Christmas time in Seattle is one of the best times to visit the evergreen state. It’s especially fun to visit Seattle just to check out our own little Christmas village, Leavenworth. During the rest of the year, Leavenworth is your run-of-the-mill small Bavarian inspired town in the mountains of Washington. But during the holidays it transforms into a real life Christmas village with lights strewn from every corner.
Christmas time Seattle: Leavenworth
In December, you get a mix of the Washington rain, frosty mornings, foggy evenings and the occasional snow flurry. This year, our holidays were merry and bright with SNOW! We actually got a white Christmas. Every year I visit the beautiful Pacific Northwest to see my family in Seattle during the holidays. Since California is sunny 330 days of the year, it’s nice to visit a place where it’s gloomy 330 days of the year. Christmas time just doesn’t feel right when you are surrounded by palm trees and shirtless longboarders.
Bundle up, because Leavenworth is the ultimate winter wonderland. You don’t want to be that person that makes the group go back to the hotel or the car because you are cold.
Leavenworth during Christmas
Getting to Leavenworth for the Christmas display is quite the challenge. If you are uncomfortable driving through snow or are just uncomfortable driving you may want to consider alternative ways to get there. I was lucky enough to be able to hitch a ride in my friend’s car – he drives a giant Escalade – so all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride.
Leavenworth’s big Christmas Lighting Ceremony is one for the books. If you are in Washington during that time, I highly suggest making the drive to see it. The small town comes alive and kicks off the most jolly time of the season in style.
Must-do in Leavenworth during Christmas time
- Enjoy a hot chocolate at The Gingerbread Factory
- Sample local dried sausage and cheese at The Cheesemonger’s Shop
- Sled at the park with the kiddos
- Enjoy happy hour and brats at Bavarian Bistro & Bar
- Bask in the holiday spirit under the Gazebo on main street
Ya’ll know I love to eat. Bavarian food isn’t really my jam, and after my trip to the Czech Republic I have been so over pretzels and dumplings. But, the day was mostly filled with brats, beer, and delicious hot chocolate. Sample a bit of everything as you walk around the main shops. Be sure to also adventure down into the basement areas because they have AWESOME shops like The Cheesemonger’s Shop that is right across from the Gazebo.
Leavenworth’s Christmas light displays remind me a lot of life size ginger bread houses.
What to wear to Leavenworth during Christmas time
My friend, who I really have to thank for getting me comfortable with things like “photoshoots” at a young age, made a huge fashion mistake during our trip. In her efforts to look cute and get great shots for the gram, she wore the wrong type of shoes for a day trip in snowy Leavenworth.
Knowing there was snow in the mountains, she still decided to wear heeled rain boots with regular socks. As a result she had to sit out of our sledding escapade and we all donated our handwarmers to her so she could stick them in her boots. Hence, choosing what to wear for your Leavenworth trip is very important.
I’m lucky that my dad still has my steel-toed fishing boots from when I was a kid, because othewise I would have been SOL. Considering my only waterproof boots are my ankle rain boots or my Uggs, I am not really one to talk.
Here are some tips for what to wear to Leavenworth during Winter:
- Bring gloves. The windchill is enough to make your fingers feel like icicles.
- Bring an extra pair of socks. You are bound to have a snowball fight or go sledding and you will get snow in your boots. It’s inevitable.
- Wool socks are your best friends. I wore ankle socks in my boots and immediately regretted it after my ankles started to chafe
- Bring a backpack. I had so many things I wanted to bring back but only had a small purse so I had to be strict with what I bought. Parking is hard to find so we weren’t lucky enough to park close by.
Overall, your standard winter wear should suffice. I only wore one pair of leggings, and while I was cold, I wasn’t freezing.
Definitely stop and appreciate the amount of work that the town puts into it’s Christmas displays. You won’t regret spending the day in Washington’s own little Christmas village. I promise.