Join the holiday cheer at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

There’s plenty of holiday cheer happening in Volunteer Park and at the Volunteer Park Conservatory between now and the end of 2012, brought to you by Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Friends of the Conservatory and the Volunteer Park Trust.

Today from 6 – 8 p.m., there will be a special Holiday in Volunteer Park event where guests can enjoy carols and music performed by nine choral groups, complimentary holiday treats and drinks, and a stunning display of more than 300 holiday lights and luminaria.

The event takes place at Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E, on the concourse between the water tower and the Conservatory.

Guests should also visit the Conservatory where the main attraction is a 75-foot, elevated model railway that winds its way through mountains of poinsettias and holiday trees decorated in splendid Victorian décor. Docent “engineers” are scheduled throughout the month to assist children of all ages to run the train.

This special event is sponsored by MTH, one of the largest manufacturers of toy trains in the world, and features standard gauge replicas of Lionel’s tinplate trains from the 1920s and 30s. The trains on display at the Conservatory are the largest tinplate toy trains ever produced.

Enter to win an authentic Lionel vintage replica train set with a retail value of $500. The No. 269E O Gauge Freight Train was cataloged in 1935. Reintroduced for 2006, this classic tinplate train set features a locomotive and tender, an oil tank car with the popular Sunoco logo, a dump car with tilting bin, and a caboose. You can see the train on display and purchase tickets at the Gift Shop.

Tickets are one for $10 or six for $50. The drawing is Friday, December 21 at 3 p.m. at the Conservatory. Entrants need not be present to win. For more information about the train, please click here.

Harpist Bill McJohn entertains again this year with his harp. He will be at Seasonal House 3 in the Conservatory from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sundays through Christmas, December 16 and December 23.

The Conservatory display was produced entirely with donated time and materials. Hundreds of volunteer hours went into creating this fabulous display, complete with a miniature village and representation of the Alki Lighthouse. Please see our website for details:

The display will remain open through January. The Conservatory will be open to the public two special Mondays, December 24 and December 31. The Conservatory’s Holiday Display and lights will remain until January 1.

For more information, please call the Conservatory at 206-684-4745 Tuesday through Sunday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please call to confirm holiday closures.

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Green Lake Pathway of Lights to be held on Dec. 8

        Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Green Lake Community Center Advisory Council with the help of our community partners, Green Lake Masonic Lodge #149 and Green Lake Windermere Real Estate help continue a Seattle tradition with the 36th annual Pathway of Lights. This year’s event will take place from 5 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, 2012 rain or shine – the second Saturday of December every year. It is free and open to the public.


Join thousands of families, friends, and neighbors in this beloved Seattle tradition and travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lights and candles to add to the ambiance.


Local musicians will perform at four sites around the lake:

  • The Green Lake Community Center on the east side
  • The Green Lake Small Craft Center (the Aqua Theater) on the south side
  • The Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theatre) on the north side
  • The Arch on the east of side of the community center/pool (Sponsored by Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center)

Warm drinks and treats will be available at those locations, as will donation bins for nonperishable food items for local food banks.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria, and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate. Setup takes place from 3:30 – 5 p.m., and the lighting of the candles takes place at 5 p.m. Cleanup is from 8 – 9 p.m.

Become a fan of the Pathway: and find out where your favorite music group will perform.

For more information, please contact Jeff Skinner at 206-684-0780 or by e-mail at

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Family Programs at Camp Long

Camp Long, located at 5200 35th Avenue SW, is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. Located in West Seattle, this 68-acre park offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy nature, hike in the forest, camp overnight in rustic cabins, rock climb, and learn about natural history. 

Programs at Camp Long feature fun and numerous opportunities to discover what you can do to help the planet. For more information go to:  

Delridge WALKS – Exploring our Community on Foot

Saturday, June 5, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Begins at Camp Long at 9 a.m.


