Thursday, December 11, 2014

Celebrating the Holidays: Family-Fun Activities

December is such a magical month, but also an extremely busy month: holiday parties, holiday shopping and then someone usually catches a cold somewhere in between.  With the hustle and bustle, it’s a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends and a perfect time to make holiday memories. Seattle offers some very special holiday events. It’s always amazing to experience the holidays through my little girl’s eyes watching her light up with wonder when the show starts at Snowflake Lane or when the snow starts falling at Pacific Place Mall.

Here are some holiday events that take place around Seattle that we love! If you check out one of them or know of another event I didn’t mention, be sure to let me know what you thought of it! I’d love to hear about your experiences too!  So grab an eggnog latte and, as my daughter calls it, a “coco coffee” for the littles and let the memories begin!

Snow at Pacific Place Mall in Seattle (free)
Each night at 6pm from November 28th-December 31st, Pacific Place celebrates the holidays with snowfall inside the mall. It’s a great warm and indoor activity the whole family can enjoy!

Community Hanukkah Celebration (free; donation to Jewish Family Service encouraged)
On December 13th, from 5:30-7:30, celebrate the Festival of Lights at one of the largest community Hanukkah Celebrations in Seattle. Located at the Stoum Jewish Community Center at 3801 Mercer Way, celebrate and enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling, festive food and music by the kid-friendly band Recess Monkey! 

Holiday Light Looking (free!)
Candy Cane Lane in Ravenna: On NE Park Road and Ravenna Boulevard. Houses light up in this adorable neighborhood from Dec. 15-New Years day from 4:00pm-11pm.
Olympic Manor near Greenwood: Homes in the Olympic Manor neighborhood are encouraged to decorate for the holidays each year. Everywhere you look homes are all decked out in holiday lights and decorations! The best place to start is at NW 85th St. and 23rd Ave NW.

Gingerbread houses at the Sheraton (free; donations benefiting the JDRF NW Chapter welcome)
Stop by the Sheraton between November 25th and January 5th at anytime to check out the extravagant gingerbread houses made entirely by candy and other sweets! Each year, top local architects and the Sheraton’s culinary team up to bake and design Gingerbread creations. This year’s theme is “Jingle All the Way”. This is an event that looks super delicious!

Visit Northgate Mall on Sunday December 21st from 11am-2pm for this fun event including a dreidel-spinning competition, coloring, cookie decorating and much more!

WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo
Each year from November 28th through January 4th from 5:30-8:30, Woodland Park Zoo is lit up with thousands of LED lights creating wild animals and habitats! Tickets are $9.75 for adults, $6.50 for children. Don’t forget to say “hi” to the reindeer too!

Snowflake Lane and Celebration Lane at Bellevue Square (free!)
Each night at 7:00pm just outside Bellevue Square on Bellevue Way and NE 8th Street, a 20-minunte holiday performance complete with colorful lights, live drummers, holiday characters and snow! This nightly show starts on November 28th and ends on December 24th.
Then from December 26th through December 31st, Celebration Lane shows perform nightly at 7:00pm to ring in the New Year! This show includes dancing drummers, festive characters and Americana-inspired music!


Botanical Gardens in Bellevue ($5 per person, children 10 and under free!)
From November 29th-January 3rd, every night from 4:30-9:30, the Bellevue Botanical gardens are lit up with thousands of dazzling lights! To avoid the line at the ticket window, buy tickets in advance online. The display is inspired by plants found in the Northwest as well as gardens around the world and over 30 critters light up, including Charlotte and her web, Honey Bear, and Willie the Slug. Fun for all ages!

I always love to hear about more ways to celebrate this wonderful season! Please feel free to share events I missed in the comments below!