| 12/20/2023 | Updated | Attend, Attractions, Fairs, Festivals & Parades, Family Fun, Holiday, Seasonal Travel, Tours, Winter |   

2023 Holiday Happenings in Bellingham & Whatcom County

As the year starts to come to a close, Whatcom County lights up with holiday happenings! Spend this 2023 holiday season supporting the incredible local businesses around Whatcom County while filling up on holiday cheer. 

Check out our full Events Calendar for the most up-to-date information! 

Festivals & Events | Gift Markets | Shows & Concerts | New Year's | Hotel Deals

November 17 - December 24

Starring over 100 booths with local artisans and craftspeople presenting their holiday goodies; consisting of one-of-a-kind gifts, specialty food and treats, stunning jewelry, and paintings. From fragrant handcrafted soaps to homemade sweet treats, there will be something for everyone on Santa’s list. 

Plus, fill your weekends with live local music, artist demos, and workshops. Bring the kids in for free and enjoy fun, family art projects.

November 25 - December 16

Week 1: Kickoff celebration & Silent Auction, Visit with Santa, Carriage Rides, Entertainment at the Fairhaven Village Green, Fairhaven Art Walk, Tree Lighting 

Week 2: Visit with Santa, Carriage Rides, Firelight Stroll 

Week 3: Tales of the Season Live Reading, Visit with Santa, Carriage Rides, Lighted Bike Parade 

Week 4: Visit with Santa, Carriage Rides

Find current info and details on Facebook at @enjoyfairhaven or by visiting this blog

December 1 

Join Whatcom County Fire District 7 the evening of Friday, December 1 to kick off the holiday season with Christmas carols, hot cocoa, cookies and a surprise visit from a special guest to help us light up the Community Christmas Tree! Ho ho ho! 

Following the Tree Lighting Ceremony, take a stroll down the riverwalk to Pioneer Park for the Heritage Society's Olde Fashioned Christmas in the Park for more festive, holiday fun with the family! 

December 1

Cheyanne from Thistle Bear Designs and Small's Christmas Tree Farm is back this year to guide you through winter wreath and bow making. Spend the evening making a gorgeous wreath and savoring bites from the cheese bar in our cozy cheese shop! This is an all ages event. 

Included in your ticket: - Wreath & Bow Making Tutorial - All Wreath Materials - Take-home Wreath - Cheese & Charcuterie Bites. Wine, Beer, Cider, and Non-Alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase.

Starts December 1

Santa will be at Bellewood every Saturday & Sunday starting December 2. Photos are free and you can stick around to hear the local musicians and carolers. Sip on some warm cider or a more festive adult drink while you gab around the bonfire and cook s’mores. 

This holiday season, consider giving the gift of Bellewood to your friends and family with gift ideas, gift cards, and famous products online, or build a special gift basket for your clients or friends.

December 1-2

“There’s Snow Place Like Pioneer Village” the first weekend in December.

 Located at Pioneer Park in Ferndale, the log cabins will again glisten like fresh snowflakes. Costumed volunteers will open the log cabin doors to greet you, so you feel the holiday cheer as it drifts into the winter air. Guests stroll around the ADA compliant sidewalks while enjoying Christmas music and over 90,000 lights that light your path. 

December 2

Embrace the magic of the holiday season and be part of the community tradition of lighting Downtown's tree!

Arrive at 5:30 p.m. for sweet treats like free cookies and cocoa, craft tables where you can create your own masterpieces to take home, a free photo booth, and more! Then, join the countdown to 6 p.m. when the tree comes to life in a burst of lights ✨

Continue enjoying the fun until 7 p.m.!

December 2

Get into holiday cheer with Blaine’s Holiday Harbor Lights on Saturday, December 2! Enjoy a full day of family fun activities for everyone starting with breakfast from 9-11 a.m. 

Get into the holiday season with food, entertainment, a craft bazaar, beer garden, live music, tree lighting, Santa, and more.