Camp Long will participate in “Delridge WALKS” as part of the reFRESH Southwest event at Delridge Community Center on June 5 by leading a walk through the neighborhood. Join Naturalist Gretchen Graber as she takes you on a walk through your community. Learn little known facts about your neighborhood and be entered to win one or more of dozens of prizes. Other “Delridge WALKS” events will depart from South Seattle Community College, Delridge Neighborhood Service Center and Highland Park Improvement Club. Additional cash prizes will be awarded for “Delridge WALKS” participants who enter to win the photo contest. To join a walk, or for more info, email or call (206) 652-2310.  

Nature Programs for all ages 

Camp Long Owl Hoot

Saturday, June 19, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Ages 5 and older

Join us for a dusk-to-dark owl prowl through Camp Long’s woodland. Might we encounter baby owls? Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight.  Please register by June 18 by calling (206) 684-7434.

Activity Fee: Adult $8 / Child $6    

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Full Moon Celebration!

Saturday, June 26,   8:30-10:30 p.m.

Ages 5 and older

 Watch as the moon ascends above the Cascade Mountains in the east to reveal her beauty to the not quite dark, night sky. As the sun sets in the west behind the Olympic Mountains the light will linger long enough to taint the moon’s glow.   Please register by June 25 by calling 206-684-7434.

Activity Fee: Adult $8 / Child $6

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 Salamander Search

Saturday, June 12, 2-3:30 p.m.

Ages 1 and older

 Search under logs, in the pond and the woods for all the cool varieties of salamanders that call Camp Long home. Long-toed, Northwestern, Red-backed and Ensatina are all possible to see if you have good Salamander searching eyes!  Please register by June 11 by calling (206) 684-7434. Instructor: Stewart Wechsler

Activity Fee: Adult $8 / Child $6

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 Beach Day!

Saturday, June 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Ages 4 and older

 Beach life is revealed during minus tides. Give yourself a chance to sea the diversity of life forms that the ocean has created over millions of years. Bring a healthy lunch to munch after exploring.   Please register by June 11 by calling (206) 684-7434. Location: Me-Kwa-Mooks Park -3.4 tide

Activity Fee: Adult $8 / Child $6

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 Beaver Life on Longfellow Creek

Saturday, June 19, 8-9:30 p.m.

Ages 1 and older

 Did you realize we have beaver living in our own backyards? Yup, they are doing their beaver thing on Longfellow Creek. After many years’ absence they have returned to fill their role in nature. Come and learn how beavers actually improve the habitat that they live in, naturally.  Please register by June 18 by calling (206) 684-7434. Location: Longfellow Creek at the trailhead of Juneau and 25th Ave SW

Activity Fee: Adult $8 / Child $6

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 Preschool/Tot Programs

Ages 2-3 w/adult

Adults, explore the wonders of nature with your 2-to-3-year-old tots. Discover life in the pond, forest, and field. Make new friends. Please arrive 10 minutes before class time and wear weatherproof clothing. Up to two children can be registered with one adult. No strollers please. Activity Fee: $7 for child/adult and $3.50 for each additional person.

 Wings and Things

Tuesday, June 8, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Please register by June 6 by calling (206) 684-7434.

 Tide Pool Treasures

Meet at Me-Kwa-Mooks

Tuesday, June 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Please register by June 14 by calling (206) 684-7434.

 Animal Daddies!

Sunday, June 20, 1-2 p.m.

Please register by June 19 by calling (206) 684-7434.

 Volunteer Opportunities

 Camp Long Third Saturday Work Parties

Ages 8 and older

Begin a family tradition at Camp Long by restoring native habitat in the park. Spring is a perfect time for restoration and cleanup. Make new friends while preserving the future for yourselves, your children, the animals and the native plants. Reserve your place by calling (206) 684-7434 or (206) 423-0762

 Construct a Brush and Rock Habitat Pile

Saturday, June 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Create a nice condo for many of our native animals: garter snakes, salamanders, ground-nesting birds and butterflies. Later, come back to visit the creatures that take up residence. This plan can be adapted to any backyard space.

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