We’re not yet into December, but Christmas has sprung up all around us nonetheless! Twinkling lights and decorations are beginning to make their annual appearances, shops are bedazzled (yes, I used that word) with toys and tinsel, and the cozy, mouth-watering smell of cookies and cocoa are wafting out of household kitchens. And, of course, holiday happenings are going on all around Seattle and the Eastside. Here are a handful of my favorites:
The Woodland Park Zoo is de”lighted” to present Seattle’s first ever winter lights festival! WildLights features thousands of dazzling LED lights throughout the zoo grounds, creating a wild and winter wonderland for all. See Santa’s reindeer, ride the carousel and have a “snowball” fight in the winterized Zoomazium! Oh, and there are lots of delicious goodies to choose from, including cocoa, marshmallows and hot caramel corn.
A Northwest tradition since 1969, the Santa Train instills in children the kind of Christmas joy we all remember from our childhood. Departing hourly from the North Bend Depot, the 20-minute journey brings passengers to the Snoqualmie Depot, where kids can visit Santa and enjoy holiday treats in the museum’s restored railway kitchen and coal stoves. Visit Snoqualmie’s local shops and tree farms before boarding the train for the ride back to North Bend.
Watch as the Bellevue Botanical Gardens blossom into a winter wonderland! The impressive festival boasts over 1/2 million lights, transforming the gardens into a 3-dimensional fantasy of flowers and animals. Bypass lines and purchase tickets online.
Every year the streets of The Bellevue Collection transform into the magical, snowy world of toy soldiers and winter delight. The nightly show of dazzling light and holiday music lasts through December 31.
Get sweetly inspired! Bring the family to Bellevue’s Hilton Hotel to view some of the coolest, wackiest, most imaginative gingerbread houses you’ve seen! Local businesses and bakeries partner with KidsQuest Children’s Museum to create these custom cookie homes.
Watch as this beloved holiday poen comes to live as ‘Twas the Night lights up Kirkland’s Studio East Theater. This charmingly hilarious show is sure to please even the scroogiest of theatergoers. Purchase tickets online.
Nothing gets kids in the Christmas mood quite like a Reindeer Festival! And Cougar Mountain Zoo knows how to throw a good one! Meet Santa and his Reindeer team, wander through Magic Forest, sit in Santa’s sleigh, or write him a letter (and put it in his own personal mailbox)! Elf storytime, face painting, Santa photos and candy-cane makers are sure to bring a big Christmas smile to your little ones. An event not to be missed!