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The November Play List

19 ways to be grateful for fall in the Pacific Northwest

Devon Hammer

Published on: October 30, 2020

Boy taking a fall walk with his grandparents

With fall fun winding down, winter activities ramping up, and tons of holidays to celebrate in between, we have a little bit of everything for you this November. Don’t miss out on a couple of last-chance fall activities, openings of traditional winter light shows, by-reservation private outings, virtual holiday events aplenty and more. Let us help you fill your November days with family fun!

Join a virtual edition of Seattle Center’s Festál series on Nov. 1 to celebrate Día de Muertos. Explore the art, spirituality and traditions of Mexican culture while remembering the lives of departed loved ones. 

Stop by Tacoma Art Museum — virtually — to honor lost loved ones at an exhibition of ofrendas (altars). View the ofrendas on TAM’s website, Oct. 31–Nov. 15. 

Register and then hop online Nov. 10 to explore the best local K–12 private schools and resources, all conveniently located in one spot. ParentMap’s Puget Sound Education Expo is going online this year, presenting free ParentEd talks with education experts, live chats with local school and enrichment providers, and more. 

Catch the last thrills and chills of the Halloween season by taking the self-guided tour of the Georgetown Morgue Haunted House, if you dare! Open daily through Nov. 14. Recommended for ages 12 and older.

Seattle playgrounds are finally open for play! Abandon the screens and head outside after school for “recess” time at a favorite or new-to-you park.  

This Veterans Day, show your appreciation and respect for those who fought for our freedom. The City of Auburn can’t hold its famous parade this year, but everyone can join in five days of celebrations and tributes culminating in a virtual Remembrance Ceremony on Nov. 11. Events take place Nov. 7–11. 

Check out White River Valley Museum’s virtual exhibit on the women’s suffrage movement — it’s funny, modern, fascinating and (don’t tell the kids) educational. It’s called #SquadGoals. View the exhibit online and then sign up for #SquadGoals Zoom trivia on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. Recommended for tweens, teens and their families. 

Choo-choo! Make a train lover’s dream come true by booking an excursion aboard a historic Northwest Railway Museum train. Take in the beauty of fall on a 90-minute ride through the Snoqualmie Valley. Weekends through Nov. 22 (Yuletide Express rides commence Nov. 28 and run through Dec. 19). 

A fun and invigorating tromp through the woods with kids that doesn’t require a long drive? Yes, please! Get out in nature — quickly — by taking a nearby forest walk in the city

Go for a dip in a unique indoor pool. Book your one-hour session in advance and enjoy the heated saltwater pool, surrounded by live plants and lagoon-style décor, at McMenamins Anderson School.  

Does dreary weather have you trapped inside and feeling down? Consider investing in quality fort-making materials. Or make a fort the old-fashioned way, with some chairs, pillows and blankets. Either way, it’s worth the mess when the kids are bouncing off the walls. My family loves our Nugget

Get to know an octopus, a spiny lumpsucker or one of the many other creatures that call the Padilla Bay Aquarium home. Join a Padilla Bay aquarist virtually for a “Quick Dip” at the aquarium each Wednesday. 

Reluctant hiker in your clan? Get out on the trail and try these fun hiking games to keep those feet walking. 

Woodland Park Zoo unveils a new, expanded holiday light festival this year. Called WildLanterns, the outdoor display will feature giant lanterns in the shape of zoo critters and other animals. Book timed-entry tickets in advance for the show, which runs Nov. 13 –Jan. 17 (closed Nov. 26 and Dec. 24–25). 

Move and groove with your tot at a live online family music-making class hosted by ParentMap and Sunshine Music Together. Nov. 19. 

Want to see what it takes to create a gourmet chocolate bar? Take an educational and tasty private tour of the Seattle Chocolate Factory. Book a tour time in advance; for families with kids ages 6 and older. 

Get into the spirit of the season at Spanaway’s ever-popular Fantasy Lights holiday show. This drive-through light extravaganza was built for COVID-19 before the virus was even a thing. Stay warm (and safe) in your car while enjoying the 2-mile path of beautiful displays. Open daily, Nov. 21–Jan. 3.  

ZooLights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, another favorite holiday pastime, is back! The zoo becomes a colorful winter wonderland that includes light displays of some of your favorite animals and other lighted features. Open daily, Nov. 27–Jan. 3 (closed Dec. 24–25). 

Thanksgiving is on Nov. 26, and we bet it’s going to look a lot different this year. We might not have big family gatherings, but there are plenty of ways to make it special. Make a Thanksgiving craft or share the true stories of Native Americans’ experiences with your kids. Explore a ton more ideas here.

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