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Originally published November 17, 2012 at 4:53 PM | Page modified November 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

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Top entertainment picks for the 2012 holiday season

Best bets for holiday entertainment.

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I also just heard about a charity fundraiser in Shoreline at the Conference Center... MORE
You forgot to mention XMAS MAXIMUS at the Triple Door on Dec 2!!! http://xmasmaximus... MORE

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As the top half of the globe tips away from the sun, Northwesterners look to light displays, community gatherings and holiday arts events to raise the spirits.

With that in mind, The Seattle Times offers a collection of seasonal-events listings, divided into categories: festivals, theater, arts and crafts fairs, dance and concerts (classical and pop).

Here are some highlights from each list, all of which can be found in their full glory by following the related links.

Remember, winter weather and other unforeseen events sometimes affect schedules. So call or go online to check the details in advance. Then bundle up and venture out — a bright Northwest night awaits.

Seattle Times staff

FESTIVALS

Gingerbread Village

THRU JAN. 1 Gingerbread castles by Seattle architecture firms, trade associations and Sheraton culinary staff, daily through Jan. 1, Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers, 1400 Sixth Ave., Seattle; free, donations for Northwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation requested (www.sheratonseattle.com/gingerbreadvillage).

Holiday Parade

NOV. 23 Floats, marching bands, drill teams and Santa, 9 a.m., from Seventh Avenue and Pine Street, ending at Fourth Avenue and Pine Street; Seattle (www.holidaysinseattle.com).

Macy's Star and Westlake Center Holiday Tree Lighting

NOV. 23 Holiday star lighting at Macy's, tree lighting ceremony, fireworks (weather permitting), 4:45 p.m., Westlake Center, 400 Pine St., Seattle (www.holidaysinseattle.com).

WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

NOV. 23-JAN. 1 Light sculptures of wild animals and destinations around the world, carousel, reindeer visits, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 23-Dec. 23, Dec. 26-Jan. 1, Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle; $6.50-$9.50 by online advance purchase, night of event sale if space available; ages 2 and younger free (www.zoo.org/wildlights).

Holiday Carousel

NOV. 23-JAN. 1 Carousel, benefits Treehouse for foster kids, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 23-24, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 23-29, through Jan. 1, times subject to change due to weather and other conditions, Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., Seattle; suggested donation $2 (www.holidaysinseattle.com).

Seattle Center Winterfest

NOV. 23-DEC. 31 Winter Train and Village display, entertainment including Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, 12:30 p.m. Nov. 23; Seattle Men's Chorus, 12:30 p.m. Nov. 24; Armory/Center House, Seattle Center, Seattle (206-684-7200 or www.seattlecenter.com);

Winterfest Ice Rink indoor ice skating, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays through Jan. 6, Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center; $7/adults, $5/ages 6-12, $2/ages 5 and younger, includes skate rental, cash only

Bellevue Magic Season

NOV. 23-DEC. 31 Snowflake Lane snowfall, live toy soldiers and winter characters, music, light show, 7 p. m. daily Nov. 23 through Dec. 24 along the sidewalks of Bellevue Way and Northeast Eighth Street; Celebration Lane Dec. 26-31, Bellevue Way and Northeast Eighth Street, Bellevue; free (bellevuecollection.com/SnowflakeLane).

Bellevue Ice Arena open-air ice skating rink, food concessions, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Nov. 23-24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 25, hours vary daily through Jan. 13; Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 N.E. Fourth St., Bellevue; $10 includes skate rental, two skate for the price of one Tuesdays (www.magicseason.com);

Garden d'Lights, light sculpture flowers, animal characters, 5-10 p.m., last entry 9:30 p.m., Nov. 24 through Dec. 31, Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main St., Bellevue; $5, ages 10 and younger free; advance ticket purchase recommended; free Nov. 26-29, Dec. 3-6 (425-452-6844 or www.gardendlights.org).

Gingerbread Lane gingerbread sculptures by architecture firms, bakeries, Dec. 1-16; Bellevue Hilton, 300 112th Ave. S.E., Bellevue (www.kidsquestmuseum.org).

Issaquah Reindeer Festival

DEC. 1-30 Meet Santa and his reindeer, story times, animal exhibits, gift shop, 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; $10.50-$12.50 (www.cougarmountainzoo.org).

Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition

DEC. 7 Entertainment, caroling competition by 40 teams, benefits Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank, 5-8:30 p.m., Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., Seattle (www.pikemarketseniorcenter.org/figgy-pudding).

Candy Cane Lane

DEC. 8-31 Neighborhood Christmas display, lights and music, 4-11 p.m. Dec. 8-Jan. 1, until midnight Dec. 24, 25 and 31, Northeast Park Road, off Ravenna Boulevard, Seattle; free, donations for Northwest Harvest collected.

ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIRS

Best of the Northwest

NOV. 18 Over 250 Northwest artists providing handcrafted jewelry, designer clothing, paintings, works of glass, wood, clay, metal and more. Live music by local musicians and wine tasting from boutique Washington wineries. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today. Smith Cove Cruise Terminal 91, 2001 W. Garfield St., Seattle; $6-$8 (206-525-5926 or www.nwartalliance.com).

Drawing Jam

DEC. 1 A community celebration of music, art, cuisine and hands-on art activities with live models to draw. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 1. Gage Academy of Art, 1501 10th Ave. E., Seattle; $5-$10, free for kids and teenagers (206-323-4243 or www.gageacademy.org).

South Park Art Under $100 Sale

DEC. 1 Wine, appetizers and holiday shopping on local art priced under $100. Proceeds from art raffles will benefit the South Park Teen Program and South Park Arts. 3-9 p.m. Dec. 1. South Park Community Center, 8319 Eighth Ave. S, Seattle; free (206-898-8778 or www.southparkarts.org).

PLAYS AND MUSICALS

"Inspecting Carol"

Ends Dec. 23 Seattle Repertory Theatre, Bagley Wright Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; $15-$80 (206-443-2222 or www.seattlerep.org).

"A Christmas Carol"

Nov. 23-Dec. 30 ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $22-$55 (206-292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org).

"Owen Meany's Christmas Pageant"

Dec. 4-23 Book-It Repertory Theatre, Center House Theatre, lower level, Seattle Center; $23-$37 (206-216-0833 or www.book-it.org).

POP MUSIC

Deck The Hall Ball with the Killers, M83, Metric, AWOLNATION, Passion Pit, Grouplove, the Lumineers, Of Monsters And Men, the Joy Formidable

DEC. 4 2 p.m., KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $47.70-$127.70 (800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com).

A Very Special Christmas Performance with Brandi Carlile

DEC. 8, 9 8 p.m. Dec. 8, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia; $44 (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org). 8 p.m. Dec. 9, Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham; $40 (877-784-7849 or stgpresents.org).

Earshot Jazz: Duke Ellington's Sacred Music

DEC. 22 7 p.m., Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $15-$34 (800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com).

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Tudor Choir: American Folk Holiday

NOV. 23 Carols and songs from New England, Appalachia and the Shakers. 7:30 p.m., Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $20-$30 (206-323-9415 or www.tudorchoir.org).

Seattle Men's Chorus: Baby, It's Cold Outside

NOV. 30, DEC. 1, 9, 13, 16, 20, 21-22 Festive songs from south of the border, Hawaii, and other tropical locales. 8 p.m. Nov. 30, 2 p.m. Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 8 p.m. Dec. 21, 2 p.m., 8 p.m. Dec. 21-22, Benaroya Hall (S. Mark Taper Forum), 200 University St., Seattle; $25-$75 (206-215-4747 or www.seattlesymphony.org). 8 p.m. Dec. 13, Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma; $42-$58 (253-591-5894 or www.broadwaycenter.org).

Seattle Symphony Holiday Pops

DEC. 6-9 New principal pops conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead the symphony and vocalists Doug LaBrecque and Christiane Noll in holiday favorites. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 2 p.m., 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 2 p.m. Dec. 9, Benaroya Hall (S. Mark Taper Forum), 200 University St., Seattle; $19-$91 (206-215-4747 or www.seattlesymphony.org).

Seattle Symphony and Seattle Symphony Chorale: Handel's Messiah

DEC. 14-16 Stephen Stubbs conducts. 8 p.m. Dec 14, 1 p.m., 8 p.m. Dec. 15, 2 p.m. Dec. 16, Benaroya Hall (S. Mark Taper Forum), 200 University St., Seattle; $24-$91 (206-215-4747 or www.seattlesymphony.org).

Messiah Sing-and-Play-Along

DEC. 26 With conductor Karen P. Thomas. All singers and instrumentalists invited. 7 p.m., University Unitarian Church, 6556 35th Ave. N.E., Seattle; $13-$18 (206-525-8400 or www.uuchurch.org).

Seattle Symphony: New Year's Eve: Concert, Countdown & Celebration

DEC. 31 Ludovic Morlot conducts Beethoven's Ninth and Rachmaninov's Second. 9 p.m., Benaroya Hall (S. Mark Taper Forum), 200 University St., Seattle; $45-$152 (206-215-4747 or www.seattlesymphony.org).

DANCE

Pacific Northwest Ballet: Nutcracker

Dec. 7-29 McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $25-$130 (206-441-2424 or www.pnb.org).

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker

Dec. 11-27 Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $28-$45 (206-838-4333 or www.thetripledoor.net).

Christmas ships

Nov. 24 to Dec. 23 More than two dozen sailings, each with multiple visits to waterfront communities (206-623-1445 or www.argosycruises.com).

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