Thanksgiving weekend in Seattle is a time of celebrating family, friends and the start of the Christmas shopping season. The weather is usually temperate, though it can range from sun to rain to snow. There are many ways to experience Seattle from its world-class museums to its historic sites. There are opportunities to dance the night away, hike through a city park or take in magnificent views of the city and surrounding mountain ranges. Often, the fall colors last into November, though it is dependent on the weather. Check out this list of activities for Thanksgiving weekend when you have visitors to host.

Seattle Asian Art Museum (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Seattle Asian Art Museum
1400 E. Prospect St.
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 654-3100

The Seattle Asian Art Museum is located at Volunteer Park on Capital Hill, and resides in the old Seattle Art Museum building. This museum houses the Asian art collection for the Seattle Art Museum. It rotates its exhibits and collections throughout the year. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, but is open the remainder of the weekend. The parking is free, but there is an entrance fee into the museum. The Seattle Art Museum’s main building is located in downtown Seattle, and the Olympic Sculpture Park is located on Western Avenue near the waterfront.

Space Needle (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Space Needle
400 Broad St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 905-2100

Built for the 1962 World Fair, the Space Needle is still an iconic symbol of Seattle. It towers 605 feet above the Seattle Center, and is home to two restaurants. The Sky City Restaurant is at the top, and it rotates to give sweeping views of the city. It is open for lunch and dinner throughout the week, and brunch on the weekends. The top is an observation deck that offers an incredible view of the city, Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Other key buildings from the 1962 World Fair include the Pacific Science Center, Center House, International Fountain and the Coliseum (currently known at the Key Arena). The monorail runs between the Seattle Center and the Westlake Center.

Pike Place Market
85 Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 682-7453

The Pike Place Market is an historic market in downtown Seattle near the waterfront. It is known for its fish market and “flying” fish. The market includes farmer produce, artist stalls, restaurants and ethnic shops. The first Starbucks Coffee shop is located right across the street from the North Arcade entrance on Pike Place. The market consists of several levels of winding stairways, views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains and musicians. This is a fantastic way to spend a day exploring a piece of historic Seattle, and it is within walking distance of the Seattle waterfront. The market is closed on Thanksgiving Day, but open the remainder of the weekend. Paid parking is located in the Market Parking Garage.

Related:  Best Of The Pike Place Market

Westlake Center
400 Pine St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 467-1600

The Westlake Center is located in downtown Seattle and is a three-story shopping mall. It is filled with small shops and restaurants. The Made In Washington store is located on the first level and carries items made by local artists. During the Christmas season, the Holiday Carousel is located in Westlake Park, just outside the shopping center. It is a great area to see Seattle dress up for the holidays. There is paid parking at the Westlake Tower Parking Garage, or visitors can ride the monorail from the Seattle Center.

Volunteer Park Conservatory (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Volunteer Park Conservatory
1400 E. Galer St.
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 684-4743

The crown jewel of Volunteer Park is its historical Conservatory. It was built in 1912 and inspired by the great Victorian conservatories in Europe. The conservatory is operated by the city of Seattle, along with the non-profit Friends of the Conservatory. Many exotic species of plants are displayed for viewing, including an extensive orchid collection dating back to the early 1900s. The holiday season brings special displays to the conservatory, and it is family friendly. The volunteers that run the gift shop are knowledgeable and very helpful. All purchases in the gift shop help support the conservatory. There is an entrance fee but parking is free.

Related: Best Views From The Top

Karen Ulvestad is a mother and professional writer/photographer, who lives in the greater Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Composition. Her background is in fitness, travel, photography and writing. She continually researches locations to visit, and/or entertainment opportunities for family outings and/or photo shoots. Her work can be found at