Seattle After Dark: 13 of the Top Things to Do in Seattle at Night

March 18, 2022

Hot coffee, vibrant greenery, and cloudy days characterize the moody yet dreamy city of Seattle. Once the cloudy days fade to dark nights, it’s time to experience the city in a whole new way.

It's not hard to fill your days in the Emerald City. Wake up with coffee, lunch on a Seattle-style hot dog, and take in the sights and sounds of Washington state's largest city. However, once the Seattle skyline is officially lit up for the night, how will you pass the time? Discover the top things to do in Seattle at night below.

If you're looking to live out your 90s rom-com Sleepless in Seattle dreams (or are, literally, sleepless in Seattle), you will need to hit the town and experience Seattle nightlife.

Visiting iconic landmarks like the Space Needle, Lake Union, and Pike Place Market is a must. Fill the time in between with popular evening activities like dinner cruises, comedy shows, and theater performances.

Pro Tip: Seattle is considered safer than many other big cities. However, being downtown at night in a big city always comes with some inherent danger. So be sure to stay alert and take safety precautions.

Unsure of where to go during the evening hours? We've got you covered. Read on for the top things to do in Seattle at night!

The Space Needle 

This famous landmark is the face of the Seattle skyline. Experience new heights and an unbeatable view of the city at the top! The outdoor observation deck is the gutsiest way to see it all, but the glass benches, floors, and walls take second place.

The Loupe Lounge is a way to dine and sip like never before. It's perched on a revolving glass floor!

Photo Alert: You can't travel to Seattle without snapping a photo at this beloved building. Capture the cityscape in all its glory from the observation deck.

Related Post: 14 Most Romantic Restaurants Seattle

The Space Needle is open until 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and closes at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

aerial view of the space need at sunset in Seattle, Washington USASmith Tower

While the Space Needle is probably the most well-known structure of Seattle's architecture portfolio, Smith Tower is equally remarkable as the city's first skyscraper. And it's a great thing to do at night in Seattle. Construction was wrapped up in 1914, and the structure was then known as the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. 

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events in Seattle 

Visitors can peruse the souvenir shop on the ground floor, stroll through the building's historical exhibits, and glimpse breathtaking views from the observatory on the open-air observation deck. Furthermore, the tower houses a speakeasy-style bar.

The tower closes at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. However, it stays open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The last elevator ride takes off one hour before closing.

view of Smith Tower with fall and autumn trees lining the streets in Seattle, Washington, USASeattle Harbor Cruise

If you're afraid of heights and prefer to keep things closer to sea level, a dinner cruise may be more your style. So grab tickets for the Seattle Harbor Cruise to spend an evening on the waves of Elliot Bay.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Argosy Cruises Seattle: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

The beauty of the skyline as viewed from the water pairs well with narration about the city's exciting history. Snacks and drinks are also available to enjoy during the cruise!

Wide shot of an Argosy Cruise Boat on the water with lights on on a snowy winter day in Seattle, Washington, USA

photo credit: Argosy Cruises via Facebook

Comedy Shows

Whether your style is more Jim Gaffigan or Jerry Seinfeld, there's a comedy show for your sense of humor in Seattle. The city's comedy scene features both comedy clubs and improv theaters. As a result, both seasoned veterans and young newbies take the Seattle stage.

Some local clubs and theaters include:

Karaoke

Plan a karaoke night if you're feeling brave and ready to belt out a tune in front of a crowd! Take the chance to serenade your sweetie or get lost in the music.

Related Post: 21 Unforgettable Romantic Things to Do in Seattle for Couples

Here are some of the top places in Seattle to burst into song (and dance, if you're feeling even braver!):

Indoor Skydiving

Have you ever wanted to feel the adrenaline rush of skydiving without actually jumping out of a plane? At iFLY, you can do just that! Safely feel the weightless rush without the risk over a cushion of controlled air.

Even better, iFLY offers virtual reality experiences to feel like you're flying over breathtaking places like Dubai, the Swiss Alps, or the Hawaiian Islands.

Experience the high-flying fun every evening except Monday. iFLY is open until 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. It closes at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. the rest of the week. 

Two people in red sky diving suits in the indoor sky diving tunnel at iFly Seattle in Seattle, Washington, USA

photo credit: iFly (Seattle) via Facebook

Theater Performances

Enjoy top-rated performances at the Seattle Opera with captions in English so you can immerse yourself in the storyline and all of its captivating drama.

Related Post: When is the Best Time to Visit Seattle?

Alternatively, catch a show at the 5th Avenue Theatre, complete with gorgeous Chinese-inspired decor. In addition, the Paramount Theatre hosts headlining musicals, comedy acts, concerts, and plays.

Barcades

Kick it old-school style with beloved arcade games reminiscent of simpler times. Then, challenge your friends to a game of Galaga or Mortal Kombat and take a break by sipping on drinks in between. Seattle barcades are the best of both worlds!

Arcade games make happy hour even happier. Check one of these locations out:

Museums

For the best chance of living night at the museum, an evening visit to one of Seattle's museums is a must. There are multiple archives to choose from, so hit them all or pick your favorite!

