The Christmas Revels
Gift Guide 5:
At Wit's End
Personal — Having trouble finding suitable gifts? Let the professionals help. By George Howland Jr.
Balanchine — Celebrating a great choreographer's centenary. By Sandra Kurtz
Cheap — Shiitake logs, jelly baths, a world of spice - SW's guide to last-minute gifts for under $50. By Seattle Weekly staff
Old Music — Records and artists that have shown staying power beyond pop's normal cycle. By Michaelangelo Matos
Mall Hours — When the doors are open at the area's major malls and shopping centers.
Holiday Calendar — The most complete list of holiday events in Seattle.
The theater troupe Puget Sound Revels performs its annual holiday play, an extravaganza of song, dance, and comedy in the Auld English tradition. Rialto Theater, 310 S. Ninth St. (Tacoma), 253-591-5894. $11–$24. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 22.
"Just hear those hay bells jingling/Ring-ting-tingling, too/Come on, it's lovely weather/For a hayride together with you/Outside the snow is falling/And friends are calling "yoo hoo!"/Come on, it's lovely weather/For a hayride together with you." Seward Park, 5902 Lake Washington Blvd. S., 206-684-4396. $10 ($6 children under 12). Every half-hour from 4:30 p.m to 9 p.m. Wed., Dec. 22.
Holiday Light Display
Every year, the home of Sharon and Fred Ehrig can be seen from space, so luminous are the lights that adorn it. Stop by and take in the spectacle this year; Santa plans to be on the premises each night until 9 p.m., and any donation you make goes directly to the Medic One Foundation, which provides EMS services in King and Snohomish counties. 3916 Woodlawn Ave. N. Free (donations accepted). Dusk to 9 p.m. or later, Wed., Dec. 22–Thurs., Dec. 23.
Issaquah Reindeer Festival
Pay a visit to Rudolph's many relatives at Cougar Mountain Zoo's annual celebration of all that is antlered and shaggy. Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 S.E. 54th St. (Issaquah), 425-392-6278. $9.50 ($8 seniors, $6.50 children). 10 a.m.–7 p.m. daily. Through Thurs., Dec. 23.
Calling All Elves
You don't need pointy ears and shoes to sort, wrap, and maybe even deliver presents as a volunteer for the Forgotten Children's Fund (a nonprofit charity that provides underprivileged kids with gifts), but you certainly won't be turned away if you're of elfin descent. Santa's Workshop, 15015 Main St. (Bellevue), 425-401-0915. Free. Through Thurs., Dec. 23.
Celebrity Chestnut Roasting
Well, by "celebrity" they mean KING-TV anchor Jean Enersen and the Mariner Moose, among others, but it still sounds fun, and nothing beats the taste of roasted chestnuts. Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St., 206-621-1700. $3 per bag of chestnuts. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. weekdays (celebrities from noon to 1 p.m.). Through Fri., Dec. 24.
Santa Claus Visits
St. Nick's sleigh makes several stops at the Needle; take the opportunity to ask him for that hybrid car you're currently waitlisted for. Space Needle (Observation Deck), 206-905-2100. $13 ($11 seniors, $6 children). 11 a.m.– 5 p.m. Through Fri., Dec. 24.
Teddy Bear Suite
More stuffed bears than you ever thought you'd see in one room await you at this annual Fairmont Olympic tradition; all bears donated go to Children's Hospital after Christmas. Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St., 206-621-1700. Free (donations benefit Children's Hospital). 11 a.m.–6 p.m. daily. Through Sat., Dec. 25.
Voices of Christmas
Nearly a quarter-century after its debut, ArtsWest's take on the yule pageant— a cross-cultural cross-section of holiday glee, illuminated by all manner of vocal virtuosity—springs to life once again. 4711 California Ave. S.W., 206-938-0339. $12–$30. 7:30 p.m. Tues.–Fri.; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Through Sun., Dec. 26.
Intiman's gospel rendition of the story of Christ's birth stars Pastor Patrinell Wright of Seattle and other local church luminaries, with poetry from Langston Hughes in the mix as well. 201 Mercer St., 206-269-1900. $10–$42. Call for show times. Through Sun., Dec. 26.
Winterfest at Seattle Center
A massive celebration that extends into the new year, Winterfest features almost every cold-weather amusement imaginable, including an ice rink, a Philippine Christmas celebration, a holiday jazz concert, and a dance for seniors. (Visit www.seattlecenter.com for a full schedule of events.) Seattle Center (various venues), 206-684-7200. Free (excepting certain activities/events). 10 a.m.–7 p.m. daily (10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Christmas Eve; closed on Christmas). Through Sun., Jan. 2.
Former high-school counselor Jim Forneris built the Nordic Heritage Museum's astounding scale model of a German town, which debuted last year and makes a repeat appearance this December. Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 N.W. 67th St., 206-789-5707. $6 ($5 seniors, $4 children). 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat.; noon–4 p.m. Sun. Through Sun., Jan. 2.
The Lights of Christmas
Warm Beach hosts its annual holiday display; over a million individual bulbs, a gigantic Nativity scene, toy-making workshops, and pony rides await you there. Warm Beach Christian Camps & Conference Center, 20800 Marine Dr. (Stanwood), 360-652-7575. $10 ($8 seniors, $7 children). 5–10 p.m. Wed., Dec. 22–Thurs., Dec. 23; and Sun., Dec. 26–Thurs., Dec. 30.
Carolers at Ivar's
Leading up to Christmas, the seafood restaurant hosts carolers during the dinner hour. Ivar's Salmon House, 401 N.E. Northlake Way, 206-632-0767. Free (with purchase of dinner). Thurs., Dec. 23
Silver Bells Carolers
The local chorale stops at Redmond Town Center to belt out some holiday cheer. Redmond Town Center, 16495 N.E. 74th St. (Redmond), 425-869-2640. Free. 2–4 p.m. Fri., Dec. 24.
Seattle Sings "Messiah"
Tired of Messiah's Greatest Hits? Hear— or even help sing—the whole oratorio at Town Hall's eighth annual DIY recitation of the holiday favorite, which combines a professional orchestra and singers with the voices of you, the audience. 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-709-2669. $12 ($9.99 in advance). 7 p.m. Tues., Dec. 28.