The Griswolds

Holiday time is family time. And if you’ve learned anything from the patron saint of family getaways, Clark Griswold, you can’t force fun. You’ve got to let it happen naturally. But you can certainly create the right conditions for family fun to flourish.

First, you’ll need a core activity. MOBIUS DISCOVERY CENTER is a reliable treat anytime of the year. Kids of all ages can safely experiment with electricity or sound and even make their own bottle rockets. Or grab some tickets to MINECRAFT AT THE MAC (ends Dec. 31) will let you and the fam step into the offbeat blocky world that has made it one of the most popular video games of all time. The exhibition features life-sized versions of the game’s most iconic “mobs,” and there are stations where you can build and explore together in-game.

NORTHWEST WINTERFEST at the Spokane Fair & Expo Center offers more opportunities for indoor exploration all through December. This self-guided walking tour takes you past dozens of massive lighted lanterns. These lanterns can be Chinese dragons, famous animated characters, floral displays and more. There are even illuminated Santas. Of course, right up until Christmas Eve, you can see SANTA AT RIVER PARK SQUARE to chat with Kris Kringle in person and share what’s on your wish list.

Aside from entertainment, the key to family contentment is keeping everyone fed. If a visit to Santa was your most recent stop, then you’re in luck because MAC DADDY’S is also in River Park Square. As the name suggests, their specialty is the beloved classic comfort food in all its forms — topped with bacon, buffalo chicken and even lobster.

Once the kids are fed, take them for some Christmas shopping at WHIZ KIDS, just upstairs, so you can drop in and browse aisle after aisle of puzzles, games, books, activity sets and other “edutaining” toys that make it a delight to learn.

Not far away in Kendall Yards you’ll find FRENCH TOAST, with a fun selection of boutique toys, such as hand-knitted animals from cuddle+kind or playsets made from sustainably sourced wood. Just a few doors down, you can wind up your night out with a treat of ice cream from THE SCOOP (also on the South Hill). Along with the traditional standbys like chocolate and vanilla, their gourmet ice cream always comes in tasty and inspired seasonal flavors.

You’ll need a place to unwind once the day’s drawn to a close. Adults might be drawn to the contemporary chic of the DAVENPORT TOWER or the riverside comfort of the OXFORD SUITES, but the kids will appreciate one thing about both locations: excellent indoor pools.

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