Celebrate the season with Seattle Parks

The holiday season seems to sneak up on us and then it’s over before we know it. There are so many activities and things to be done; it can be hard to keep track of them all. We’ve created a one-stop guide to all of our festive happenings. Find gingerbread decorating for the kids, take advantage of low-cost childcare options, discover where to buy local, unique presents and locate a drop-off spot for gift donations.

The holidays can be stressful when you’re going it alone. Luckily, you have us.

CELEBRATE

NORTHEAST
Snowflake Funfest
What: Carnival games, crafts and hot cocoa
Location: Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 6-8 p.m., Dec. 5
Cost: Family fee (4 or more) $15, Individual $5

Gingerbread house decorating
What: Gingerbread house decorating
Location: Northgate Community Center, Laurelhurst Community Center
Ages:  1 and older
Time: 6-7:30 p.m., Dec. 5 at Northgate, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Dec. 12 at Laurelhurst
Cost: $6

NORTHWEST
Gingerbread Jubilee

What: Gingerbread house decorating
Location: Ballard Community Center
Ages: 1 and older
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Dec. 11
Cost: $5

Gingerbread Houses
What: Gingerbread house making
Location: Magnolia Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 5:30 -7 p.m., Dec. 5
Cost: $10 for a family of 4, $3 for individuals

CENTRAL
Holly Day Decorations
What: Create beautiful wreaths, garlands and other decorations for your home using invasive plants that need to be removed from the park like English ivy and holly
Location: Discovery Park
Ages: 5 and older
Time: 2 – 4:30 p.m., Dec. 6
Cost: $9
Must pre-register

Holiday Celebration

What: Gather with family to share in the holiday experience, treats, games, gifts, cookie decorating and more, in partnership with Country Doctor
Location: Miller Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Dec. 13
Cost: Free

Holiday Party
What: Holiday celebration with neighbors (pre-registration required to receive toy at event, call 684-4788)
Location: Garfield Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 6:30 – 8 p.m., Dec. 19

SOUTHEAST
Winter Hayrides
What: Hay wagon rides around Seward Park
Location: Seward Park
Ages: All
Time: Varies
Cost: $5 (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/17346)

Winter Wonderland Party
What: Visit from the North Pole, crafts and treats
Location: International District Chinatown Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 6 – 8 p.m., Dec. 12
Cost: $1

SOUTHWEST
Winterfest
What: Santa visit, entertainment, light refreshments
Location: South Park Community Center
Ages: 12 and under
Time: 3 – 5 p.m., Dec. 13

LIFELONG RECREATION (register on SPARC)
Garden D’Lights

What: Bellevue Botanical Garden D’Lights festival
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 3 – 8 p.m., Dec. 8
Cost: $18

Christmas at Fort Steilacoom
What: Re-enactors present a period candlelight Christmas
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 3 – 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13
Cost: $5 entry fee, dinner on your own
Register online

Seattle Men’s Chorus
What: Seattle Men’s Chorus holiday performance
Location: Benaroya Hall
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 12:20 – 5:30 p.m., 2 p.m. curtain time
Cost: $36, no cancellations after registration

Holiday Potluck
What: End-of-year holiday party, bring a gently used wrapped gift for exchange if you wish
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Dec. 17
Cost: Free

Wights and Lights
What: Wight’s Nursery holiday display, dinner out (on own), Montlake Terrace light display
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 3:30 – 8 p.m., Dec. 17
Cost: $8.50

Holiday Potluck and Bingo
What: Bring a dish to share and play Bingo, pre-registration encouraged
Location: Van Asselt Community Center
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Dec. 19
Cost: Free

REALLY BIG EVENTS

Pathway of Lights
Join thousands of people for “The Pathway of Lights” around Green Lake from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Experience the warm glow of luminaries and sounds of the season performed by schools and local artists.

Christmas Ships
Since 1949, glistening lights on grand ships have glided across the Puget Sound to celebrate the holiday season. The Argosy Christmas Ships sail to more than 45 waterfront communities every year. Choirs onboard the ships greet those onshore with 20-minute performances of popular carols, while those on land keep warm near cackling bonfires waiting for their arrival.

This year, Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting 16 bonfire events in its waterfront parks. We’ve compiled a list of events for your perusing and some tips to know before you go.

SHOP (and childcare!)

NORTHEAST
Drop ‘N’ Shop with Santa’s Helpers

What: Childcare, go shop while little ones enjoy pizza and activities
Location: Meadowbrook Community Center
Ages: Children must be potty trained, E-13 required
Time: 6-9 p.m., Dec. 5
Cost: $15

Ravenna Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale
What: Shop for unique, local gifts and support community programs, kid activities and soup provided
Location: Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Dec. 6
Cost: Free

Drop ‘N’ Shop
What: Childcare, go shop while little ones enjoy pizza and activities
Location: Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
Ages: Children must be potty trained, E-13 required
Time: 6-9 p.m., Dec. 12
Cost: $15, sibling discount $5

NORTHWEST
Parents’ Night Out

What: Childcare, go shop while little ones enjoy pizza and activities
Location: Ballard Community Center
Ages: Children must be potty trained
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Cost: $20, call to register multiple children otherwise, sign up online

CENTRAL
Antique Show

What: Find unique gifts and treasures
Location: Queen Anne Community Center
Ages: All
Time: Dec. 5-7
Cost: Free

SOUTHWEST
Parents’ Night Out
What: Childcare, do your last-minute errands while the kids enjoy skating and pizza
Location: Alki Community Center
Ages: 4 – 9
Time: 6 – 9 p.m.
Cost: $25

GIVE

CENTRAL
Holiday Toy Drive
What: Drop off unwrapped gifts and monetary donations for children 12 and under
Location: Garfield Community Center
Ages: Gifts for children 12 and under
Time: Toy drive ends Dec. 6
Cost: All donations are tax deductible