Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano Talks Baseball and The Emerald City

Robinson Cano Game Photo
(©Ben VanHouten/Seattle Mariners)

M's Star Robinson Canó (named after the legendary Jackie Robinson) spoke to Where Seattle from his home in the Dominican Republic just before baseball season got into full swing.

Did you always want to be a professional baseball player?
My dad, José Canó, played baseball for years and I tried other sports, but I grew up around baseball. On top of that, I am a proud native of the Dominican Republic and my hometown, San Pedro De Macorís, is home to hundreds of professional baseball players, including legends like Sammy Sosa.

What was your path to the Major League like?
After I graduated from high school, I signed with the New York Yankees in 2001 but if you follow baseball, you know that drafted players rarely go straight to the majors. I put the hard work in and played in the minor leagues until 2005, when I was called up by the Yankees. We had an incredibly talented and dedicated roster and had a lot of success over those years, even winning the 2009 World Series. In 2014, I signed with the Seattle Mariners and I haven’t looked back—it’s been a blessing to compete for the organization, and I’m excited for what the 2018 season has to come.

Which players (past or present) do you admire most?
There are so many players that I admire, but my fellow Dominican Sammy Sosa is one that I watched as I came up in the sport and will always be one of my favorite players. I learned a lot from my dad as well, and he still helps me train.

What do you like about playing for Seattle?
I will always be a proud Dominican, but I love Seattle; it's my second home and has so much to offer. Seattle is such a unique place. It has been incredibly welcoming to me and I love the culture, the atmosphere and especially the energy our fans bring to Safeco Field.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Seattle?
I have been in Seattle since 2014, and I still love exploring the city. My favorite place to go is Safeco Field, but I also enjoy Pike Place Market (I love fresh seafood), shopping in Bellevue and downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. My two favorite restaurants are Metropolitan Grill and Aqua by El Gaucho.

The sense of community in this city is fantastic. I love working with the Boys and Girls Club of Seattle—we have hosted an annual summer baseball clinic for the Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) program there to bring the sport I love to those who may not otherwise be able to play.

Tell us about your RC22 Foundation.
I started RC22 in 2011 to help underprivileged children and families gain access to education, better medical and health options, and athletic opportunities. I've been very blessed to be in a position to help more people in need through my foundation. We built the RC22 Dream School in my hometown of San Pedro De Macorís and developed programs and partnerships with many organizations in Seattle.

My first fundraiser, CANOCHE, held in Seattle in 2015 helped to fund programs at the Boys and Girls Club – Rainier Vista, Seattle Children’s, Odessa Brown Clinic and City Year Seattle. It also helped to open the doors to the RC22 Dream School. I am so excited to host the next CANOCHE on May 14 in Seattle. Funds raised will help kick off the RC22 Foundation’s scholarship program for underserved students in Seattle. We expect the night to be full of fun and surprises, like in 2015. Great food, guests, entertainment and special auction items will be featured again to support youth and families in Seattle and in the Dominican Republic.
 

Mariners infielder (and reigning All-Star Game MVP) Robinson Canó talks baseball, philanthropy and living in Seattle.

Get the Inside Scoop on Seattle's Moisture Festival

Acrobalancer Brittany Walsh, performing at Moisture Festival
(©David Rose Photography/Moisture Festival) Acrobalancer Brittany Walsh, performing at Moisture Festival

Seattle's Moisture Festival—a showcase of comedy/variety entertainment—celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, when it returns to Hale’s Palladium March 15 through April 8, 2018.

Ron W. Bailey, one of the festival’s founders, tells us what has made it such a hit.

What can the audience expect from the shows?

They’ll be surprised and often amazed by what they see. There’s always enough humor to get the audience comfortable and relaxed so the skill acts like aerial, tight rope, contortion or acro-balancing are all the more impressive. Because the Moisture Festival has worked diligently to present quality shows, providing good lighting and sound, many world-class variety acts have been attracted to the festival and the audiences have truly benefited. They’ve been impressed by how many different kinds of acts there actually are out in the world. And the artists are always looking for a stage on which to do their act. The Moisture Festival has provided that stage. We’re still the only festival in the world dedicated to presenting the best in variety entertainment and giving it the respect it deserves.

What's kept Moisture Festival going for so many years?

