Twelve miles north of downtown Seattle, Snohomish County is calling to clients in the mood for some homespun holiday activities.
Snohomish County spreads holiday cheer
In the city of Stanwood, for instance, the Lights of Christmas display attracts clients with more than one million dazzling lights, a larger-than-life nativity scene, live music, crafts, food, pony rides, a petting farm, Polar Express train rides, live theater and overnight getaway packages. The event was named one of the Top 100 Events and Attractions by the American Bus Association, a trade organization representing the motorcoach, tour and travel industry.
In Edmonds, clients can sign up for the Dec. 7 two-hour cruise aboard the 400-passenger Spirit of Seattle, the lead ship in a Christmas boat parade. Passengers can mingle with Santa, join in sing-a-longs and partake in a ho-ho-ho contest, while the Everett Chorale sings holiday favorites broadcast for folks onshore. On Dec. 12, the Everett Lighted Boat Parade features a flotilla of lighted and decorated watercraft that sail along the Port Gardner waterfront.
In the town of Snohomish, billed as the Antique Capital of the Pacific Northwest, clients can find a truly unique gift at one of more than 450 antique dealers clustered in five short blocks. Young children can enjoy the musical story time at Rowdy Rascals Toy Store every Tuesday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Other festivities include a holiday parlor tour on Dec. 13, afternoon English tea at a shop called Piccadilly Circus, and hot buttered rum at the Cabbage Patch store.
The city of Bothell celebrates the holidays on Dec. 12-13 with a Festival of Lights -- including cookies with Mrs. Claus -- at the Country Village Shops.
With 2010 in sight, clients can attend the Everett Symphony’s Night Before New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 30, with hors d’oeuvres, champagne, and a narrated musical look back at the city's history, culture, politics, economy and entertainment of the last 50 years. On Dec. 31, kids can ring in 2010 from noon-4 p.m. at the Imagine Children’s Museum, whose Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Daytime Party includes crazy hats, party poppers, noisemakers, music, dance and games.
Clients who need several days to enjoy Snohomish County's year-end merriment can book the Holiday Pamper Package at the River Rock Inn, a five-acre lodge-style bed and breakfast. Guests can enjoy wine and handmade artisan truffles upon arrival, soak in a lavender or coconut lemon-scented mineral bath, unwind with a spa treatment, and awake the next morning to a multi-course breakfast. Nightly room rates are $375 per night.