Along with turkey dinner leftovers comes tons of holiday hoopla! Consider: an early morning parade, a winter celebration under the Needle, a bright festival inspired by nature, a popular holiday production, a kickoff event with the big guy in red and a magnificent light display. If shopping isn’t your thing, take your crew to South Lake Union for Greet the Season. This all day event will include festive holiday music, crafts and activities, plus Nutcracker performances, gingerbread house making and an appearance by the Argosy Christmas Ship.

Come celebrate the holiday season with the 25th Annual Macy's Holiday Parade. The parade includes festive floats, costumed characters and local community groups, all followed by Santa, who will arrive at Macy's where he'll officially open Santaland for the 2015 Christmas season. The Macy's Holiday Parade steps off promptly at 9 AM on the corner of 7th Ave. and Pine St., and will travel west down Pine to 5th Ave., south on 5th to University St., west on University to 4th Ave. and then north on 4th before concluding at the front of Macy's Department Store at approximately 11 AM. Be sure to come back later in the day for the official lighting of the famous Macy's Star at 5 PM, followed by an awesome fireworks display (weather permitting).

photo: Macy’s 


Macy’s Holiday Parade (pictured)
Bundle up the gang and grab a curbside seat for this annual day after Thanksgiving parade. See giant inflatable floats, marching bands, drill teams, hundreds of costumed characters and of course, Santa Claus, make his way down Pine St. to the doorstep of Macy’s. Fri. Event details.

Seattle Center Winterfest
The Seattle Center is the place to be for lots of free and affordable holiday activities and entertainment. Take a few laps around the Winterfest Ice Rink, drive a miniature locomotive inside the Armory, watch ice sculpting demonstrations and enjoy live music and entertainment all weekend long. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

WildLights at the Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo’s spectacular winter lights festival returns this year with thousands of sparkling LED lights inspired by nature, wild animals and wild places. In addition to the festive displays, ride the zoo’s historic carousel, see a few animal friends (including Santa’s reindeer), and enjoy faux snowball fights and festive snacks and entertainment. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Santa’s Grand Arrival Parade & Tree Lighting Event
Grab a curbside seat along Bellevue Way to watch Jingle Belle dancers, toy soldier drummers, princesses, holiday-themed floats and of course, Santa Clause, make their way through the streets of downtown Bellevue. After the parade, gather for the festive tree lighting ceremony at Bellevue Place Wintergarden and enjoy a special meet and greet with the characters from Snowflake Lane as well as holiday music, cookies and cocoa. Fri. (Snowflake Lane runs Fri.-Sun.) Event details.


‘Twas the Night…
It’s opening weekend of this must-see musical comedy based on the famous holiday poem! Kick off your holiday season with plenty of LOL moments and a few new surprises. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Garden d’Lights
After the sun goes down, the Bellevue Botanical Garden is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland with more than a half a million twinkling lights. Grab the stroller and take the Littles on a holiday journey filled with three-dimensional flowers, shrubs, and animal characters. Insider Tip: Avoid the long lines at the gate by purchasing your tickets onlineSat. & Sun. Event details.

How will you be kicking off the holiday season this weekend? Tell us in the Comments below.

— Kristina Moy