There are many Northwest places that celebrate the Christmas season in such style that they make a fun day trip or an overnight getaway. These short excursions provide a great opportunity for family groups to spend quality time together. Most of these involve outdoor evening activity, so be sure to dress appropriately.
Cedar Lodge at Warm Beach Camp During The Lights of Christmas (Patrick Taylor)
Warm Beach Camp, located in Stanwood, Washington, has put on a wonderful display of lights, music, and Christmas cheer for over a decade. A million multi-colored lights decorate structures and displays spread out over 15 acres. Christmas characters, foods, and activities make The Lights of Christmas fun for the whole family. Many folks turn their visit to Warm Beach Camp into an overnight getaway; rooms, suites, and a cottage are all available on site.
The area around The Coeur d'Alene Resort
, downtown Coeur d'Alene, and Lake Coeur d'Alene drip with festive lights during the holiday season. The centerpiece is "The World's Tallest Living Christmas Tree", decorated with over 30,000 sparkling LED lights and twice the height of New York City's famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. It all starts with a big lighting ceremony and fireworks on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Holiday Light Show can be enjoyed while wandering around the resort or from the water on a lake cruise throughout the month of December. The Coeur d'Alene Resort offers a number of holiday-themed package deals.
Every day in Leavenworth, Washington's Bavarian-themed mountain getaway town
, is like a holiday anyway, so you know they do the Christmas holiday season right. Thanksgiving weekend bring Christkindlmarkt, an outdoor holiday market at the City Park that includes food, music and activities for children. Christmas Lighting festivities take place on weekend evenings throughout the season, complete with visits from Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, and other holiday characters. With all the holiday lights, the Bavarian-themed shops and restaurants, and the snow that blankets the city and the surrounding mountains, you can't help but get in the Christmas spirit!
Located on the Oregon Coast just south of Coos Bay, Shore Acres State Park occupies property that, at one time, was the posh estate of timber baron Louis Simpson. The park preserves the estate's grand gardens, which include a formal garden, an oriental-style water garden, and two rose gardens. A grand display of holiday lights has become an annual tradition at Shore Acres State Park, drawing visitors from around the region.
The gardens and indoor and outdoor spaces at The Butchart Gardens are spectacular at any time of year, and well worth a visit. The Christmas holiday season brings another layer of visual delight in the form of sparkling lights, decor, and music. The "Twelve Days of Christmas" are a major theme; you'll find garden areas decorated with everything from the 12 drummers drumming to the partridge in a pear tree. The Christmas season also brings an outdoor skating rink, carolers, and garden-themed gift shopping to The Butchart Gardens.
The Butchart Gardens Photo Tour