Adventuring with Kids: Holiday To-Do List

If there’s one thing I love to do, it’s write a good list! With Christmas only 16 days away (yikes!) there is a limited amount of time to do everything I want to do, but I am committed to the holiday spirit so it’s all going to happen. Hopefully. Or we’ll be exhausted trying. There are just so many holiday events near Seattle, which are especially fun with kids! I can’t wait to do it all. If you need some inspiration of things to do with your littles, take some of these ideas!


(LUCKILY I made this list months ago so I have already completed most some of it… but still, we have things to do during this holiday season!)

Here are some things on my holiday to-do list:

+ Make or buy an Advent calendar for each girl

Our au pair took care of this one for us (yay!). She bought Playmobil Advent calendars for each girl and they love opening a new piece every day. This is especially great for our family because I’m not a huge fan of the girls eating candy, so this is a good alternative.

+ Sing Christmas songs

As many times as possible. One of my favorite parts of this whole season are the Christmas songs! This is my current favorite Spotify list.

+ Decorate gingerbread houses

We buy ours from Trader Joe’s… I don’t have the motivation or the will to make them myself!

+ Attend a Nutcracker ballet performance

This was a first for us! We just went a few days ago, and the girls loved it. We went with a low key performance through the Issaquah Dance Theater. I picked this one because it was pretty inexpensive and they had an option for a 1-hour show. I just didn’t know how my girls would do at a performance with no words, but they did GREAT and didn’t want to leave at the end. Next year I might buy tickets at the Pacific Northwest Ballet‘s Nutcracker show, but those tickets are not cheap!

+ Buy a tree at a u-cut farm

In the past we’ve driven out to Carnation, but this year we went to Trinity Tree Farm in Issaquah and had a great experience! Sure, it was muddy, but that’s all a part of the experience!

+ Decorate that Christmas tree

My goal for this year was to decorate the tree without yelling at the girls too much. *Sigh* Have you ever supervised two preschoolers decorating a Christmas tree? It is a lot of chaos.

+ Go ice skating outdoors

The girls take ice skating lessons indoors all year round, but I love going outdoors in the winter, if we can! This year we had a great experience skating outside in Bend, but I would love to go again if we find a good rink nearby.

+ Bake (German) Christmas cookies

I actually don’t have a favorite cookie recipe (gasp!) so we’re going to make our au pair’s favorite German Christmas Cookies this year!

+ Send out Christmas cards

I’ve at least ordered the Christmas cards, but whether they’ll be sent out by Christmas is a true mystery. The site gave me a delivery window of anywhere from Dec 11-24th arriving at my house soooo….. who knows. If they don’t get sent by Christmas, I’m considering them ‘Happy New Years’ cards, no matter what the card actually says.

+ Drink hot chocolate

Not that we need an excuse for this, but this seems like an easy thing to check off a list, so I’m keeping it on here.

+ Create a Christmas craft with the girls

Last year a friend made holiday play dough, which the girls loved! This year they’ve done a few crafts with preschool and church but I’m hoping we can put together a small one at home, too.

+ Take pictures and see the reindeer at Swansons Nursery

This is such a fun tradition we’ve done every year since we’ve moved here. We love seeing the reindeer, and if it isn’t too crowded I attempt to get pictures of the girls in the ‘props’ they have around for just that reason. I have the cutest pics of them in sleds year after year.

+ Shop at the Edmonds Holiday Market and ride the trolley

I didn’t know about this event until last year, and I love it! On Saturdays in December there is a free trolley that drives around downtown Edmonds, and if we’re being honest I probably enjoy it more than the kids. There are also a lot of vendors selling goods at the (outdoor) market. Last year I picked up handmade earrings, soap, candles, some paper goods… and of course I sampled some wine. It’s a really nice way to spend a few hours.

+ And also shop at other local markets

There are so many markets set up at schools to raise some extra money for PTAs, etc etc. I really enjoy going to a few of these markets to support local vendors and pick up some handmade goods as gifts. Or just for myself.

+ Take the girls individually to pick out presents for each other

Our favorite place to shop is Snapdoodle Toys, which is in Seattle and Kenmore. I love supporting local when I can, and this seems like the perfect time to do it! I also think it’s really important for the girls to pick out a gift for each other.

+ Read holiday-themed books

I try to get a good mix of Christian holiday books and not-necessarily-Christian holiday books for us to read at this time of year. I keep the same ones year after year and just add one or two to our stash. I also put them away with the Christmas decorations so they’re extra-special when we take them out again.

+ Read the ‘real’ Christmas story from the Bible

Arguably this is one of the more important things on this list… I think in the hustle and bustle of the holidays we can forget to do the most essential things! Of course my kids know the Christmas story and they will learn about it at church the next few weeks, but I also want them to hear it from us, straight from the Bible.

+ Go to Stanwood to see the The Lights of Christmas display

We’ve done this the last two years, and I think it’s worth the long(ish) drive from Seattle! The lights are great, there are pony rides, train rides, a light maze, a petting zoo… all of the things. It really puts me in the holiday spirit!

+ Go sledding at Hyak, near Snoqualmie Pass (preferably on Christmas!)

We don’t always get snow in Seattle, but we can travel to it in the mountains, so that’s the plan! Our Midwestern roots require playing in the snow around/on Christmas.

+ See the Christmas lights display at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens

This has been on my list the last few years, and it somehow hasn’t happened. I really want to go this year, though! I think the girls would really enjoy it.

+ Go to a Christmas Eve church service

Last year I went by myself (while pregnant) with both girls, and it was chaos. This year I at least know what to expect! There will be no childcare offered. The girls will be sitting with me and will need lots of things to entertain themselves. I will hear and learn nothing, along with all of the other parents of small children who are just trying to get them to SIT DOWN IN YOUR SEATS. But at the end there will be cookies, so at least there’s that!

There are a few other things going on around town that are not on my list, but I feel like I should mention them, because they’re very popular! (The reason they aren’t on my list is because I feel like they’re too popular / crowded for my three little ones! These things just aren’t worth the trouble it would take to go for us this year, but maybe I’ll add them to the list when the girls are older.)

+ Zoo Lights

+ Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton

+ Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont

+ Snowflake Lane parade in Bellevue

+ Enchant Seattle

What big things are still on your holiday to-do list?

This entry was posted in holidays, seattle and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.