Parents of December babies know that sometimes their kid’s birthday party gets… slighted. It’s hard not to with winter break, travel plans and major holidays in the mix. But these parents also know that the season’s best provides some seriously cool options available only to winter holiday babes. From tubing to reindeer festivals to New Year’s Eve rock concerts, we’ve rounded up seven party hot spots to take advantage of this merry season.
photo: Merrill Images
Take in a Play
Little drama kings and queens can learn from the best when they celebrate turning another year older at the Seattle Children’s Theater. This season’s holiday show, Dick Whittington and his Cat, is an endearing tale that appeals to all ages. The story follows Dick on his adventurous journey to recover his lost, lucky cat. And it’s full of catchy songs, colorful costumes and sight gags that will keep little thespians entertained the whole way through. Plus, it’s peppered with just a dash of Christmas spirit to make it merry and bright. In addition to admission to the play for four pals (additional tickets can be added for $15 each), this birthday package also includes a 60-minute window, before or after the show, in one of the classrooms so friends can nosh on cake, ice cream and even open a few presents. We recommend reserving a spot at least two weeks in advance to guarantee show tickets and room availability. Bravo birthday!
photo: Chris Bennion
Good to know: STC takes care of the tables, chairs and paper goods, as well as goodie bags filled with a button from the show, a book mark and a few other items that can easily be supplemented by parents, or not. Easy peasy and seasonal!
Seattle Children’s Theater
201 Thomas St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Phone: 206-443-0807 ext. 1134 or 206-441-3322
Cost: $150 (includes 4 tickets); $15/ticket extra
Be a Party Animal
Animal lovers of all ages can celebrate their birthday alongside all nine of Santa’s reindeer (and other festive animals) during the annual Reindeer Festival at the Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah. The zoo animals become part of Santa’s special team, weaving a little holiday magic into the birthday experience. The cougars are Santa’s “kittens” and guard his sleigh; the lemurs, Santa’s sentinels; and word on the street is that the zoo tigers craft some seriously minty candy canes. Beyond time with these festive “helpers”, the birthday package includes a one-hour guided tour around the zoo with friends. Plus, the birthday kiddo gets a tray of apple treats to feed the animals, a special closer look at some of the wild residents and a photo op with the man in red himself or the tropical birds, who come out only on special occasions in the winter. Add on some party time in the celebration hut ($60/hr) for cake and presents, and you’ve got yourself a party to remember!
photo: Cougar Mountain Zoo’
Good to know: Tiny tiger tamers will flip at the tiger encounter extra. For $60, partygoers can get up close and personal with these ferocious cats, and get a real feel for them too… through an incredibly heavy-duty screen that lets little hands touch the tigers, for real. It’s tigerific!
Cougar Mountain Zoo
19525 S.W. 54th St.
Issaquah, Wa 98027
Cost: $148 (up to 12 kids); $12/person for additional guests
Dates: Dec. 1-23, 2014
Ring in an Early New Year
This holiday season, rock out with a favorite local kindie band from a VIP viewing room (or front row seats!) at one of the December Kid Rock Series shows at the Mount Baker Community Club. We love the Dec. 27 show for New Year’s babies, because Recess Monkey will be welcoming 2015 a little early at this concert. Invite guests to wear their mocktail best so they won’t be underdressed for the apple cider toast, and the festive balloon drop near the end of the set. Or party with the Not-Its at the Dec. 13 show, and add your own festive flair to the party room. That’s how birthday rock stars roll!
photo: Mt. Baker Community Club
Good to know: The Kids Rock Series runs through April 25, 2015 and birthday packages can be booked for any of the Saturday shows. Check the schedule online for featured bands and dates. Rock on!
Mount Baker Community Club
2811 Mount Rainer Dr. S.
Seattle, Wa 98144
Dates: Dec. 13 & 27, 2014
Go Figure (Skating)
Since outdoor ice-skating only comes once a year to Seattle, a party on the Winterfest Ice Rink at Fisher Pavilion is a standout event not to be missed. Rent the rink from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. on the weekends to have the ice all to yourself (Psst… there’s limited availability, so remember to book early!). Or make the most of the group rate ($4/skater, including skate rental) if your guest list equals 20 or more. Although the group rate doesn’t guarantee a spot on the ice, there’s a good chance skater’s gonna skate. Then move the group out of the cold and into the Armory for some hot cocoa and cake afterward.
Good to know: If you’re looking to save some green this season, remember that December 20th is the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card event, where cardholder’s get to skate free with two of their friends, and December 21st is a free skate day presented by Coca Cola.
Winterfest Ice Rink – Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Cost: $300 to reserve the rink; $4/skater for groups of 20 or more; $7/adult, $5/child (6-12), $2/child (0-5) during public skate (includes ice skate rental). Cash only.
Dates: Nov. 28 – Dec. 31, 2014
Between nightly parades and snowfall, downtown Bellevue transforms into a magical place during the holiday season. Bring little figure skaters to the Magic Season Ice Arena for some double axel good times and cake during one of the many public skate sessions in December. We recommend getting a 10 skate pass for partygoers to make it official. But keep in mind that, even for groups, the public skate sessions are first come, first serve. There’s plenty of seating around this covered skate area for presents and goodies when everyone’s done.
photo: Mike Penney Photography
Good to know: Get a two-fer if you plan your bash during a free skate lesson time on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Check the online schedule for all the deets.
The Magic Season Ice Arena
Bellevue Downtown Park
10201 N.E. Fourth St.
Bellevue, Wa 90012
Phone: 425-453-3110 or email email@example.com
Cost: $85 for 10 skate admissions; $12/skater (9 and up), $9/skater (0-8); all prices include skate rental
Dates: Nov. 28, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015
Be Totally Tubular
Be the first family on the block to reserve a room for a rad birthday gala at the Summit Tubing Lodge at Snoqualmie Pass. The space is currently under construction, which means a brand-spanking new space is all yours for this inaugural season. The space can be divided to fit anywhere from 12-150 people for a snowy birthday blowout. And all you bring is the cake (catering options are available). Schedule a room ($75 and up) before or after the group’s reserved two-hour tubing window. That’s all there is to it!
photo: pennuja via Flickr
Good to know: The tubing season is scheduled to open December 13, 2014 but it’s all snow-dependent, so keep that in mind (and maybe do a little snow dance) when making party plans!
The Summit Tubing Center
1001 State Route 906
Snoqualmie Pass, Wa 98068
Cost: $21-$22/adult (depending on the session time and day); $19-20/youth ages 6-12 (depending on the session time and day); $5/child (0-5); $1 discount/ticket with the purchase of 30 or more tickets.
Lights and S’mores and More!
Light up the night for your special birthday boy or girl (plus friends) with a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo to see the annual Wildlights display. Buy tickets individually for party guests and bring cake and goodies along. Or book a S’mores and More party package, a new option this year, that lets groups of 20 or more sit “lightside” in an outside tented area where they can party like animals and help themselves to hot cocoa and s’mores. With this party package, invitees will get admission tickets plus a wristband that grants them access to the reserved tent, and includes one drink and two s’mores. Plan for a wildly (gooey) good time!
photo: Ryan Hawk for Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo
5500 Phinney Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98103
Cost: $25/person (20 person min.) for a S’mores and More package; $9.75 (13 and up), $6.50 (3-12), Free (0-2) general admission
Dates: Nov. 28, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015
Times: 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Do you have a December baby? Where do you like to celebrate his or her birthday? Share your favorite winter party spot in a comment below!
— Allison Sutcliffe (mom to a December baby)
Feature photo: Karen Gallup via Woodland Park Zoo