The Winter Train and Village at Seattle's Winterfest, 2008. Photo: Dan Coxon.

Christmas is always an expensive time of year, and with many families struggling to save money right now the price tags on festive events have become more important than ever. The good news is that there are plenty of free events taking place around Seattle this holiday season, meaning that we can all celebrate Christmas without having to break the bank.

Here’s just a taste of of the FREE Christmas events coming up this December in Seattle and surrounding areas:

Winterfest at Seattle Center. The Seattle Center’s holiday festival is already up and running, including the free Winter Train and turn-of-the-century Village display. There are also a number of free, public events taking place in the Center, including jazz, magic and jugglers with a festive twist. If you’re around on December 4th, 11th or 18th, watch out for the free ice sculpting display and fireside singing outside the Fisher Pavilion. The sculpting starts at 12 noon, while the singing runs from 5:00-7:00pm.

Argosy Christmas Ship Festival. The grand flotilla of lighted ships will be sailing past over 45 waterfront communities in the region this Christmas, and while it costs to travel on board the cruise ships it’s free to watch the parade from the shoreline. On December 11th the ships will visit West Seattle. They are expected to be at Lowman Beach from 8:50-9:10pm, then off Alki Beach from 9:40-10:00pm. Check the Argosy schedule to see when the flotilla will be passing your neighborhood, and wrap up warm.

Teddy Bear Suite. If your kids are keen on the fluffier side of Christmas, then this is a must-see opportunity. From now through December 26th this suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel will be filled with cuddly bears, and as it’s entirely free you can visit as often as you like. Just don’t be surprised when they want to take them all home. There are also bear-themed books to read, and this might be the perfect opportunity for that Christmas photo.

Toyland Village. Want to see over 50 illuminated sculptures of favorite childhood toys? This free display at Waterfront Park offers a Christmas lights display that won’t break the bank. Check our Seattle Christmas Lights guide for further illuminated seasonal offerings.

For further information on FREE and paid Christmas events in the Seattle area, visit the official Holidays in the City website.

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Culture Free Christmas Events in Seattle this Holiday Season