Leavenworth Lights

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Every December, Leavenworth rejoices with more than half a million lights, entertainment and music, holiday characters, and more. The Bavarian Mountain town in Washington state is extremely picture-perfect, that you will feel like you have stepped inside a real snow globe.

You see, it is the epitome of Christmas with sleigh rides, a nutcracker museum, and also a reindeer farm where you could feed them.

Festival of Lights Leavenworth
Festival highlights

Leavenworth Village of Lights

If you have seen Leavenworth’s small town transform itself into the magical snow globe that it is, you’ll know why the name Village of Lights: Christmas town is so perfect. This upcoming December, midweek, and on weekends, the organizers of the festival schedule to celebrate their eye-popping display of more than half a million lights, with fairy lights, Christmas light show, twinkle lights, light festival, blinking, and Christmas lights.

There are also curtain Lights, twinkle lights trees, light exhibition, led curtain lights, icicle lights, net lights, and rope lights, meteor shower lights, among others!

Festival of Lights Leavenworth Dates (2023)

Only a quick and picturesque deluxe motor coach ride away, the snowy-white mountain community of Leavenworth exudes with plenty of holiday charm and cheer during the town’s old fashion Christmas Lighting Festival.

The event dates are November 24th to December 24th. The event will also schedule lots of fun and entertainment events both midweek and weekend through December.

Just a tip: a visit midweek or after the New Year will allow you to see fewer crowds and the same stunning lights. They also have a virtual live-feed experience available, so you can look at their charming lights from the comfort of your home! How cool is that? 

Where It Is Located and How to Get There

Leavenworth is easily accessible from the west coast through US Highway 2. Did you know that the drive through the Cascades has been voted as one of the most picturesque drives in the States? The highway is preserved with frequent rest stops and pull-outs to grab a bite or soak in the scenery.

During the winter months, the roads are reserved clear, even though you will like to check the road reports before heading out.

  • If you’re from the Seattle area, you can take Us 2.
  • If you plan on getting there by train, Amtrak operates the Icicle Station
  • If you’re from the Spokane area, take 190 W or US 2.
  • There are also shuttle services and bus tours that offer transportation to Leavenworth.

If you liked Leavenworth Lights, you might want to check out these other wonderful lights festivals as well:

Wild Waves Festival of Lights

Meadowlark Lights

Festival Hours

Details for the 2023 edition such as festival hours are yet to be announced by the festival organizers. Usually, the lighting ceremony starts at 4:45 PM. Fluffy, white snow and over a half million-holiday lights decorate the Bavarian-style streets and buildings. It feels like you are at the North Pole or on the set of a beautiful Christmas movie. And to maximize your stay, make sure you do not miss one of the lighting ceremonies held every Saturday and Sunday during the first three weeks of December.

Sip some hot cup of gluhwein and listen to the Village Voices choir sing their carols as you watch the glittering lights come alive.

How Much It Costs to Visit Leavenworth Lights Festival

The Leavenworth Lights Festival is free for everyone. You can walk the area on your own. However, there are numerous bus tours and shuttle services available in the area. The prices also differ a lot.

On Saturdays and Sundays at noon, Santa and other holiday characters march from the Festhalle to the Gazebo. The parade is then followed by amazing musical performances in the Front Street Gazebo, featuring marching bands, handbell choirs, and solo artists.

Weather and What to Wear

Expect the cold weather when you visit Leavenworth to attend its lights festival. The month with the most snow in the region in December, with an average snowfall o 17.4 inches. Also, the coldest month, December, has days of 31°F and lows of 19°F.

Make sure you wear enough warm clothes, so you stay cozy and comfortable throughout your festival lights tour. Wear sturdy boots, jackets or coats, a thick pair of socks, and gloves.

Hotels Nearby the Village of Lights

There are many options for accommodations in Leavenworth. It can be a bit complicated navigating all the options and know where to begin. We suggest that you consider your unique requirements when choosing the accommodation.

This list includes hotel options and cabin stay options for you.

  • Posthotel Leavenworth

This adult-exclusive hotel is situated downtown and has an amazing spa and wellness center. They also provide free breakfast, lunch, and dessert, stunning rooms, and free underground parking.

  • Icicle Road Hause

This beautiful cabin can accommodate at least ten guests. This stunning cabin features cathedral ceilings, a hot tub and massive windows that allow plenty of light and views across the entire Leavenworth Valley.

  • Der Ritterhof Inn

Situated only two blocks from downtown, this charming inn provides a park-life environment with beautifully landscaped grounds. This place is surrounded by incredible alpine views and spacious, comfortable rooms.

  • Wanderlust

This accommodation option has been newly remodeled themed rooms with a bit of something for everybody’s taste. If you are searching for a place to get as close to the festivities downtown, then this hotel is good for you.

Step out of your room and easily walk right into the line for Oktoberfest. Or find yourself within minutes surrounded by the magical Christmas lights on Front Street.

Where to Eat

There are so many amazing restaurants in Leavenworth that it is certainly a bit overwhelming picking somewhere to eat and drink. We have outlined below the best places to eat and drink while you are in town.

