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5 Awesome Northwest Winter Weekend Getaway Destinations & Itineraries

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August 19, 2019

Looking for some great ideas for a family-friendly Northwest winter weekend getaway to help beat the winter blues?

We’ve got you covered in this collaborative post from five fellow travel bloggers who will dish on their favorite places to visit for a northwest winter weekend getaway.

From the ski slopes of Oregon to the bustling ambiance of downtown Bozeman, we’ll even hook you up with what to do at Yellowstone National Park during the winter months with kids!

Look no further for 5 amazing family-friendly Northwest USA ‘winter weekend’ getaway ideas!

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Northwest Getaways; Portland, Oregon

Bend, Oregon from To & Fro Fam

Just a few hours from Portland, Oregon, Bend is my favorite place to go for a northwest winter weekend getaway. There’s close to zero chance your kids will get bored. There’s just so much to do in Bend during the winter!

When I go to Bend with my family, we stay at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes, a pet-friendly hotel a 5-minute drive from downtown.

I love that you simply open the sliding glass door to walk along the Deschutes River, which runs directly behind the hotel.

Booking.com

Day 1

Mt. Bachelor, a dormant volcano that gets more than 450 inches of snow each winter, is Bend’s top snowboard and skiing destination.

With more than 4,300 acres of accessible powder, Mt. Bachelor has runs for every skill level—from bunny hills for beginners to technical black diamond runs. 

You’ll want to dedicate most of a day here—and make the most of a lift ticket.

If sledding and tubing are more your (and your kids’) speed, Mt. Bachelor’s Snowblast Tubing Park has a chair lift that will take you to the top of a sledding hill. That means you’ll spend more time tubing and less time encouraging your exhausted kids to keep trekking uphill because “we’re almost to the top!”

When you’re done, head on over to Crux Fermentation Project.

This pub has set up tables within its brewery, so you’ll smell the heady hops aroma while your kids refuel with a specialty grilled cheese (made on chips-and cheese-crusted bread—yum).

Adults should sip one of more than 20 beers on tap while watching the sunset behind the Cascade Mountains—which, of course, you just skied down.

Day 2

Eat a quick breakfast and then head directly to Tumalo Falls.

Just minutes from Bend’s city center, the trail to Tumalo Falls is closed in winter to car traffic—but open to snowshoers. A 5-mile out-and-back trail takes you from the parking lot to the falls.

Know, though, that this popular spot gets quite crowded, especially on weekends, so show up early to enjoy more of the peace and quiet.

After your snowshoeing trek, head to Foxtail Bakeshop & Kitchen.

Their brunch offerings are on-point, and your kids will fall in love with the whimsical murals. Don’t forget to try one of their macarons!

In the afternoon, head to the High Desert Museum. This kid-friendly museum includes live animals, natural history exhibits and cultural artifacts from the Native American tribes of the High Desert.

Leave plenty of time for your kids to goof off in the hands-on area, where they can dress up as local animals and climb all over the indoor play structures.

Anaheim, California from Eco Friendly Mama

There are so many things to love about Great Wolf Lodge in Anaheim, California!

Even in Southern California, it can turn cold and rainy during the winter months.

Staying at Great Wolf Lodge and playing all day in their massive temperature-controlled indoor water park is the perfect way to chase the winter blues away during a northwest winter weekend getaway!

Waterpark

A fantastic attraction at Great Wolf Lodge, Anaheim is Bear Track Landing. Bear Track Landing has 14 water slides, 4 pools (including one outdoors), and multiple splash pad areas for youngsters. There’s a wave pool, a not-so-lazy river, and a low ropes area.

My son’s favorite attraction here is Wolf Rider Wipeout, which is like bodyboarding on a Flow Rider. It’s challenging, thrilling, and it seems almost every ride ends with a big wipeout, which is great fun to watch!

Activities

Beyond the water park, there’s lots of fun stuff for families to do such as Moon Glow mini-golf, Ten Paw Alley bowling, Northern Lights Arcade, and MagiQuest, an interactive game that takes its players all over the hotel in a fun magic-themed mission.

Another highlight of a winter weekend getaway to Great Wolfe Lodge is that there are free kids activities throughout the day in the lobby featuring hotel mascots Wiley Wolf and his forest friends.

You can also meet them during the buffet breakfast at Loose Moose Kitchen, one of the resort’s several allergy-friendly dining options.

Read: A full review of Great Wolf Lodge Bloomington, MN and an in-depth look at this family-friendly hotel brand.

Sustainability

What I personally love most about this resort though is its commitment to sustainability!

Some examples of the hotel’s environmental program (dubbed Project Green Wolf) are that the entire water park runs on just one swimming pool’s worth of water, the restaurants incorporate non-GMO/organic ingredients, and beverages are served in compostable cups.

You can read more about why this Eco-Friendly Mama loves Great Wolf Lodge in my post here.

Planning tip: Great Wolf Lodge is very close to the Disneyland Resort and centrally located so you can combine your stay with visits to other Southern California attractions.

Northwest winter weekend getaway; Bozeman

Bozeman, Montana from Two Little Pandas

When it comes to winter getaways, Bozeman, MT is about as good as it gets.

Bozeman is located right in the heart of the beautiful Gallatin Valley in the Rocky mountains and averages 63 inches of snow annually.

Bozeman has a thriving downtown with tons of kid-friendly restaurants and boutique hotels. Likewise, The LARK hotel has super cute, minimalist-style rooms, and some rooms even have bunk beds.  

Booking.com

Day 1

Check out Bridger Bowl, a great nonprofit ski area with a friendly local vibe and very reasonable lift ticket prices, including free skiing for children 6 and under. 

And you won’t miss out on quality either. It has 2,600 vertical feet, and 2,000 acres, serving all levels of skiers from the tiniest first-timer to thrill-seeking black diamond skiers or snowboarders. 

