December is a month chock-full of seasonal traditions and holiday magic — and, boy, do we need these little tidbits of normalcy and celebration more than ever this year! Not all of the usual festivals and events we look forward to each December are happening, but some of them are! We’ve gift-wrapped some awesome virtual and in-person events to keep your spirits shining brightly this season.
Do sibling fights have you ready to pull your hair out? Join ParentMap and positive discipline expert Julietta Skoog to learn how to foster lifelong friendships among your sweet little tyrants. Dec. 1, 2 p.m. Free.
Bundle up, grab some cocoa and take a stroll through Redmond while gazing at festive light installations. This year, enjoy Redmond Lights all month long on a walking route from Downtown Park to Redmond Town Center. Nightly, Dec. 3–Jan. 3. Free.
Santa and Mrs. Claus are flying in for a special visit to the Museum of Flight. Book a ticket at the museum to visit with Santa and check out the awesome aeronautical exhibits. Dec. 9, 4–8 p.m. Price TBA.
Hop the ferry to Bainbridge Island for IslandWood’s Hand in Hand Nature Explorations, an outdoors and crafts program for 3- and 4-year-olds. Offered Tuesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 10, 9–11 a.m. $10 per child.
Celebrate Hanukkah through stories and songs at a special Virtual Hanukkah Storytime presented by the Stroum Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and PJ Library. Dec. 13, 10–11 a.m. Free; books for purchase.
Feel the heart-pounding beat and holiday magic of Step Afrika’s virtual Magical Musical Holiday Step Show. Gather the whole family for a festive viewing party on YouTube or Facebook. Dec. 16, 4:30 p.m. Free.
Go on a guided nature walk around Tacoma Nature Center's Snake Lake. Book one of TNC’s private family experiences, and be sure to save extra time to play at the center’s awesome nature-inspired playground.
Join KidsQuest Children’s Museum at Bellevue Square for a COVID-safe take on the museum’s annual gingerbread event. Register in advance to go on a candy quest at the Gingerbread Candy Shoppe, then grab your gingerbread house kit to create and decorate your sweet masterpiece at home. Dec. 16–19, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. $45–$50 per family. Additional kits available for purchase.
Climb aboard the Yuletide Express to visit Santa and his elves! Book your tickets for a 25-minute festive train ride through Snoqualmie Valley and receive a special gift from Santa. Through Dec. 19, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. $24; ages 1 and younger free.
Take a stroll around Lacey’s Huntamer Park, which is all decked out in holiday lights. This year, the city’s tree lighting celebration morphs into a monthlong light display made extra-special with holiday sing-alongs and a recorded story read by the Jolly One himself! Dec. 1–31, 5–8 p.m. Free.
Snowflake Lane won’t have its usual musical parade this year, but there will still be plenty of holiday magic afoot in downtown Bellevue between Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square. Nightly through Dec. 24, 5–9 p.m. Free.
The show must go on! It might not be live, but the chance to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s iconic performance of “The Nutcracker” is more accessible this year. Get together with your pod for a viewing party to enjoy this breathtaking Northwest holiday tradition. Streaming Dec. 18–26. $39.
There is something for everyone this year at Seattle Center’s annual Winterfest. Organizers have put together a mix of virtual and (safe) in-person options. Join online for Festál performances and demonstrations, student showcases, a virtual art exhibit and more. Visit Seattle Center after dark to enjoy the festive light spectacle all around you. Through Dec. 31. Free.
Introduce your little ones to music and rhythm through play and dance. Join ParentMap and Music Center of the Northwest for a virtual Music Together class. Dec. 21, 9:30 a.m. Free.
Venture to Stanwood for Warm Beach Camp’s new “drive-thru” edition of The Lights of Christmas. Greet Santa and other characters and view the beautiful light displays while you stay warm and cozy in your car. Select dates through Dec. 30. $20–$25 per car.
Meet Santa, check out his sleigh, feed his reindeer and meet other exotic animals at Cougar Mountain Zoo’s annual Issaquah Reindeer Festival. Daily, Dec. 1–23 and 26–30. Price TBA.