Let’s be real here for a moment. December is a busy month and between rushing the kids off to various school activities, making numerous trips to the mall in search of the perfect gift and baking those traditional family holiday treats, you need a break. And finding a special and fun activity to share with your significant other is definitely worth the effort to reconnect. So dial up the sitter, put the pizza delivery driver on standby and read on for a treasure trove of ways to spend a night (or two!) out on the town this month.

photo: Chris Mitchell

Move to the Music

Whether you want to get up and dance or just sit back, close your eyes and just take it all in, music can soothe the savage beast within in us all.

Holiday Pops Concert
Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3, 2017 at 2 p.m.
The Federal Way Symphony presents a performance of holiday favorites and classical music at the Federal Way Performing Arts & Event Center

Holiday Concert with Chris Mitchell
Dec. 5, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Saxophonist Chris Mitchell plays Christmas classics at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seattle.

Deck the Hall Ball
Dec. 5, 2017 at 3 p.m.
This December marks the 25th year for the Deck the Hall Ball featuring The Killers, The Lumineers, Odesza, Portugal the Man, Joy Wave, J Roddy Walton and the Business and J Grory playing at the KeyArena.

A Charie Brown Christmas Jazz Concert
Dec. 10, 2017 at 6 p.m.
The entire score from the classic TV special will by performed by the Jose Gonzales Trio at the Cornish Playhouse.

Seattle Men’s Chorus Holiday Concert
Dec. 9-23, 2017 (various times and locations)
The Seattle Men’s Chorus presents their annual holiday concerts in three different locations: Benaroya Hall in Seattle, the Rialto Theater in Tacoma and the Historic Everett Theatre.

Handel’s Messiah
Dec. 15-17, 2017 (times vary by performance)
Seattle Symphony and Chorale will present this classic at the Benaroya Hall.

Holiday Salsa Celebration
Dec. 16, 2017 at 3 p.m.
Mambo Cadillac will play “high-octane” salsa and Latin Jazz music at Artspace Hiawatha Lofts.

For more concert ideas, check out 15 Christmas Concerts to Buy Tickets for Now.

photo: Can Can Theatre

Get Into the Christmas Mood

This month offers a variety of theatre and stage shows that spread the gamut from traditional holiday fare to performances that are a bit more twisted. Here are some of the best being offered this month:

The Best Burlesque Pageant Ever
Dec. 1, 2 & 9, 2017 at 9 p.m.
Stripped Screw Burlesques presents this over-the-top adult comedy at the Columba City Theater.

Now through January 29, 2018 (times vary depending on performance dates)
The Can Can theatre turns into a whimsical winter chalet in this performance where dinner theatre and cabaret meet.

An Improvised Christmas Carol
Dec. 1-3, 7-10 & 14-23, 2017 (shows start at 7 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. depending on the date)
Unexpected Productions presents an audience-suggested version of The Christmas Carol where no two shows are exactly alike. Shown at the Pike Place Market.

Christmastown: A Holiday Noir
Dec. 8-10, 14-16, 19-22 & 24 at 7:30 p.m. Matinees will be shown on Dec. 17 & 23, 2017 at 2 p.m.
Seattle Public Theater presents this adult detective comedy at the Bathouse Theater.

A Chistmas Carol
Dec. 1-3, 5-10, 12-17, 19-24 & 26-28, 2017 (times vary by performance)
The classic Charles Dicken’s holiday tale is presented at ACT Theatre.

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn
Now through Dec. 31, 2017 (times vary by performance)
Playing at the 5th Avenue Theatre, it’s the west coast premiere of the recent Broadway hit inspired by the Oscar-winning film of the same name featuring 20 Irving Berling songs.

