It sneaks up on us every year! But with Thanksgiving in the rearview, now it’s time to turn our attention to the upcoming holidays. We have to wait and see if it’ll be a White Christmas, but there’s still plenty of Holiday Spirit to go around in Seattle. And we can always head to the mountains for if we need a snow fix.
This time of year often turns into a traffic jam of activity. The kids are out of school (at least they will be soon), there are holiday plans to finalize, and the shopping won’t do itself. Too often, this leads to constant stress. But it’s important to remember the holidays are all about friends, family, and loved ones. Take a step back, smell the pine tree scent hanging in the air, and appreciate what you have.
With that in mind, we collected some of our favorite Seattle holiday traditions and activities. Things the whole family can enjoy. And isn’t that what the holidays are for?
Being close to the water is one of biggest perks of living in the Pacific Northwest. And we take full advantage of that fact this time of year. Throughout December, Christmas ships make use of the waterways to spread seasonal cheer. A tradition dating back more than 60 years, the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival decks out dozens of boats and sails across the Puget Sound.
Another perk of living in our region is our proximity to the mountains. We’re just a quick drive away from skiing, snowboarding, and various other alpine activities. And nestled in the Cascades to the East, Leavenworth makes full use of this setting. The picturesque Bavarian village transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland. With events scheduled every weekend throughout the season, you’ll find all varieties of live music and entertainment. And this doesn’t even include other family activities like tubing, dog sled rides, snowshoeing, and more.
Every year, Seattle Center presents Winterfest, and there’s something for everyone. Once again, the Armory hosts an elaborate model train. Fisher Pavilion houses the ice skating rink. Throughout the month there are dozens of performances from choirs, dance troupes, bands, sketch comedy groups, and, of course, carolers galore. You’ll find a stunt show, jump rope competition, magicians, and even an ice sculpture contest. And it all culminates in the New Year’s Eve celebration at the Space Needle.
Wild Waves and Enchanted Village
What’s more fun than a roller coaster? A roller coaster decked out in Christmas lights! With more than a million bulbs, Wild Waves and Enchanted Village are a sight to behold during the Christmas season. You can choose from 25 rides, visit Toyland, and check out the nightly laser light show. And just because it’s not snowing, that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend. You can duck into the Falling Snow Tent and make believe. And no holiday excursion is complete without a visit with Santa Claus himself.
Celebrating its 30th year, the Downtown Seattle Association’s Holiday Carousel is back at Westlake Park. It’s a quick and easy stop, you can check out the gorgeous holiday tree that shares the same space, and all proceeds benefit Treehouse, a nonprofit that provides support for local foster kids.
Too often, many of us think about how we spend too little time outdoors. One way to fix that this time of year is to pack up the kids and cut down your own Christmas tree. Our easy access to nature affords all manner of opportunities in this regard. You can visit a convenient tree farm or channel your inner Clark Griswold if that’s more your style. Either way, it provides a nice bonding moment for the entire family.
Christmas at the Movies
The weather may not be great this time of year, but you can always bundle the family together and celebrate the holidays in a movie theater. SIFF is hosting a variety of seasonal favorites, including Home Alone, Scrooged, and Fiddler on the Roof. They also have a “December After Dark” series with the likes of The Thing and Die Hard. The Grand Illusion hosts their annual run of It’s a Wonderful Life throughout December. And, of course, Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15.
This last entry is admittedly a bit less family-friendly than the others. Still, SantaCon, a Santa Claus-themed pub crawl sounds like a fine time. So, December 17th, see if your parents will watch the kids, dust off your Santa suit, and join a slew of like-minded revelers bouncing from bar to bar and basking in holiday cheer!
As Seattle is a hustling, bustling city, there are countless other holiday activities in which to indulge. These are just a few of our favorites. Sound off in the comments below to let us know how you like to celebrate.
And most importantly, all of us at the Goldberg Jones family would like you with you and yours a safe, happy holiday season!