Families can find many events during the winter, both as participants and as audience members.
To find hundreds of activities near and far, check The Bellingham Herald's Take Five arts and entertainment magazine each Thursday, or go to The Herald's online calendar and enter keywords like "children' or "kids."
Another good source for ideas is the season Leisure Guides published by Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department.
As always, event details are subject to change. To be sure, call ahead or check online to confirm.
Halloween on the streets of historic Fairhaven
Oct. 31, 3-6 p.m., Bellingham.
Virtually all Fairhaven shops and businesses open their doors to trick-or-treaters.
Fairhaven Holiday Festival
Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, historic Fairhaven district, Bellingham.
Festival attractions include horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with The Grinch and visits with Santa and other holiday festivities.
Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m., Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham
MOMIX, a troupe of dancer-illusionists, conjure a world of surrealistic images using light, shadow, props, humor and the human body. "Botanica" features an eclectic score ranging from birdsongs to Vivaldi and follows the rhythms of the seasons, the changing shape of life on Earth, and the passing of a day. The performance is enhanced by costumes, projections and giant puppetry.
Tickets: $20-$42. Details: 360-734-6080, mountbakertheatre.com.
Holiday Port Festival
Dec. 6-8, Bellingham Cruise Terminal, foot of Harris Avenue in Fairhaven, Bellingham.
Families and people of all ages can enter the annual gingerbread contest, as well as enjoy performances by local music, dance and other performing artists, participate in arts and crafts activities, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Details: 360-676-2500, portofbellingham.com.
Dec. 6, 5-9 p.m.; Dec. 7, 1-9 p.m.; Dec. 8, 1-4 p.m., Pioneer Park, Ferndale.
Members of Ferndale Heritage Society wear pioneer-era costumes to greet visitors for tours of the park's historic cabins that are decorated for the season. Kids can participate in crafts and games; and horse-drawn carriages carry passengers through downtown Ferndale.
$4 adults, $3 kids
Details: 360-384-6461, Ferndaleheritagesociety.org
Holiday harbor lights
Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., H Street Plaza, at H Street and Peace Portal Drive, Blaine.
Celebrate the community tree lighting in downtown Blaine and enjoy a holiday bazaar, art show, library book sale and horse-and-buggy rides, plus community caroling and music beginning at 4 p.m., the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus at 4:30 p.m. and a lighted boat parade at 5 p.m.
Details: 360-332-6484, blainechamber.com.
Lighted Christmas parade
Dec. 7, 6 p.m., downtown Lynden.
The 23rd annual celebration begins with a parade along Front Street, followed by visits with Sinterklaas, caroling and more.
Details: 360-354-5995, lynden.org.
Celebrate The Season! Holiday concert
Dec. 8, 3 p.m., Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham.
Whatcom Symphony Orchestra's special seasonal celebration features orchestral and choral favorites with guests that include Bellingham Chamber Chorale, conducted by Ryan Smit, and Bellingham Children's Choir, led by David Post.
Tickets: $12 to $35. Details: 360-734-6080, mountbakertheatre.com, whatcomsymphony.com.
31st annual Birch Bay Polar Bear Plunge
Jan. 1, waterfront by Birch Bay Visitor Information Center, 7900 Birch Bay Drive
Registration at 9:30 a.m.; judging at 11:30 a.m.; polar bear plunge at noon.
Details: 360-371-5004, birchbaychamber.com.
Resolution Run and Padden Polar Dip
Jan. 1, 11 p.m., Lake Padden, 4882 Samish Way, Bellingham.
Participants can go on an 11 a.m. walk/run around the lake and then jump in the lake at noon.
Details: 360-778-7000, cob.org/services/recreation/races.
Pacific Northwest Rain Festival
Feb. 16, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Fairhaven Village Green, 10th Street and Mill Avenue, Bellingham.
The all-ages event includes rain music, rain poetry, a rain fashion show, and a rain prediction by a pug dog.
TAO: Phoenix Rising
March 1, 8 p.m., Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham.
In a new production for North America, athletic bodies and contemporary costumes meet explosive taiko drumming and innovative choreography.
Tickets: $20-$45. Details: 360-734-6080, mountbakertheatre.com.
Wings Over Water NW Birding Festival
March 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Blaine Middle School cafeteria, 975 H St.
The birding festival features guided field tours of harbor, lectures, workshops, exhibits, displays, prize drawings and entertainment.
Details: 360-332-4544, blainechamber.com.