Welcome to January, Seattle! A new year is here and that means, it’s time to get out there and see what’s happening around the city. Seattle has plenty to do this month between live music, performances, food & art. Without further ado, here are 40 of the best things to do in and around Seattle this January.
Renowned Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi is bringing the magic to Seattle. If you’re unfamiliar, he is known for creating the iconic soundtracks for Studio Ghibli. As such, tickets for the concert are currently at resale prices but might just be worth splurging for.
When: Friday, January 12th & Saturday, January 13th
Where: 200 University St
English electronic music duo Plaid is coming to Seattle! You’re sure to hear some old favourites as well as some newer pieces.
When: Saturday, January 13th
Where: 925 E Pike St
Beloved American rock band Dinosaur Jr. is coming to Seattle’s Neptune Theatre to play a mix of tunes both newish and old.
When: Thursday, January 18th
Where: 1303 NE 45th St
Looking for entertainment? Jersey Shore’s very own Pauly D is coming to Seattle for a DJ set. No promises on how good it will be but it will certainly be an experience.
When: Saturday, January 20th
Where: 1700 1st Ave S
Legendary DJ and producer DJ Shadow is coming to Seattle Neptune theatre for an evening of music. Known for his use of samples, you’re sure to get an earful.
When: Wednesday, January 24th
Where: 1303 NE 45th St
Display highlights include a 13-foot reindeer, a giant snowflake and a candy cane twice your height. You’re invited to stroll through the brilliant light installations and enjoy the artistry of these displays built from thousands of sparkling lights.
When: Daily until Tuesday, January 9th
Where: Westlake Park
“Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park is the largest holiday drive-through display in the Northwest,” according to Pierce County. The experience features “nearly 300 elaborate displays and thousands of sparkling lights” on a two-mile drive along Spanaway Lake.
When: November 24th-Monday, January 1st 2024
Where: 14905 Bresemann Boulevard South, Spanaway, WA
Get ready to experience the Point Defiance Zoo in a new way as the grounds are transformed into a winter wonderland with over 800,000 lights. You’ll be able to see all sorts of displays both old and new ranging from a giant Pacific octopus to a flame tree and even Sasquatch.
When: Friday, November 24th-Monday, January 1st, 2024
Where: 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA
Explore the zoo like never before, WildLanterns is a lantern festival unlike any in the Northwest due to its specific focus on nature and animals. No matter how old you are, you’re sure to be wowed by the size and diversity of the hand-crafted displays.
When: Friday, November 10th-Sunday, January 14th, 2024
Where: 5500 Phinney Ave N
Arts & Culture
On the first Thursday of each month, Seattleites can check out the Moth StorySLAM. Each month has a different story theme so you’ll experience something new and truly unique each time.
When: First Thursday of every month
Where: 4272 Fremont Ave N
Looking to see some art? Head to the Seattle Art Museum to see Remeber the Rain in the third floor galleries. See works from Barbara Earl Thomas, Ebony Patterson and James Washington, Jr.
When: Until February 1st
Where: 1300 First Ave
Teatro ZinZanni works with artists from around the globe to create dinner shows that are a “unique celebration of cirque, comedy, and cabaret.” ZinZanni’s original brand of “love, chaos, and dinner” will be evident in their limited-time residence at the Lotte Hotel.
When: Thursday, October 12th-Sunday, March 31st
Where: 809 5th Ave
The Harry Potter experience has more than 20 touchpoints of hands-on magical activity, including “games, exploration, sensory activations, and more.” Your journey begins at the iconic 4 Privet Drive where you’ll explore the Dursley’s living room and eventually be whisked away on a boat as you cross the Great Lake to arrive at Hogwarts.
When: Begins Friday, November 10th, until May 12th, 2024
Where: The Shops at The Bravern, 11111 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA
Cost: $29 for adults, $22.50 for children 9 and under
A digital map allows you to pick and choose where you stop on the Capitol Hill Art Walk. Stop by small galleries, local businesses, and more on this monthly art walk.
When: Second Thursday of every month
Where: Capitol Hill
Winter WNDRland celebrates the “expansive chill” of the season, transforming some of the museum’s fan-favorite exhibits with a “shimmering” blanket of snow and ice. Some of these exhibits include the Light Floor and the Immersive Theater.
When: Monday, Thursday & Friday 12 PM–9 PM, Saturday 10 AM–9 PM, Sunday: 10 AM–8 PM
Where: 904 Alaskan Way
The Arboretum is one of Seattle’s best spots for getting outdoors, especially in the summer. While you can walk it by yourself at any time, you can also enjoy free tours on the first Thursday of each month from 11:30 AM-1 PM.
When: First Thursday of every month
Where: 2300 Arboretum Drive E
Learn about the history of the American West through landscape photography at The Henry Art Gallery. Learn how the photos on display shaped the image of the American West and check out how cool our country’s landscape used to be.
When: Until Monday, January 1st
Where: 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St
The beloved Silent Reading Party is back in person if you’d like to have the experience of reading amongst strangers inside the beautiful Hotel Sorrento. Keep in mind there is a $20 food and drink minimum on top of your ticket price.
When: First Wednesday of each month
Where: 900 Madison St
Food & Drink
Christmas Dive Bar is the newest holiday pop up on the scene. It’s a world where thousands of bows create the perfect backdrop for photos, twinkly lights illuminate the space, and holiday decor abounds. The bar is adorned with jingle bells, classic blow molds, and vintage decor, creating the perfect holiday vibe.
