Our cold weather has already come and that puts me in the mood for hot cocoa, lights and carols! From photos with Santa and parades to holiday markets and train rides, there is plenty on this list to keep your spirits bright the entire season. Along with old favorites, discover holiday events in Lewis County you didn’t know about that could be the start of a new yearly tradition for your family. So, gather your friends and family, bundle up, and check out these holiday events in Centralia and throughout Lewis County.
Polar Express and Santa Holiday Trains
November 22-24, 29-30: 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
December 6-8, 13-15, 20-22: 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 22
Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum
1101 Southwest Sylvenus Street, Chehalis
Tickets are on sale already for these holiday must-do activities for families and they go fast! The Polar Express train takes children on a magical ride featuring a reading of the book “The Polar Express.” The Christmas-themed ride includes picking up Santa for the return trip and each child will be given a special gift. Children are encouraged to dress in pajamas just like in the book. There will be cocoa, cookies, singing and more entertainment on board. The Santa Holiday train is a 30-minute ride with Santa himself – including photo opportunities before and after the ride. Purchase tickets on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum website.
Choose Local First: Black Friday Bag Handout 2019
November 27: 5:00 p.m.
Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce
500 NW Chamber Way
The Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce will once again be handing out their famous Choose Local First: Black Friday Bags the day before Thanksgiving, November 27, from 5:00 p.m. until the bags are gone. There will be 250 bags this year. These bags are filled to the brim with coupons from local businesses and treats for Black Friday shoppers. There will also be prizes that are given out at random throughout the handout. Come early, there is always a line and they always run out!
Downtown Centralia Christmas Tree Lighting
November 29: 6:00 p.m.
After all the turkey and the shopping, head to Washington Park and kick off the Christmas Season with the annual Downtown Centralia Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Be one of the first to see this year’s tree all lit up! There will be live musical entertainment and free refreshments before the lighting happens, so get their early.
Scrooge, The Musical
November 29-December 15
Friday/Saturday: 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 2:00 p.m.
Pay-What-You-Can December 5: 7:30 p.m.
Special Thursday performance December 12: 7:30 p.m.
The Evergreen Playhouse
226 W Center Street, Centralia
The Evergreen Playhouse is once again putting on their fun “Scrooge, The Musical” to get your entire family into the holiday spirit. Based on Charles Dickens’s famous classic “A Christmas Carol,” “Scrooge, The Musical” brings music and merriment to the beloved tale of the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge through the help of his deceased partner, Jacob Marley. Tickets can be purchased on the Evergreen Playhouse website.
Ballet Theatre of Washington’s The Nutcracker
December 6: 2:00 p.m.
December 12: 6:00 p.m.
December 14: 2:00 p.m.
Historic Liberty Theater
413 N Tower Ave, Centralia
Ballet Theatre of Washington production of The Nutcracker is returning to with a few special performances during their run. On December 6, at their 2:00 p.m. show, BTW will be offering free tickets to local foster and adoptive families. On December 12 at 6:00 p.m., there will be a special narrated show for that’s ideal for families with younger kids. That performance will also include special activities and photo opportunities with the Nutcracker characters. The final performance on December 14 at 2:00 p.m. is perfect for those who also want to attend the Lighted Tractor Parade.
Special with this year’s Nutcracker is a recently published book by co-Artistic Director Mickey Gunter. Fritz the Rat King is a fully illustrated adventure story based on the classic ballet that combines The Nutcracker with Where the Wild Things Are and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Mickey will be selling and signing copies of the book at all performances. For information about the show, to order tickets, or to get additional information about Fritz the Rat King, call 360-623-9010, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Borst Park Christmas Lights
December 6-25: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Borst Park Centralia
The Borst Park Christmas Lights are a family transition for many households and is a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy the season together. The fee is just $5 per car, so feel free to attend it for more than one night! See dozens of lighted Christmas trees while tuning in to the local Christmas music station. Food donations for Gather Church will be accepted.
December 6: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
December 7: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Southwest Washington Fairgrounds
2555 N National Avenue, Chehalis
If you need to find unique gifts to the loved ones on your list (and maybe something for yourself!) then you need to head to CHICKmas 2019. Put on by the lovely Country Chicks LLC, this holiday market is full of fun Christmas items, specializing in vintage, upcycled, and unique handmades and gifts. There will be food and espresso available to purchase. Bring a non-perishable food item or a blanket and receive $1 off entry. With over 55 vendors attending, you are sure to check off your holiday shopping list!
The Velveteen Rabbit
December 6 and 13: 7:00 p.m.
December 7 and 14: 2:00 p.m.
233 West Main Avenue, Morton
This classic children’s tale is perfect for a holiday outing the whole family will enjoy. It’s the story of a humble stuffed velveteen rabbit who becomes real. The Roxy Theater has turned this timeless classic into a musical, by expanding the tale while still staying true to the “style, essence and powerful themes found in the original story.” Purchase tickets on the Roxy Theater website.
70th Chehalis Santa Parade
December 7: 11:00 a.m.
This year marks the 70th year of the popular Chehalis Santa Parade. A community favorite since the beginning, this year’s theme is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in support of our current military and military veterans. The Grand Marshall is the Veterans Memorial Museum. Those who want to participate can register now and enjoy a free complimentary coffee or mocha at check-in from Courage Coffee. Follow the Chamber on Facebook for more information as the 2019 Chehalis Santa Parade draws near.
Downtown Centralia Christmas Open House
December 7: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
215 N. Tower Avenue, Centralia
After the parade, head to the Downtown Centralia Christmas Open House. Find hot cider, roasted peanuts, live entertainment, hayrides by The Pumpkin Patch, Santa and Mrs. Claus and more. You will want to stay until the end where the magic of the day accumulates in the form of a special snowfall.
The Nutcracker Ballet
December 13: 7:30 p.m.
December 24: 2:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
December 15: 1:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
Centralia College, Corbet Theatre
600 Centralia College Boulevard, Centralia
“The Nutcracker” ballet is a Christmas tradition you won’t want to miss. Put on by the Southwest Washington Dance Center, the 24th season of the Nutcracker is sure to delight everyone in your family. Tickets are already on sale and they do sell out. Contact the Dance Center at 360-748-4789 or the Corbet Box Office at 360-623-8871 during business hours, Monday-Friday, 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Downtown Centralia Christmas Market
December 14: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
December 15: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Historic Railway Station
210 Railroad Avenue, Centralia
If you are looking for an Old World European Christmas Market without having to get a passport, the Downtown Centralia Christmas Market is for you! For it’s 5th year, the market will have 34 vendors packed with artisan gifts and decorations for your home. Find things like goat milk soaps, fresh wreaths, organic local honey, pottery and more. Take a break and savor some soup, hot cinnamon rolls, cider and other treats, all available to purchase in the market.
10th Annual Centralia Lighted Tractor Parade
December 14: 6:00 p.m.
The annual Centralia Lighted Tractor Parade is a fun-filled night of lights, tractors and Christmas spirit! Best viewing is along Tower Avenue between Centralia College and Center Street, and on Pearl Street from Center to Main Street. If you are interested in being in the parade, check the Centralia Downtown Association website or Facebook page for forms and more information.
Christmas in the Mountains
Looking for some of that down-home festive Christmas feeling? Head to Morton for their annual Christmas in the Mountains Celebration. Enjoy their Festival of the Trees, Christmas at the Roxy, pictures with Santa, the Morton Holiday Bazaar and Raffle, a Christmas tree lighting, parade, living nativity, and more. Visit the City of Morton website for more details as they develop.