Neighborhood Kids family fun in bellingham & whatcom county


Holiday Photo Opportunities Around Bellingham

Based on your family’s traditions, your winter plans might include a visit to Santa Claus. Kids, of course, are anxious to relay the contents of their Christmas list to jolly, old St. Nick. Mom and Dad, however, might be more interested in getting a photo of the kids, decked out in Christmas sweaters, for the grandparents. If you’re looking for something a little outside the “traditional” Santa photo this year, check out some of the unique holiday photo opportunities taking place around Whatcom County this year.

Photos with Santa
Are you planning to take in all the festive sights during the Holiday Art Walk on Friday, December 5th? Then consider heading over to the Bellingham Public Market between 5 and 8 PM for a fun photo session with Santa, courtesy Phil Rose Photography. You can enjoy live music and free refreshments while you wait! Cost is $10 for two 5×7 prints.

Sinterklaas in Lynden Photo courtesy Lynden Chamber of Commerce

Lynden Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome Sinterklaas to town once again to usher in the start of the holiday season on Saturday, December 6, at 1 PM. Sinterklaas is the Dutch inspiration for the North American version of Santa Claus, and he rides into town each year with Lynden’s Youth Klompen Dancers. The procession on Front Street ends at the Lynden Community Center for an afternoon of dancing, storytelling, music, and visits with Sinterklaas himself (parents should bring their own camera to snap a shot of the kids during their visit). Stick around for the Lighted Christmas Parade through town later that evening.

Grin with the Grinch
If your kids look forward to watching the 1966 television special, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” each year, head to Fairhaven for a special holiday photo with the classic Dr. Seuss character in his holiday sleigh. Photographer Tim Chandonnet will take family photos (pets welcome too!) and provide a CD for your personal printing needs for $10. Photo opportunities take place in the Waldron Building basement on December 6, 13, and 20 from noon to 4 PM.

Fairhaven Girls’ School Holiday Photos
Perhaps your family doesn’t observe Christmas or include Santa Claus in your celebrations, but you’d still like a family photo to commemorate the end of the year. You’re in luck! Fairhaven Girls’ School is offering a special Holiday Photo Studio Event as a fundraiser for the school’s scholarship program. They’ll have a winter-themed display for the sitting and offer a relaxed atmosphere that’s hard to find at the mall during this hectic time of year. Along with a professional photo session, you’ll get to take home a CD with your choice of your copyright-free, printable, digital photographs ready for home printing. Cost is $30 for a CD and one printed image. Photo sessions take place on December 14, 15, 20, and 21. Please call (360) 393-3263 to schedule an appointment.

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Holiday Markets and Bazaars in Bellingham

Planning to do some holiday shopping on “Black Friday” this year? If possible, try to support local businesses when buying gifts, and be sure to check out some of the wonderful holiday markets and bazaars taking place around Bellingham over the next few weeks. Proceeds from many of these events also support local organizations, so find the details below and start shopping!

Northwest Gifts Holiday Store
4131 Guide Meridian
(360) 303-5795

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 AM to 9 PM, and Sundays, 10 AM to 9 PM; closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

Local food producers and artists have joined forces to offer a truly unique gift store this holiday season. Located in the entry area of the Cordata Cost Cutter, Northwest Gifts is a one-stop shopping venue for local gourmet foods, entertaining ideas, and unique gifts. And this store is open every day in December (except Christmas), so it’s a perfect choice for your very last-minute shopping needs.

Allied Arts’ Holiday Festival of the Arts
Location Pending
(360) 676-8548

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, November 21 – December 21, 10 AM to 7 PM; additional hours offered December 22-24

Now in its 29th year, Allied Arts of Whatcom County invites shoppers to find handcrafted gifts made by over 100 local artists at the Holiday Festival of the Arts. You can enjoy music by local musicians while you shop, and kids will love the art workshops, courtesy the Allied Arts Education Project, on the weekends. Santa will also be making regular appearance, so don’t miss out!

Pacific Arts Holiday Market
2416 Meridian Street
(360) 738-6442

Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sundays, November 28 – December 21, 10 AM to 6 PM

The PAHM has been expanded to four weekends this year, and has a new location (former location of Fountain Drug and Galleria on Meridian). As always, this market will feature a variety of handmade craft goods, from pottery to soap. You can also participate in a silent auction.

