Jumpstart your holiday season with Erika's Weekend Picks
Erika Lee Bigelow writes in Seattle when not chauffeuring 3 kids and one dog to too many activities.
Reindeer Festival, Swanson's Nursery. FREE. Every day thru Dec 24th, Dasher and Blitzen will be hanging out at Swanson's, resting before their busiest day of the year. Curley the Camel will be there too and you can catch feedings of all three animals at 10 and 4. Be sure to visit the Rudolph inspired model train and village, bring a can or two for the Ballard Food Bank, and maybe, catch a glimpse of Santa himself. swansonsnursery.com
Greet the Season, MOHAI, Sat 10-8 p.m. Kick off the holidays with The Center for Wooden Boats, Historic Ships Whart and the MOHAI with music, crafts, activities and all-day fun. Be sure to stay for the launch of the Argosy Cruises' Christmas Ship Festival. Outdoor activities free, admission applies for museum entry. mohai.org
The Ugly Sweater Run, Sat 11 a.m. Marymoor Park. Dig into those closets and pull out the sweater your Great Aunt knit you a few years back. Sure, you love her, but she was going blind. Good thing you saved it, because that sweater can pull in the big prize this Saturday in the Ugly Sweater Contest following fun 5K run. Prizes for Best Pet Attire and Real/Fake Mustache/Beard too. $40-50, free ages 5 and younger. theuglysweaterrun.com
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision, Sat 12 p.m. SIFF Film Center. Forty-four years ago, the Everlasting Gobstopper came to be and has been captivating audiences (along with Gene Wilder) ever since. Get your own Golden Ticket and come to this great sing (and smell) along. Rated G. $15, $14 seniors and youth, $10 SIFF members. Various dates and times thru Jan 3rd. siff.net
Gingerbread Workshops, Sat 12-2 and 5-7, sun 10-12 and 2-4. Hyatt Regency Bellevue. KidsQuest provides a giant candy buffet, gingerbread and icing and you just bring your creativity. Up to 6 people can work on one house. $50, $45 members. Pre-register. kidsquestmuseum.org
Chris Perondi's Stunt Dog Experience, Sun 2 & 6 p.m. Kirkland Performance Center. Tricks, stunts, dancing, athletic feats and even comedy, all performed by some highly-trained four-legged friends. $25. kpcenter.org