Yes, ’tis the season to create some memorable times. Don’t you remember your first glass of Eggnog? Or that one family get-together you can’t stop giggling about?
And, forget about the cold, dark, and short days. December truly is a great time of year. It’s a time of celebration for a year of hard work. A time for gathering with friends and family and sharing each other’s company. A time for passing on traditions to your children and new family members. It’s also a great time to slow down and take a vacation. But you know all of that. Heck, you’ve probably got something planned tonight so, we’ll keep this short.
Take in the celebrations or libations
For those of us that don’t have Festivus to attend later, here are a few ideas, from our team, to get you out of the house and into some holiday fun.
Spend some time at the Reindeer Festival
November 11 – December 24
Swanson’s Nursery website reports “[trees] are going fast,” but that shouldn’t stop you from taking the kiddos by to get their photos with Santa and his REAL reindeer. They’ve also scheduled a delightful Cello Concert at 6 pm, on December 21st.
Take in the spectacle and smells of Gingerbread Village
November 21 – January 1
Architects, builders, and culinary teams took to the Graham cracker and various sweets and frostings to create a yummy installation of the future city of Seattle. Viewing hours last nearly all day and night, so there’s no reason you can’t see this amazing dessert display. Stop by and what the city planners and developers envision for Seattle’s future.
Enjoy a holiday classic ballet, The Nutcracker
November 24 – December 28
A beautiful story in which a young girl’s favorite Christmas toy comes to life and whisks her away to a magical kingdom.
Take the family to Winterfest
November 24 – January 1 (closed December 25)
Located at Seattle Center, Winterfest is a 5-week long holiday and winter celebration. Fun for the family, including FREE events and performances at the Armory, winter train and village, ice sculptures, and ice skating.
Cheers and Feast around Seattle
So you’re not into the holiday-specific events. Maybe you just want to find some holiday style meals or drinks, look no further. On any given day, you can find about 2,041,347.134 things to do around Seattle, so we had our friends at The Stranger put this list together for us, for you. (we just searched food and drink events on thestranger.com). Enjoy!
Shop till you drop
Hey, maybe you’re not into any of those things. You could always go shopping downtown if you haven’t yet. Tis the season for deals upon deals.
Whatever you end up doing, bundle up, put on your Cheermeister crown, and enjoy your company. Oh, get your Vitamin-D. It’s important!
Grey Weather in Seattle is a trending topic
We often cruise the cosmic interwebs (e.g. Google trends, Facebook feeds, and news articles) to see what the buzz is, around Seattle. After all, we’re involved in one of the most dynamic real estate markets in the world (currently), and it’s our job to know what people are talking about. Oddly enough, a lot of people are wondering what there is to do during the cold and rainy winter season and how people survive “this weather.” We’ll assume most of the people asking questions like this are Seattle transplants, but we have encountered a few Seattleites sounding a similar request.
The fact is Seattle doesn’t shut down when the weather changes from the beautiful sunny summer to the grey…other season. Actually, quite the opposite. This is when Seattle’s culture gets to shine.
Seattle is a city of Art
See, over the years, Seattle has grown to be a thriving city for the arts community. As early as the 1920’s, Seattle began to emerge as an international arts center. Jazz, Russian ballet performances, painters, and musicians of all kinds began showcasing their talents here. As of January 2011, Seattle was home to 4,571 arts-related businesses employing over 20,000 people. If that’s not compelling enough, Seattle was recently designated by UNESCO, as a City of Literature in the Creative Cities Network. Seattle is the top city in the United States for arts organizations per capita, and our nonprofit arts landscape is the fourth largest in the USA. Needless to say, apart from the booming tech industry as of late, the art culture has always been the major factor in people’s decision to relocate to the Seattle area.
[arve url=”https://vimeo.com/133316594″ title=”Welcome to Seattle City of Literature” description=”Listen to a few of the many literary leaders in Seattle discuss why Seattle is such a literary city and why it would make such a great addition to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. ” upload_date=”Monday, July 13, 2015 at 2:52 AM EST” /]
To add to its recent recognition, Seattle’s art scene is amplified by more than 140 theaters, museums, galleries, and arts-related businesses.
So, when the warm summer days, hikes with friends, long walks through downtown, and neighborhood festivals are put on hold during the grey season, look to the art scene. There are some hidden gems out there.
Don’t worry if art isn’t your thing
Of course, there are endless things to do in Seattle during the grey season. Are you a beer enthusiast? Would you rather spend your time in coffee shops, by the fire? I bet you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument. What about dusting off those board games that you’ve accumulated over the years? Now is the perfect time self-exploration and indoor stimulation (although rainy hikes are quite liberating, too). What’s your favorite thing to do during the rainy, winter season?
Visitors are Coming
We’ve all been here before. It’s the season when friends and family want to visit you in Seattle. The problem is they’re visiting soon…very soon, and we have no idea where to take them or what to show them.
Maybe you’re too new to Seattle that you haven’t found any phenomenally amazing places to show off to your loved ones. Or, maybe you’ve been in the area for a long time, done a fair amount of exploring for yourself, but you don’t think your visitors would be into your favorite spots.
Not to worry, we’ve got the answer.
[Warning, this will turn you into a wild tourist, but it’s only temporary.]
All Aboard the Duck Tour
Wait! Don’t leave. We know this is the quintessential tourist ride frequented by obnoxious quackers and obvious out of towners, and you swore you’d never be caught dead on that thing…but, just hear us out.
Don’t forget, your problem is that you don’t know where and what to show off first. Seattle is a complex city and one type of person could get lost in an entirely different part of the city than another person. The Duck Tour is a fun for all ages and sure fire catch all. Think about it. The tour is a quick 90 minutes. It starts at Seattle Center, which is home base for the Space Needle, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chihuly Garden and Glass, MoPOP, Pacific Science Center, and tons more attractions, events, eateries, and Seattle life. The Duck takes you and your lovely band of quackers down to Elliot Bay Waterfront, passes the Great Wheel and underneath the “soon to be replaced by Bertha,” Alaskan Way Viaduct. This relaxing cruise puts you in Pioneer Square and alongside Pike Place Market and Westlake Center.
This is where you might get weird looks from people standing/walking in the streets. You’re encouraged to wave and shout at them, they’re part of the tour. Also, for documentation purposes, don’t forget to tell your Seattle friends you’re doing the duck tour, so they can find you and take a great photo of you for social media. 😜
Keep in mind the tour guide, aka Captain, will be playing music, feeding you fun trivia about the artists and why they wrote the song in “that hotel,” and telling all sorts of great stories about Seattle. The Captain might tell you about some great activities coming up, and other awesome places to visit.
Back to the tour. Once you get out of Downtown, the tour takes you across the Fremont Bridge to Fremont and passed Gas Works Park. Here comes the fun part. Your visitor might be wetting their pants at this point because the tour is headed into the water. Right into Lake Union for a casual jaunt around the lake, as the Captain continues his/her commentary on prices of floating homes and owners of the Yachts and other must-know tidbits.
The tour wraps up as it takes you back to home base near Seattle Center.
We’re not getting paid by the Duck Tour. Duck Tour isn’t even the real name. We’re just convinced this is the easiest and craziest way to throw tons of information at your visitor while getting them excited to explore more of the city. Plus, if it completely fails, then the rest of their visit is certain to be amazing because you’ve already set the lowest of expectations.
Let us know if you have better suggestions.