Holiday Entertainment: Festivals abound from Westlake to Warm Beach
The traditional lighting of the 4,300-bulb Holiday Star at Seattle's Westlake Center gets underway Friday. Other seasonal celebrations include Seattle Center's Winterfest, with winter train and village (also opening Friday); Toyland Village, a display of 50 illuminated toys at Waterfront Park, Seattle (also opening Friday); and the Issaquah Reindeer Festival, Dec. 26-30 at the Cougar Mountain Zoo.
In the pages below, you'll find seven lists of seasonal events as well as details on how to join our 2010 holiday scavenger hunt. Explore and plan your holiday season.
The traditional lighting of the 4,300-bulb Holiday Star at Seattle's Westlake Center gets under way Friday. Other seasonal celebrations include Seattle Center's Winterfest, with winter train and village (also opening Friday); Toyland Village, a display of 50 illuminated toys at Waterfront Park, Seattle (also opening Friday); and the Issaquah Reindeer Festival, Dec. 26-30 at the Cougar Mountain Zoo.
Gingerbread Village benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
THU-JAN. 2 Display of gingerbread creations designed and constructed by Seattle architecture firms and trade associations and Sheraton Seattle culinary staff with theme of "Home for the Holidays," Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers, 1400 Sixth Ave., Seattle; free, donations for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation requested (206-447-5544 or www.gingerbreadvillage.org).
Festival of Trees
THU-DEC. 1 Display of ornately decorated trees to be sold and auctioned to benefit Seattle Children's Hospital, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St., Seattle; free (206-621-1700 or www.fairmont.com/seattle).
Teddy Bear Suite
THU-DEC. 26 Display of dozens of teddy bears and children's books, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St., Seattle; free, donations for Seattle Children's Hospital collected (206-621-1700 or www.fairmont.com/seattle).
FRI Inflatable floats, school marching bands, hundreds of costumed characters, community groups and Santa Claus on his new sleigh, on Pine Street from Seventh Avenue to Fifth Avenue, on Fifth Avenue to University Street, on University Street to Fourth Avenue, then north to Macy's, 9 a.m., Seattle (206-506-7555 or www.macys.com/events).
Holiday Star Lighting and Fireworks
FRI Lighting of the traditional 161-foot-high, 4,300-bulb Holiday Star, in conjunction with Westlake Center tree lighting, fireworks display, 5 p.m., Macy's, 1601 Third Ave., Seattle (www.macys.com/events).
Visit Santa's Reindeer
FRI Santa's reindeer available for viewing and petting, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., University Village Mall, 25th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 45th Street, Seattle; free (206-523-0622 or uvillage.com).
Wonderland Holiday Carousel
FRI-JAN. 2 Holiday carousel rides, opens after holiday parade Friday, closes at dusk for tree lighting, then open until 10 p.m. Friday; regular hours 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays through December; closes at 5 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31, closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 2, Westlake Center, 401 Pine St., Seattle; $2/suggested donation benefits Downtown Seattle Association and Treehouse charity for children in foster care (www.downtownholidays.com).
FRI-JAN. 1 Display of more than 50 larger-than-life illuminated toys, Waterfront Park, Pier 57-29, Seattle (www.downtownholidays.com).
Festivals of Light
FRI-DEC. 28 Learn about winter traditions around the world, Diwali, Hanukkah, Santa Lucia, Christmas and Kwanzaa, The Children's Museum, Seattle Center, Seattle; $6.50-$7.50 (206-441-1768 or thechildrensmuseum.org).
Seattle Center Winterfest
FRI-DEC. 31 Winter train and village, entertainment, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Center House (206-684-7200 or www.seattlecenter.com);
• Winterfest Ice Rink, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays (closes 4 p.m. Dec. 24, 11:30 p.m. Dec. 31, closed Dec. 25), Fisher Pavilion; $7/adults, $5/ages 6-12, $2/ages 5 and younger, includes skate rental; cash only;
• Winter Worldfest cultural entertainment and marketplace, 1-6 p.m. Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Center House.
Space Needle holidays
FRI-DEC. 24 Lighting of the Christmas tree on top of the Needle, Friday evening; children's craft activities, visits with Santa, Friday-Sunday, Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 18-24, Observation Deck, $11-$18, The Space Needle, Seattle (206-905-2100 or www.spaceneedle.com).
Bellevue Magic Season Snowflake Lane
FRI-DEC. 24 Snowfall, live toy soldiers and winter characters, music, light show, 7 p.m., Bellevue Way and Northeast Eighth Street, Bellevue (magicseason.com).
Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena
FRI-JAN. 9 New, larger open-air ice rink, shelter for all-weather skating, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday; 3-9 p.m. Mondays; 3-7 p.m. Tuesdays; 1-9 p.m. Wednesdays; 3-9 p.m. Thursdays; 3-11 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 17; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Dec. 18-23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 24; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Dec. 26-Jan. 1; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 2; 3-9 p.m. Jan. 3; 3-7 p.m. Jan. 4; 1-9 p.m. Jan. 5; 3-9 p.m. Jan. 6; 3-11 p.m. Jan. 7; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Jan. 8; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 9, Bellevue Downtown Park, Northeast First Street and 102nd Avenue Northeast, Bellevue; $10 includes skate rental (magicseason.com).
Bellevue Magic Season Enchanted Holidays at The Bravern
FRI-DEC. 31 Photos with Santa, light show, 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. nightly, Northeast Eighth Arrival Court, The Shops at The Bravern, 11111 N.E. Eighth St, Bellevue (magicseason.com).
Morford Family Carousel
FRI-DEC. 31 Classic carousel rides, proceeds benefit local nonprofit groups, 4-9 p.m. Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday; regular hours 4-8 p.m. Fridays, noon-8 p.m. Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 31 and 1-5 p.m. Dec. 20-24 and Dec. 31, Town Square Plaza, Second Avenue and Harrison Street, Kent; suggested donation $1 (253-856-5110).
FRI-JAN. 2 Lights and light sculptures of animals and local landmarks, music, Aquarium, 5-9 p.m. Friday-Jan. 2, including Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, closed Dec. 24; Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma; $6.50-$7.50, ages 2 and younger free (253-404-3822 or www.pdza.org/zoolights).
Magic in the Market Holiday Kick-Off
SAT Dickens Carolers, Santa, 1-4 p.m.; holiday lights turned on, 5 p.m., Pike Place Market, Seattle (www.pikeplacemarket.org).
Downtown Open House, Tree Lighting, Bainbridge
SAT Merchants' activities, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Santa and the mayor welcome the holidays and light the tree, 5:30 p.m., downtown Bainbridge (www.bainbridgedowntown.org).
SAT-JAN. 1 Winter wonderland of light displays, 5-10 p.m. daily, Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main St., Bellevue; $5, ages 10 and younger free (425-452-6885 or www.gardendlights.org).
SAT-DEC. 18 Santa visits in the depot, train excursion, small gift for each child, hourly 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 17-18, Snoqualmie Depot, 38625 S.E. King St., Snoqualmie; $18, reservations recommended, space limited (425-888-2206 or www.trainmuseum.org).
Home for the Holidays, Langley
SAT-DEC. 11 Lighting of Langley, 4 p.m. Saturday; Holiday Parade, 11 a.m. Dec. 4; holiday arts walk, 5-7 p.m. Dec. 4; photos with Santa, Dec. 4 and 11, downtown Langley (360-221-6765 or www.visitlangley.com).
The Sound of Music Sing-Along and Holiday Tree Lighting
SUN See the original 1965 movie, staring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, on the big screen and sing along, 3 p.m., Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma; $9-$16 (www.broadwaycenter.org).
O'Christmas Trees-A Family Affair Treeview
MON Open house with display of dozens of decorated trees to be auctioned to benefit Providence Senior and Community Services, entertainment, craft projects for kids, Santa visits, noon-8 p.m., The Westin Seattle, 1900 Fifth Ave., Seattle; free (206-938-2788 or www.providenceochristmastrees.org).
A Victorian Country Christmas Festival
DEC. 1-5 Victorian village theme with vendors, entertainment, singing nativity, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 1-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 5, Puyallup Fair and Event Center, Puyallup; $10/adults, $8/ages 6-18 and ages 62 and older, $7/military with ID, ages 5 and younger free (253-841-5045 or www.avictoriancountrychristmas.com).
Issaquah Reindeer Festival
DEC. 1-30 Meet Santa, see his reindeer, gift shop, food, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 1-23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 26-30, Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 S.E. 54th St., Issaquah; $9.50-$11.50 (www.cougarmountainzoo.org).
The Lights of Christmas
DEC. 2-29 Holiday light displays, music and theatrical entertainment on five stages, food, overnight options, arts and crafts vendors; children's activities including Polar Express Train, pony rides, craft activities and the talking Christmas tree, 5-10 p.m. Dec. 2-5, 9-12, 16-23, 26-29, Warm Beach Christian Camps & Conference Center, 20800 Marine Drive, Stanwood; $14/adults, $9/ military and seniors, $8/ages 4 to 12, free for children ages 3 and younger, additional charges for some activities (360-652-7575 or www.warmbeach.com/index.php/lights-of-christmas).
