Lighted holiday parades and eating Christmas cupcakes are just some of the Christmas things to do in Union Gap, WA. Find them all here.
For help planning your trip, check out all of our travel posts.
I love Christmas. It’s absolutely my favorite season of the year. And so, whenever I’m anywhere (traveling or just at home), I want to do all the Christmas things possible.
Christmas flotillas? I’m there. Christmas tree lightings? I’m at every one.
What I like about traveling during Christmas is getting to experience all the fun Christmas things that other towns have. Like here, we live on the coast, so we have a Christmas flotilla where boats are decorated and float down to the Atlantic Ocean.
In Union Gap, Washington, there’s a lighted parade where trucks and other vehicles are decorated and drive through town. Same concept, different mechanisms.
In case you are traveling to Union Gap this holiday season, or you just live in the Pacific Northwest and want to travel locally this season, we put together a list of Christmas things to do in Union Gap, Washington to help you plan your season.
We also added a few Christmas and winter things to do near Union Gap as well.
There are definitely more things to do in Union Gap, WA. Check out our 24 Hours In Union Gap, Washington post to help you plan your trip.
And, when you’re there, you need to eat. If you like burgers, you’re in luck. Union Gap has a bunch. Check out The Best Burgers In Union Gap, WA to decide where to eat one.
10+ Christmas Things To Do In Union Gap, WA
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Watch the Union Gap Lighted Holiday parade
After a two year hiatus, the Union Gap Lighted Holiday parade is back for 2022.
Businesses and individuals apply for the chance to drive lighted floats (pick up trucks, flat bed trucks, vans, and more) through town for spectators. There floats are even juried and a winner will be announced.
The parade is on Sunday, December 11 beginning at 6 pm in front of Pepp’rmint Stick (4002 Main St), heads north on Main Street, and ends at the the Valley Mall Sears Parking lot (9 E Valley Mall Blvd).
Once the parade gets to the mall, the floats all park and Santa gets off his float so he can meet with the kids. There will also be hot chocolate and cookies, Christmas music, and more.
If you can’t make it, you can watch the Union Gap Lighted Holiday parade on YouTube. That’s the 2019 parade. Hopefully someone will post the 2022 one when it’s done.
Cupcake at For Heaven’s Cake
If you’re looking to get your stomach into the Christmas spirit, For Heaven’s Cake (2630 Main St #101) is starting to sell its holiday cupcakes on Wednesday, December 7.
And oh my gosh. Are these not the prettiest set of cupcakes that ever cupcaked? You guys. I can’t. Like, is Cupcake Wars still on TV? Because Nina would win so easily. Not only are her cupcakes gorgeous, they’re delicious too. It’s been a month since I ate the Strawberry Shortcake one there and I still think about the surprise I got from the filling inside almost every day.
You can purchase these cupcakes in the photo, ones with frosting Christmas trees and The Grinch, and more. Go with the more. Buy them all. Impress your friends. Buy more.
Order masa for homemade tamales
If you’ve ever made homemade tamales, you know how important the masa is. And if you’ve never made tamales, masa is the outside that’s wrapped around the filling of the tamales. And it’s so, so important to the taste of your tamale.
James Beard-award winning Los Hernandez Tamales (3706 Main St) makes masa that’s hand ground from corn. That’s the traditional way for Mexican families (although most buy pre-ground masa because it’s easier).
You can order masa from Los Hernandez to make tamales for Christmas … or you can just order the tamales. But definitely do that ahead of time. Los Hernandez Tamales sells approximately 1,000 dozen tamales (yes 12,000!) every Christmas Eve.
Buy a tree at Fruit City
Buying a Christmas tree is, honestly, not the most frugal Christmas activity there is, but it’s still one we do every year because the joy from and the smell of a real tree are absolutely worth all the money.
If you agree, head over to Fruit City (3913 Main St). It closed for the produce season in late October but reopened at the end of November to sell Christmas trees.
According to Facebook, Douglas Firs are $29.99 and Noble Firs are $70, which is an amazing price (by contrast, our trees here are selling for $20 a foot!).
Fruit City is open from 10 am to 8 pm daily selling trees, wreaths, and more (no fruit, though).
Shop at the Holiday Bazaar
The Valley Mall (2529 Main St) is hosting a Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 10th from 10 am to 3 pm.
Get there early. The first 100 shoppers will get a free tote bag. Sounds like the perfect way to carry around all your purchases from the holiday bazaar (and the rest of the mall, which will be open at that time as well).
Win at Poinsettia Bingo at St. Joe’s Bingo
Bingo is fun. It’s actually a lot of fun. So if you haven’t gone before, or if you’ve only gone to church bingo when you were young, you really need to get to St. Joe’s Bingo.
You can win, of course, but there are days when you can win on top of winning. I mean, who doesn’t want that?
At the 6 pm bingo sessions on December 7 and 9, St. Joe’s Bingo is hosting Poinsettia Bingo. When you win bingo, you also win a poinsettia to take home.
Buy hot cocoa bombs at Manhattan Station Espresso
Manhattan Station Espresso is newly opened in Union Gap (like newly newly … opening day in Union Gap was less than a month ago, although there are other locations in Yakima and Nob Hill).
The coffee stand is selling hot chocolate bombs this holiday season. Sure, sure, you can buy a mold and make them at home. That’s what we do. But if you don’t have to, don’t do it. Buy some instead. That’s much easier.
