Holidays

 

The Fairgrounds is home to the best Fourth of July celebration in wine country, with admission free from noon until 11 p.m. The Yakima Transit Park and Ride offers free shuttles to the fairgrounds all day, so it’s easy to get the party started. Park at the Gateway Center, Eisenhower High School or Wide Hollow School with shuttle service every 15 – 20 minutes from 3:30 – 11:30 p.m.

A nostalgic Fourth of July celebration brings the community together at this old-fashioned event with carnival rides, face painting, classic contests and much more. Food vendors dish up American favorites as well as locally sourced ingredients for truly Pacific Northwest specialties.

Celebrate Summer with a Bang

The fireworks display is the biggest in the region, taking place at dusk and lasting 20 minutes. Seating is available at the fairgrounds, but some visitors prefer to bring their own lawnchairs and relax while taking in the celebratory environment.

Come hungry and ready to showcase your patriotism at the biggest party of the summer. Of course, being wine country, vineyards will also be representing with options to pick up your favorite bottle or two to take back to your guest room.

 

 

If you’re visiting the Yakima area during Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you’ll have many opportunities to celebrate Dr. King’s teachings. The annual MLK Jr. Day Parade begins with an 11 a.m. Peace Walk at North 2nd Street and MLK Boulevard, followed by an MLK Presentation at the Yakima Convention Center. A service at Foursquare Church at 3 p.m. welcomes all. You can also head to the Lower Valley 20 minutes from downtown Yakima for a Peace Walk at W. First Street at 10 a.m.

The Southeast Community Center hosts an annual MLK Jr. Day Soup Kitchen which welcomes volunteers. Contact the center early if you’d like to volunteer, and keep in mind that last minute cancellations means it’s always possible to get added from any wait lists.

How Will You Celebrate?

The Toppenish Market Place grocery store in the Lower Valley offers a remembrance at 10:30 a.m., with proceeds benefiting the local middle school. Stop by for speeches, commemorations and shopping.

Business travelers who have the day off can reflect on Dr. King’s work with a peaceful stroll through the Yakima Area Arboretum, a visit to the Cascade Garden, or slip into one of the local libraries to enjoy works by MLK Jr.

 

 

Ring in 2017 in style. In Yakima Valley, almost all of the wineries, vineyards and restaurants are offering holiday specials with champagne toasts and seasonal fare. The annual New Year’s Bash at the Seasons Performance Hall is always a blast with live entertainment, party favors, and dancing until the wee hours.

Wilridge Winery and Vineyards is always a popular choice for NYE, where you can enjoy sweeping canyon views, or cozy up on the wraparound porch with a glass of mulled wine while you sample flights. Gilbert Cellars is also in demand, with their complementary tapas that pair perfectly with a bold red or refreshing white, perfect for the new year.

Party Planning

Carousel French Cuisine is an upscale establishment offering New Year’s Eve specials, so if you prefer fine dining over hours of dancing, make your reservations early! Of course, all meals can be paired with a local or French wine, helping you slide into 2017 with ease.

This year, New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday, which means partiers and revelers will be out in full force. Book your table or tickets early, and start designing what’s sure to be the best New Year’s celebration yet.

 

 

 

Nothing is more romantic than the holidays in Yakima where many of the vineyards are covered in snow, and you can warm up with a cup of locally-made cider, mulled wine or hot cocoa. The downtown Yakima Winter Wonderland events include a lighting of the enormous community Christmas tree, tours of downtown on horse-drawn carriages, performances by local artists, and of course, a visit from Santa—just in the first week of December!

Free horse-drawn carriage rides are available throughout the month, as merchants in the historic district host a holiday open house on some special Saturdays. Check out the ornament-making workshops at Yakima Maker Space, and don’t miss the performances by the Yakima Youth Symphony which take place throughout the holiday season.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside …

Enjoy the Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade on December 3, and don’t miss the Toy Train Christmas that takes place until December 17. Also on December 3, there’s the Holiday Crafts and Antiques Bazaar at Mighty Tieton, where you can pick up gifts, decorations and more from local artists.

