Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Dec 9-11, 2022

Green Lake Pathway of Lights, Parade of Boats Onshore Viewing Party, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
December 9, 2022
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Grab a hat and mittens for a candlelit stroll at Green Lake Pathway of Lights. (Green Lake Community Center)
This busy December weekend is full of cheap and cheerful events from the 7th Annual Parade of Boats Onshore Viewing Party to Green Lake Pathway of Lights and from Renegade Craft Fair: Winter 2022 to South Lake Union Winter Market. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week.


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


Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day


FRIDAY

FILM

The 2022 NWFF Holiday Snow-Ball Add to a List
Northwest Film Forum's cozy holiday shindig celebrates all things cinema again this year with karaoke, crafts, slow jams, and signature cider recipes handmade by the theater's staff.
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, free)

LIVE MUSIC

Smokey Brights: Festive Friday Concert Add to a List
Just ahead of releasing their new EP, Broken Too, the Seattle-based quartet Smokey Brights will bring crackly and warm guitar-driven rock out to the Westlake with comforting tunes while you admire the dazzling light displays and catch up on your holiday shopping.
(Westlake Park, Downtown, free)

THEM with Cherry Ferrari and King Sheim Add to a List
West Seattle-based teenage indie pop quartet THEM will play their first-ever headlining show in support of their harmony-driven debut, the car ep, which draws inspiration from contemporary stars like Olivia Rodrigo, Haim, and Phoebe Bridgers. Arrive in time to catch opening sets from soulful pop duo Cherry Ferrari and pop-punk trio King Sheim.
(Barboza, Capitol Hill, $12)

PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE

Die Hard, Dance Harder Add to a List
Yippee-ki-yay! DJ HandZ will spin a mix of nostalgic '80s and '90s jams at this dance party celebrating the 1988 action film (and debatable Christmas classic), Die Hard. Holiday sweaters are highly encouraged! 
(Chop Suey, Capitol Hill, $10-$15)

READINGS & TALKS

Rachel Demy with Joe Plummer Add to a List
Rachel Demy, a promoter and tour manager for indie heavy hitters like St. Vincent, The Shins, The National, and Neko Case, is also a stellar portrait and documentary photographer. In Between, Everywhere, the music scene vet shares some of her best shots from life on the road. She'll be joined in conversation by drummer and composer Joe Plummer, who has performed with Modest Mouse and The Shins.
(Elliott Bay Book Company, Capitol Hill, free)

Word Works—Katie Kitamura: Finding First Person Add to a List
Hugo House's Word Works craft talks continue with this discussion of first-person narrative forms, led by Intimacies novelist Katie Kitamura and award-winning wordsmith Lucy Tan.
(Hugo House, Capitol Hill, $5-$15)

SHOPPING

South Lake Union Winter Market Add to a List
If you didn't get enough of Urban Craft Uprising Add to a List 's artsy, anti-big-box offerings this year, head to South Lake Union for dozens more booths from buzzy brands and artisans. Pop by the free event to peruse hand-poured wax candles by Tyger Tyger, ceramics by Muddy Mammoth, and hand-tufted rugs by Fatfluff.
(Amazon Nitro, Downtown, free)

VISUAL ART

On/After Boucher Add to a List
As part of the ongoing Boren Banner Series, Molly Jae Vaughan's reinterpreted drawings inspired by French artist François Boucher have adorned the facade of the Frye Art Museum Add to a List since October. This performance and public lecture led by Vaughan will further explore Boucher's opulent work and Vaughan's own trans and genderqueer figures positioned in lush Rococo settings. Decadent bites will be provided by Cupcake Royale.
(Frye Art Museum, First Hill, free)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

7th Annual Parade of Boats Onshore Viewing Party Add to a List
Watch the cheerful Christmas Ship Add to a List lead a procession of twinkly sea vessels through the Fremont Cut at this parade, where attendees can enjoy warm sips and bites from Chayen Coffee Trailer and Born-n-Braised and vote for their favorite boat.
(Evanston Plaza, Fremont, free)

