Need some ideas for activities to do with your family this holiday season? My list of ideas just scratch the surface. No need to spend a lot of cash, either. Many of these events are free!
Visit Santa at University Village: My little ones had already had their Santa time when I discovered this find. Children can visit Santa in his adorable cabin (I peeked in the windows – it is TOO cute). I like that your kids can have their own time with him inside his little abode without everyone in line watching (they have heaters outside to warm you while you wait).
Where: University Village, across from Fran’s Chocolates, Mondays – Thursdays from 11am to 8pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 8pm, through December 24.
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker: This magical production at McCaw Hall is one you really need to experience at least once. If you think your kids are old enough, it will be something they remember for a very long time. The sets and costumes are amazing (courtesy of Maurice Sendak) and the music is as traditional as it gets.
Where: McCaw Hall, through December 27.
A Year with Frog and Toad: I wrote about this a few weeks back and if you have little ones, this is a great holiday show that they will enjoy. The audience gets to follow this hilarious duo throughout all four seasons, ending with Christmas Eve. A great alternative to the Nutcracker if your little ones just aren’t old enough.
Where: Seattle Children’s Theatre, through January 15.
Gingerbread Lane: Check out KidsQuest’s Gingerbread Lane with your family to see a collection of gingerbread houses that have been created by local chefs, architects, and businesses.
Where: Hilton Hotel Bellevue, 300 112th Ave SE, Bellevue, on display through December 21, FREE.
Snowflake Lane: Your kids can marvel at this display of lights, music, and “snow”. A mini parade travels down the sidewalks nightly for wide eyes to admire.
Where: Sidewalks of Bellevue Way and NE 8th Street, every night at 7pm through December 24, FREE.
Garden D’Lights: The Bellevue Botanical Garden transforms into a lit up wonderland and you get to walk around and explore! This popular event gets busier the closer it gets to Christmas, so if this is something that interests you, visit sooner rather than later. This is definitely on my “to-do” list this year.
Where: Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main Street, Bellevue, $5 for tickets, 12 and under are FREE. **Purchase tickets ahead of time and check for special free nights here.**
Holiday Story Times:
Bring your kids to enjoy some holiday stories, including the classic Dr. Suess book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Your little ones can experience some fun activities and even take home a fun Grinch activity booklet (while supplies last).
Where: Pottery Barn Kids in University Village, 10am on Tuesday, Dec. 13, FREE.
Listen to Hanukkah and Christmas stories at this fun event. Little ones will have a blast and you can browse the store for goodies.
Where: Land of Nod in University Village, 11am on Thursday, Dec. 15, FREE.
Lights of Christmas: If you are willing to drive a little farther out of town, check out this nightly festival in Stanwood. You will find over one million lights, music, train rides, Santa, carolers, and Bruce the Spruce, a talking Christmas tree. There are many food and drink options here, too, with mini donuts and hot cocoa.
Where: Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, Dec. 8-11, 15-23, and 26-28 from 5-10pm. Tickets are $9 for ages 4-12, $15 for 13-59, and kids three and under are FREE.
Tags: bellevue, bellevue snowflake lane, garden d'lights, gingerbread lane, holiday events, land of nod, lights of christmas, mccaw hall, nutcracker, pottery barn kids, santa, seattle holiday fun, story time, university village