Since our daughter Mallory moved to Seattle in 2015, I’ve been able to take part in the area’s holiday festivities for the last two Christmas seasons. It’s interesting to see how areas celebrate the same holiday differently.
Since I was visiting during the Thanksgiving holiday, I was able to catch the opening days of some of the celebrations. Last year, we checked out the gingerbread exhibit at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle. Chefs and artists created models related to the “Star Wars” episodes. Mal and I were truly impressed with the exhibit. Everything was made from food and candy.
This year, the challenge was to create models based on the “Harry Potter” book series. They topped themselves from last year. Each display was amazing. The detail used to create Harry Potter, his friends and other characters were outstanding.
It was difficult to choose a favorite model. Each one was special. One model had staircases that moved. Another had a portion of a building expand and contract. Impressive, to say the least. The exhibit runs daily through Jan. 1.
Mallory and I also took in a new activity this year. Since she lives in Redmond, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle, we visited the Town Centre shopping area for some holiday experiences.
Santa Claus was set up to hear children’s wish lists for Christmas. His cabin was at the bottom of a beautiful Christmas tree.
Families could ride on a carousel or skate on a temporary skating rink. We cringed watching some of the kids try to ice skate. As a family familiar with broken and severely sprained ankles, we feared how many families may be making trips to emergicare that day.
Disney was well-represented during the Redmond celebration. With holiday music in the background, Disney princesses posed for pictures with kids and waved at passers-by.
We closed out our holiday explorations with a return visit to the Woodland Park Zoo. The Seattle attraction hosts “Wildlights” annually, featuring holiday lights in the shape of animals. Some of the displays were similar to the ones we saw last year, but we still found the event fun. I didn’t recall seeing a peacock display that changed colors or a buffalo standing in the dark. One of my favorite displays is a Savannah replica with elephants that walk up to the water pond. We watch as the light display shows them walk away…only to return.
Mallory has a few more holiday-themed attractions to check out this season when her mom visits for Christmas. They’ll see some interesting displays at the Bellevue botanical garden. Mallory is taking her mom to Leavenworth, a mountain community with a strong Bavarian influence. Her mom will love that. Then, a return trip to the zoo is on their schedule.
As our family celebrates the holiday, we have gained some new “traditions” related to the Pacific Northwest. As with the holiday attractions in our home area, we enjoy taking in the sights and sounds.
We hope you enjoy checking out the holiday events and attractions in your area. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.