What’s Happening Nov. 25-Dec. 1

On the evening after Thanksgiving, when the heart of downtown Seattle is filled with sparkling lights and the echoes of carolers, the magic of the holiday season returns.

Nov. 25 will mark the biggest and brightest Tree Lighting Celebration at Westlake Park yet, with holiday-themed light sculptures constructed from more than 140,000 bulbs shining bright on Westlake Park.

“Downtown Seattle just sparkles for the holidays,” said Jennifer Casillas, a Downtown Seattle Association vice president, and the holiday activations “get people back downtown to take part in the retail, the shopping, the arts, the theaters and the restaurants that are downtown.”

For the first time, the celebration will begin earlier in the day with food trucks and afternoon concerts starting at 3 p.m. Visitors can enjoy tunes from surf-rock band Warren Dunes, a cappella carolers Holiday Harmony POP, the gospel group African American Cultural Ensemble and Motown vocal trio The Jewel Tones.

In the evening, KIRO Radio’s Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin will count down the lighting of the tree, festive fireworks (for the first time since 2019!) and the illuminating of the Macy’s Star.

After the heart of downtown is aglow, The Dusty 45s will rock the park with a live musical performance. 

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The tree lighting kicks off Holiday Lights & Delights, presented by Amazon, which will bring free family-friendly events, light sculptures, live music and other holiday merriment around the city.

Starting with the tree lighting ceremony, larger-than-life installations of presents, arches and trees built from more than 140,000 lights will light up Westlake Park through Jan. 7.

The installations are available for viewing 24/7, “and they’re for everyone to enjoy selfies and photo-ops,” Casillas said.

Westlake Park will be especially festive on Saturdays through Dec. 17 with live music, entertainment and activities. Visitors can meet merry characters, do festive crafts with SilverKite Community Arts, watch an occasional Santa-inspired “snow flurry” and enjoy hot cocoa and tasty treats noon-3 p.m.

On the first three Fridays in December, the air of Westlake Park will be filled with the live beats, harmonies and rhythms of talented local musicians 4-6 p.m.

On the other side of downtown, cookies, cocoa and carolers can be found noon-3 p.m. on Saturdays through Dec. 17 in Occidental Square.

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The downtown core’s first and only ice skating rink will debut this year, too. The rink will pop up 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 9-11 in Occidental Square. Skates are available to visitors and all ages are welcome at this free winter activity.

“We might even have sightings of Seahawks and Kraken mascots and players, and there will also be a pop-up holiday market on Dec. 10 [at Occidental Square],” Casillas said.

Plus, downtown visitors will find thousands of holiday lights along Bell Street, First Avenue, Pioneer Square and Westlake Park.

“This is a very important time of year for all retail and restaurants, and they’ve had a hard couple of years. [Holiday Lights & Delights] is the big invitation back to partake in all the things that downtown Seattle offers,” Casillas said.

The Tree Lighting Celebration at Westlake Park takes place 3-6 p.m. Nov. 25 (401 Pine St., Seattle). Find more information about Downtown Seattle Association’s Holiday Lights & Delights at: downtownseattle.org/events/holidays

What else is happening

Here are some other events happening Nov. 25-Dec. 1 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, please email your event details to weekend@seattletimes.com.

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Illuminate Winterfest — Nov. 25

Seattle Center’s Winterfest kicks off with ice carving, stage performances, holiday-themed movies, festive food vendors and more 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Close out the day with the campus lighting countdown beginning at 5 p.m., followed by a Fountain of Light dance party, featuring a live DJ and digital video artist projecting imagery onto fountain waters. Free. 305 Harrison St., Seattle; 206-684-7200; seattlecenter.com

Christmas Ship Festival Opening Night — Nov. 25

Kick off the Christmas Ship Festival and head down to Pier 55 for Santa photos, hot beverages, snowflake making, music and giveaways 3-8 p.m. At around 4:15 p.m., gather near the water and count down to the lighting of the Christmas Ship. Free. 1101 Alaskan Way, Seattle; 206-623-1445; argosycruises.com

Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair — Nov. 25-26

The Port Townsend Arts Guild presents the 30th annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair with displays of handmade craftwork from Northwest artists 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celtic Harp musician David Michael will perform and sell music, and the gym will feature student musicians to entertain. Free. 620 Tyler St., Port Townsend; 360-774-6544; porttownsendartsguild.org

Magic in the Market — Nov. 26

Falling on Small Business Saturday, Pike Place Market’s 27th annual Magic in the Market invites visitors to meet Santa, listen to caroling, decorate cookies, sip some eggnog, shop for loved ones and more, all leading up to the Market lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. Free. 85 Pike St., Seattle; 206-682-7453; pikeplacemarket.org

2022 Seattle Marathon — Nov. 26

The Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon, Seattle’s original hometown marathon and the oldest marathon in the Pacific Northwest, returns with a half and full marathon set on a course with rolling hills and scenic views of Seattle’s iconic bridges, waterways and architecture. Register online; prices vary. 3800 Montlake Blvd. N.E., Seattle; 206-729-3660; seattlemarathon.org

Historically Hip Artisan Market — Nov. 26-27

The Historically Hip Artisan Market returns with the sale of leather handbags, cashmere scarfs, paper art, book and cards, candles, body oils, dishes, glass, wools, wood ornaments, jewelry, paintings and other handmade crafts noon-5 p.m. Free. 78 First Ave. N.E., Issaquah; downtownissaquah.com

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Salish Lodge & Spa Annual Holiday Tree Lighting — Nov. 27

Join Salish Lodge & Spa, Encompass and the Snoqualmie community for the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting 5-7 p.m. Enjoy hot cocoa, holiday treats, children’s activities and meet Santa. Free. 6501 Railroad Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie; 425-831-6590; salishlodge.com

“The Great Basin” — Nov. 27

Enjoy a showing of a new feature documentary “The Great Basin,” which takes viewers on a journey of discovery through rural Nevada at 7 p.m. The showing includes a special Q&A session with director Chivas DeVinck. Purchase tickets online; prices vary. 1501 Seventh Ave., Seattle; thegreatbasinfilm.com

Providence O’Christmas Trees Family Sing-Along Concert — Nov. 28

Spend the evening wrapped in the holiday spirit at this year’s new Family Sing-Along Concert 5-8 p.m. This first-ever ticketed family event features the Northwest Boychoir and the Seattle Girls Choir in an hourlong holiday concert. The concert will be opened by the Splinter Dance Group and will be followed by a two-course dinner. Purchase tickets online; $40/adults, $20/children, $145/family package (two adults, two children, one parking pass and preferred seating). 1900 Fifth Ave., Seattle; 425-333-2733; otrees.org

Climate Change, Washington Energy and Nuclear Solutions — Nov. 30

Join Friends of Fission Northwest and bring your questions to a live event with James Conca about how to can avoid energy blackouts and get to net-zero carbon emissions at 7 p.m. Beers, soft drinks and full menu available. Children and dogs are welcome. Free. 1550 N.W. 49th St., Seattle; fissionnw.org