It’s the holidays, which means it's time to shake off the gloomy weather, get your kids out of the house and go find some cheer. We went on the hunt to discover some lesser-known things to do around Seattle with kids during the holiday season. Check out our list.
1. Gingerbread house party at Farm Kitchen
This quaint event space in Poulsbo, Wash., is a wonderful place. They host gingerbread-decorating parties on weekends through Dec. 18 with lots of icing and candies to make your house delicious and unique ($35 a piece, max three people per party). We recommend making a day of it. You can visit the Point No Point Lighthouse, beach walk, and eat some crepes at J’aime Les Crepes.
2. Holiday shows
There is a ridiculous amount of holiday-themed shows around Seattle that would be a perfect afternoon or evening out with your kiddos. A few of our favorites this holiday season include A Charlie Brown Christmas at Taproot Theatre, A Christmas Carol at ACT Theater; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Steadfast Tin Soldier at Dance Fremont! and Holiday Hooray! at the Seattle Symphony. (Check out ParentMap's huge list of holiday shows here.)
3. Burn a Yule log at Golden Gardens
This is a great suggestion from our friend (and ParentMap contributor) Jen Kakutani. On the winter solstice, burn a Yule log and talk with your kids about things to let go from this year and then think about the things you want to attract for the new year. Golden Gardens, a Ballard beach famous for its bonfires, is a great place to start this tradition! Just grab your Yule logs and have a seat around one of their many fire pits (first come, first serve).
4. The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach
There are plenty of holiday lights festivals around the Seattle area, but we particularluy love The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood, Wash. They have the largest light display in the entire Pacific Northwest, along with a nightly festival featuring carolers, shopping, treats and live performances.
5. Hot chocolate at Chocolopolis
Part retail store, part café, this spot on Queen Anne is the place to take the family to try some amazing drinking chocolate. They have different flavors to choose from (dark, milk, Mexican, peanut butter) and you can either drink it there or buy a canister to take home. They also have treats and truffles in all varieties, which would make excellent gifts.
6. Volunteer your time
The holidays are a great time to teach your kids about giving to those in need. We especially love donating and working at local food banks. Check out opportunities to get involved at Northwest Harvest, Food Lifeline, Pike Place Market Food Bank and more deserving organizations.
7. Santa Brunch at Icon Grill
There are so many places to see Santa around Seattle, but we love that you can get some grub AND see Santa at Icon Grill. They host brunch with Santa on weekends through Dec. 24 (Santa arrives at 10 a.m. and doesn't leave until 1 p.m.). They also have a cookie-decorating class on two upcoming Saturdays with the head chef!
8. Carriage horse riding
Sealth Horse Carriages have been operating in downtown Seattle since 1979. You can find them around Pike Place Market, Westlake Center, and the Space Needle; give them a call at 206-313-0722 to make a reservation. Is there anything more classic during the holidays than a horse-drawn carriage ride?
9. Holiday art classes
Why not get the kids involved in making holiday cards or gifts this year? West Seattle's Curious Kid Stuff offers drop-in classes for kids on select days and uses a variety of different materials. Other gift-making spots include Roaring Mouse and Seattle Recreative in Seattle; Tinkertopia in Tacoma; and, of course, the many pottery places scattered around the region. Find more here.
10. Tubing at Snoqualmie Pass
Even if your family doesn't ski, but you can still enjoy the mountain! Tubing at The Summit at Snoqualmie (not open for the season yet, but soonit will be) is a blast and a great way to get outdoors and enjoy some snow. The cost ranges from $20–$24 depending on age and time of day (tip: If your child is 0–5, it’s only $5!) and includes professional-grade tubes to use (you cannot bring your own tube). The hill has 12 lanes and a 60-foot vertical drop. Wheeeeeee!