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Originally published November 28, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 28, 2008 at 4:13 PM

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Holiday activities galore for families

The Seattle area has dozens of holiday-themed family activities.

Highlight: Looking for family-friendly fun? This is the list for you. The Seattle area has dozens of holiday-themed family activities, many of which kick off today and continue through New Year's. The season includes plenty of Santa sightings, tree lightings, parades and bundle-yourself-up outdoor fun.

Festival of Trees

ENDS NOV. 29 Display of 20 creatively decorated trees to be sold or auctioned to benefit Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, on display through Nov. 29, Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St., Seattle (206-621-1700 or www.seattlefestivaloftrees.com).

Gingerbread Village

ENDS JAN. 4 Elaborate "A Superhero Holiday" gingerbread creations by architectural firms, trade associations and hotel culinary staff, on display daily through Jan. 4, Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers, 1400 Sixth Ave., Seattle; donations to Northwest Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation requested (206-621-9000).

Seattle Center Winterfest

ENDS DEC. 31 Classic carousel, Campus Luminaria light displays, train and winter village display, activities and performances, today-Dec. 31; opening ceremony with performance by Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, 11 a.m. today; Winter Worldfest cultural festival with ethnic entertainment from around the world, today-Nov. 30; indoor ice rink, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays through Jan. 4, Fisher Pavilion, $3-$5, skate rental $2, cash only; bonfire with entertainment, 5-7 p.m. Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13, 27; Winter Solstice Fire Festival, 4-9 p.m. Dec. 20-21; Kwanzaa celebration, 2-4 p.m. Dec. 27; New Year's Eve celebration, 8-11:45 p.m., fireworks at the Space Needle at midnight Dec. 31, Seattle Center, Seattle; most events free (206-684-7200 or www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest/).

Space Needle Holiday Season

ENDS DEC. 31 Santa Claus visits and children's arts and crafts station, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. today-Sunday, Dec. 6-7, 13-14,19-24, Observation Deck; holiday shopping at SpaceBase retail store daily; Santa Brunch, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, SkyCity Restaurant, Space Needle, Seattle; observation deck $7-$16; no admission required for SpaceBase; prices vary at SkyCity (206-905-2100 or www.spaceneedle.com).

Qwest Holiday Carousel

ENDS DEC. 31 Carousel holiday attraction benefiting Treehouse, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays; special holiday hours, 1 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 28, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 24, closed Dec. 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 31, Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., Seattle; $2 (www.downtownholidays.com).

Teddy Bear Suite

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ENDS DEC. 26 Visit holiday suite with dozens of teddy bears and children's books, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Dec. 26, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St., Seattle; free, donations accepted for Seattle Children's Hospital (www.downtownholidays.com).

Winter Wonderland, Pacific Place

ENDS DEC. 31 Snowfall show in the atrium, 6 p.m. daily through Dec. 31, Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., Seattle; free (206-405-2655).

Bellevue Magic Season

ENDS JAN. 11 Santa arrives to visit with children at Kids' Cove before heading to his workshop at Center Court for visits throughout the Christmas season, 8:30 a.m. today, Bellevue Square; Snowflake Lane display of lights, music, dramatic drumming from live toy soldiers and magical snow, 7 p.m. nightly through Dec. 24, Celebration Lane, 7 p.m. Dec. 26-31, along Bellevue Way and Northeast Eighth Street, Bellevue (425-454-8096); outdoor ice arena with covered portion, heated tent for spectators, today-Jan. 11, Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 N.E. Fourth St., Bellevue; $10 with skate rental, $7 to bring your own ice skates (425-453-1223 or www.magicseason.com).

Festival of Poinsettias

ENDS DEC. 24 Winter wonderland features more than 30 varieties of poinsettias, holiday accessories, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays-Fridays through Dec. 24, Molbak's, 13625 N.E. 175th St., Woodinville (425-483-5000).

Redmond Town Center Holiday Train

ENDS DEC. 24 Redmond Town Center alight with lights and holiday décor, Santa's house for photos and holiday train, hours noon-8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 14, daily Dec. 18-24, Redmond Town Center, 16495 N.E. 74th St., Redmond; $3 (425-867-0808).

Holiday Parade, Star Lighting and Fireworks

NOV. 28 Balloon floats, marching bands, costumed characters, Santa, 8:45 a.m. today, from Seventh Avenue and Pine Street to Fifth Avenue, on Fifth Avenue to University Street, on University Street to Fourth Avenue, on Fourth Avenue to Macy's, Seattle; Macy's star lighting and fireworks, 5 p.m. today, weather permitting, Macy's, Third Avenue and Pine Street, Seattle (206-506-6000).

Santa's Musical Arrival, Factoria

NOV. 28 Performance and singalong with Tim Noah, Santa's arrival to visit with children daily through Christmas Eve in the South Court, 11 a.m. today, Marketplace Factoria, 4092 Factoria Mall S.E., Bellevue; (marketplacefactoria.com).

