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How to celebrate the holiday season in the Spokane area

From a winter farmers market to carriage rides through downtown, Spokane has something for everyone looking to safely enjoy the holiday season.
Credit: Spokane Parks

SPOKANE, Wash — Coronavirus shouldn’t ruin the holiday season and there are still plenty of ways to celebrate in Spokane.

"We're just wanting to encourage people to come downtown, where we do have outdoor and certainly distance safe holiday activities for them and events," said Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward. "And while they're downtown, they can order takeout curbside pickup from restaurants, do some holiday shopping and support our businesses at a time when they need us most."

Here is a list of holiday activities in and around the Lilac City. 

Is there an event that you think we should add to this list? Send us an email to newsdesk@krem.com. Submit photos of your holiday adventures or light displays by using the "Near Me" feature on KREM 2's mobile app.

Numerica Skate Ribbon

The Numerica Skate Ribbon in Riverfront Park opens on Dec. 5 with coronavirus protocols in place.

Skaters will now have to reserve a time and buy tickets online in an effort to limit the number of people at the rink at one time, according to Spokane Parks and Recreation.

Tickets are good for an hour of skating and 37 people can be at the venue under current guidelines, according to the parks and recreation department. Only one spectator is allowed per minor-aged skater, and skaters are asked to bring a mask and gloves to wear.

The skate ribbon is also asking skaters to show up 15 minutes early. The Sky Ribbon Café will also offer to-go options.

The rink will operate from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and will operate from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. From December 19 to January 2, the rink will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Winter Farmers Market at the Pavilion

Every Wednesday in December and January from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Vendors will be stationed throughout the Pavilion Central Plaza outdoors, with limited retail from small local businesses inside the Pavilion Main Lobby and Sky room, the city says. Everyone is asked to wear a mask and maintain distancing. Sanitizing stations will also be set up.

Here’s a list of some of the vendors taking part in the market.

  • Big Barn Brewing
  • K2 Greens
  • Browning Beef
  • Liberty Cider
  • Commellini Estate
  • Mama Torrez
  • Functional Pottery
  • Marketplace Botanicals
  • Great Harvest
  • Sweets by SarahK
  • Highland Honey
  • Swell Coffee
  • Increditruck
  • The Scone Ranger

On the first night of the farmer's market, Woodward said 600 people stopped in to shop. 

"Farmers markets have been deemed a central throughout COVID," she said. "So we have this event socially distance. We have markers in place and we've created a very COVID compliant safe and healthy place for people to turn out."

Numerica Lights up the Night Holiday Tree Walk at Riverfront

Until Jan. 3

Nearly 40 trees were festively decorated by local organizations and placed at the Rotary Fountain and Clock Tower. They will be lit up from sunset until 10 p.m. daily.

Riverfront Trail of Lights

Until January 3

The holiday light display in Riverfront Park is expanding! There will be several new holiday displays including a Candy Cane Lane along the Howard Street Promenade, a light tunnel under the blue bridge and a more.

SkyRide

The SkyRide is open for household units to ride together.

Wheatland Bank Carriage Rides

Now through Christmas Eve

Pickup is at the Visit Spokane Visitor's Center next to the Rotary fountain at Howard and Spokane Falls Boulevard. All rides are free.

Riders are required to pre-register due to coronavirus. For more information, visit their website.

Drive-thru Holiday Lights at Manito 

Dec. 11-20: 4:30 – 9:30pm Fridays & Saturdays 4:30 – 8:30pm Sundays – Thursdays

Enjoy a one-half mile loop through the park full of festive lights! Begin near the Park Bench Café, past the Ferris Perennial Gardens, under and then across the historic rock arch bridge, past the Rose Garden, and exit onto 21st Ave.

COVID-19 protocols 

  1. Guests will remain in their vehicles at all times.
  2. Event staff (The Friends of Manito volunteers, security personnel, Parks employees) will wear face masks, traffic vests, and gloves, and stay physically distanced from each other.
  3. Event staff with flu-like symptoms will not report to work.
  4. Signs outlining COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines will be in place.
  5. Event staff will welcome guests and direct traffic while maintaining 6’ of distance from vehicles. Event staff will answer any guest questions through their rolled down car window and direct them to the proper route.
  6. The event route will be gated and locked prior to and after the event each day.
  7. The event lights will only be on during the event time as to discourage pedestrian traffic on the event route.

Mount Spokane snowshoe tours, Youth Winter Adventure Camps

Head up to Mount Spokane for a guided snowshoe tour with all gear provided. Dates are available on Dec. 19, 20 and 27 and the tours cost $25.

Kids ages nine to 12 can join in on the fun, too, at the Youth Winter Adventures Camp at Mount Spokane. Experts will teach them how to snowshoe, cross country ski and build a snow cave.

The camp runs from Dec. 29-30 and costs $99.

Registration for all of the above activities is available on the Spokane Parks and Recreation website.

Virtual Gingerbread Build-off

Northern Quest Resort & Casino and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians are hosting the 16th Annual Gingerbread Build-off, a fundraiser for Christ Kitchen, in a virtual event on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

While the event is closed to the public due to COVID-19 safety measures, viewers can watch free of charge via a Zoom link available on the Northern Quest website

Anyone can purchase mini gingerbread house kits for $7 online through TicketsWest or at Northern Quest’s Windfall store or Marketplace coffee shop any time through Dec. 23. 

All proceeds benefit Christ Kitchen and the women they serve. Pre-packaged soups, holiday treats, and snacks prepared by Christ Kitchen are also available for purchase at Northern Quest. 

Eight local chefs and bakery teams are competing in the annual gingerbread competition. A panel of judges will honor one team with the "Judges Award" and the creations will then be on display at Northern Quest from Dec. 7-23.

Guests will have the chance to vote for their favorite to win the “People’s Choice Award” and can take part in a scavenger hunt.

Participating teams this year include:

  • Cahill-Varner Family
  • Sweets Geeky Cakes
  • Hall Family
  • Sweet Frostings
  • Yoke’s Fresh Market
  • The Bakery at Northern Quest
  • Catee Cakes and Cup Cakes
  • Coeur d’Alene Resort