Through January 22
If after-hours events are your thing, consider adding WildLanterns @Woodland Park Zoo to your list of things to do this week. A memorable holiday event where you can peep animal and naturescape lanterns tucked throughout the grounds. It runs until January 22nd, from 4 to 9 pm, and is a reliable way to brighten up your nights during dark December.
The lantern and light displays include an array of critters from praying mantis to red pandas and even a Sasquatch sighting. While most of the animals will be snoozing, you can visit creatures up close with Ambassador Animals at Critter Connections. There you can meet the likes of Skyaana the NW porcupine, Buddy the pharaoh owl, Harry the striped skunk, and even a Madagascar hissing cockroach— whose name I forgot to get. Sorry.
Since this event is outdoors—rain, shine, or snow—dress warmly. Fire pits are tucked around, like near the carousel, and there are a few free events on select days. For example, on three nights, Zoomazium NightLights is a sensory-friendly experience providing shadowboxes to make shadow puppet scenes, weighted blankets, and fidget toys.
Since this lantern festival brings authentic Chinese lanterns to Seattle, you can also delight in Tianyu Cultural Performances, which feature traditional Chinese artistic performances like folk dances and acrobatics. Tickets on peak days fill up fast, so buy your tickets early online.
Tip: You can bring your own food. So pack the adult sack dinner of your dreams.