling on Thanksgiving. And since many Jewish celebrations that usually take place in December have been moved up to November—the same weekend as many Christmas tree lightings—you and the kiddos have double the reasons to get into the spirit of the season early. Read on for a list of festive Christmas tree lightings and menorah lightings taking place around the city.

Clam Lights

Tree Lightings

Westlake Center Tree Lighting
This is the main tree lighting ceremony in downtown Seattle! Get there early to stake out a spot, because the crowds will be full and festive. The ceremony kicks off at 5 p.m. with music and dancing from local choirs and performers on the Westlake Center balcony and ends with the lighting of the Westlake Center holiday tree and Macy’s Star. Take a ride on the holiday carousel while you wait; it closes during the lighting ceremony, though, so be aware of the time. And we hear the big guy in red himself will be making an appearance. Event details.

When: November 29, 5 p.m.
Where: Westlake Center Plaza, 400 Pine Street, Seattle, Wa 98101

Westlake Tree Lighting

Macy’s Star Lighting & Fireworks
In conjunction with Westlake Center’s celebration, see the famous 161-foot high, 3,600-bulb Macy’s Holiday Star light up the streets of downtown Seattle to welcome the holiday season. Be sure to stick around for the fireworks show which will take place after the ceremony (weather permitting). Event details.

When: November 29, 5 p.m.
Where: Westlake Center Plaza, 400 Pine Street, Seattle, Wa 98101

Bellevue Place Tree Lighting & Parade
Santa will be making his grand arrival at Bellevue Square during this special tree lighting. Bundle up the kiddos and watch Santa make his way along the parade route from NE 8th at the Bellevue Place and Lincoln Square sky bridge, along Bellevue Way and past Macy’s, then back to the Hyatt Bellevue Hotel. After the parade and tree lighting, enjoy a special meet and greet with the characters from Snowflake Lane. Don’t forget your camera— the photo opps are sure to be plentiful here! Event details.

When: November 29, 7 p.m. (tree lighting will take place at approximately 7:30 p.m.)
Where: Between Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place, Bellevue, Wa

Snowflake Lane

Edmonds Tree Lighting
Welcome the holiday season at the annual downtown Edmonds tree lighting. The merriment will include delicious holiday snacks like cider, hot cocoa and cookies along with caroling through the streets of downtown Edmonds. And don’t miss getting your picture taken with Santa at the Edmonds Conference Center. Event details.

When: November 30, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Christmas stroll starts at 3 p.m.)
Where: Downtown Edmonds, Fifth Ave. North & Bell St., Edmonds, Wa 98020

Ivar’s Clam Lights Lighting 
Bundle up the kids and head to Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park for this momentous holiday spectacular. See thousands of twinkling lights, holiday scenes and Ivar’s famous Dancing Clams plus enjoy live holiday entertainment and see the Argosy Christmas Ship and parade of boats. Event details.

When: December 6, 6:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (7 p.m. official lighting by Renton’s mayor)
Where: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N., Renton, Wa 98056

Dancing Clam Lights

Mercer Island Holiday Tree Lighting & Firehouse Munch
Meet at Mercerdale Park to take in the community tree lighting ceremony; carol with friends and family; and enjoy music and activities with Radio Disney before parading to the local Firehouse to enjoy tasty treats, children’s entertainment, arts and crafts and pics with Santa. Don’t forget to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots drive. Event Details.

When: December 6, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Mercerdale Park, 77th Ave. SE & SE 32nd St., Mercer Island, Wa

Bothell Country Village Tree Lighting & Santa Arrival 
Experience the magical arrival of Santa by sleigh (from the sky!) at Bothell Country Village. A traditional tree lighting ceremony will follow Santa’s arrival, heralded by the Village’s own Town Crier. While you wait for the festivities to start, enjoy complimentary hot-roasted chestnuts, holiday-themed music, and train and pony rides. Event details.

When: December 7, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (tree lighting starts at 7 p.m., followed by Santa’s arrival)
Where:  Bothell Country Village, 23718 7th Ave. SE, Bothell, Wa 98021


Redmond Tree Lighting & Luminary Walk 
This annual event will begin at City Hall Plaza with activities for the little ones and the community tree lighting. After the tree is lit, join in on the Luminary Walk between City Hall Plaza and the Redmond Town Center where you’ll be greeted with holiday treats, crafts for the kids, and plenty of entertainment. Event details.

When: December 7, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: City Hall Plaza, 15670 NE 85th St., Redmond, Wa 98052

West Seattle Tree Lighting
Each year, Westseattleites gather for this annual holiday event in the Junction. In addition to the lighting of the community tree, there will be carolers and hot cocoa. Event details.

When: December 7, 5 p.m.
Where: West Seattle Junction, 42nd Avenue SW & Alaska St., Seattle, Wa 98116

Menorah Lightings & Hanukkah Events

“Almost” Hanukkah Celebration
Celebrate Hanukkah with the J community! Sing and dance alongside Caspar Babypants and enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling from PJ Library and plenty of delish food including latkes, pizza and donuts. Registration is required. Event details.

When: November 23, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island, Wa
Cost:  Free admission with donation of a personal item to Jewish Family Service


Explore Hanukkah at the Festivals of Light Exhibit
You and your little one can explore the traditions of Hanukkah through special performances, playtime and crafts starting on November 27. Museum staff will be on-hand to teach kids how to play dreidel games and visitors will be able to create their own dreidel during their exploration. Event details.

When: November 27 – December 3, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekends
Where: Seattle Children’s’ Museum, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, Wa 98109
Cost: $7.50-8.50/person

Community Menorah Lighting
Interfaith and Jewish by Choice couples and families are invited to this special event complete with storytelling, songs and snacks, and a community Menorah lighting of the fifth candle. Families will also have the opportunity to explore the themes and traditions of Hanukkah. Advance registration is encouraged. Event details.

When: December 1, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Jewish Family Service – Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Ave., Seattle, Wa 98122
Cost: Free


Chanukah Party
Celebrate Chanukah with freshly-made latkes, a candle lighting ceremony, children’s activities, and a potluck meal. Bring your menorah and join your friends and family for this fun event. Event details.

When: December 7 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Secular Jewish Circle of Puget Sound, Seattle, Wa
Cost:  Suggested donation of $10/individual or $20/family

We know there are lots of places to catch holiday lightings this season—where is your family’s fave spot? Let us know in a comment below.

–Kristina Moy

Photo credits: jbhthescots via Flickr, mtcarlson via Flickr, Marcy Grantor, Bothell Country Village and Snowflake Lane