Katie Raynor


It’s not Christmas in Seattle until the Macy’s star is illuminated, the tree twinkles in Westlake Plaza, and the carousel is spinning in Westlake Park. The holidays are always a great time to be in Downtown Seattle, and the season officially kicks off with the annual Macy’s Holiday Parade next Friday, November 28, at 9:00 a.m. Make sure to stick around to see the Westlake tree-lighting ceremony and fireworks beginning at 4:45, followed by the Macy’s star lighting at 5:00. And take a ride on the carousel anytime starting at 10:00 a.m. on the 28th.

Festivities will continue throughout December, and this year there are several new attractions for downtown visitors at the Winter Village in Westlake Park. A lodge-inspired Holiday Recharge Lounge, located at the south end of the park, will offer a warm place for visitors to rest their feet, charge their phones, and enjoy coffee from Seattle Espresso.

Kids will have plenty to keep them occupied at the Children’s Discovery Corner of the lounge, featuring activities such as crafts and storytelling from the Seattle Public Library, Seattle Art Museum, Ride the Ducks, the Seattle Aquarium, and the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Daily kids’ activities will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Here’s a rundown of some additional holiday events in the downtown area happening throughout November and December:

  • Seattle Center Winterfest, Nov. 28 – Dec. 31: See Winterfest art installations, visit the winter train and village, the ice rink in Fisher Pavilion, and much more.
  • Magic in the Market, Nov. 29: Before the main event of the Pike Place Market Holiday Tree lighting at 5:00 p.m., stay warm with Tiny’s Organic apple cider, Market Spice tea, and hot chocolate from indi chocolate while shopping for holiday gifts from the Market’s many artisans.
  • Diving Santa at the Seattle Aquarium, Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 29 – Dec. 21: See Diving Santa at the Window on Washington Waters exhibit along with live music performaces, and get a photo taken with the man himself.
  • Greet the Season at Lake Union Park, Nov. 29: Tour historic ships docked on the lake, wander the Center for Wooden Boats, and watch the Argosy Christmas Ship performance on Lake Union.
  • Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, Dec. 5: Caroling teams will take over the street corners around Westlake Center from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at this popular fundraiser for the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank that routinely draws 10,000 spectators.
  • Festival of Trees at the Fairmont Olympic, Nov. 22 – Dec. 3: Head to the Fairmont’s motor court and lobby to see beautifully decorated Christmas trees accompanied by photos and stories of patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital. A free kick-off celebration is this Sunday, Nov. 23, from 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton, Nov. 25 – Jan. 5: This event featuring holiday scenes made entirely of gingerbread is back for its 22nd year. Proceeds from donations benefit JDRF Northwest.

This is just a sampling of holiday events downtown, so click here for a full list!

2000 1st Ave.

The new owners of this Belltown condo will have the pleasure of watching ferries come and go on the waterfront, the Great Wheel spinning, and of course every spectacular sunset over the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. Sold for $1,100,000, this condo is in a prime downtown location and was remodeled to take advantage of the stunning 180-degree views.

This two-bedroom, two-bath unit features hardwood floors throughout; a sharp kitchen with granite-slab counter tops, stainless steel appliances and custom cabinets; a luxurious master suite with a walk-in closet and a view even from the bathtub; and resort-style amenities. A covered view terrace is the icing on the cake.

If you are interested in purchasing a condo in the Belltown area, contact your local real estate agent today!

AquariumDid you know there was such a thing as a master pumpkin carver? Well, there is, and the Seattle Aquarium has enlisted master carver Russ Leno to put his stamp on giant pumpkins as part of its ‘Halloween at the Aquarium’ event on October 25 and 26.

The aquarium will be hosting activities all day, including an underwater pumpkin-carving demonstration by aquarium divers, ominous octopus feeding, a mad scientist salmon dissection, and of course watching the always crowd-pleasing river otters. Make sure your little ones have their costumes ready, as the festivities will be capped off with trick-or-treating at waterfront businesses on Sunday evening.

The aquarium opens at 9:30 a.m., so you’ll have time to get in a quick visit to all your favorite creatures before the Halloween fun begins at 10:30. See here for a full schedule of activities!

There are more than 60,000 people who live in downtown Seattle, and an increasing number of those residents are school-aged kids. While there is one downtown high school (The Center School), elementary and middle-school students don’t have a neighborhood public school and must travel to schools on either Queen Anne or Capitol Hill. The Seattle School Board is working to change that, having submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Education to turn the former Federal Reserve Bank building on Second Avenue into the first elementary school serving downtown kids in 65 years.

The school board will be holding two public meetings in October (Wednesday 10/1 and Wednesday 10/15) to discuss the latest developments, and they are urging community members to show their support for the school by attending one or both of the meetings and using the public comment period to give feedback. For those unable to attend, comments can be submitted to the school board via e-mail at Both meetings will be held at the Seattle Public Schools headquarters at 2445 3rd Ave. S, from 4:15 – 8:00 p.m.


Have you always wanted to re-enact that grape-stomping scene from “I Love Lucy”? The Belltown Crush Party, taking place Sunday, September 28 (don’t worry, it’s the Seahawks’ bye week) at Bell Street Park will give you an opportunity to both stomp and drink some of the best grapes Washington has to offer.

The event, which is a fundraiser for the University District Food Bank, will feature tastings from 15 wineries in Cascade Valley Wine Country, the area comprising Chelan, Wenatchee, and Leavenworth. There will be food from neighboring Belltown restaurants to go along with your wine, as well as live music, an on-site wine store, and what is sure to be a big draw – grape-stomping competitions! Along with being a great showcase for Washington wines and benefiting the food bank, this is also the perfect opportunity to check out the Bell Street Park, which was completed in April, if you haven’t already.

Tickets are $25 and are available at