In a big city such as Seattle, there are many New Year’s Eve events that are expensive and require lots of advanced planning for you and your friends. For many students, this is unrealistic. Today’s blog post will highlight fun, inexpensive, all-ages events that will make you excited for 2018!
Where to watch fireworks (beginning at 12:00 AM, January 1):
- Seattle Center: You can watch fireworks from the base of the Space Needle and other areas around Seattle Center! This prime location fills up quickly, so make sure to go early (around 10:00 PM) to find a spot. Take public transportation, as the area experiences a lot of traffic and closed streets on this day.
- Gas Works Park: If you want to watch closer to UW, you can take a quick bus ride to Gas Works Park. The view of the Space Needle is partially obstructed, but it is still an excellent place to view fireworks.
- Lake Union: Lake Union offers a stunning view of the fireworks, as well as plenty of close restaurants and bars.
- Kerry Park: Kerry Park is the most infamous parks in Seattle. With a stunning view of Seattle Center, this is a prime location to watch fireworks. However, Kerry Park is relatively small, meaning it will fill up quickly.
- Alki Beach Park: Alki Beach is a gorgeous location, close to water, and with a distant yet unobstructed view of the Space Needle. Take the King County Water Taxi over earlier in the day and enjoy an incredible view at midnight. Since it is by water, bring a blanket and take a place near one of the beach fires to stay warm.
New Year’s Eve with Ivar’s: One of Seattle’s most famous restaurants, Ivar’s, has one restaurant on the pier. This means that you can enjoy food and a view until the fireworks begin. This is a wonderful way to enjoy a classic Seattle dish while welcoming the new year.
When: December 31, 9:00 PM
Where: Ivar’s Salmon House on Northlake Way
Price: Free + cost of food
Winterfest New Year’s Eve Celebration: Winterfest happens all winter long at Seattle Center, but there are special events for New Year’s Eve! There is live music, dance, and other fun activities for hours before the fireworks. Then, when it reaches 12:00 AM, you already have a great view of the fireworks.
When: December 31, 8:00 PM (Ring in the New Year at Seattle Center); 10:00 PM (Dance Party at the Fountain)
Where: Seattle Center – the Armory and Fountain
Bellevue Square Celebration Lane: Bellevue Square has a holiday-themed parade (named “Snowflake Lane”) leading up to Christmas, but they start “Celebration Lane” the day after. You can watch this New Year’s-themed parade anytime from the 26th to the 31st, and is sure to get you in the spirit for 2018!
When: December 26-31, 7:00 PM
Where: Bellevue Square
First Night Tacoma: This event features live music, food, and activities for people of all ages. If you want to explore another city and ring in the new year with a large, energetic crowd, check out First Night Tacoma!
When: December 31, start time around 6:00 PM (view schedule online)
Where: Event is centralized around Pantages Theater. Route is within Broadway between S. 7th, and S. 11th
Price: Buy a button online or in-person. Prices vary depending on time of purchase.
One of the most enjoyable, inexpensive holiday experiences is a light show in a Seattle zoo or garden. These outdoor spaces are decorated with colorful lights along plants, fences, and pathways. This creates a beautiful, bright scene to stroll through. These light shows occur close to UW (Woodland Park Zoo), in Bellevue (Bellevue Botanical Gardens), or further away in Tacoma (Point Defiance Zoo), so you can check them out wherever you are.
Wildlights (Woodland Park Zoo)
When: November 24 – January 1 (closed December 24 & 25), 5:30-8:30 PM
Where: Woodland Park Zoo
Zoolights (Point Defiance Zoo)
When: November 24 – January 1 (closed December 24), 5:00-9:00 PM
Where: Point Defiance Zoo
Price: $10.00 at Front Gate, $8.50 online
Garden d’Lights (Bellevue Botanical Gardens)
When: November 25 – December 31; 4:30-9:00 PM
Where: Bellevue Botanical Gardens
We hope you enjoy your Winter Break, and celebrate New Year’s Eve with family and friends. We wish a joyful 2018 to you, your family, and friends!
Photo credits: Lake Union Seattle, Pinterest, Red Tricycle, Seattle Bloggers, Bellevue.com, Huffington Post