Cheap & Easy

51 Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Seattle Through the New Year: Dec 23, 2021-Jan 2, 2022

Licorice Pizza, Light Displays, and More Last-Minute Events Under $15
December 22, 2021
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Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza comes to SIFF Uptown on Christmas Eve.
The phrases "season of giving" and "15 bucks and under" may not seem like easy bedfellows, but this year they totally are—from concerts and drag performances to holiday light displays and last-minute makers markets, there are tons of ways to cap off this chaotic year with a bang (for your buck). See them all below, and find even more options on our complete winter holidays calendar. Plus, look out for our roundup of cheap & easy things to do on New Year's Eve. 

 

Stay safe out there, Seattle! As always, get tested and stay home if you feel sick—and get your booster while it's hot. 


Jump to: December 30 | January 1 | January 2 | Multi-Day


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23

FILM

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn Add to a List
A school teacher's reputation takes a hit after her private sex tape is leaked for all of the internet to see. The theater bills Romania's 2022 Oscar submission as a "provocative and riotous comedy." 
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Queen Anne ($14)

Elf Add to a List
One of the most quotable Christmas flicks of our time requires no introduction, but for kicks, we'll tell you that it's about an abnormally tall elf (Will Ferrell) who, upon learning the devastating news that he's a human, travels to the Big Apple to meet his biological father, spreading Christmas cheer and falling in love with Zooey Deschanel along the way.
Central Cinema, Central District ($8-$12) 

The Macaluso Sisters Add to a List
A favorite of this year's Cinema Italian Style program, Emma Dante's latest feature sees the bond between five siblings grow stronger after an unexpected tragedy. 
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Queen Anne ($14)

Swan Song Add to a List
When a loving husband and father (Mahershala Ali) is diagnosed with a terminal illness, his doctor (Glenn Close) presents him with an option to shield his family from grief: to keep his imminent death a secret and allow a clone of himself to take his place. 
SIFF Film Center, Queen Anne ($14)

FOOD & DRINK

Winter Brewers Night Add to a List
We've all hoarded a few too many cans of minestrone at one time or another, but now's your chance to donate all those unopened, pantry-stable soups and beans to community members in need—if not solely out of the goodness of your heart then out of a desire to earn raffle prizes and drink local brews at the beer hall. They're collecting gently used coats, blankets, and socks, too!
Queen Anne Beerhall (donation)

PERFORMANCE

Manic Pixie Dream Girls: A Night of Live Drag Backed By Live Music! Add to a List
We know what you're thinking, but rest assured: The manic pixie dream queens involved in this musical drag revue will do anything but enable sad boi behavior. Instead, you can expect a night of live music from local bands Sexy Apollo, Some Fucking Vegan, and Sky Mar paired with live drag with Issa Man, Diamond Lil, and Britt Brutality.
Cafe Racer, Capitol Hill ($15)

MUSIC

Dave Hates Chico, Joshua Red Uttech, Sleepy Cub, & Javis Johns Add to a List
Dave Hates Chico is a power-pop duo that draws inspiration from classic rock and country greats such as Merle Haggard and The Eagles. They will be joined by Joshua Red Uttech, Sleepy Cub, and Javis Johns.
Conor Byrne, Ballard ($10)

Heels To The Hardwood with Chris Poage Band & Old Country Rose Add to a List
Seattle-based Americana trio Heels To The Hardwood are known for their smooth vocal melodies and powerful live performances. Also on the lineup are Chris Poage Band and Old Country Rose.
Tractor Tavern, Ballard ($10)

Home For The Holidays at The Royal Room Add to a List
Join South Hudson Music Project in partnership with The Royal Room as they present their annual holiday celebration which features Seattle-born jazz musicians who are back home for the holidays.
The Royal Room, Columbia City ($10-$12)

The Totally Christmas Sing-Along at Central Cinema Add to a List
Place your Christmas spirit in the hands of George Michael (RIP), Mariah Carey, and other shiny stars at this holiday sing-along comprising over 30 Christmas-themed music videos.
Central Cinema, Central District ($15)

V.O.I.D. (Visions Of Inner Darkness) - Pre-Xmas Eve Dark Dance Night Add to a List
Not into jingle bells, sleighs, or silent nights? Join DJs Rota and Ashen as they bring you a wide variety of dark sounds for this monthly dance party.
High Dive, Fremont ($5-$10)

SHOPPING

Georgetown Trailer Park Mall Procrastination Lane Night Market Add to a List
Take a stroll down "Procrastination Lane," a market devoted to all you last-minute gift-givers out there. In addition to local vendors, the lot will also offer hot cocoa, cider, and cookies.
Georgetown Trailer Park Mall (free)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Aloha Lava Xmas Party Add to a List
Belltown's longtime tiki bar is closing after New Year's Eve, and it's going out with a bang. Pay your respects at its final Christmas party, which will feature Santa photos by Kelly O and music by DJ Vodka Twist.
Lava Lounge, Belltown (free)

