2019 Spokane Holiday Events for Families

spokane holiday events

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Twinkling lights, holiday parades, opportunities to visit with Santa – it’s all happening here! We have rounded up some of the best family-friendly holiday events in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene and are so excited to share them with you in our 2019 Spokane Holiday Events for Families blog post. We hope these activities and events help you create magical memories with your families this Christmas season.

And if you’re still on the hunt for that perfect Christmas gift for your kiddo, make sure to visit our 2019 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Kids here.

Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises Journey to the North Pole 

Friday, November 15 – Wednesday January 1 | Coeur d’Alene Resort

Kids 5 and under are ride free on this magical Journey to see 1.5 million lights, with a visit to the North Pole to meet Santa and his Elves, The Grinch, Rudolph, the Giant Animated Christmas Tree… and much more! Children are amazed to find out that Santa calls them out by name (due to a bit of behind-the-scenes logistics). The North Pole also has dancing elves and prancing reindeer.

You can purchase tickets as well as find more information here.

Free Storytime at the Loof Carousel

Friday, November 15 – Friday, December 20 | Riverfront Park Looff Carousel

Join us in the Looff Carrousel party room at 11:00 AM for Storytime. Free Carrousel rides offered to those who attend.

Custer’s Christmas Arts & Crafts Show

Friday, November 22 – Sunday, November 24 | Spokane County Fair & Expo Center

Custer’s Christmas Arts & Crafts show features 300 professional artists and crafters from across the northwest displaying and selling their Fine Art, Hand Crafts and Specialty Foods. With over 78,000 square feet of exhibit space, this is the largest show of it’s kind in the Inland Northwest! Join us in this holiday shopping tradition!

You can find more information here.

Santa’s Magical Reindeer

Friday, November 22 – Sunday, December 22 | Ritter’s Garden & Gift

Come see Santa’s Magical Reindeer this holiday season! You can see them anytime during our regular business hours. We have collector ornaments available this year made out of the reindeer’s antlers.

There is no charge to see the reindeer. If there are changes due to the dates of when the reindeer will be here we will update you with that information. With the weather, we sometimes get them later or earlier.

You can find more information here.

40 Days of Liberty Lake Winter Glow Spectacular Lights

Saturday, November, 23  – Thursday, January 2 | Orchard Park

Winter Glow Spectacular is coming together to make the holidays more magical for the whole family. For 40 days, Orchard Park will be lit up with Holiday lights and displays, including animation and music. It’s all free and is walkable or drivable around the perimeter.

You can find more information here.

Santa’s Arrival At Riverpark Square

Saturday, November 23 | 2:00PM | River Park Square

Mark your calendar with our new SATURDAY event- November 23. The festivities will begin at 2:00PM, with Santa’s arrival and tree lighting at 5pm.

Free hot chocolate and face painting will be provided, beginning at 2pm, with stage entertainment beginning at 4:30PM. Jolly Ol’ St. Nick will arrive with the help of a little holiday magic for the annual tree lighting at 5pm.

Santa will be available for pictures following the tree lighting through December 24.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert Live to Film

Saturday, November 23 – Sunday, November 24 | Fox Theatre

One of Tim Burton’s most celebrated films, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, will be projected on the big screen with dialog and effects accompanied by Danny Elfman’s enigmatic score played live by the Spokane Symphony. Based on an original story written by Tim Burton, Tim Burton’sThe Nightmare Before Christmas was released in October 1993. The score is provided by long-time Burton collaborator, Danny Elfman and stars Chris Sarandon as Jack Skellington, Catherine O’Hara as Sally, and Ken Page as Oogie Boogie.

You can find more information as well as purchase tickets here.

Sensory Friendly Santa: Spokane Valley Mall

Sunday, November 24 | 8:00AM – 9:30AM | Spokane Valley Mall

Santa welcomes children of all ages and abilities! Autism Speaks is thrilled to be partnering with Cherry Hill Programs again this holiday season to provide sensory-friendly Santa Experiences for families across the country!

All families with children with autism and other special needs can enjoy the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa, in a more subdued and calm environment. Sensory-friendly Santa events are free and keepsake photo packages will be available for purchase. Please RSVP to reserve your spot today!

You find reserve your spot here.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Friday, November 29 | Spokane Theatre

A specially themed holiday show, Holidaze sees various Christmas ornaments magicked to life as the seasoned troupe of 30 performers from over 12 different countries combine their talents into 20 acts, transforming themselves into costumed characters and perform astonishing feats that celebrate the holiday season with spectacle, imagination and whimsical joy.