Elf: The Musical
Dec. 5-10, 2017 (times vary by performance)
Based on the beloved 2003 movie of the same name, Elf The Musical follows the adventures of Buddy, an orphan baby who crawls into Santa’s bag and gets transported to the North Pole where he is raised like an elf. After becoming an adult, Buddy returns to New York in search of his father, but finds more than just his long lost dad.

photo: Jeremy Daniel

Enjoy the Rest of the Best in Theatre

Perhaps you’ve already had a little too much Christmas? Enjoy these non-holiday shows:

The Twilight Zone: Live!
Dec. 1-2, 6-9 & 13-16, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Theater Schmeater presents four episodes from the TV series, The Twilight Zone, live on stage including “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine,” “Five Characters in Search of an Exit,” “The After Hours” and “The Midnight Sun.”

The Humans
Now through December 17, 2017 (times vary by performance)
The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Presented at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Disney’s Newsies
Now through Dec. 31, 2017 (times vary by performance)
Playing at Village Theatre in Issaquah, this musical is based on the Disney cult classic film of the same name that features newsboys of New York fighting for what is right and inspiring you to “Seize the Day.”

photo: SantaCon Facebook page

Enjoy Seasonal Food and Drink

‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. Here’s what happening this month:

Winter Beer Fest
Dec. 1 from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. & Dec. 2, 2017 from noon-4 p.m.&  5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Try a variety of winter beers from 50 Washington breweries alongside a few food trucks at this year’s Winter Beer Fest taking place at Hanger 30 in Magnuson Park.

Santa Bar Crawl
Dec. 16, 2017 from noon-closing
Don your Santa suit or other holiday costume and plan to participate in this year’s SantaCon at Pike Place Market. Psst…this is more than just a red a white pub crawl; it’s an epic event of holiday cheer and goodwill.

Winter Feast
Dec. 17, 2017 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
This unique event will feature a variety of food trucks as well as over 100 market vendors at the Fremont Sunday Market.

photo: SIFF Facebook page

Take in a Holiday Movie

New this year, the holiday-themed movies include Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer in The Man Who Invented Christmas, A Bad Mom’s Christmas and the animated hit, The Star. However, we also suggest the following options?

White Christmas
December 21-23, 2017 (times vary by showing)
See the classic Bing Crosby film, White Christmas, on the big screen at the SIFF Film Center.

Fiddler on the Roof Sing-A-Long
December 25, 2017 at noon
Come hear Klezmer music, enjoy Chinese food and warm up your vocal cords to partake in this great sing-a-long at the SIFF Cinema Uptown.

Moulin Rouge! New Year’s Eve Sing-a-Long 
December 31, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
Looking to ring in 2018 a little early this year? The Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor hit will be shown with champagne at the SIFF Cinema Uptown.

photo: Greenlight Pathway of Lights Facebook page

Gaze at the Lights

While the Christmas light displays are nice at Woodland Park ZooPoint Defiance Zoo & AquariumWild Waves Holiday Lights and around the city, you’ll appreciate the smaller crowds at these venues for a more romantic night out:

Garden d’Lights
Dec. 1-31, 2017. Open nightly from 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Stroll through the Bellevue Botanical Garden and see “zillions” of bright lights. Enjoy the live music, warm up to hot beverages and take home a souvenir from the gift shop.

Green Lake Pathway of Lights
Dec. 9, 2017 from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
This free event invites you to take a walk through a path of glowing luminaries and enjoy live music at three location along the way. Psst…this is a rain or shine event.

photo: Pacific Northwest Ballet

Marvel at Dancers

Sure, everyone is “supposed” to take their children to see The Nutcracker, but you might enjoy a nice elegant night out at the show without having to answer the question of “Can we go yet?” Unless of course, it’s your spouse asking. Or maybe you prefer to see something totally different this year. If that’s the case, consider:

Pacific Northwest Ballet
Now through Dec. 28, 2017 (times vary by performance)
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker continues at the Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall through December 28. And once again, this year’s sets and costumes are designed by author and illustrator Ian Falconer (known for his work with Olivia the Pig).

