Typically known for its wine, Lake Chelan is also a year-round vacation destination, including being a great destination for winter activities. If your family loves winter fun, Lake Chelan in Central Washington offers many options for winter family fun.
Lake Chelan Winterfest Festival
In January, Lake Chelan features 2 weekends of fun for its annual Winterfest Festival. The 2015 festival runs through January 25. The annual Lake Chelan Winterfest is presented by the Historic Downtown Chelan Association and has been a community and family favorite for nearly 30 years. This Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce event is 2 weekends filled with family fun, including ice sculptures and ice sculpting, live music, wine walks, ale tasting, a bubbles bar, an ice bar, an ice slide, horse-drawn carriage rides, activities for kids of all ages, a polar bear splash, a massive beach bonfire, spectacular fireworks show, and so much more! Pick up your Winterfest button for just $5 and you'll also get discounts at many participating stores and admission to all of the basic Winterfest activities. Some activities, such as the Wine Walk, require separate admission.
My family and I spent Friday, January 16, partaking in Winterfest activities in Chelan. We started out the fun afternoon with a horse-drawn carriage ride. We were pretty early, so we had a whole ride around downtown all to ourselves. Next up was the ice slide. This massive slide was carved out of a huge block of ice. Embedded in the slide were artistic snowflake designs. My kids rode this slide numerous times throughout the afternoon and evening (basically every time we walked by the slide, they took a run down).
Watch the Ice Slide at Lake Chelan Winterfest
We had espresso and snacks at Vogue, and then we enjoyed dinner at the Bamboo Shoot. If you love Hibachi grills, this is the restaurant for you. Our chef cooked and entertained for us. The food was delightful and they were accommodating of our large family and finicky kid food desires. Normally my kids are great eaters, but by the time we had dinner, we'd had a long day and people were tired and cranky.
My husband and I participated in the Wine Walk Friday night. From 5-9 pm, you visit various retails establishments downtown and taste wine form a variety of wineries. Wine Walk tickets are $35 and include a commemorative glass and 10 tasting tokens. This is a great way to taste many local wines in one easy locale. Kids are welcome to plunk around with you as most of the locations are store fronts. My kids played in the snow and rode the ice slide while my husband and I enjoyed the wine.
Watching artists make sculptures from ice was fascinating. Who knew what you could accomplish with a chainsaw?! And some of the sculptures that were already done, like the set of thrones, provided much entertainment as everyone needed to sit in each throne and get a photo.
Disclaimer: My family and I were treated to a weekend in Lake Chelan to attend Lake Chelan Winterfest to review and provide our honest opinions. All opinions are my own.