DEC. 3 Entertainment including Casper Babypants and cast members from The 5th Avenue Theatre's "A Christmas Story: The Musical," 5-6 p.m.; caroling team competition, 6-7:15 p.m.; Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline, 7:15 p.m.; main stage show and awards presentation, 7:30 p.m., proceeds benefit Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank; Westlake Center and other downtown locations, Seattle; $75/team entry fee (206-728-2773, ext. 8).
Holiday Tree Lighting, Mercer Island
DEC. 3 Community tree lighting ceremony and caroling, 7 p.m., Mercerdale Park; followed by Santa visits, children's entertainment until 9 p.m., North Fire Station, Mercer Island (www.mercergov.org).
Christmas in the Country
DEC. 3-5 Arts and crafts, holiday music, children's activities at six venues for self-guided driving tour, Bainbridge Island (www.christmasinthecountry.info).
Bellevue Magic Season Gingerbread Lane
DEC. 3-9 Gingerbread house display, Hilton Hotel Bellevue; gingerbread house workshops and activities, Dec. 4, KidsQuest Children's Museum, Bellevue (magicseason.com).
DEC. 3-JAN. 1 Community sing-along, entertainment, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3; light display continues nightly through Jan. 1, Gene Coulon Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd., Renton (www.rentonwa.gov or www.ivars.com).
Santa breakfast, Northgate
DEC. 4 Northgate Chamber hosts entertainment, Santa, 10 a.m.-noon, Northgate Community Center, 10510 Fifth Ave. N.E., Seattle; $8-$15 (206-733-0115 or www.northgatesanta.com).
Santa breakfast, Mercer Island
DEC. 4 Brunch, Santa and his elves, 10 a.m.-noon, Community Center at Mercer View, Mercer Island; $5, reservations required (206-275-7609).
Holiday Tea With Santa
DEC. 4 Holiday-themed treats, Santa visits; portion of the proceeds benefit Hopelink local nonprofit helping families, senior citizens and people with disabilities, 2 p.m., Woodmark Hotel on Lake Washington, 1200 Carillon Point, Kirkland; $20-$40 (425-822-3700 or www.thewoodmark.com).
Redmond Lights and Santa Breakfast
DEC. 4 Pancake breakfast, Santa visits, craft activity, 9 a.m., Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, $9-$12, reservations recommended (425-556-2300 or www.redmond.gov); celebrations of holidays from around the world, 4 p.m. tree lighting, 5 p.m., City Hall Plaza; luminary walk along the Sammamish River with entertainment, ending at Redmond Town Center with light displays and festivities, free shuttle between locations, Redmond (425-556-2299 or www.redmondlights.com).
Holiday Tree Lighting, Renton
DEC. 4 Santa, food, entertainment, tree lighting, 5-7 p.m., Renton Piazza, South Third Street and Burnett Avenue South, Renton (425-917-0173 or www.piazzarenton.com).
Holiday Breakfast With Santa Claus
DEC. 4 Sammamish and Providence Pt. Kiwanis Clubs and the Skyline and Eastlake High Schools pancake breakfast featuring Santa, music, holiday crafts for kids, two seatings, 8:45 and 10 a.m., Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, 1757 244th Ave. N.E., Sammamish; $5-$10 (425-392-8905 or sammamishkiwanis.org).
Santa Arrival and Tree Lighting
DEC. 4 Magical arrival of Santa by sleigh from the sky, followed by traditional tree lighting, 7 p.m.; Village decorated with thousands of lights and animated light displays; holiday-themed music, train rides for children, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Country Village, 23732 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell; free (425-483-2250 or www.countryvillagebothell.com).
Auburn Santa Parade & Tree Lighting Ceremony
DEC. 4 Pre-parade entertainment, 4 p.m. in front of City Hall, children's parade, 4:30 p.m., followed by community caroling and the lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree, downtown Auburn (253-931-3043 or www.auburnwa.gov).
19th Century Christmas "Hyas Sunday"
DEC. 4 Portrayal of the Christmas season of 1855 with Christmas dances and the daily life of the workers from many cultures who lived at this historic site sharing stories and carrying in the Yule log, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma; $3-$6 (253-591-5339 or www.fortnisqually.org).
JuleFest and Christmas Bazaar
DEC. 4 Sons of Norway food, crafts, bake sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Poulsbo Lodge, 18891 Front St., Poulsbo; music, Lucia event, bonfire, 4-6 p.m., Waterfront Park, Poulsbo (360-779-5209 or www.poulsbosonsofnorway.com).
