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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Unwrap the holidays: 21 things to do that make this season merry and bright

With Thanksgiving just behind us and Christmas on the horizon, here are 21 events geared to get you in the holiday spirit.

Christmas Tree Elegance

Hosted annually by the Spokane Symphony Associates since 1983, Christmas Tree Elegance features a raffle of themed, decorated trees donated by local individuals and businesses, each valued at up to $4,999 in assorted decorations and other prizes. This 13-day event attracts more than 100,000 visitors from Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, California and Canada.

The trees will be displayed until Sunday, Dec. 12, in the Historic Davenport Hotel (808 W. Sprague Ave.) and River Park Square (808 W. Main Ave.). The event will close with a ticket drawing ceremony on the last day at each location.

Raffle ticket-buyers must be 18 years and older. Tickets are $1. For more information, visit and select “Christmas Tree Elegance” near the top of the page. Admission: FREE

Drive-thru holiday lights at ManitoOnce again moved outdoors to accommodate social distancing, this year’s Manito Holiday Lights will be a combination drive-thru and walk-through event. The drive-thru event is 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 10-16; the walk-thru event is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 17-19. Entrances to the drive-thru/walk-thru are on 25th Avenue off Grand and Bernard. For more information, visit Admission: FREE

BrrrzaarOrganized by Terrain, Brrrzaar is a one-stop shop for locally designed and crafted gifts. The event will take place spread out across the first, second and third-floor common areas of River Park Square. In addition to thousands of treats and trinkets, the event will also feature live music, family-friendly activities, a beer garden, children’s activities and Santa photos. Brrrzaar is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18. For more information, visit Admission: FREE

Spokane Symphony Orchestra’s New Year’s Eve performanceThe Spokane Symphony Orchestra will ring in the new year with Beethoven’s 9th symphony and the famous “Ode to Joy” under the baton of music director James Lowe. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31. Face masks are required. Audience members will also be required to provide either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the performance. For more information, visit and call the box office at (509) 624-1200. Tickets: $18-$62

“The Nutcracker”

For the 10th year in a row, excepting last year’s canceled tour, State Street Ballet will join the Spokane Symphony for the annual production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” Evenings performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Matinee performances are 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Face masks are required. Audience members will also be required to provide either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the performance. For more information, visit and call the box office at (509) 624-1200. Tickets: From $23 for children 12 and younger, $32-$96 for adults

‘Home for the Holidays: A Big Band Christmas’

Spokane Valley Summer Theatre will take a “sentimental journey to the past” in this year’s Christmas show at Central Valley High School Theatre (821 S. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley). Live for the first time, “Home for the Holidays: A Big Band Christmas” will feature a 16-piece Glenn Miller-style band under the musical direction of Andrea Olsen and conducted by David Brewster. The program is filled with classic tunes made popular by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Irving Berlin, among others. Local actors Doug Dawson and Marnie Rorholm will emcee the show. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 18. Matinee performances will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, and Sunday, Dec. 19. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Ticket prices at website.

Ellen Travolta’s ‘Saving Christmas’

Rescheduled from 2020, Ellen Travolta’s “Saving Christmas” show at the Coeur d’Alene Resort is back for its 10th year. Directed by Troy Nickerson, the show will feature Spokane cabaret singer and actress Abbey Crawford, Travolta’s daughter and radio personality Molly Allen, pianist Jenny Shotwell and bassist Kristina Phillips. The cast will share stories, sing songs and tell jokes. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Performed in the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Shore Room, the show will run Thursdays through Sundays through Saturday, Dec. 19. For more information, visit Tickets: $30

Symphony Pops 1: The Sweeplings, Cami Bradley & Whitney Dean

Spokane-based singer-songwriter Cami Bradley joins Whitney Dean and the Sweeplings during this year’s Spokane Symphony Holiday Pops concerts conducted by Morihiko Nakahara. The concerts will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19. For more information, visit Tickets: $43-$92

‘A Christmas to Remember’ Chorale Concert

Chorale Coeur d’Alene presents a program of classical holiday works including Randol Alan Bass’s “Gloria,” Ola Gjeilo’s “O Magnum Mysterium” and Kyle Haugen’s Finnish folk tune “Lost in the Night,” among others. The chorale will also lead an audience singalong of Christmas carols. Located at Trinity Lutheran Church in Coeur d’Alene (812 N. Fifth St.), the concerts will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, and 2 p.m. Dec. 11. For tickets, visit and call (208) 446-2333. Tickets: $30 adults; $25 senior and military; $15 students; free ages 6 and younger

‘Babes in Toyland: A Musical’

Wicked Uncle Barnaby runs the toy shop with his comic-ruffian assistants Roderigo and Gonzorgo, and he turns children into dolls and sells them for gold. Lovable Jane and Alan are his next victims. Other characters include Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; Tom-Tom, the Piper’s Son; Jack and Jill; and Little Miss Muffet. Remaining performances will begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Dec. 10 and 17; and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19. School-day shows will be given at 10 a.m. Wednesday and 12:30 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. Spokane Children’s Theatre, 2727 N. Madelia Ave. For more information, call (509) 328-4886. Tickets: $16 adults; $15 senior and military; $12 ages 12 and younger

‘The Joy of Christmas’

Northwoods Performing Arts hosts an evening of holiday magic and jubilant song. Dinner service will be available an hour before each performance. Opening with a gala night performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, the shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday and Dec. 9-11 at Circle Moon Theater, 3642 N. SR 211, Newport. For more information, call (208) 448-1294. Tickets: $12 show only adults; $10 show only children and seniors; $25 dinner and show.

