Seattle Christmas Season Fun

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During the winter holidays hard-working parents are running off our feet with shopping, school concerts, baking, gift-wrapping…the list of things to do seems endless. We often forget to take care of ourselves at a time when we need it the most. My solution? A Seattle Christmas getaway! Washington's Emerald City is full of holiday happenings sure to please travelers of all ages. Here's how to have a merry vacation in Seattle.

Seattle Christmas Season Fun - Seattle Christmas fun gingerbread display at the Sheraton Seattle (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Seattle Christmas fun – impressive gingerbread display at the Sheraton Seattle (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle

While you can't eat these gingerbread houses, you will marvel at how architects and artists manage to create such amazing displays with baked cookie dough at the Sheraton's Gingerbread Village. The village scenes are based on holiday carols, such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town and O Little Town of Bethlehem. This is the 22nd Annual Gingerbread Village, with donations benefiting the JDRF Northwest Chapter.

Sweet goodies served at Holiday Tea at The Georgian (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Sweet goodies served at Holiday Tea at the Georgian (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Holiday Tea at the Georgian

Fortify yourself for a day of holiday sightseeing with a traditional high tea service, at the Holiday Tea at the Georgian. The Holiday Tea is served at daily in the gorgeous Georgian room at the Fairmont Olympic. Choose from a selection of delicious loose leaf teas (tip: pick the 1907 custom blend!), nibble on tea sandwiches, sweets, and warm scones with jam and clotted cream.

Wildlights 2014

Holiday lights run wild at Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo (Photo credit: Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo)

WildLights at Woodland Zoo

Just north of downtown is the popular WildLights at the Woodland Park Zoo. There are more than 600,000 twinkling LED lights in this impressive display, recreating wild animals in two and three dimensions. Wildlights also features a reindeer, Snowmazium, carousel, and holiday music. A new feature this year is the Tree ‘Roo Dancing Forest, an impressive music-synchronized light show.

The Seattle Gum Wall

The Seattle Gum Wall near Pike Place Market makes an interesting photo opp

Pike Place Market

A visit to Seattle wouldn't be complete without a stroll through Pike Place Market. The local artisan stalls peddle unique, handmade gifts and unique food items to bring home. The flying salmon boys will be delighting crowds, or when we visited, causing local kids to squirm and drop the fish when it was thrown to them. It's a sight to be seen. Nearby (down some stairs to an exit alley), is the popular (but also disgusting) Seattle Gum Wall. If nothing else, the Wall would serve as a great backdrop to your #seattleselfie pic.

A Christmas Story's Holiday Carousel (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

A Christmas Story's Holiday Carousel (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Holiday Carousel

Yes, even adults can enjoy a spin on A Christmas Story's Holiday Carousel at Westlake Park, in downtown Seattle. The Carousel is located at the entrance to the Seattle Monorail. This train takes you to Seattle Center in under five minutes, and where you can enjoy Winterfest.

All aboard the Winterfest Train

All aboard the Winterfest Train (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Seattle Christmas fun at Seattle Center

Seattle Center hosts a bevy of holiday activities at its annual Winterfest. The Winter Train and Village is a large model train village with two trains chugging though a winter wonderland.  The Ice Rink at the Fisher Pavilion sponsors free indoor skating.

When you're done, head up to the Space Needle for the best view of the city, even if it's windy and raining! The Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and the popular EMP Museum are also located in the Seattle Center complex.

3,500-pound Christmas tree at the Fairmont Olympic in Seattle (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

3,500-pound Christmas tree at the Fairmont Olympic (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Fairmont Olympic holiday offerings

Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel is celebrating its 90th year in 2014. During the holidays, the hotel is bustling with out-of-town guests and locals alike who enjoy the beautifully decorated surroundings and the annual Holiday Tea and Teddy Bear Suite visits. The Fairmont Olympic is within walking distance of most holiday event locations, as well as local tourist and shopping favorites, such as Pike Place Market and Nordstrom.

An annual holiday tradition and fundraiser for Children's Hospital, the Fairmont's Teddy Bear Suite is a gorgeously decorated set of rooms that is brimming with teddy bears of all sizes and colors. You can cuddle with the bears, sit and enjoy picture books, and pose for photographs. This is a must-see if traveling with the kiddos in Seattle at Christmastime. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Teddy bear heaven in the Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Teddy bear heaven in the Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

While you're in the Fairmont Olympic, take time to admire the 17 trees of all sizes located throughout the hotel. The tree in the main lobby is a 35-year-old, 3,500-lb Noble Fir that has been treated and fire-proofed to preserve it all season long. It's the largest tree found in a Seattle hotel, and has been decorated with 3,200 lights by Camden Gardens.

The hotel offers a variety of promotional packages for guests, including the special Savvy Shopper Package for just this time of year. The Package includes luxury accommodations, a $50 American Express gift card, a designer tote bag, and coupons to local Premium Outlets.

No weekend getaway is complete without a relaxing spa treatment, and the Fairmont Olympic has one of the best in Seattle. At Penelope and the Beauty Bar, my friend and I were pampered with nourishing body wraps and rejuvenating facials, all to the strains of instrumental holiday music. The opportunity to relax in warmth and comfort for a few hours was the perfect tonic for this busy time of year.

Have you traveled to Seattle with your friends or family? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from Travel Mamas: The Curious Travel Mama visited these attractions as a guest of the Fairmont Olympic Seattle and Visit Seattle. As always, her opinions are honest and her own.

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons (ages 18 and 20). She started travelling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about family travel and about educating children through the travel experience. She is the author of the thetravellingmom.ca, and contributes to many online and print media publications. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom.

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