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), 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/.
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. 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. 22 and 23; 8 p.m. nightly Dec. 21-24, 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. 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. 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.
The Seattle Symphony celebrates the holidays with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Dec. 28-31. 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. 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.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales presented by Stone Soup Theatre, Dec. 21-24. 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. Details at www.stonesouptheatre.org.
Nutcracker presented by Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dec. 21-29, 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.