Acrobatic Conundrum
Dec. 1-3 & 8-10, 2017 (times vary by performance)
This death-defying show, Volume 5, presents acrobats, juggling acts, rope art and hoop diving from 20 feet in the air alongside live music. Playing at 12th Avenue Arts.

photo: Art Under $100

Go Shopping Without the Kids

Whether or not you plan to make purchases for your kids, gift shopping during this time of the year with little ones in tow is tough. And while shopping may not seem like the best date idea, the following events provide a lot of atmosphere to make things fun. Consider:

Victorian Country Christmas
Dec. 1-2, 2017 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 3, 2017 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Located at the Washington Stare Fairgrounds and Event Center in Puyallup, the Victorian Country Christmas event is geared for the whole family, but with over 500 shops and displays to discover, you can get through a lot more without the Littles and without as many tears. Psst…this event isn’t all about the shopping; enjoy loads free entertainment as well.

Downtown at Night
Christmas shopping in downtown Seattle is a lot less crowded at night. Find parking near the Seattle Center and take the monorail to Westlake Center. In between shopping and crossing names off your list, take time to enjoy the live music playing, visit the Gingerbread Village display at City Centre (through New Year’s Day) and take a whirl on the DSA holiday carousel.

Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show
Dec. 2 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Dec. 3, 2017 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Shop for hand-crafted clothing, jewelry, toys, paper goods, art, candles, housewares and more in the Exhibition Hall at the Seattle Center.

Art Under $100
Dec. 16, 2017 from 2 p.m.-8 p.m.
This event will feature 70 artists and craftsmen offering items that “everyday” people can actually afford. Come for the art and stay for the food trucks and live music.

photo: Seattle Seahawks

Show Your Team Spirit

Sure you still have Christmas shopping to do, but a fan has to do what a fan has to do. There are three big games left for the Seahawks and a lot more for hockey fans in Kent and Everett. Just remember to bundle up tightly! Here is the schedule for this month’s home games:

Seattle Seahawks
Dec. 3: against the Philadelphia Eagles – 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: against the Los Angles Rams – 1:05 p.m. kickoff
Dec. 31: against the Arizona Cardinals – 1:25 p.m. kickoff

Everett Silvertips
Dec. 2: against the Saskatoon Blades – 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 6: against the Portland Winterhawks – 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 8: against the Spokane Chiefs – 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 16: against the Prince George Cougars – 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 17: against the Portand Winterhawks – 4:05 p.m.
Dec. 29: against the Vancouver Giants – 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 30: against the Kamloops Blazers – 7:05 p.m.

Seattle Thuderbirds
Dec. 2: against the Kamloops Blazers – 6 p.m.
Dec. 5: against the Saskatoon Blades – 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 8: against the Tri-City Americans – 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 15: against the Prince George Cougars – 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 29: against the Spokane Chiefs – 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 30: against the Portland Winterhawks – 6:05 p.m.

photo: MoPOP

Party the Night Away

Whether you want to dance all night or spend the evening exploring something new, there is a New Year’s Eve party for you:

Bollywood Masquerade
Dec. 30, 2017 (time TBA)
This DJ dance party will be playing the sounds of India at the Columbia City Theater

Great Balls of Fire
Dec. 31, 2017 at 9 p.m.
The Seattle Symphony will be presenting pianist and singer, Tony DeSare for a night of piano’s greatest hits by such greats as Elton John, Ray Charles, John Lennon and more. Put on your holiday best and enjoy dancing, a countdown to midnight and champagne toast.

New Year’s Eve at Chihuly Garden and Glass
Dec. 31, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Center is hosting a special night of music and dancing, plus a tour of the exhibits, a champagne toast and a great view of the Space Needle fireworks at midnight.

Dec. 31, 2017 at 9 p.m.
Billed as Seattle’s biggest New Year’s Eve event, this awesome evening will include three performance stages, comedy, live dance music and access to most of the Museum of Pop Culture’s exhibits.

Spectra 2018: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches
Dec. 31, 2017 at 9 p.m.
The Pacific Science Center will add dancing and a champagne toast in addition to its regular laser shows, science exhibits and live demos. Psst…PSC offers a great view of the Space Needle fireworks at midnight.

Do you know of a special December “date night” event that we missed? Tell us in the comments below.

— Jeffrey Totey