Trip Idea: 10 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Hood River

‘Tis the season for relaxing with family and friends, playing in the snow, and taking time to recharge — and Hood River is the ideal place for all three. Here are 10 great ways to celebrate the holiday season in Hood River this year.

1. Enjoy Stress-Free Shopping

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and do your holiday shopping in Hood River. Throughout the month, local businesses, artists, chefs and other local makers will host holiday open houses, special events and sales. The Last Chance Bazaar Holiday Bazaar, set for December 10 – 11, is a great opportunity to find locally made gifts. For an up-to-date list of holiday shopping events, visit HoodRiver.org.

2. Work Up a Sweat

Need a break from holiday TO DO lists? Go for a hike or trail run, take a yoga class, go skiing or walk along the Hood River waterfront. Planning to be here for Thanksgiving? Participate in the Mosier Twin Tunnels Turkey Trot along the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Open to runners and walkers and with options for the entire family (3K, 5K and 12K), the Turkey Trot begins at 10 am and raises Mosier Community School extracurricular activities.

3. Hood River Holidays Parade

Hood River’s small-town charm shines brighter than ever during the Hood River Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, Friday, December 2. The festivities include a parade through historic downtown, the tree lighting, caroling and – of course – a visit with Santa. Stores stay open late to accommodate holiday shoppers.

4. Have breakfast with Santa

On December 18, from 8-10 a.m., join Santa for a holiday breakfast buffet at Mt. Hood Meadow’s Vertical North Pole restaurant, located at the top level of the North Lodge. Then boot up and head out for a couple of runs with old St. Nick himself. For an up-to-date list additional ways to meet Santa, visit HoodRiver.org.

5.Take a Walk at the Columbia Gorge Hotel

The timeless Columbia Gorge Hotel, a National historic landmark, looks even more beautiful during the holiday season, when the hotel and riverside grounds are festooned with lights.

6. Get Your Local Art Fix

Listen, sing, dance and learn your way through the holiday season. Opportunities include the CAST Holiday Performance Spectacular (throughout December), the Sense of Place lecture series (Dec. 14), a rock concert violinist Aaron Meyer (Dec. 4), and the BIG Art walking tour.

7. Savor Seasonal Spirits

Park in downtown Hood River and walk to numerous breweries and tasting rooms, as well as two distilleries. Enjoy seasonal ales and cocktails, live music, brewers’ dinners and more. If you’re a wine connoisseur, visit Hood River the weekend of December 10-11, when the downtown Hood River tasting rooms are hosting a Winter Wine Walk. Each tasting room will offer specials on wines or tastings. Visit five or more tasting rooms and be entered to win a gift basket full of local goodies from our downtown retailers.

8. Learn to Ski or Snowboard

Located just 45 minutes from Mt. Hood Meadowsand Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, skiers and boarders of all levels can find fun and challenging ski runs, terrain parks, groomed Nordic trails, tubing and snowshoe trails. If you stay in Hood River, access amazing deals on lift tickets to Mt. Hood Meadows.

9. Step Back in Time.

Every second Saturday, WAAAM Air and Auto Museum opens its doors to roll out and run some of its antique airplanes and cars. Visitors watch airplane operations up close and may get to ride in old cars too. Open 9-5. Activities 10-2; lunch 11-1.

10. Go for a Waterfall Hike

The Columbia River Gorge has the highest concentration of waterfalls in North America, and near Hood River you will find many trails leading to them, including Wahclella Falls, Dry Creek Falls, Tamanawas Falls, and Hole in the Wall Falls, accessible from the newly completed section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail from Lindsey Creek to Starvation Creek Trailhead.