Where to go on or around Christmas: Teddy Bear Suite, Gingerbread Village, Bellevue Ice Skating Arena, Garden d’Lights, Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Science Center, Skagit Bald Eagle Interpretive Center, Model Train Festival, Woodland Park Zoo and Mount Rainier National Park.
Looking for things to do this weekend and on Monday’s Christmas holiday? Going to movies, on walks and other outdoor recreation are holiday traditions for many. But if you’re looking for something else to do, a few seasonal events are open on Christmas.
Woodland Park Zoo Winter Celebration
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 21-23; zoo open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, closed Dec. 25
Cost: $9.95-$14.95, ages 2 and younger free
Location: 500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle
More info: 206-548-2500 or zoo.org
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, exhibits close 6 p.m.; closing 3 p.m. Dec. 24, closed Dec. 25
Cost: $19.95-$29.95, ages 3 and younger free
Location: 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle
More info: 206-386-4300 or seattleaquarium.org
Teddy Bear Suite
Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Tuesday, Dec. 26
Cost: free, donations to Seattle Children’s hospital suggested
Location: Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St., Seattle
More info: 206-621-1700
Time: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 1
Cost: free; donations collected for JDRF Northwest Chapter
Location: City Centre, 1420 Fifth Ave., Seattle
Bellevue Ice Skating Arena
Time: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 22-23; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Monday, Dec. 24-25; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dec. 26-Jan. 1; hours vary through Jan. 15
Cost: $10-$14 including skate rental
Location: Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 N.E. Fourth St., Bellevue
MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture)
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 23; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 26-30
Location: 325 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle
More info: 206-770-2700 or mopop.org
Pacific Science Center
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24; closed Monday, Dec. 25; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 26-Jan. 1
Cost: $11.95-$21.95, ages 2 and younger free; additional cost for IMAX movies
Location: 200 Second Ave. N., Seattle
More info: 206-443-2001 or pacificsciencecenter.org
Model Train Festival
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 22-23, and Dec. 26-Jan. 1
Cost: $11-$14, ages 5 and younger free
Location: Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
More info: 888-238-4373 or
Skagit Bald Eagle Interpretive Center
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, Dec. 26-Jan. 1 and Saturdays-Sundays in January
Location: Howard Miller Steelhead Park, 52809 Rockport Park Road, Highway 20, Rockport, Skagit County
More info: 360-853-7626 or skagiteagle.org
Mount Rainier Snowshoe Walks
Time: 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily Saturday, Dec. 23, through Jan. 1, then Saturdays, Sundays, Monday holidays until the end of March
Cost: $25/vehicle park entrance; $5/snowshoe rental
Location: Mount Rainier National Park, 39000 State Route 706 E., Ashford, Pierce County
More info: 360-569-6575 or nps.gov/mora/index.htm
In downtown Seattle, the Teddy Bear Suite at the historic and festively decorated Fairmont Olympic Holel is open daily through Tuesday, Dec. 26. Also downtown, Gingerbread Village, celebrating 25 years of the grand, ornate display that benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), is open daily through Jan. 1, including Monday.
Take a twirl on the ice at the outdoor Bellevue Ice Skating Arena daily through Jan. 15, including holidays. Garden d’Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden is also open daily, including holidays, through Dec. 31.
Before Christmas, see animals enjoy the season at the Woodland Park Zoo Winter Celebration, with holiday-themed enrichment treats for a variety of zoo residents Dec. 21 through Saturday, Dec. 23.
At the Seattle Aquarium, see Diving Santa at the Window on Washington Waters exhibit Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 23-24. Starting Dec. 26. the Aquarium’s Winter Fishtival hosts activities and talks about a different sea animal daily through Jan. 1.
With kids out of school, visitors in town and many folks with time off next week, several local attractions are offering extra hours and activities. MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture, and Pacific Science Center, both at Seattle Center, are open extra hours Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Dec. 30. The Science Center offers special winter and holiday-themed science activities and demonstrations daily for all ages, and movies at theIMAX Theater include “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Washington State History Museum in Tacoma hosts its popular Model Train Festival with dozens of intricate model railroad layouts throughout the museum Friday and Saturday, Dec. 22-23, and Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Jan. 1.
For out-of-town recreation, the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center is open daily Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Jan. 1. The center features information, walks and speakers focusing on the bald eagles that migrate to feast on salmon along the scenic Upper Skagit River area each winter. Eagles have been sighted in large numbers so far this year.
Guided snowshoe walks at Mount Rainier National Park are scheduled to start for the season Saturday, Dec. 23, with daily walks through Jan. 1 before the regular weekends-only schedule starts. Sign-ups are an hour before each 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. walk and can fill quickly, especially on nice days, with a limit of 25 people ages 8 and older. Dress in layers, wear boots and bring snowshoes or rent them for the walk. All vehicles entering the park are required to carry tire chains.
Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas!