Since Thanksgiving falls a little later this year, you have extra time to ease into the holiday season and enjoy some good ol’ family fun. On our weekend radar: an annual celebration of cultures, a production of enormous proportions, a turkey feast for the animals, a hilarious holiday musical, a pre-Hanukkah celebration, and a fundraiser for you and your lil’ turkeys. If you’re looking for a fun way to kick off the Christmas season, take the kiddos to Ballard for an authentic Nordic Christmas celebration. Yulefest will feature hand-crafted gifts, live music, traditional Nordic cuisine, holiday-themed crafts, and photos with the big guy in red himself.

Twas the Night-Studio East

Seattle

Explore the Traditions of Diwali 
Kick off the annual Festivals of Light celebration at the Seattle Children’s Museum by exploring the traditions of Diwali. Enjoy special performances, playtime and crafts plus, create your own clay diya lamp during your exploration. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (through Nov. 26). Seattle. Free with admission. Ages 10 mos. to 10. Event details.

James and the Giant Peach
In this latest SCT production, see what happens when James cuts down an old fruit tree and discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach. Will James’ quick wit and creative thinking help the residents learn to live and work together as a family? You’ll have to see it to find out. Thurs.-Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 2 p.m. & 5:30 p.m., Sun., 11 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. (through Jan. 12). Seattle. $32 to $39. Tickets required. Ages 6 and up. Event details.

Thanksgiving Dinner for the Zoo Animals
Watch as the jaguars, snow leopards, and lions devour their holiday turkey dinners and learn how these yummy treats promote natural animal behaviors and keep the animals mentally and physically stimulated. Sat., 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Seattle. Free with admission. All ages. Event details.

Eastside

‘Twas the Night… (pictured)
Kick off your holiday season with lots of LOL moments and a few new surprises at this must-see musical comedy (based on the famous holiday poem!). Fri., 7 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. (through Dec. 15). Kirkland. $14. Tickets required. Ages 4 and up. Event details.

“Almost” Hanukkah Celebration
Celebrate Hanukkah with the J community! Activities will include a live Caspar Babypants performance, arts and crafts, storytelling from PJ Library and plenty of delish food including latkes, pizza and kosher Chinese cuisine. Sat., 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Mercer Island. Free with a donation to Jewish Family Service. Registration required. All ages. Event details.

Run or Walk the Turkey Trot
Grab the jogging stroller, lace up your tennies, and join other families for this 3-mile walk/run benefiting Hopelink. After the race, enjoy goodies from participating vendors, music, balloon art and face painting, and special treats like hot chocolate, prize drawings and giveaways. Sun., 10 a.m. (race starts at 11 a.m.). Kirkland. $30 to $40. Registration required. All ages. Event details.

Will you be kicking off the holiday season this weekend with one of these fun events? Let us know in a comment below.

–Kristina Moy

photo thanks to Studio East