Holidays in Seattle are filled with outdoor adventure and indoor entertainment. The season is known for its traditional rendition of “The Nutcracker” ballet, the Santa Train, WildLights Holiday Festival and an abundance of holiday arts and craft fairs. Businesses decorate with holiday lights to brighten the rainiest day, and holiday cheer is visible throughout the area. For the adventurous, there is skiing in the Cascade Mountains, hiking through a forested city park, a ferry ride through the San Juan Islands or simply walking along the Seattle waterfront. The season holds many opportunities for a staycation adventure.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.
Edmonds, WA 98020
The Edmonds Center for the Arts is located in downtown Edmonds near the waterfront. This center hosts live music, comedy, special events and live performances throughout the year. The holiday season brings shows that appeal to the whole family, such as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with David Benoit and Christmas with the Gothard Sisters. This is a great destination for the holidays. Edmonds is about 20 minutes north of downtown Seattle, via I-5.
“The Nutcracker” Ballet
301 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109
Date: Now through Dec. 28, 2014
“The Nutcracker” Ballet performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company is a Seattle tradition, and performances are held at McCaw Hall located on the north side of the Seattle Center. The Ballet company first performed this rendition of “The Nutcracker” in December 1983. This will be the last year of this world renowned performance of “The Nutcracker,” before it is retired.
38625 S. E. King St.
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
Date: Dec. 6-7, 13-14 and 19-20, 2014
The Santa Train is perfect for all, and a Northwest Tradition since 1969. This is a 20-minute train ride in an historic train, a visit with Santa, an opportunity to shop and refreshments. This popular trip is expected to host around 11,000 people this year. The minimum age is two years old. Children visiting with Santa receive a small gift.
WildLights Holiday Festival at Woodland Park Zoo
750 N. 50th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
Date: Now through Jan. 4, 2015
Woodland Park Zoo annually decorates for the holidays with WildLights. This is a double dose of fun with animal-shaped figures in lights, along with the trails to explore the zoo. Most animals are out in their viewing areas during the winter, due to the temperate climate. In addition to the lights and animals, the zoo offers Zoomasium for children eight and under. This indoor play area offers time for kids to run, jump, play and learn.
San Juan Island Ferry
Ferry Terminal Road
Anacortes, WA 98221
The San Juan Islands are in the “banana belt” of Washington state’s weather patterns. The islands are the remnants of the last ice age glaciers in the region. A ferry ride through the islands allows visitors to island hop and enjoy the scenery. The area is rich in wildlife and marine life, including bald eagles, orcas, porpoise and harbor seals. Whether walking on, bringing a bike or driving, the area offers numerous opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy the natural splendor of the area.
Karen Ulvestad is a mother and professional writer/photographer, who lives in the greater Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Composition. Her background is in fitness, travel, photography and writing. She continually researches locations to visit, and/or entertainment opportunities for family outings and/or photo shoots. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.