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Holiday events to visit around Seattle

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Photo courtesy of Navy Strength
Photo courtesy of Navy Strength

The holiday season can be hectic, what with presents to buy and halls to deck, but the most memorable December is also filled with quality time and new adventures. And the Pacific Northwest has fun holiday experiences for jolly folks of all ages. Whether your ultimate festivities involve alcohol or pictures with Santa, there's something for everyone to enjoy!

For those 21 and up
Adults 21 and over can get into the Christmas spirit(s) at several holiday-themed bars between November 29 and December 25. For example, Capitol Hill coffee shop The Woods has transformed into a Christmas dive bar for the season. The location includes festive treats and two-drink menus aptly named "the naughty list" and "the nice list."

Bars around the country are participating in the Sippin' Santa collaboration, wherein select locations transform into winter wonderlands with fun holiday-themed drinks. The only one in Washington is Navy Strength Tropical Bar in Belltown, which has become Santa's Surf Shack. Groups can book reservations for up to 12 and enjoy beer, wine, and oysters galore!

Rob Roy, a cozy and classic cocktail bar downtown, has become "Miracle on 2nd" until December 25, serving all the cutest cocktails (complete with a stuffed koala). During the pop-up, the bar will only serve a special holiday menu and may have longer wait times than usual, but it is worth it! Groups larger than 12 are required to make a reservation, but anyone else can walk up to get their names on the list.

Photo courtesy of Snowflake Lane  

For kids and the young at heart
Those under 21 can find holiday magic and sweet treats at the Willy Wonka Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Grand Seattle. This ginormous gingerbread house display includes a variety of characters and sets from both iconic chocolate-factory movies and the upcoming Wonka. It is free for all to visit, but guests are encouraged to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is giving children the opportunity to travel to the magical world of teddy bears with its 2023 Teddy Bear Suite. Entry to the suite is free, and children of all ages can explore and play with the magical teddy bears, who will call this home until January 3. Guests are asked to donate to the Seattle Children's Hospital.

Kringle's Filling Station is guaranteed to become a family favorite for all who venture to the station at 8211 Aurora Ave. N. The Kringle family has decked their vintage gas station with festive cheer, arcade games, and holiday karaoke machines. Groups must purchase a ticket to enter, but each entry includes access to the game garage, slot car races, karaoke, and one cup of hot cocoa straight from the gas pump!

If you can't afford a flight to the North Pole this year, no worries! Bellevue brought all the cheer to the streets with its annual Snowflake Lane. Running every night from November 24 to December 24, outside Bellevue Square Mall, the parade includes floats, dancers, drummers, and some of your favorite holiday characters. Not to mention: 55 snow machines producing snow! This year, visitors can also snag a photo op with some of their favorite Snowflake Lane characters in the mall between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Of course, no holiday season is complete without pictures with Santa! The big man will stop at several locations around the Pacific Northwest to double-check his nice list. Eager kids can find his sleigh at Kirkland Urban on December 16 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. He'll also stop by Bellevue Marketplace at Factoria on the 16th and the 23rd between 12 and 6 p.m. While he is a very busy man, Santa can also be found at Cabela's in Tulalip and Tacoma's Bass Pro Shop every day between November 29 and Christmas Eve.

Have naughty kids? Then bring the pets to visit Santa instead! Petsmart is hosting Paws and Claws Santa photo days on December 16 and 17 in Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, and Burien. Appointments must be booked in advance.

Snow or not, there's always something fun to do in the Pacific Northwest, especially around the holidays!