22 After-Christmas Winter Break Activities
Once your holiday celebrations are over, you may find yourself with a whole lot of winter break to fill. Never fear – we’ve got plenty of ideas to keep you and the kids entertained before school starts back up. And if you want even more ideas, you can always check out our Family Fun Calendar.
It’s-Not-Over-Yet Holiday Events
Snow Show at Pacific Place: It snows nightly in the four-story atrium of Pacific Place. 6 p.m. through Dec. 31 FREE. Pacific Place, Downtown Seattle. www.pacificplaceseattle.com.
Bellevue’s Celebration Lane: The Bellevue Collection's post-holiday extravaganza includes dramatic drumming, dazzling lights, celebratory music and bubbles. Dec. 26 through 31, nightly at 7 p.m. FREE. Sidewalks of Bellevue Way and N.E. Eighth Street, Bellevue. www.bellevuecollection.com.
Yuletide Feast at Camlann Medieval Village: Enjoy a 14th-century-style Christmas feast, which includes 12 dishes over three courses, plus holiday traditions, music, magic and stories. Period dress encouraged. No cameras or cell phones, please. Recommended for ages 10 and older. 6 p.m. Dec. 28-29, and a Twelfthnight Feast Jan. 4. $$$. Space is limited, reservations required. Camlann Medieval Village, Carnation. www.camlann.org/yule.htm.
Westlake Holiday Carousel: Ride the Holiday Carousel at Westlake through Jan. 1. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 1. Suggested donation $3, benefits Downtown Seattle Association and Treehouse. Westlake Center, Downtown Seattle. www.HolidaysInSeattle.com.
Holiday Light Displays: For a list of some of the region's most dazzling light displays, check out this Seattle's Child story. Most of these locations continue shining on past Christmas.
Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Seattle: Seattle architectural firms, trade associations and Sheraton Seattle culinary staff team up to design, bake and build fantastic gingerbread creations. They’re on view 24 hours daily through Jan. 1. FREE, donations accepted for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Sheraton Seattle Hotel lobby, Downtown Seattle. www.gingerbreadvillage.org.
Ice Skating Rinks: For some excellent tips on how to have a successful ice skating outing with your kids, along with a round-up of ice rinks around town, read this Seattle's Child story. These seasonal rinks are open after Christmas: the Winterfest Ice Rink at Seattle Center, through Dec. 31; the Franciscan Polar Plaza in Tacoma, through Jan. 12; and the Magic Season Ice Arena in Bellevue, through Jan. 12.
See a Show
Owl & Pussycat: This all-ages show by theater simple is based on the Edward Lear poem. 2 p.m. Dec. 28-29. $$. Kirkland Performance Center, Kirkland. www.kpcenter.org.
James and the Giant Peach: The imaginative story by Roald Dahl comes to the stage. Recommended for ages 6 and older. See it various dates and times through Jan. 12. $$ to $$$. Seattle Children’s Theatre, Downtown Seattle. www.sct.org.
Dick Whittington and His Cat – A British Panto: The Fremont Players present their unique and hilarious British Panto style play for all ages. 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 4 p.m. Sundays, through Jan. 5. $ to $$. Hale’s Palladium, Seattle (Fremont). www.fremontplayers.com.
Planes and Trains
Seattle Center Winterfest Train and Village: See a giant layout of a turn-of-the-century village complete with two trains. Kids can take turns operating a train for a small cash donation from 10:30 a.m. to noon, 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Dec. 31. FREE. Seattle Center Armory, Downtown Seattle. www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest.
Winter Family Fun at the Museum of Flight: Enjoy winter-themed aerospace and aviation activities during the holiday break. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Dec. 31. Included with admission. $$, free ages 4 and younger. Museum of Flight, Seattle (Boeing Field). www.museumofflight.org.
Model Train Festival at the Washington State History Museum: Elaborate model train layouts are displayed on each floor, along with the largest permanent model train layout in the state. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 1. Included with admission. $, free ages 5 and younger. Washington State History Museum, Tacoma. www.wshs.org.
Vintage Model Train Display at Volunteer Park: See a holiday display of a vintage model train at the conservatory at Volunteer Park. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through Jan. 5. $, free ages 12 and younger. Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle (Capitol Hill). www.volunteerparkconservatory.org.
Holiday Village at Bloedel Reserve: Take a beautiful short hike to see an indoor miniature village hand-made and decorated by a local artisan. Electric trains complete the scene, plus enjoy hot cocoa and cider. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 5 (closed Mondays). Included with admission. $ to $$, free ages 12 and younger with paying adult. Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island. www.bloedelreserve.org. For more ideas on Bainbridge Island family fun, read this Seattle’s Child story.
Exploring Animals in Winter
Nighttime Low Tide Beach Walk: Bundle up, bring a flashlight and join beach naturalists and volunteers from Seattle Aquarium to discover which creatures you can see. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29. FREE. Constellation Park, West Seattle. www.seattleaquarium.org.
Winter Fishtival at Seattle Aquarium: Learn more about the aquarium’s fish, birds, tidepool animals and marine mammals through hands-on activities and special talks. Each day highlights different animals and activities. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 26 through Jan. 5. Included with admission. $$ to $$$, free ages 3 and younger. Seattle Aquarium, Downtown Seattle. www.seattleaquarium.org.
Winter Wildland at Northwest Trek. Watch as the animals enjoy holiday-themed treats. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Jan. 1. Included with admission. $ to $$. Northwest Trek, Eatonville. www.nwtrek.org.
Free First Thursdays: Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle (Ballard). 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with preschool story time 10 to 11 a.m. www.nordicmuseum.org. Kids Discovery Museum, Bainbridge Island. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.kidimu.org. Burke Museum, Seattle (U District). 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. www.burkemuseum.org. Museum of History and Industry, Seattle (South Lake Union). 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. www.mohai.org. The Wing Luke Museum, Seattle (International District/Chinatown). 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. first Thursdays and third Saturdays. www.wingluke.org. Seattle Art Museum, Downtown Seattle. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. first Thursdays (fee for special exhibits). www.seattleartmuseum.org. Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle (Capitol Hill). 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. first Thursdays and 5 to 9 p.m. second Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. first Saturdays for families. www.seattleartmuseum.org. Northwest African American Museum, Seattle (Central District). 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. first and second Thursdays. www.naamnw.org. Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (U District). 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. www.henryart.org. The Museum of Flight, Seattle (Boeing Field). 5 to 9 p.m. www.museumofflight.org.
Archaeology Day: Discover programs and hands-on activities related to archaeology, including stone tool and spear-throwing tool demonstrations, ancient Peruvian textiles, Roman re-enactors, local artifacts, Lake Union shipwreck map and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 4. Included with admission. $ to $$, free ages 4 and younger. Burke Museum, Seattle (U District). www.burkemuseum.org.
Mochi Tsuki Festival: Members of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community pound rice into mochi cakes. You can also take in a taiko drumming performance (12:20, 1:20 and 2:20 p.m., pick up required tickets 20 mins. prior), cultural displays and more. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 5. Parking is limited, no pets. FREE. IslandWood, Bainbridge Island. www.bijac.org.