Santa Express

Santa Express offers children ages 4-12 the chance to shop for gifts, $1-$10, for their friends and loved ones guided by a team of Santa Express elves. Located in the previous Mobius location at River Park Square (down the stairs by the Pottery Barn in the main atrium), Santa Express will run 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays until Dec. 23. All proceeds benefit Vanessa Behan. For more information, call (509) 415-3506. Admission: FREE

Winter Glow Spectacular

Liberty Lake’s Orchard Park (20298 E. Indiana Ave.) gets a winter wonderland makeover for its annual holiday lights show. Open now, the lights are on all day and night until the new year. For more information, visit Winter Glow Spectacular on Facebook. Admission: FREE

Northwest Winterfest

Located at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, Northwest Winterfest features the Pacific Northwest’s brightest and largest holiday lantern display and cultural celebration. In addition to hundreds of authentically crafted holiday lanterns, the event will feature food booths, beer, wine and a hot drinks booth. The Northwest Winterfest merchandise store will also be open. The tour is handicap accessible. The event runs daily from 5-9 p.m. For more information, visit Admission: $9.99-$45.99

Crescent Windows at Davenport Grand

Five of the Davenport Grand’s window bays on Main Avenue will light up with holiday displays nightly through Jan. 2. Under the creative direction of Tiffany Patterson, local artists Stephanie Bogue, Melanie Lieb, Derrick Freeland and Jazmin Ely designed and installed the window displays using a collection of refurbished figures discovered in the basement of the former Crescent Department store. The windows will light up Friday and Saturday from noon-10 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 3-8 p.m. The display can be viewed from the south side of the building, 333 W. Main Ave. For more information, visit Crescent Windows at the Grand on Facebook. FREE

Winter Wonderland

The Wonder Building’s Saturday market takes a wintery turn featuring live music, movies, arts, gifts, Christmas trees and complimentary hot cocoa, among other treats. The event opens at 10 a.m. Saturdays at the Wonder Building (835 N. Post St.). A portion of the proceeds from these events will benefit the Wishing Star Foundation. For more information, visit Admission: FREE

Colfax Winterfest

All day Saturday, Dec. 11, the Colfax Chamber of Commerce and the Colfax Downtown Association will host Winterfest 2021 featuring a fireworks show and the return of the traditional lighted parade down Main Street starting at 5:30 p.m. Other events will take place throughout the day, starting at 10 a.m. with the Perkins House Victorian Christmas. The Whitman Country Library will offer Santa Selfies from 1-3 p.m. For more information, visit Colfax Winterfest 2021 on Facebook. Admission: FREE

Winter Market at the Pavilion

Organized under the Pavilion at Riverfront Park, the Winter Market will feature offerings from a variety of local farmers, food vendors, processors, artisans and hand crafters. The market is open from 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays through Dec. 22. For more information, call (509) 625-6601. Admission: FREE

Annual Ornament and Small Works Show

Opening Friday, Spokane Art School’s annual Ornament and Small Works Show will feature pieces by more than 35 local artists. Most pieces are priced at less than $50. The show will run Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays through December at Spokane Art School, 811 W. Garland Ave. For more information, visit and call (509) 325-1500. Admission: FREE

Holiday Artist Studio Tour

The Holiday Artist Studio Tour will feature new works by Melissa Cole, Neicy Frey, Louise Kodis, Nicholas Sironka, Reinaldo Gil Zambrano, Jim Kolva and Pat Sullivan, among others, each at their own studios. Studios will open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., followed by an artist reception from 4-6 p.m. at Ella’s Supper Club. For more information and tickets, visit and call (509) 456-3931. Tickets: $20 tour and reception; $15 tour only

‘Traditions of Christmas’

Produced by Laura Little Theatricals and Red Bird Theater, “Traditions of Christmas” is a Radio City Music Hall-style show featuring choreographed kickline tap numbers, song and dance numbers set to Christmas classics, hundreds of colorful costumes, a military tribute performance and a grand Nativity conclusion. The production opens Dec. 10-22 at Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center (1765 W. Golf Course Road, Coeur d’Alene). To purchase tickets, visit and call the box office at (208) 763-0681. Tickets: $23-$36

Editorial assistants Rachel Baker and Emily Connery contributed to this feature.