The reason this festival has continued to flourish is the same reason American vaudeville was the most popular form of entertainment across the country for more than 50 years. It’s entertainment of the people, by the people and for the people. It’s certainly not regarded as high class, rather it is embraced for allowing all sorts of acts, some traditional and some bizarre, that are the result of individuals or groups perfecting skills that they can perform within a brief time slot. In American vaudeville, the 12-minute rule was strictly enforced, to the point where if you violated the rule it would be difficult to find work on any stage. While the Moisture Festival isn’t quite that strict, the importance of doing your best stuff in a condensed period of time is definitely emphasized. This method of presenting acts is what makes for a magnificent variety show.

How do you organize such a large festival?

Another truly phenomenal aspect of the festival is that it is fueled by volunteers who manage to cover hundreds of shifts and joyfully do the necessary work it takes to have shows run smoothly, the box office function efficiently, the artists fed, the theaters cleaned and reset. Each year attracts new recruits and many of our volunteers return every year. Their dedication is awe-inspiring. It is the main reason the festival has gone on for 15 fun years.

What can you tell us about the festival venue?

Hale’s Palladium is the former warehouse of Hale’s Brewery. The magic of this space our producers created is another key element of the success of the festival; it’s the epitome of elegant funkiness. With its plywood walls and old growth fir beams it amplifies the audience’s laughter and applause like no other theater in Seattle. Plus, families can sit together, mom and dad having a beer while the children eat popcorn. The room takes on an old-time circus atmosphere. When the live show-bands kick in, the anticipation grows among the audience, the lights come up, the MC takes the stage and one of 50 festival shows begin.

Learn the story behind this annual extravaganza of offbeat variety acts, now in its 15th year.

A Guide to Seattle Speakeasy-style Bars

Bar Justice interior in Seattle
(Courtesy F2T Hospitality) Bar Justice is accessed through a fake fridge door in Capitol Hill deli By the Pound.

Thanks to its proximity to Canada, the Emerald City was never truly "dry" during the Prohibition Era. Big-time bootleggers (including Seattle police lieutenant Roy Olmstead) smuggled in large shipments of Canadian booze via the miles of beaches along Puget Sound. Today, that secretive spirit lives on in the speakeasy-inspired bars dotted around town.

Bar JusticeOne of the most recent additions to the scene is hidden in plain sight within By the Pound, a newly opened takeout delicatessen on Capitol Hill. Reservations are mandatory; when you book your table, you'll be given a password to gain access to the bar, which is concealed behind what appears to be a walk-in refrigerator. Along with craft cocktails, the menu includes wine, beer and a dozen unique boilermakers—not to mention charcuterie and cheese platters from the deli.

Bathtub Gin & Co.This Belltown fave is tucked away in the basement of a former hotel on Gin Alley.

Knee High Stocking CompanySome of Capitol Hill's finest cocktails, plus Filipino spins on American comfort foods.

Needle & ThreadUse the vintage phone by the door to access the more intimate upstairs bar at Capitol Hill's Tavern Law. There's no menu; bartenders craft custom drinks based on your tastes.

Civility & UnrestThis moody bar beneath the swanky W Bellevue hotel describes itself as "a daring exploration into cocktail culture" and features gourmet bar bites by James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson.

Blink and you'll miss these hush-hush bars.

6 Seattle Spa Escapes

Courtesy of Salish Lodge and Spa Say ahhhhh!

We could all use a little TLC this time of year, when the chilly, wet days keep us indoors more often than we'd like. Our favorite solution to cabin fever? Embrace it—with a spa break in the heart of of the city or away at a luxury lodge. 

DOWNTOWN

The Spa at Loews Hotel 1000 offers a range of treatments, including an espresso body scrub. How Seattle! 

Ummelina Explore global pampering rituals like African foot massage, Japanese soaking tubs and Egyptian cupping therapy. 

Spa Nordstrom Follow retail therapy with massage therapy at the newly revamped downtown flagship store of the Seattle-based retailer. 

FARTHER AFIELD

Salish Lodge & Spa The inspiration for the hotel on "Twin Peaks," Salish Lodge takes full advantage of its naturally beautiful setting, with cedar and stone-accented treatment rooms overlooking iconic Snoqualmie Falls.

