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Every Family's Northwest Bucket List

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

Published on: January 18, 2018

Every Family's Northwest Bucket List

Christmas ship
Christmas ship


  • Santa Train. Make some ho-ho holiday memories by riding in an antique train car from North Bend to Snoqualmie to meet Santa. Trains run three weekends from late November through mid-December; and 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 at this December festival (with Santa in attendance on select days). 
  • Christmas Ships. Gather on a dark beach for live music broadcast to shore from decorated ships, and (if you’re lucky) a bonfire. Christmas Ships dock nightly at locations all around Puget Sound, Dec. 1–23.
  • First Night Tacoma. Surprise: The region’s most family-friendly and exciting New Year’s Eve event is Tacoma’s indoor/outdoor festival on Dec. 31, featuring dozens of performances from giant puppets to fire dancers, music and dance. 

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