The holiday season is here, and much like the rest of the year, it's going to be a little different. Not to worry, our Holiday event guide is here to help. This Christmas in Spokane, we're committed to helping you support local businesses and have fun along the way. Look at our various maps to find everything you need to embrace Spokane's season of light.
Not even a global pandemic can slow Santa down. The big man in red is set to make his usual appearances at local malls this holiday season — with some changes — bringing all some much-needed joy and hope.
At RIVER PARK SQUARE downtown, the mall’s magnificent, 50-foot Christmas tree goes up on November 14, setting the stage for Santa’s arrival the following weekend, Saturday, November 21. This year, families will need to make an online reservation to visit Santa, where they should also carefully read the precautions being taken to make sure everyone — Santa included — can enjoy the holidays as safely as possible and in good health. Find out more and book a visit at riverparksquare.com.
Santa’s also splitting his time at the SPOKANE VALLEY MALL and NORTHTOWN MALL, where reservation-only, socially distanced visits are set to begin Friday, November 27, and continue up to the last minute on Christmas day, at both locations. Families also have the option to book a Zoom chat with Santa, who’s apparently taken some time this year to brush up on his tech skills, with details to come at northtownmall.com and spokanevalleymall.com.
This could be the kind of year, with remote celebrations and smaller gatherings, where you may give fewer gifts. That’s why the ones you do give out need to have meaning. Sorry, but online doesn't always feel so personal. So what better way than to give a gift that’s been made right here in the Spokane area? Here are two places where you know all of it is 100 percent locally made.
First opened in 1978, POTTERY PLACE PLUS is now the longest-running artist’s co-op in the Western United States. Located in the Liberty Building along with Auntie’s bookstore, you’ll find a wide variety of artwork to choose from — stained glass, fused glass, fiber arts, various types of products made of wood, paintings, photography, scratchboard, candles, bath and body products and lots of jewelry. The store is staffed by participating artisans, so just ask — every item has a story.
Not far from there, inside downtown’s River Park Square, is FROM HERE, a creation of the arts cooperative Terrain. Open for in-person shopping seven days a week, you may want to stop in often, as the inventory can change quickly. There’s KJ Pottery and Goblin Pottery. Or Kani Botanicals skincare products, along with Sailor Girl Soaps and Supplies. For your walls, there’s RGZ Prints and/or Vanessa Swenson’s pictures (in ink or paint) of flowers. The list goes on and on, but you’re sure to find something for even your hardest to buy for.
Check out the map below to find more local shopping options in the Spokane area this holiday.
While it succeeds in drawing locals and visitors at any time of the year, RIVERFRONT PARK truly becomes a destination in its own right during the holiday season. This year, the park staff has been working closely with the Spokane Regional Health District to meet evolving local and state guidelines in order to create a safe yet fittingly merry slate of winter activities.
The annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration will take place as usual in late November, but with a few tweaks. The large gathering will be replaced with a HOLIDAY TREE WALK beginning November 27 through January 3. Approximately 40 fresh-cut trees will be located throughout the park along a pathway that you can navigate on your own.
Throughout the month of December, the park will also be incorporating a PAVILION HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW into the Holiday Tree Walk and related activities. The dynamic lights that are typically on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be available during the week. Other areas of the park will be lit up as well, like the Clock Tower and the Rotary Fountain.
The Riverfront team is working with officials with the hopes of safely opening the NUMERICA ICE RIBBON this holiday season. For the latest, visit RiverfrontSpokane.org.
Even the SKYRIDE will become a part of the festivities. One specially chosen cabin will have its interior decked out in the style of the season so that a holiday surprise is awaiting whoever steps inside.
Riverfront Park has been finding creative ways to embrace the Season of Light while welcoming people to the park safely and continuing to offer the Spokane community events that they love and enjoy. Lucky for them, they have 100 acres to work with.
Takeout is a great standby when you'd just prefer to enjoy a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home. It's been a vital lifeline for many restaurants during a year that has been anything but predictable. And during the holidays, they’re ready to help you with a great meal to celebrate being together.