Seattle Art Museum

Three art museums and installation areas make up the Seattle Art Museum's institution: the Seattle Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Centered downtown, the Seattle Art Museum houses domestic and international artwork, revolving installations, and exclusive exhibitions. While regular museum hours for the Seattle Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on open days, the Olympic Sculpture Park is open daily until 30 minutes after sunset.

Seattle Pinball Museum

Not a big museum buff? Unconventional museums such as the Seattle Pinball Museum might be more in your wheelhouse. This museum pays homage to the classic entertainment of yesteryear.

Related Post: Seattle Outdoor Activities: 9 of the Most Epic Adventures

Around 50 playable pinball machine games comprise the museum's collection. Challenge your family and friends to name the pinball champion by the end of the night! The museum is open until 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Close up of several old pin ball machines in a row at the Seattle Pinball Museum in Seattle, Washington, USA

photo credit: Pete Kerzel via Facebook

Bellevue Arts Museum

The creation of the Bellevue Arts Museum in 1975 blossomed from an art fair held in 1947. After undergoing various renovations, the museum now stands as a permanent tribute to arts, crafts, and design.   

Wander through the museum for an inspiring cultural experience. The doors are open until 5 p.m. on normal open days, but the word on the street is you can walk the gallery all the way until 8 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. 

Marketplaces 

Although the general market closes earlier, some individual businesses stay open later into the evening. Check their hours online before your visit!

Pike Place Market

Established in 1907, Pike Place Market is a Seattle staple for local farmers, artisans, business owners, and city residents. It's the city's original farmers' market and is frequently tagged the "soul of Seattle." 

This nine-acre historic downtown area is filled with specialty shops boasting a diverse collection of local and imported goods that will make you ooh and ah. It's also a treasure trove of delicious foods, which makes for some excellent taste testing. 

Related Post: Insiders Guide to Argosy Cruises Seattle

Pro Tip: If you're looking to stop for dinner while here, The Pink Door serves up Italian-American fare and is a market favorite!

View looking up at the sign for Pike Place Market on a sunny day with a blue sky in Seattle, Washington, USA

photo credit: Erin Hervey via Unsplash

Melrose Market

While Pike Place Market has quite a reputation, the downside is that this inevitably means lots of crowds and parking chaos. However, the newer Melrose Market is an up-and-coming alternative market that you won't want to miss.

Melrose Market stands at Pike-Pine's west end on Capitol Hill and is contained in remodeled buildings originally constructed in the 1920s that were converted to their present state in 2010. Its multiple food and retail businesses are all indoors, which makes strolling the market a great nighttime activity. 

The Olympic Mountains

A trip to Rain City isn't complete without heading to the Olympic Mountains. There's no shortage of wilderness to explore in the nearly one million acres that make up Olympic National Park. Mountains, rain forests, and coastlines all comprise this diverse landscape. Some of the many activities to fill your time include hiking, tide pooling, and fishing.

You can spend the entire night here at a campground or simply stay until the stars come out. When the area gets drier in the summer months, the night skies, free of light pollution, are spectacular. The Hurricane Ridge Astronomy Program allows you to scope out the wonder of the night sky with the help of an experienced guide.  

Wide shot of the Olympic Mountain Range one a sunny day with snot on the peaks near Seattle, Washington, USALake Union

Located in the middle of downtown Seattle, Lake Union is a nature haven for city slickers to take a break. Hang out on the shore at a greenspace or restaurant, like the White Swan Public House. Or, get splashed on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

Related Post: Hidden Gems in Seattle: 10 Secret Spots You Don't Want to Miss

Whether you want to laze on the bank or get active in the water, there's nothing like an evening spent at the lake. 

Neighborhoods

Roaming the many neighborhoods of Seattle is another way to explore the lay of the land. Take a walking tour and stop by a charming shop or hole-in-the-wall restaurant where you can start a conversation with a local. In addition, you can drive around and admire the houses and buildings. 

Some favorite neighborhoods include Pioneer Square and Queen Anne, but there are many to choose from!

pink, purple, and blue skies as the sun rises over Seattle, Washington, USAWhich Top Things to Do in Seattle at Night Will You Try?

The Jet City fun doesn't have to end once the sun goes down. Swing by Seattle for a dreamy evening filled with exciting activities!

Is there anything we missed on our list?

What is your favorite thing to do at night in Seattle?

Let us know in the comments below.


michaela smiling holding magazine with body of water in background

Written By Michaela

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people. She is based in the Midwest ...

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  1. Heather Martin says:

    Did you actually check to see if anything was open before you bothered to write this article?

    • Hi Heather! Our writers thoroughly research our destinations before writing any content. Furthermore, many of our writers are locals and write content relative to their region. We appreciate you reaching out and if you have a specific restaurant or attraction that is closed, please let us know and we will be happy to update the article!

  2. Aaron says:

    The last Harbor Cruise leaves at 4:05 PM. For most people that is not “Evening.”

  3. Great list! I visited Seattle ones but half of the things on this list I haven’t done so I’m afraid I’ll have to go back and check these places out :))

    • avatar of Teresa in blue tripster shirt
      Teresa Tripster says:

      Hi Lena! We fully support a return trip to do more exploring.

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