Hello, there. Today’s outing actually is more like a few different activities that are all in the same area. And… drumroll please… the area is Seattle Center! Not only does it have 3 wonderful museums, but it is also host to Seattle Children’s Theatre and the Chihuly Garden & Glass (oh, and the Space Needle too!). If you haven’t gotten the opportunity to visit Seattle Center yet, the holidays are the perfect time to go because there’s even more to do!
I’ve been going to Winterfest (though I never knew it was called that) since I was very young. You see, for quite a while, my dance studio put on a Christmas Show at the Center House (or, The Armory, as it’s now called) stage, as part of Winterfest. Even though we stopped doing the show several years ago, I’ve always felt that it wasn’t Christmastime until we visited Center House.The giant train track that is set up in the Center House is so special to see. I love looking at all the details, and thinking up stories about all the little people that are in the diorama. Also, for those of you who aren’t too keen on ice skating outdoors, Seattle Center’s Winterfest provides a wonderful alternative! They have a small ice skating rink at Fisher Pavilion, which is located directly beneath the Seattle Children’s Theatre. It’s small, but it’s so much fun!
You can’t help but feel the holiday joy and spirit when walking around the grounds of Seattle Center. If you’re a parent, I highly recommend visiting the Pacific Science Center with the little ones. The rotating exhibits are always fabulous, and the Butterfly Garden does wonders to warm your insides up (they keep the temperature at a balmy 75 degrees). The Seattle Children’s Theatre is also a wonderful event for families. I have been going with my family since I was in fourth grade, and I can safely say that we have never been disappointed. The quality of the shows, actors, and sets is incredible. They have talk-backs after the shows that really promote children’s creative and critical thinking, too.
Anyways, Seattle Center has so much to offer during the holidays. And, if there isn’t enough to keep you busy, simply ride the monorail into downtown! It drops you off at Westlake Center, and you’ll be right in the middle of the bustling city.
Price: Winterfest is free; Ice skating is $7 for adults, $5 for kids 6 – 12, $2 for kids 5 and under, this includes skates
Local Trick: Don’t forget to walk down and see the mesmerizing fountain near Key Arena. Also, if you’re looking for a quick snack, Ceres has some incredible cinnamon-roasted almonds and pecans that are to die for! They also make a very good vanilla latte, in case you don’t want Starbucks. The Pacific Science Center shows fantastic movies in IMAX that are very well made. Usually, they’re about 45-50 minutes long. I recently saw Journey to the South Pacific, which was beautiful. I highly recommend seeing one of their films if you have the time. If you’re a local and think you might want to return to the Science Center or the Children’s Theatre, purchase an annual pass/subscription. We have both, and have never regretted it. Secret Fact: This was where the Seattle World’s Fair was held in 1962!
Location: The Seattle Center Grounds, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109
Dates/Times: The Winter Train & Village: Nov. 28 – Dec. 31, 10am – 6pm daily, with special times on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
Ice Skating Rink: Nov. 28 – Jan. 4, Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 8pm, Friday – Saturday: 11am – 10pm, with special times on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve