Thanksgiving Day is about loosening your belt and having another plate of turkey, stuffing, and gravy while catching up with family and friends.

The days after turkey day are about finding fun things to do together - and I'm not talking about shopping Black Friday sales or sitting home and watching football.

Thanksgiving Weekend is the official start to the Christmas season. And below are 4 Washington State cities/towns that do it right.

Bellevue - Snowflake Lane

Snowflake Lane, Facebook
Snowflake Lane, Facebook

Crowds gather in the (artificial) snow, under the Christmas lights each night along Bellevue Way between Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square for a magical event that could even win over the tiny little heart of the Grinch.

Running from November 24 through December 24, starting at 7pm, Snowflake Lane is a nightly parade of Toy Soldiers, singers, floats and - of course - Santa Claus (I know him)!

The spectacle is one of the bigger, more expensive holiday traditions to survive the pandemic. It's FREE to you of course, and it's something you should experience at least once.

Olympia - Downtown for the Holidays 

Olympia Downtown Alliance, Facebook
Olympia Downtown Alliance, Facebook

Downtown for the Holidays in Olympia is holiday lights, art installations, and Nutcracker themed photo ops like a Gingerbread house. There's also Twinklefest, where you can vote on your favorite businesses holiday displays (out of 50+).

The LoveOly Holiday Edition, Shop & Dine Promotion is available again this year. You can download the passport (starting on November 24) at, or pick one up at a participating shop or restaurant. Every purchase you make above $10 will earn you a passport sticker - and five stickers earn you a special LoveOly branded gift, which includes coolers, collapible lanterns, and more.

Runs November 24th - December 24th. Complimentary Downtown parking will be available from December 12th through December 24th.

Toppenish - Christmas Lighted Parade

Toppenish Royalty, Facebook
Toppenish Royalty, Facebook

You've gotta' love a community parade, and they're all the better at night, when holiday lights can blink, glow, and transport you someplace magical.

The Toppenish Lighted Christmas Parade happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving at 6pm, and it's just the start of holiday events around Yakima. Toppenish also offers a Toy Train Christmas event that starts the Thanksgiving weekend, too.

Winthrop - Christmas at the End of the Road

Winthrop Washington, Facebook
Winthrop Washington, Facebook

Christmas at the End of the Road is about as charming as it gets. Kids - and you - can skate with Santa at Winthrop Rink on the Friday after Thanksgiving between 5:30pm and 7:30pm. During Saturday afternoon you can take your kids to Children's Winter Fest, take horse-drawn carriage rides, and get photos with Santa.

The "town lighting" is at 5pm, followed by choir and caroling, and finally a fireworks show starting at 6 p.m.

Article Originally by Dan Roberts

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