On December 3 and 4, A Christmas Pops Spectacular is featured by the youth symphony, and bars and restaurants throughout town are offering holiday specials. Slip into one of the many tasting rooms for some seasonal pairings, and make this December one to remember.

 

 

There’s no better place to be than wine country for Thanksgiving, where you can pair a glass with turkey, dressing, potatoes and pumpkin pie! Every November, Wine Country Thanksgiving takes place throughout the holiday weekend, and this year there are over 50 local wineries participating. Check out the debut releases before anyone else, taste them paired with autumnal cuisine, and enjoy this beloved tradition that includes scenic drives.

Wine-makers and T-day chefs are on site to help with sauce pairings, seasoning and bringing out the flavors of the holidays. Every participating winery is offering something unique, so be sure to check them all out during your long weekend. Hop from winery to vineyard, sampling tasty treats and glasses of vino along the way. You’ve never enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast like this before!

Bottoms Up

Prefer a more traditional feast for Thanksgiving? A number of local restaurants are open on the big day. Mel’s Diner is a favorite, laidback family-owned restaurant serving traditional sides and, of course, juicy turkey cuts. At Legends Casino, you can enjoy a fantastic meal in between your favorite table games.

Many head to the Clarion for their holiday feast, and picking up a pie from Shari’s (or dining there late night!) is a popular pick when those pie cravings hit. However you want to celebrate in Yakima, you can rest assured locally owned vineyards, restaurants and diners have you covered.

 

The State Fair Park hosts the biggest Fourth of July celebration in Yakima, where the family-friendly event features a full carnival with rides for all ages. The celebration culminates in a 20-minute firework display at dusk. Fireworks are illegal in Yakima, and many parts of Washington, making this one of the rare opportunities to see an explosive display while diving into hand battered corn dogs and cotton candy.

You can also bring your own picnic to share, or put together a goodie basket from the numerous on-site vendors. The party starts at noon, and free bus transportations at the Park & Ride stations are at the ready. Shuttles are available at the Gateway Center, Eisenhower High School and Wide Hollow School.

Plan Your Trip

Shuttles run every 10-15 minutes, and you won’t want to miss Independence Day “the community way,” which spans for over 10 hours with endless fun and games. Patriotic dress is encouraged, and getting a full-day ride pass ensures you’ll have hours of fun.

Other options include the Sunnyside’s Old Fashioned 4th of July, with a parade at 11am on Waterhouse Avenue with food vendors, hot dog and pie eating contests, a talent show, pageant, and chili cook-off. Check out the Prosser Old Fashioned Fourth festivities at City Park with a car show, obstacle courses, sack races, kiddie parades and pageants.

If you really want to wow Dad this Father’s Day, book a reservation at one of Yakima’s top ranked steakhouses. Black Angus features holiday specials like the fire-grilled fresh artichoke, jumbo shrimp cocktail, wagon wheel sample platter and, of course, your favorite cuts from filet mignon to New York strip. Their peanut butter cup pie, sky high mud pie and chocolate chip cowboy cookie are just a few of the delights on their separate dessert menu.

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Kyoto Sushi and Steakhouse gives you the best of both worlds if you can’t decide between great steak and Asian flavors. With a massive lunch and dinner menu, it can be hard to decide! Do you want to start with miso soup or fried scallops? The hibachi dinner special offers filet mignon, lobster, scallops and more while dessert ranges from fried banana ice cream to chocolate lava cake.

Big Steaks!

Creekside West Bar and Grille is a local staple where Thai chicken nachos, bacon gorgonzola fries, killer clams,  and steak burgers are sure to please. Try the blue buckle BBQ burger, battered steak fries, or their famous mac and cheese.

George’s Steakhouse is a little known, best kept secret where the locals flock for fresh ingredients, locally sourced cuts, and some killer secret recipes! Where will you book this Father’s Day?

