Food and festivities at Green Lake Pathway of Lights, SAM Lights and Menorah Mania.

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One of Seattle’s favorite holiday traditions, Green Lake Pathway of Lights, brightens the path around Green Lake with luminaria and music on Saturday, Dec. 10. The volunteer-driven, one-night event at one of Seattle’s most popular parks has been a holiday tradition, rain or shine, since the 1980s. Everyone’s invited to drop in anytime from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. to walk all or any part of the 2.8-mile path around the lake; if you’d like, bring your own light or candle to help illuminate the night.

Local musicians perform at three sites around the lake, near Green Lake Community Center on the east side, the Aqua Theater on the south side and the Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theater) on the north side. Performers include Roosevelt High School and Eckstein Middle School jazz bands, Seattle Ukulele Chorus and several local choirs. Warm drinks and treats will be available at all three sites, along with bins for nonperishable food-bank donations that visitors are encouraged to bring.

For more outdoor lights and music, SAM Lights fills Seattle Art Museum’s waterfront Olympic Sculpture Park with lights and luminaria, art activities, music and food vendors on Thursday, Dec. 15. Drop in any time from 6 to 9 p.m. to walk luminaria-lit paths and to see light displays outdoors, party with a DJ in the garage and grab a snack or beverage from the Taste Cafe or visiting food trucks. The event is for all ages, with activities for kids in the PACCAR Pavilion Art Lab. Leashed dogs are welcome, and some people even bring cats. Pets and people are encouraged to wear lights or something light-inspired to become a part of the art experience.

Green Lake Pathway of Lights

Time: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10

Cost: free; nonperishable food bank donations suggested

Location: Green Lake Park, 7201 E. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle

More info: 206-684-0780 or

SAM Lights

Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 15

Cost: free, by reservation

Location: Olympic Sculpture Park, Broad Street and Elliott Avenue, Seattle

More info: 206-654-3100 or

Menorah Mania

Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17

Cost: free, by reservation; donations for the homeless requested, see website for list

Location: Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Mercer Way, Mercer Island

More info: 206-232-7115 or

Garage parking won’t be available during SAM Lights and nearby street parking is very limited, so arriving by public transportation is suggested. The event is free, by reservation.

Next weekend, get ready to celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, at the Menorah Mania event Dec. 17 at Stroum Jewish Community Center. All are welcome to join in the celebration, which includes a concert by the Klezmatics, food trucks and making your own menorah to take home for the holiday, Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 this year. The event is free by reservation, and donations of nonperishable snacks, new socks and other items for the homeless are requested.