With seasonal celebrations all around the Yakima Valley, you won’t run out of opportunities to make holiday memories with family and friends! From the wonder of lighted parades and walks to a lighted tree extravaganza, arts and craft bazaars and spectacular concerts and performances, special holiday events and activities will brighten your spirits throughout the season.
We’ve put together a list of some favorites, but there’s so much more to see! Visit our event listings and check out even more holiday events and activities!
Walking and Riding in a Winter Wonderland!
Take a magical candle-lit walk at the Yakima Area Arboretum’s annual Luminaria, December 13 and 14 from 6 to 10 pm. Follow n .8-mile loop through the Arboretum’s wintery landscape, beautifully lit by more than 1,000 candles. Enjoy the peaceful stroll, listening to music from the Arboretum’s Carillon Bell Tower and take in the lights strung throughout the trees. The trail is flat and suitable for all walkers. Inside, warm up with cups of Tree Top apple cider, Starbucks coffee and hot chocolate, all while enjoying live music, children’s crafts and shopping in the Tree House Gift Shop. Leave time for tasty treats from Blissful Bites and What I Crave food truck. Check the event listing for information about parking.
Enjoy a free ride in a Horse Drawn Carriage along festive Downtown Yakima streets. The 20-minute ride with D & D Carriages departs from Millennium Plaza from noon to 3 pm. on three Saturdays before Christmas. Santa will hand out candy canes on December 7. On December 14 and 21 you can enjoy a warm hot chocolate or cider from a local food truck.
All aboard with Santa Claus and Friends on the Yakima Valley Trolley on December 14, 15, 21, and 22 for a 15- to 30-minute, round-trip, special excursion. Visit the Yakima Valley Trolley’s festively decorated Powerhouse Museum for this joyous, fun-filled event where children will find treats and holiday snacks – and, you never know what may be in Santa’s red bag? Tickets must be purchased for a special fare of $7 at the Powerhouse Museum. Rides depart half-hourly from 10 am to 3 pm.
Head to the 16th Annual Toy Train Christmas at the Northern Pacific Railway Museum on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 to 4 pm, from now through December 22! Take a caboose ride to see Santa and Mrs. Claus and then enjoy model trains, beautifully decorated Christmas trees and refreshments.
The Wonder of Lighted Holiday Parades!
The Yakima Valley kicks off the holiday season with one of the top 10 lighted parades in the United States, the Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade on December 7. One of the most unique lighted parades in the Northwest, this enchanting festival of lights is a beautiful celebration of the Valley’s agricultural heritage. As the oldest farm implement parade in the nation, it features dozens of tractors, combines and antique farm equipment, each piece uniquely decorated with thousands of twinkling lights. Sunnyside has a day of fun activities planned before the early evening parade at the Christmas Market at Centennial Square.
In Downtown Yakima, Yakima Avenue is filled with sparkling lights and parade goers who make the beautiful sight of the Downtown Yakima Holiday Lighted Parade an annual tradition. After the parade, which takes place on December 8 from 5 to 7 pm, welcome the arrival of Santa Claus and have your picture taken at The Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The 16th annual Old Town Christmas Parade in Union Gap will be on December 15. Bundle up, grab some cocoa and come watch the lighted parade, a favorite family tradition!
Holiday Arts & Craft Markets!
In Downtown Sunnyside, visit the Christmas Market at Centennial Square before you attend the Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement parade. The Market starts at 2 pm with performances from local dance teams, food vendors, a visit from Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. A live performance from The American Honey Band kicks off the parade.
Find perfect, one-of-a kind gifts at one of the largest holiday craft, arts and antique events in the area. The 12th Annual Holiday Crafts and Antiques Bazaar at Mighty Tieton on December 7. More than 70 carefully curated vendors fill the Mighty Tieton warehouse to share some of the most unique handmade and vintage items in the region. Live musicians will bring holiday cheer and you’ll find delicious, local foods and fun all day! Find hot eats and an array of gourmet gifts for the foodie on your list, as well as festive sips while you shop! Santa will even make an appearance from the North Pole. There is a staggered admission cost of $7 and $5 from 8 to 10 am with profits benefitting Tieton Arts & Humanities. Admission is $3 from 10 am to 2 pm and free from 2 to 3 pm.
Wine Country Christmas Festivities!
Visit Red Mountain wineries participating in Holiday Fest including, Hedges Family Estate, Hightower Cellars and Purple Star Winery and many more. Join them for special wine tastings, live music, exclusive library wine tastings, and holiday markets. Check out these and many more holiday events at Yakima Valley wineries and breweries.
