The Holidays are here and there is magic in the crisp night air. It seems the spirit of giving grows from within this time of year. Festive lights sparkle in an avalanche of color bringing smiles to all. Song and celebration warm our hearts as the days grow colder and the nights grow longer. We take time to stop and reflect. Our thoughts are of loved ones near and far. Wallingford’s diverse small town feel embraces this spirit and celebrates this multi-cultural time like no other. Grab your scarf and a warm jacket and join your neighbors during this magical time of fellowship and understanding. Seattle is alive this time of year:
- The Gingerbread Village – Seattle Sheraton
- A Winter Evening of Art, Music & Lights – Seattle Art Museum (Dec. 17)
- Scuba Diving Santa – Seattle Aquarium
- Seattle Center Winterfest
- Argosy Christmas Ship Festival
If you want to stay a little closer to home here are five must-see activities in your own backyard:
Starting November 27th and going through January 3rd, the Woodland Park Zoo gets lit up! Wildlights is a chance to experience the zoo at night while it’s decorated with festive lights. Over 600,000 energy-efficient LEDs create an amazing, animated, holiday feel, recreating wild creatures in two and three dimensions along the pathways of the zoo. After you’re done checking out the glowing walking lanes, head over to the carousel that’s seasonally lit and jump on for a ride. There’s also an indoor “Snowmazium” where you can build a snow creature, hear a snow story, and even bust into a faux snowball fight with your friends.
Santa himself will even be stopping by Wildlights. Catch him every Friday through Sunday until Christmas and on the 21st-23rd of December. You can witness the white-bearded man arrive as he greets his reindeer at 5:45 pm in their shelter. Following, you’ll get a chance to salute St. Nick in person and get a photo opportunity with him at Santa’s Camp. After getting a picture with the jolly celebrity, head to the holiday beer and wine garden, which will be open each night, serving fresh cuisine & beverages. Get toasty with some mulled wine or hot chocolate, and fill up on the food selections such as warm chowder or pizza.
Most of the daytime exhibit animals will be tucked away sleeping during Wildlights. However, there’s a showcase of reptiles and amphibians or check out the nocturnal animals such as Indian flying foxes and sloths.
If you still haven’t gotten into the festive spirit while you’re at Wildlights, a crowd of carolers will be walking around and serenading the grounds, sure to bring you some holiday cheer.
2. Green Lake Pathway of Lights
If you’re still yearning for more holiday lighting activities in Wallingford, you need to experience the Green Lake Pathway of Lights. Just up the road from our neighborhood is beautiful Green Lake. Every year the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, along with countless volunteers, light up the paths around the lake. This event is a lovely excuse to get back to nature and enjoy an evening stroll around the water while gazing among the enchanting holiday lights illuminating the walkways. Local musicians also perform at four different sites around the lake, making the 2.8-mile trek one that will liven up both your body and your soul. Bring your own candles if you like. Appreciate the music, refreshments, and the dazzling glow beside serene Green Lake from 4:30 – 7:30 on December 12th.
3. Seattle Public Theater
This season, watch a festive, live show at the Seattle Public Theater, located just on the North Side of Green Lake. Starting December 4th and running until Christmas Eve, A Christmas Noir is a holiday thriller sure to keep you entertained this winter. In Christmastown, there has been some shenanigans taking place, and it’s up to hard-nosed detective Nick Holiday to get to the bottom of them. The story brings the audience edge-of-your-seat excitement and side-splitting comedy as they witness Nick embarking on his Christmas mystery-solving adventure.
From December 12th – 24th they will be hosting their returning play, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, which has been a holiday favorite for the past 15 years. With the story centered around a chaotic, quirky, and hilarious Christmas pageant, this play is a hit for all ages, providing amusement and laughter for everyone.
4. Holiday Shopping in Wallingford
Shopping here in Wallingford is an event in itself. There’s an abundance of locally-owned shops, gorgeous boutiques, ethnic restaurants, and local European-style coffee houses. Walk around, enjoy the crisp winter air, and browse for gifts while supporting the local economy. Check out Archie Mcphee, an ideal store for finding toys, cards, and stocking stuffers for your friends or family. Travel is the theme at Wide World Books & Maps. This cool local business has lots of gear and publications that will pique the adventurous spirit. Find exquisite wrapping paper and that perfect card at Paper Delights. If you need a boost during your shopping excursion, stop by Fuel Coffee and grab an afternoon espresso, or stop by Chocolati Cafe and warm up with a savory salted caramel hot chocolate… mmm delicious! If you get hungry, there’s a number of excellent restaurants throughout Wallingford, serving food such as Vietnamese, BBQ, Mediterranean and much more. Strolling the streets of Wallingford and exploring all that it has to offer is a privilege you share with your neighbors and who says you can’t buy yourself a few well-deserved gifts this year, too.
5. Giving Back
There’s nothing that celebrates the spirit of the holidays more than giving back to those in need. Solid Ground in Wallingford provides resources to community members and families that may have been struggling lately, and they’ve been doing so for decades. Solid Ground has many volunteer opportunities this holiday season. You can assist as an individual or with your family in different ways to support others who are less fortunate. They also arrange donation opportunities and the chance to adopt a family this year.
Experience the Wallingford magic this Holiday Season. From all of us at Smith & Burns, we wish you a happy holiday season!