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Holiday getaways with a food destination

The Mimura family enjoys the fries at Tacoma’s Engine House No. 9.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and here in our corner of the world,  we’re lucky to have plenty of holiday wonderland opportunities for festive, food-filled jaunts. Here are a few day-trip or weekend-away ideas the whole family will love.

Only a couple of hours from Seattle, Leavenworth makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the middle of Bavaria. For their annual Village of Lights celebration, Saint Nickolaus greets kiddos on Friday evenings. Saturdays and Sundays offer a Christmas parade, carolers, sledding and more. Traditional German fare can be enjoyed at Bavarian Bistro, where you’ll find schnitzel, house-made sausages and more than 20 different beers on tap. 801 Front St., Leavenworth, bavarianbistrobar.com

Taking the Clipper to Victoria, British Columbia, from downtown Seattle is an easy and fun way to get away without a plane, a train or an automobile. The harbor and historic town are beautifully decorated for the holidays, and Butchart Gardens offers light displays, ice skating, a carousel and more. And no trip to Victoria would be complete without high tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel; 721 Government St., Victoria. fairmont.com/empress-victoria

For some tax-free holiday shopping, head to Portland to cross items off Santa’s list. While you’re there, bring the kids to the Oregon Zoo to take in their impressive ZooLights celebration. Portland is home to a growing fleet of more than 500 food trucks, so lunch and dinner options abound. Potato Champion is renowned for its legendary poutine, and kids will get a kick out of the PB&J fries. Or eat some of the city’s best comfort food inside a school bus at The Grilled Cheese Grill, which even offers a crusts-off version for tiny diners. potatochampion.com, grilledcheesegrill.com

Closer to home, head south to Tacoma’s Fantasy Lights, the largest drive-through holiday light show in the Northwest. When it’s time to eat, try Engine House No. 9, a charming neighborhood brewery located in a beautiful old firehouse. The impressive menu offers an abundance of family favorites (including firehouse chili, of course), and there are plenty of classic arcade games to keep diners young and old entertained. 611 N. Pine St., Tacoma, ehouse9.com

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