December 2

Pick up a Clue Card at ELF HQ - Corner of Front St. & 5th. Find all the elves hiding in businesses in Downtown Lynden & be entered to win one of three baskets filled with downtown business gift cards and treats worth $300. 

Follow the clues on the card to find the hidden elves! 

The hunt is from 11 am to 5 pm. Winners will be drawn at 6 pm. Elf Hunt HQ closes at 4:15. Pick up your clue cards before then.

December 2

Stones Throw Brewery invites the whole community to join us on December 2nd from 5-9pm for our annual Winterfest Bonfire! This event will precede the Annual Fairhaven Winterfest Firelight Stroll which starts on 8th & Harris! 

We will be extending our outdoor patio space into our parking lot to celebrate with a cozy bonfire, free music, s’mores, beer, mulled wine, and other tasty beverages. JP Falcon will be performing some special Holiday tunes from 6pm-8pm. 

In addition to festival activities, we will also be releasing our Winterfest ale, with a portion of proceeds from that beer going to the Fairhaven Association!

December 2

The Bellingham Yacht Club celebrates “Candyland Christmas Cruise” with the traditional Lighted Boat Parade starting at 5:30 pm, weather permitting. 

The public is invited to view the boats showing off twinkling and colorful lights and broadcasting holiday music. The best viewing spots are Boulevard Park and the Fairhaven Cruise Terminal. 

December 2 

Head to Lynden for their annual holiday season celebration, the Northwest Lighted Christmas Parade, presented to the community by Edaleen Dairy!

Enjoy holiday carolers and a dazzling display of lighted trucks, cars, floats, wagons, farm equipment, & more! The procession starts at the Fairway Center and travels along Front Street through downtown Lynden, giving spectators an opportunity to enjoy Christmas shopping before the parade!

December 2 & 3

The annual Holiday Port Festival is a free, family-friendly event held the first weekend in December at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. 

This is one of the Port of Bellingham's signature events for the community and includes live performances by local music and dance groups, an annual gingerbread house contest and display, and visits and photos with Santa Claus! 

December 2, 9, & 16

Celebrate the holidays at Old City Hall! View 15 beautifully decorated trees and, each Saturday in December leading up to Christmas, make a holiday craft to celebrate the season. 

On December 2, we’ll honor Santa’s special helpers by making adorable reindeer crafts and get photos with Santa! (We'll provide the decorations and special guest from the North Pole; you bring the camera!)

On December 9, we’ll bake up a batch of holiday treats by designing our gingerbread buddies. 

Finally, we’ll hope for a white holiday season by building snowmen on December 16. 

December 8-9 & 15-16

Volunteers of the Ferndale Heritage Society will again host a “Lighted Christmas Stroll Through Pioneer Village” event. This free event is a “giving back to our community” labor of love. 

Thanks to board stamped concrete sidewalks, you won’t even get your feet wet as you stroll around the cabins, see all of the park lit up with over 90,000 lights, hear Christmas music and see costumed volunteers greet you as you feel the holiday cheer spill into the winter air.

December 9

The community is invited to adorn their bodies and bikes with lights and pedal on the South Bay Trail between Fairhaven and Downtown!

December 17

Run, skip, or walk in the all-ages Santa-themed 5K at the fabulous Cordata and Julianna Parks. Participants are welcome to run as fast as humanly possible or take an hour while enjoying hot cider or cocoa and chatting with friends. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. 

Fun for the entire family with prizes given for fastest times as well as other festive categories. Registration includes a Santa hat too!

December 22

It’s time once again for “Holiday History Hi-jinks," a celebration of holiday themed Belling-history and festive good times! 

THIS YEAR IT’S A PARTY, Y’ALL. SING, LAUGH, DRINK AND BE MERRY. Enjoy local holiday history, prizes, treats. Festive dress encouraged. Photo booth! 