Greet The Season Holiday Event Add to a List
Nothing says the holidays like lathe demonstrations!! This all-ages event invites attendees to make ornaments, toy boats, and Christmas cookies, learn to lathe, and hop aboard a historic steamshipfor snapshots with Santa. Bundle up for an all-day affair—Greet The Season also includes a miniature train display, a local maker's market, festive tunes, and more throughout Lake Union Park and at MOHAI.
(The Center for Wooden Boats, South Lake Union, free)

SATURDAY

FILM

Scarecrow Academy - The Art in Sci-Fi: NOPE 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 Jordan Peele's latest extraterrestrial romp, Nope, which stars your fave Keke Palmer.
(Scarecrow Video, University District, free)

FOOD & DRINK

Global Holiday Market Add to a List
Want to give your loved ones the gift of international flavors this year? The nonprofit Food Innovation Network's "global food hall" in Tukwila Village, which aims to provide business opportunities for immigrants and refugees, will offer a selection of tasty gifts from around the world.
(Spice Bridge, Tukwila)

Rainier Reindeer Ranch at Urban Family Brewing Add to a List
Mingle with two real-life reindeer from the Rainier Reindeer Ranch and get your picture taken with them. Mulled wine and hot cocoa will add to the cozy holiday vibes.
(Urban Family Brewing, Ballard, free)

Soup Club: In Person Add to a List
Cookbook author (and noted soup lover) Caroline Wright, who received a terminal brain cancer diagnosis in 2017, will set up in front of Book Larder and sling soup inspired by her latest release, Soup Club. All proceeds benefit the Glioblastoma Foundation, which aims to transform the standard of care for glioblastoma.
(Book Larder, Fremont)

Teahouse Beer Day Add to a List
Be the first to try tea-infused brews from Lucky Envelope, including flavors like Hawaiian Breeze Sour, Citrus Bliss IPA, and Misty Morning Black Tea Lager.
(Lucky Envelope Brewing, West Woodland)

LIVE MUSIC

Dear Nora Add to a List
Portland-based singer-songwriter Katy Davidson will bring their beloved indie pop project Dear Nora back to the stage in support of their latest album human futures, which is their second release since reuniting back in 2017. The band is known for a unique sound which blends classic rock, folk, ambient, and punk styles with dense lyricism that tackles noted themes of "wilderness, humanity, morality, technology, late capitalism, and love." Don't miss support from bedroom pop outfit Living Hour and Olympia-based indie trio LAKE. 
(Vera Project, Uptown, $12)

Total Request Live: Ugly Christmas Sweater Edition Add to a List
You really can't get more festive than *NSYNC harmonizing "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" while you prance about in your ugliest holiday sweater, so don't miss this merry ol' '90s and '00s throwback bash. DJ Indica Jones will spin some of your favorite adolescent pop favorites while boy band dance tribute #All4doras teaches you some new moves. Those with the ugliest sweaters will win prizes, so don't hold back!
(Tractor Tavern, Ballard, $12)

PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE

Gimme Gimme Disco Add to a List
There's no shortage of dance parties this weekend, but this is the only one that puts the focus on Swedish superstars ABBA. So, if you find yourself "in the mood for dance," then this is your chance to show off your funky chicken (and knowledge of ABBA’s catalog).
(The Crocodile, Belltown, $15)

LoveSense with Sis Girl and Succubass Add to a List
Seattle-based DJ Sis Girl and "rave specialist" Succubass will kick off Kremwerk's latest dance night with an intoxicating mix of psychedelic-infused house, techno, acid, and breaks. 
(Kremwerk, Downtown, $11.90)

PERFORMANCE

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)

A Muslim Christmas Carol: Staged Reading and Fundraiser Add to a List
A Muslim Christmas Carol, community organizer and theater creatorNabra Nelson's "irreverent, comedic" spin on Dickens, will come to life in this staged reading, which will also include a silent auction in support of Dunya Productions and yummy Syrian bites for attendees.
(Cherry Street Village, Mann, $15)

