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Out & About, Dec. 6

Published: 11:19AM December 6th, 2012

Leavenworth light fest

Dec. 8: $55. Head over the mountains to the Bavarian town of Leavenworth for the annual Christmas lighting ceremony. Visit with Santa, Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas while exploring the quaint shops and boutiques. Gather around the pavilion at the end of the day to watch as thousands of colored lights turn the town into a winter wonderland. See why trips here have become holiday traditions for so many Washingtonians. Trip fee includes transportation only. Time in town: 5 hours. (Ages 4–12: $30; ages 3 and younger: $5) Popular family trip.

Hike to top of Little Si

Dec. 8: $35. Join us for a five-mile hike to the top of the 1,600-foot peak of Little Si. Follow the easy-to-moderate trail through the lush forest and massive rock faces to a spectacular view of the upper Snoqualmie Valley. Difficulty: moderate; distance: 5 miles; elevation gain: 1,200 feet; time: 2.5 to 3 hours.

Horseback riding

Dec. 9: $80. Head to Elbe, a town on the outskirts of Mount Rainier National Park, for a two-hour guided horseback ride. No experience is necessary, so bring the entire Family along for a great day! Minimum age: 7. Popular family trip.

Snowshoe Basin trek

Dec. 9: $40. Take an adventurous trek through great snow, varied terrain and a web of trails in a shadowy old-growth forest. You’ll be able to pause for an occasional break to take pictures and observe the amazing views of the surrounding peaks — it’s a beautiful winter wonderland. Join us. Difficulty: easy; distance: 4 miles; elevation gain: 2,300 feet; time: 3.5 hours. Minimum age: 12.

Ski-n-board Crystal Mtn.

Dec. 15: $40. Tired of the rain? Head for the snow and spend the day at Crystal Mountain! Transportation and gear are provided. Have your gear fitted after you sign up. Lift tickets may be purchased online at; look for the “Lift Tickets and Military Deals” button. (Transportation only; have your own gear, pay only $20).

Bald Eagle float trip

Dec. 15: $55. Many people never get to see the bald eagle in its natural habitat — this is your can’t-miss opportunity! We could view up to 200 bald eagles as we float down the Skagit River in a large, stable raft among one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the Lower 48. Popular family trip; reasonable accommodations can be made for persons with special needs.

Snowshoe Paradise

Dec. 16: $40. You’ll love visiting this popular destination in the winter months — the summer crowds are gone. Guide, gear, instruction and transportation provided. Difficulty: difficult; distance: 3 miles; time: 3 hours. Minimum age: 12.


Dec. 16: $35. Travel to one of the greatest tubing hills in the state for a fun-filled family day in the snow. Bundle up and get ready to go for a wild ride. Tubing is a blast for all ages. Tubes, and of course, transportation, are provided. (Ages 6–12: $25; ages 5 and younger: $5). Popular family trip; reasonable accommodations can be made for persons with special needs.

ZooLight at Pt. Defiance

Dec. 22: $20. Stroll the exhibits as the Point Defiance Zoo comes aglow with more than a half-million lights. Animal encounters include the Rocky Shores, Arctic Tundra, Red Wolves and Asian Forest Sanctuary. Warm up with hot chocolate, shop for gifts or just enjoy the beautiful decorations. (Ages 0–2: $10). Popular family trip; reasonable accommodations can be made for persons with special needs.

Ski-n-board at Crystal

Dec. 22: $40. Tired of the winter rain? Head for the snow — spend the day at Crystal Mountain . Gear is provided; you’ll be fitted after you sign up for the trip. Lift tickets aren’t provided but may be purchased online at Have your own gear? Pay just $20. Popular family trip.

Cross-country ski

Dec. 23: $40. What do you get when you combine short, groomed trails, rolling hills and beautiful views? A great family-friendly day of cross-country skiing at Lake Easton. Gear and instruction are provided. You’ll be fitted for your gear after signing up for the trip. Difficulty: moderate; time: 3 hours; distance: 5 miles. Minimum age: 12.