Seattle. It’s a city I have come to love. Whether it is the energy, the vast knowledge, love of tech, or just being in an urban area among the mountains, I absolutely love multiple visits to the city each year. (You can find past posts here and here.) Today, I have a different guide of sorts. I decided to share my adventures while being with family over the Thanksgiving holiday. With rainy days, limited time, and wanting to be the best auntie possible, this guide is filled with common activities to share with my nieces and celebrate the holiday.
Keep reading about my whole day after the jump!
8:00 AM Woken up by a big wet noise, our 120 lb family dog, Tasha, I decided to enjoy a few snuggles. Looking outside I knew it was going to be a rainy day and layers were essential. I slipped on a favorite pair of Madewell jeans, a cozy sweatshirt, and my olive anorak jacket. (It has a hood to keep me dry.) Heading up the stairs, I make a cup of local brewed coffee and a few egg whites with toast for a cozy start to the morning.
8:30 AM It was time to get the littles up and moving. With a breakfast of cheerios, we played a bit, got everyone dressed, and started heading to the car. (About an hour later, with a three and one year old it takes a bit of time.)
10:30 AM Seattle has some phenomenal free activities to celebrate the holiday. We opted to go to a few hotels downtown to see their holiday displays. If you’re in Seattle, make sure to check these out. I found that the displays were great for engaging 3-7 year olds. A bit older and younger will work. We parked between the Sheraton and the Fairmont Olympic Hotels, with walking distance between each. At the Downtown Sheraton, we found a phenomenal display of gingerbread houses. Partnering with local charities, this display was gingerbread showpieces based off of each book in the Harry Potter series. With automated pieces, lights, and movement, each gingerbread showpiece was dynamic and interactive. After this we walked to the Fairmont Olympic hotel. With over 30 trees, the Festival Trees, are strewn throughout the lobby, great rooms, and atrium of this historic hotel. Each tree is decorated with a different theme, sponsored by local charities and businesses. I brought my Instax film camera. My 3-year old niece loves this camera and taking “usies” with it. (They’re discounted at Amazon right now.) Another favorite game, was playing “I Spy” with each and every tree. In order to keep hands occupied, we held hands or danced to the holiday music playing in the lobby. This kept little hands away from the fragile ornaments and the stress-level somewhat low for the rest of us. If you head up the stairs to the small ballroom, you will find a massive tree with two large chairs. This is perfect for taking the Christmas card photo and is a large open area for littles who need to get out some pent up energy. For the one year old, I usually wear my Giving Key necklace. Anytime she got antsy, I would pick her up and she would play with my necklace. Simple but it worked. Babies are fascinated by keys. (Don’t worry we kept it out of her mouth.)
12:00 PM It was noon and time to find a place for lunch. With it being a rainy day, we opted for a warm bowl of chowder from a local favorite, Pike Place Chowder Company. The little ones love their bread and crackers and the adults love the chowder. The best part? By walking to their location, in the Pacific Place mall, we were able to avoid the 30-45 minute lines at the market location.
1:00 PM Shopping in downtown? Yes please. I headed to my favorite stores, Anthropologie and Madewell, to pick up a few favorite items in person. Volcano scented candles and black skinny jeans for the win. (Good thing, one pair completely ripped out this morning.)
1:45 PM No visit to Seattle would be complete without heading to Pike Place Market. It was decked out for the holiday and looking quite merry. I headed to Market Spice to restock my loose leaf teas and purchase spices for recipe testing. (Hello Madagascar vanilla beans, black truffle salt, and colored sugars. Christmas is going to smell, taste, and look fantastic.) Next stop, was Beecher’s cheese. I picked up a bit of my favorite cheese and shared a small portion of Mac N Cheese with my family. When we go to the market, we always make sure to share this side dish as it is incredibly rich. With littles in tow, we stopped by the dried fruit stand for a healthy snack and samples, singing along with the men at the Flying Fish.
3:00 PM It’s naptime for the 1 year old, probably a little past. For the 3 year old, we decided it was time to make a few holiday crafts. Inspired by the gingerbread houses we saw earlier this morning, we worked on the gingerbread house we had purchased earlier in the week. (At $10 from Costco, the house was preassembled and a great project for a 3 year old with a bit of supervision.) My little helper loved eating icing and placing down candy. We designed the house together and loved it. The rest of our afternoon was followed up by making holly wreaths with crayon, scissors, glue, paper plates, and construction paper.
7:00 PM Time for Thanksgiving leftovers and relaxing. With a bourbon spiked cider, mashed potatoes, and spiked cider, it was time to give into the rainy day. Looking over the lake, dinner was shared, bath time was had, and it was bedtime for the little ones.
8:00 PM With Red Vines, M&Ms, a bit of ice cream, and decaf coffee, we headed downstairs to watch the latest Gilmore Girls. It was the only appropriate snack and was a great night enjoying a revival of a favorite show.
Looking for more holiday activities in Seattle?
The Pike Place Market
Harry Potter Gingerbread Houses at Downtown Seattle Sheraton
Shopping at Pacific Place Center
Festival of Trees at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Holiday Trains, Reindeer, and Camel at Swanson’s Nursery
Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma
Ivar’s Clam Lights in Renton