Mt. Rainier, WA.– Cutting the family Christmas tree, wrapping presents fireside in a cozy cabin, snowshoeing, skiing, tubing, and riding a train with Santa are just a few of the activities folks can enjoy this winter and holiday season around Mt. Rainier.
Holiday Activities for the Entire Family
Head for the Hills to Cut Christmas Trees
Bundle up the family and head for the hills to cut a custom Christmas tree in the National Forest, (tree cutting is not allowed in the National Park). Christmas tree permits are issued by the Forest Service and are $10 each. Permits can be obtained in Enumclaw at the Forest Service office on Roosevelt Ave., and at other locations. Why not make a full day of it, and enjoy dinner at one of the many area restaurants, or pick up Christmas gifts from a local gift shop in one of the mountain communities? If U-cut Christmas tree farms are more appealing, there are dozens of options around Mt. Rainier.
Santa Express takes over at the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
Roll through the foothills of Mt. Rainier aboard Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad’s Santa Express. This 90-minute ride is a festive way to enjoy the holidays. Each trip includes hot chocolate, cookies and of course, a visit with Santa. Rides run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through December 22nd. For more information, visit www.mrsr.com.
Enjoy a small town Christmas in Enumclaw and Eatonville
Enjoy small town Christmas parades on December 5 in Enumclaw and Eatonville. Enumclaw will be celebrating its 50th annual Christmas parade. Merchants have great gifts, kids can have breakfast and photos with Santa, and the parade itself boasts over 75 entries. Starting at 6 p.m. check out logging trucks adorned with Christmas lights, local marching bands, Scottish bagpipers, animals on parade, and kids collecting candy galore! For more information visit www.enumclawchamber.com In Eatonville, kids can visit Santa and have hot chocolate at the Visitor Center starting at 3 p.m., with the Christmas parade starting at 5 p.m. Visit www.eatonvillechamber.com for more details.
The Local coffee shop is offering pictures with Santa on December 11, and kids’ paint and sip classes during winter break. More information
Tracy’s Roadside Produce in Enumclaw will hold its annual holiday festival, Annabelle’s Wish on December 12, featuring a dairy calf (Annabelle) with reindeer antlers. A photographer will be on hand to take family photos with Annabelle. There is also wine tasting for adults, candy for the kids, a live band, and holiday specials.
International Women’s Ski Day and Skiing with Skiing with Santa at Crystal Mountain Resort
Grab some girls and join a host of top female athletes for International Women’s Ski Day, presented by K2, on December 12. Folks can ski with Santa from 9-noon on December 19-20 and 23-25. Also, check out Crystal Mountain Resort’s Saturday snowshoe and dinner trips. For more information, visit www.crystalmountainresort.com.
Northwest Trek Spreads Post-Christmas Cheer
Swing into Northwest Trek’s Winter Wildland after Christmas, December 26-27 to see animals throughout the park enjoy winter-themed gifts such as fruit, evergreen trees decorated with treats, ice piles, and snowmen. These special gifts are part of Northwest Trek’s animal husbandry program to help enrich the lives of the animals, encourage natural animal behavior and keep the animals mentally stimulated. After watching critters explore their treats, enjoy a narrated tour of the park’s free-roaming area from the comfort of a heated tram or learn how animals adapt to winter at the indoor Cheney Family Discovery Center. Plus, every kid under 12 gets in free in December with a paying adult! For more information visit, www.nwtrek.org.
Cross country ski the backcountry
The Mt. Tahoma Trails Association manages 50 miles of beautiful cross country ski terrain, (20 miles of groomed trails), and a series of huts that can be rented for overnight use. For more information, visit www.skimtta.com.
Venture inside Mt. Rainier’s Nisqually entrance and enjoy a Christmas buffet at the National Park Inn at Longmire. The Inn’s Christmas Buffet is offered on Thursday, December 25, from noon to 6 p.m. and is $23.95 for adults and $13.95 for children, 10 and under. Among the items on the buffet: Hand-carved prime rib; pork roulade stuffed with spinach and mushrooms; Brussel sprouts with bacon, shallots and garlic. Salad, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages are included. Reservations are required, so contact the National Park Inn at: 360-569-2411. Feeling full and want to spend some time outdoors? Take advantage of the National Park Inn’s buy two get one free room nights going on now through April 29, 2016. For complete details, visit, www.mtrainierguestservices.com.
Cozy Cabins and Wilderness Retreats
Alta Crystal Resort’s at Crystal Mountain has all sorts of winter fun planned for guests. Check out all specials at on their website.