Wednesday, July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020

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Go: Discover Pass Free Day, Christmas Tree Trains, Thanksgiving Weekend Wine Tour

The Columbian
6 Photos
The Christmas Tree Train is all decorated for the season.
The Christmas Tree Train is all decorated for the season. Photo Gallery

1. Free ‘parking’

After spending a day indoors on Thanksgiving, spend a day in the great outdoors during State Parks Discover Pass Free Day on Nov. 29, when a Discover Pass is not required to visit a state park or lands managed by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Local state parks include Battle Ground Lake State Park and Paradise Point State Park; farther afield, there’s Beacon Rock State Park. Adventurers, hikers and wanders should note that free days apply only to day use, not overnight stays or facility rental, and Sno-Park permits are still required on free days at designated spots. For a complete lists of state parks in the Southwest Washington region, visit

2. Shared history

Spend an evening by the glimmering firelight in the Kwakwaka’wakw Ceremonial House on the grounds of Lelooska Museum, 165 Merwin Village Road, Ariel. Chief Tsungani and the Lelooska family carry on the legacy of the late Chief Lelooska by sharing Kwakiutl tribal traditions at a Living History Performance from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 30. The family wears intricately detailed regalia while bringing Chief Lelooska’s hand-carved, vibrantly colored Northwest Coast masks to life through songs, dances and stories. Each performances is approximately two hours long. Adults are $14 and children 12 and under are $8. The grounds and the museum will open at 5:30 p.m. for guests to explore. Reservations are required.

3. Tracks, trees and treats

The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad’s Christmas Tree Trains are chugging through north Clark County — featuring freshly cut trees and visits with Santa — on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15. Santa will be on board with presents for each child and refreshments for everyone. The 1941 ALCO S-2 diesel engine departs at 9:30 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m. from 207 N. Railroad Ave., Yacolt. Finale excursions are at noon and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22 (although trees will be limited on these runs). Ticket packages include train rides for four people and a choice of tree: $85 for Douglas firs, $105 for Nordmann and Noble firs. Add another tree for $35, or another rider for $12 to $22. 360-686-3559 or

4. Small is beautiful

Nov. 30 is Small Business Saturday — a chance to support the local economy by shopping at smaller, independently owned businesses, like Vintage Books, ( 6613 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, which is hosting an authors’ fair featuring five authors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., plus kids’ crafts and a book-hunt with prizes (and don’t forget to check out the selection of book-related gifts). You can also let the good times roll during Sip, Shop & Spin with Couve Cycle (, a pedal-powered party cycle tour from 1 to 4 p.m. with stops at four downtown Vancouver boutique shops and a winery. Tours leave from Couve Cycle headquarters at 202 W. Fifth St., Vancouver. Tickets are $35 per person.

5. Wine and wander

After feasting with family and friends on Thanksgiving, continue celebrating over the three-day weekend with the Thanksgiving Weekend Wine Tour. Take a self-guided tour of some of Southwest Washington’s finest wineries, enjoying barrel tastings and sampling new releases. Some establishments will also offer food, live music or holiday discounts. The wineries will be open Nov. 29, 30, and Dec. 1; hours vary at each location. Pick up a free passport at any winery on the tour, collect five or more stamps over the three days, and be entered for a chance to win a gift certificate for the participating Southwest Washington winery of your choice. To see the list of wineries, visit or