Embrace the magic of the holidays in the San Juan Islands. From tree lightings and artisan fairs to holiday concerts and festivals, each island brings its own bit of small-town charm to your winter getaway. Discover 14 of our favorite holiday-inspired things to do in the San Juan Islands.
CHRISTMAS IN THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS
Nov. 23: VILLAGE GATHERING & HOLIDAY LIGHTING (LOPEZ ISLAND)
Once the turkey’s been eaten and the leftovers stored, Lopez islanders gather to celebrate the start of Christmas. This annual event features a torch light parade, caroling, and the lighting of lights at Lopez Village. Food is provided by local businesses and warm clothing is strongly recommended.
Nov. 23 & 24: OLGA SYMPHONY, MORE OR LESS (ORCAS ISLAND)
For nearly 20 years, the Olga Symphony has celebrated the season with a musical extravaganza. This year’s performances will feature the guitar, fiddle, bass, banjo, mandolin, saw, and of course – vocals.
Nov. 23 & 24: SAN JUAN ISLAND ARTISAN HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE (SAN JUAN ISLAND)
Once again, the best artists from San Juan Island will gather at the Friday Harbor Elementary School to share their work. Selections range from soaps, lotions, and island-made food to jewelry, paintings, and clothes.
Local caterer Paella will be providing snacks. And, proceeds will benefit the Island Artisans Scholarship Fund.
Nov. 24: HOLIDAY BAZAAR (LOPEZ ISLAND)
From gift shopping to live music, the 38th annual Lopez Pre-School Holiday Bazaar is holiday festivities are its best. 70 vendors are planning to attend. A special children’s corner will be set up with crafts and games. Raffle prizes will be distributed throughout the day. And, a bake sale will feature a variety of tasty treats!
Dec. 1: ISLAND LIGHTS FESTIVAL (SAN JUAN ISLAND)
This magical Friday Harbor holiday celebration has become a favorite for those near and far. It features Santa pictures at Brickworks, crafts at the Whale Museum, and hot chocolate at the Riptide Café. Plus, there will be caroling, treats, and – of course – the tree lighting!
Dec. 7: EASTSOUND HOLIDAY CELEBRATION & TREE LIGHTING (ORCAS ISLAND)
Orcas Island locals and visitors will kick off the holidays with a healthy dose of small-town fun at the Eastsound Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance. Live music will be playing. Hot cider and cookies will be served. And of course, the tree will be lit!
Dec. 8: Old-Fashioned Christmas Market at Brickworks (SAN JUAN ISLAND)
Step back in time. Experience a magical European-style Christmas at the Friday Harbor Winterfest. Held at Brickworks, you’ll have the chance to savor homemade soup, homemade mac and cheese, and freshly baked bread. Activities will be available for the little ones. Life holiday music will abound. A spirits garden will be open. And, local artisans will be showing off their wares.
Dec. 1: ORCAS LIBRARY HOLIDAY SILVER TEA (ORCAS ISLAND)
For the last 56 years, the annual Holiday Silver Tea has been a beloved tradition for Orcas Island residents and visitors alike. Held at the Orcas Island Public Library, this festive event features cookies, sandwiches, local music talent, and tea! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be stopping by to say hello. And, of course, your favorite librarians will also be in attendance.
Dec. 1 & 2: ARTISAN FAIR AT ODD FELLOWS HALL (ORCAS ISLAND)
Featuring 40 local vendors, this annual artisan fair offers a celebratory opportunity to shop for holiday gifts. Featuring 40 local vendors from throughout the San Juan Islands, you’ll find a wide range of carefully crafted items including: jewelry, clothing, body care products, ceramic and textile products, gourmet baked and much more. A special lunch will be provided at the Odd Fellows restaurant, located downstairs.
Dec. 1 & 2: LOPEZ ISLANDER RESORT ANNUAL HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR (LOPEZ ISLAND)
Local Craft Vendors will gather to show off their artistic talents at this fun annual holiday craft fair. Come join in the Holiday spirit and accomplish your Holiday shopping.
Dec. 8: Stille Nacht - Silent Night (ORCAS ISLAND)
European and Celtic music and infused with Christmas flare, for an evening that’s sure to delight. Performers include Irish flutist, Brian Dunning, German & American vocalists Marc Gremm & Janet Marie Chvatal with American keyboardist and vocalist Jeff Johnson.
Dec. 8 & 9: Orcas Choral Society: Making Spirits Bright (ORCAS ISLAND)
Join the Orcas Choral Society to rejoice in the season. This fabulous group of singers will treat you to joyful songs of new and old. It’s a glorious way to celebrate the season!
Dec. 13: Leaves of Gold Concert (ORCAS ISLAND)
Cellist Desmond Hoebig and pianist Jon Kimura Parker have performed together frequently since they were teenagers in British Columbia. This concert brings them together again to perform works by Rachmaninoff and Richard Strauss.
Dec. 23: NUTCRACKER (SAN JUAN ISLAND)
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the Nutcracker. Alexandre Dumas Père’s adaptation of the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann was set to music by Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa.