Leavenworth, Washington, is a perfect destination during Christmas and winter in general. The magical lights, the abundance of family-friendly activities, and the beautiful alpine scenery make this town one of the best Christmas towns in the US. Planning a trip to this Bavarian town? Here are some things and tips to help you plan an adventurous Christmas in Leavenworth, Washington:
Say Hi to a Reindeer
One of the best things you can do in Leavenworth is going to the cute reindeer farm that is just 5 minute’s drive from downtown. Here, you will learn about the reindeer that live on the farm, hold their antlers, and even get a tiny cup of food to feed them. You also get a free cup of hot chocolate or cider that you can enjoy while getting up close with the reindeer. Close to the farm is a shop that offers cute and attractive Christmas items, so you can stop there to do some shopping.
The reindeer farm gets busy during the winter season, so it’s best to book your tickets before you head here.
Explore the Village of Lights
Every Christmas, the people of Leavenworth decorate the village with about 500,000 Christmas lights hence the term ‘Village of Lights’. One of the best things to do while you are here is to stroll through the area to take in the magical festive decor, take pictures, see live carols, and make a gingerbread house. You can also enjoy Gluhwein at the Gluhwein tents, try chestnut roastings, and enjoy the series of live entertainments.
The Nutcracker Museum
One of the best times to visit the Nutcracker Museum is at Christmas, especially since it’s dedicated to a Christmas icon, Nutcracker. At the Nutcracker Museum, visitors can explore the more than 7000 nutcrackers, some dating back to 500 years ago.
Shop at Christkindlmarkt
Leavenworth Christmas Market features a variety of goods like clothes, arts, food, and other Christmas-themed goods, making it a perfect place to do some Christmas shopping. Christkindlmarkt also features a lantern parade, Christmas-themed entertainment, and a display of goods by different artisans. This shopping festival offers the opportunity to try out Bavarian foods and is held at Front Street Park and Leavenworth Festhalle.
Go Snow Tubing
Another fun activity to enjoy during your visit to Leavenworth is snow-tubing on the Leavenworth Ski hill. This exhilarating ride lets you reach the 100-foot hill, where you can enjoy a hot cup of cocoa around the fire. You can also enjoy other activities at the Leavenworth Ski Hill, like sledging, snowmobiling, sleigh riding, and skiing.
Eat at a Bavarian Restaurant
Leavenworth is home to many restaurants serving delicious German food where you can enjoy traditional favorites. One of the things you can do while on a Christmas trip to this village is to dine at as many Bavarian restaurants as possible.
Ride the Alpine Coaster
Leavenworth has a massive alpine slide that runs year round.
Try Brews at the Local Breweries
Being in Leavenworth in winter means there will be plenty of local brews to try out. There are tons of breweries and pubs where you can grab a beer, but one of the people’s favorites is the Icicle Brewing Company.
If beer isn’t your thing, you should try out a glass of Gluhwein which you will find at many Christmas markets. This German beverage is best enjoyed during winter, and it’s made up of wine spiced with cinnamon sticks, oranges, and star anise. There are also a lot of tasting rooms where you can try out fantastic local wines.
Soak at Scenic Hot Springs
Scenic Hot Springs in Leavenworth is one of the most magical hot springs in Washington. Here, you will find three hot tubs suspended in a remote valley, and although they are on private property, you can reserve a spot to soak in them.
Shop for Ornaments at Kris Kring
Kris Kring is the perfect shop for festive decor, ornaments, and souvenirs. The store features a collection of beautiful holiday ornaments that will make stunning home decor.
Best Restaurants to Eat at Leavenworth
From Bavarian meals to 8 course dining experience, there are many restaurant options for you in Leavenworth:
Andreas Keller: This restaurant offers a great Bavarian menu over live music and gorgeous decor. Andreas Keller is one of the best German restaurants you can find in the town, and you get served by waiters in Bavarian attire.
Gingerbread Factory & Danish Bakery: For gingerbread cookies and Danish pastries, you should head to this gingerbread factory on Front Street.
Leavenworth Sausage Garten: For delicious sausages and large German beers, this restaurant is for you! They also serve delicious pretzels, potato salads, and Bratwurst.
Munchen House: Munchen House serves one of the best pretzels in town, and you can pair it with their great selection of wines.
Mana: Mana is a great fine dining option with a delicious menu made from high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.
Tips for Enjoying Your Christmas in Leavenworth, Washington
Here are some of the tips for visiting Leavenworth at Christmas:
Book in Advance
Leavenworth gets a lot of crowds during Christmas because that is when most people come to this town. Aside from the fact that you need to prepare to deal with the crowds, you also need to reserve accommodation in advance to find a room. Some popular recommendations for visitors in Leavenworth include the Bavarian Lodge, Linderhof Inn, and Enzian Inn.
Bring Winter Clothing
Another tip to help you enjoy your Leavenworth, Washington Christmas is packing appropriately for winter. It gets really cold in this town, so pack enough winter clothing, like your jackets, snow shoes, and beanies, to help you stay warm while enjoying all the adventures this place has to offer.
If you don’t like crowds, then you should consider arriving in the town before or after Christmas. Although Christmas is just a day, celebrations start way before and continue after Christmas too.
Know Where The Bathrooms Are
This may be a funny one, but the thing about Leavenworth is that most shops don’t have a public restroom. Meanwhile, between the cups of cocoa and glasses of beer, you will need a plan for when nature calls. There are public restrooms around the town, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with their location for when you need them.
Where to Stay in Leavenworth
Leavenworth is a great Christmas vacation, and you are sure to have the merriest celebration by following the above tips and guide.