The skies may be gray this time of year, but the cities and towns around the Kitsap Peninsula region are glowing with bright-colored lights, festive window displays and lots of holiday cheer to share with visiting family and friends.
November events kick off the holiday shopping season with annual art-studio tours, hay-wagon and carriage rides, wine tastings, art walks, and window and late-night shopping. December is in full swing with holiday concerts, tree lightings, lighted-boat parades, cultural celebrations, holiday entertainment and various parties in breweries, bars and clubs, from Kingston to Port Orchard.
This holiday season, make plans to relax and enjoy quality time with family, friends and out-of-town guests. Below is a list of just a few events for all ages and interests to add to your entertainment calendar. You’ll find more details, updates and new events through the end of the year at VisitKitsap.com.
Saturday, Dec. 1
Celebrate a traditional Scandinavian holiday event all day long and into the night in Poulsbo. Shop at the bazaar, dance around the tree and greet the Santa Lucia bride as she arrives by boat and is joined by “Vikings” to light the bonfire. Shops are open late.
A classic family holiday evening in downtown Port Orchard with hay-wagon rides, arts-and-crafts bazaar, storytelling, tree lighting, Christmas Lane lighted boats at the marina and fireworks. For pet lovers, there is the annual Pooch & Purr Holiday Pet Parade and costume contest.
The fun starts in the afternoon with activities and refreshments for all ages and lasts into the night with the largest lighted display in the region. See lighted figures, handmade by volunteers and shaped like flowers, sea creatures and holiday images. On display until Dec. 30.
Join this popular, family-friendly, holiday-themed 5K race in Port Orchard to help conquer arthritis. Starts at City Hall.
Sunday, Dec. 2
Handel’s Messiah Choral Selections, Mozart and Holiday Sing-Along.
Friday, Dec. 7
Santa Claus rolls into town on the fire truck at 5:15; sing carols at 7 and see the tree lighting at 7:15. Activities for kids, shopping in smart little shops, will put you in the holiday spirit.
Saturday, Dec. 8
Stroll 4-8 p.m. through downtown Bremerton museums, shops and cafes to see exhibits and to enjoy holiday refreshments. Horse-drawn carriage rides 5 to 8 p.m. Marching band arrives at 5:30, along with Santa via fire truck at the Puget Sound Navy Museum.
Annual, free, family event on Bainbridge Island features face painting, balloon clowns, holiday crafts, Santa, cider, cookies, lighted boat parade, S’mores with the Squad, ice sculptures, holiday music and reindeer.
Maestro Alan Futterman and the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra are joined by Music Director LeeAnne Campos and the Bremerton Symphony Chorale for a lovely, holiday music fest in Bremerton.
Friday, Dec. 14
Celebrate Gig Harbor’s Scandinavian heritage at Harbor History Museum’s 5th Annual Light Up the Night festivities. Crafts, games and traditional Scandinavian snacks are the star at this family-friendly event.
Dec. 15 – Jan. 9
Discover the magic of Holiday Village at Bloedel, an imaginative tiny town that brings home big memories. Intricately designed, handmade, pint-size palaces; tree houses; and cabins “wow” the young and young-at-heart.
Bloedel Reserve Solstice Walks (Dec. 20 and 22) and Silent Walks (Dec. 21 and 23)
Make the darkest days of the year a little brighter with a candle-lit walk through Bloedel Reserve. All walks begin at the Gatehouse and take place rain or shine. The only light will be from the candles.
Friday, Dec. 21
Admiral Theatre will screen one of the most highly visual movies you’ll ever see. Inspired by the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. A doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole in a tale of self-discovery and belief in the possible.
Lighted Boat Parades
Wednesday, Dec. 5 —
Starts at the Port of Poulsbo with carols sung by members of the North Kitsap Northern Lights Choir. The majestic ship sails around Liberty Bay, Lemolo, Suquamish and back to the port.
Port Orchard Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, Dec. 8 —
4:30 -10 p.m. Sails from Southworth back to yacht club in downtown waterfront.
Saturday, Dec. 8 —
5-7 p.m. Hosted by Gig Harbor Yacht Club.
Friday, Dec. 14 —
Includes Phinney Bay, Port of Washington Narrows, Sinclair Inlet (Bremerton, Port Orchard)
Saturday, Dec. 15 —
Phinney Bay and all of Dyes Inlet (Bremerton, Silverdale, Tracyton)
Saturday, Dec. 15 —
5-7 p.m. Hosted by Poulsbo Yacht Club; includes Liberty Bay, Keyport, Manzanita Bay, Bainbridge Island, Agate Pass Bridge and Suquamish.