$30, all ages (but rated naughty), Cocktails (21+) and bites available for purchase from the A21 bar with specials for event-goers.

Downtown is excited to #ShineBrightBham. Visit Downtown and savor the season’s spirit, decor, and lights with your friends and family. Enjoy events, 30+ decorated window displays, and interactive contests and scavenger hunts. 

Make sure to vote on your favorites as you stroll - you could win a prize!

Hotel Bellwether comes alive with holiday magic and welcomes you to a Winter Wonderland the entire month of December! Join them for their annual Holiday Tree Lighting Festival benefiting Skookum Kids, a volunteer-staffed community organization that supports children transitioning into foster care. 

View over 20 trees creatively decorated by local businesses and our very own Bellwether Bella, official "Canine Concierge." Vote for your favorite tree by contributing monetary or gently used clothing donations, and be entered to win a night in the Lighthouse Suite.

November 17 - December 24

Start this beautiful holiday season off with Allied Arts annual Holiday Festival of the Arts! Starring over 100 local artisans and craftspeople presenting their holiday goodies; consisting of one-of-a-kind gifts, specialty food and treats, stunning jewelry, and paintings. From fragrant handcrafted soaps to homemade sweet treats, there will be something for everyone on Santa’s list. 

November 25

Come to Boundary Bay Brewery to shop from 20+ local vendors selling a variety of goods from jewelry and art to clothing and edible goods! 

The market will run from 11am - 5pm on the covered deck and in the beer garden. More information on the vendors that'll be at the Holiday Market can be found on Facebook (Boundary Bay Brewery) and Instagram (@bbaybrewery).

November 25 & 26

Shop Small Weekend Market! We are hosting a small market to jumpstart your holiday shopping. The gallery is also on the map for the Fairhaven Art Walk from 4pm-7pm.

November 25 & 26 / December 16 & 17

Bellingham Makers Market is bringing back a brand-new holiday market! Get into the festive spirit and discover unique gifts while showing your support for local artisans at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. 

This enchanting event will offer a fantastic opportunity to stock up on gifts for all of your loved ones, from hand-crafted soaps, sustainable goods and exquisite art to delectable food items, stylish clothing, aromatic candles, and stunning jewelry. Reel Mobile will also be taking part this year, a 1957 Scotsman trailer converted into a super fly vintage photo booth!

November 28 

It’s the cutest shopping expurrience around! NEKO Cat Cafe’s Pawliday MarCat is coming back to the cat room with 5+ local cat-loving makers & artists! With the help of 20+ feline purrsonal shoppers: it's the best way to stock up on unique handmade gifts (and treat yourself to kitty snugs in the purrocess!). 

Sip on wintry drinks, shop and hang out with NEKO’s adoptable cats! Each kitty shopping session is 45 minutes of purrrfection. Tickets are highly recommended, so don't furget to get your paws on them before they're all gone!

First three weekends in December

Shop small this holiday season at Pacific Arts Market, this year located at Bellis Fair Mall

Enjoy carefully curated handmade gifts including candles, soaps, jewelry, ceramics, photography, woodwork, clothing, desserts, resin pour art, fiber arts and beautifully up-cycled décor. Come out and meet the artists in their element! 

Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays: Dec 1-3, 8-10, and 15-17, 10am-6pm.

December 3

Holiday Goods & Crafts. Used Book Sale and Bake Sale. FREE pictures with Santa, 1pm-3pm!

December 9

Head to Kulshan Brewing's K2 location in the Roosevelt neighborhood for their annual Holiday Makers Market! Browse gifts and goods from over 30 local and sustainably focused creatives. 

December 9  

Get ready for a whimsical winter wonderland at the Children’s Holiday Market! Join us for a day of festive fun and creativity as little artisan’s and entrepreneurs showcase their delightful gifts and goodies. 

Bring small bills-all sales are cash only. This event is fun for the whole family! 

Want to be a vendor? Reserve your booth by Dec. 1 (or before it sells out!).

