We’re kicking off the first weekend of 2016 with a bang! For starters, we have a fish-tastic event at the Seattle Aquarium, a rockin’ kindie concert and a New Year’s Day plunge. We also have a dazzling light display, a festive ice skating extravaganza and a family hike. If you’re still looking for ways to entertain your crew, check out our winter vaca guide jam-packed with unique-to-the-season, boredom-busting ideas.

monterey bay aquarium


Polar Bear Plunge
Put on your swim suit and your 2016 garb (think party hats, glasses and costumes) and take the New Year’s Day plunge into Lake Washington. After your dip into the icy waters, enjoy a hot beverage and receive your official 2016 Polar Bear Badge of Courage. Psst! Before the Polar Plunge, lil’ ones and folks needing a little more room can participate in the Polar Cub Club. Fri., noon. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

A Winter Fishtival at the Aquarium
Take your crew to the Seattle Aquarium for tons of family fun. Enjoy hands-on activities, special talks, and opportunities to learn more about the care and feeding of the aquarium’s fish, birds, tidepool animals and marine mammals. Mon.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Seattle. $14.95 to $22.95 (3 & under and members free). All ages. Event details.

Kindie New Year with Caspar Babypants
Take the kiddos to the Mount Baker Community Clubhouse to celebrate 2016 with some simple, catchy tunes with one of our fave kindie rockers—Caspar Babypants! Psst…this concert is part of the Kindiependent Kids Rock Series, so you know it’s gonna be good. Sat., 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. (doors open at 10 a.m.) Seattle. $5 to $15; $95/season pass . Tickets required. All ages. Event details.


Seize the Season at Redmond Town Center
This is your last weekend to enjoy the synthetic ice skating rink at RTC. Lace up your skates (or borrow at pair) and whirl and twirl your cares away on this fun outdoor rink. Mon.-Fri., 3 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Redmond. $7/person. Ages 5 & older. Event details.

Winter Adventure Hike
Join a Seattle Public Utilities naturalist for a family-friendly, medium-paced two-mile hike exploring the shores of Rattlesnake and Christmas Lakes for signs of wildlife and the magic that winter offers. Please, no dogs or strollers. Sat.-Sun., 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (check-in at the Education Center at 1:20 p.m.). North Bend. Free. Registration required. All ages. Event details.

Garden d’Lights 
This is your last week to enjoy the dazzling winter wonderland of twinkling lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. 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 onlineMon.-Sat., 4:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Bellevue. $5 (10 & under free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details. 

What fun things to you have planned for the first weekend of 2016? Will you be enjoying some of the activities we mentioned above? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Kristina Moy