The kids are on holiday break and dying of boredom. Or you need a respite from the shopping madness downtown. Either way, Winterfest is only a short monorail ride away. Many of its attractions are free; and the rest are cheap—like the children’s carousel (by Fisher Pavilion) at a buck a ride. Inside the pavilion, you can rent skates (free to $5) and churn the ice to froth, assisted by sliding metal balance rails if you need them. Over at the Center House, the free winter train chugs through a Christmas village. Parents can expect to shoot dozens of photos of their kids at each stop, and the free Wi-Fi at Seattle Center means they can upload them directly to blogs and Flikr accounts. Other attractions and family activities include choral music, ice sculpting, free holiday movies, magic, comedy, jump rope, swing dancing, and the Microsoft Orchestra (!). Please refrain from making any Vista jokes when they perform. T. BOND

Nov. 27-Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 2009

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