It’s that time of year for the annual Model Train Festival at the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Model trains will fill the museum and include the largest permanent train layout in the state. The displays are designed and assembled by model train enthusiasts from across the state including Boeing Employees Model Railroad Club, Cannonball Express, Pierce County Lionel Club and Mount Rainier N-Scale. Santa will be on hand for family pictures 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday. It runs from Dec. 21-Jan. 1, closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. General admission is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors, students and military with valid ID; children age 5 and younger and members are free. Go to washingtonhistory.org for more information.
A different kind of Christmas tree
Bypass the traditional holiday lights and displays and head out to Pacific Bonsai Museum, 2515 S. 336th St., Federal Way, for its “A Bonsai Solstice.” Experience the art of bonsai and celebrate the winter solstice with a candlelight stroll through the museum. There will be refreshments. Bring your own flashlight for the 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. event. Admission is free, to find out more about the museum, go to pacificbonsaimusuem.org.
What Christmas is all about
Charlie Brown and the whole gang come alive on stage in the musical “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 715 Sixth Ave., Tacoma. As part of the family theater series, the play, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, and adapted to the stage by Eric Schaeffer, follows Charlie Brown’s quest for the true meaning of Christmas. Showtimes are 6 p.m. Sunday (Saturday’s performance is sold out) 7 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and 2 p.m. Wednesday. All tickets are $10, reserve yours online at tmp.org.
Explore the Museum of Glass and try your hand at “Make Your Own Ornament” this weekend. Hilltop Artists will be on hand to help you pick colors, shape and blow your one-of-a-kind ornament from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the museum, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma. Registration is required, cost is $45 members, $50 for nonmembers. To reserve your place call 253-284-4750 or go online to museumofglass.org.
Take a break from the hustle of the holidays and get outdoors and burn off some energy at the annual Jingle Bell Run, the final race in the 2014 Run the Park series. The run is a family favorite and will feature a costume contest with awards for the best in categories including best ugly sweater, best overall, best group or family and best dog costume. It all starts at 10:30 a.m. at Wright Park, 316 S. G St., Tacoma. Registration is $10 in advance, $20 day of the race. Go online to metroparkstacoma.org/jingle or call 253-305-1022.
Join in the down-home, old-fashioned Community Christmas Carol Singalong at 4 p.m. . Bring your voice, harmonica, guitar, etc., along with family and friends for an evening of music at Bethany Presbyterian Church, 4420 N. 41st St., Tacoma. Hot chocolate and cookies will follow the free singalong. For more information, call 253-752-1123.
Enjoy the sounds of “A Classic Christmas” featuring V. Contreras, Mycle Wastman, Alessandra Rose and Martin Feveyear in the intimate surrounding of the Paramount Theatre lobby, 911 Pine St., Seattle. They will perform songs of holiday cheer in a cabaret-style seating with beverage service. Bring unwrapped toys for distribution to hospitalized children at Swedish Hospital. The show is at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $20. Call 877-784-4849 or go online to stgpresents.org to order yours.
Heart of mine
Known for his rhythm and blues, smooth jazz stylings and big band songs Bobby Caldwell brought us the classic “What You Won’t Do For Love” and has sold more than 40 million records over his long career. Touring in support of his new release, “After Dark,” he will be blending his new music with some holiday tunes and classic R&B music. He’s coming to Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle, for shows Friday through Sunday. Showtimes are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $34.50 and available at jazzalley.com