You can find more information as well as purchase tickets here.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Friday, November 29 – Sunday, December 22 | Spokane Children’s Theatre

It is four days before Christmas, and the New York Evening Post needs a holiday feature story. President James Monroe is counting on reading it to his family on Christmas Day. But writer Clement Moore has writer’s block. Besides that, he must work at home amongst his five children who are, needless to say, very anxious for St. Nicholas to arrive. Clement’s frustration mounts—then the magic begins. The sounds of bells, moving toys and visions of Sugar Plum Fairies all conspire to help Clement, as the events from the classic poem come to life.

You can find more information as well as purchase tickets here.

The Nutcracker Ballet

Thursday, November 29 – Sunday, December 2 | The Fox Theater

E.T.A. Hoffman’s story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince is brought to life by the Santa Barbara-based State Street Ballet and more than 75 local dancers. Tchaikovsky’s beloved score is performed live by the Spokane Symphony. The beautiful Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox is dressed in the holiday spirit. A magical tradition you won’t want to miss.

You can purchase tickets here.

Coeur d’Alene Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony Parade

Friday, November 29 | 5:00PM – 6:00PM | Downtown Coeur d’Alene

The Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association is pleased to present the 29th Annual Lighting Ceremony Parade Sponsored by Idaho Central Credit Union. Watch as the parade entries light up Sherman Avenue as they bring the Holiday Spirit to Downtown CDA with marching bands, dancing, music and festive floats!

Then gather on The Coeur d’Alene Resort Lawn for carols, and a countdown to a spectacular firework display complements of the Hagadone Corporation. At the end of the show, the switch is flipped and over 1.5 million lights brighten the downtown area!

Elf on the Shelf Downtown Coeur d’Alene

Saturday, November 30 – Sunday, December 22 | Downtown Coeur d’Alene

Did you hear the news? Santa is sending a team of “Scout Elves” to Downtown Coeur d’Alene! The Coeur d’Alene Scout Elves will land in town to start a fun holiday scavenger hunt on Saturday, November 30 and Santa has granted them permission to scout every Saturday & Sunday through December 22. Just like all elves, these ones are sneaky and hideout in cups of hot cocoa, cozy boutique sweaters, and other silly places! Keep your eyes peeled for one of the dozens of Coeur d’Alene Scout Elves hiding throughout the downtown corridor and you could win a gift card and be entered to win a Grand Prize from Santa himself!

You can find more information here.

Holiday Celebration and Fireworks

Saturday, November 30 | 5:00PM – 7:00PM | Kendall Yards

Join us on Small Business Saturday as we welcome winter by lighting up the streets of Kendall Yards with a fireworks show! This is a FREE community event brought to you by the Kendall Yards Business District!

Free Grilled Cheese Giveaway, holiday lights, fireworks show (7:00PM), live music, Old World Santa and Pet photos, Live reindeer, face painting, small business Saturday shopping and special offers, hot cocoa and cider, marshmallow roast and s’mores station, and more!

We will be accepting nonperishable food items for Our Place Ministries to help our neighbors in need this holiday season! (Welcome Center).

Find the Nutcracker Kid’s Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, November 30 – Sunday, December 8 | Downtown Spokane

Kids! Clara needs your help finding her Nutcracker friend.

25 Nutcrackers have been hidden in participating downtown businesses*. Use your passport to locate ten Nutcrackers and be entered to win one of three family prize packages valued at $300.

Once you have collected ten stamps, bring your Passport to Auntie’s Bookstore or the Concierge Desk at River Park Square and pick up a prize! Your Passport will be automatically entered into the grand prize drawing for a downtown family pack (and other prizes) that will be held on December 20.

Print your Passport here: https://downtownspokane.org/event/nutcracker-scavenger-hunt/, or find one inside Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W Main or the River Park Square Concierge Desk, 808 W Main.

You can find more information here.

The Nativity Live

Friday, December 6 – Saturday, December 7 | 6:00PM – 9:00PM | New Life Church

This drive through live expression of the Nativity story complete with live animals, is beautiful and life changing. We are excited to offer this free event to the community again this year. We will be accepting unwrapped toy donations for Head Start if you would like to donate. Come and Join us in the Experience of the story of Christmas.

You can find more information here.

Twigs Princess Breakfast

Saturday, December 7 | 8:00AM – 10:30AM | Twigs at River Park Square

Enjoy a special breakfast with your kids as they meet & greet real-life princesses!

