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Kid Friendly Holiday Activities Just Beyond Seattle 2023

Oh, how wonderful it is that the holiday season has arrived in beautiful Seattle! It’s the most magical time of the year, and there are so many things for kids and families to enjoy!

But, did you know that there are also lots of festive activities in the neighboring towns of Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, and Issaquah? It’s true! You’re in luck if you’re looking for exciting holiday adventures that are kid-friendly. 

We’ve put together a list of great ideas that will make sure your family has an unforgettable time. Whether you’re a local or visiting for the first time, there’s something here for you. So, get your little ones dressed in warm and cozy clothes, and let’s discover all of the amazing things that are happening this season! Let’s create some unforgettable memories together!

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+++ Holiday Fun in Bellevue +++

The holiday season in Bellevue, Washington, is a magical time, filled with sparkling lights, festive cheer, and plenty of opportunities for family fun. If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids entertained and engaged throughout this festive season, you’re in for a treat! So, bundle up, get ready for some holiday spirit, and explore these delightful activities!

1. Holiday Activities at Bellevue Square

🎅Santa Visits and Photo Ops

Looking for a classic holiday activity to capture memories? You won’t want to miss out on the Santa Photo Experience at Bellevue Square! Starting on Friday, November 24th, head on over to Snowflake Lane Factory to meet Santa (reservations required) and snap a photo with your loved ones. Bellevue Square’s holiday charm is unmatched, complete with stunning decorations, write letters to Santa, and even an interactive game that will excite both children and adults. Don your best holiday attire and bring the whole family for an unforgettable experience. Whether it’s an annual tradition or your child’s first photo with Santa, Bellevue Square is sure to make your holiday season sparkle.

2. Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection

Are you and your family looking for some holiday cheer? Head over to Bellevue for the spectacular Snowflake Lane! Make unforgettable memories as you watch live toy soldier drummers, enchanting holiday characters, and a magical parade under the snowfall. This beloved tradition is perfect for all families and perks up the spirit of the season. You won’t want to miss the festive music, dazzling lights, and so much more!

Every night at 7:00 pm between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square from NE 4th to NE 8th Streets for a free nightly parade of holiday floats. With plenty of free parking available at the shopping center, you can easily find your favorite spot on the sidewalk to enjoy the show. Make note that on weekends and as it gets closer to December 24th, the event gets busier and busier! Don’t wait, come early and during the weekdays for the best spot, see you there!

Pro Tip: Arrive early to get a good viewing spot (people line up at 6:30 pm), and don’t forget your camera. 

Snowflake Lane Character Meet & Greet

Come on down to the Bellevue Place Wintergarden from November 29th to December 21st on Wednesdays and Thursdays for an amazing chance to meet some of your favorite Snowflake Lane characters! Make sure to bring your camera with you for an awesome photo opportunity from 5:30pm to 6:30pm and be prepared to have an amazing time. 

3. Christmas Tree Lighting at The Bellevue Collection

Are you ready to kick off the holiday season in style? Join us for some festive fun at the Bellevue Place Wintergarden Tree Lighting on Friday, November 24th. This amazing event features a 30-foot tree, Santa, and plenty of holiday cheer. Bring your friends and family and experience the magic of the season together. Plus, if you can’t make it on the 24th, the tree will be available free for all to see throughout the holiday season. Come to the Bellevue Collection near the Hyatt Regency for a jolly good time and make unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Can’t wait to see you there!

4. Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink

Hey there! If you’re looking for a fun way to get in the winter spirit, check out the amazing ice skating rink in Downtown Bellevue! It’s the perfect activity to do with family and friends. The rink boasts over 9,000 square feet of ice and is the largest seasonal ice skating experience in the region! The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink presented by Symetra runs from November 17th to January 15th, 2024, offering 60 days of ice skating, free skate lessons courtesy of Microsoft, themed nights, concessions, and free parking! You can buy day tickets or season passes on their website. Don’t miss out on this fantastic winter activity – get your tickets today!

5. The Nutcracker at Meydenbauer Theatre

Looking for a wonderful way to experience the magic of the holiday season with your kids? Join us at Meydenbauer Theatre for the International Ballet Theatre’s presentation of “The Nutcracker.” This beloved classic will come to life before your eyes with the exceptional artistry of IBT’s talented dancers, dazzling costumes, and breathtaking set designs.

