It's holiday season, and there are many fun things to do around the area at this time of year! Even though our days are getting shorter and the skies are often grey, we can find many wonderful ways to get out and enjoy some bright and cheerful festivities. Below are some links and information about holiday favorites:
Macy's Holiday Parade: This is Seattle's biggest parade! It's the morning after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 29 at 9:00 a.m. in downtown Seattle. Later that evening there will be a tree-lighting ceremony and fireworks. Check the website for the parade route. http://www.macys.com/store/event/index.ognc?action=search&storeId=411
Christmas Ships Festival: Each night decorated ships and boats sail to different areas around Puget Sound and Lake Washington. On board the Argosy ships, choirs sing. On shore, people gather around bonfires to watch the ships and listen to the choir. You can choose to sail on the Argosy boat (tickets and reservations required) or watch from the shore (no charge). November 29-December 23. Check the website for the schedule and locations:
Redmond Lights: A wonderful winter walk full of fun and surprises. ONE DAY ONLY! Saturday, December 7. Start at Redmond City Hall with live music, kids' activities, and a holiday tree-lighting ceremony. Then walk along a beautifully lit West Sammamish Trail and enjoy music, carolers, lights, decorations, hot chocolate, and festivities along the way. End up at Redmond Town Center for a celebration with music, food, and entertainment!
Garden D'Lights: Stroll through a beautiful light display at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Every evening from 5-9:30 p.m., November 30, 2013 - January 4, 2014. $5, ages 10 and younger are free.
Santa Train 2013: All aboard! Catch the train in North Bend and take a 20 minute ride to the historic Snoqualmie train depot where kids will get to meet Santa! Each child will receive a small gift from Santa and hot chocolate & cookies will be served. Cost is $20 per person, children under 2 are free. Limited dates: Nov. 30, Dec. 7 & 8, Dec. 14 & 15, Dec. 20 & 21. Visit the website to reserve tickets in advance.
The Nutcracker Ballet: Pacific Northwest Ballet's unique production of this famous ballet has sets designed by the famed children's illustrator, Maurice Sendak. Performances run November 29- December 29.
Meydenbauer Theater: The downtown Bellevue theater also boasts a beautiful and traditional Nutcracker ballet and hosts many other holiday musical performances will be shown throughout the month of December. Check the website for performance schedules.
Zoolights in Tacoma and Wildlights in Seattle: See sparkling light displays of animals and other landmarks as you stroll through these zoos. November 29- January 4, every evening. Zoolights is at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. Wildlights is at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
Snowflake Lane: Every night live "Toy Soldiers" drum on Bellevue Way as "snow" falls from above. Shows are at 7:00 p.m. every evening along the sidewalks of Bellevue Way and NE 8th Street. November 29-December 31
Ice Skating in Bellevue Downtown Park: Enjoy ice skating outdoors, in the park! $12, includes skate rental. $8, children 6 & under. November 29-January 12, check the website for hours. http://www.magicseason.com/events/icearena.html
Gingerbread Village in Seattle: Local architecture firms design and bake incredible gingerbread creations that are on display at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel from November 26-January 1.
Gingerbread Lane in Bellevue: See creative gingerbread houses on display at the Hilton Hotel in Bellevue. Kids can take a class and make their own gingerbread house!
Festival of Trees and Teddy Bear Suite in Seattle: A display of beautifully decorated Christmas trees, each with its own theme and style. Each tree is dedicated to a patient at Seattle Children's Hospital. You can see these beautiful trees in the lobby of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel for a short time from November 23- December 4. And from November 24- December 24, you can visit an adorable display of teddy bears in a suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University Street.
There are many more theater events, shows, festivals, train rides, and more all around Seattle and surrounding areas. This link lists many more activities:
Enjoy the holidays! Keep warm and safe. Best wishes to you all.