Celebrate the holiday season — Seaside-style! That means escaping the frenetic holiday bustle and slowing down to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the season: twinkly lights, laughing children and fresh-baked gingerbread cookies, all set along Seaside’s time-tested stretch of coastal (and holiday shopping) bliss. Plan your family’s holiday getaway around these Seaside traditions.
Ring in the season
Seaside’s holiday season officially kicks off with its annual Parade of Lights, held the Friday evening after Thanksgiving. The parade begins at Necanicum Drive at 1st Avenue, then turns onto Broadway, concluding at the pocket park near the Carousel Mall. That’s where the “musical dancing tree” will be illuminated. Grab some free hot cocoa and a cookie, and stick around to chat with Santa.
Shop and sip
If you’re looking for Pacific Northwest gifts, head to the two-day Seaside Artisan Fair. Held at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center, this annual event showcases original and handcrafted works from 80 regional artists as well as craft beverages. The fair kicks off the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through Saturday. Santa visits both days. Afterward, don’t forget to visit the many shops along Broadway where you’ll find all sorts of one-of-a-kind, I-think-they’ll-actually-love-that gifts!
Settle in for tea time
It’s a holiday tradition that draws locals and visitors year after year: Gingerbread Tea at Butterfield Cottage, hosted by the Seaside Historical Society Museum. It’s a chance to see the shingle-clad Victorian Butterfield Cottage (570 Necanicum) dressed in all her Christmas trimmings. The cottage was once owned by Horace Seely Butterfield, a prominent Portland jeweler, and later given to the Society. Starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving and running four consecutive Saturdays, come for tea, hot chocolate or spiced cider served with homemade gingerbread cake and whipped cream, made by the museum’s “grandmothers.” Children will enjoy the old-fashioned gingerbread cookies. This tea party even comes with live musical entertainment. No reservations needed; tickets cost $5 each.
Stroll a forest of festive trees
The public is welcome to attend the Safeway Providence Festival of Trees at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center in early December. See stunning Christmas trees decorated by local businesses, designers, florists and talented residents that are then auctioned off. Who knows, one of these festive trees may find its way home with you! The open house is free, but you can purchase tickets to the gala dinner that follows. Proceeds benefit expansion of the emergency department at Providence Seaside Hospital.
Search for tree trimmers and stocking stuffers
Head to Tipton’s Decor (319 Broadway) in downtown Seaside where it’s Christmas year-round. You’ll find Old World ornaments, whimsical holiday decorations, seasonal scented candles and unique gifts. Then head to one of Seaside’s candy stores for the kids’ stocking stuffers: Seaside Candyman (21 North Columbia), Phillips Candies (217 Broadway), Rascals (300 Broadway) and Schwietert’s Cones & Candy (406 Broadway).