Reindeer Festival

NOV. 28-DEC. 24 Reindeer visitors Dasher and Blitzen, seasonal music, storybook scene and holiday train, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Daily through Dec. 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 24, Swansons Nursery, 9701 15th Ave. N.W., Seattle (206-782-2543).

Issaquah Reindeer Festival

DEC. 1-23 Santa's Siberian Reindeer team and South American reindeer, Santa visits, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily Dec. 1-23, Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 S.E. 54th St., Issaquah; $11.50, $10.50/ages 62 and older, $9.50/ages 2-12 (425-391-5508).

Victorian Country Christmas Festival

DEC. 3-7 Victorian village-themed vendors, wine garden, stage entertainment, singing nativity, craft and carnival activities for kids, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 3-6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 7, Puyallup Fair and Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., Puyallup; $9.50/adults, $8/ages 6-18 and ages 62 and older (253-841-5045 or www.avictoriancountrychristmas.com).

Lynnwood Civic Lights Winter Celebration

DEC. 4 Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and entertainment, arts and crafts, ice carving, Kwanzaa and Santa Lucia celebrations, refreshments, music and dance performances, storytelling, puppet show by Clay Martin at the library, light display, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 4, Lynnwood Civic Center Campus, 19000 44th Ave. W., Lynnwood (425-771-4030 or www.ci.lynnwood.wa.us).

Bainbridge Island Christmas in the Country

DEC. 5-7 Self-guided driving tour includes 11 historic homes, farms, and nonprofits hosting regional artists, authors and musicians, arts and crafts, pony rides, food, entertainment, Santa photos, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5-6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 7, maps available online, at participating locations and at Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, 509 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge; free (206-842-3700 or www.christmasinthecountry.info).

Community Tree Lighting, Black Diamond

DEC. 5 Caroling, 6:30 p.m., Santa arrives to light the Community Christmas Tree, 7 p.m., followed by snacks and Santa visits for kids age 12 and younger, bring your camera, Dec. 5, Black Diamond Community Center, 31605 Third Ave., Black Diamond (360-888-1011).

Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition

DEC. 5 Caroling teams compete for best vocal performance and best wild and wacky performance at fundraising event for Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank, 6:15-7:15 p.m. Dec. 5, Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., Seattle; $65/per team of 5 or more carolers, preregistration required, additional donations requested (206-728-2773 or www.figgypuddingpmsc.org).

Bothell Winterfest

DEC. 5 Hayrides, holiday tree lighting, Santa's arrival, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Bothell Landing, Woodinville Drive and 100th Avenue Northeast, Bothell (425-486-7430).

CRISTA Nativity Exhibit

DEC. 5-6 More than 750 nativity displays highlighting craftsmanship of artisans from 81 countries. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 6, Cristwood Nursing Center, 19303 Fremont Ave., N., Seattle, St.; free (206-546-7565 or www.cristaseniors.org).

Magnolia Holiday Tour of Homes

DEC. 6 Six homes decorated for the holidays, craft boutique and tea house, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Our Lady of Fatima Parish Center, 3218 W. Barrett St., Seattle; $25-$30 advance tickets, $25, sold at Around the Block, Magnolia Village; tour-day tickets $30, sold at Our Lady of Fatima Social Center (206-284-2407).

A Holly Jolly Day in Kent

DEC. 6 Holiday bazaar, ornament making, merchants open house, 1-mile walk for people and pets, parade for kids and pets, entertainment, historic district tours by tractor ride, horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa visits, tree lighting, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 6, downtown Kent and Kent Station (www.kentdowntown.org/PublicWeb/winterfest/).

Secret Garden Holiday Open House

DEC. 6 Advice for picking out books for gifts, with coffee and treats. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Secret Garden Bookshop, 2214 N.W. Market St., Seattle; free (206-789-5006 or www.secretgardenbooks.com).

Live Nativity

DEC. 6 Re-enactment of the Christmas Story, food drive and refreshments. 4 and 4:30 p.m., Lamb of God Lutheran Church, 12509 27th Ave. N.E., Seattle; free (206-363-0110).

Santa Parade, Puyallup

DEC. 6 Santa parade, 4 p.m. Dec. 6, downtown Puyallup, tree lighting, Pioneer Park, Puyallup (253-840-2631 or www.puyallupmainstreet.com).

Fort Nisqually's 19th Century Christmas

DEC. 6 Experience the Christmas season in 1855 style with Christmas dances and other traditions of 19th-century Christmas season, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma; $2-$4 (253-591-5339).

Victorian Holiday Celebration

DEC. 6 Display and sale of poinsettias, Santa visit for children, staff in Victorian costume, gift shop, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 6, W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, 316 South G St., Tacoma (253-305-1000 or www.metroparkstacoma.org).