  • Mana

This restaurant offers a special dining experience served on Friday through Saturday. They also provide a 5-course prixe-fixe menu focusing on sustainable ingredients and local organic. But take note that reservations are required.

  • München Haus

This restaurant is an authentic Bavarian grill and beer garden that features charbroiled sausages, specialty mustards, cider kraut, and local icicle brewing company beer.

  • Yodelin Broth Company

Healthy food choices with sustainable practices (no Teflon plans, no plastic, 100% electric kitchen—no fossil fuels). The menu in this restaurant includes sandwiches, burgers, rice bowls, garlic bread, desserts, artisanal bone broth soups, and cocktails.

  • Gingerbread Factory

Operating since 1989, this bakery provides sweet treats and delicious breakfast and lunch seven days a week. On top of that, the baker even resembles a gingerbread house and features the cutest gingerbread tree filled with ornaments and a cottage. This place also provides gluten-free options like espresso, ice cream, shakes, and more.

More Things to Do in the Area

Home to the lovely Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth in Washington is a town that is a combination of old-world beauty and modern-world amenities. The activities and things that attract travelers to this town are the skiing options they offer and its snowy mountains.

Radiating Bavarian culture, Leavenworth rejoices in many festivals. Here is a list of some of the best things you can do in Leavenworth, Washington.

  • Skiing at Leavenworth Ski Hill

Do you love snow and other snow activities? Then Leavenworth Ski Hill is the ideal place to enjoy those activities. If you like to stay close to the town and partake in the Christmas festivities downtown, then you can head over to Leavenworth Ski Hill so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

  • Watch the Sunrise at Lake Wenatchee

Did you know that Leavenworth is loaded with some of the most beautiful destinations in Washington? However, Lake Wenatchee holds a unique place in everybody’s hearts. You have to check out Lake Wenatchee State Park if you’re only searching for a place in the lap of nature where you could go camping and spend a night under the stars.

  • Enjoy the Enchantment Lakes

Would you like to step into a world that feels like it’s straight out of a Disney movie? Visualize a place in the mountain regions with alpine cliffs and crystal blue skies, and magical creeks in between.

That’s where the Enchantment Lakes come in. Do not miss out on hiking there, especially if you’re looking for some adventure in the middle of gorgeousness. The hiking might be tough, but it will be worth it.

  • Try winter wine tastings at Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards

You can check the tasting room desired at the Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards or their exclusive, crisp Pinot Noir rose. You can also pop into Icicle Ridge Winery tasting room to enjoy the vineyard’s popular white Riesling or their highly renowned red blend Romanze.

  • Check out the beautiful Icicle Creek       

Did you know that Icicle Creek is one of the best destinations to see in Leavenworth? A trip to the city is not complete without you visiting this natural gem. Situated at the bottom of the Cascade Mountains, this creek’s beauty is beyond your expectations.

Also, a sight like this is not something you come across so easily. So, make sure you appreciate the time you have here.

If you liked Leavenworth Village of Lights you should also check:
Woodland Park Zoo Lights (Seattle Zoo Lights)
Paso Robles Lights (Light At Sensorio)

FAQ

  1. Where can I park during the Leavenworth Lights festival?
    • Parking in Leavenworth can be challenging during the festival due to its popularity. There are paid parking lots available, and some attendees opt to park outside the town and shuttle or walk in. It’s advisable to arrive early or consider alternative transportation methods during peak times.
  2. Is smoking allowed during the festival?
    • Smoking is not allowed in the main event areas to ensure the comfort and safety of all visitors. If you need to smoke, it’s advised to find designated smoking areas or move away from crowds.
  3. Can I bring my pets to the Leavenworth Lights?
    • While pets are allowed in the town of Leavenworth, it can get very crowded during the festival. If you decide to bring your furry friend, ensure they are on a leash and comfortable in large crowds. Some specific events or indoor areas might not allow pets.
  4. Are there accommodations nearby for overnight stays?
    • Yes, Leavenworth offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. However, these can fill up quickly during the festival season, so it’s wise to book well in advance.
  5. Are there any food vendors or restaurants open during the festival?
    • Absolutely! Leavenworth boasts a plethora of restaurants, eateries, and food vendors that cater to a wide range of tastes. You can enjoy everything from traditional German food to contemporary cuisine.
  6. Is there a specific start time for the lights each evening?
    • The lights typically begin to shine around dusk and remain on into the evening. Specific events or performances might have set times, so it’s a good idea to check the festival’s official schedule.
  7. Are there any other activities or attractions during the festival?
    • Beyond the lights, Leavenworth offers a variety of festive activities, including live music, caroling, a Christmas market, and horse-drawn carriage rides.
  8. Are there any accessibility provisions for attendees with special needs?
    • The town makes efforts to ensure that everyone can enjoy the festival. There are accessible parking spots and restrooms. If you have specific concerns, it’s recommended to contact the festival organizers or the town’s visitor center in advance.

Sources:

https://leavenworth.org/christmastown/

https://www.facebook.com/LeavenworthWA/

https://instagram.com/visitleavenworthwa/

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