Get in the Christmas spirit by joining your friends and neighbors at a community tree-lighting ceremony. In many of the towns throughout Snohomish and Island counties, the ceremonies are free family-friendly events with hot cider, visits from Santa and music.
Bothell: Country Village’s Festival of Lights, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 and 12, 23718 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell; holiday light displays, snowmen and angel displays, sample cookies from Mrs. Claus, noon to 3 p.m.; 425-483-2250; www.countryvillagebothell.com.
Edmonds: “The Light Before Christmas,” 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10, Edgewood Baptist Church, 20406 76th Ave. W, Edmonds. A family-oriented Christmas show of illusions and excitement from Brock Gill and Christmas music favorites from the Edgewood Choir and Orchestra. Free. Doors open 30 minutes prior to show.
Everett: 11th annual Christmas Spectacular, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10, Everett Civic Auditorium, 2416 Colby Ave. Television personality Brian Tracey and musician Dehner Franks will be joined by Jack Klitzman and the Band for Steely Dan tribute music along with other performers from France, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and the Seattle/Everett area. The Everett Chorale and the Ragazzo Coro &Bella Voce Children’s Choir of Snohomish County are singing as well; a “dance off” will also be held. All tickets $15 and five nonperishable food items. Festival seating. Online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/206228. Advance tickets at The Dorothy Jayne Studio 2931 Bond St., Everett, or at the door.
Everett: “Wintertide,” 3 p.m. Dec. 16, Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave. Come downtown for a day of holiday fun including hot cocoa and cookies and a special concert by the U.S. Navy Band Brass Quintet. Kids’ holiday craft projects and a visit from Santa. All activities and snacks are free. Call 425-257-7101 or www.enjoyEverett.org.
Marysville: The Cedarcrest Golf Course Holiday display from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 30, Cedarcrest Golf Course, 6810 84th St., NE, Marysville. Suggested donation is $3 for a child, $5 for adult and $20 for family.
Marysville: Merrysville for the Holidays &Electric Lights Parade: 6:30 p.m., Dec. 3, Comeford Park, 514 Delta Ave.; food, music and a parade of lights during this 23rd annual celebration that kicks off at 6:30 p.m. featuring the Electric Lights Parade, a flotilla of vehicles and floats in holiday lights that will make its way along State Avenue, arriving at Comeford Park. This year’s parade begins at Marysville Municipal Court, 1015 State Ave.; immediately after the parade the lighting of the water tower officially welcomes the start of the holiday; photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus after the parade; 360-363-8400; www.marysvillewa.gov.
Mill Creek: Main Street Comes Alive With Holiday Cheer, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Main Street, Mill Creek; elves will be frolicking handing out jingle bracelets as a festive parade heads south on Main Street with Santa as the grand finale; the parade winds down to the Mill Creek City Hall where the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place; Santa and his elves stay for photos and there’s live music, holiday performers and entertainment until 7.p.m., including complimentary carriage rides, face painting and train rides. For a schedule of events, visit the Mill Creek Town Center website at www.millcreektowncenter.biz.
Mountlake Terrace: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2, Evergreen Playfield, 22205 56th Ave. W.; features caroling, refreshments and a visit from Santa along with a spectacular tree lighting with the tree sitting atop the city’s water tower; www.cityofmlt.com.
Mountlake Terrace: Winterfest Breakfast Celebration, 8 a.m. to noon, Dec. 10, Mountlake Terrace High School, 21801 44th Ave. W, Mountlake Terrace; a pancake breakfast with sausage, fruit and beverages with holiday music performed by music groups from Mountlake Terrace High School and other local schools; $7 adults and $5 students/seniors, free for children under 3 years old. Call 425-750-2811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Snohomish: Winter Solstice Candlelight Walk, 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 22; stroll with friends, come a-caroling, or simply contemplate the beauty of the evening along the downtown Riverfront Trail; www.ci.snohomish.wa.us/cityevents.htm.
Stanwood: The Lights of Christmas: Dec. 2 to 4, 8 to 11, 15 to 23, and 26 to 28; gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 10 p.m., Warm Beach Camp, 20800 Marine Drive, Stanwood; holiday lights, treats, live music, storytelling and theater performances, Nativity scene, petting farm, pony and train rides, meet Santa and Bruce the Talking Spruce; $9, $10 and $15, free ages 3 and under; 360-652-7575, 800-228-6724; www.warmbeachlights.com.
Langley: Langley’s fifth annual Holiday Parade, 11 a.m. Dec. 3. Complete with a float contest, this holiday favorite is in its second year. Beginning at Sixth Street and Cascade Avenue, the parade winds down Second Street, along Anthes Avenue and then back up First Street; Holiday Arts Walk from 5 to 7 p.m. Free; www.visitlangley.com.
Oak Harbor: The eighth annual Holiday Tree Lighting, 3 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3, old downtown Oak Harbor along Pioneer Way; treats, music, tree lighting and Santa visit at 6 p.m.; www.oakharbor.org/.
Seattle Center Winterfest: five weeks of festive entertainment running into January at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle Center, including:
Winterfest Ice Rink: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday through Jan. 1. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12, $2 children ages 5 and under. Includes skate rental. Cash only.
Winter Train &Village: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Dec. 29. A turn-of-the-century village and train and members of the public can take a turn at driving the miniature locomotive. Suggested donation $2. For more information on Winterfest go to www.seattlecenter.com.
Seattle Aquarium: Diving Santa &Live Music Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle. Come see Santa diving in the Window on Washington Waters exhibit at noon and 3 p.m.
Woodland Park Zoo’s Winter Celebration: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28, N. 50th Street and Fremont Avenue N., Seattle; go on wildlife treks, watch animals receive treats; free with zoo admission of $8.50 and $11.50, ages 2 and under free; 206-548-2500; www.zoo.org.