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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Dance ’til Dusk and then enjoy an outdoor movie – for FREE

 Join your neighbors, Seattle Parks and Recreation and Dance for Joy instructors as we celebrate the last Dancing ‘til Dusk and the final outdoor movie of the year in Occidental Square, at the intersection of Occidental Square S and S Main Street, on Thursday, Sept. 3, beginning at 6 p.m.

Each Dancing ‘til Dusk session begins with a free dance lesson from 6 – 7 p.m. in the dance style chosen for that evening. Lessons start at a rudimentary level and build in complexity over the hour. Be on time to get the most out of the lesson. No experience is necessary, nor is a partner required for the lesson.

No security clearances are required to enjoy the melodic tunes of KGB as they play waltz, swing, foxtrot, polka and more. With fiddle, mandolin, guitar and piano, KGB creates subversive music lulling the unwary with traditional New England contra dance tunes, then jumping off into Balkan modalities, tango riffs and bluesy jigs. KGB’s extraordinary waltzes captivate dancers song after song, each melody more delightful or exquisite than the last.

This is the last, but not at all the least of the bands to play for the season. This event will send you away fully satisfied as the last of the summer dances.

It’s another Ball Blanc so wear white – be it a tee-shirt or tuxedo.
6 – 7 p.m. Waltz lesson with Lilli Ann Carey and Jamie Shamseldin

As a special treat on this evening, the dance will be followed by an outdoor presentation of “Shall We Dance,” the RKO movie production with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Bring a blanket or chair to sit on and a jacket or that special someone to keep you warm.