Many families have busy schedules on Christmas Day, so the idea of adding one more activity isn’t an option. But for those families who are new to Seattle, have few relatives in town or just want to do something a little different this year, we’ve put together 10 Christmas Day activities taking place on December 25. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Light Up Your Life
Sure, you can drive around your own neighborhood to look at Christmas lights or head to a decked out 'hood or Candy Cane Lane, but if you want to see one classy display after the next in a fairly quiet atmosphere, check out Garden d’Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. This ahh-mazing display of lights includes plants, flowers, birds, animals, a cascading waterfall and even an impressive dragon and other whimsical characters.
The lights are on from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., so you can head out after Christmas dinner and take it all in. Psst! Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time.
Bellevue Botanical Garden
2001 Main St.
Bellevue, WA 98005
Admission: $5/Adults; 10 & under Free
2. Go (Gingerbread) House Hunting
For 27 years, the Sheraton Grand Seattle has presented their Gingerbread Village which benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Each year, gingerbread housing teams are created by pairing some of Seattle’s top architecture firms with the Sheraton’s culinary chefs to create some fantastic (and delicious-looking) buildings. Psst! This year’s theme comes from different tales of elves, from traditional Santa’s little helpers to a more modern twist like those of Elf on the Shelf.
Gingerbread Village is open on Christmas Day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., making it the perfect before or after dinner activity.
Sheraton Grand Seattle
1400 6th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
Admission: Free (donations gladly accepted)
3. Get Lost in the World's Largest Christmas Light Maze
Enchant Christmas returns to T-Mobile Park and will be eagerly welcoming guests on December 25. Grab your little elves and get ready to experience a whole new T-Mobile Park which will be transformed into an immersive holiday experience featuring "Mischievous" (the world’s largest Christmas light maze), a larger ice skating trail with a new route, live entertainment, holiday shops, craft workshops, a Kid's Zone with games and activities and even snow!
Enchant will be open on Christmas Day from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
1250 1st Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98134
Admission: $19 & up
4. Visit an Indoor Forest & See the Bears
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel goes all out, and this year you can see some of the most lavish Christmas tree designs found anywhere in Seattle on display in the hotel’s beautiful lobbies. Embrace the true spirit of the holidays with Trees of Hope and make sure to check out the life-size gingerbread house and the Teddy Bear Suite which will be open on Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
411 University St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Admission: Free (donations are gladly accepted)
5. See a Good Flick
As is the tradition, many good movies are released during Christmas weekend. This year, some of the best movies appropriate for families include Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (also known as Star Wars: Episode IX–The Rise of Skywalker); Playmobil: The Movie, an animated adventure based on the popular toy figurines with the "C"-shaped hands; Jumanji: The Next Level, the fourth installment of the Jumanji franchise; and Spies in Disguise, a computer-animated spy comedy film featuring Will Smith and Tom Holland.
6. Lace up Your Skates
As part of Bellevue's Magic Season, this pop up ice arena will remain open on Christmas Day. This is our area’s largest open-air (and totally covered) ice skating venue located at Bellevue Downtown Park. Open rain or shine, this might be the perfect activity to work off those Christmas Day goodies.
The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink will be open on Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here for a list of other rinks open on Christmas Day.
Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena
Bellevue Downtown Park
10201 N.E. 4th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004
Admission: $15/Adults; $13/Kids (8 & under). Save $2 if you bring your own skates.
7. Go On a Christmas Cruise
Though the schedules are limited during Christmas, Washington State Ferries are in service. Pack up a Thermos of hot chocolate, bundle up the kiddies and get ready to see reflections of the city’s Christmas lights on the water. Depending on the destination, you might want to disembark or continue on for a round trip tour. Visit the Washington State Department of Transportation's website for a list of our area’s local ferry docks, times of departures and fees.
Washington State Ferries
8. Grab a Good Meal
While many restaurants are closed for the holiday, others will remain open, including Buca DiBeppo which serves family style Italian meals in a fun and festive atmosphere from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., the Lost Lake Café which offers a Christmas dinner special from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (but remains open 24 hours a day) and Ray’s Café in Ballard which will be open from noon-8 p.m. For a fun twist, surprise the kids by visiting your local Denny’s or IHOP for dessert in their jammies. And consider bringing some flowers or small gift with you to give to your server to spread holiday cheer.
Buca Di Beppo
701 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Lost Lake Café
1505 10th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
6049 Seaview Ave. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98107
9. Go on a Light Walk
Seattle’s own Ivar’s restaurants sponsor one the largest and free light displays in Renton. Ivar's Clam Lights features a flat, paved trail that is about one mile in length and full of tens of thousands of Christmas lights on display at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.
The lights will be shining brightly from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day, so bundle everyone up and head out for a nighttime holiday stroll.
Gene Coulon Beach Park
1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N.
Renton, WA 98056
10. Take a Mini Road Trip
If you’re longing for a white Christmas, pack up the kiddies, gas up the family roadster and head toward the Cascade Mountains, and plan for day or overnight trip to the Bavarian town of Leavenworth. The town will be festooned with over 500,000 lights and decorations from one end to the other. While much of the town will be closed up for the day, there will be a number of restaurants open for business. Visit Leavenworth's official website for more information.
—Kristina Moy & Jeffrey Totey