“The Nutcracker” is a timeless holiday tradition that never fails to amaze audiences of all ages around the world. You and your family will be captivated by the story of young Clara and her Nutcracker prince as they journey through a whimsical winter wonderland, set to Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score.

At IBT, every performance is a story told through movement, and their skilled dancers will take your breath away with their grace, precision, and emotion. The stunning combination of vibrant costumes, dynamic lighting, and iconic music makes this a sensory-rich experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your whole family. Don’t miss out on this must-see event in Bellevue!

Pro Tip: Kids under 12 are half price!

6. Garden D'Lights Bellevue Botanical Garden

Hey there! If you’re searching for a magical experience this holiday season, look no further than the Garden d’Lights in Bellevue! It’s a lovely event that transforms the Bellevue Botanical Garden into a dazzling winter wonderland that is an absolute delight for all ages.

Starting at 4:30 pm, you and your family will be transported into a fairytale landscape, where nature meets art through a breathtaking display of lights. With over half a million twinkling lights forming amazing flower, shrub, vine and critter designs, it’s a feast for the eyes. Best of all, the pathways are perfect for strollers and little walkers, so your entire family can explore safely and comfortably. We highly recommend Garden d’Lights for a family-friendly evening of pure magic!

7. Holidays at BAM (Bellevue Art Museum)

Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) transforms into a hub of holiday creativity with workshops designed for children during the festive season. These workshops are a wonderful way for kids to engage in hands-on activities, learn new skills, and express their holiday cheer through art. Here’s a glimpse into the types of activities and workshops you can expect at BAM during the holidays

🎨 Creative Workshops

On December 1st and December 8th, 5 pm – 7:30 pm, come and join us at BAM for a FREE workshop on Snowflake Making alongside Snowflake Lane festivities! All are welcomed to the ground floor Forum where you can design and decorate your own snowflakes. They have templates available for those who want to follow along or you can show your creativity by designing your own. All supplies are provided, so you just need to show up and have fun crafting!

On December 16th, from 11 am – 12:30 pm, BAM is excited to share collagraph techniques for creating unique relief prints, which is free with admissions. This is perfect for young kids and families who want to make their own wrapping paper for the holiday season. They start with a hands-on demonstration of the cutting and inking process, inspired by the grid-based process of Jennifer Bartlett’s House series. They provide adhesive foam sheets, scissors, and prepared shapes, and encourage participants to create their own unique designs. Come along and have fun printing your patterns with brayers and block printing ink on large sheets of craft paper. Join in for a fun and creative day!

+++ Holiday Fun in Kirkland +++

Kirkland, Washington, with its picturesque waterfront and vibrant community, offers a variety of delightful holiday activities for kids and families. From festive lights to creative workshops, there’s something to spark joy in every child during the holiday season. Here’s a guide to some of the best holiday activities in Kirkland:

1. Holidays at The Village at Totem Lake

The Village at Totem Lake in Kirkland becomes a festive hub of activity during the holiday season, offering a variety of family-friendly events and activities that are perfect for kids. From twinkling lights to special appearances, this shopping and lifestyle center is transformed into a holiday wonderland.

🎅 Santa Visits and Photo Ops

Come to Santa’s Winter Wonderland in suite 172 near Pendleton! You and your family can take photos with Santa, roam around a curated holiday market, write a letter to Santa, or just enjoy the festive atmosphere. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity! The Winter Wonderland is open from November 24th through December 24th, so stop by and get into the holiday spirit!

Monday-Saturday: 11am-7pm
Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Christmas Eve: 10am-4pm 

🎅 Santa Meets Paws: A Photo Op with a Twist

The Village at Totem Lake offers a unique and delightful holiday treat on select days: the opportunity for your furry friends to join in the festive fun with a photo session with Santa! This pet-friendly event is perfect for families who consider their pets a part of their holiday celebrations.

November 17th, December 4th and 11th from 11am – 7pm.

Holiday Displays

Take a stroll through the beautifully decorated shopping center and enjoy the stunning holiday lights that are guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit. And don’t forget to stop by the Christmas tree near Salt and Straw – it’s simply breathtaking! Whether you’re here with family or friends, The Village has something magical for everyone.

