Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Dec 2-4, 2022

Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, Ballard HolidayFest, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
December 2, 2022
Team of singers will come a-caroling among the leaves so green at the 36th Annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition. (The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition)
This weekend is full of events that are holly and jolly and cheap and easy, from the 36th Annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition to Ballard HolidayFest and from Lusio Lights Renton to S.U.B.E. Children’s Book Day. Looking for more ideas for this weekend and beyond? Get a glance at the month ahead with our complete guide to December events.

Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Coffee Beer Week Add to a List
What could be more quintessentially Seattle than a drink that combines craft beer and coffee? The Beer Junction will have nine such brews on tap at their annual Coffee Beer Week, which kicks off on Black Friday and includes offerings from Alesmith, Aslan, Bale Breaker, Fremont, Georgetown, Holy Mountain, and more. We're particularly intrigued by the "Stove-altine Maple and Coffee Milk Stout," a collaboration between Old Stove Brewing and Urban Family Brewing.
(The Beer Junction, Junction)


Dancer & Prancer: Festive Friday Concert Add to a List
Santa-approved surf-rock outfit Dancer & Prancer will light up Westlake Park with festive tunes while you admire the dazzling light displays and catch up on your holiday shopping.
(Westlake Center, Downtown, free)

Elvis Batchild with Violet Nines and Terra Nobody Add to a List
Drawing inspiration from classic rock and blues, local five-piece Elvis Batchild electrifies the stage with their funky rhythms and psychedelic grooves. Minneapolis-based psych rockers Violet Nines will get things started alongside trip-hop-infused rock quartet Terra Nobody.
(Cafe Racer, Capitol Hill, $5-$10)

Medejin, Nada Rosa, and Tru 4 U Add to a List
Back in 2020, Stranger writer Jas Keimig wrote: "Medejin revels in the swirling, reverby, guitar-driven melodies of dream pop. The project of Jenn Taranto (who plays keys and guitar and sings), the Seattle-based band creates hazy sonic landscapes for Taranto to sing against. One of their strongest songs “World’s Fair” features a woozy guitar and Taranto’s echo-y vocals, which are bolstered by the sharpness of the drums." This night of ethereal delights will be made complete with opening sets from indie soul artist Nada Rosa and synth-pop outfit Tru 4 U.
(Conor Byrne, Ballard, $10)


Pictures With Santa - 1st Friday Leather Social Add to a List
Get all hot and horny on a leather lap with Seattle Men in Leather’s monthly social. For December, they’ll have a Santa chair set up, with Daddy Dean doing the honors as a seasonal father figure. Naughty elves will also be a-mingling if dads aren’t your thing. For $10, you’ll get your pic taken in the throne, with proceeds going to Rainbow Railroad, a nonprofit that helps queer people escape hostile countries. Seattle Men in Leather has been hosting holiday affairs since the early '90s, when they were hosted by Absolutely Nobody… that is, the club member who had his name legally changed to Absolutely Nobody before running for Secretary of State. (He drew about 7% of the vote, but his mission was to draw attention to government waste.) The group’s parties have a long legacy of being fun, friendly events where all are welcome. There’s no official dress code, but gear of some sort is generally expected. Dress warm if you’re worried about a chill! Or wear as little as possible and request a cuddle. STRANGER STAFF WRITER MATT BAUME
(Cc Attle's, Capitol Hill, $10)


Annapurna Dharma Communion: The Wind That Rolls Upon the Water Add to a List
Local composer/musician Joey Largent and interdisciplinary artist Katrina Wolfe will present their collaborative work The Wind That Rolls Upon the Water, which explores the transformation of natural landscapes through voice intonation, acoustic instruments, field recordings of the Washington Coast, and hypnotic choreography, enhanced by elaborate costumes handmade by Wolfe. 
(Chapel Performance Space, Wallingford, $5–$20 donation at the door)


Hugo Lit Series—Unearthing: Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Matthew Olzmann, Arianne True, Zoser Dunbar Add to a List
After the last few years, the idea of "rebirth" sounds pretty appealing. This season's Hugo Literary Series Add to a List draws on rebirth as a conceptual theme, inviting writers of all stripes to reflect on revival and resurgence through prose, poetry, and songs. This session will feature writers Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Matthew Olzmann, Arianne True, and Zoser Dunbar presenting new works based on the juicy sub-theme of "unearthing."
(Hugo House, Capitol Hill, $5-$15)

The River That Made Seattle with Author and Duwamish Historian BJ Cumming Add to a List
While walking through the Central District or downtown, I often think about the unnatural forces that shaped the Seattle we know today: housing policy, colonialism, concrete, brick, trade. But, of course, the abundance of capital in our city was preceded by the region's natural abundance—especially that of the Duwamish River. In her book The River that Made Seattle, author and Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition founder BJ Cummings dives deep into the history of the river, its centrality to both the Duwamish people and settlers over the centuries, and how this essential waterway became a waste dumping ground. The book also "explores the previously unrecorded Native and immigrant histories, and exposes settler falsehoods about the founding of the state." STRANGER STAFF WRITER JAS KEIMIG
(AMcE Creative Arts, Capitol Hill, free)


36th Annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition Add to a List
Dozens of carolers will once again gather downtown to sing holiday ditties in support of the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank, which offers free meals and groceries, one-on-one counseling, and other services to low-income and houseless people in Seattle. The top caroling teams will compete in a very festive "sing-off" on the Figgy Pudding main stage at the end of the night.
(Pike Place Market, free)



Scarecrow Academy - The Art in Sci-Fi: LITTLE JOE Add to a List
Scarecrow Academy's galactic semester of sci-fi film discussions continues this weekend, led by film critic, author, and Scarecrow historian-programmer Robert Horton. For this session of The Art in Sci-Fi, Horton will lead a conversation on the 2019 film Little Joe, an interpretation of Invasion of the Body Snatchers that follows a group of scientists developing a mysterious new plant species.
(Scarecrow Video, University District, free)


Holiday Beerfest Add to a List
Sample holiday beers and ciders, try a special flight, and get entered for a chance to win a brewery swag bag.
(Ounces, North Delridge)

Two Beers Brewing 15th Anniversary Party Add to a List
The award-winning microbrewery Two Beers is celebrating 15 years of business. Help them mark the occasion with this outdoors-themed bash, which will feature live music, a photobooth, Camper Van Hazy IPA (on tap and packaged), and a special anniversary brew.
(The Woods Tasting Room, Industrial District)


16th Annual Tom Waits Tribute Night Add to a List
Considering that Tom Waits hasn't toured since 2008, it'd be wise to catch the next best thing at this 16th annual tribute night featuring a lineup of local bands and musicians. Rock trio Sam Russell & the Harborrats, alt-country ensemble Creeping Time, Americana outfit The Love Markets and several others will take the stage with a varied set of his cherished tunes. 
(Conor Byrne, Ballard, $12)


Queens of Rap: A Dance Party Add to a List
Drag royalty Dion Dior Black, Velocity Dior Black, and Hoochie Papa host this recurring dance party set to sizzling hip-hop tracks. Get down to iconic bangers by rap queens like Missy Elliot, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Salt-N-Pepa, Doja Cat, and more, courtesy of DJ Mixx America.
(Neumos, Capitol Hill, $7)


Fa la la la la, ha ha ha ha: A Holiday Musical Extravaganza! Add to a List
Led by Unexpected Productions ensemble members Sarah Hanchar and Christine Riippi, this off-kilter holiday treat follows the format of a feel-good TV movie. The audience-informed musical madhouse promises yuletide laughs and plenty of sing-along opportunities.
(Unexpected Productions' Market Theater, Pike Place Market, $15)


S.U.B.E. Children’s Book Day: A Celebration of BIPOC Voices in Children’s Literature Add to a List
In partnership with Seattle Urban Book Expo, Town Hall Seattle will spotlight the importance of representation in children's literature with the first-ever Children's Book Day. The storytelling celebration will include BIPOC author meet-and-greets, family-friendly activities, and more.
(Town Hall Seattle, First Hill, free)


Drawing Jam '22 Add to a List
Join throngs of art nerds at Gage Academy of Art for live demos and model drawing sessions, plus a holiday art sale to pop by when your hand starts to cramp. Visitors will find a cafe on site, and basic drawing supplies are provided, so just show up with your creativity in tow. A 21+ "drink jam" will follow the event with yummy bites and a paint-and-sip session.
(Gage Academy of Art, Capitol Hill, $0-$15)


Ballard HolidayFest Add to a List
Head to this year's Ballard HolidayFest for family-friendly merrymaking and free snapshots with Santa, then bask in the glow of Marvin's Garden's freshly lit Christmas tree while munching on festive treats.
(Marvin's Garden, Ballard, free)

Winter Fest Night Market Add to a List
Swing by this free small business-focused event and scope out a selection of food pop-ups and local retail vendors, complemented by local DJ sets.
(The Stonehouse Cafe, Rainier Beach, free)



