Holidays

 

 

Romance is blooming in wine country, and some of the best Yakima restaurants are just a short drive from your extended stay Yakima hotel. Try Kyoto Sushi and Steakhouse at 2405 West Washington Ave. #150. The unassuming hibachi restaurant offers the ultimate in surf and turf followed by decadent Asian desserts.

Creekside West Bar and Grille at 4000 Creekside Loop offers an impressive wine list with an option for patio seating. Enjoy elevated American fare like crab cakes and calamari for starters. Entrée favorites include grilled rosemary chicken alfredo, fish tacos and northwest fish and chips.

A Date to Remember

El Mirador II, located at 1601 East Yakima Ave., features a fun and festive atmosphere with the best margaritas in town. Indulge in Mexican favorites from tamales to enchiladas and tacos. Sopapillas and fried ice cream for dessert ensure this is a relaxing and enjoyable mid-week celebration.

At Russillo’s Pizza and Gelato, located at 32 North Front St. #102, you’ll be dining in a historic train depot. Sit on the patio and enjoy wood-grilled pizzas, pastas and Italian sandwiches. For dessert, check out the list of handmade gelato flavors with new options added daily.

How will you celebrate the most romantic day of the year?

 

 

 

Whether you’re looking for an intimate way to ring in the New Year or a raucous good time, Yakima has you covered with plenty of party options. The Olde Letterpress Museum hosts an annual festival earlier in the day. From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., enjoy light appetizers, refreshments and more at this free event. The 1940s letterpress is a hands-on experience to get you in the holiday spirit.

Get Air is another option, located at 1015 E. Lincoln Avenue, where you can bounce until 12:30 a.m. for just $25. Entry includes water, a pizza slice, glow light gear and jump socks. Contact Get Air directly for tickets, and hurry. These passes sell out fast.

Ringing in 2018

Book a table at Russillo’s in downtown (32 N Front Street #102) and take advantage of live music, fantastic dishes and drink specials. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. and go until midnight. If you want to dance your way into 2018, this is the place to do it.

USA Dance Yakima is also hosting their annual party at 101 N. 65th Avenue from 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. For the 21+ crowd, enjoy live music, champagne toasts and dessert. There’s also wine and beer options at the no-host bar. Tickets start at $40 for non-members.

 

 

 

 

Nothing is cozier than a winter in wine country. Don’t miss these three major lighted events, including the Sunnyside Festival of Trees on December 1. Head to 1521 S. 1st Street from 6-9 p.m. to support a local cancer charity at the lit-up Sunnyside Community Center. Enjoy decorated trees, appetizers and live music. There’s also the Kids Lighted Christmas Parade on the 1st at 6:30 p.m., located on South 6th in Sunnyside, with lit battery-powered wagons and cars.

The Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade in downtown on December 2 has been one of the most popular parades in the area since 1989. It starts at 6:30 p.m. with over 50 lit farm machines. It’s voted one of the top lit parades in the U.S., so grab a mug of hot cocoa and don’t miss out on this annual gathering.

Season’s Greetings

Christmas Trees on the Farm, located on Billy’s Berry Farm, takes place Thanksgiving through December 9. Head to 3647 N. County Line in Grandview and see which of the decked-out trees is the most impressive. Ornaments, gifts, decorations and a hayride carol with a vanilla sugar doughnut is a family tradition for many.

The Santa Claus Trolley on S. 3rd and Pine Street, in downtown Yakima, can’t be missed. It takes place the first two weekends of December and features Santa traveling by trolley instead of train. Hop on for a trolley spin of your own and tell Santa what’s on your wish list.

 

Did you overindulge on your Thanksgiving meal—and perhaps at the wine country weekend that followed? Don’t worry, because the Leftover Turkey Trot on November 25th is the perfect opportunity to get back on track. Many take advantage of this fun run to get a head start on their 2018 resolutions.

The 5k run takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so you have a full day to recover. It’s also a fantastic excuse to get up early, get your workout in and then take off to the wineries to continue wining, dining and tasting to your heart’s desire.

Wobbling and Gobbling

The race kicks off at 10 a.m., making this is a popular race for late risers. It all starts at 18th Street in downtown Yakima, and the whole family is welcome. Walk, run, or jog and rev up that metabolism as you help raise funds for Yakima Greenway’s Camp Prime Time. The non-sanctioned event is fun for all, and kids are welcome to join in the fun.