Scrambled eggs, bacon, roasted breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit, crème brûlée French Toast, OJ and Coffee

$13.00 kids 12 and under
$18.00 adults
includes tax and gratuity


Call to reserve your spot:

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, December 7 | 8:00AM, 9:00AM, or 10:00AM | Centerplace Regional Event Center

Event is $5/person and includes a warm pancake breakfast, craft and game stations, and a visit with Santa. Breakfast with Santa is presented by the Rotary Club of Greater Spokane Valley & The City of Spokane Valley. Space is limited so make sure to register early.

To register call the Spokane Valley Parks & Recreation Department at (509) 720-5200 or visit spokanevalley.org/SantaBreakfast.

Winter Magic at Painting with a Twist

Saturday, December 7 | 12:00PM – 2:00PM | Painting with a Twist

Fun for the whole family, no matter your age! (Recommend ages 6 & up) We provide step by step instructions and stencils! Are you ready to have a great time? We know you’ll have an awesome time with us!

You can find more information as well as purchase tickets here.

Hayden Lights Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Saturday, December 7 | 5:00PM – 8:00PM | McIntire Family Park

Join us for the annual Hayden Lights Parade & Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The parade will begin at 5:00 p.m. at Hayden Avenue and runs south along Government Way. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony immediately following the parade at McIntire Family Park. Free coffee, hot chocolate and cookies available! Children can visit Santa in the Council Chambers following the Lighting Ceremony. P1FCU will provide games and crafts for the kids as well!

You can find more information here.

Downtown Live Neigh-tivity & Santa Visits

Saturday, December 7 | 12:00PM – 5:00PM | Downtown Coeur d’Alene

The Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association is partnering with First Presbyterian & Trinity Lutheran to bring you a Live Neigh-tivity! There will be a live animal petting stable, manger scene photo booth, carolers, hot chocolate, coffee – compliments of Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters – and gifts. All for FREE at Sherman Square Park from 1:00PM-4:00PM. The petting stable will feature a camel, donkey, cow, goats, sheep and handlers dressed in Nativity attire! This event will be at the Sherman Square Park (316 Sherman Avenue).

The fun doesn’t stop there! Santa will be riding in on The Coeur d’Alene Fire Department’s vintage fire truck, decked out with millions of lights and be parking at the corner of 2nd and Sherman Ave. to hear what is on your Christmas list. Santa will available for you to take photos with and visit children of all ages from 4:00PM – 6:00PM. Canned food donations to the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department are appreciated.

Gingerbread Build-off

Sunday, December 8 | 10:00AM-4:00PM | Northern Quest Resort & Casino

Kick-off the holidays with the 15th annual gingerbread competition, benefiting Christ Kitchen. This Spokane tradition has moved to Northern Quest, where you can watch local culinary teams create sweet masterpieces, vote your favorite, and even create mini versions of your own ($7 donation). There’ll be holiday music, photos with Mr. & Mrs. Gingerbread, plus snacks, beverages and raffle tickets available for purchase.

You can find more information here.

Holiday Lights at Gaiser Conservatory

Friday, December 13 – Sunday, December 22 | Manito Park

A Spokane treasure lights up the holidays! The Gaiser Conservatory at Manito Park transforms for the season with over 40,000 brilliant lights. This family-friendly event is free to the public.

The Gaiser Conservatory will be open every day to to view the Holiday Lights.  Best viewing times begin a 4:00PM and goes until 7:30PM.  During that time, the street around the conservatory is for pedestrians only. Bus parking is off of Tekoa Street.

Kids’ Class at Pilgrim’s Market 

Saturday, December 14 | 11:00AM-1:00PM | Pilgrim’s Market

Free class. Bring your kids to decorate an ornament that will adorn many trees for years to come! Hot cocoa will be served as we craft the perfect decorative ornament. All ages are welcome. All supplies provided. Reserve early as space is limited. RSVP to Jessica demo@pilgrimsmarket.com

Northpole 2019 – Free Santa Photos

Saturday, December 14 | 2:00PM – 6:00PM | Hillyard Festival

Free santa pictures, tree lighting, hay ride (3:00PM), Christmas caroling, food drive, cookies, hot cocoa, coffee. Fun for the whole family!

You can find more information here.

Holiday Gingerbread House Decorating

Saturday, December 14 | 1:00PM – 3:00PM | Pilgrim’s Market

Who loves gingerbread houses? Get creative for the holidays at My Fresh Basket and decorate a gingerbread house while sipping on some hot cocoa. Join us for one of our gingerbread decorating sessions! Your ticket includes a pre-built gingerbread house, plus all the fixings to decorate! Please be sure to verify the correct time for your class as there are several available time slots. Your ticket is only valid for that particular time.

You can find more information as well as purchase tickets here.


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