What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

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cuihang
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What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by cuihang » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:00 pm

My wife and I are considering spending a week in Seattle area before Christmas. We have a little girl of 3.5 years old. Any suggestion what to do, or it's just a bad idea? Should we go to Canada side? Thanks for any tips!

McCharley
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by McCharley » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:09 pm

It's not the best season for Seattle. It will be cold, dark, and rainy. I would recommend July or August.

If you go to Seattle, I would recommend the Chihuly Museum and the Underground Tour. Both are inside and interesting. :beer

letsgobobby
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:15 pm

There are plenty of indoor museums but not sure for a 3.5 year old. Boeing Museum of Flight is cool and worth seeing for a child. Pike place. Not sure she'll enjoy sitting around drinking coffee and draft beer.

Nate79
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by Nate79 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:24 pm

Staying indoors out of the rain.....

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baconavocado
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by baconavocado » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:29 pm

Rent a place on one of the islands, preferably with a fireplace or wood stove and a view of the sound. Stoke the fire, read books, listen to Canadian public radio, cook fresh seafood, go hiking in between storms.

skierrex
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by skierrex » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:32 pm

I would spend most of the week in the Olympic National Park, one of the most spectacular places in the country.

There is a place to stay on the coast, coming from the south. I didn't stay there, but I wish I had. I thought it was in the park, but I can't find it on the map. I did walk down to most of the beaches, very nice.

Then I would stay a couple nights at Lake Quinalt, at the historic resort. Nice rain forests around. Next time I'll pay extra to stay in the main lodge building.

I drove up the Queets River (I think), which was B-E-A-utiful.

I should have spent a night in Forks, or on the coast nearby. I stayed at the hot springs, which might be your thing.

I should have spent a night at Crescent Lake, it looked super nice.

I think there are ferries on the way back, which I will do next time.

I was there a different time of year. Everybody in Seattle said it would be super rainy on the coast, but it was very nice.

drk
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by drk » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:23 am

skierrex wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:32 pm
There is a place to stay on the coast, coming from the south. I didn't stay there, but I wish I had. I thought it was in the park, but I can't find it on the map. I did walk down to most of the beaches, very nice.
Are you thinking of Kalaloch Lodge?

Wilderness Librarian
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:26 am

In my opinion Seattle is much much preferable that time of the year then summer. Except for a couple of days now & then the rain really isn't all that bad. The overall ambiance of the city is more apparent appealing and less touristy. Pike Street Market in the summer is a nightmare but in the winter very pleasant (I have had at least 2 employees say they would not go in the summer unless they worked there) . Your biggest problem will be in dealing with the 3.5 year old. Can't help you with that but the museums are good (art museum downtown & Burke on the UW campus) Performing arts are good that time of year (Seattle Symphony always has Messiah mid December. Now that I think of it there is a children's theater in Seattle City Center nr. space needle - they may have a Christmas special UW may be finals week or off for break - even so walk around the campus and check out their sports schedule (in last few years UW women's BB & volleyball both nationally ranked not sure about this year) And not to be missed is the restored reading room in the Suzallo (spelling?) Library.

Also agree with other posters hunkering down on the coast would be good too - I was just fixated on Seattle as that was the title of your post.

While on the topic: About 20 years ago I lived in Tacoma for 4 years. In mid January often the rains would ease up the low clouds would lift for a few days. The rains helped clarify the air and the lights on the buildings at night were crystal clear and sharp. I would go around and take long exposure photos of the streaked headlights against the Seattle skyline. I realize this is hard for a visitor to hit just right but it is a really nifty aesthetic experience.

letsgobobby
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by letsgobobby » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:52 am

drk wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:23 am
skierrex wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:32 pm
There is a place to stay on the coast, coming from the south. I didn't stay there, but I wish I had. I thought it was in the park, but I can't find it on the map. I did walk down to most of the beaches, very nice.
Are you thinking of Kalaloch Lodge?
Kalaloch is neat but the food at the restaurant is some of the worst in the entire NPS system.

SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:15 am

We need to get real. A three and a half year old will be the focus of your vacation and there's nothing special about Seattle for a 3 1/2 year old, no matter the season. Don't get me wrong, we love, love Seattle. Even in the winter. We've lived in Washington on the Olympic Peninsula and would take the ferry from Bainbridge Island into downtown Seattle frequently. We know Seattle well. We continue to live in the Pac NW, now Oregon for 13 years. Your kiddo will be bored in minutes with the things adults want to do in Seattle. Either get a babysitter, or go somewhere you can easily entertain the barely-not-a-toddler.
There are stars in the Southern sky | And if ever you decide | You should go | There is a taste of time sweetened honey | Down the Seven Bridges Road

PHD-2
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by PHD-2 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:25 am

For your 3 1/2 YO, snowflake lane in Bellevue for one evening. Nightly holiday parade and quite the production. Google it for more details. Only a few events like it in the country and will probably make an impression on your little one. A parade, dancers, drummers, holiday music, projections on the buildings, fake snow falling from the rooftops. Snow princesses available for selfies and candy canes.

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Misenplace
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by Misenplace » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:31 am

The Georgian Room at the Fairmont Olympic puts on a holiday Teddy Bear tea- great for a 3+ year old. There is also a merry go round during the holiday season set up near Pacific Place/Macy’s/Nordstrom.

Look for outdoor opportunities- tide pooling, boat rides, nature walks. So the idea of renting a place in the country is great. But Seattle is one of the state-side pioneers in outdoor kindergartens, so I would google and try to plug into what those programs use.

Bring rain gear and rain boots, dress in layers, and then don’t worry about the weather. It’s usually mild and rainy, but the rain comes down gradually so a hood is fine- many locals rarely bother with umbrellas.

Look into a family friendly holiday play- Seattle has several excellent rep theatres who always do a holiday play.

I agree that Seattle is preferable in the winter-less crowded. In the end , this is about spending time with your kid.

JHU ALmuni
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by JHU ALmuni » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:12 am

Stay dry from the rain.

TXJeff
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by TXJeff » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:25 am

The Christmas Ship Parade. Local boats fully "decked out" with Christmas lights and decorations cruise the Seattle area's multiple interconnected lakes. There will be Christmas caroles!

Two ways for tourists to enjoy: be a part of the parade by going on one of the boats--or enjoy the parade from one of the many great land view points.

For 2018 schedule and info info from the company that runs the lead boat, a large, comfortable lake cruiser: https://www.argosycruises.com/christmas ... schedule/

For a detailed write up of the event and tips for enjoying with kids: (note the schedule dates are for 2017, but all other info is relevant to 2018): http://redtri.com/seattle/lights-carols ... n-seattle/

FoolMeOnce
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by FoolMeOnce » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:44 am

The Seattle Center has a lot for kids. There is a large holiday model train in the (really good!) food court that kids love. The children's museum (indoor play space) is downstairs in the same building. There is also ice skating with little walkers for kids at the Seattle Center. And the Space Needle, of course. Also, a nice big playground over near the MPOP. And, as someone else mentioned, a children's theater.

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djpeteski
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by djpeteski » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:51 am

It is pretty dreary there as others have said, but my kids loved the children's museum.

http://thechildrensmuseum.org

After a brief review of the web site they have an area that is specifically for 3 year olds. She might feel pretty special. It is located near the space needle.

Does she ski? If so, a short drive away is some pretty awesome skiing.

cuihang
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by cuihang » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:25 am

Thank you all for the responses! I think I got some more to read and plan. :-)

jodydavis
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by jodydavis » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:46 am

We go to Seattle pretty much every winter, and we also have a 3 year old. It's not as bad as folks are making it sound. Here are some ideas:

1. Children's Museum - small but perfectly adequate for a 3 year old. And near to the next three items below (so you can knock them all off at once).