READINGS & TALKS

Saturday University Artist Talk: Performing Paradise, Finding Sanctuaries Add to a List
Japanese and Samoan creative Yuki Kihara, who identifies as a Fa’afafine—a traditional third gender in Samoa—will present an artist talk for this edition of Saturday University. Kihara's critique of Western colonial violence, Paradise Camp, made waves at this year's Venice Biennale; the artist explores notions of "paradise" through resilience, humor, and centering of her Samoan Fa’afafine community, exploring the island's shrouded histories by “upcycling” Paul Gauguin works. 
(Seattle Asian Art Museum, Capitol Hill, $3-$5)

SHOPPING

Equinox Studios Very Open House Add to a List
Equinox Studios, a nearly 100,000-square-foot industrial space that's home to over 125 local artists' studios, will once again throw open its (gigantic) doors for this recurring open house. The free event invites art lovers to snag some unusual holiday gifts, chat with artists on site, and warm their chilly fingers by the bonfire.
(Equinox Studios, Georgetown, free)

Holiday Pop-Up Sale: Fresh Mochi and The Grocery Studios Add to a List
Local trendsetters and contemporary creatives at Fresh Mochi and The Grocery Studios have teamed up for this holiday pop-up, where visitors will find handcrafted goodies by Kitschy Delish, Modern Glaze, Elizabeth Jameson, Day Moon Press, and many others. (Keep an eye out for mouthwatering baked goods, minimalist ceramics, houseplants, and cool-girl jewelry.)
(The Grocery Studios, North Beacon Hill, free)

2nd Annual Winter Holiday Market Add to a List
In need of some Christmas spirit? Occidental Square’s one-day-only holiday market has it all—the event promises stylish giftables from Andibelle Jewelry, Open Books: A Poem Emporium, TASWIRA, and other local vendors, plus a pop-up ice rink, melodic carolers, and free treats from The Pastry Project and Yellow Butterfly Coffee.
(Occidental Square, Pioneer Square, free)

VISUAL ART

Grand Opening Celebration and Performance Add to a List
The Art Bank, Degenerate Art Ensemble's new 7,000-square-foot downtown studio, will throw open its doors for this community celebration and open house. Visitors can catch excerpts of the "visceral movement theater" ensemble's works-in-progress, plus a short film collab between Haruko Nishimura, Leo Mayberry, and Ian Lucero, a window installation created by costumer and installation artist Wyly Astley, and a floral mural by Haruko Crow Nishimura.
(The Art Bank, Central Business District Tacoma, By donation)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Green Lake Pathway of Lights 2022 Add to a List
Every year, the Green Lake Park circuit illuminates its pathway with thousands of candles. You can walk through it, hear holiday music, and warm up with treats. Weather permitting, there will also be a Hot Air Balloon Glow Add to a List to get things started.
(Green Lake Park, Green Lake, free)

SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Fancy Cafeteria: A Tasty Improvised Musical Add to a List
Part Broadway glamour, part disheveled improv experiment, Fancy Cafeteria devises a brand-new musical straight from audience suggestions, complete with song, dance, a live soundtrack, and a full cast. With no predetermined script or score, it's bound to be a bumpy, hilarious ride.
(Rendezvous, Belltown, $15)

SHOPPING

Seattle Market of The Beast Add to a List
Dabble in the dark arts for all the witchy weirdos on your Christmas list this year. An extensive lineup of local vendors at Market of the Beast will shell out occult wares and obscure oddities, from pins and prints to taxidermy and apothecary items.
(LoFi, South Lake Union, $1 suggested donation)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Santa & Mrs. Claus at Urban Family! Add to a List
Get all dressed up in your Christmas best and snap some photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. After you've worked up an appetite mugging for the camera, refuel with creative sandwiches from the Layers Sandwich Co. truck.
(Urban Family Brewing, Ballard)

