Argosy Christmas Ship Festival, a Northwest tradition since 1949, through Dec. 23. The Argosy Christmas Ship (accompanied by festive Parade Boats) sails to various Puget Sound waterfront communities for choir performances broadcast by a state-of-the-art speaker system. Various options are available for those who wish to sail and/or dine onboard. Visit www.argosycruises.com for information.
Gingerbread Village, the 20th annual benefit for the Northwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, through Jan. 1. Seattle’s top architectural firms team up with Sheraton Seattle’s culinary staff to design, bake, and build elaborate gingerbread displays and other holiday creations reflecting this year’s theme. The display is free and open to the public (donation suggested). Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 1400 6th Ave., Seattle. More information at http://gingerbreadvillage.myevent.com/3/events.htm.
Seattle Center WinterFest, Six weeks of free entertainment running through Jan. 6, including the timeless Winter Train and Village, WinterFest Ice Rink, Ice Sculpting (Saturdays through Dec. 29, noon-2 p.m., outside Fisher Pavilion), WinterFest Student Showcase (through Jan. 6, various times, Armory), Bailadores de Bronce (Dec. 15, 12:30 p.m., Armory), Garfield H.S. Jazz Band (Dec. 23, 1 p.m., Armory), The Dickens Carolers (Dec. 29, 12:30 p.m., Armory), Eastside Modern Jazz Orchestra (Dec. 30, 12:30 p.m., Armory), and a New Year’s Eve celebration with the Rhythm Nation (Dec. 31, 8:15-11:45 p.m., Armory). Details on these and other events at www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest/.
'Hanukkah Under the Stars,' a community celebration, Dec. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Celebrate the Festival of Lights at one of the largest Hanukkah celebrations in the Seattle area. Featuring the kids’ band Recess Monkey, plus The Sababas, PJ Library, arts and crafts, and community candle lighting. Free with donation of personal items to Jewish Family Services (e.g., toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, soap). Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Mercer Way, Mercer Island. Details at www.sjcc.org.
New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Space Needle, Dec. 31, 11:59 p.m. Start 2013 off with a bang as the Space Needle displays the world’s tallest structure-launched fireworks show with more than 2,000 pyrotechnic events. The base of the Needle will host the West Coast version of Times Square, where more than 50,000 people gather each year to watch the fireworks shoot across the midnight sky. Special events are planned at the SkyCity restaurant and on the Needle’s observation deck. Details at www.spaceneedle.com.
Ham for the Holidays: Ham-ageddon! featuring Dos Fallopia, through Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat.; 3 p.m. Sat.-Sun. (plus 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 and 23). The apocalypse is just around the corner, so Dos Fallopia (Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt) celebrate with some classic moments from past years’ shows, with some new tunes and sketches. Theatre Off Jackson, 409 7th Ave. S. Details at www.heylisa.com. Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/277489.
Dina Martina Christmas Show, a Seattle tradition featuring the First Lady of Entertainment, through Dec. 31. Famed N.Y. critic Michael Musto called Dina 'the most original drag performer working in America today.' Martina comes armed with truly legendary songs, stories, costumes, and audience gifts, giving you one of the most festive, invigorating, and ingeniously funny evenings you’ve ever had. Bloody Mary/Mimosa Weekend Matinees 2 p.m. Dec. 15, 16, 22, and 23; 8 p.m. nightly Dec. 14-17, 19-24, 26-31. Re-Bar, 1114 Howell St., Seattle. Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/271829.
Homo for the Holidays, an annual all-star holiday cabaret featuring BenDeLaCreme, Kitten LaRue, the Cherdonna and Lou show, Jinkx Monsoon, Major Scales, Fuchsia FoXXX, Faggedy Randy, and many more, Dec. 14-15 & 21-24, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. nightly. The Stranger calls Homo for the Holidays 'the premier event of the true Gay yuletide season!' West Hall, Oddfellows Building, 915 E. Pine St., Seattle. Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/290222.
Seattle Men’s Chorus presents 'Baby, It’s Cold Outside,' through Dec. 22. 'Seattle’s Other Holiday Tradition' heats things up with their unique blend of song, dance, and campy comedy, taking you on an exotic journey with festive songs from south of the border, Hawaii, and other tropical locales. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, 16, 20; 8 p.m. Dec. 21; 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 22. Also performing in Everett at Civic Auditorium, 8 p.m. Dec. 15. Details at www.flyinghouse.org.
Early Music Guild presents 'Wassail! Wassail!' featuring the Baltimore Consort, Dec. 14, 8-10 p.m. Music for the Yuletide season played on traditional instruments such as the lute, cittern, viol, crumhorn, recorder, and rebec. The Consort offers old carols and dance tunes from the British Isles, Germany, France, Spain, and the New World. (Pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m.) Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle. Details at www.earlymusicguild.org.
The Seattle Symphony celebrates the holidays with a full month of festive performances, including Handel’s Messiah, Dec. 14-16; and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Dec. 28-31. A special one-night performance of Don Tiki’s Hot Lava Holiday Show, Dec. 17, brings Hawaii’s top musicians to Seattle for a night of island rhythms and festive tiki lounge music. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. Details at www.seattlesymphony.org.
Seattle Pro Musica presents 'Weihnachten, German Christmas,' Dec. 15. Experience the joyous sounds of traditional German choral Christmas music, including works by Bruckner, Mendelssohn, Biebl, and Distler. The evening also includes an atmospheric candlelight processional. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Bastyr University Chapel, 14500 Juanita Drive N.E., Kenmore. (Pre-concert lecture begins an hour before each performance.) Info at www.seattlepromusica.org.