2. Chihuly Museum - good indoor space if it is raining, with lots of neat things to see.

3. Space Needle - elevator ride is nice, and great views (if the weather is cooperative).

4. Pacific Science Center - lots of interesting exhibits, space to run around.

5. Woodland Park Zoo - a terrific zoo with lots of natural exhibits. Outdoors, so dependent on the weather. But if it's not raining, just bundle up and go.

6. Seattle Aquarium - a very nice aquarium, with tide pools, sea otters, etc. Good size for a 3 year old.

7. Pike Place Market - more interesting for adults than the 3 year old, but still some indoor space to run around.

8. Ferry Ride - can be fun for kids to run around a big ferry, get snacks at the snack bar, even if weather isn't that great.

9. MOHAI - haven't been, but intend to take our little one to this museum at some point.

10. Museum of Flight - if your kid likes planes, this might be a good option too.

11. Skiing at Snoqualmie - another outdoor activity, only 45 minutes outside of Seattle.

12. Leavenworth - if you are up for a drive, and depending on the timing, Leavenworth is a small German-style village in the Cascades that lights itself up for the holidays. Kind of bizarre, but might be interesting for a kid (have never been).

Have fun and good luck!
J.D.

runner3081
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by runner3081 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:58 am

skierrex wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:32 pm
I would spend most of the week in the Olympic National Park, one of the most spectacular places in the country.

I drove up the Queets River (I think), which was B-E-A-utiful.

I should have spent a night at Crescent Lake, it looked super nice.
They are coming in December, many roads are closed at any elevation. I would assume they will have a rental, not a great idea to drive over there up to 3-4K feet in winter.

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CardinalRule
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by CardinalRule » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:02 am

A couple of these have been mentioned, but my list, if you are willing to get out of Seattle proper would include:

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma https://www.pdza.org/event/zoolights/
The aforementioned Christmas Ship Festival (don't wait until the last minute; spots on the lead boat go quickly)
Leavenworth, as mentioned - there are bus excursions that can take you https://www.soundexcursions.com/leavenw ... g-getaway/
Snowflake Lane in Bellevue http://snowflakelane.com/

letsgobobby
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by letsgobobby » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:15 am

runner3081 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:58 am
skierrex wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:32 pm
I would spend most of the week in the Olympic National Park, one of the most spectacular places in the country.

I drove up the Queets River (I think), which was B-E-A-utiful.

I should have spent a night at Crescent Lake, it looked super nice.
They are coming in December, many roads are closed at any elevation. I would assume they will have a rental, not a great idea to drive over there up to 3-4K feet in winter.
Kalalich, quinault, lake crescent, hoh river are all near sea level and all are open year round. Not sure about Sol Duc hot springs but that is fun for the whole family.

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CardinalRule
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by CardinalRule » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:18 am

I know that the little Sol Duc resort closes at some time in October.
letsgobobby wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:15 am
Kalalich, quinault, lake crescent, hoh river are all near sea level and all are open year round. Not sure about Sol Duc hot springs but that is fun for the whole family.
[/quote]

cuihang
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by cuihang » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:16 pm

All great ideas! Thanks all again!

downshiftme
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by downshiftme » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:28 pm

Depending on when you are in Seattle:

The 32nd Annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition Friday, December 7, 2018 Downtown Seattle/Westlake Center 6:00pm – 8:30pm A holiday music event at Pine and 4th (Westlake Center) attracts nearly 10,000 people every year to enjoy free holiday music.


The Westlake park at 4th and Pine has a holiday carousel ride for most of December that 3 1/2 year old should love. Also an animatronic Santa's workshop in nearby storefront.


Nearby Pacific Place mall has indoor snow some days.



https://www.events12.com/seattle/december/

rkhusky
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by rkhusky » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:20 pm

There is a Christmas light show at Warm Beach near Stanwood, an hour or so north of Seattle off of I-5. More than a million lights.