Registration is $25 for adults, $10 for youth or $65 for a family of four. You can register on the day-of at Sarg Hubbard Park between 9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Pre-registration isn’t required, so you don’t need to commit ahead of time (sometimes those turkey comas can be serious business!).

 

This town, built on vineyards and wineries, is also known for tasty Thanksgiving dinners. If you prefer to dine out on the big day, visitors to Yakima have plenty of options. Mel’s Diner is a classic in downtown, opened in 1982 and famous for the incredible holiday menu. The classic American diner usually serves burgers, shakes and fries worthy of your drool, but on Thanksgiving you’ll find the classic menu on hand.

Other dining options include the local Shari’s and Apple Tree, and Legends Casino dishes up their famed Thanksgiving buffet spread. Carved meats including turkey, smoked ham and prime rib are right next to the Bistro Bar with soups, salads and a selection of breads. Your favorite sides, plus decadent desserts including cobblers and pies, make this a tasty pick for Thanksgiving.

The Day After

Don’t get too stuffed on Thursday, because starting on Black Friday the wineries and vineyards go all out. Thanksgiving weekend is a biggie for locals with the Wine Country Thanksgiving. Most wineries are open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the three days following Thanksgiving and offer seasonal specials including food and wine pairings with holiday twists.

It’s one of the biggest events in the Valley, and there are too many events to make it to all of them. Start plotting your itinerary now, perhaps with a dabble of Black Friday shopping, and discover some new wines that make perfect holiday gifts.

Where will your long weekend begin?

 

 

Halloween in Yakima is scary good, starting with the Haunting Ellensburg at the Frontier Village. Cost is $9 per person, or you can get VIP for $12. Enter the Boneyard Barn and test your bravery! Ghoul’s Night out at the Yakima Valley Museum features all-ages costume contest, dancing, and entry is just two cans of food for charity.

Here are a few more haunts worth checking out:

  • Barktoberfest: Hosted by the Stewart Subaru and Yakima Humane Society, pets are featured along with pet and owner Halloween costume contests.
  • Freak Night Yakima Halloween at The Seasons has costume contests and a freakishly good time hosted by Fabulous Drag Life.
  • Halloween Trolley: Head out from the Trolley Barn and get free pumpkins for the first 100 children.
  • Hallowine Weekend: Maryhill Winery hosts this annual festival with free hot dogs, marshmallows to roast, and complimentary tastings for those in costume.
  • Kids’ Halloween Party: Head to Wilridge Winery for cookie decorating, cake walks, games and pumpkin painting.
  • North Front Street Trick or Treating: From 2 – 5 on Halloween, trick or treaters enjoy live music, face painting, magicians, face painting and costume contests.
  • Prosser Zombie Walk: Enjoy a walking tour of downtown historic Prosser followed by trick or treating and live music.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Princess Theatre hosts this annual event on Halloween night complete with a pre-show party, props bag, treats, trivia and more.

Where will your first treat or trick take place?

 

Can you Catch the Crush? Now’s your chance on October 14 – 15 at Wine Yakima Valley where a bevy of wineries celebrate the harvest season at this annual event. Every winery has its own festivities from grape stomps to crush activities, live music, wine tasting (of course) and free-run juice. Get a premium pass and you’ll enjoy VIP benefits reserved just for pass-holders during this epic weekend. It’s just $30 when purchased online.

This time of year, you’ll need a jacket and good walking shoes to triumph in Yakima wine country. Keep in mind that wineries always run out of glasses. Keep yours from your first stop, or bring one. A designated driver and identification is required. Some wineries waive tasting fees for premium pass holders, so make sure to check out the details as you plan your itinerary.

Who’s Pouring?

In the Yakima Area, check out AntoLin Cellars, Treveri Cellars, Owen Roe and many more. Zillah Area wineries include Cultura Wine, Dineen Family Vineyards and Agate Field. Agate is retiring, which means fantastic pricing on retirement deals—get ready to stock up!

There’s also Sunnyside/Grandivew/Prosser area wineries including 14 Hands, Co Dinn Cellars, Thurston Wolfe Winery and Chinook Wines. Head to the Red Mountain area for Chandler Reach Vineyards, Cooper Wine Company and Purple Star Winery. Get your pass online now and save!

 

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.