2. Letters to Santa Kirkland

How about adding some extra magic to your kids’ holiday season? Encourage them to write a letter to Santa and drop it off in the special mailbox in Downtown Kirkland located at the corner outside of Homegrown! It’s a great way to help them express their wishes while enjoying the holiday cheer. You have until December 20th to drop off your letters, so make sure your kids don’t miss out on this fun opportunity! Let’s spread the holiday spirit together.

3. Downtown Kirkland Holiday Carolers

Come join for a heartwarming and festive holiday caroler experience on Park Lane in Kirkland! This amazing event is happening on December 8th, 15th and the 22nd from 4 – 5 pm, just a few minutes walk from Marina Park. Get ready to be swept away by the enchanting sounds of the season as talented carolers serenade the streets with traditional holiday tunes. You can choose to sit back and listen or join in the singing fun yourself – all are welcome! Bring your friends and family and create cherished memories of the magic of the holidays through song and community.

4. Kirkland Ice Skating

Visit Sno-Skate Lane, a festive public skating event brought to you by Sno-King Ice Arenas, in Kirkland, Renton, and Snoqualmie. Whether you’re young or young-at-heart, there’s fun for everyone with daily skating throughout December. It’s the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit! Looking for something special? Don’t miss our themed skate days, amazing giveaways, and exciting guest appearances, check out their calendar for more info.

Oh, and did we mention Santa himself will be stopping by on December 17th, 22nd, and 23rd? You won’t want to miss it! Join us for an unforgettable holiday experience at Sno-Skate Lane.

+++ Holiday Fun in Redmond +++

Redmond, Washington, known for its beautiful parks and vibrant community, lights up during the holiday season with an array of activities perfect for families and children. Here’s a guide to some wonderful holiday activities for kids in Redmond:

1. Redmond Holiday Lights

Come and join the annual Redmond Holiday lights, where you can feast your eyes on a breathtaking light installation trail and immerse yourself in some fantastic art installations. You can witness the charm of art and light installations every night from December through January 3rd, 2024. So, mark your calendars, grab your friends and family, and be a part of this fantastic experience from 5 – 11 pm.

2. Holiday Fun at Redmond Town Center

Redmond Town Center, a popular shopping and entertainment hub, transforms into a festive wonderland during the holiday season. It’s a place where families can enjoy a variety of activities, perfect for kids looking for holiday fun. Here’s a snapshot of what Redmond Town Center offers for a memorable holiday experience:

🎨 Kid's Coloring Activity

Are your little ones excited about joining in on the festivities for Redmond Lights? Redmond Town Center has a fantastic coloring activity for them! Kids aged 3-15 can take part by decorating one or all of the four coloring sheets and receive a $10 gift card as a thank you for their hard work (while supplies last).

Just remember, only one entry per sheet, per child is allowed. And don’t forget, your little one has to be present to receive the gift card. Let’s put smiles on faces and make the season merry for all!

🎅 Santa’s Village & Photo Opportunities

Want to make your child’s holiday season even more special? Come meet Santa Claus and let their amazing photographers take a picture of the magical moment. It’s a must-have keepsake that you’ll treasure for years to come. And don’t worry about where to find him – Santa’s location is between Asher Goods and Claire’s, right near the center court. So what are you waiting for? Hurry and reserve your spot now! November 24th – December 24th. 

🎶 Live Music Throughout the Holidays

From Fridays-Sundays between 12-3 p.m., you’ll have the chance to indulge in holiday-themed performances that showcase each artist’s personal style. They’ve got a variety of talented singers, bass soloists and jazz stylings, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. We can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with you at Redmond Town Center! For the full line up, check out their website for more details.

3. Hollidays at the Red Barn Farm

Looking for some fun holiday activities that your kids will love? Check out The Red Barn Farm in Redmond! Where they have a variety of events that will make your holiday season extra special. From classic pictures with Santa to gingerbread house making, sugar cookie decorating with Santa, breakfast with Santa, and even a holiday movie night in the barn – they have it all!

Visit Santa and the animals on December 10th. You can feed the animals all day until 4 PM! Tickets required.

They are also hosting Breakfast with Santa on December 16th, with catering provided by Rice Beans & Happiness. Book your tickets online and enjoy a delicious meal that even picky eaters will love! Plus, you’ll receive a digitally edited group photo with Santa as a souvenir of your visit. Tickets and info here!

