Christmas in Leavenworth: 10 Must-Dos for the Whole Family

The Bavarian mountain town in Washington state is so picture-perfect, you'll feel like you've stepped inside a snow globe. It's the epitome of Christmas with a nutcracker museum, sleigh rides and a reindeer farm where you can feed them.

Photo By: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce, Brian Munoz

Photo By: Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

Photo By: Mountain Springs Lodge, Tamra LaRae

Photo By: Mountain Springs Lodge

Photo By: Deanne Revel

Photo By: Deanne Revel

Photo By: Icicle Brewing Company

Photo By: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce, Icicle TV

Photo By: Kris Kringl

Photo By: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce, Icicle TV

See the Lights

Leavenworth is worth a visit any time of year but there’s something magical about the town at Christmas. Fluffy, white snow and more than half a million holiday lights decorate the Bavarian-style buildings and streets. It feels like you’re at the North Pole or on the set of a Christmas movie. To make the most of the lights, don’t miss one of the lighting ceremonies held every Saturday and Sunday the first three weekends of December. Sip hot gluhwein and hear the Village Voices choir sing carols as you watch the twinkling lights come alive.

Meet a Reindeer

If there’s such a thing as a Christmas bucket list, meeting a reindeer has to be at the top. At the family-run Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, you can schedule a tour which includes an educational presentation on reindeer and a chance to feed the friendly herd. They’ll eat right out of your hand!

Ride in a Sleigh

Love "Jingle Bells"? You can literally dash through the snow on a two-horse open sleigh at Mountain Springs Lodge. Winter rides feature scenic meadows and a stop at Beaver Creek Barn for hot apple cider.

Or Drive a Snowmobile

For the more adventurous, Mountain Springs Lodge also offers snowmobile tours with breathtaking, snowy mountain views. Tours provide cold-weather clothing and snow boots so all you have to do is show up ready to ride. Drivers must be at least 16 years old, and riders must be at least five years old.

Learn About Nutcrackers

If you love nutcrackers, geek out at the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. The collection boasts more than 7,000 nutcrackers from more than 50 countries. There are traditional, antique nutcrackers and even nutcrackers inspired by modern pop culture.

Sample Gingerbread

It wouldn’t be Christmas without warm, spiced gingerbread, and The Gingerbread Factory has tons of ways to enjoy the flavor of the season. In addition to an assortment of Instagrammable cookies, you can try a slice of old-fashioned gingerbread, ice cream sandwiches with gingersnap cookies or sip a festive gingerbread latte.

Try Winter Brews

There are several spots for Bavarian beers in Leavenworth but two can’t-miss stops are the Munchen Haus beer garden and sister business Icicle Brewing Company. Try traditional German beers and winter-inspired porters and ambers. The German chocolate cake ale is also a solid choice.

Explore the Christkindlmarkt

Inspired by the iconic Christmas markets in Germany, Leavenworth’s Christkindlmarkt features food stalls and booths from local artisans. Sample Bavarian food, and shop handcrafted Christmas wares all while listening to a live Bavarian band.

Shop Christmas Decor

If you love Christmas stores, prepare yourself for Kris Kringl. The two-story, year-round Christmas store features 6,000 square feet of themed trees, toys and decorations. And, if you love Christmas villages, they have some unique sets including a Harry Potter-themed village.

See a Christmas Show

Leavenworth’s Icicle Creek Center for the Arts has several Christmas shows to celebrate the season, from a handbell concert to a Celtic yuletide to an action-packed ski documentary featuring incredible women shaking up the ski scene. Shows and screenings are held in the center’s state-of-the-art Snowy Old Barn performance hall.

Shop This Look