Dazzle Add to a List
Take part in a Maple Valley tradition and by strolling down gloriously lit-up pathways.
New Community, Maple Valley ($10-$15)

Home Alone: Holiday Movie Night Add to a List
Relive the holiday classic starring Macaulay Culkin at this free outdoor, family-friendly, dog-friendly screening with covered seating in a tent.
Peddler Brewing Company, Ballard (free)

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24

MUSIC

Dain Norman Add to a List
Check out singer-songwriter Dain Norman, who has just released his new EP Shades Of Blue with help from the notable Jonathan Plum, who's produced work by the likes of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Brandi Carlile, and more.
McMenamins Anderson School, Bothell (free)

The Ben Dom Tony Show Add to a List
Pennsylvania-born band The Ben Dom Tony Show started back in 2013 and have been performing together ever since. Their music touches many genres but always embraces spontaneity by reinventing and improvising songs at their shows, leaving audiences engaged and energized. 
Spanish Ballroom, Tacoma (free)

Xmas Eve Karaoke Party Add to a List
Celebrate Christmas Eve and sing your favorite festive hits with karaoke DJ Patrick Clark—free pizza and treats included.
Cafe Racer, Capitol Hill (free)

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25

MUSIC

Guilded Lilly Add to a List
For over 30 years, Guilded Lilly has brought audiences genre-bending blues rock which they describe as "Nirvana meets Etta James."
Spanish Ballroom, Tacoma (free)

Miracle On 1st Ave - 11th Annual Christmas Dance Party Add to a List
Re-Bar has passed the mantel of its annual holiday dance party to the faithful Monkey Loft. Join Nick Valentine (as Saint Nick) along with DJs Reverend Riz Rollins, Hector Rodriguez, WD4D, Dane Garfield Wilson, and B2B Ailvilo for a most festive get-down.
Monkey Loft, Sodo (free)

PERFORMANCE

Special Improv Holiday Happy Hour Add to a List
Santa and his elves will be the first to admit that Christmastime is inherently predictable, so no one will be mad if you choose to mix things up this year with a night of improvised comedy.
Unexpected Productions' Market Theater, Pike Place Market ($15)

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26

MUSIC

Kristen Marlo and Friends (Birthday Show!) Add to a List
Singer-songwriter Kristen Marlo is known for her passionate songwriting and impressive vocal performance. She has opened for many notable artists including Sara Bareilles and OAR. Her backing vocals can also be heard on many other artists' recordings.
Spanish Ballroom, Tacoma (free)

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29

MUSIC

Atrocity Girl, Cherry Dragon, Jules Attempt Add to a List
All-female thrashers Atrocity Girl will rip through Seattle's industrial district with more hardcore support from Cherry Dragon and Jules Attempt. 
Jules Maes Saloon, Georgetown ($10)

Craptastica, Kathy Moore, and GoFetch Add to a List
Enjoy an evening of hard-hitting rock n roll with Seattle-based band Craptastica. They will be joined by Kathy Moore and GoFetch.
The Royal Room, Columbia City ($10-$15)

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30

MUSIC

Lyla Minor, Waxer, and Marlo Mudd Add to a List
Indie-pop four-piece Lyla Minor, who released their EP Demos in August, will be accompanied by Waxer and Marlo Mudd.
Conor Byrne, Ballard ($8-$10)

Sweet N' Juicy with The Braxmatics and Proud & Nasty Add to a List
Sweet N' Juicy is a group known for playing upbeat music inspired by funk and new wave. They do this while wearing fruit-shaped costumes, hinting at their name. Also on the lineup are The Braxmatics and Proud & Nasty.
High Dive, Fremont ($10-$15)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 1

FOOD & DRINK

Feed the People X Wa Na Wari New Year’s Day: Beans and Greens Add to a List
It's Southern tradition to eat plenty of black-eyed peas and greens on New Year's Eve for good fortune and prosperity in the coming year, and frankly, we could use all of the luck we can get right now. Chef Tarik Abdullah's Feed the People community kitchen is carrying on the custom with a vegan takeout meal loaded with black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread.
Wa Na Wari, Central District

MUSIC

Melanie Vail & Friends Add to a List
Melanie Vail & Friends is known for powerful vocal performances backed by an instrumental trio of talented musicians well-versed in a plethora of genres.
Spanish Ballroom, Tacoma (free)

New Years Day with DJ EVA Add to a List
Dance away the stress of the last year with a special New Year's Day set from local Seattle DJ EVA.
Blue Moon Tavern, University District (no cover)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 2

SHOPPING

Fremont Bridge Winter Market Add to a List
The Fremont Sunday Market is expanding for the winter. In addition to their existing location, they'll have 60 booths under the Fremont Bridge, plus DJs and food trucks.
Fremont (free)

MUSIC

Spacy: International Disco City Pop + More Add to a List
Kremwerk's international disco and city pop night is back! Resident DJs Retina Burn and Michino will play tunes that everybody can dance to.
Kremwerk, Belltown ($7 - $10)

MULTI-DAY

FILM

Drive My Car Add to a List
Adapted from the short story by Haruki Murakami, Ryusuke Hamaguchi's latest feature (Japan's official 2022 Oscar submission) follows a widowed theater director and a chauffeur who meet in Hiroshima and face their dark pasts together during long drives. 
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Queen Anne ($14)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

Dune (1984) Add to a List
Once upon a time in the '80s, George Lucas asked David Lynch if he wanted to make a Star Wars movie. Lynch got a migraine at the mere concept of ewoks and said no. Then he went off and got Agent Cooper to fight Sting in a leather diaper while Captain Picard played a weird guitar and carried a pug into battle. He called this glorious mess Dune. It is an ungainly, lumbering thing carrying only faint whiffs of its source material and a strong stink of Toto on the soundtrack. As an adaptation? Trash. As a fever-dream parade of ambitious failings? Fascinating. BOBBY ROBERTS
Central Cinema, Central District ($12)
(Dec 26-31)

Licorice Pizza Add to a List
It's 1973 in the San Fernando Valley when cocky teen actor Gary Valentine (Philip Seymour Hoffman's son Cooper) and Alana Kane (first-time actor Alana Haim... from HAIM) cross paths at a photoshoot for child stars, where Kane, ambling in her 20s, earns a living. Valentine lays on his corny-yet-charming courtship tactics despite their age difference, and thus ensues Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film: a tale of first love dotted with absurd adventures (including a scene where Kane drives a gasless stick-shift down a winding hill to escape the wrath of Barbra Streisand's unhinged boyfriend).
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Queen Anne ($14)
(Dec 24-Jan 6)

Nightmare Alley Add to a List
If anyone can deliver a freshly twisted reenvisioning of the 1947 classic Nightmare Alley (based on William Lindsay Gresham's scandalous novel), it's Guillermo del Toro. The circus-set noir stars Bradley Cooper as a manipulative, success-driven carny who partners up with an equally manipulative psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett). Joining the leading duo is Willem Dafoe as a sideshow proprietor called Clem, Rooney Mara as a runaway who awes the crowd as Electrified Girl, and Toni Collette as the phony fortune-teller Madam Zeena. 
SIFF Egyptian, Capitol Hill ($14)
(Through Thurs Jan 6)

Red Rocket Add to a List
If the brilliance of Tangerine (2015) and The Florida Project (2017) is any indication, Sean Baker's latest film—which follows a hustler in a hometown that barely tolerates him—will be one of the best features to cap off the year.
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Queen Anne ($14)
(Dec 24-Jan 6)

Spaceballs Add to a List
Mel Brooks's classic Star Wars spoof is a feast for eyes that delight in '80s romps. 
Central Cinema, Central District ($12)
(Dec 24-25)

The Tragedy of Macbeth Add to a List
With "The Odyssey" under his belt, Joel Coen turns to another canonical text in his adaption of Shakespeare's bloody tragedy Macbeth, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Queen Anne ($14)
(Opens Dec 25)

VISUAL ART

Kouki Tsuritani: Dreamscapes Add to a List
The print-focused gallery will show dreamy, soft-edged mezzotints and wood engravings by Tokyo-born artist Kouki Tsuritani. 
Davidson Galleries, Pioneer Square (free)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

Sister Mary Corita Kent: Speak Out Add to a List
See bold mid-century silkscreens from activist Sister Mary Corita Kent, whose serigraphs combined spiritual, pop-cultural, and political themes.
Davidson Galleries, Pioneer Square (free)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Freeway Park Illuminations 2021: Wayfinding Add to a List
A group of seven local artists including Sarah Fetterman and the Seattle Design Nerds have created installations to light up Freeway Park's "well-trodden plazas and unexplored corners, providing inspiration while enhancing safety."
Freeway Park, Downtown (free)
(Daily, ongoing)

Garden d’Lights Add to a List
Whimsical flora and fauna, birds, animals, and cascading waterfalls get the holiday light treatment at Bellevue Botanical Garden's annual display. (To be clear, actual birds and animals will not be strung with lights.) Wander the grounds and take photos among the "half a million" bulbs.
Bellevue Botanical Garden ($5)
(Through Fri Dec 31)

Kringle's Filling Station Holiday Experience Add to a List
The jolly Kringle brothers, Otis and Sparky (of the Kris Kringle lineage), will open up their magical garage for the holidays, which will be decidedly merrier than your average gas station. Stop by for Christmas karaoke and holiday ski-ball, photo ops in front of the Kringles' sleigh, and cups of hot cocoa poured from a gas pump. 
8211 Aurora Ave, Greenwood ($10)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

Lights Up at the J Add to a List
Hanukkah may be over, but you can still celebrate the Festival of Lights by walking beneath a canopy of twinkly trees and making shadow puppets.
Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island (free)
(Through Mon Jan 3)

Snowflake Lane Add to a List
Every year, downtown Bellevue turns into a winter wonderland not just for one night but for a whole dang month, with (fake) falling snow, jolly music, and twinkling lights every night until Christmas Eve.
Bellevue Square (free)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

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