Join in the fun for their kid-friendly movie night on December 22nd at 7:00PM. They’ll provide cushions and blankets for comfortable seating, but feel free to bring your own chairs and blankets. Bring your family and friends for a night of holiday fun! Tickets and info here!

Finally, don’t miss out on their sugar cookie decorating event on December 23rd from 10:00AM – 12:00PM. Your kids will love decorating pre-baked sugar cookies and meeting Santa. Each child will receive 6 sugar cookies and plenty of holiday cheer! Tickets and info here!


+++ Holiday Fun in Issaquah +++

Issaquah, Washington, nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, offers a quaint yet vibrant setting for festive holiday activities. This charming town provides a range of kid-friendly events and attractions that capture the essence of the holiday spirit. Here are some wonderful holiday activities for kids and families in Issaquah:

1. Issaquah Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo

The Issaquah Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo is a delightful holiday tradition in the Pacific Northwest that captivates visitors of all ages every year. The moment you enter the zoo during this festive season, you are transported into a fairy-tale winter wonderland where the joy of the holidays comes to life amidst the stunning beauty of nature and wildlife. Here are a few things that make the Reindeer Festival an absolute delight for families and children alike.

🦌 Encounter with Reindeer

The highlight of the festival is, of course, the reindeer. Visitors have the opportunity to see these majestic creatures up close, a rare and magical experience that captivates both kids and adults. Educators are on-hand to share fascinating facts about reindeer, their habitats, and their role in holiday folklore, making it an educational experience as well.

🎅 Santa Claus and Elves

A visit to the Reindeer Festival wouldn’t be complete without meeting Santa Claus. Kids can share their holiday wishes and take photos with Santa in a charmingly decorated setting. The presence of Santa’s elves adds to the festive atmosphere, with their cheerful antics and holiday cheer. Pre Purchase your discounted Reindeer Festival tickets online!

2. Holidays at Gilman Village

Downtown Issaquah is a magical place to be during this time of year. Bring the kids out for a visit with Santa Claus and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll through Gilman Village and admire the beautiful lights and charming decorations. There’s even plenty of family-friendly dining options for a memorable evening out. The holiday season is all about spreading joy and celebrating with loved ones, so let’s get together and make some wonderful memories in Downtown Issaquah!

🎅 Santa Claus

November 25 @ Historic Shell Station 9am – 10:30am; 96 Front Street Cafe 11am – 1pm — with GlimmerGlass Photography and until 4pm at the Historically Hip Artisan Market
November 26 @ 96 Front Street Cafe 11am – 1pm and until 4pm at the Historically Hip Artisan Market
December 2nd @ The Grange Supply 11:30am – 1:30pm — with GlimmerGlass Photography
December 3rd @ 96 Front Street Cafe 11am – 3pm
December 7th @ Caroling at the Depot 5:30pm – 7:30pm
December 8th @ Gilman Village – Wine Walk 6:30pm – 8:30pm
December 9th @ Gilman Village 11am – 2pm
December 9th @ 3pm – 6pm at the Historically Hip Artisan Market, Local Author Fair, Holiday Shop, and around town
December 10th @ Historic Shell Station 11am – 1pm — with GlimmerGlass Photography and until 4pm at the Historically Hip Artisan Market.
December 16th @ Gilman Village 11am – 2pm
December 21st @ Downtown Issaquah – Yuletide on Front 1:30pm – 7pm 

3. Trinity Tree Farm U-Cut Christmas Trees Experience

Come experience the holiday magic at Trinity Tree Farm, located in the picturesque area of Issaquah, Washington. Open from November 24th to December 17th. Bring your family along for a day of U-Cut Christmas tree tradition that will create lasting memories. At Trinity Tree Farm, you can enjoy a fun and interactive way of choosing the perfect tree for your home. They provide all the necessary tools and assistance needed, so you don’t have to worry about anything. They will even help you secure the tree to your vehicle. Check out their website to know their hours of operation as they vary by day and season. Visiting Trinity Tree Farm is more than just finding the right tree; it’s a chance to embrace the holiday spirit and spend quality time with your loved ones. It is the perfect opportunity to start a new family tradition or continue an old one, creating unforgettable memories that will last forever.

Weekdays: 10 am – 6 pm

Weekends: 8 am – 5 pm

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