Winter is approaching. The days are getting shorter and the skies are often dark. But don't let the grey skies make you feel blue!!
Here are a few ways to get out and enjoy some bright lights and cheerful festivities during the holiday season:
Macy's Holiday Parade: This is Seattle's biggest parade! It's the morning after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 24 from 9:00- 10:00 a.m. in downtown Seattle, free admission. Floats, marching bands, dancers, and more will march down the streets of Seattle. Later that evening at 5:00 p.m. there will be a tree-lighting ceremony and fireworks. www.macys.com/social/parade/
Redmond Lights: A wonderful winter walk full of fun and surprises.
ONE DAY ONLY! Saturday, December 2, free admission. Start at Redmond City Hall at 4 p.m. 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!
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 (FREE, no charge). November 24-December 23. Check the website for the schedule and locations:
Garden D'Lights: Stroll through a beautiful light display at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Every evening from 4:30-9:00 p.m., November 25- December 31. $5 per person, children 10 and under are free. www.gardendlights.org
Santa Train 2017: 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 $26 per person, children under 2 are free. Limited dates: Nov. 25 & 26, Dec. 2 & 3, Dec. 9 & 10, Dec. 16. & 17 Visit the website to reserve tickets in advance.
The Issaquah Reindeer Festival: Visit Cougar Mountain Zoo when it’s decorated like the North Pole to welcome Santa with his reindeer and sleigh during the Reindeer Festival! Meet the reindeer, have a photo taken with Santa, and enjoy some other special treats. December 1 - 23. Visit the website for prices and more information.
The Nutcracker Ballet: Pacific Northwest Ballet's unique production of this Balanchine ballet has sets designed by the famed children's author/illustrator, Ian Falconer. Performances run November 24- December 28.
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.
Nutcracker Ballet: www.ibtbellevue.org/performances/nutcracker
Other theatrical performances:
Zoolights in Tacoma and Wildlights in Seattle: See sparkling light displays of animals and other landmarks as you stroll through these zoos. November 24- January 1, every evening. Zoolights is at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. Wildlights is at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
Ice Skating in Bellevue Downtown Park: Enjoy ice skating outdoors, in the park! $14, includes skate rental. Discount for Bellevue College students and children 8 & under, $10. November 24-January 15, check the website for hours.
Snowflake Lane: Every night live "Toy Soldiers" drum on Bellevue Way as "snow" falls from above. These free shows are at 7:00 p.m. every evening along the sidewalks of Bellevue Way and NE 8th Street. November 24-December 24
Gingerbread Village in Seattle: Local architecture firms design and bake incredible gingerbread creations that are on display at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel from November 21-January 1. Visit anytime, free admission.
Festival of Trees 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 18- November 29.