The Spa at Willows Lodge in Woodinville is the perfect spot to truly indulge; unwind in the heated courtyard pool prior to a rhythmic Hawaiian lomi-lomi massage and wake up refreshed for a day exploring and tasting at the local wineries.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa Set on the Hood River Canal, with sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains, Alderbrook is only two hours from Seattle, but feels like it's a world away. 

Relax and recharge at these fantastic spots.

8 Great Seattle Date Ideas

Photo by Cassandra Bell, courtesy Machiavelli. Pasta per due at Capitol Hill's Ristorante Machiavelli.

Sharing a new experience together is a fantastic way to bond with the one you love, so break out of your comfort zone while you're visiting Seattle and try something different for date night. We've made a list of some of the best ways to spend time together in the Emerald City. Whether you opt for an out-of-the-box adventure or a classic dinner date, you're sure to create memories you'll treasure long after you leave.

Sing Your Hearts Out

What could be more romantic—and, let’s face it: probably hilarious—than serenading each other with “your” song? At the Japanese-style karaoke bar Rock Box on Capitol Hill, you and your honey can belt out tunes on the public stage near the bar or reserve a private room for a more intimate experience. Boost your confidence with the bar’s signature cocktail, a saké sangria, and feast on charcuterie from next-door Cure, all delivered right to your “box.”

Row With the Flow

Bundle up for bracing water and shove off in a double kayak for an adventure a deux. Located just steps away from the West Seattle water taxi pier, Alki Kayak Tours and Adventure Center offers sea kayak rentals by the hour for experienced paddlers, as well as special guided tours around Elliott Bay at sunset and on full moon nights for those who’d rather explore with a group. Never kayaked before? Two-hour introductory classes are available to help you get on board with this popular Seattle pastime. Dedicated landlubbers may prefer to rent bikes for an easy cruise along Alki Beach instead.

Shuck and Savor

Oysters have a reputation for bringing lovers out of their shells; apparently they’re rich in minerals and amino acids that are known to be natural aphrodisiacs. But science aside, there’s just something undeniably indulgent about sharing a plate of oysters. Combine that with a few drinks and a water view, and you’re in for a special evening. Pike Brewing Company’s recently opened seafood-focused restaurant, Tankard & Tun, is a fantastic place to test the theory. Perched above the brewery and overlooking Elliott Bay, the lively dining room serves fresh, local oysters on the half shell, along with a full menu of small plates and mains and, of course, house-brewed drafts and mixed drinks incorporating Pike’s brews.

Cut a Rug 

Love to dance? Grab your partner and head to Century Ballroom to show off your fancy footwork. Set in an elegant 1908 building that was originally an Odd Fellows lodge, the ballroom hosts dances every night for a range of styles, including swing, tango, bachata and salsa. Don’t worry if your skills are rusty: half-hour intro lessons are available before the dances most nights. After you’ve worked up an appetite, head across the hall to The Tin Table for shareable plates like prosciutto, fig and goat cheese bruschetta, and a glass or two of wine.

Mangia! 

Why is it that we so often associate Italy with romance? Sure, the mellifluous language and gorgeous scenery are part of it, but it’s the Italians’ pursuit of the “la vita bella”—slowing down and enjoying the company of loved ones—that appeals most. It’s no surprise that several of Seattle’s go-to date night restaurants are those where couples can linger over linguine and other Italian cuisine. Toast your amore with a candlelit dinner at Ristorante Machiavelli, a Capitol Hill destination since 1988, or at Pike Place Market’s underground trattoria, Il Bistro. Another tucked-away spot in the Market, The Pink Door, features burlesque and cabaret entertainment while you dine.

Go Above and Beyond 

Share breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience with an aerial tour of Seattle. Board Kenmore Air’s Scenic Seaplane Tour at Lake Union for a 20-minute narrated flight that takes in stately lake- and seaside estates, the University of Washington campus and the city skyline against sparkling Elliott Bay. Atomic Helicopters offers similar tours above the city, as well as a longer flight that soars above Ballard Locks, the Space Needle and Seattle waterfront before heading out to beautiful Snoqualmie Falls.

Raise a Toast 

If flights of wine are more your style, make a beeline for Charles Smith Wines Jet City to swirl, sip and savor samples from Washington state's star winemaker. Housed in a stunningly renovated warehouse across from Boeing Field, you can enjoy Smith's award-winning wines while watching planes take off and land through dramatic double-story windows. On Saturdays, the upstairs bar offers a cozy spot to relax with a glass of your favorite while sharing a cheese and charcuterie plate.