Holiday Pooch and Purr on Parade/Festival of Chimes and Lights
DEC. 4 Costume contest and parade for pets, 4 p.m., entry by nonperishable food donation; music, entertainment, shopping, art walk, hay wagon rides, tree lighting, photos with Santa, lighted boat parade, fireworks, noon-8 p.m.; Port Orchard (360-876-3505 or www.portorchard.com).
Winter Festival and Crafts Fair
DEC. 4-5 Crafts from more than 100 vendors, live entertainment on two stages, quilt raffle, bake sale, lunch available; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle; $2-$4 (206-783-2244 or www.phinneycenter.org/events/wf.shtml).
K9 Candy Cane Fun Run/Walk
DEC. 5 5K run or walk on the Cedar River Trail with or without your dog, portion of proceeds benefit Cedar River Dog Park, 8 a.m., Renton Community Center, 1715 S.E. Maple Valley Highway, Renton; $20 (206-920-3983 or www.signmeup.com).
Santa's Brunch & Workshop, Newcastle
DEC. 5 Meet Santa and his reindeer, holiday crafts, 10 a.m., Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane, Newcastle; $39.95/adults, $18.95/ages 4-12, ages 3 and younger free, reservations required (425-793-4646 or www.newcastlegolf.com).
Point Robinson Lighthouse Open House
DEC. 5 Santa visits for kids, tours of the lighthouse, food, Ships' Store holiday shopping, 1-4 p.m., Point Robinson Lighthouse, Southwest Point Robinson Road, Vashon (www.lighthousefriends.com).
Menorah Lighting Ceremony
DEC. 6 Celebrate Hanukkah with Klezmer music, dreidels for children, menorah lighting, 6 p.m., University Village, 25th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 45th Street, Seattle (206-523-0622 or uvillage.com).
Santa's Lights tour
DEC. 11 Santa Claus hosts 3-hour tour of Seattle Christmas lights from onboard fleet of King County Metro historic transit buses, 7 p.m., some buses depart earlier, from Second Avenue South and South Main Street, Seattle; $5/no Metro tickets or passes accepted (206-684-1816 or www.mehva.org).
Green Lake Pathway of Lights
DEC. 11 Walk the 2.8-mile path along the lake lit by luminaria, music at four sites around the lake, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Green Lake, Seattle (206-684-0780).
DEC. 11 Meet Santa Claus, craft activity, 11 a.m., Shoreline Historical Museum, 749 N. 175th St., Shoreline; free (206-542-7111 or www.shorelinehistoricalmuseum.org).
Drive-thru Christmas Story
DEC. 11 Drive through hundreds of lights and full-size sets of the Nativity Story, 6-8:30 p.m., 6 p.m., Normandy Christian Church, 908 S. 200th St., Des Moines; free (206-878-4740 or www.normandychristian.org).
Breakfast with Santa, Mountlake Terrace
DEC. 11 Entertainment, photos with Santa, pancake breakfast, proceeds benefit high-school music program, 8 a.m.-noon, Mountlake Terrace High School, 21801 44th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace, $5-$7, photos $7-$10, tickets at the door (425-750-2811).
Cookies with Mrs. Claus
DEC. 11-12 Children meet Mrs. Claus and sample one of her free cookies, noon-3 p.m. Dec. 11-12; train through the Village with large light displays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 11, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 12, Country Village, 23732 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell (425-483-2250 or www.countryvillagebothell.com).
Jingle Bell Run/Walk
DEC. 12 Festive 5K run, walk, costume contest, kids' 1K Run with the Elves, proceeds benefit The Arthritis Foundation, 8:30-11 a.m., Westlake Center, Seattle; $10-$25 (seattlejinglebellrun.kintera.org).
Traditional Santa Breakfasts
DEC. 12, 18-19 Santa, entertainment, proceeds benefit The Arthritis Foundation, 9:30-11 a.m., Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle; $25-$50 by reservation (206-547-1290). Luciafest
DEC. 12 Swedish Christmas tradition honoring St. Lucia's message of light and hope in all Swedish program (with English translation), followed by reception with coffee, goodies, music and dancing around the Christmas tree, 5 p.m., Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2400 N.W. 85th St., Seattle; free (206-783-7900).
Woodland Park Zoo Winter Celebration
DEC. 20-22, 27-29 Holiday themed treats and enrichments for zoo animals, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle; $8-$11 (206-548-2500 or www.zoo.org).
Bellevue Magic Season Celebration Lane
DEC. 26-31 Snowfall, music, light show, 7 p.m., Bellevue Way and Northeast Eighth Street, Bellevue (magicseason.com).
New Year's at the Needle
DEC. 31 Parties on the Observations Deck and restaurants, $95-$250; fireworks at midnight, The Space Needle, Seattle (206-905-2100 or www.spaceneedle.com).
Compiled by Madeline McKenzie
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