It’s beginning to look a lot like the Holidays in Ballard. Show your favorite downtown businesses some love by shopping local and supporting small businesses this holiday season! Discover something new while experiencing all the hygge our neighborhood has to offer. Check out our list of holiday happenings below. It’s a flurry of festive fun for the rest of the year.

💡 Holiday Lights: All Season Long

It’s beginning to look a lot like the Holidays in Ballard with holiday lights making the tree canopies along NW Market Street and Ballard Avenue NW merry and bright!

Enjoy the twinkling lights every evening until shortly after Valentine’s Day in February 2024. The program is made possible each year through the Ballard Alliance and Ballard Improvement Area (BIA). The program’s goal is to add festive cheer to the shopping and dining district and enhance safety for pedestrians strolling the neighborhood.

👣 TOMTE TRAIL: November 1st – December 2nd

Explore Ballard to find the sneaky little tomten hidden in 28 businesses throughout the neighborhood. To get your Tomte Trail passport, visit one of the 28 participating locations, or download it below. To help you find your way around, we’ve created an online map for your convenience.

Then bring your stamped passport to Ballard HolidayFest on Saturday, December 2nd, from 2 – 5 p.m. at Marvin’s Garden Park to win a prize, regardless of how many stamps you have collected. Those who collect at least ten stamps will be entered into a drawing for a Family Membership to the National Nordic (Be sure to fill out contact info inside so we can let Museum know if you won!)

🥫 Harvest Food Drive: November 1 – November 30th

Consider giving back when shopping, dining and doing business in Ballard this holiday season. Drop off non-perishable food items for the Ballard Food Bank at more than 40 Ballard businesses. Click here for a list of participating locations and an online map.


-Soups and chili (including low-sodium options)
-Peanut Butter
-Mac and Cheese
-Canned Tuna, Chicken, or Salmon
-Individual Oatmeal
-Single-serving and full-box cereals
-Pasta and rice (brown, white, basmati, grain-free, gluten-free)
-Shelf-stable juice boxes and milk/alternative kinds of milk
-Coffee (instant and regular)
-Boxed side dishes (Rice-A-Roni, etc)

Or if you would prefer to give a cash donation you can make one directly at

Julefest at the National Nordic Museum: Saturday, November 18th – Sunday, November 19th

The National Nordic Museum invites you to experience its 46th Annual Julefest! Enjoy an authentic Nordic holiday experience, right in the heart of Ballard. Modeled after the traditional outdoor Christmas markets found in the Nordic countries, this community favorite features all the fun and goodies associated with the Nordic holidays, with a Pacific Northwest twist! Free for National Nordic museum members | $10 for non-members | $5 for youth 12-18 yrs | Free for children under 12. All attendees must register in advance.

🛍 Ballard Gives Back: Friday, November 24th

Ballard Gives Back is Ballard’s version of Black Friday. Dozens of Ballard businesses are putting a generous spin on Black Friday shopping by participating in Ballard Gives Back on Friday, November 24, 2023.  Ballard Gives Back is a program created by local merchants to encourage socially conscious holiday shopping in Ballard by donating a portion of their proceeds to a selected charity. Match up your favorite stores in Ballard with your favorite charity and shop small this holiday season.

🛍 Small Business Saturday: Saturday, November 25th

Speaking of shopping small, the day after Black Friday is Small Business Saturday. Skip the malls and scrolling Amazon on Saturday, November 26th, and do your holiday shopping in Ballard. Discover one-of-a-kind finds while enjoying the charm of the neighborhood. Put your money where your house is and keep your hard-earned dollars in the community you love to call home!

🎄 Ballard HolidayFest: Saturday, December 2nd from 2 – 5 PM

The Alliance Elves are hard at work preparing for the 2023 Ballard HolidayFest! Bring your family and friends to Marvin’s Garden Park on Saturday, December 2nd from 2 – 5 p.m. and enjoy free photos with Santa, hot cocoa and cider, holiday treats and popcorn from the Pop’s Popcorn, tree lighting, Tomte Trail prize giveaways, live music, merriment, and more!

Ballard HolidayFest is a free community event made possible through support from the Seattle Office of Economic Development, Ballard Alliance, and volunteers from the Ballard business community.

🍸 Ballard Cocktail Trail: Friday, December 8 from 5 – 8 PM

Due to popular demand, we brought back the Ballard Cocktail Trail! This ticketed cocktail crawl gives attendees the opportunity to sample different cocktails from neighborhood bars and restaurants at participating boutiques while shopping for gifts and discovering the true meaning of hygge. If it is anything like last year, tickets will sell out fast. Tickets will go on sale in late October 2023.