Looking for a fun adventure this holiday season in the Pacific Northwest? Here’s a look at some of the most popular Christmas and holiday attractions in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and just across the border in British Columbia. Bundle up and get ready to visit charming German markets, see dazzling light displays, skim along an outdoor skating pond, smell the sweet scent of gingerbread, and take a train ride with Santa.
Holiday Attractions in the Pacific Northwest
Planning to be in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or British Columbia this holiday season? This list of holiday attractions in the Pacific Northwest will give you some great ideas for celebrating the season with your kids. So grab your mittens and pack your bags, Santa is waiting!
Mount Hood Polar Express Train Ride
Hood River, Oregon
Does your family love the Polar Express story? I know our family does, and my girls love watching the movie each year during the holidays. Here’s a chance for your family to relive the story’s memorable sights and sounds. Kids can stay cozy in their pajamas while you climb aboard and head out on the journey to the North Pole. The story will be read with fun actors taking part and serving hot chocolate while the soundtrack plays along in the background.
Christmas in the Garden
Once you arrive at the Garden your family will be whisked along to the Rediscovery Forest aboard the Holiday Express. Once in the forest your whole family will have the chance to take part in a variety of activities. Test your ice skating skills and see who has the best balance, get up close and personal with a reindeer, shop at the traditional German Christmas Market, and watch as your kids faces light up when they wander through over 400,000 lights on display. It’s the perfect opportunity to create new holiday memories together.
Christmas Lighting Festival
Leavenworth is a city that is stylized as a Bavarian village, and their Christmas Lighting Festival is famous amongst Washington residents. Each weekend in December you can stroll the village streets as you listen to carolers, sip hot spiced cider and wine, and finally watch the city come aglow with over half a million lights. Leavenworth also has a Nutcracker Museum & store, the perfect place to find a new nutcracker to add to your child’s collection.
Searching for some snow in the city? Head over to Bellevue Square just east of Seattle for magical evening performances that feature toy soldier drummers, holiday music, snow characters. Each evening families can stand along Bellevue Way as they watch a 20 minute outdoor performance featuring nearly 250 of the area’s most talented teen performers, then end the evening catching snowflakes from the falling snow!
Riverfront Park Ice Palace
If your family is ready to get active this holiday season, head to Spokane and lace up some skates at the outdoor Ice Palace. This is an affordable way for the whole family to enjoy ice skating, adults are $5, youth $3.50, and rental skates are $3.50 (2015 prices). Think of all those adorable photos you’ll get of the family with rosy cheeks. There’s also a hand-carved carousel in the park, as well as an IMAX theater for some additional holiday family fun.
Holiday Light Show
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Recently chosen as the #4 Holiday Light Show in America in the USA Today Readers’ Choice List of the best holiday light shows in America, The Coeur d’Alene Resort Holiday Light Show is a wonderland of over 1.5 million lights and the largest on-the-water holiday light display in America. Families can also take part in the “Journey to the North Pole” Holiday Lake Cruise which visits Santa’s North Pole Toy Workshop, featuring America’s Tallest Floating Christmas Tree, and features a special fireworks show courtesy of Santa’s elves. You can also hop aboard a cruise boat to view the magic of the holiday lights across the lake.
Butchart Gardens Magic of Christmas
Victoria, British Columbia
The Butchart Gardens become transformed in December in what they call the Magic of Christmas season. You’ll enjoy strolling along through the beautifully lighted gardens including a Twelve Days of Christmas display where you can sing the song as you walk along. You can also enjoy a special winter menu at the Blue Poppy Restaurant, lace up some skates for the ice, and listen to the joyous carolers. During the Magic of Christmas season kids 12 and under can bring a handmade paper snowflake and exchange it for a cup of hot chocolate in the Coffee Shop!
Peak of Christmas
Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, British Columbia
Journey towards the North Pole as you head up Grouse Mountain to reach the Peak of Christmas. Families can get active gliding across the open air outdoor 8,000 square foot skating pond, then warm up with a visit to Santa in his workshop. Kids will love to tour the gingerbread village, and your vote even helps a local charity. Once the snow falls have fun sliding along on your magic carpet, then wrap things up with a mountaintop sleigh ride.
Now you have a great list of holiday attractions in the Pacific Northwest to visit with your family. Bundle up and head out for some new family adventures!