As winter casts its snowy blanket over Spokane, Washington, the city transforms into a wonderland of festive lights, cheerful events, and exhilarating outdoor activities. As someone born and raised in Spokane Valley, I can attest that the Spokane area is the place to be if you’re looking for holiday cheer!
If you’re wondering ‘what can I do for fun in Spokane in the winter?’ bookmark this list of exciting activities, from holiday lights to art shows and so much more.
Fun Winter Activities in Spokane, Washington
Manito Holiday Lights
A highlight of Spokane’s winter calendar is the Manito Holiday Lights Manito Park. This annual event illuminates the park with thousands of twinkling lights, transforming it into an enchanting holiday destination. Visitors can stroll through the park, enjoying carolers, hot drinks, and more.
Manito Holiday Lights takes place from December 9 - 19 in 2023.
Christmas Tree Elegance
The Christmas Tree Elegance event, hosted at the historic Davenport Hotel and River Park Square, showcases a collection of exquisitely decorated Christmas trees. Each tree, adorned with unique themes and ornaments, is part of a raffle, with proceeds benefiting the Spokane Symphony. This event combines the joy of the holiday season with the spirit of giving, offering a splendid visual feast.
In 2023, this event is held from November 28 to December 10.
Trail of Lights at Riverfront Park
Riverfront Park is no slouch when it comes to holiday lights! Stroll the park to enjoy unique light displays, including streetlights turned into the shapes of snowflakes and more. Grab a coffee or cocoa at Rocket Bakery and enjoy the lights from sundown until 10 pm.
Winter Glow Spectacular at Liberty Lake
Since 2014, Liberty Lake has hosted the Winter Glow Spectacular, a free community event from November 18 through January 1, 2024. Enjoy a walk through a winter wonderland with thousands of festive lights, displays, music and more.
Tour downtown Spokane and stop by the Crescent Windows at The Davenport Grand Hotel to see a Spokane tradition celebrating Christmas with seasonal window displays. With pieces discovered from the old Crescent building, the Downtown Spokane Partnership has created a retro holiday tradition showcasing classic holiday characters just like they were back in the day.
Five window bays on the south side of The Davenport Grand display scenes designed and installed by local artists from refurbished figurines rescued from the basement of the former Crescent Department Store.
Enjoy these displays in 2023 all week long until January 1.
Terrain's BrrrZaar, a winter market and festival, brings together the community in a celebration of local artists, crafters, and vendors. This event, held in downtown Spokane, is an ideal place to find unique holiday gifts, sample local food and drinks, and enjoy live entertainment. It’s a testament to Spokane’s vibrant arts and crafts scene.
In 2023, BrrrZaar is held on December 16.
Outdoor Winter Sports Around Spokane
Winter in Spokane is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous activities that take full advantage of the snowy landscape.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding are at the forefront of winter sports in Spokane. The nearby mountains, like Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park and 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort, offer excellent trails for both beginners and experienced skiers and snowboarders. These resorts boast well-maintained slopes, ski schools, and equipment rentals, making them ideal destinations for winter sports lovers.
Snowshoeing and Ice Skating
For those seeking a gentler pace, snowshoeing through the scenic trails of Riverside State Park or the Dishman Hills Conservancy offers a peaceful winter experience. Additionally, the Numerica Skate Ribbon in Riverfront Park provides a unique and family-friendly ice skating experience, with its winding path and picturesque surroundings.
Indoor Winter Fun
The Spokane Symphony
The Spokane Symphony continues to enchant audiences during the winter season with a variety of performances. From holiday specials to classical concerts, these musical events are perfect for those seeking a cultural outing in a warm, inviting setting.
Winter Exhibitions and Workshops
Spokane’s museums and libraries, such as the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and Spokane Public Library, frequently host winter-themed exhibitions and workshops. These events offer educational and engaging experiences for all ages, ranging from art and history to interactive sessions.
Holiday Movies at the Garland Theater
The Garland Theater is a classic not only because of its art-deco style, but also because it is famous for showing holiday movie classics (including, yes, Die Hard), throughout December. The Garland Theater is a beloved location for Spokanites and a tradition for many. Plus, you won’t believe the price - from $2.50 on discount days to $5 on regular days!
The winter season in Spokane, Washington, offers a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to all interests and ages. From the twinkling lights of the Manito Holiday Lights to the thrilling slopes of nearby ski resorts, there's no shortage of ways to enjoy and embrace the chilly months. Whether you’re seeking festive events, outdoor adventures, cultural enrichment, or community engagement, Spokane in the winter is a destination that promises memorable experiences and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.