Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with lots of holiday hoopla! From Santa sightings to tree lighting ceremonies to holiday shows, we’ve got a little something for everyone. On our radar: an early morning parade, a winter celebration under the Space Needle, a world-class ballet production, a retelling of a Charles Dickens’ novel, a dazzling light display, and a train ride with Ole’ Saint Nick. This weekend, it’s the grand opening of Bellevue’s Magic Season. Work off your turkey leftovers at our area’s only outdoor ice rink or head over to Snowflake Lane for a winter wonderland experience. And don’t forget, it’s opening weekend of ‘Twas the Night at Studio East. This must-see musical comedy (based on the famous holiday poem!) is the perfect way to kick off your holiday season!


Macy’s Holiday Parade
Bundle up the kiddos and grab a curbside seat along Pine Street for this annual day after Thanksgiving parade. See giant inflatable floats, marching bands, drill teams, and more than 500 costumed characters! Plus, see a very special guest Ho Ho Ho his way down Pine Street to his holiday post at Macy’s Santaland. Fri, 9:00 am – 10:30 am (Santaland opens at 11:00 am). Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Seattle Center Winterfest
Take the kiddos to the Seattle Center for lots of free and affordable fun-filled holiday activities and entertainment. Go ice skating, drive a miniature locomotive through a turn-of-the-century village, watch ice sculpting demonstrations, listen to Dicken’s Carolers, and see performances by more than 100 different student groups. Fri. – Sun., 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (through January 1). Seattle. Various costs. All ages. Event details.

PNB Nutcracker (pictured)
This masterful production (now in its 28th season!) is like no other in the world! Watch what happens when Clara falls fast asleep and dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a Mouse King. Fri., 7:30 pm; Sat., 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm; Sun., 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm (through December 27). $28 to $113. Tickets required. All ages. Event details.


A Christmas Carol
Kick off your holiday season with this classic story told BYT-style! Follow Ebenezer Scrooge as he is unwillingly taken through his past, present, and potential future. Fri., 7:00 pm; Sat., 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm; Sun., 2:00 pm. Bellevue. $10 to $12. Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

Garden d’Lights
After the sun goes down, the Bellevue Botanical Garden is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland of twinkling lights. Grab the stroller and take the Littles on a holiday journey they won’t forget. See three-dimensional flowers, shrubs, and animal characters plus the new Snap d’Dragon. Insider Tip: Avoid the long lines at the gate (and be assured of actually getting into the event) by purchasing your tickets online. Sat. and Sun., 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm (through December 31). Bellevue. $5 (under 10 free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

Santa Train
Hop on board the Santa Train and experience a Northwest holiday tradition. This 20-minute trip will take you from North Bend to the Snoqualmie Train Depot. Once in Snoqualmie, visit with Santa Claus, nosh on some yummy treats and sip on hot cocoa on the restored railway kitchen car, and visit local shops and attractions before boarding the train for your return trip to North Bend. Sat. & Sun., 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (also December 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 16 & 17). North Bend. $20 (under 2 free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

-Kristina Moy

Photo credit: Angela Sterling