Bridger has tons of dining options with notably great food all over the mountain, ranging from cafeteria style to more high end, or you can bring your own lunch to save a few dollars.   

Day 2

Head over to the Cateye Cafe for a great breakfast with a super fun vibe.

Tables have toys and cateye glasses to entertain your kids. We love the Cowgirl breakfast:  banana bread french toast with potatoes and bacon.

Once you are fueled up and ready for another snow play day, pick up a couple of cheap sleds, or if you are up for a drive, rent snow tubes from Big Boys Toys, and head to the Gallatin County Regional Park (called Hundred Acre Park by locals) for an awesome friendly sledding hill.

You’ll get your work out in AND have a great time!

Once you’ve had enough of the snow, check out the Museum of the Rockies, with a great toddler area, as well as a dinosaur area for older kids. 

Grab a Strange Cattle IPA and a tasty burger (or order off the kid’s menu), and simply wind down.  

How’s that for a perfect Northwest winter weekend getaway?

Skiing in Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park from Traveling Mel’s Yellowstone Trips

One of our favorite places to visit in winter is Yellowstone National Park.

The crowds have thinned compared to summer and a soft blanket of snow covers the park. Geysers and hot springs still burble hot water from their colorful pools.

Wildlife, including elk, bison, and wolves are low in the valley and often easy to spot.

We are fortunate to have the world’s first National Park in our backyard and there are so many things to do in Yellowstone in winter.

Day 1

Get an early start and take a wildlife tour through the Lamar Valley. You can sign up with a tour company – both group and private tours are available – or tour yourself.

If you choose to drive yourself make sure you have a good set of binoculars or a spotting scope and a full tank of gas.

Be sure to check-in with the Ranger at the visitor center in Mammoth Hot Springs to find out where people have been seeing wildlife.

As you drive along, stop when you see something interesting or groups of people with spotting scopes.

After a morning of wildlife watching, warm up with a soak in the Boiling River. There are only two front country hot springs in Yellowstone where soaking is allowed and this is the only one accessible in winter.

Follow your soak with ice skating at the rink behind the Mammoth Hotel (they have skates you can use) and dinner in the Mammoth Dining Room.

Day 2

Rent cross-country skis from the Bear’s Den Ski Shop in the Mammoth Hotel and choose a trail.

The people working there can help you decide based on snow conditions and your ability. They can also sign you up for a lesson or tour.

Alternatively, rent snowshoes – no experience necessary. Pack a picnic lunch or get back to the hotel before you get hungry. 

If you are still itching to explore, spend the afternoon walking around the Mammoth Terraces ogling the hot springs and colors. 

Leavenworth, Washington from Patsey Family Travels

Leavenworth, Washington is just over a 2-hour drive east of Seattle. The village of Leavenworth was built with a Bavarian theme and is nestled in the middle of the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington.

It does not feel like you are in the United States when you are in Leavenworth, but rather a small German village because of the Bavarian-style buildings.

Winter is a wonderful time of year to visit Leavenworth with a family, and especially around Christmas time. The buildings are all lit up in lights, and it is truly magical to walk around Leavenworth when there is snow in the air.

Day 1

Spend the day exploring the town of Leavenworth.

In the village, you will find many German eateries, as well as shopping, and some great wineries that are kid-friendly.

In January there is a festival called Icefest, which is a perfect way to spend the day in Leavenworth because there are various snow and ice activities for the whole family to enjoy.

A few other activities to enjoy in Leavenworth for kids are The Nutcracker Museum and the Gingerbread Factory!

There is even a great small sledding hill right in the middle of the village which is perfect for younger kids.

Day 2

On the second day, you can see what’s right outside of the village.

In the surrounding areas of Leavenworth, you will find many other fun winter activities that are perfect for families.

Steven’s Pass is nearby and is one of the best ski resorts in all of Washington, and you could spend a day here skiing, snowboarding, or tubing with the family.

They also have places to go sledding for free, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Another popular activity in the area is to take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, as long as there is snow on the ground. 

Visit here for more awesome information on things to do when visiting Chelan County in the winter with kids!

If you like our article on Northwest Winter Weekend Getaways, click here to check out our Related posts:

*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to help with your travel planning. Find exclusive travel discounts, and book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*

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Click here for 5 awesome itineraries for Northwest Winter Weekend Getaways from Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!  #Northwestwintergetaways #bestnorthwestwintergetaways #bestnorthwestweekendgetaways #bestplacestogointhenorthwest #bestwintervacationswithsnow #familywinterweekendgetaways #wintergetaways #northwestwinterweekendgetaways
Click here for 5 awesome itineraries for Northwest Winter Weekend Getaways from Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!  #Northwestwintergetaways #bestnorthwestwintergetaways #bestnorthwestweekendgetaways #bestplacestogointhenorthwest #bestwintervacationswithsnow #familywinterweekendgetaways #wintergetaways #northwestwinterweekendgetaways
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5 Comments
  1. Reply

    Francesca

    October 15, 2019

    I fully support these recommendations, especially Bozeman and Yellowstone. I’ve stayed at The LARK and loved it – it’s so fun!

    • Reply

      Jen

      October 15, 2019

      Great feedback! Thanks!

  2. Reply

    Julie

    August 21, 2019

    What a great roundup!! We love a weekend getaway! Will definitely keep these destinations in mind!

    • Reply

      Jen

      August 21, 2019

      Thanks! I may have to hit up some of these destinations too!

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Hi, I’m Jen!  Welcome to Travel With A Plan!

I’m an avid adventurer who is always planning the next family vacation for my husband and I, and our three boys!

As an advocate for family travel with kids of all ages, I am a firm believer that traveling together helps keep families healthy and happy at home!

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