Along with turkey dinner leftovers comes tons of holiday hoopla! Consider: an early morning parade, a winter celebration under the Needle, a popular holiday production and a magnificent light display. If you’re looking for more excitement, head to South Lake Union for Greet the Season, an all day event with festive holiday music, crafts and activities, or catch the Christmas Ship as it rolls past several waterfront communities throughout the weekend. Scroll down to learn more!

photo: Christopher Nelson for Winterfest

Seattle

Macy’s Holiday Parade
Bundle up the kids and grab a curbside seat for this annual day after Thanksgiving parade. See giant inflatable floats, marching bands, drill teams, hundreds of costumed characters and of course, Santa Claus make his way down Pine St. to the doorstep of Macy’s. Fri. Event details.

Seattle Center Winterfest
The Seattle Center is going to be the place to be for lots of free, festive and fun holiday activities and entertainment. Take a few laps around the Winterfest ice rink, drive a miniature locomotive inside the Armory, watch ice sculpting demonstrations and enjoy live music and entertainment all weekend long. Fri.-Sun. (runs through Jan. 1). Event details.

WildLights at the Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo’s spectacular winter lights festival returns with thousands of sparkling LED lights inspired by nature, wild animals and wild places. In addition to the festive displays, ride the zoo’s historic carousel, see a few animal friends (including Santa’s reindeer) and enjoy faux snowball fights inside Snowmazium and festive snacks and entertainment. Fri.-Sun. (runs through Dec. 31). Event details.

Eastside

Snowflake Lane Opening Night & Tree Lighting Event
Grab a curbside seat along Bellevue Way to watch Jingle Belle dancers, toy soldier drummers, princesses, holiday-themed floats and Santa Claus, make their way through the streets of downtown Bellevue. After the parade, gather for the festive tree lighting ceremony at Bellevue Place Wintergarden and enjoy a special meet and greet with the Snowflake Lane characters as well as holiday music, cookies and cocoa. Fri. (nightly parade runs through Dec. 24). Event details.

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‘Twas the Night…
It’s opening weekend of this must-see musical comedy based on the famous holiday poem. Kick off your holiday season with plenty of LOL moments and a few new surprises. Sat. & Sun. (runs through Dec. 22). Event details.

Garden d’Lights
After the sun goes down, the Bellevue Botanical Garden is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland with more than a half a million twinkling lights. Bundle up the kids, grab the stroller and go on a holiday journey filled with three-dimensional flowers, shrubs and animal characters. Psst! Avoid the long lines at the gate by purchasing your tickets online. Sat.-Sun. (runs through Dec. 31). Event details.

— Kristina Moy

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