The Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation offers a busy holiday lineup with a wide range of activities.
Festivities kick off on Saturday, Dec. 7, with Cookies with Mrs. Claus and the annual Santa Parade on Main Street beginning at 4:30 p.m. Following the parade, the annual tree lighting ceremony will be staged on the plaza at Auburn City Hall, 25 W. Main St.
For those who want to join in the parade, report to the lineup area at E Street Northeast and Main Street at 4 p.m. Registration is required and participants are asked to review the parade rules and regulations, available at auburnwa.gov/events. New this year, floats, vehicles and walking units will be accepted into the parade. All entries must be completely lighted.
Prior to the parade, families can enjoy the new Cookies with Mrs. Claus activity from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Washington Elementary, 20 E St. NE. Mrs. Claus will stop by before the Santa Parade for a special afternoon of holiday cheer. Bring the little ones by for stories read by Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, hot cocoa and Christmas crafts.
Activities include cookie decorating, story time, crafts and holiday face-painting. Adults are free. The child pre-registration entry fee is $8 for residents, $10 for non-residents. Day-of-registration entry fee is $12 for children only. It is recommended to pre-register prior to attending so staff can be properly prepared.
The Gingerbread House Contest returns to the Auburn Community & Event Center. It is free and open to the public. Any structures, real or imaginary – houses, igloos, spaceships, etc. – will be accepted. The event is free and open to all groups and individuals. Eight child-category entries and 10 adult-category entries will be on display at noon until Dec. 16. Stop by and vote for your favorite display. Winners will be announced and awarded on Dec. 16.
Music and other things
The popular Red, White & Blue Holiday Concert returns at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 at the Performing Art Center, 702 Fourth St. NE. The 133rd Washington Army National Guard will perform holiday classics. Tickets are free with a suggested food donation and can be picked up in advance at the Parks, Arts & Rec Office, 910 Ninth St. SE.
If parents are looking for some “kid-free” time for a night out, or to do some last-minute shopping, send them to the holiday-inspired Parents’ Night Out at the Les Gove Gym on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 5 to 10 p.m. It includes games, crafts, a bouncy house, dinner and more kid-approved fun.
The Auburn Ave Theater will be bustling for the holidays, with music for all ages. The Auburn Community Players will perform “The Five Ghosts of Ebenezer Scrooge,” a twist on the traditional story. Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21, with 2 o’clock matinees on Dec. 14, 15, 21 and 22. Tickets are available at the parks office, online at auburnwa.gov/arts or at the box office one hour prior to the show.
Stop by the White River Valley Museum, 918 H St. SE, Auburn, on Dec. 5, from noon to 4 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m. for a Holiday Super Duper Late Play Date. The free program – for kids 3-12 – features holiday-themed crafts and activities.
Late Play Date is a drop-in program and no registration is required. For more information, please contact the museum at 253-288-7433 or wrvmuseum.org.
Catch the spirit of the season with The Festival of Trees: A Celebration of Community and Culture at the museum. Each tree is decorated by regional ethnic heritage groups with ornaments and décor that represent their cultural traditions. The exhibit runs throughout December and ends Jan. 5.
From ball gowns to tea dresses to prom wear, see party dresses through the decades from Seattle Children’s Vintage Fashion Collection at the museum at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11. Cost is $20 per person and includes light refreshments. Registration required at wrvmuseum.org
For more information on Auburn’s holiday events, contact the Parks, Arts & Rec at 253-931-3043 or visit auburnwa.gov/events.