The Space Needle is shining brighter, Pike Place Market is bustling and the nearby streets of Tacoma are glimmering. ‘Tis that season once again and Washington is a wonderful place to spend it in. From light mazes and swimming Santa’s to sports and seasonally crafted cocktails, these are a few of our favorite holiday things.
Go all out and explore the long list of gleeful goodness to be had. And trust, it was hard for us to limit ourselves to just a few.
– Enchant Christmas: Mischief in a maze? Yes please. Until December 29th, T-Mobile Park is transformed into a holiday heaven featuring the world’s largest light maze, an ice-skating trail, live entertainment, shops, crafting workshops, a Kid’s Zone and more. AKA – this is Seattle’s mecca for merriness.
Location: T-Mobile Park, 1250 1st Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134
– Diving Santa: Did you know Santa could swim? Come witness the man of many talents yourself at the Seattle Aquarium. While you’re there, soak in live holiday music with the fam performed by kiddo-adored entertainers plus story time with Santa and marine mammal meet and greets.
Location: Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101
– KEXP Deck the Dock: Join the Friends of Waterfront Seattle, KEXP and the Port of Seattle on December 8th for a family holiday dance celebration. The fun kicks off at 2 p.m. with music from Eli Rosenblatt and Mikey Mike The Rad Scientist. After that, KEXP’s DJ Abbie will take over for an all ages dance party where you can stay fueled with scrumptious snackage and cozy beverages. RSVP via Facebook.
Location: Olympic Room, Pier 66 at Bell Harbor, 2211 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121
– Fantasy Lights: Only a 20-minute drive from Hotel Murano, Pierce County Parks is putting on the 25th annual holiday drive-through display – the biggest in the Northwest. Featuring almost 300 eye-opening displays, the two-mile Spanaway Lake drive will quickly become a family favorite. You’ll see bears flying kites, Santa and Rudolph sailing a ship, reindeers leaping over your car and many more magical moments. While you roll, turn the radio to FM 95.3 for a special soundtrack that’ll add to the festive atmosphere.
– The Polar Express™: If the crew is up for an easy hour drive, something very special is happening on Mount Rainier. The imaginations of young and old alike will come to life on-board a 90-minute theatrical adventure into the world of The Polar Express. Riders will be charmed by Chefs, sip hot chocolate and munch on cookies followed by story time. Once you get to the North Pole, Santa himself will appear with special gifts for all. Side note, pajamas highly are encouraged.
Location: 54124 Mountain Hwy E, Elbe, WA 98330
It’s Treat Yourself Time
Who doesn’t want to earn the title of best gift giver? Get ready to put on the crown after you explore some of Washington’s most interesting shops and holiday markets.
– Pacific Place: 9-minute walk – The holiday season is taking downtown Seattle by storm. Check out this 5-story mall that boasts a wandering Santa, ice sculptors, balloon artists, gleeful carolers and many more seasonal characters and activities. Want to get the best holiday ‘gram? Themed murals on Levels 1 – 3 are perfect for sharing selfies with furry friends, massive wreaths and a crystal covered. And if music is your middle name, engage with a 12-foot floor keyboard on Level 2 just like the famous scene in Big. Visit this link for a full lineup of holiday activities.
– Urban Craft Uprising: 5-minute walk – If you’re after a craftier experience, the Urban Craft Uprising Holiday Market takes place at Westlake Park on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Numerous artisans offer a range of beautifully handmade gifts, ideal for you or thoughtful presents for loved ones.
– Tacoma Haul Crawl: No matter how long your gift list is, the 4th Annual Downtown Tacoma Holiday Haul Crawl along Antique Row has it all. On December 14th, over 30 unique shops offer an array of goodies – so good luck pulling yourself away. A few can’t-misses include Bespectacled Studios, OCD Candy Company and a Carol-Oke Contest at the McMenamins Elks Temple. If you need to re-charge, swing by the Bostwick Cafe or Original House of Donuts to fill up.
Prep the Foam, Fingers
Fun-fact: the fans at CenturyLink Field set the World Record for loudest roar during a 2013 Seattle Seahawks game. Suffice is to say, Seattle and Tacoma love their sporting. Combine holiday spirits with team spirits and check out a game while you’re in town. Here are the upcoming battle royals happening in Emerald City and if you’re in Tacoma, go see the Reign FC dominate.
Eat, Sip and Stay
Washington State is well-known for its passion surrounding local and environmentally friendly foods. With the coast close and lush forests all around, it’s a melting pot for incredibly real flavors.
– Rider: A downtown Seattle restaurant in Hotel Theodore where forest and ocean meet. With a menu showcasing purposefully sourced ingredients from around the Pacific Northwest accompanied by expertly crafted cocktails, you’ll want to settle in for a while.
– Millers Guild: The heart of this restaurant at Hotel Max is a nine-foot-long, custom-made grill which inspires the unique wood-fired menu. From a 75-day dry-aged beef to fresh seafood, there’s plenty to get your taste buds fired up. Oh, did we mention the cocktails are made with spirits that have been house-finished in oak casks suspended above the bar?