‘Tis the season for spending quality time with those dearest to your heart. Don’t let dropping temps or frosty weather keep you hibernating indoors. All over the Pacific Northwest, communities are coming together to put on wonderful events and attractions to warm your hearts.
We’ve scoured event calendars across the region and thought of six great ways you can enjoy the wonders of winter.
Last Minute Lights: Longer, darker nights allow for dazzling lights displays all across the Northwest. The famed Village of Lights festival in Leavenworth, Washington offers its concluding weekend of holiday cheer December 18-20 with carolers, hand bell choirs, jazz bands, and a cast of Christmas characters including St. Nick, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and Father Christmas. After that, the town remains lit through the end of January and offers sleigh rides, snow sports, and public performances. In Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene Resort Holiday Light Show runs through New Year’s Day and boasts the largest on-the-water holiday light display in America. Dine aboard one of their lake cruise ships to experience the tallest floating Christmas tree in the United States!
First Night of the Year: This thrilling tradition in Tacoma and Spokane, Washington has been bringing the community together for a combined 35 years and over 20,000 partygoers. Celebrating art, life, and light, First Night offers family fun in a safe, inclusive, and inspiring setting. An impressive slate of local musical talent promises to entertain. As the clock counts down, you’ll be on hand to enjoy delicious locally made food and a spectacular fire display.
Hit the Slopes: Time to get back to the ski slopes! Last year’s mild winter left many resorts sadly barren, but due to an impending El Niño, this season’s forecast looks promising for snow sports enthusiasts. And with so many marvelous mountains in the area, you’ll have plenty of regional resort options throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Be careful out there, and bundle up!
Music of the Heart: Tired of weeks of Christmas music on endless repeat? Enjoy the classics with the Seattle Chamber Music Society. They’re hosting their annual Winter Festival for the final two weekends in January 2016. Held at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle, Washington, internationally acclaimed artists converge to perform pieces from a variety of legendary composers including Mozart, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Shostakovich, Bach, and more.
Everything is Awesome!: The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane, Washington presents Nature Connects: LEGO® Brick Sculptures through February 7, 2016. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the natural world, New York artist Sean Kinney has created 27 huge sculptures from 500,000 LEGO® bricks. The museum solicited submissions from local LEGO® lovers for their first-ever Brick Build Contest. Winning submissions will be announced Saturday, December 19, 20915, and each dreamer’s creation will be on display for all to enjoy through February 7, 2016.
Whine About It: Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, indulge in a day trip to one of any of the wineries in the Pacific Northwest. A hearty cabernet or a cup of spiced mulled wine may be just the treat to beat the winter chill. Tastings run throughout the week at your favorite vineyards throughout Columbia and Willamette valleys, so be sure to search the Internet for events near you.
One of the joys of living in the Pacific Northwest is that there are so many ways to enjoy our communities. Do you have a particular favorite winter tradition? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
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