Make sure you’ve been nice, because we hear Santa will be visiting Hedges Family Estate on December 7 from 1 to 4 pm. Visit Hedges for holiday gift packs, build-your-own gift packs complete with a wrapping station, gift cards and guest vendors. Local 509 artists, Santa Claus, Spiked Hot Cocoa, Food Truck and more will all be there! Bring your family and get some beautiful Santa pictures! The Glass Punty will offer beautiful handmade gifts and decorations from 12 to 4. Doggie Style Gourmet will serve Saturday and Sunday from 11 am until they run out! Miranda’s Flowers will have beautiful wreaths and holiday arrangements. On Sunday, Earth Element Spirit will hold a “Make & Take Class” were you’ll be able to make personalized gifts for the holidays and take them with you!
At Hightower Cellars, enjoy live holiday carols on Saturday December 7 while you find the perfect red wine for your holiday meals. Visit Purple Star Winery for their Annual Holiday Market. This indoor market, held on Dec 7, gives visitors a chance to sip wine while browsing dozens of local artisans for the perfect holiday gifts.
Make a day of it with holiday open houses at Prosser wineries!
Book your Red mountain one-hour Horseback Trail Ride or three-hour Wine Tasting Trail Ride, or Wine Tasting Wagon Ride with Red Mountain Trails. Take this magical trail ride through the vineyards of Red Mountain as you take in the breathtaking views and taste wine along the way. Warm yourself in the Red Mountain Trails wine tent before or after your ride. Tours are available daily, all year round!
Enjoy the warmth of mulled wine as you partake in this yearsMulled Wine Walk in Downtown Yakima on Saturday afternoon December 14. Finish up your holiday shopping in style in Downtown Yakima. Our three downtown tasting rooms, and specialty wine shop will be serving up warm spiced wine along side a variety of gifts, perfect for the wine lover on your list. Downtown Tasting Rooms participating are AntoLin, Gilbert Cellars, Kana Winery and Stems Wine Shop.
Season of Giving, Lights and Music!
Holiday Lights Extravaganza at the Yakima Valley Museum continues from December 3to December 14. View more than 30 beautifully lit trees and other holiday displays, each decorated by an area charity. Admission to the museum during the Extravaganza is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children. Each adult and senior will receive $5 back in the form of five $1 tickets to award to their favorite tree or their favorite charity. The charities will redeem these tickets for cash at the end of the event. So, come celebrate the season, marvel at the beautiful, creative displays and celebrate the charities that work so hard to do good in our community!
Mark your calendar for Decemberfest at the Season performance Hall. On December 14, come to a full-on party and benefit concert for Toys for Tots and The Seasons Performance Hall. Roam between the beer and barbecue holiday rolling feast in The Seasons Gallery and Bistro featuring 8 micro breweries and their new Slow Pokes Barbecue Bistro, and the main performance hall, where a huge NW Band line up awaits with dancing and stories, surprises and holiday spirit.
Songs of the Season!
Bring the whole family to the holiday matinée of the Ellington Jazz Nutcracker at The Seasons Performance Hall to hear the great Tchaikovsky “Nutcracker Suite” as transformed in 1960 by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn into an American jazz masterpiece! The performance is on December 14, from 1 to 4 pm.
The Yakima Symphony presents the Holiday Pops Spectacular, as the Yakima School of Ballet joins the orchestra for this traditional holiday program on December 7 at 7:30 pm and for a matinee at 4 pm on December 8.
Broadway Bound Dance Academy proudly presents a Christmas Production, The Spirit of Christmas featuring BBDA’s “The Nutcracker” on Friday, December 20, at the Capitol Theatre. Get into the Christmas spirit and watch fabulous dancers perform Christmas routines and ballet production of The Nutcracker!
Santa Paws, Silent Santa and Santa’s Workshop!
You’d better not pout, you’d better not cry! Santa Claus is comin’ to town! Visit the Valley Mall to see the tallest tree Valley Mall has ever had. Snow is in the forecast for Center Court all season, making it a Winter Wonderland There will be a great photo location where you can get that perfect snow selfie without getting cold! Get your photos with Santa in his workshop Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. Don’t forget to bring your fur babies to Santa Paws! On the evenings of December 5, 12 and 19,Santa wants to meet your pets. Bring your furry friends in for an extra special photo with Santa. Partnered with Southern Heart Animal Rescue, we will have special treats for pets.
Also at the Valley Mall Silent Santa presents a unique opportunity to have a Santa experience for Santa believers with special needs. On December 8 from 9 am to 11 am visit Santa in a controlled, low -timulus environment. Every Tuesday morning until December 17, visit the Valley Mall for Storytime with Santa at 11 am. Each week Santa will read a different classic Christmas story. At the end of the story he’ll select one lucky child to take the book home.