For most public swimming pools in Yakima, Memorial Day weekend is the grand opening of the year. Franklin Pool is especially popular, and locals wait throughout the cold winter months and spring blossoms for their favored swimming spot to be filled. A small slide makes it great for families, and day passes are always affordable. Located on Tieton Drive, the new expansion ensures there’s enough room for all.

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Others head to campsites, located conveniently close to your Yakima suites hotel. If you want to rough it for a day or two before heading back to your spacious room with kitchens, it’s easy to enjoy the best of both worlds in wine country. Camp spots on the hillsides are often on a first come, first served basis, so you can spend a night roasting marshmallows and sleeping under the stars before going back to the luxury of your two room, 550 square foot suite.

First Weekend of Summer

Wine tours are what draw many to Yakima, where there are over 70 wineries (many of them with accolades). Maryhill Winery, close to Goldendale, is lovely and holds a Memorial Day weekend event annually with special tastings, a barbeque and live music. Check out what other wineries have in store for you and mom, such as pairing chocolates with dessert wines or offering special activities for kids.

Whether you choose to spend the holiday hiking one of the many local trails, treating yourself to the best breakfast in town, or getting away for a day of kayaking or scenic drives, it’s easy to make Memorial Day weekend special in Yakima. The only question is what to do first.

 

 

Spending Mother’s Day in the beautiful and charming wine region of Yakima is a gift in itself. But what if you really want to treat mom this holiday? For many, the Waffles Caffe is the idyllic breakfast hot spot. Famous for monstrously big Belgian waffles and their old fashioned banana split with whipped cream, strawberries and more, everything here is supersized and super-sweet for moms with a sweet tooth.

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Afterward, drive the canyon road from Yakima to Ellensburg, a gorgeous highway with vistas, desert hills that seemingly never end, and stunning geographical tones along the hillside. Ellensburg also has a number of fantastic restaurants and cafes. This scenic canyon drive adds only an additional 15 minutes to your drive, making it well worth it.

Yakima Secrets

This year, a special Mother’s Day Jazz Brunch with Jazz Crush at the Sawyer House is featuring sparkling wines, live jazz and bottomless mimosas! Enjoy the Jazz Crush Combo and Rondi Marsh, partnering with Treveri Cellars, for a day of tastings at this child-friendly party. Kids’ activities include a bubble machine on the sprawling lawn and making Mother’s Day cards. From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 5-15, and kids ages 5 and under are free. Book your tickets early, and treat mom to wine tasting in Yakima like never before.

This luscious buffet features Essencia Bakery and Catering providing items such as brioche orange French toast, asparagus and leek frittata, cinnamon beehives with raspberry cream scones, herb sausage patties, baked ham with an apricot glaze, eggs, granola and fruits, rosemary country red potatoes, beef satay with mango sauce, and much more.

Romance and the Pacific Northwest go together like rain and the coast (in this region, that’s a given!). You’re in wine country, which means every restaurant is brimming with special bottles—or you can make a day of tasting at cellars this February 14th. Reservations at Zesta Cucina are always a sure bet at this steak and seafood destination with an intimate setting. There’s Gasperetti’s Gourmet Cuisine, one of the oldest bistros in town with a special V-Day menu.

Go to Gilbert Cellars for light bites and impressive tasting flights all day long. The Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail might not have the most romantic name, but it’s in a gorgeous setting with award-winning vino. Wine Yakima Valley is one of the biggest wineries in the area, and their special selections make every sip memorable.

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Go Out with a Bang!

Local florists can create arrangements featuring local blooms and plants that you’ll never find anywhere else. Shirley’s Flower Shop is well-known for their creative bouquets, and Bella Fiore Floral and Gift Shop is where you’ll find flowers, cards and local gifts for the special someone in your life.

Craving a little more sweetness at the end of the day? Go to Essencia Artisan Bakery for a Euro-inspired treat or La Morenita Bakery, open until 9pm, for a diverse mix of options. There’s always Baskin-Robbins for a comfort scoop, or Pepe’s Bakery for something with a little more flair.