Manhattan Station Espresso is selling three varieties (white chocolate, peppermint chocolate, and chocolate) for $5.25 each.
See Santa at the mall
Visiting with Santa is a rite of passage, so you definitely need to visit Santa at the Valley Mall. You have a bunch of opportunities to do so.
To start, Santa will be at the mall taking photos from November 19 to December 24. You can reserve your spot to see Santa in Union Gap by clicking that link.
If you need a sensory friendly option, there will be Silent Santa on November 27, then December 4 and 1 from 8 am to 10 am. This happens before the mall opens, which makes it a lot quieter and there’s less stimulation. Plus, the lights are dimmed and the music is turned down as well. You can make reservations here.
And then there’s Storytime with Santa every Tuesday from November 23 to December 21. One child will even receive the book signed by the big man himself. If you can’t make it, Santa’s reading (at least for December 6) will be live streamed at 3 pm on the Valley Mall Facebook page.
And finally, Santa is taking photos with pets on November 30 and December 7 from 6 pm to 8 pm. This includes dogs, cats, and feathered friends who are on leashes or in carriers and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Christmas Things To Do Near Union Gap, WA
There are a lot of very cool things right over the Union Gap border to do to celebrate Christmas, so we’re adding a couple of those below to round out this list.
Visit the Yakima Area Arboretum for Luminaria 2022
Don’t at me. I know the Yakima Area Arboretum (1401 Arboretum Dr) is technically in Yakima. But, it’s like one block past the Union Gap border, and it has such incredible events for the holidays, so I made an exception and included it.
The biggest event is Luminaria 2022. A mile-long trail within the arboretum will be lit by over 1,000 candles, plus there will be light displays around the path.
Even better, there will be vendors, including Wapato’s Blissful Bites, a food truck selling mini donuts (which are suddenly so popular everywhere) in the Jewett Interpretive Center, fire tables on the courtyard outside, and more.
The free event is December 9 and 10 from 6 om to 10 pm. Donations are accepted, but not required.
Check out the Holiday Light Fest at State Fair Park
Drive through events picked up steam during the last few years (like the drive through Dino Safari USA and drive through Halloween at Stew Leonard’s), so it makes sense that the drive through Holiday Light Fest at State Fair Park (1301 S Fair Ave, Yakima) would remain the same.
There are miles of lights to drive through, new stations with lighted displays, a spot to drop off letters to Santa, and more.
The events is happening November 25 and 27, then again on December 1 to 4, 8 to 11, and 15 to 18. Tickets are $10 on Thursday and $15 on Friday to Sunday. Gates open at 4:30 pm and you can drive through between 5 pm and 9 pm.
Check out a holiday show at The Capitol Theatre
The Capitol Theatre (19 S 3rd St, Yakima) is an institution in Yakima. It’s also haunted by a ghost named Shorty. But, that has nothing to do with Christmas. Just a fun fact I’m throwing out there.
Anyway, if you’re looking to get into the Christmas spirit (yikes, that pun was unintended), check out a holiday show at The Capitol Theatre.
The McKinley Winter Concert is a free event on December 7 at 5:30 pm. The annual Holiday Cabaret is on December 13 at 6:30 pm. Tickets for that are $20.
And finally, on December 16, there’s the show “All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914,” which sounds very Christmas-y … until it’s described as “A heartbreaking tribute to the men who, in defiance of their commanders, had the courage to affirm their common humanity” and it’s set during World War I.
If you’re interested now, but can’t make the show, you can stream All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 on PBS online.
Yakima Lighted Holiday Parade
Similar to Union Gap’s Lighted Holiday Parade, Yakima will also have a lighted holiday parade. The Yakima one is on Sunday, December 4 at 6 pm. The parade starts at the intersection of Yakima Ave. and 6th Ave. and ends at the intersection of Yakima Avenue and 3rd St.
Floats, bicycles, emergency and military vehicles, equestrian entries, and more are permitted at the event, so it could be pretty amazing. If you won’t be in town for the Union Gap parade, check this one out.
Have a drink inside a bubble at Treveri Cellars
Is having a drink inside a bubble at Treveri Cellars (71 Gangl Rd, Wapato) a Christmas event? Maybe not. But are the bubbles very cool and very fun and decked out in the red and black lumberjack inside? Yes. And that Buffalo plaid puts everyone in the holiday spirit.
And you can have some holiday spirits at Treveri Cellars. Drink some bubbly in a bubble. (Trademark me, but Treveri can borrow that).
It’s $25 to reserve a bubble, which has a fireplace, cute Instagram-worthy seating, and a special menu. We ate the Jumbo Pretzel Board when we were hosted there last month and it was amazing. I mean, it’s a charcuterie board in. a. soft pretzel. Brilliant.
It’s a perfect space to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas … even if you’re like me and you don’t drink. You can order any drink as a mocktail (served with Sprite instead).
Where to stay in Union Gap:
Fall In Union Gap:
If you’re visiting Union Gap, but not in the winter, don’t worry. Hopefully you’ll be there in the fall because we have a great list of Fun Fall Things To Do In Union Gap, WA to help you plan that trip.
Which of these Christmas Things To Do In Union Gap, WA are you looking most forward to? Let us know in the comments.