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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Source: Holidays at the Beach
Holidays? Check. Beach? Check. Breakfast with Santa?! TAKE MY MONEY.
9. Garden d’Lights Festival (Bellevue, WA)
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)
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!