Deck the halls with boughs of jolly this season by bundling the kids, sipping peppermint mochas and dashing through the snow, er, probably rain this holiday season to enjoy family-friendly Eastside cheer.
Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection
Bring the family and enjoy this magical performance featuring drumming soldiers, glittering princesses, furry costumed characters and yes … fluffy white “snow.” Tap your toes to classics like “Run, Run Rudolph” and “Jingle Bells” during this free 20-minute outdoor show that takes place every evening starting the night following Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve at 7pm. See fun Snowflake Lane Facts on page 32. N.E. Eighth and Bellevue Way, Bellevue.
Ice Arena at Bellevue
Downtown Park How’s your triple salchow looking these days? Be sure to stop by The Magic Season Ice Arena Nov. 28-Jan. 11. Admission is $12 and includes skates. Kids 6 and under skate for $8. The rink will be 350 square feet larger this year, and a new ice resurfacer will make the skating smoother. It’s also open Christmas and New Year’s Day. Good to know: If you want hot chocolate or snacks at the concession stand it’s cash-only. 10201 N.E. Fourth St., Bellevue.
Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo
The reindeer are the tip of the icicle at this festival that has been a family tradition since 1988. Kids can write Santa a letter, hear a story read by an elf, get their faces painted and watch candy canes being made, in addition to hand-feeding Blitzen and the rest of the crew. The festival is Dec. 1-23 and is $10-$14 per person. Kids under 2 are free. Good to know: Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the festival and receive free child’s admission for a visit through January to March 2015.
19525 S.E. 54th St., Issaquah.
Santa Brunch at Carillon
Point Your belly will shake like a bowl full of jelly after indulging in a delicious brunch buffet with Santa aboard the Argosy Cruise. Get a photo with Santa then channel your inner elf at the arts and crafts station. Good to know: Older kids might prefer a ride on the Christmas Ship to take in the beautiful lights. Argosy also hosts a Thanksgiving dinner. 1270 Carillon Point, Kirkland.
See “The Nutcracker”
Take your little princesand sugarplum fairies to see this beloved holiday classic on the Eastside with the International Ballet Theatre at Meydenbauer Theatre in Bellevue, the Kirkland Performing Arts Center or in Seattle at the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Good to know: Kids 12 and under can meet characters at “The Nutcracker” children’s parties prior to the 2pm matinee performances on the Eastside. Reserve a spot at firstname.lastname@example.org.