December 16

Brought to you by the Ferndale Arts Commission! Come to a winter creative festival for music, cheer, and local hand made arts and crafts. 

10am-4pm, Saturday, December 16 at the Pioneer Pavilion in Ferndale! For information please email ferndale.creative@gmail.com.

December 16

Waterfront Artist Studios opens their doors for a Holiday Art Mart. Come shop handmade and unique gifts for the special people on your list! This Art Mart is one weekend only so be sure to swing by!

December 10

Come enjoy a holiday market unlike any other in town! Enjoy live music, Santa photos, tarot card reading, face painting, shopping, drinks, food, and so much more! A portion of each dollar spent will benefit Shifting Gears, a local non-profit focused on encouraging women to experience the outdoors. 

The Snow Queen

December 1 - January 7

at The BAAY Theatre

Ha Ha Holiday

Every Friday & Saturday December 1-23

at The Upfront Theatre

Holiday Magic!

December 10

at Mount Baker Theatre

O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy

Starts December 13 

at Mount Baker Theatre

The Nutcracker

December 15-17 

at Mount Baker Theatre 

Intergalactic Holiday

December 16-17 

at Blaine Performing Arts Center 

Holiday Ukulele Concert

December 17 

at Whatcom Museum, Old City Hall 

Non Stop Carolers

December 17

at Boundary Bay Brewery 

Holiday Party with The Dimes

December 22

at Corner Taphouse

December 30

Celebrate the turn of the year with The Blue Room and some of Bellingham's best bands (linked below)! Drink specials will be available all night, with a special surprise at midnight. 

Pure Halcyon: https://linktr.ee/purehalcyonband  

The Cosmic Neighborhood: https://linktr.ee/thecosmicneighborhood  

Slowfall: https://www.slowfallband.com/ 

December 31

Celebrate New Year's Eve at Semiahmoo. Join for a galaxy-themed evening featuring a grand buffet dinner, dancing, live music from Dial Up, glow in the dark mini golf, cash bar with themed cocktails, and a hosted champagne toast at midnight. 

Tickets start at $50 with options for the full event including a grand buffet dinner or a late night ticket for celebrating after 9 PM!

December 31

Ring in the New Year with SkiiTour at The Wild Buffalo in Downtown Bellingham!

Fusing two fresh-off-the-mountain electronic music addicts, Tim and Dave together create 12 feet and 350 pounds of turbo-funk-boosted, snowsuit-donning man flesh. Hailing from the world famous ski town of Whistler, this dynamic duo loves shredding fresh powder just as much as they love smashing out hit records in the studio.

Producing & performing together for over 8 years, they are like savage yetis feeding off of each other during their high energy live shows which feature snow machines & loud retro ski gear. Sonically they are firmly rooted in house music but can be expected to sprinkle a couple extra genres into every set.

December 31

Ring in the New Year at Boundary Bay with a night full of live music and festivities! North Sound Soul will be playing at the brewery on New Year's! 

North Sound Soul features a hard-hitting 4-piece horn section and the talents of dynamic vocalists Diana Young and Margaret Wilder. This 9-member powerhouse from Bellingham will be starting at 10:15 pm, ensuring you ring in the new year dancing! We'll also have our annual lowering of the keg at midnight. Start off 2024 surrounded by your Bellingham friends and family and make it one you won't forget!

December 31

Join the fun in Birch Bay and plan to ring in the New Year with the annual Ring of Fire & Hope!

Find a spot and light your flare right at 7:00 PM. It looks like a beautiful string of Christmas lights surrounding Birch Bay.

As always, a limited number of complimentary biodegradable flares will be available on a first come first serve basis. 

December 31

No need to make it to midnight! Celebrate at the Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) where we'll ring in the new year with a countdown and balloon drop at 4 p.m. Children (and grown-ups, too!) can create their own party hats in the Art Studio, then capture the moment in our photo booth. 