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Fletch
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by Fletch » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:37 pm

Second for Leavenworth. Lights are very pretty. Several good restaurants. Prepare for big crowds though
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AndMan
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by AndMan » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:21 am

Ditto snow flake lane for your kid, they will love it

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Geneyus
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by Geneyus » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:07 pm

If you go to Pike Place Market, check out the "gum wall" that is in an alley nearby. If you're in the street looking at the main Pike Place sign, there's a ramp that goes down a floor on the left. Take the ramp down, and I think the alley is there on the left. It's a 40 or 50 ft long alley where the walls are almost entirely covered by people's chewing gum. Some of the locals had never heard of it when I asked about it. Your little one might think it's funny and want to add her own gum to the wall.

There was also a guy wearing a cat mask and playing an accordion in that area. :confused

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november
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by november » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:53 pm

One that I didn't see yet on this forum: visit the Ballard neighborhood. A hip neighborhood with good restaurants, breweries, farmers market, and Nordic Museum. Also is home to the tourist-friendly Ballard Locks, one of the busiest lock complexes in the US. Nearby Fremont neighborhood has a chocolate factory (with tours) and a historical statue of Lenin.

Xrayman69
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Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Post by Xrayman69 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:24 pm

Misenplace wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:31 am
The Georgian Room at the Fairmont Olympic puts on a holiday Teddy Bear tea- great for a 3+ year old. There is also a merry go round during the holiday season set up near Pacific Place/Macy’s/Nordstrom.

Look for outdoor opportunities- tide pooling, boat rides, nature walks. So the idea of renting a place in the country is great. But Seattle is one of the state-side pioneers in outdoor kindergartens, so I would google and try to plug into what those programs use.

Bring rain gear and rain boots, dress in layers, and then don’t worry about the weather. It’s usually mild and rainy, but the rain comes down gradually so a hood is fine- many locals rarely bother with umbrellas.

Look into a family friendly holiday play- Seattle has several excellent rep theatres who always do a holiday play.

I agree that Seattle is preferable in the winter-less crowded. In the end , this is about spending time with your kid.
3.5 year old things to do. Stay in the downtown or Pike area as most things will be within a very short 5-10 minute walk if dry or <$7 Uber if raining (or more likely drizzle as opposed to rain). During this time of year if it’s not raining and clear it is spectacularly beautiful.

Seattle Children’s museum, children’s theatre, and pacific science museum are all on the same Seattle center complex. For adults on the same complex is the glass museum (can spell chilly? Glass museum sorry) and the museum of modern pop (formerly EMP experience music project)- which are both awesome for adults and children if available.

The Seattle art. Museum (SAM) also has a range of programs for all ages including younger children and their levels that are appropriate. This is also a few blocks from the Pike market which is also one of those experiences that are frequented by tourists.

During the holiday season the Westlake center which is 6-7. Blocks from the market and about a 10 minute walk from the Seattle center (or a monorail ride from Seattle center) that has a Christmas village like area to include a carousel. The gingerbread house and Christmas activities in one of the large hotels a block from the westlake center is also cool for the younger kids.

Needless to say views of the city or sound on a clear day from the space needle or big wheel right on the waterfront is cool for all.

Lived in Seattle for most of my upbringing and still spend nearly every Christmas there when my daughter was/is growing up, weather doesn’t bother us and we didn’t own an umbrella. My daughter loved the atmosphere around Christmas in the city with all the lights and decorations.

Side hack: there is a Santa Claus at the Nordstrom in the westlake center area in downtown, this is Always crowded. Go accross the street to the pacific center mall and there is a Santa clause typically with a very short or even non existent line. My daughters xmas pictures with Santa growing up was with the same sante for 8 years.

I think downtown Seattle area is more than OK for you all and the 3.5 year old.

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