The month of November is the start of the Holidays beginning with Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and ending with New Year’s Eve. It is a time for reflection as the year draws to a close; a time where we scramble to get things done, perhaps in preparation for upcoming family gatherings and shopping sprees for holiday gifts; or final attempts to meet those New Year’s resolutions we set for ourselves at the start of the year, and never accomplished, or even started!

As for us residents of Washington state, it is also a time when the incessant rain beats on our heads, roofs, and car tops, and thick gray clouds descend even closer to the horizon, it feels like you can almost touch them. Since my move to this fine ever-green state, I noticed that many people don’t carry umbrellas with them; they drive super slow in rain just like L.A. drivers which surprised me since we (Los Angelenos) get so much flack for that; and lastly, no one wears bright colors at all! I didn’t understand this coming from sunny California, until I noticed that my wardrobe has evolved considerably into an array of gray and black hues. Who knew that weather could actually affect your choice in colors! Even the yellow jacket I just bought has a dull-grayish tint to it.

Despite the rain, people still like to go out and have fun, and you should. Because it’s going to be at least 5-6 months before the rain lightens up, and we start to see sunny and warmer days again.  So what’s in store for you this November? Plenty. There are film festivals, wine-tasting (Brrr! I hope it’s not outside), free national park day, parades, shopping, Thanksgiving and Christmas events, and so much more. Here’s the lowdown on what is coming up in and around Seattle, although I made an exception for the Veterans Day Parade in Auburn to honor our veterans, especially those in our graduate student body. If you are interested in other events in Seattle and other cities, I have included some links at the bottom of this blog.

I realize this is a long and exhaustive list so I’ll do my best to remember to post them on our GSC social media sites a day or two before the event.

Jazz festival, November 1 – 11, 2014 (begins Oct. 10). The Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival features more than 50 concerts by local and worldwide jazz greats.

Restaurant discounts, November 2 – 30, 2014 (except Fri. & Sat.)  Local restaurants offer special deals on three-course meals during Dine Around Seattle. Repeats in March.

Comedy competition, November 5 – 30, 2014, multiple locations.  Comedians do their best acts for prizes at the Seattle International Comedy Competition in many Western Washington cities. Final night to determine the champion is at Comedy Underground in Seattle.

Thanksgiving sampler, November 6, 2014 (5 to 8 p.m.), multiple locations. Try a plateful of holiday foods for a $5 donation to charity during Taste of Thanksgiving at Whole Foods Markets, including Roosevelt Square, South Lake Union, Bellevue, Lynnwood, and Redmond.

Swing dance convention, November 6 – 10, 2014. Take professional workshops and enjoy DJ dancing at Sea to Sky at the DoubleTree Hotel in SeaTac.

Ghost stories, November 6 – 20, 2014 (begins Oct. 16). Your suggestions become spooky & funny improv at Campfire Improvised Ghost Stories by Unexpected Productions at Pike Place Market. Discount tickets.

Snow gear swap, November 7 – 8, 2014

Flamenco performance, November 7 – 8, 2014 (8 p.m.) See flamenco dance live at Flamenco de Raiz at the Kirkland Performance Center. Discount tickets.

Phinney beer tasting, November 8, 2014. Enjoy local brews, pub snacks, and a silent auction of beer items at PNA Winter Beer Taste at Phinney Neighborhood Center.

Wine tasting, November 8, 2014 (6 to 9 p.m.) A Toast To The Arc is a wine tasting and silent auction of fine wine for charity at South Seattle College.

Wine and hydroplanes, November 8, 2014 (7 to 10 p.m.)  Sample wine and food while hearing live music and seeing hydroplanes at the evening Wine Tasting Party at the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum in Kent.

Veterans Day parade, November 8, 2014 (11 a.m.), 26 miles south. The Veterans Day Parade & Observance in Auburn is one of America’s biggest, with veterans units, military vehicles, drill teams, 25 marching bands, floats, antique cars, and a military fly-over. Free.

Orchid festival, November 8 – 9, 2014. See blooming orchids, hear talks on the hour, and visit vendors at the Fall Orchid Show at Swanson’s Nursery. Free.

Hawaiian music festival, November 9, 2014. Hear Hawaiian master musicians, admire tropical flowers, and shop for food and crafts at the annual Seattle Slack Key Festival at Town Hall Seattle.

Free park day, November 11, 2014, All national parks. Entry is free at Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks on Free Entrance Days in the National Parks. Expect more people and less parking than usual.

Taste of South Lake Union, November 12, 2014 (5:30 to 8 p.m.) Get tastes from local restaurants plus wine from Woodinville wineries at Savor SLU at South Lake Union Discovery Center to support charity.

Italian film festival, November 13 – 20, 2014. Cinema Italian Style screens 20 new films in Italian with English subtitles at SIFF Cinema Uptown. The first and last films have optional after-parties.

Christmas gifts and foods, November 14 – 16, 2014. Get an early start on the holidays at the 16th annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show. Gifts, specialty foods, artists, and Santa are at the Seattle convention center.