Star Wars Holiday Photos Add to a List
What could be more festive than the forces of good triumphing over an evil empire? Mark the holidays with a tasteful and tasty photoshoot at Lucky Envelope Brewing, where you can sip adult beverages while a phalanx of Star Wars cosplayers make themselves available for convenient vanquishing. Each $15 ticket will get you a photo suitable for holiday cards, framing, or updating your Scruff profile. And it’s for a good cause: proceeds will benefit Treehouse, a Washington nonprofit that serves youth in foster care. It’s all made possible by the 501st Legion, an international group of Star Wars cosplayers who have, traditionally, emphasized villains: various Storm Troopers, bounty hunters, inquisitors, and Darths of the Vader persuasion. There was a time when dressing up as evildoers such as these seemed like cartoonish good fun, but now, times being what they are, it seems in poor political taste to valorize fascism. So choose your photo opportunity wisely! A Christmas card featuring Storm Troopers in heroic, victorious poses is likely to extinguish any hope of holiday cheer, but you can warm hearts far and wide with a scene of imperialists experiencing the agony of defeat. Happy Life Day, rebel scum! STRANGER STAFF WRITER MATT BAUME
(Lucky Envelope Brewing, West Woodland, $15)

MULTI-DAY

FILM

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, Friday-Sunday)

It's a Wonderful Life Add to a List
In need of some Christmas cheer? Head to the historic Grand Illusion for their 52nd annual screening of holiday classic It's A Wonderful Life, screened in lush 35mm for a truly vintage experience.
(Grand Illusion, University District, $5-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Unstreamable Add to a List
Your favorite internet personalities magically jump off the computer screen and into real life this weekend as Stranger staff writer Jas Keimig and former editor Chase Burns present this series of films that you can’t find anywhere online (legally, at least). Burns and Keimig have an encyclopedic knowledge of lost media. Through their Unstreamable column—now published on Scarecrow Video's blog—they've written more than 350 (!) blurbs and reviews about offbeat, forgotten, and otherwise unobtainable pieces of cinematic history. Now they’ll share some of their favorite unstreamable films on the big screen. STRANGER STAFF WRITER MATT BAUME
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$13, Saturday-Sunday)

SHOPPING

AAPI Holidays Mini Market Add to a List
This "mini" maker's market in South Lake Union showcases a rotating lineup of AAPI creatives sharing jewelry, enamel pins, prints, and other well-made stocking stuffers.
(9th and Thomas, South Lake Union, free, Friday-Sunday)

Renegade Craft Fair: Winter 2022 Add to a List
Shop small and stay cozy this year at Renegade Craft Fair, where stylish visitors will find carefully curated handmade goods from over 180 artists.
(Magnuson Park, Northeast Seattle, $0-$12, Saturday-Sunday)

'Spoiler Alert' Opening Weekend Add to a List
Dan Savage wrote a movie! Spoiler Alert, written by David Marshall Grant and our very own Dan Savage, is based on Michael Ausiello's heartbreaking 2017 memoir Spoiler Alert: The Heroes Dies and, well, yes. In this film, as in the book, as in the real life that inspired the book, the hero, Kit Cowan, the love of Ausiello's life, dies. But Ausiello's story isn't just about death! Michael Showalter—who I will forever remember as the puppy-throwing, dildo-loving idiot from Stella's comedy shorts—is the director who brings the poignant story to life, and Ausiello and Cowan are played by The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons and Fleabag's Ben Aldridge. Three very funny people! Making a movie written by another very funny person! I promise, you are going to laugh! But yes, it will be sad—Spoiler Alert's publicity team apparently passed out branded packs of tissues at early screenings—but sometimes it feels really good to just ugly cry your guts out. Go see Savage's movie. STRANGER ARTS EDITOR MEGAN SELING
(Various locations, Friday-Sunday)

VISUAL ART

Grey Magic Add to a List
Curated by gallerist Dawna Holloway, Grey Magic is a potent potion that "cast[s] a spell of contemporary sensuousness." The group exhibition of 14 artists (including local fave Emily Counts and multimedia artist Joe Feddersen, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes) draws from the natural world in beadwork, painting, ceramics, and other mediums.
(studio e, Georgetown, free, Friday-Saturday; opening)

Mommy: Melissa Monroe Add to a List
Portland-based artist and educator Melissa Monroe's Mommy serves as a shout-out to moms everywhere; the full-time matriarch and creative makes her work between school runs and dinner times, using textiles, painting, and drawing to create funny, thoughtful reflections on her dual roles.
(Lynn Hanson Gallery, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

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)

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)

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