Enjoy the magic of miniatures at the 25th Annual Model Train Festival and other fun activities.

What happens on December 17-23

Like gingerbread houses and snowmen, model trains are an integral part of many traditional holiday scenes, and you can experience the magical world of miniature train models on 25th Annual Model Train Festival at Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.

“We have model trains on every floor of the museum of all sizes and scales,” said Jennifer Kilmer, director of the Washington State Historical Society.

An event is a great way to experience the festive atmosphere of playing with trains; “There is some association with the holidays that really makes the event special,” she said.

Visitors will find seven detailed train models and miniature landscapes of western Washington around the museum. Now in its 25th year of existence “[visitors] to know what they are going to see and experience, so it becomes a tradition for them, ”said Kilmer.

The Model Train Festival is an annual event that has brought families to the Washington State Historical Museum for 25 years.  (Courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society)

“We also have several groups that have been with us for a very long time, such as the Kitsap Live Steamers and the Boeing Model Train Engineers and of course the Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers, who maintain a permanent layout at the State Historical Museum. We owe the creation of the festival to them, because it was originally their idea, ”she said.

In addition to viewing train models, visitors can also take advantage of several photo opportunities. Santa used to be a guest at the festival, but this year, due to COVID-19, two unique selfie opportunities will take his place. The station background with an old-fashioned mailbox invites children to send letters to Santa. There will also be a green screen that will transport guests to a historical photograph or a giant snow globe.

“I think this is just a great meeting place for families and people of all ages. I see little tiny kids who love trains, and then I see grandparents who remember the train they had when they were little – so I think it’s just a great connection point. Even if you’re not into model trains, the railroad runs right here, next to the museum, so there is a link to the history of Washington State and the state railways, “Kilmer said.

The Model Train Festival (1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma) runs from December 17 to January. 2. Additional information and security measures for COVID-19 can be found at:

What else is going on

Here are some more events taking place December 17-23 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, please fill out the form at the bottom of the message. Please check the event websites for more information including COVID-19 requirements.

Winter Paint and Sip (Acrylic) – December 18.

The King County Library System presents a virtual step-by-step acrylic painting workshop at 1:30 pm. Grab a drink and bring back acrylic paints, brushes, mixed media paper, scotch tape, a cup of water to wash your brushes, and a pencil or pen. … For children aged 18 and over. Register online; is free.

Festive cocktail class “Make Spirits Bright” – December 18

Join Raymond Stensel of Diageo Hospitality for festive sips and light snacks at 4-6pm. Start your class with welcome Don Julio and an eggnoggle and sherry cocktail, then make Johnnie Walker festive penicillin or zero-defense seedling mix. Round off the night with warming Tanqueray tea. Buying tickets online (only 21+); 55 dollars. 99 Union St., Seattle; 206-749-7000;

Solstice Bonsai – December 18

At the Pacific Bonsai Museum, take a quiet walk through the forest to explore the bonsai, illuminated by soft light (and your lanterns) from 4pm to 7pm. Free with suggested donation up to $ 10. 2515 S. 336th Street, Federal Way; 253-353-7345;

American Christmas Benefit Concert and Reception – December 18

Enjoy this benefit concert and reception with live early American music from New England, Appalachian and Tradition Shaker at 7:00 pm Music Tradition Melodies, Simple Shaker Melodies and “primitive” New England style take the audience on a journey of discovery of holiday food. from a variety of traditions that together create America’s musical heritage. Buying tickets online; 20-30 dollars. 363 Mercer St., Seattle; 206-919-2471;

Seattle SantaCon 2021 – Dec 18

Join thousands of other Santa Clauses on Seattle’s second weekend of SantaCon, the annual mass gathering of people dressed in Santa Claus costumes parading the streets and bars of Seattle (and other cities around the world). Buying tickets online; 5-30 dollars. Location varies;

Virtual Black Santa – December 18-19.

The Northwest African American Museum features a virtual visit with Black Santa in NAAM’s Winter Wonderland from 9 am to 5 pm on December 18 and from December 14 to 18 on December 19. After one-on-one communication with Santa, participants will be directed to a virtual photo booth for a souvenir photo. Register online; $ 20 / family.

Kwanzaa Market in Wa Na Wari – December 18-19.

Join Wa Na Wari on the weekend at Kwanzaa Market from noon to 5:00 pm. Clothes, books, art, beads, tea, plants and more can be bought from local vendors. A free photo booth will also be on site. Is free. 911 24th Avenue, Seattle; 206-485-7563;

Molly Hashimoto’s Popup – December 18-19.

The Seward Park Audubon Center hosts a pop-up window with framed and unframed prints, books and Molly Hashimoto’s greeting cards for two days. Hashimoto’s block prints and watercolors glorify nature and highlight the animals and landscapes of the West. There will also be a live demonstration of the oil-based block printing technique from 13:00 to 19 December. Is free. 5902 Lake Washington Boulevard S., Seattle; 206-652-2444;

Celebratory Cookie Seminar – December 19

Puget Consumers Co-op presents family baked goods along with cocoa kiss biscuits, grandma’s raspberry jam biscuits, Russian tea cakes and lemon sprinkled biscuits from 11:00 to 13:30. Register online; 80 dollars. 22621 Bothell Everett Highway, Bothell; 206-545-7112;

Letters to Santa Claus and holiday tea – December 19th.

Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Christmas with seasonal tea and a visit from Santa at noon and 2:00 pm. During the tea party, stationery will be cut off so the children can write letters to Santa and deliver them to Saint Nick himself. The menu has a selection of teas, rolls, sandwiches and more. Buying tickets online; 65 dollars. 900 Madison Street, Seattle; 206-622-6400;

“Festival of Lessons and Hymns” – December 21-22.

Northwest Boyhor celebrates its 43rd annual Lesson and Hymn Festival at 7:30 pm. This series of celebratory concerts showcases a combined 65-member choir of 65 members, Northwest Boykhor performers and vocal point. Buying tickets online; 10-50 dollars. 1111 Harvard Avenue, Seattle (December 21) and 1119 Eighth Avenue, Seattle (December 22); 206-524-3234;


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