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Christmas Day Activities for Seattle Families

7 exciting activities you can do on Dec. 25 with kids

Madison Miller

Published on: December 20, 2023

Two happy boys in Santa hats stand with snowboard over the mountains on background on Christmas Day

Christmas Day is a great time to spend with loved ones, whether it’s exchanging gifts, sharing a meal or partaking in annual traditions, but it’s also a good opportunity to get out and try something different. There are several things to do in Seattle on Christmas Day, so make this Christmas Day one to remember.

1. Marvel at elaborate gingerbread houses

The Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Grand Seattle has returned for its 29th year. This annual tradition benefits JDRF and research for cures for Type 1 diabetes. Gaze upon dozens of creative and elaborate gingerbread houses (this year’s theme ties in with the release of the new “Wonka” film) designed by architecture firms, skilled builders, Sheraton Grand Seattle chefs and T1D champions. Admission is free, but donations will be gladly accepted.

2. Take in a show

Heading to the theaters has been a longstanding Christmas Day tradition among families. This year, you can catch up on recent releases like “Wonka,” “Migration,” “Trolls Band Together,” “Wish,” “The Boy and the Heron” and more. Belt out to “If I Were a Rich Man” at SIFF Cinema Uptown where it will be presenting a “Fiddler on the Roof” sing-along show. Did you miss seeing this year’s production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” by the Pacific Northwest Ballet in person? Never fear, you enjoy it from the comfort of your living room when you purchase a digital ticket. 

The Nutcracker
Courtesy of the Pacific Northwest Ballet

3. Go ice skating

Is there a more quintessential wintertime activity than ice skating? Here are all the places you can glide the day away on Dec. 25.

Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink
This is the largest holiday ice skating rink around. This rink is outdoors, and while it's enclosed, plan for chilly temps. There is a viewing tent with benches, and a concession area selling hot drinks and snacks onsite. 

Oly on Ice
Thurston County entered the seasonal ice rink game a few years ago, setting up a rink near Capitol Lake in downtown Olympia. And families really love it! The rink is outdoors but covered. 

Lights & Ice
Quil Ceda Village hosts a seasonal outdoor ice skating rink this year, part of the Tulalip Lights & Ice holiday festivities. Find the skating rink at the Tulalip Amphitheatre, between the resort and the outlet mall. The rink will be surrounded by more than a million lights, and close to 5 million more will make the entire village sparkle. 

Pacific Ice
Pacific Ice returns to Pacific Rim Plaza at Waterfront Place in Everett. This petite outdoor covered rink welcomes families from around the North Sound and beyond.

Snohomish Valley Ice Rink
Snohomish Valley Golf Center will once again open its covered outdoor skating rink this season. This rink features synthetic ice. All ages can enjoy trying out their skating skills, and also warm up around the heaters and fire tables to enjoy a snack or drink from the restaurant.

4. Hit the slopes

December usually promises some of the best snow, so why not enjoy a family snow day at one of the many summits and resorts open on Christmas Day? 

5. Take to the trails

Put on those coats and boots, and head out for a family hike. You don’t even have to drive very far! Some of our favorite trails are right in town.

Discover Park
Discovery Park trails. Credit: Jennifer Johnson

6. Enjoy a good meal

We get it, cooking is stressful enough without putting special holiday pressure on top of it. This year, leave the cooking to the pros.

Goldfinch Tavern
Dine in style at this swanky restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel. On Christmas Day, the restaurant will also offer a meal with plenty of appetizers and dessert buffets, your choice of entrees and a children's menu.

Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge
Enjoy the views at this restaurant while you’re noshing on a delicious Christmas Day brunch. Enjoy à la carte dishes like eggs Benedict, cinnamon swirl French toast and salted egg carbonara.

The Salish Lodge
Celebrate Christmas surrounded by beautiful views of the Snoqualmie Valley at The Salish Lodge. There will be a special Christmas menu which includes a delectable peppermint chocolate mousse cake.

Ray’s Boathouse
Get ready to feast because Ray’s Boathouse is offering its annual Christmas Day special which serves a robust three-course menu.

7. Survey Twinkling Holiday Lights

This might be your last chance to see thousands, if not millions, of beautiful holiday light displays. Take a tour through Redmond, Renton, Spanaway, Everett and more. 

Wintertide Lights sparkle in 2021. Credit: Natasha Dillinger
Wintertide Lights sparkle in 2021. Credit: Natasha Dillinger

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