Be Bowled Over 

If yard games are how you roll, Capitol Hill's Rhein Haus is the place for you. The Bavarian-inspired pub features several indoor bocce lanes as well as a patio with other games. In between turns, you and your liebchen can enjoy beers from the impressive draft list along with giant pretzels, schnitzel sliders, brats and other German-style bites.

From romantic restaurants to flights of fancy, our guide guarantees a fantastic evening.

Why Seattle Is Purrfect for Pet Lovers

Cats and capuccinos at Neko on Capitol Hill
(©Suzi Pratt/Neko) Cats and capuccinos at Neko on Capitol Hill.

Although cats are Seattle’s most common four-legged friends, we’re also wild about dogs.

In fact, pups outnumber children in Seattle by almost 50 percent. The “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs” exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) through the end of May 2018 explores the range of roles cats and dogs have played in Seattle, from workers to fur kids. In addition to photos, objects and stories, the family-friendly exhibit also features children’s play areas with pet-themed games, toys and books.

Feline Groovy

A couple of years ago, a tongue-in-cheek poll revealed that Seattle ranked second only to Portland, Oregon, in its population of single women who live alone with a cat—a.k.a. cat ladies. We’re not sure whether that particular data still holds true, but a new business on Capitol Hill is betting there are plenty of feline fanatics around. 

At Neko Cat Cafe, guests can sip coffee, wine or beer and snack on small plates while enjoying cuddles from up to a dozen cats. Best of all, each of the kitties are adoptable, thanks to a partnership with King County's animal services department. Neko's owner, Caitlin Unsell, says she was inspired by the cat cafes she visited while working as a kindergarten teacher in Japan. It’s the latest in a litter of recently opened venues that combine the area’s passions for cats and coffee, including Meowtropolitan in Wallingford, Emerald Kitty Cafe in West Seattle and The Kitty Catfe in Edmonds. Like Neko, each of these cafes features adoptable cats.

Pups and Pints

If you prefer dogs and craft brews to cats and coffee, Seattle has plenty of options. Many local breweries and taprooms—especially those with outdoor enclosures—allow four-legged friends to join in the fun. The Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods are especially good prospects; some of our dog-friendly favorites include Peddler Brewing Company, Fremont Brewing, Reuben's BrewsLagunitas Taproom and Beer Sanctuary and Norm's Eatery and Ale House (named for its founder's golden retriever.) 

Top spots for friends of Fluffy and Fido, from pooch-friendly breweries to cat cafes all over the city

Where to Explore Seattle's Cultural Connections

The historic Chinatown gate
(©Shutterstock) The historic Chinatown gate

Like any city, Seattle is a product of the diverse communities that have called it home. Today, the city's population is skyrocketing with many arriving to work in the growing tech industry—but this isn't the city's first boom. The quest for new opportunities has drawn new inhabitants since the first pioneers arrived on Coast Salish land.

Native American

The city’s Native American heritage is reflected in its very name; Chief Si’ahl—Anglicized as Seattle—was a Suquamish and Duwamish tribal leader who developed close ties with “Doc” Maynard, one of Seattle’s primary founders. Si’ahl's tribes, just two of the dozens that make up the Coast Salish group, the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest.

Today, you can learn more about the Coast Salish at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, situated not far from the 1851 West Seattle landing site of the earliest settlers. It displays art, artifacts and historical photographs, as well as serving as the tribal community center. The Burke Museum  and Seattle Art Museum offer more opportunities to view traditional art and objects, while Stonington Gallery and Steinbrueck Native Gallery feature contemporary works by Native artists, including fine art, textiles and jewelry. Eighth Generation, in Pike Place Market, sells Native-designed items such as blankets in traditional and modern patterns.

Asian

Seattle’s Chinatown-International District goes back to the late 1800s, when Chinese pioneers arrived to work in the new city’s booming lumber and established their own quarter near the waterfront. Soon after, Japanese pioneers arrived and built their own neighborhood immediately north of Chinatown. Over the next century, other Asian peoples—from the Philippines, Korea, Southeast Asia, et al.—arrived as immigrants or refugees and made their homes nearby, bringing their own traditions, arts and cuisine with them.