On December 31, the FIG will be open from 12 - 5 p.m.; balloon drop at 4 p.m.

December 31

Experience a culinary evening to remember on New Year's Eve at the Lighthouse Grill with carefully curated and Northwest inspired dinner menus by Executive Chef Marcello Mazzoleni that will tantalize the palate and ignite your senses.

December 31

The Black Cat in Fairhaven Village will be open on New Year's Eve until 1 a.m.! Ring in the new year with dinner, drinks, and good company. 

December 31

Ring in the New Year Great Gatsby style at Galloway's 6th Annual New Year's Eve party! Embrace the bar's Deco Era ambiance and dress in your best Gatsby-themed attire for an evening of bubbles, hand-crafted cocktails, and scrumptious bites! The bar will be open from 3 PM through the New Year, last call at 12:15 AM.

Reserve one of six VIP Tables in the main bar or head to the the Niche Bar and Cocktail Porch for walk-in, open seating. Reservations are not required, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

January 1

An annual Bellingham tradition! Celebrate the New Year in style with a walk-run around Lake Padden followed by a shockingly fun dip in the water. Yes, it's cold and yes you should do it! Bring your enthusiasm, towel, a change of clothes, and shoes that can get wet. 

Walk/Run: 11 a.m. 

Dip: Noon sharp!

January 1

Join the fun in Birch Bay and ring in the New Year at the 41st annual Polar Bear Plunge! It’s a festive, and chilly way to kick off the New Year. 

This year the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce will be set up at Beach Cat Brewing Company (7876 Birch Bay Drive) in the warming tent sponsored by WECU starting at 10:00 AM with on-site registration, a costume contest and t-shirt sales! The plunge happens at 12 p.m. sharp across from Beach Cat Brewing Co. 

January 1

Join Ranger Gladson for a New Years Day hike to Clayton Beach at Larrabee State Park. This newly renovated trail is family friendly and includes stream bridges, boardwalks over wetlands, and a new pedestrian overpass. Ranger Gladson will provide interpretation along the way with local flora and fauna as well as history of Larrabee State Park.

More details here

January 1

Start the New Year off right with a spectacular brunch at Penny Farthing on New Year's Day. Includes celebratory Happy New Year Mimosa with additional specialty cocktails available for purchase. Seatings available from 9am to 2pm. 

Reservations required: $55 per person; Children 10 & Under $25; Children 5 & Under Free.

Give a gift, get a gift! From Nov. 1, 2023 through Jan. 15, 2024, purchase an Inn at Lynden gift card for $200 and receive a $50 gift card to use at any of the four unique merchants that share the hotel's historic building: Avenue Bread, Cheeks Jeans, Overflow Taps, and Village Books. 

Call, email or stop in to purchase: 360-746-8597, 100 5th Street, Lynden, Washington.

Book Your Stay

A short break can be so relaxing. Watch the sunset, soak in the hot tub, and spend quality time together with no distractions and spectacular views of the Farmstead.

The Winter Breaks Special Offer is effective between December -March 14. Based on 2 guests. *excluding all Holidays during Christmas. This offer applies to the Little  Farmhouse and is valid for direct bookings only.

Book Your Stay

Visit charming Fairhaven Village Inn and save up to 15% off your stay on certain dates, particularly weekday stays (Sunday-Thursday)! Relax in Fairhaven Village's spacious rooms and enjoy a spectacular view of the park or the bay. Take time to explore downtown Fairhaven, known for local watering holes, quaint shops, and charming streets.

Book Your Stay

Starting Nov. 24 and ending Dec 24., receive a $35 bonus coupon for every $200 gift card purchased at The Chrysalis Inn & Spa Bellingham, a Curio Collection by Hilton. Gift cards can be redeemed in the hotel, spa, or Keenan’s at the Pier restaurant. Purchase your gift card by phone at 360-756-1005 or in-person at 804 10th Street, Bellingham.

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        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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Phone: 360-671-3990

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