Hanukkah, the weeklong Jewish Festival of Lights, is filled with food, games, music, and merriment. This year, it begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12 and continues until the evening of Wednesday, December 20, and there are lots of different ways to celebrate in Seattle, whether you observe the holiday or want to learn about new cultural traditions. We've compiled them all below, from the Chabad Jewish Center's Annual Latke Cook-Off to a giant outdoor menorah lighting at Light Up the Night: Burger Fest, and from Bubbe's Old-Fashioned Hanukkah Shindig to Fred Wildlife Refuge's Chanukah Party. You can also find them all on our complete winter holidays calendar.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12
Annual Latke Cook-Off
For the first day of Hanukkah, you can participate in this competition as a latke chef putting your crispy fried potato pancakes to the test or a judge who must sample all of the recipes to determine the tastiest one (tough gig). Or just show up and enjoy platefuls of delicious latkes.
Lynnwood Menorah Lighting & Klezmer
Join Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith and city/county officials for the sixth annual nine-foot public menorah lighting. Seattle Klezmer band Klez Katz will also give a special performance.
Phinney Menorah Lighting
On the first night of Hanukkah, Phinney residents are invited to witness a giant menorah lighting, make Hanukkah crafts, eat latkes and jelly doughnuts, and see a special performance from local Hebrew school students.
Queen Anne Menorah Lighting and Hanukkah Carnival
On the first night of Hanukkah, watch a giant menorah lighting and a "dreidel on stilts" performance, eat latkes, jelly doughnuts, and cotton candy, and more.
Shoreline Menorah Lighting
Listen to Hanukkah music, make your own doughnuts, play dreidels, and see a giant menorah lighting in Shoreline.
University Village Menorah Lighting
Hear klezmer music by the KlezKidz, play dreidels to collect gelt, and see a menorah lighting to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13
Lunch Club: Crisp, Golden Potato Pancakes
Make your lunch break much more fulfilling and productive by learning how to make crisp, lacy latkes and rugelach cookies with Tom Douglas co-author, Shelley Lance.
Daily Menorah Lighting
Every afternoon of Hanukkah, join the Stroum in the lighting of their lobby's menorah and singing.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14
Light Up the Night: Burger Fest
This Hanukkah celebration will feature a gigantic outdoor menorah lighting, gourmet burgers and hot latkes, a mitzvah tank, music, hot drinks, and a holiday market.
Winter Holiday Bake A Rama: Sufganiyot
In honor of Hanukkah, local chef Kim O'Donnel will demonstrate how to make Sufganiyot, an Israeli jelly doughnut that's particularly popular during the Festival of Lights.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15
Chanukah Showcase of Light
Bring your favorite Hanukkah dish, your menorah, and five candles to Kadima's Shabbat Hanukkah dinner. Before it's time to eat, guests can enjoy festive crafts and an open-mic for sharing songs, poems, jokes, dances, and skits.
Temple De Hirsch Sinai Hannukah
At the temple's Bellevue campus, enjoy performances by Shabbat Junior and Chanukah Pajamikah, and on their Seattle campus, see a Shabbat Unplugged performance.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16
Bubbe's Old-Fashioned Hanukkah Shindig
The Roma pop group Gypsy Entertainers, the Debaucherauntes, Brivele, and the Shay Family Band will entertain you at the klezmer bash.
The Chanukah Party
Enjoy a Feast of Lights celebration with Portland's Night Shade Dynasty puppetry show, comedy by Brett Hamil (past Stranger contributor, current Shadow Council presider), and music by Adra Boo and Hotels, plus a dance party DJed by Silk Safari to end the night.
Hanukkah Pajama Jam
Put on your PJs and enjoy live music from folk duo Josh & Chava, a Hanukkah story from PJ Library, food truck goodies from Napkin Friends and Delfino’s Pizza, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, crafting, an olive oil press with Chabad, a menorah lighting and Havdalah, and much more. Admission is free with a pajama donation—they're looking for new and gently used sets for the foster program Amara.
SJC Hanukkah Party
Feast on latkes at the Secular Jewish Circle of Puget Sound's Hanukkah party. Don't forget to bring your menorah, six candles, and donations for the YouthCare holiday gift drive.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17
Ballard Menorah Lighting
This annual Hanukkah celebration includes a giant Star of David menorah lighting, hot latkes, jelly doughnuts, music, and more.
Cal Anderson Park Menorah Lighting
Capitol Hill dwellers can head to Cal Anderson for a public menorah lighting on the sixth night of Hanukkah. There will also be jelly doughnuts, coffee, latkes, kids' activities, gift bags filled with dreidels and gelt, and a raffle.
Everett Menorah Lighting and Olive Press
See a live olive press demonstration and a grand menorah lighting, enjoy Hanukkah treats and crafts, and more.
Seattle Jewish Chorale
Celebrate Hanukkah by hearing pieces by Franz Schubert, Joshua Jacobson, and the world premiere of “Dak Il Tas” by Ira Rogers performed by the Seattle Jewish Chorale.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19
In Judah Maccabee's musical comedy, residents of a fictional town of fools called Chelm tell eight stories that pay tribute to Hanukkah. The production, which will be broadcast in Seattle, is underscored by a festive "Klezmer-ized" orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, including original lyrics that celebrate Hanukkah (plus dancing dreidels and singing jelly doughnuts).