Campout Cinema Add to a List
Grab your sleeping bag for Does This Unit Have a Soul?, a cult sci-fi screening series (with a focus on AI and robots—cool!) held after hours in MoPOP's Sky Church space. (There are donation-based virtual watch-along options, too.) The series continues on December 4 with a 40th-anniversary screening of '82 action sci-fi Tron.
(MoPOP, Uptown, $11-$14)


DIY Holiday Fair Add to a List
If there's someone intimidatingly cool on your Christmas shopping list this year, this DIY holiday fair might be the place to find them an unexpected gift. Presented by Hollow Earth Radio and The Vera Project to showcase the best local DIY music labels, zines, and craftspeople, the scrappy fair invites visitors to peruse goods by vendors like KIRISKA, internal epiphany, SISSYFUSSIG, and Acne Slut.
(Vera Project, Uptown, Free)



Oink Add to a List
Oink, the festival darling and stop-motion feature debut by Mascha Halberstad, has all the charm of a German fairytale. Hilarious and aesthetically irresistible, the flick follows bespectacled Babs, a nine-year-old whose new present (a pig named Oink) creates a series of messy complications in her life.
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$13, Friday-Sunday)

Holy Spider Add to a List
Based on the true story of serial killer Saeed Hanaei, this thriller by lauded writer-director Ali Abbasi follows a female journalist who arrives in the Iranian holy city of Mashhad in search of an elusive murderer targeting sex workers. 
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $11-$14, Friday-Sunday)


Liminal Hymns: Identity in Between Add to a List
Curated by art advocate Jo Mikesell, this group exhibition meditates on the intersecting experiences of multiracial Asian diasporic artists. The show includes detailed gouache works by Makoto Chi, symbolic embroideries by May Kytonen, and Donna Haraway-informed cyborg forms by Rob Kolhouse.
(Core Gallery, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday)

Medley: Framed Selections from the Collection Add to a List
Curated from little-seen works in Davidson Gallery's permanent collection, Medley creates a surprising viewing experience. The exhibition stages hidden treasures by regional favorites (Lockwood Dennis, Art Hansen, and others) alongside internationally renowned artists like Leonor Fini and Leticia Tarrago, with an eye toward the whimsical and unusual.
(Davidson Galleries, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday)

Scott Coffey: Self Portraits and Other Stories and Emma Jane Royer: Sky Quilts Add to a List
In this pair of solo exhibitions, Scott Coffey constructs a "surrealist autobiography" of acrylic self-portraits inspired by genre fiction, while Emma Jane Royer presents a dreamy cyanotype-printed quilt that visually charts the sunlight on a Norwegian summer day and attempts to express "the embodied experience of the sublime."
(Shift Gallery, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday)

Starting to Work Again: Contemporary Cambodian Art Add to a List
Curated by Seattle-born artist Lauren Iida, Starting to Work Again: Contemporary Cambodian Art compiles creative works from nonprofit artist collective Open Studio Cambodia. Based in Siem Reap, the collective provides mentorship and representation for artists local to the region; those selected for this exhibition include Buddhist temple painter Hom Rith, Khmer Rouge survivor and educator Kim San, and others.
(The Vestibule, Ballard, free, Friday-Saturday)


Garden d’Lights 2022 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 all the bulbs.
(Bellevue Botanical Garden, Wilburton, $8, Friday-Sunday)

Lusio Lights Renton Add to a List
Don't miss historic downtown Renton's glow-up this holiday season—Lusio Lights always delivers a unique light art experience, complete with projections, interactive light exhibits, and uplifting DJ sets. (Bring your glowsticks!)
(Gateway Park, Renton, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Snowflake Lane 2022 Add to a List
Celebrate the holidays over and over again at this very festive parade, with floats cruising through downtown Bellevue every night for a month. (Fake) snow will fall, Yuletide tunes will echo in the air, and lights will flicker each night until Christmas Eve.
(Bellevue Collection, Bellevue, free, Friday-Sunday)

42nd Annual Winter Festival & Crafts Fair Add to a List
Visitors to Phinney Neighborhood Association's annual winter festival will find two historic buildings chock-full of jury-curated handmade goodies. Support local artisans and PNA's robust programming at the festival, which will also include a wreath sale, a selection of holiday cards created by local preschoolers (awwww), and a quilt raffle.
(Phinney Center Community Hall, Phinney Ridge, $3-$5, Saturday-Sunday)

Winter Night Market Add to a List
Bundle up and hop on the ferry for this winter night market under twinkly Christmas lights. Local vendors like Clothwitch and Parallel Jewelry will share luxe giftable goods, and visitors can pen letters to Santa or take part in gingerbread house-building. DJ Sidecar will spin holiday grooves, and festive flicks will screen for free in the museum's auditorium.
(Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Winslow, free, Friday-Saturday)

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