Sunday, November 6, 2011

Holidays and Supervised Visits - Exchanges

It is hard to believe the Holiday Season is almost upon us, but all you have to do is watch two minutes of TV commercials to know it's here! With that in mind, here are a few tips and reminders if you plan to have a supervised visit or exchange during these busy months.

First and foremost, we do book up early around the holidays, so please reserve your time now.

Second, there is a real abundance of great, child friendly activities in Western Washington during the holiday season... even better, most of them are free or very low cost. We urge our clients to take advantage of these opportunities to build some positive memories during visitation.  Below you will find a list of some of our favorite activities to engage in during supervised visitation.

Hoilday Parade - The Friday after Thanksgiving (11/25), the annual Macy's Day Parade in downtown Seattle is one of the most kid friendly parades around.  One great viewing spot is in front of the Grand Hyatt hotel as the parade assembles here and there is a nice large overhang to cover you in the event of rain!

Bellevue Botanical Garden - Garden D'Lights - an amazing use of lights that create garden scenes, animals, and other objects that children absolutely love.  Dress warmly and buy tickets in advance on-line to save time. Tickets used to be free... they aren't anymore, but they are very reasonably priced and this is a gorgeous spectacle that impresses every age group.

Christmas Ships - all around Lake Washington. Consult the schedule but these wonderfully decorated boats have choirs that belt out holiday music while you enjoy the show from the shore... both on the Seattle side and the East Side.  Some locations have bon fires to keep you warm.

Winterfest 2011 - Seattle Center - Holiday train display.  If you have a child who loves trains, this is the place to go! The down side is that lines can be long for those interested in controlling the train from the engineers booth.  The good news is it is all free!

Downtown Seattle - Be sure to hit the (free) Teddy Bear Suite and lobby display of festively decorated Christmas Trees at the Fairmont Hotel - a wonderful place for young children.  Go a couple blocks north and visit the (also free) incredible Gingerbread House display in the Sheraton's Lobby.  These are professionally designed gingerbread houses that kids love to see.  Depending on the weather and the lines, the annual Holiday Carousel at Westlake Park provides for a wonderful experience.

Downtown Bellevue - If the weather is cooperating, be sure to visit Bellevue Way which at this time of year is also known as Snowflake Lane. Soon after Thanksgiving, this is where it "snows" every night (7pm) and live drummer boys perform.  It is a wonderful sight, and if it is raining, the sky bridge that connects Bellevue Square to Lincoln Center is the perfect viewing spot.  If ice skating is your thing, there is also an outdoor rink set up with skate rentals available.  Weekends can be very crowded.

No matter where you go and what you do, the holidays are an important time to be with your children.  We do suggest booking your visit early.