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Seaside Stories

Catch the Holiday Spirit at These Merry Holiday Events

October 20, 2023 | by Michelle Kehm

If you love the magic of the holidays, you’re in for a treat during this year’s Yuletide in Seaside events. The fun kicks off Thanksgiving weekend and runs through December, featuring the community tree lighting, a gingerbread-house contest, local gift fairs, plenty of Santa sightings and, of course, the annual Parade of Lights. Seaside’s upcoming festivities are sure to get your entire crew in a jolly good mood so jump in your sleigh and come on over.

Festive Lights and Scavenger Hunts

Bundle up the kiddos for Seaside’s annual Parade of Lights on November 24, 2023, kicking off the holiday season with all kinds of dazzling costumes and lights galore. This year’s parade will have a “Hollywood Holidays” theme. It begins at Necanicum Drive at First Avenue, turns onto Broadway and wraps up at the pocket park near the Carousel Mall. Watch the lighting of the Community Tree after the parade and keep your eyes peeled for Santa. 

One of Seaside’s most magical holiday events, December’s Tour of Lights, invites visitors to see some of Seaside’s finest seasonal home decorations and vote for their favorite. Feel the wonder as you drive by the beautifully lit-up residences on the tour. Visit the website for addresses and map links or head into Grocery Outlet for a printed map.

Support Seaside’s local business and get your holiday shopping done by participating in Seaside’s first-ever Reindeer Spree with your kiddos during November and December. Help them spot the hidden reindeer inside participating local businesses and receive a free gift or discount from that business. See the website for a list of participating businesses and map links.

Gingerbread Houses, Christmas Trees and a Tea Party

For the second year in a row and kicking off the Friday after Thanksgiving, Seaside businesses will compete to see who can make the most fantastical holiday gingerbread house. Stop by each of the participating stores and see these creative houses frosted and bedecked in candy, then head over to the Hillcrest Inn to vote for your favorites before December 8, 2023.

If that has you feeling a little peckish, you may want to relax with a cup of holiday tea and nibbles. The Seaside History Center Museum hosts a traditional holiday tea on November 24 and 25, 2023, where guests sip tea elegantly served in vintage teacups and accompanied by sweet and savory pastries. This is also an excellent chance to see the shingle-clad Victorian Butterfield Cottage (570 Necanicum Drive) decorated with period-appropriate holiday trimmings. Tickets cost $25 each and sell out fast. All proceeds go to the Butterfield Cottage Preservation Appeal.

Kids can take part in fun holiday activities like ornament making and cookie decorating, plus have their photo taken with Santa at the Safeway Providence Festival of Trees, an annual tradition held at the Seaside Convention Center on December 2, 2023. Local businesses and residents devote hours to creating beautifully decorated Christmas trees — and you can vote for your favorite. The open house is free, but you can also purchase tickets to the gala benefit dinner and tree auction that follows. 


Stuffing All the Stockings

Seaside’s holiday-event season officially launches on Friday, November 24, 2023, with the two-day Seaside Artisan Fair at the Convention Center. This annual shopping extravaganza showcases works from over 80 Pacific Northwest artists and includes handmade wreaths, art and woodworking, as well as goodies such as fudge and hot cocoa. Santa will be available for photo opportunities, so bring your little elves. 

For even more holiday shopping, head to Tipton’s (319 Broadway Street) in downtown Seaside, where it’s Christmas year-round. You’ll find Old World ornaments and whimsical holiday decorations, and nearby Tis the Season (220 Broadway Street) has a treasure trove of toys. Then hit up one of Seaside’s candy stores for the kids’ stocking stuffers: Seaside Candyman (21 North Columbia Street), Phillips Candies (217 Broadway Street) and Schwietert’s Cones & Candy (416 Broadway Street). You can also browse Seaside’s many locally owned shops and find something fun and unique for everyone on your list.

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