Weekend Highlight

With December around the corner, the holiday season is in full swing and so are the events that come with it. Kick off the post-Thanksgiving weekend at these festivals and celebrations.

Winterfest

This festival, starting Friday, Nov. 29, promises “five weeks of festive, fun-filled, free and affordable activities.”

Winterfest runs through Dec. 31 at Seattle Center, but the ice rink at Fisher Pavilion stays open until Jan. 5. Admission to the rink is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 to 12 and $2 for ages 2 and under. Ticket prices include skate rental, but you can get $2 off if you bring your own skates. Come with a group of 20 or more and admission is $5 per skater, including skate rental. However, if you do plan to attend with a group, it is recommended that you make a reservation at least three weekdays ahead of time.

The ice-rink hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The rink stays open until 4 p.m. Dec. 24 and 11:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve. It is closed on Christmas Day.

Throughout the festival, visitors can see the Winterfest Train & Village at the Armory South Court. The exhibit features a turn-of-the-century village and model train. Take a turn controlling the train between 10:30 a.m. to noon, 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily. The viewing is free, but a $2 donation is suggested.

On Saturdays, watch ice masters Chan Kitburi or Janson Iwakami carve a seasonal sculpture from noon to 2 p.m. at the Fisher Apron, or come by later to see the finished product.

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Winterfest will also be host to a variety of entertainment in the Seattle Center Armory, including music, dance and acrobatics. From Nov. 29-Dec. 22, hear aspiring performing artists from across the region during the student showcase. On Nov. 30 from 11 a.m. to noon, Holiday Harmony POP will perform up-tempo holiday arrangements in a cappella harmony. Illusionist Brian Ledbetter will wow the crowd with magic on Dec. 1 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Find additional information about these acts and more on the Winterfest website.

Macy’s Downtown Holiday Parade

The 29th, and final, Macy’s parade will fill downtown streets with holiday joy starting at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29.

Watch a variety of bands and performance teams. Special appearances from the Mariner Moose in his Moosemobile, the Seattle Sea Gals and Blue Thunder, the Seattle Sounders FC Sound Wave Band and more are also set to join in on the fun.

The parade will start at Seventh and Pine, travel along Fifth and Fourth avenues and end at Westlake Center on Fourth Avenue.

Downtown Holiday Tree-lighting Celebration

After spending the day around downtown, make your way back to Westlake for the Holiday Tree-lighting Celebration in Westlake Park from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The celebration will also include a light show set to music, lighting of Macy’s star and a festive “snow” shower.

The tree will be lit around 4:30 p.m., followed by a fireworks show if weather permits. The holiday carousel will also be up and running, featuring 18 colorful horses, a double chariot and hundreds of twinkling lights. Take a spin for a suggested donation of $4. The carousel will operate Nov. 29 through Jan. 1. For hours and more information, see the Downtown Seattle Association’s website.

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Winterfest

Hours: times vary Friday, Nov. 29, through Dec. 31; the ice rink runs through Jan. 5

Location: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle

Cost: free admission

More info: seattlecenter.com

Macy’s Downtown Holiday Parade

Hours: 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29

Location: Downtown Seattle, starting at Seventh and Pine and finishing at Westlake Center on Fourth Avenue

Cost: free admission

 More info: macys.com/s/seattle-parade

Downtown Holiday Tree-lighting Celebration

Hours: 4:30-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29

Location: Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., Seattle

Cost: free admission

 More info: downtownseattle.org