Magical Strings presents 'Celtic Yuletide,' a fabulous gala of Irish music, dance, storytelling, juggling, and songs of the season, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle. Also appearing in various locations throughout the Puget Sound area Nov. 30-Dec. 17. See www.magicalstrings.com for full schedule.
Medieval Women’s Choir presents 'Nowell Sing We,' a program of Medieval English carols, Dec. 15, 8 p.m. Be transported by the mellifluous harmonies of compositions by John Dunstable and Lionel Power. St. James Cathedral, 804 9th Ave., Seattle. Details at http://medievalwomenschoir.org.
Bellevue Chamber Chorus presents 'Joy to the World!' Dec. 15-16. An international celebration of song featuring a new work for children by Eric Whitaker, 'Goodnight, Moon.' 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Bothell United Methodist Church, 18515 92nd Ave. N.E., Bothell; 3 p.m. Dec. 16, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 8398 N.E. 12th St., Medina. Details at www.bellevuechamberchorus.net.
A Christmas Choral Concert: Sing Love! Benjamin Britten’s 'Ceremony of Carols,' chant, baroque choral anthems, and carols with the audience are all part of a free concert with the 50-voice Seattle First Baptist Sanctuary Choir, youth singers, and instruments, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 16, 1 p.m. Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave., Seattle. Details at www.seattlefirstbaptist.org.
Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers present a Winter Celebration, Dec. 16, 3 p.m. A holiday concert featuring Vivaldi’s 'Winter' from The Four Seasons, plus works by Beethoven, Bach, and others. First Free Methodist Church, 3200 3rd Ave. W., Seattle. Details at http://osscs.org.
KISS-FM Jingle Ball, featuring Calvin Harris, Cher Lloyd, Owl City, 3OH!3, Alex Clare, Afrojack, and Ed Sheeran, Dec. 16, 4 p.m., WaMu Theater, Seattle. Details at www.kissfmseattle.com, tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.
The Irish Tenors (Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, Ronan Tynan) present their annual Christmas gala performance with full orchestra Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m., a benefit for the Ballard N.W. Senior Center and the Senior Center of West Seattle. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. Details at www.seattlesymphony.org.
THEATER AND DANCE
Owen Meany’s Christmas Pageant presented by Book-It Repertory Theatre, through Dec. 23. John Irving’s quirky and memorable boy returns to wreak havoc on the annual Christ Church Christmas Pageant in this poignant, rambunctious, and hilarious play. Center Theatre at the Armory, Seattle Center. Details at www.book-it.org.
Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson presented by Seattle Public Theater, through Dec. 24. For those who like a little spice with their Christmas sugar, Santaland Diaries chronicles one man’s experience working as an Elf in Macy’s Santaland. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever depicts what happens when the infamous Herdman clan takes over the annual church pageant and challenges everyone’s traditional notions of Christmas. Details at www.seattlepublictheater.org.
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol by John Longenbaugh, presented by Taproot Theatre, through Dec. 29. It’s Christmas Eve, 1894, and Sherlock Holmes resurfaces after being presumed dead for three years. Only he’s changed, and not for the better. Three unexpected callers arrive, uncovering clues from the detective’s past, present, and future. Can they save Holmes and his world from a dire end? A mystery full of Christmas spirits the whole family will enjoy. 204 N. 85th St., Seattle. Details at http://taproottheatre.org.
A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol presented by Unexpected Productions, through Dec. 30. An improvised take on Charles Dickens’ classic, shaped by audience input. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, Seattle. Details at www.unexpectedproductions.org.
A Christmas Carol presented by ACT Theatre, through Dec. 30. Charles Dickens’ classic tale of hope and redemption, adapted by Gregory A. Falls. Allen Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle. Details at www.acttheatre.org.
The Winter Wonderettes, a 'new ’60s Christmas musical,' presented by ArtsWest, through Dec. 30. Take a nostalgic trip through the late ’50s-early ’60s musical style when the Marvelous Wonderettes are asked to entertain at the holiday party for Harper’s Hardware. Curtain 7:30 p.m. nightly (5 p.m. Dec. 24), plus weekend matinees at 3 p.m. Dec. 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, and 30, ArtsWest Playhouse, 4711 California Ave. S.W., Seattle. Details at www.artswest.org.
ELF – The Musical, the story of Buddy, a boy raised by elves at the North Pole who sets off to the big city in search of his father and finds an alarming lack of Christmas spirit. Through Dec. 31, 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 5th Ave., Seattle. Details at www.5thavenue.org.
Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Play presented by Twelfth Night Productions, Dec. 14-16, 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 3 p.m. Sun. A 'live' 1940s-style broadcast based on the holiday movie of the same name about a man who calls himself Kriss Kringle and is hired at Macy’s but ends up in court after claiming to be the real Santa. Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th Ave. S.W., Seattle. Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/293698.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales presented by Stone Soup Theatre, Dec. 14-24. Celebrate the magic of Dylan Thomas’ childhood Christmas in a play adapted from his poem and featuring both youth and adult performers. 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun.; special matinees at 12:30 and 4 p.m. Dec. 23 and 24. Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stoneway N. Details at www.stonesouptheatre.org.
Nutcracker presented by Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dec. 14-29, 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. plus weekend matinees. Praised by the New York Times as 'original and exciting,' this marvelously imagined production created by PNB founding artistic director Kent Stowell and author/illustrator Maurice Sendak, features more than 200 dancers, gigantic moving sets, a snowfall, and Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed by the PNB Orchestra. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center. Details at www.pnb.org.