The Bavarian Ice Festival blends winter activities, snow sculptures, and holiday lights into two days of revelry amid Leavenworth's ivory snowflakes. Busses operated by Alki Tours depart at 8 a.m. and deliver Saturday visitors to downtown Leavenworth, where the annual Smooshing contest finds teams of four atop 8-foot wooden planks as they glide merrily down Front Street and safely away from escaped dinosaurs. Guests can relax under warm blankets and sip hot chocolate or coffee during a 40-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride. First day visitors also take in the artwork of an ice-sculpting contest, a slippery footed tug-of-war, and an ice cube scramble or frisbee sweep for the kids.
After his first time riding a Segway, 11-year-old Gregg Jantz Jr. was hooked. There weren’t Segway tours in his hometown of Edmonds, so he and his father went to the company’s headquarters in New Hampshire to learn more about the self-balancing transporters. They were excited about what they learned there, leading to the creation of Segway of Edmonds.
Today, visitors can take 90-minute tours of Puget Sound. By day, the tours take a historical angle, and educate groups about Olympic Beach and the mills that used to sit along the coast. Sunset tours create beautiful photo ops, and can be arranged to end with dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants. All tours begin with a 30-minute orientation session, and guides stop occasionally to take photos of groups and make sure no one has fused to their Segway. Visitors can also rent Segways for self-guided tours.
The Cascade Bicycle Club bolsters the Puget Sound biking community through educational programs, community action, and organized events and rides. A 14,000-rider-strong nonprofit organization, the club advocates cycling as a worthy alternative for fitness routines, daily commutes, and backup power generators. Every year, volunteers lead more than 1,000 free club rides, ranging from short joyrides to multiple-day tours, in addition to their yearly schedule of special events, including the Seattle Bicycle Expo in March, the Bike Month Commute Challenge in May, and the High Pass Challenge in September.
Yuen Lui Studio, a family-owned photography business specializing in individual and family portraits, has been creating photographic heirlooms since 1947. With your 20- to 30-minute photo session ($30), get your soul captured indoors at Yuen Lui's studio, boasting 16 background options, or let nature provide the backdrop at Aliso Beach's outdoor picture-taking spots. Up to eight people can appear in the shoot (additional subjects will incur an extra cost), making this deal an ideal opportunity to upgrade the framed family photos that have been hanging in your parents’ home for the past 600 years. Now that you aren’t riddled with acne or plagued with a six-year-old’s gummy smile, split the cost with your sibs and surprise your folks with a more up-to-date snapshot just in time for the holidays.