by Doria Maselli
While holiday celebrations may be different this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still opportunities to enjoy this time of the year, support local businesses and curate a unique holiday experience safely.
Thurston County has several options for enjoying the holiday season while shopping locally and experiencing the season in unique and creative ways. Make a day of it! View holiday lights and displays, shop locally for an unforgettable holiday gift and grab a coffee and lunch to-go. Shop small and support local businesses in Thurston County this holiday season. Here are some ideas to get you started:
The Holiday Market at the Olympia Farmers Market
“We’re fortunate to be able to offer essentially a two-day a week craft fair for the next several weeks,” says John Nason, Interim Operations Manager at the Olympia Farmers Market. In addition to fresh local produce, dairy, seafood, seasonal items, wreaths and greens and bread and baked goods, the Market has about 25 crafters each weekend offering various unique items including jewelry, inspired art, chocolates, crafts and something for everyone on your holiday list! Spruce up your work from home space with some greenery from Lynch Creek Farm or give the gift of self-care with all-natural skincare products from Rainchild Apothecary. Stay connected to friends and family with hand-crafted greeting cards from local artists.
The Market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. through December 20. To help you prepare for the holidays, the Market will also be open December 22 – 24 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Holiday Shopper’s Delight!
Many farm vendors and craft vendors are participating in the online Market, allowing you to shop online with contactless pickup at the Market. (Place your order by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday for pickup at the Market on Saturday between 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) “We have had a successful year despite the pandemic, and we know it’s largely due to our customers who are solidly supportive of local farmers and crafters,” says Nason.
Downtown for the Holidays
“This year, we’re excited to offer a month of holiday fun for friends and family to enjoy, and while we’ll miss the Jingle Bell Parade and visits with Santa, we’re busy decorating Downtown Olympia for the holidays. We hope that everyone can enjoy visiting Downtown Olympia all season long at their own pace,” said Todd Cutts, Executive Director of the Olympia Downtown Alliance.
Presented by WSECU, Downtown for the Holidays will commence with Small Business Saturday on November 28 and will run through December 24. Visit downtownolympia.org for more info.
What’s on the docket this year?
- Enjoy exploring holiday lighting and decorations throughout Downtown, including over a mile of garland and festive, decorated storefronts.
- Take a self-guided tour through decorated downtown storefronts using an interactive map! Visit olytwinklefest.net for more info. November 27 – January 2, 2021.
- Don’t miss the “Winter Wonderland” window display at 4th & Capitol! Community youth created the exhibit; Artspace Alliance coordinated the project. Olympia Federal Savings sponsored the exhibition.
- Enjoy snow falling outside the Washington Center and Harlequin’s State Theater November 28 through December 20, Saturday and Sundays only, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Stop for a Selfie! We’re setting out Nutcracker-Themed Selfie Scenes for Holiday Cards with your Family & Friends, including Land of Sweets at the Washington Center, a Gingerbread House at 5th and Capitol and Winter Wonderland at Legion and Capitol.
- Enjoy twelve days of Complimentary Parking Downtown from December 12 – 24, courtesy of the City of Olympia.
- Free Cocoa* compliments of Batdorf & Bronson Coffeehouse & Dancing Goats Espresso Bar November 28 – December 20, Saturday & Sunday only from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (*with presentation of your LoveOly Passport.)
- Complimentary Gift Wrapping* at the Washington Center and Harlequin’s State Theater November 28 – December 20, Saturdays & Sundays only, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(*with proof of purchase from a downtown merchant.)
- Back by popular demand: LoveOly Holiday Edition, Shop & Dine Promotion, November 28 – December 24! Download the passport on the Olympia Downtown Alliance website or get one when you visit any participating shop or restaurant and start shopping and dining. Every time you make a $10 or more purchase, you’ll receive a sticker on your passport. Get five stickers and turn in your passport for your choice of swag, including a mug, beanie or mask!
City of Lacey Holiday Lights with Songs and Stories
Although we aren’t able to gather for the official lighting of the Christmas Tree and Huntamer Park, you can bring the family by the park to enjoy the lights and tune in to listen to Santa reading a Christmas story! We’ll even have some fun songs you can sing along to. We will have instructions on how to tune in posted
at the park and on our website. Sponsored by Interstate Batteries.
When: Nightly, December 1 – 31, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Where: Huntamer Park
Tenino Holiday Market
Kick-off this decidedly different holiday season by shopping and supporting Tenino’s unique and distinct artists, crafters and makers by visiting the Tenino Holiday Market in the historic Campbell and Campbell building in downtown Tenino at 225 Sussex. There will be 28 vendor booths featuring handcrafted gifts, distinctive decor and elegant treats created by area artisans. There will also be a raffle that includes items from many of the artisans and area merchants.
The Tenino Holiday Market occurs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on November 27, 28, 29, December 4, 5, 6 and December 13, 14, 15. It’s also open Wednesday –Friday, December 18-20. See more at facebook.com/TeninoHolidayMarket