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Every Family’s Northwest Bucket List

A month-by-month guide to the best Seattle-area events with kids

Author Elisa Murray

Published on: January 10, 2022

Every Family’s Northwest Bucket List

Christmas ship
Christmas ship


  • Christmas Ships. Gather on a dark beach for live music broadcast to shore from decorated ships, and (if you’re lucky) enjoy a bonfire. Christmas Ships pass locations all around Puget Sound, Dec. 1–23. You can book a tour on the boat, but it’s free to stand on the shore, watch the parade of ships and enjoy the music.
  • Santa Train. Make some ho-ho-holiday memories by riding in an antique train car from North Bend to Snoqualmie to meet Santa. Trains typically run weekends from late November through mid-December. Buy your tickets early, as they often sell out.
  • Model Train Festival. Washington State History Museum has one of the largest model train displays in the region, and it celebrates all things choo-choo during this December festival — with Santa himself in attendance on select days.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2018 and updated for 2023.

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