Mark your calendar and make the rounds!
It’s the season for thousands of twinkling lights! Lighted events around the Valley have kicked off! The Holiday Light Fest at State Fair Park is back for a much-anticipated third year. They put on a spectacular show with more than 30 miles of lights and themed holiday scenes. This drive-through event began as a way to celebrate the season during COVID, but has grown to become a much-loved annual tradition. You’ll find fair foods to enjoy and fast passes will be available for purchase online.
New this year, The Little Hopper – Yakima’s Beer Bus, is scheduling Holiday Lights & Cheer Tours through the Holiday Light Fest followed by craft beers at local breweries. What a perfect way to celebrate here in hop country!
The iconic, Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade on December 3 is recognized as one of the top 10 lighted parades in the U.S. The city of Sunnyside has an array of festive events planned in celebration. Go early for the Christmas Market, to see Santa, sample delicious bites from food vendors and see the tree lighting ceremony. The lighted festivities continue all around the Valley. The crews are busy getting ready in Downtown Yakima for the Downtown Yakima Lighted Parade and Lighting Ceremony on December 4. Lighted events continue with light festivals and parades from Selah to Union Gap.
Two special events return this year as well. The Luminaria, lighting up the trails and trees of the Yakima Area Arboretum is December 9 and 10. This long-standing tradition beautiful and peaceful way to soak up the spirit of the season with a leisurely walk taking in the lights all around the grounds of the arboretum. We recommend planning ahead for parking. The entrance into the Arboretum will be closed starting at 5 pm both nights. Only city shuttles and vehicles with official handicap parking placards will be allowed to park on arboretum grounds in designated areas only. Parking will not be allowed at the U-Haul lot as in years past. Instead, Yakima Transit offers free shuttle service from the Kiwanis Park Playfields (1501 E. Maple Street) this year. Shuttles will run 5:30 to 10:30 pm.
A new local favorite from the Yakima Museum is the Holiday Lights Extravaganza. Join them for some holiday bling December 6 to 17! Twenty-eight local charities will be joining the museum to bedeck the museum galleries with beautifully decorated Christmas trees and other festive displays. Support local nonprofits when you visit and enjoy the spirit of the holiday season. View the trees and displays, each colorfully lit and extravagantly decorated by an area nonprofit. From your entry fee 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. Celebrate the season and celebrate the charities that work so hard to do good in our community!
Start a new tradition this year with Wagon Rides & Campfires at Red Mountain Trails. Nothing says “Holidays” like a horse-drawn wagon ride, cozy campfire and beautiful Christmas trees and gifts. From now until December 30, for wagon rides (reservations required). Shop handmade wreaths, ornaments, gifts and goat milk goodies from their own goats at the in their gift shop. Sign up for a wagon ride, add on a fire pit experience wine flights (featuring wine from their own winery) and enjoy some s’mores, snacks or charcuterie.
Check out the complete list of Yakima Valley Lighted Events.
Holiday Markets & Small Business Shopping
The festivities don’t end with lighted events! Saturday, November 26, is Small Business Saturday. Small businesses, boutiques and shops all around Yakima Valley are dressed up for the holidays, just in time to kick off the season of gift giving. Check out our guide to 11 Unique Boutiques and Shops ready to welcome you!
Brand new this year, Yakima Valley Tourism has opened a new visitors center and gift shop located inside the main entrance of the Valley Mall. Along with our exiting visitor center, both locations curate locally made goods from throughout the Valley, including hand-selected gift baskets perfect for sharing with family, friends and business associates this holiday season. Stop by and pick up a pre-filled gift basket or place orders for custom gift baskets filled of Yakima Valley-made treats, products and local wine or brews. They offer in-town delivery and can ship baskets for you (wine and beer must be excluded from shipped baskets). In addition to baskets, both locations have a brand-new selection of attire, such Yakima Valley Hop Country and Wine Country t-shirts. And as always, both locations are your go-to stops for the inside scoop about what’s happening around the Yakima Valley.
A perennial favorite event this season is the 16th annual Mighty Tieton Holiday Craft and Antique Bazaar. Each year is bigger and better than the last and promises to be a holiday bazaar like you’ve never seen! Santa’s visiting from the North Pole and live musicians are bringing cheer! Over 50 curated vendors will be on hand to offer the most unique handmade and vintage items in the region, including the finest selection of local foods, beverages and curated artisan goods.