Celebrating the Winter Holiday Season in Wasilla
Spending your winter holiday vacation in or near Wasilla, Alaska, is an eye-opening experience that will create lasting memories for you and your family. Our city is quickly growing, which means we have the perfect combination of big-city convenience and small-town charm. We’re also only a 40-mile drive from Anchorage, making our area a wonderful day-trip destination.
As Wasilla locals, here are seven things we love to do during the holiday season, and we encourage tourists to take part too!
Feel the warmth of the holiday season at Palmer’s Colony Christmas.
Palmer is our sister city and home to a can’t-miss celebration called Colony Christmas. Held the second weekend of December, Colony Christmas turns downtown Palmer into a traditional Christmas extravaganza complete with lights, decorations, Santa, and reindeer.
Some activities during this event include building gingerbread houses, going on a hayride, and catching the Parade of Lights on Saturday evening. Don’t forget to stick around until after the parade—Palmer goes all out with a beautiful fireworks show!
Celebrate winter in Alaska at the Willow Winter Carnival.
Winter festivities in our region don’t stop after Christmas! In late January the town of Willow hosts the Willow Winter Carnival, a celebration of the winter season in Alaska that has been occurring annually for over 60 years.
Two major events that happen during the Winter Carnival are an exciting sled dog race and a hilariously entertaining outhouse race! There are plenty of things to enjoy between events, including local bazaars and raffles. And don’t miss the community buffet dinners and great local food stands.
Bask in the beauty of Wasilla’s scenery while it’s dressed in white.
Even though the weather is nippy, we encourage everyone visiting Wasilla to spend a little time taking in what Mother Nature has to offer. Our landscape is stunning, and when the scenery is covered in white snow, there is something especially beautiful about it.
Skiers and snowboarders will find plenty of trails to choose from, from easy, groomed paths to more challenging trails that are perfect for adrenaline junkies. If speed isn’t your thing, we wholeheartedly recommend snowshoeing instead! You can go at your own pace, and there are more areas available to explore.
Experience the thrill of our cherished dog-sledding history.
Wasilla is home to the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which is held the first weekend of March. But you don’t need to wait until then to experience dog sledding for yourself. The holiday season is the perfect time to tour a local kennel, learn the history of dog sledding, and get out on a sled yourself.
You can find a kennel that offers tour and sled racing experiences by clicking here.
Make a cozy cabin your temporary home.
If you really want to experience Alaska, why not start by staying in a private cabin for the holidays? Before you book a hotel room, hop on Airbnb to see what’s available. You’ll find everything from cozy, one-bedroom cabins to grandiose, rustic homes that provide a lodge-type experience.
Speaking of lodges, our region has a number of beautiful places to choose from. Many of them also offer winter activities and special events to their patrons.
Warm up with a hearty meal in one of our many local restaurants.
If you’re a foodie, you’re going to love the hearty meals and delicious fare of our local restaurants. A big part of experiencing a new place while traveling is enjoying local cuisine. In and around Wasilla you’ll find everything from delightful diners to high-end restaurants.
For a luxurious glass of wine with your dinner, check out The Grape Tap. If Italian food is what you’re craving, Evangelo’s is the place to be. Last Frontier Brewing Company is for anyone who loves local brews and great burgers, and we can’t forget Basil Ginger for some incredible sushi!
Participate in some rowdy holiday fun at the Talkeetna Winterfest.
The Talkeetna Winterfest is a month-long December event that kicks off with a tree lighting ceremony. Winterfest has many activities and family-friendly events that occur throughout the month, but two events in particular garner tourists and news stations from across the nation.
The Wilderness Woman Contest is open to all women and includes wood chopping, snowmobiling, and water-hauling contests. Following this contest is a special event for the single ladies: the Bachelor Auction! All money from the auction goes directly to our local student organizations and social services.
Valley Dental Clinic can take care of dental care needs while you’re on winter vacation.
A trip to the dentist isn’t on your holiday vacation to-do list, but sometimes your smile has other ideas!
If you’re vacationing in Wasilla—or you’re a resident in this beautiful community—and find yourself with a toothache, loose bridge, or missing filling, we invite you to visit us for your dental care needs. Valley Dental Clinic gladly welcomes everyone into our practice, and we’d love to hear why you chose to visit our city.
For urgent dental care needs, please give our Wasilla office a call to book an appointment.