The kids are still home from school, so why not try out some of our local holiday wonders – ones you may have missed while getting ready for the big day yesterday.
Here are some ideas:
- Zoolights at Pt. Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma
I have it on good authority (my son and daughter-in-law) that this is spectacular and magical this year. It’s open from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. until January 6. Admissions ranges from $6-$12
- Fantasy Lights in Spanaway
- Polar Bear Plunge
If you’re into ice cold water to remind you it’s a new year, this one’s for you.
What: Join the crowd and splash into Puget Sound on New Year’s Day
When: 11:30 a.m., Jan. 1
Where: Point Defiance boat launch, 5912 Waterfront Drive, in Point Defiance Park. Free
This week and early next is the best time to go to Seattle, before Viadoom takes over when the Viaduct closes and traffic is predicted to be catastrophic.
- Enchant: New this year, Enchant Christmas is an immersive holiday experience with lights, a market, ice skating, entertainment, food and drink and more at Safeco Field. I’ve heard they have “pay what you can” days, but I don’t find that on their website, so you’ll need to ask. This event runs through December 30.
- Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo. We like to illuminate our zoos around here. Open from 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. through January 5. $10-$15
- Seattle Center Winterfest, Through December 31, the Seattle Center is filled with free and affordable activities such ice sculpting and ice skating. The festival rings in the New Year with spectacular fireworks, Fountain of Light dance party and live music by premier cover band, Sway.
- Nutcracker Ballet Just two more days to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s rendition of the Nutcracker at McCaw Hall. But that means they have some screamin’ good deals.
- Gingerbread Olympic
Enjoy the wonder of oversized gingerbread house made with more than 4,000 real gingerbread bricks. This is one of my all-time favorite charity events. Stop by and see what local architects can create from gingerbread. Open until January 1 in the lower lobby of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.
If you’re ready for a short road trip, here are my suggestions for activities beyond Seattle and Tacoma.
- New Year’s Eve Wildlife Viewing Cruise with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center: Leaving from Port Townsend’s Point Hudson Marina at 1 p.m., tickets cost $55 per person. Call 360.385.5582, ext. 104, to make reservations.
- First Night Celebration in Port Townsend: This all-ages, alcohol-fee event features live music and children’s activities. From 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
- New Year’s Eve at Taps at the Guardhouse at Fort Worden: 8 p.m. -midnight. Live music and bubbly.
Let’s not forget our friends to the east. Bellevue goes all out with their fun and frolic for the holidays.
- Garden d’Lightsat Bellevue Botanical Gardens runs through December 30. I saw this last year for the first time and was blown away by the amount of work that goes into this more-than-magnificent lighting display. Children under 10 are free, everyone else pays just $5.
- Ice Skating at the Bellevue Downtown Park, 100 100th NE continues through January 13. Admission is $10-$15
I highly recommend calling before going to any of these events as I just discovered one big New Year’s Eve party had been “cancelled due to unforeseen events.”