Photo: Elise Bakketun

NICE

By Amanda Castleman

These good-natured holiday happenings are perfect for the whole family—and guarantee you a spot on Santa’s nice list.

Photo: Elise Bakketun

Photo: Elise Bakketun

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Prepare for an enchanting evening from one of America’s most renowned ballet companies. Starting November 25, Pacific Northwest Ballet transforms McCaw Hall into a Christmas dreamscape. Featuring the dance company’s renowned performers, George Balanchine’s eye-catching choreography, and whimsical sets by illustrator Ian Falconer (of Olivia the Pig fame), the production dazzles with all your favorite characters. Follow Clara on a magical journey as she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and battles the Mouse King.

Photo: Christopher Nelson

Photo: Christopher Nelson

Teddy Bear Suite

Get ready to ooh and ahh—Fairmont Olympic Hotel brings back its iconic Teddy Bear Suite for the 20th year, November 25 through December 26. Hundreds of stuffed bears adorn the 1,200-square-foot hotel suite, making for some prime family photo ops. Kids can cuddle with the furry toys and explore the bear-y cute hideaway. The Teddy Bear Suite is free to visit but donations are accepted to benefit uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Want to make your kid one happy cub? Book an overnight stay in this winter wonderland, which comes with a themed breakfast and commemorative teddy bear.

Photo: Jonathan P. Beck

Photo: Jonathan P. Beck

Seattle Center Winter Train & Village

All aboard for holiday fun! Seattle Center pulls out all the stops for its annual Winterfest Celebration, November 25 through December 31. A favorite is the turn-of-the-century model train, which chugs through a miniature snow-blanketed village in the Seattle Center Armory. Kids can press their noses up against the glass to admire all the fine details, like the carousel and the skater spinning on the lake. Take a turn as conductor to control the train as it chugs along.

Photo: Nordic Heritage Museum

Photo: Nordic Heritage Museum

Nordic Heritage Museum’s Yulefest

Embrace Seattle’s Nordic roots with a holiday celebration, Scandinavian style. Nordic Heritage Museum’s Yulefest brings folk performers, traditional Scandinavian eats, handcrafted wares, and visits from Santa to the Ballard neighborhood, November 19 and 20. Old World delicacies include lefse (soft flatbread) and krumkake (waffle cookies), not to mention glögg (mulled wine) for those 21 and older. Guests can also shop for traditional wood carvings, woolen sweaters, and handwoven rugs, or participate in the silent auction to win fantastic prizes.

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