If you find yourself wondering what to do on Christmas Day without the usual hustle and bustle of the holidays, we’ve got you covered. From spending time on the slopes to exploring Seattle’s downtown light scene—we’ve even got a secret mission to complete—these city-wide activities for kids and families will make your day a memorable one. Keep reading and have a healthy and happy holiday from all of us at Red Tricycle!

photo: Downtown Seattle Association

1. Light Up Your Life

Sure, you can drive around your own neighborhood to look at Christmas lights or head to a decked out 'hood like Candy Cane Lane, but if you really want to get up close and personal with a dazzling holiday light display, it doesn’t get any better than the Holiday Lights & Delights at Westlake Park. The oversized light sculptures of presents, ornaments and more aren’t just for ogling at—some are for walking through too. Add in an augmented reality experience on the plaza from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and you’ve got every reason to get out and explore on December 25.

Westlake Park
401 Pine St.
Seattle, WA
Event details

photo: Mick Thompson

2. Find Holiday Treasure

When it comes to hidden treasures (we’re talking geocaches), Lake Sammamish State Park has more than any other Washington State Park. And this year, families can find a few extra holiday themed geocaches hidden alongside ten special Adventure Labs. Spend Christmas Day tracking down these festive finds with the kids. And don’t forget your Discover Pass to get into the park!

Lake Sammamish State Park
2000 N.W. Sammamish Rd.
Issaquah, WA
Event details

photo: © Angela Sterling

3. Escape with a Familiar Favorite

Seattle families may not be able to enjoy this holiday tradition at McCaw Hall this year, but you can still get your sugarplum fairy fix at home. All it takes is a digital ticket to stream this archival performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, complete with the unique-to-Seattle scenery and costumes by Olivia artist, Ian Falconer. The bright side? Your kids can totally dance in the aisles!

4. Mosey on Over to the Farm

If outside time is what your family is craving, head to Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue. Besides having plenty of room for kids to roam, and a perfect playground, it’s also where you’ll find your favorite barnyard animals out to say “hello.” The animals are out in the barnyard between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. everyday, so drop by and wish them a happy holiday and new year!

Kelsey Creek Farm
401 130th Pl. S.E.
Bellevue, WA
Online: bellevuewa.gov

photo: courtesy Alderbrook Resort & Spa

5. Spend Christmas on the Canal

If a quick holiday getaway sounds great to you, there’s no better spot to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day than Alderbrook Resort & Spa. The resort grounds are dressed to the nines with lights, festive adornments and holiday touches throughout. Families can pick up an ornament decorating kit and have Santa read the kids a story (virtually) before they get tucked in to bed. There’s even a gingerbread room (reminiscent of the JDRF Gingerbread Village) that takes kids on an adventure from the woodland to the waterfront. The perfect spot for an impromptu winter vacay!

Alderbrook Resort & Spa
10 E. Alderbrook Dr.
Union, WA
Online: alderbrookresort.com

6. Go on a Mission

Cue Mission Impossible music. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is another iteration of Seattle Shakespeare Company's popular O Wonder! scavenger hunt. This interactive, family-friendly game is back and this time it includes fun holiday and Shakespeare-themed activities. To play, families will need to download the GooseChase app. Then it’s all about completing activities, answering questions and uploading photos as you make your way around your neighborhood in search of clues and answers. Throw in a prize or two and you’ve got a great way to spend a winter afternoon.

photo: iStock

7. See a Good Flick

Pulling in to the local theater to catch a flick on the big screen has long been a Christmas Day tradition. So in true 2020 fashion, drive-ins are making it happen for movie fans this year. Both the Blue Fox Drive-In on Whidbey and the Rodeo Drive-In, just outside of Bremerton, will be screening the newest Wonder Woman movie, Wonder Woman 1984 on its opening night. Car adventures for the win!

Blue Fox Drive-In
1403 Monroe Landing Rd.
Oak Harbor, WA
Online: bluefoxdrivein.com

Rodeo Drive-In
7369 State Hwy. 3 S.W.
Bremerton, WA
Online: rodeodrivein.com

8. Carve the Mountain

If a snowy winter day sounds perfect to you, you’ll find it on the slopes. So grab your skis or board and head to Stevens Pass for some serious schussing. Purchase lift tickets online before heading out.

Good to know: The Summit at Snoqualmie is slowly opening for the season, and hasn’t announced plans for December 25th as of publication. Similarly, the tubing hill is waiting on snow to open for the season. Keep your fingers crossed and remember to get tickets in advance!

Stevens Pass
93001 N.E. Stevens Pass Hwy., US-2
Skykomish, WA
Online: stevenspass.com

photo: Catherine Tonner/The Metropolitan Grill

9. Let Someone Else Do the Cooking

Who needs to carve the roast beast when you can let someone else fix your family a fantastic holiday feast? Take it easy this holiday with to-go meals that serve anywhere from two to six people. Pick up an indulgent meal from The Metropolitan Grill that includes your choice of prime rib, ham, lamb or Chateaubriand with sides and dessert. Or put a flavorful twist on traditional favorites when you order a Hawaiian-style feast from Patrick’s Café & Bakery or an Italian-inspired one from Limoncello Belltown. Just remember, these dinners need to be ordered in advance and are available for pick-up December 24 or earlier.

Looking for more holiday activities? You’ll find them here.

—Allison Sutcliffe, Kristina Moy & Jeffrey Totey


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