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16 FREE Things To Do With Kids This Week, Dec. 4-10

A contestant in the dog costume contest at Howlidays in the Park.

Courtesy of Downtown Seattle Association

Monday, December 4

Gingerbread Village  Seattle architectural firms, trade associations and Sheraton Seattle culinary staff team up to design, bake and build fantastic gingerbread creations. The display is free, however, donations are accepted for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Open 24 hours daily through Jan. 1. U.S. Bank City Centre (Downtown Seattle).


Tuesday, December 5

Cardboard Gingerbread Houses Build and decorate gingerbread houses out of cardboard. You’re less likely to eat your creation before it’s complete. 6 p.m. Seattle Public Library – Greenwood Branch (Greenwood).


Wednesday, December 6

The Gingerbread Man See a live theater performance perfect for children ages 2 ½ and older. Also, check out the toddler gym (9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) to burn off some energy before or after the show). 11:15 a.m. Bitter Lake Community Center (Bitter Lake).

Sanctuary In The City Enjoy classical music in this free concert series by Pacific MusicWorks held on the first Wednesday of each month. 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. Christ Our Hope Catholic Church (Belltown).

Art With Arni Create and explore art in an open, sensory-friendly environment with Ms. Arni. 2 to 4 p.m. Seattle Children’s PlayGarden (Central District).


Thursday, December 7

Museum First Thursday Enjoy free admission all day to select museums (note: there may be admission for special exhibits). Many have children’s activities including story times at Northwest African American Museum (noon), and Wing Luke Museum (11 a.m.). The Nordic Heritage Museum is closed for renovations, but you can still enjoy Nordic stories at Secret Garden Bookshop (10:30 a.m.). Other museums participating include Burke Museum (University District), Museum of History and Industry (South Lake Union), Seattle Art Museum (Downtown Seattle), and Museum of Flight (Tukwila).

Open Play and Bird Feeder Building Seattle Children’s PlayGarden is a space that celebrates all needs and abilities. Today, kids can learn to make bird feeders. 2:30 to 4 p.m. Seattle Children’s PlayGarden (Central District).

Holiday in the Park This annual holiday event features carolers, free cookies and hot cocoa, and a special children’s activity booth where kids can make glow-in-the-dark headwear. Hundreds of luminarias will light the pathways of Volunteer Park creating a magical holiday wonderland. 6 to 8 p.m. Volunteer Park (Capitol Hill).


Friday, December 8

Stories from the African Continent See a live theatre performance perfect for ages 2 ½ and older. 11:15 a.m. Bitter Lake Community Center (Bitter Lake).

PhinneyWood Phestivus Hop on and off the trolley at designated stops through the Phinney/Greenwood business district as you look for LED-lit monkeys that have “escaped” from the zoo. Also, check out the monthly art walk. The trolley travels from Phinney Avenue North at Woodland Park Zoo to Greenwood Avenue North and North 87th Street. Check out Santa Claus Lane (inside Piper Village Apartments on Morrow Lane) featuring live music, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and the Seahawks mascot, Blitz. 6 to 10 p.m.


Saturday, December 9

Autism Early Open Families affected by autism spectrum disorder are invited to explore Pacific Science Center during a special free morning visit closed to the general public. Experience exhibits without heavy crowds. Also, softened general lighting and decreased the noise level and visual stimulation on interactive exhibits wherever possible. Additional fee for special exhibits. 8 to 10 a.m. Pacific Science Center (Lower Queen Anne).

Seattle Center Winterfest An ongoing annual winter celebration at Seattle Center. Today, see an ice sculptor create a seasonal piece in front of Fisher Pavillion (noon to 2 p.m.). Enjoy a variety of student music and dance performances in the Armory (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) including the Garfield High School Jazz Band (11:15 a.m.). Take a look at the model train, which runs through an impressive village and take a spin on the ice at the ice skating rink (small fee for skate rental). Daily through Dec. 31. Seattle Center (Lower Queen Anne).

Pioneer Square Howlidays Dog friends are invited to this annual holiday festival featuring free entertainment, activities, a dog costume contest (noon), and treats (for dogs and humans!). 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Occidental Square (Pioneer Square).

Green Lake Pathway of Lights The 2.8-mile path around Green Lake is lit with thousands of luminarias. Carry or wear your own lights to add to the ambiance. Local musicians will perform at four sites around the lake. Rain or shine. Non-perishable food donations welcomed. 4:30 p.m. Green Lake.


Sunday, December 10

ArtVenture Families can ponder the ways they relate to the environment and create unique self-portraits based on and inspired by the natural world. ArtVentures encourage families to think about art in new ways. Pre-registration recommended. 1 to 3 p.m. Henry Art Gallery (University District).

Looking for more to do? You can always check out our Family Events Calendar, searchable by age, location, and cost. 

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