Today, the district is a living, breathing opportunity to explore the Asian cultures that shaped it, especially during events such as the Lunar New Year celebration (2/11) and Bon Odori, a Japanese summer festival. The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience explores the past, present and future of the district’s diverse communities through traditional and contemporary art exhibits, interactive educational displays and tours that aim to show what life was like for early immigrants to the Northwest.

Nordic

Like many of the city's original Asian immigrants, Nordic newcomers arrived in the late 1800s to work in fishing and logging. Most settled in Ballard, where the fishing, canning and boat-building industries were based, and by 1910 they made up more than 30 percent of Washington's foreignborn population and several years later played a major part in establishing Fisherman's Terminal, where the city's commercial fishing fleet docks. Although Ballard's Nordic Heritage Museum is currently closed (as of January 2018) while its expansive new home is under construction, it is still organizing offsite cultural programming, including plays, musical performances and weekly film screenings.

African American

Although a small population of African Americans also settled in Seattle in the early pioneer days, it was the defense-related industries related to World War II that caused the biggest boom: The number of African Americans living in Seattle almost doubled from 1940 to 1943. A current exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry, "Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith" offers a fascinating glimpse into the the lives of African-Americans in Seattle's Central District in the 1940s and 50s, with a special focus on the thriving jazz scene. For a broader look at the African American experience in the Northwest, from the late 18th century to today, check out the Northwest African American Museum, which also exhibits works by contemporary black artists.

Learn about the diverse cultures that helped shape Seattle.

Seattle's Must-Try Ramen Restaurants

(©Sarah Flotard) Super noodles at Kiki Ramen in South Lake Union.

Nothing is more comforting than soup on a chilly day, and one of this city’s hottest trends in slurping is ramen. Forget those packets of dried noodles from your student days; we’re talking steaming bowls of silky noodles in rich broth with filling proteins, such as tender slices of pork or a soft-boiled egg. It’s still a long way from eclipsing pho as Seattle’s favorite noodle soup, but ramen’s popularity is clear from the number of newly opened restaurants around town.

Capitol Hill is at the heart of the craze with four new spots opening up since summer 2017: Ooink, Tentenyu, Betsutenjin and Ramen Danbo joining the neighborhood’s already-established Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya.

Other notable noodle shops include Arashi Ramen in Ballard, Ramen Man in Wallingford, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s new University Village spot, and star chef Josh Henderson's Kiki Ramen in South Lake Union.

BROTH BASICS
Our handy guide to to deciphering the menus at Seattle's favorite ramen restaurants.

Miso: Thick and rich, this broth is flavored with a savory soybean paste.

Shio: A clear yellow broth, often made from a chicken or fish base, with a salty flavor.

Shoyu: A popular option, typically made by simmering chicken bones with soy sauce and veggies.

Tonkotsu: An opaque, collagen-rich liquid made from pork hock and trotters.

Slurp up the city's hottest food trend.

5 Things to Do in Seattle During the January 2018 Long Weekend

Two trains movie screenshot
(Courtesy of Seattle Repertory Theatre) August Wilson's "Two Trains Running" opens this weekend.

Northern Lights Film Festival: The Nordic Heritage Museum and Seattle International Film Festival (Jan. 11-Jan.14) team up to present four days of contemporary flicks from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Lapland, kicking off with “Borg vs. McEnroe,” starring Shia LaBeouf, on opening night. 

"Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect:" This weekend is your last chance to catch Seattle Art Museum’s wildly successful exhibit of more than a hundred of Wyeth’s paintings and drawings, including both well-known and rarely seen works. The collection of portraits and landscapes spans Wyeth's 75-year career, offering insight to his evolution as an artist. One of the exhibit highlights is bound to be Wyeth's last-ever painting, titled "Goodbye," which until now had only been seen by attendees of the artist's 2009 memorial service. The show closes Monday (Jan. 15); online reservations are highly recommended. 

Shellfish Showcase: Oysters and clams and mussels, oh my! During this annual event (through Jan. 25), some of Seattle's best-loved restaurants, including Elliot's Oyster House, Il Bistro, Skillet and Coastal Kitchen, are showing off what's fresh and local with special shellfish-driven menus. See the full list of participants and check out their menus here

"Two Trains Running:" This drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson (best-known for “Fences”), takes the stage at the Seattle Repertory Theatre just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day ( Jan. 12-Jan. 11). Set in a Pittsburgh diner against the backdrop of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, its themes of racial and economic inequality feel just as relevant today.

