What to Do When Visiting Seattle in January-Our Top 5 Tips

WildLanterns at Woodland Park Zoo

WildLanterns is an immersive lantern festival that runs at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo until January 23 (closed Mondays). The exhibit is open from 4:30-9pm and features huge lanterns representing zoo animals and their habitats from all around the world. It’s an enjoyable outdoor activity for adults and children of any age. Food, beverages, and gifts are also for sale.

Visit a Top-Rated Museum

Museum of Flight

Seattle, home of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is also called Jet City. Visit the Excellent Museum of Flight, located just a few minutes south of downtown Seattle. This huge museum features the original Red Barn where Boeing was established over 100 years ago. Entire wings are devoted to planes and memorabilia from World Wars I and II, as well as a new Space Gallery exhibit.

Chihuly Garden & Glass                                                                                                    

Located at the base of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle, Chihuly Garden & Glass features stunning glass installations by Seattle native Dale Chihuly. Many guests tell us it’s the highlight of their trip to Seattle.


Museum of History & Industry

The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) is located on the shores of downtown Seattle’s Lake Union in a historic naval armory. Its creative, fun exhibits provide an interactive history of Seattle.

Check Out the Local Coffee Scene

Seattle is known for its coffee culture. January’s cold days offer a perfect excuse to step inside and enjoy a hot, freshly brewed cup of joe. One of our top recommendations is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, where you can get exclusive coffee beans and brews that are not available at the regular Starbucks stores. Victrola Coffee Roasters is located just a couple blocks up the street from the Reserve Roastery on Pike. It has a true Seattle vibe and great coffee and espresso. Last, Storyville Coffee is another local coffee roaster. Their beautiful tasting room and coffee shop on the top floor of the Corner Market Building at Pike Place Market offers views of the water and mountains. The coffee is smooth and well balanced, and the house-made pastries are top notch too.

Take in a Show or Concert

Seattle is blessed with a vibrant arts scene. January is typically a robust month for taking in a show or concert. Enjoy dinner and a show at a smaller venue like Jazz Alley or the Triple Door. Attend a symphony concert at Benaroya Hall, or the ballet or opera at McCaw Hall. If musicals are more to your liking, get tickets at the Paramount or 5th Avenue Theater. The independent Neptune and Moore Theaters offer a variety of shows and concerts. For the biggest names and concerts, check the schedule at Seattle’s newest venue, beautiful and sustainable Climate Pledge Arena.

Speaking of Climate Pledge Arena, it is also the home of Seattle’s new ice hockey team, the Kraken. The season runs from October to April. Don’t want to buy tickets? Consider attending a free, daytime practice session at Northgate Stations’s  Kraken Community Iceplex (seats 500 with first come first served seating).

We hope these ideas will give you a great start for planning your winter vacation in Seattle! For more itinerary suggestions, please check our other blog posts or contact our member innkeepers directly.