Where: 1512 11th Ave
When: Thursday, November 16th through the New Year
This local pop-up restaurant features a menu largely based on vegetables and grains. Every two weeks you can try an original menu with organic produce grown on the pop-up’s farm in the Snoqualmie Valley. Other ingredients not grown on the farm are always sourced from farms across Washington and Oregon.
When: Every two weeks
Where: Varies by pick-up date
Cost: Varies by dish
Experience private dining at Pike Place Markets Maximilien. The restaurant has a featured and themed set menu for one week every month. If you miss it, you can still enjoy the restaurant’s “A La Carte at LE IGLOO” experience. Some menu items include Confit De Canard, Steak Frites, and Flétan a la Française. The food menu is full of delicious French cuisine and there’s also a wide selection of wines available.
Where: Pike Place Market, on the main floor, between Don and Joe’s Meat and the Market Spice shop
Hours: Monday-Thursday 4 PM-9 PM, Friday-Sunday 11:30 AM-9 PM
Comfort food is an easy choice when you’re hungry and looking for something to eat. It just so happens that Seattle has a ton of options scattered around the city with most of them being pretty affordable. From sweet to savory, we have some spots for you.
Chateau Ste. Michelle has weatherproof igloos that are thoughtfully designed for your enjoyment. They feature comfortable seating to accommodate groups of friends or family. Your booking comes with a gourmet charcuterie board and not one, but two bottles of Chateau Ste Michelle wine of your choice.
Where: 14111 NE 145th Street, Woodinville, WA
Fall is prime time for making all sorts of cozy meals. There aren’t many places better than your local farmers market to pick up fresh produce, dairy, meat, and other locally made products.
When: Weekly and on weekends
Where: Locations across the city
Outdoors & Adventure
The Numerica Skate Ribbon is a 16′ wide and 650′ long ice pathway with a 3,500-square-foot attached rink. It’s not your everyday ice rink experience as skaters get to enjoy slight inclines and declines on their journey around the path. It’s also surrounded by a “beautiful Northwest-inspired landscape.”
When: Opens Friday, November 17th
Where: 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA
Cost: Per hour $9.95-$38.95+
Seattle is lucky to have tons of beautiful gardens located across the city that you can visit for free or very affordably. Whether you’re looking to see rare plants, native plant displays, or fall colors, these gardens have something for you.
Love watching the ocean and its mesmerizing waves? Try storm watching this December as king tides bring multiple days of over 10 feet tides to Westport. Plus theres a tower just for watching these epic natural events.
Where: Westport, WA
If you’re into stargazing then get excited because one of the nation’s largest public telescopes is right here in Washington. Goldendale Observatory is worth the trip to the Columbia River Gorge, and it just so happens to be free to visit. Just make sure you make your reservations in advance.
Where: 1602 Observatory Drive, Goldendale, WA
Hours: October-March, Friday-Sunday 2 PM-4 PM & 7 PM-10 PM
Looking to stay warm this fall? Seattle’s Lake Union has two different hot tub boat rental companies. You can’t go wrong with either and they both have their own unique offerings.
If you’re heading to Capitol Hill, you can check out the Volunteer Park Watertower. Two interior stairways spiral up opposite sides of the standpipe and lead to an observation deck. From the deck you can see parts of Capitol Hill, downtown, the Space Needle, Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains.
Where: 1247 15th Ave E
Hours: Park hours: 6 AM-10 PM, Water tower hours: 10 AM-Dusk
Looking to warm up this fall? You might as well try heading to a local hot spring. You can choose between hiking in or heading to already set-up pools and tubs. Of course, we have the best options covered for you.
If you’ve ever wondered what the best hikes in Washington are, we have your answer. We took a look at AllTrails rankings and have compiled 10 of the state’s most popular hikes for you to enjoy. If you’re curious, we’ve also detailed Washington’s favorite hike – also from AllTrails users.
Walking tours are cool and all but why not experience Seattle from a birds-eye view? Don’t worry, you don’t have to have a pilot’s license, instead, you can choose from one of several plane tours offered in and around the Seattle area.
There are several places to go ice skating in and around Seattle this January. Prices vary by rink and skate time. You can also choose between renting skates or bringing your own. Of course, we’ve created a list of some of the best spots to check out.
The Fremont Market is truly a classic Seattle shopping experience and it happens year-round, rain or shine. It’s a great place to find antiques, vintage clothing, and much more.
When: Every Sunday
Where: Evanston Ave N & 34th St
You may or may not know but Seattle actually has 5 museums that you can always visit for free. We’ve listed them out and given you some details so you can take yourself on the perfect adventure. Psst, your library card can also get you access to tons of local museums for free. And several museums have free days every single month.
You can literally check Washington State Parks out of the Seattle Public Library. Well almost, you can check out a Discover Pass which allows you to visit Washington State Parks for free. Keep in mind if you plan on camping you will still have to pay for your spot.
Need to take some time to get back in touch with yourself? You’re in luck because The Frye has a free, mindfulness meditation that you can attend on the first Wednesday of the month. It’s one of the most relaxing things to do in Seattle for sure.
As we move towards colder and shorter days, you might need a breather and a reason to treat yourself. So why not treat yourself to some TLC this fall?
Next, a trio of some “regular”, but still fun, options around the city. If working from home is getting a little old, then maybe check out our roundup of some of the best cafes in the city to get some work done.
Where: Click the link above for our picks
Look at all the things to do in Seattle! Have a great January!