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  • Writer's picturethebackpackingblotskes

Santa Says, "Go to Leavenworth!"

And so, we did just that! You won't find us arguing with the man in the red suit...

Christmas time in Leavenworth, WA

The quaint town of Leavenworth, located in central Washington, is what dreams are made of. A Bavarian-styled village, its streets are lined with German inspired shops and restaurants. With the Cascade Mountains looming in the background, the stage is set for a storybook experience. It's quite possible that the secret entrance to Narnia is located in this wintery wonder.

Our family made the 11-hour drive from our home base in Montana. Long, yes, but completely worth it! With 4 adults and 3 kids, we rented the perfect Airbnb house right along the Spokane River, about a 20 minute drive from downtown Leavenworth. Check it out, here

Here is our Top 5 Things To Do in Leavenworth during the Christmas Season:


With so much to look at and take in, a simple afternoon of strolling the streets is more than enough to satisfy your Christmas Spirit. The morning/afternoon showcases the snowy mountains, creating an Alpine atmosphere you'd find in actual Bavaria. With the setting of the sun, the Christmas lights take over in a Hallmark movie kind of way. It's just all so beautiful and is hard to find the words for.


Oh, the shopping! With endless options, you won't have any trouble finding items to put under the Christmas tree for your loved ones. From clothing, to hats, to purses, to ornaments & Christmas decor, to local foods & wine to items for your fur baby, there is something for everyone! We enjoyed A Matter of Taste, sampling different mustards, dipping sauces and honeys with pretzel sticks. We walked out with 6 different jars of mustard.. they clearly know what they're doing :)


I'll include coffee shops in this section, because there were so many fun ones to choose from! We loved J5 Coffee Shop & Espresso Bar (delish Eggnog latte), Little Red's Espresso & Bakery (fun coffee flavors, good pastries & beautiful location overlooking the river) and Argonaut Coffee & Biscuits (seriously amazing homemade biscuits! Coffee was excellent, too).

There were German pretzels with cheese galore! We tried several from different locations and they were all wonderful. My favorite, though, was at Rhein Haus. They had some killer brussel sprouts, too!

Ice cream in December? Why not?! Crazy good flavors at Whistlepunk Ice Cream Co.

Did someone say, "chestnuts roasting on an open fire?" Leavenworth did and so, we tried them! Not my favorite (the texture was a little too mushy for me) but when in Leavenworth...


Right in the center of downtown is a pavilion, where many different carolers took stage to sing the Christmas classics. Next to the pavilion is a sledding area for kids of all ages. Didn't bring a sled? No problem! Several stores in town sell those plastic sleds you'd find at Wal-Mart. While the snow was very minimal during our time in Leavenworth, we didn't sled, but the boys still had a blast sliding on the snow in their boots and having light-hearted snowball fights.

Just on the outskirts of Leavenworth, we stumbled upon a different kind of sled. Leavenworth Adventure Park features a 2,700' long alpine coaster! You better believe we were all in on this newfound adventure!

Sleigh Ride

What's more magical than a sleigh ride in a snowy storybook village, wrapped up in a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa in hand? I'll wait...

Leavenworth has several options for sleigh rides, most of them a car ride away from the downtown area, but if you'd rather stay in the city's center, there's an option for that, too! A 15-minute ride will take you through the sights & streets of Leavenworth. It's not very long and it is a bit pricey for such a short amount of time, but in my opinion, a sleigh ride during the Christmas season is a must!

Leavenworth was everything and more! We'd love to return in the spring or fall, during Oktoberfest, to see a different side of this beautiful Bavarian village. However, I have a feeling that Christmas time would be a tough one to beat. Planning a winter escape to Leavenworth? If not, you should! And if you are, shoot us an email! We'd love to be of help in anyway possible.

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