10 Things To Do This Holiday Season In The Pacific Northwest

And while there’s certainly a lot to look forward to this season (some much-needed PTO, say, or catching up with those you love most), there are also a few things most of us could live without (days-long visits by certain aunts and uncles, for example, or the kind of temperatures that leave you checking flights to Mexico or Thailand as often as your father-in-law disparages your chosen profession, etc.).

So, we’ve compiled a list of holiday-themed distractions that are sure to keep the family happy straight through New Year’s!

1. Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle, WA)


Source: Woodland Park Zoo

Whether you’re in it for the mulled wine or the controlled chaos of the zoo’s “Snomazium,” WildLights has plenty to offer children and adults alike.

Make sure you book your passes soon, though — the fun starts Nov. 29!

2. Macy’s Holiday Parade (Seattle, WA)


Source: 123Thanksgiving

Before you take the little ones over to Woodland Park Zoo, why not drive down to Seattle and check out the annual Macy’s Holiday Parade? Sure, it may not be the pop-culture phantasmagoria that our friends in New York are privileged enough to celebrate every year, but where else are you going to see the Mariners’ woebegone mascot dressed up as Santa Claus?

3. Providence Festival of Trees (Portland, OR)

Festival of Trees

Source: Facebook/festivaloftreesportland

Nothing screams holiday cheer like an assortment of dazzling, winter-themed trees! Running Dec. 5 – 7, all proceeds benefit Providence Children’s Health as they continue to provide life-altering assistance to kids throughout the Pacific Northwest.

4. Holiday Tree Lighting (Portland, OR)

Pioneer Square tree lighting

Source: Facebook/PionerCourthouseSquare

It simply wouldn’t be winter in Portland if we didn’t drape 14,000 lights over a 75-foot Douglas Fir in the middle of Pioneer Square. With choral singers, tasty treats and a guest appearance by Mayor Wheeler himself, who wouldn’t want to congregate downtown Portland alongside 25,000 of your closest friends and neighbors?

5. Fairhaven Winterfest (Bellingham, WA)

Winterfest horse drawn carriage

Source: Facebook/HistoricFairhaven

For those less inclined to venture into the PNW’s two biggest cities during the holidays, may we suggest the irresistible charm of Bellingham’s Fairhaven Winterfest? Not only is it an excuse to escape to Bellingham, arguably the most beautiful town that ever lived, but you’ll also get to see some killer window displays, horse-drawn carriages and a plethora of twinkling lights!

6. Victorian Holiday Festival (Tacoma, WA)

Tacoma Victorian Festival

Source: Metro Parks Tacoma

If you and yours enjoy donning 19th-century outfits and listening to live music, grab the kiddos and head on down to Tacoma’s annual Victorian Holiday Festival!

7. Holiday Lights Winter Paddle Parade (Bend, OR)

Winter Paddle Parade

Source: Facebook/OldMillDistrict

Now, we’re not saying it was an inevitable consequence of Bend’s seemingly endless supply of breweries, but folks here sure do like to jump in light-strewn kayaks and paddle around Tumalo Creek in the middle of December. And you know what? We love to watch ’em!

8. Holidays at the Beach (Longview, WA)

Long Beach Santa

Source: Holidays at the Beach

Holidays? Check. Beach? Check. Breakfast with Santa?! TAKE MY MONEY.

9. Garden d’Lights Festival (Bellevue, WA)

Garden d

Source: Facebook/Gardendlights

Cheap, easily accessible, and home to more than half-a-million holiday lights, Bellevue’s famous Gaden d’Lights Festival is sure to bring cheer to you and your loved ones! The festivities begin Nov. 24 and run through Dec. 30.

10. Annual Holiday Craft Bazaar (Everett, WA)

Holiday Bazaar crafts

Source: Facebook/EverettParksAndCommunityServices

Looking to buy some locally-sourced gifts this holiday season? Or do you or someone you know have something you’d like to sell? No matter which side of the vendor’s table you’re on this year, Everett’s Annual Holiday Craft Bazaar is the perfect place to do a little shopping before the big event. Running the weekend of Dec. 6 – 7, this holiday favorite boasts 50 vendors, delectable treats and (free!) coffee!

Happy event planning

No matter what you end up doing this holiday season, all of us here at Rent.com wish you and your family the very best!

Header photo credit: Victoria Ditkovsky / Shutterstock.com
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Travis RobertsTravis Roberts has written on behalf of corporate law firms, legal translation providers and property management companies throughout the United States. A graduate of Western Washington University's Creative Writing program, you can find his fiction and poetry in journals like Black Heart Magazine, Literary Orphans and WhiskeyPaper, among others. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, cat and motorbike.

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