Georgetown Art Attack: Head to the quirky little neighborhood of Georgetown for its monthly art crawl (6-9 pm, Saturday, Jan. 13). Highlights include glass-blowing demonstrations at The Rainier Glass Studio; works from emerging comics artists at Fantagraphics; artist Indira Allegra’s performance exhibition exploring the choreography of weaving at The Alice; and a pop-up bazaar of jewelry and fashion from local designers at The Conservatory. Click here for a map of participating venues.

Foreign flicks, shellfish suppers and more!

Seattle's Favorite Independent Movie Theaters

Photo courtesy of Central Cinema.

After a busy day of sightseeing, sometimes all you want to do is kick back and unwind. Luckily, Seattle is home to a number of fantastic independent movie theaters where you can do just that. 

CENTRAL CINEMA Catch cult favorites, old-school Hollywood classics and special sing-along and "hecklevision" screenings at Central Cinema in the Central District. Be sure to save some appetite for more than the usual popcorn and candy: You can order artisan pizzas, juicy burgers and gourmet entrées delivered right to your seat, along with craft cocktails, wine and local beers. After the credits roll, make yourself at home in the cinema's cozy Café Noir for fresh-baked desserts and coffee or a nightcap while you discuss the movie or play a game of Scrabble. 

SIFF CINEMAS Seattle International Film Festival's three theaters (locations in Seattle Center, Lower Queen Anne and Capitol Hill) screen arthouse and classic flicks year-round. siff.net

CINERAMA Retro cool meets cutting-edge tech in this restored mid-century cinema, which features the biggest blockbusters and movie memorabilia. Don't miss the chocolate popcorn. 

THE BIG PICTURE The first West Coast cinema to serve cocktails has been a favorite spot for movies and martinis for 18 years.

 

 

Find the perfect escape with some screen time at one of these gems.

Can't Miss Holiday Productions in Seattle

Pacific Northwest Ballet presents George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker."
Courtesy PNB. Pacific Northwest Ballet presents George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker."

Beloved ballets, festive musicals and even quirky cabaret shows are all hot tickets this time of year.

For some, it just wouldn't be Christmas without seeing Clara twirl her way through the magical Land of Sweets. Don't miss the chance to be dazzled by the Pacific Northwest Ballet's George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker" at McCaw Hall (through 12/28). Little ones will especially love the DIY cupcake bar and costumed characters in the "Nutcracker Suite" during the intermission.

On the other hand, adults might be tempted by "Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker" (12/7-28) a cabaret-style take on the classic tale that packs The Triple Door, a cozy dinner theater near Pike Place Market every year.

For more zany merriment, check in to "Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn" at the 5th Avenue Theatre (through 12/31). This is the West Coast premiere of the recent Broadway hit, which features lavish costumes and sets and 20 Berlin songs.

Don't be a scrooge: Take the whole family to ACT - A Contemporary Theater's production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" (through 12/28) reminder of the true meaning of the season.

Seasonal Shows Take Center Stage

Seattle's Dazzling Holiday Light Displays

(c) Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. WildLights is a perennial favorite.

The Emerald City sparkles during the holidays with twinkling light displays dotted around. From one-night celebrations to monthlong displays, these beloved annual events are not to be missed.

Pathway of Lights One of Seattle’s most-cherished parks, Green Lake, gets into the festive spirit on the evening of 12/9 with hundreds of luminaria marking the way to free musical performances. 

SAM Lights On 12/14, the grounds and pavilion of Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park will be aglow with luminaria and colorful light shows. Enjoy live music and sip hot cocoa as you stroll through. 

WildLights The annual event at Woodland Park Zoo (5:30-8:30 p.m. nightly through 1/1) features creative displays using more than 600,000 LED lights, carousel rides, faux snowball fights and visits with Santa and his reindeer.

Garden d'Lights Enjoy holiday favorites from local caroling groups and other performers as you stroll through a winter wonderland of more than half-a-million lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden (4:30-9 p.m through 12/31).

