Yakima Blog

 

It can be chilly in Washington during January, but there are plenty of “soup”er options for a cup or bowl in Yakima. Check out the offerings at Famous Burger and Teriyaki Sandwich, located at 401 W Lincoln Ave. Pho soup is available only on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays but is well worth the wait. Try the special, jumbo shrimp, beef, chicken or tofu varieties. Extra sides of proteins or noodles is also an option.

Essencia Artisan Bakery at 4 N 3rd St. is famous for their soups and sandwiches as well as decadent pastries and desserts. Open at 7 a.m., you’ll want to arrive early to see what soups are available (they change daily!). Plenty of vegetarian options are available, and it’s impossible to resist the homemade desserts and pastries from buttery croissants to cupcakes galore.

Spooning is a Must

The White House at 3602 Kern Rd in Yakima is an upscale breakfast and lunch dining pick with a cozy, intimate ambiance. There’s a different soup featured daily, always served with a brioche bun. Local, seasonal ingredients are highlighted, and the soup pairs wonderfully with one of the hearty sandwiches like the Turkey Cranberry with whipped cream cheese or The Works with ham, turkey and roast beef with horseradish and Havarti cheese.

Pho King Crab, located at 1601 E Washington Ave #104 in nearby Union Gap, is another popular pho destination. Choose your protein, add extra noodles, or go all-veg. The portions are generous, and you can always get takeaway to enjoy your soup to go.

Where will you find the perfect bowl?

 

 

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!

 

Yakima is home to the last operating, turn of the century interurban electric railroad-and it’s a trip you have to take. At the Yakima Valley Trolleys museum, you’ll see modern trolley operations and can even charter your very own trolley for any special outing. The operating season is now extended through September with trolleys operating on the weekends, and private rentals available year-round.

Stop by South 3rd and Pine Street between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday to hop aboard at the Carbarn. Trolleys whisk you down charming Pine Street along the Selah line. Fare is just $6 for adults and $4 for children.

Trolley-ing Along

In the museum, you’ll see classic trolleys like the Flatbed locomotive and line car built in 1910, the steeple cab freight locomotive from 1922 and the double truck steel car built in 1930. Popular with filmmakers, the local trolley system hasn’t changed in 100 years, though maintenance is an ongoing priority. Vintage trolleys from Yakima have been in-demand with filmmakers for decades, especially since they operate through orchards, antique commercial districts and offer a great view of the river canyon.

The Carbarn and trolleys look just like they did in the early years, including the upkeep of two electric freight locomotives and four streetcars. Let the trolleys take you back in time, whether it’s for a romantic outing, photography or film project, or simply to satisfy the history buff in you.

 

A Yakima landmark since 1904, Johnson Orchards is open to the public and has a knack for whisking you back in time. The fruit packing warehouse opened in 1916, specializing in tree-ripened cherries and still in full operation today. At Johnson’s, you can buy cherries, peruse the orchard’s u-pick for what’s in season or opt for pre-picked goodies and produce. Buckets and harnesses are available for u-pick, and the trees are tended so that no ladders are needed.

You’ll also find Baron Farms grass-fed meats here along with gorgeous bouquets. There’s Blueberry Hills Sorbatto for a sweet treat and The Little Bake Shop offers scratch-made pastries. Grab some Purple Star wine, made by the Johnson Family’s nephew Kyle, and pair it with the treasures you uncover.

Yakima Goodness

A lot has happened since these Swedish immigrants bought farmland at the turn of the century. With a commercial kitchen added in 2011, freshly baked pies and other patisserie favorites became a local favorite. This family-run business has gone from depending on dirt roads and wagons to being the driving force behind a major four-lane arterial pathway.

Although many other farms and orchards have gone the way of shopping centers, Johnson Orchards remains fixed in the community. It’s a slice of paradise within the city, a place where you can always count on the freshest treats and delicious wines. In autumn, try Johnson’s for pumpkins, corn and your favorite fall specialties.

 

 

Nestled slightly southwest of downtown Yakima, this sprawling park is dedicated to youth recreation and outdoor lovers. Featuring basketball courts, soccer fields, plenty of shady picnic areas, and an equestrian arena, it’s the perfect destination for families looking for a spot to gather at the tail-end of summer.

Indoor meeting spaces are popular for weddings, family reunions, and corporate gatherings. Home of the WSU Master Gardener’s Demonstration Garden, visitors are also treated to a gorgeous garden largely featuring native plants. Soccer tournaments are held here, including the Yak Attack 5v5 and other major events. The park is located at 107 West Ahtanum Road in nearby Union Gap, WA.

Park and Rec

Tuesday evening is open ping pong night throughout 2017, hosted by the Yakima Table Tennis Club. Stop in for some fun and new friends. Throughout August, the Ben Franklin Middle School Essay Contest at the nearby Olde Yakima Letterpress Museum is being exhibited.

Check out the hiking trail heads located at the nearby Central WA Agricultural Museum and don’t miss the Cabela’s Weekend Workshops every Saturday and Sunday in 2017. Ahtanum Youth Park is close to all the big events in Union Gap. What special event is calling to you?