7 Ways to Celebrate Holiday Events: Seattle Edition
I love the month of December. Never am I filled with so much happiness. Christmas music takes over the radio, my house smells like pine, and warm stuff is always coming out of my oven.
Twinklie lights sure don’t hurt either.
Seattle doesn’t disappoint when it comes to holiday fun. I’ve explored a little but there is so much more to do. I’ve got a lot on my Christmas agenda this year. Here’s hoping I can do it all.
1 Downtown Seattle
- Holiday Carousel – Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.- Take a spin around Seattle’s holiday carousel in between your shopping excursion downtown. The kids will thank you for the break and you can warm up with a hot chocolate in West Lake Center after your ride.
- 20th Annual Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel – November 20-Januaru 1– This year some of Seattle’s top architects along with the Sheraton’s culinary team will take on the theme “Once Upon A Time.” Get ready to dream about an edible castle!
- Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Olympic – now through December 26th– Check out these adorable bears (donations benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital) and then pop downstairs to see this year’s gingerbread creation before heading off for Holiday Tea.
- Diving Santa at the Seattle Aquarium. Weekends 12pm and 3pm. Watch Santa dives with the fishes while you listen to a little holiday music and sip on a seasonal beverage.
- Toyland Village- childhood toys are brought to life along Seattle’s waterfront. Grab a latte and steamed milk for the kids as you take in the lights of Christmas.
2 Seattle Center Winterfest
- Winterfest Ice Rink- Dec 24 closes 4pm, Dec 25 closed, Dec 31 closes 11:30pm, Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, $2 children ages 5 and under, includes skate rental. –Grab a hot cocoa and a pair of mittens to stay warm as you slide across the ice with your favorite someone in tow.
- Winter Train & Village at Seattle Center- hours:10:30 AM-12:00 PM, 1:00 PM-2:30 PM and 3:30-5:30 PM daily. Closed Dec 25 and Jan 1. Cost: $2 suggested donation. – Seriously, who doesn’t love trains? Holiday trains are even more exciting for the grown up train enthusiast in your life or the little boy (and girl) who will never get enough of yelling choo-choo throughout the house.
3 Bellevue Magic Season
- Gingerbread Houses at Hilton Hotel Bellevue- December 1-16 – Architects, bakers and businesses get together with KidsQuest Museum to create some of the most impressive houses you will ever see. Try not to eat them if you visit. They frown on that.
- Enchanted Holidays at The Braven– now through Dec. 24th. Photos with Santa (Wednesday-Sundays), Pony rides (Saturday and Sunday), and Little Bookworms Story Time (Wednesdays) are part of what makes the holiday merry and bright this year. Trophy Cupcakes will be at Little Bookworms; if that’s not a reason to head to Bellevue I don’t know what is!
- Chaplins Bellevue Volkswagen Ice Arena – now through January 13, 2013, check website for specific dates and times, Tickets: $10– Strap on your skates, grab the kids or your best gal and hit the ice to practice that triple axel you have been dreaming of doing all year.
- Garden D’Light at the Bellevue Botanical Garden– (now through December 31st, 5:00pm to 10:00pm Every Evening Including Holidays, Tickets: $5, Kids under 10 are free) Overwhelm your ocular senses when over half a million lights take over the night in this local botanical garden.
- Snow Flake Lane – 7pm every night through December 31st – Lights, music, and drummer boys take over the streets of downtown Bellevue filling even the biggest scrooge with a little Christmas cheer. And did I mention there will be snow? Yes. Snow.
4 North Seattle Neighborhood Walk and Drive
- Candy Cane Lane Ravenna (Dec. 15-Jan. 1st) This neighborhood burst to life each year as crowds fill the streets to check out the efforts of a few amazing neighbors celebrating the season together.
- WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo (November 23- January 1, 5:30pm-8:30pm) Get up close and personal with a few creatures of the night while you tour through a dazzling jungle of your favorite zoo animals. Don’t forget to take a spin on the historic carousel after you build a snowman in Snowmazium and say hello to a couple of Santa’s reindeer.
5 Head South to Tacoma for the Day
The number one reason we will be hopping in the car and heading south this season is to visit is Zoo Lights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma. They have tiger cubs, a scuba diving Santa and over 500,000 lights. I can ride a camel with Dek, and we can take a spin on the antique carousel, feed a few goats, and marvel at a 100-foot Giant Pacific Octopus light display. That is definitely worth the gas money.
- Hours: Nov. 23- Jan 1st, 5-9 pm,
- Cost: $8.50 ZooLights only, Chidlren under 2 are free
6 Hop on a Boat for a Weekend in Victoria, BC
Last year Victoria, BC became THE place for Christmas for our family. We crammed so much merriment into our short weekend, is it any wonder I didn’t want it to continue all season? It is definitely worth a trip up on the Victoria Clipper to experience a little of the winter magic for yourself.
Here is just a taste of what you can enjoy once your boat pulls into the dock.
- Shop at the Original Christmas Village
- Festival of Trees at Fairmont Empress
- Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC
- Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress
- Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase at Inn at Laurel Point
- Christmas Small Works Show & Sale
7 Afternoon Tea with Friends in Sumner, WA
Grab your best friends and head east to Sumner for a little holiday afternoon tea at the Secret Garden Tea Room and Gift Shop. Kids are welcome, but why not take the afternoon off to sip a cup of your favorite brew, eat a few tiny sandwiches and catch up on life with the ladies (or gentlemen) in your life you rarely get 2 minutes of quiet time with? I’ll be headed that way in a few short weeks for some much-needed “mama needs a day off” time.