By Karen UlvestadSeattle rings in the Holiday season with a variety of events for all ages, and most are family friendly. The weather may be frightful and filled with rain, but hardy Seattlelites venture out for holiday lights, visiting reindeer, and visits with Santa. These family-friendly, all-ages events happen through-out the month of December.

Reindeer Festival
Swansons Nursery
9701 15th Ave. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98117
(206) 782-2543
www.swansonsnursery.comDate: Dec. 24, 2016 at 10 a.m.

Santa’s reindeer Dasher and Blitzen will visit Swansons Nursery for an informal meet and greet with the public. Visitors will learn about reindeer and their habitat. The event will end at 2 p.m. when the 2 reindeer leave for their Christmas eve adventures. Curley the Camel will be present at the event too. This is a free event for the entire family. The entire festival runs from November 12 through December 24.

Wildlights
Woodland Park Zoo
5500 Phinney Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 548-2500
www.zoo.orgDate: Through Jan. 1, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.

Woodland Park Zoo is located north of downtown Seattle on Phinney Ridge. The event runs nightly 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The zoo is closed on Christmas eve and Christmas Day (December 24-25, 2016). Holiday lights in the shapes of wild animals line the pathways, and shine brightly in the evening hours. Each evening is filled with faux snowball fights, beautiful lights, Santa and his reindeer. Tickets are available online.

Winterfest
Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-7200
www.seattlecenter.comDate: Dec. 1, 2016 at 11 a.m.

Winterfest is located at the Seattle Center, on the north side of downtown Seattle. The event runs from November 25, 2016 to December 31, 2016. All activities are either free or affordable, and opening times vary with the events. Winterfest includes the Winter Train & Village, ice rink, ice sculpting, and student showcase performances. There is plenty of activities for all members of the family. The festival ends by ringing in the New Year with the Fountain of Light dance party and live music by The Machine, and a fireworks show.

Related: Best Holiday Light Shows In Seattle

The Nutcracker
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave N.
Edmonds, WA 98020
(425) 774-4485
www.olympicballet.comDate: Dec. 15, 2016 at 10 a.m or 12 p.m.

The Nutcracker is being performed by the Olympic Ballet at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. The story is a traditionally performed during the holiday season. The performance is about a young girl who receives a nutcracker for a holiday gift, and the dream she has that evening. This is suitable for all ages. Performances will be December 15 – 18, 2016, with varying show times. Tickets are available online or at the box office. It’s best to purchase tickets early. These shows tend to sell-out.

Santa Train
North Bend Depot
205 McClellan St.
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
(425) 888-3030
www.trainmuseum.orgDate: Dec. 16, 2016 at 9 a.m.

The Santa Train leaves from the North Bend Depot in Snoqualmie (off I-90). It is an annual event run by the Northwest Railway Museum. The train leaves on the hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. It runs December 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, and 17. Tickets for the event may be purchased online, and are $2 per person 2 years and older. On December 16, the train will be pulled by a steam engine. The other days will pulled by a diesel engine. The train trip includes a visit with Santa Claus. This is a family friendly event.

Related: Best Out of Town Holiday Events December 7 – 9