Bid Local First Auction
(360) 647-7093

Hours: Online bidding opens December 1 at 5 AM and closes December 14 at 5 PM

Not interested in fighting the shopping crowds? Starting on December 1st, you can log on to Sustainable Connections for an online auction, featuring special goods and services donated from local businesses. You can bid on one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones while helping to keep great programs, like Food to Bank On, running in Whatcom County.

TA DA! Bazaar
142 Ohio Street
(360) 305-6690

Hours: Friday, December 5, 6-11 PM

While exploring the many examples of affordable art available for purchase, you’ll also get to see a free show of music, aerial acrobatics, puppetry, and more at the Dream Science Theatre. Funds raised at this evening event will help cover costs for rehearsal and performance space for the Bellingham Circus Guild and a silent auction will benefit Womencare Shelter, Whatcom County’s only confidential emergency shelter for women and children.

The Children’s Shop
2214 Electric Avenue
(360) 778-7000

Hours: Saturday, December 6, 10 AM to 3 PM

Kids have holiday shopping to do too! Bellingham Parks and Recreation offers a special holiday shop at the Bloedel Donovan Multipurpose Room just for kids, with items priced $8 and under. Parents are welcome to help kids shop or to wait in the concession area, so holiday presents for mom and dad will be a surprise. Admission is free!

FGS Holiday Bazaar
1830 Cornwall Avenue
(360) 393-3263

Hours: Saturday, December 6, 10 AM to 4 PM, and Sunday, December 7, Noon to 4 PM

You can buy holiday gifts from entrepreneurs and artists of all ages at Fairhaven Girls’ School Holiday Bazaar. A percentage of sales will help support the FGS Scholarship Programs, as well as another community non-profit organization.

Check out Activities for other great holiday events in Bellingham and Whatcom County this season.

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Give Thanks for Holiday Books

This week, kids enjoy a few days off from school, getting to see grandparents and other relatives, and feasting on a delicious meal. In honor of this holiday, check out some of these books for elementary-age readers that celebrate Thanksgiving and other fall festivities. Just be forewarned that Bellingham Public Libraries and Whatcom County Libraries will be closed on November 27 & 28 this year; librarians need to spend some time with their families too, you know.

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving
Reading level: Ages 8-12

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

Published in 2001 by the National Geographic Society, this non-fiction book by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac uses illustrations and photographs to help children understand the historical truths surrounding the original Thanksgiving. The text provides background on the early relationship between English settlers and the Native people. The book also discusses how historical facts about the first Thanksgiving evolved into the myths that formed the basis for the holiday we observe it today.

Reading level: Ages 4-10

"Autumnblings" at Village Books

A collection of short poems and watercolor paintings by Douglas Florian, this book covers a variety of topics that come to mind during the fall season, from the end of baseball to Halloween and Thanksgiving to the first fall frost. Florian uses lots of puns and plays on words (“tree-son,” “industree”), so make sure that kids who are just learning to read don’t get confused from some of the spellings. This is an excellent book to use in an elementary poetry unit or to help inspire budding poets that want to flex their literary muscles.

How Many Days to America?
Reading level: Ages 4-8

"How Many Days to America?" at Village Books

First published in 1990, Eve Bunting’s book can help children understand that Thanksgiving is a good time to remember our many freedoms in America. Told from the point of view of an unnamed boy, the story follows his family as they leave behind all their possessions and they flee their home in the Caribbean for America. The story creates a connection between the first Pilgrims and current immigrants while also reminding American kids of all they have to be thankful for in our country.

Thanks for Thanksgiving
Reading level: Ages 4-8

"Thanks for Thanksgiving" at Village Books

Author Julie Markes and illustrator Doris Barrette provide an easy to read text with plenty of bright illustrations to engage early readers. The message of the book reminds children to be thankful for all the things we have in life, big and small, especially time together as a family. For a fun after-dinner activity, read the book and come up with a list as a family of all the things—no matter how insignificant they may seem—that you are thankful for.

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
Reading level: Ages 4-8

"Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving" at Village Books

For a lighthearted look at the holiday, author and illustrator Dav Pilkey mimics the style of Clement Moore’s classic Christmas poem to tell the story of a field trip to a turkey farm. It’s a whimsical story, but kids might not get all the jokes, like an homage to artists Vincent Van Gogh and Grant Wood. Be forewarned that the story ends with a vegetarian Thanksgiving, so kids might be reluctant to eat the big day’s main course after reading this book.

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