Sinterklaas

DEC. 6 Welcome Sinterklaas, the Dutch patron saint, as he arrives at 1 p.m. to spread holiday cheer throughout Lynden, with procession through downtown, storytelling, klompen dancing, folk music, lighted Christmas parade at 6 p.m. Dec. 6, Lynden Community Center, 401 Grover Street; free (360-354-5995).

Winter Festival and Crafts Fair

DEC. 6-7 Holiday shopping with 115 crafts vendors, entertainment on two stages, food, quilt raffle, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5-7, Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle; $2-$4 (206-783-2244 or www.phinneycenter.org).

Special People's Holiday Cruise

DEC. 7 Seafair holiday boat parade of hundreds of decorated boats hosting developmentally disabled adults, from several dock and yacht club locations throughout the Puget Sound area, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, by reservation; donations of decorated powerboats 26 feet or longer needed; contact Seafair to volunteer (206-728-0123 or seafair.com).

Issaquah Highlands Christmas Festival

DEC. 7 Entertainment, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse-drawn wagon rides, kids' crafts, living nativity, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 7, Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive, Issaquah; free (www.whatismosaic.com/christmasfestival).

Holidate With the Girls

DEC. 9 Shopping, appetizers, drinks, goody bags from UVillage merchants, silent auction, and shopping discounts for women benefiting Ronald McDonald House, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 9, University Village, 2623 N.E. University Village St., Seattle; $25, advance registration required (www.uvillage.com).

Holiday Lights on the Lake

DEC. 12-19 Cruise aboard the 1922 Steamship Virginia V around Lake Union and Lake Washington as part of the flotilla celebrating the holiday season. 7-9:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19, 3-5:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 860 Terry Ave., Seattle; $55 (206-624-9119).

Santa and a Fire Truck St. Lucia Day

PLAN AHEAD Celebrate St. Lucia Day by visiting with Santa and climbing aboard a firetruck, make a St. Lucia crown or a Starboy hat, learn about this ancient Scandinavian tradition, 11 a.m. Dec. 13, Shoreline Historical Museum, 749 N. 175th St., Shoreline; free (206-542-7111 or www.shorelinehistoricalmuseum.org).

Kirkland Community Nativity Festival

DEC. 13-14 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosts Christmas festival display of nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, 5-9 p.m., live nativity presentation, 5:30, 6 (in Spanish) and 6:30 p.m.; Christmas concert, 7:30 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 13220 N.E. 132nd St., Kirkland; free (425-823-2158).

Community Hanukkah Celebration

DEC. 14 Family celebration of the Festival of Light with candle-lighting, gift bazaar, games, menorah making, dreidel spinning, noon Dec. 14, Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Mercer Way, Mercer Island; free (206-232-7115 or www.sjcc.org).

Jingle Bell Run

DEC. 14 5K race and walk with costume contest, post-event bash, proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation, 8 a.m. Dec. 14, Westlake Center, Seattle; $25/advance registration, $10/ages 8 and younger, $35/day of race registration (www.seattlejinglebellrun.org).

Sankta Lucia Fest

DEC. 14 Celebration of Sankta Lucia, all Swedish program with refreshments, traditional music and dance, 5 p.m. Dec. 14, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2400 N.W. 85th St., Seattle; free (206-783-7900). Wright Spirit Celebration

DEC. 20 Celebrate the Wright brothers' first flight and the spirit of the season; Santa arrives by helicopter, 10 a.m., events continue until 2 p.m., including Santa and Mrs. Claus visits, performances (Seattle Lutheran Bell Choir, the Boeing Employees' Orchestra of Flight), Dec. 20, Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle; $7.50-$14 (206-764-5700 or museumofflight.org/event/wright-spirit).

Holiday Lights on the Lake Dinner Cruise

DEC. 21 Cruise aboard the 1922 Steamship Virginia V around Lake Union and Lake Washington as part of the flotilla celebrating the holiday season. 5-7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 860 Terry Ave., Seattle; $70-85 (206-624-9119).

Woodland Park Zoo Winter Celebration

DEC. 22-31 Zoo animals get holiday-themed treats as an enrichment activity, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 22-24, 29-31, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle; $8-$11, ages 2 and under are free (206-548-2500 or www.zoo.org).

Hanukkah Celebration

DEC. 23 Klezmer music, menorah lighting and dreidels and chocolate gelt for children, 6 p.m. Dec. 23, University Village, next to Piatti Restaurant, 2623 N.E. University Way, Seattle; free (www.uvillage.com).

Greening Snohomish County New Year's Gala

DEC. 31 Three-course dinner, drinks, silent auction and recycle fashion show to raise money for the Sustainable Development Task Force of Snohomish County. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31, Floral Hall, Everett; $100 (www.sustainablesnohomishcounty.org).

NooB Year's Eve Party

DEC. 31 Gaming, prizes, food buffet, hats and noisemakers, 11 p.m., Dec. 31, Noobs Game Center, 16908 S.E. 269th Place, No. 102, Covington; $40 (www.ruanoob.com).

Compiled by Madeline McKenzie and Laurie Dunlap.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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