Ski and snowboard sale, November 14 – 16, 2014. Shop for snow merchandise at the Ski Dazzle ski and snowboard show at CenturyLink Field.

Arts and crafts show, November 14 – 16, 2014.  Fall Best of the Northwest Art and Fine Craft Show has 100 artists displaying jewelry, clothing, paintings, glass art, and sculptures plus food trucks at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park. Repeats in March and Oct.

Reindeer & model trains, November 14 (afternoon) – Dec. 24, 2014. Visit live reindeer and watch model trains wind their way through a winter landscape during the Reindeer Festival at Swanson’s Nursery. Free.

Short film festival, November 15, 2014. Seattle Shorts Film Festival includes 17 short films and an awards ceremony at Seattle Center.

How to build green, November 15, 2014 (5 to 9 p.m.) Green Building Slam is 10 interesting lectures by innovative architects and builders of 10 minutes each, followed by a networking reception in Kane Hall at the University of Washington.

Veterans Day race, November 16, 2014. Seattle National Veterans Day Run is a timed 5K, 11K, and 1 miler at Magnuson Park. Discount 5K tickets.

Films from Turkey, November 20 – 23, 2014. See nine unusual films and attend opening and closing parties at the Seattle Turkish Film Festival.

Magnolia wine walk, November 21, 2014 (6 to 9 p.m.) Visit 14 local businesses to taste wine from 14 wineries at Vino in the Village in Magnolia.

Motorcycle show, November 21 – 23, 2014. Find sport bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, ATVs, expert advice, live entertainment, and family activities at the International Motorcycle Show in the Seattle Convention Center.

Twilight Zone theater, November 21 – Dec. 20, 2014 (8 p.m.) Watch three episodes of Rod Serling’s sci-fi TV show live onstage when Theater Schmeater presents The Twilight Zone: Live in Belltown.

Band competition, November 22, 2014. Hear four bands compete for your vote and $15,000 in prizes at Jammin’ Challenge at Hard Rock Cafe.

Ideas conference, November 22, 2014. TEDxRainier has exciting 18-minute speeches about technology, entertainment, and design followed by an evening reception at McCaw Hall.

Nordic holiday, November 22 – 23, 2014. Yulefest brings Christmas to the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard, with Scandinavian foods, craft booths, fiddlers, and folk dancers.

Christmas tree festival, November 22 – Dec. 3, 2014. View 21 designer trees in the lobby and driveway of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel during the annual Festival of Trees charity event. See schedule for gala, family celebration, and teddy bear suite. Free to view.

Pre-Thanksgiving run/walk, November 23, 2014. Green Lake Gobble & Mashed Potato Munch Off is a 5K and 10K run/walk and free kids dash, with post-race beer garden and mashed-potato-eating contest.

Thanksgiving run/walk, November 27, 2014, multiple cities.

Thanksgiving dinner, November 27, 2014, Greater Seattle area. Find a list of restaurants offering special menus for Thanksgiving Day at OpenTable.

Parade & star lighting, November 28, 2014. Macy’s Holiday Parade & Star Lighting begins with a 9 a.m. parade of marching bands, costumed characters, floats, and Santa. It ends with a 5 p.m. lighting of the 161-foot star, followed by fireworks. Free.

Christmas ships parade, November 28 – Dec. 23, 2014. Lake Washington & Puget Sound. Ride onboard with the choir or listen from shore at a bonfire during Christmas Ship Festival. See schedule.

Christmas play, November 28 – Dec. 28, 2014. A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about the miraculous transformation of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge at ACT Theatre. Discount tickets.

Nutcracker ballet, Nov. 28 – Dec. 28, 2014. This is the last year for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker, a holiday tradition for Seattle families and ballet lovers, with a live orchestra, magnificent sets and costumes, and a huge cast of professional dancers and students in McCaw Hall at Seattle Center.

Seattle zoo lights, Nov. 28, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015. WildLights has 500,000 lights in animal shapes, real reindeer, night creatures, a carousel, indoor play, and carolers at Woodland Park Zoo. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.

Pike Place holiday, November 29, 2014 (1 to 5 p.m.) Magic in the Market includes carolers, Santa, and a 5 p.m. Christmas tree lighting at Pike Place Market.

Seattle Marathon, November 30, 2014. Join 14,000 people burning off Thanksgiving calories at the morning Seattle Marathon and Half Marathon that begin and end near Seattle Center.

For more information please check out the following links:


Events Washington State

Visit Seattle

Happy Fall Everyone!  And Stay Dry!

Mariquita de Mira / MFA in Arts Leadership 2015 / Artist. Arts Leader. Global Adventurer & Explorer.

[I moved to Washington from California a little over a year ago and slowly but surely discovering Seattle.  Through my DISCOVER SEATTLE Blog, I will be sharing my adventures of places to eat, the nightlife, and other events that I have attended or feel will be a cool event to attend to that I will share on GSC Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and World Press.  I look forward to meeting you all at our GSC events.  Cheers!]


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