Argosy Christmas Ship Festival Naturally, one of Seattle's best-loved light displays takes place on the water. A quintessential tradition for almost 70 years, this parade of illuminated and decorated boats makes two stops each night at more than 45 locations along Puget Sound (through 12/23). Crowds gather at the waterfront to await the ship and its onboard choir, which serenades the shore with 20-minute performances. Book a place on the lead Christmas Ship or one of the follow boats for festive extras like singa-longs, a gift shop and holiday-themed drinks. Or, head to a waterfront stop to await the ship by a crackling bonfire.

Five ways to trip the light fantastic this Christmas.

Where to Spot Santa and Other Festive Spectacles in Seattle 2017

Courtesy Pike Place Market Senior Center and Food Bank. The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition.

This Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, head to Westlake Park for a fun, festive and not-so-silent night at the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, when dozens of caroling teams will vie for top honors. The event is free, but donations to Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank are appreciated. 

Old Saint Nick keeps very busy this time of year, Before his big night of present delivery, he makes several stops around the city. Through Christmas Eve you can ooh and ahh over twice-nightly indoor snow shows and tap your toes to live musical performances in the atrium at Pacific Place while you wait for your chance to chat with the jolly old man himself.

You wouldn't want to sit on Santa's lap when he visits the Seattle Aquarium from noon and 3 pm every Saturday, Sunday and Monday through Dec. 24, 2017, as he'll be swimming through on of the giant tanks. After watching the diving Santa stick around for enjoy special holiday concerts.

Santa is for everyone, so celebrate diversity this holiday season. On Saturday, Dec. 2, Asian American Santa will visit the Wing Luke Museum in the Chinatown-International District. Black Santa will be on call for wish lists and photo opps at the Northwest African American Museum on Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10.

Seattle Center buzzes with holiday activity during the monthlong Winterfest. Ongoing attractions include a model train wending its way through a charming wintry village, ice-sculpture carving, Victorian-costumed carolers and an ice skating rink. It wraps up on New Year's Eve with a fireworks display at the Space Needle.

Visit the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle to get the warm fuzzies in the plushest room in town at the Teddy Bear Suite, a room packed with cuddly toy bears, then choose your favorite from the elaborately decorated firs and pines at the hotel's Festival of Trees. 

The annual Gingerbread Village display (through Jan. 1, 2018) at City Center features sugary structures created by the Sheraton Seattle's culinary team and top local architecture firms. The event is free, but donations to the Northwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are appreciated.

Gallery: Santa and Other Festivities in Seattle

Celebrate the season family-friendly holiday activities.

Seattle's Most Stylish Stocking Stuffers

Moorea Seal boutique interior Seattle
(Courtesy Moorea Seal) Moorea Seal's new location in Pioneer Square

Black Friday draws shoppers to department and big box stores in droves, but the following day, Small Business Saturday is a great excuse to get out, visit your favorite local shops (and discover new ones), and find gifts that stand out from the rest. Check out these small wonders for stylish accessories and stocking stuffers. 

Moorea Seal: Seattle-based Moorea Seal is more than a jewelry designer; she's the stylish entrepreneur behind the growing lifestyle brand that carries her name. Seal started making a name for herself as an early pioneer of Pinterest, and it wasn't long before the eye-catching mood boards she created earned her an impressive following. She parlayed her reputation as a tastemaker into a successful online boutique, and later a brick-and-mortar shop. This fall, Seal moved her trove of treasures into new digs in trendy Pioneer Square. In the bright and airy new space, devotees of Seal's style aesthetic can shop for gifts from her own line of jewelry, stationery collection and "52 Lists" journals, as well as handpicked fashion and home accessories from other up-and-coming and established designers. 

Baleen: The simple but beautiful jewelry is designed and created in the studio of this Ballard boutique. 

Sassafras: This Belltown shop stocks clothing, jewelry and accessories exclusively from Pacific Northwest designers.

Nube: Carefully curated U.S.-made jewelry, accessories and home goods line the shelves at this chic Capitol Hill spot.

Division Road: Along with high-quality heritage menswear, this Pioneer Square shop offers a range of small accessories, including English bridle-leather wallets, key lanyards and wrist bands.

Sharply: Find waxed-canvas shaving kit bags, National Parks baseball caps, woodsy-scented beard balms and more hip goodies at this menswear shop on Capitol Hill.

Shop local for special gifts this holiday season.