TT'S OLD IRON BREWERY & BARBECUE in Spokane Valley lets you conveniently order online through a menu that's like a mouth-watering picture book. Want to know exactly what you're getting with your half rack of slow-smoked ribs or your brisket? The images showcase their full range of meat plates, platters, and sides.
Even die-hard meat lovers are likely to be pleasantly surprised by RÜT on the lower South Hill, a vegan restaurant that specializes in comfort food. They've been seeing steady demand for their Kung Pao cauliflower bowl and their signature mac 'n' cheese. Co-owner Justin Oliveri recommends the jalapeño mushroom burger as an entry-level meal for the skeptical omnivore. This meal features an Impossible Burger patty, jalapeño relish, onion straws, and sauteed mushrooms.
The ever-popular WILD SAGE BISTRO in downtown Spokane has a takeout menu that includes its coconut-crusted halibut with Asian slaw as well as its pepper-rubbed Berkshire pork tenderloin. Ordering online is a cinch, too. In addition to entrees, you can easily choose starters, salads, and even cocktails to go.
RUINS on North Monroe and STELLA'S CAFE in downtown Spokane are sister restaurants and can sate just about any hankering you might have. Chicken parm sandwich? Gordita? A rotating menu of seasonal and regional dishes? Yes to all the above. Be sure to check Ruins' social media for the cuisine du jour, as it can change frequently.
Whether you're ordering for yourself or an entire household, it's just as easy to use the mobile-friendly online menu at CASCADIA PUBLIC HOUSE on the North Side at Five Mile. The numerous sides and add-ons let you personalize your meal in almost infinite ways. If you're spoiled for choice, it's hard to go wrong with the Cascadia cheesesteak (thinly sliced regional Angus beef on an Alpine Bakery hoagie) and garlic fries.
For a clever twist on takeout, look no further than BEACON HILL CATERING high above Hillyard. They're making it possible for organizations to treat folks to holiday gifts and meals without the downsides of large-scale gatherings. Their family-style offerings are special versions of quintessential seasonal plates, such as slow-roasted turkey breast with "decadent" gravy and cranberry compote. You can order from the weekly Beacon at Home menu, which they deliver and features their signature brownies along with add-ons like Thomas Hammer coffee and Barrister wine.
Crowded shopping malls and festive winter parties may not be on the calendar this year, but that doesn’t mean holiday cheer and time spent with loved ones can’t happen in other ways this season. Local venues and organizations have adapted in creative ways to keep spirits bright.
Speaking of the Spokane Symphony, one of the orchestra’s biggest fundraising events happens to be timed around the holidays and the good news is that it’s still on for 2020.
Some traditions never fade, like the vintage CRESCENT WINDOW DISPLAYS in the windows of the Davenport Grand Hotel. Years ago, these displays were the highlight of every Christmas season in the windows of the Crescent department store. The Downtown Spokane Partnership brought them back, allowing new generations to see what their parents and grandparents enjoyed when they were kids.
For more twinkling, festive sights, head out to Liberty Lake for the annual WINTER GLOW SPECTACULAR holiday lights display, again setting up in Orchard Park (20298 E. Indiana Ave.) for a free, drive-through, and distance-friendly experience. The lights will be turned on Saturday, November 21, and are expected to be viewable each evening through the New Year.
Yes, there will be New Year's Eve Firework Displays this year across four sites in Spokane. Similar to the Fourth of July celebration, families are allowed to view the fireworks while social distancing in the comfort of their cars.
The New Year’s Even displays will be held at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex (North), Ferris High School (South), Avista Stadium (Central) and Plante’s Ferry Sports Stadium (Valley). Each show will run simultaneously starting at 9 p.m. Parking lots will open at 7:30 p.m. as a safety measure to discourage crowds from gathering all day. Additional COVID protocols, like spacing out cars and mask-wearing, will also be in place. This is a joyful and hopeful way to begin the year ahead together.