There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Coeur d’Alene in winter. Whether you’re looking for outdoor or indoor activities this vibrant town is perfectly poised to deliver an amazing experience.
Surrounded by Idaho’s famous lakes, skiing, and some of the best winter carnivals you won’t be disappointed.
Let’s have a look at just some of the ways to enjoy Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding areas in winter.
Holiday Parade on Sherman Ave Downtown Coeur D’ Alene
Coeur d’Alene loves winter festivities and to kick it off with a bang…they flip a switch. A light switch that is, to over 1.5 million lights, a parade and fireworks to celebrate winter.
On the day after Thanksgiving, Sherman Avenue in downtown CDA is host to an incredible parade. Here you’ll find local entries ranging from thrilling to charming – each one filled with endearing holiday cheer that speaks volumes about our close knit community.
Experience the magic of Santa’s arrival with carolers singing, candy being tossed to wide-eyed kids and hot cocoa to keep you warm on those cold nights! Don’t forget your hand warmers!
To make sure you don’t miss out on the parade festivities, arrive early for front row spots. The parade starts at 5 PM sharp – don’t miss it!
Coeur d’Alene Resort Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks (Locals Favorite Holiday Light Display)
As the Christmas spirit takes hold, the entire town of CDA is brought together to join a collective countdown to light up Coeur d’Alene.
When all is said and done, downtown will be illuminated with its holiday grandeur as festive lights adorn Sherman Ave, Lake Coeur d’Alene and nearby resorts. It’s a spectacular view that marks the beginning of this wonderful time!
As day fades to night, the resort is illuminated by a towering holiday wreath with the current year boldly displayed across its front. The evening culminates in an awe-inspiring fireworks show and festive carols at 6 PM following the parade. Don’t miss out on this magical event!
Don’t fret if you can’t make it to the grand parade and festival that traditionally starts on Black Friday – these gorgeous lights will stay illuminated throughout winter, bringing with them an abundance of family-friendly activities for everyone to relish.
Coeur d’Alene Resort – Massive Lakeside Hot Tub
It doesn’t get much better than this after a long day of skiing. Coeur d’Alene Resort turned their infinity pool into a giant hot tub, and it’s the perfect cure for a winter chill.
Did we mention the experience comes with wintery cocktails, cozy robes, warming stations, and frosty lake views?
The resort hosts some other great winter festivities including Santa’s Family Getaway, Holiday Lights Boat Cruise, “Saving Christmas” Holiday Show, and the New Year’s Midnight Masquerade.
You can learn about these events here, Coeur d’Alene Resort Seasonal Events.
Don’t Miss The Floating Board Walk During Your Idaho Winter Vacation
Looking to get up close and personal with the holiday lights? Stroll down the floating boardwalk at the CDA Resort for a front-row seat.
While you’re there, make sure to grab a delicious hot chocolate or other drink to keep you warm!
There are a few places you can go to get your caffeine fix: inside the plaza shops at the small coffee nook, Evans Brothers or Vault down Sherman, or Starbucks in the resort right across from the lobby fireplace.
Festival Of Trees
Don’t miss out on the extraordinary Festival of Trees that takes place at CDA resort a few days after Thanksgiving! With it’s magical ambiance, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
The trees shimmer and sparkle with a captivating display of ornaments, each one more dazzling than the previous. The decorations are mesmerizing, adding an unparalleled touch to any space. Santa is present to bring joy and excitement to all who attend!
Traveling with kids?
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Snowdomes and Igloos on the Lake at Whispers- True Winter Wonderland Experience
Throw down a frosty cocktail while basking in the warmth of a lake view igloo. These heated igloos feature luxurious interiors with intimate seating all while taking in breathtaking views of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Guests 21 years of age and older can take cocktail hour to a whole new level. Igloos are available for rent in two-hour time slots for $75 which includes a complimentary bottle of Champagne. You can call 855-990-0246 or click here to make reservations.
Journey to the North Pole Cruises (A Great Way To Spend The Holidays)
Make sure to experience the largest and most spectacular holiday light display in America from a boat! Your family can join an enchanting “Journey to the North Pole,” cruise for a truly magical time.
Take an unforgettable 40-minute lake cruise across the calm waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene while sipping on on a hot chocolate. The 1.5 million twinkling holiday lights are only more stunning from the lake.
Kids will love the visit with Santa Claus and his elves at his waterfront toy workshop. Kids under 6 are FREE! More information here (208) 292-5670 or online.
Explore The Charming City With Music & Art Walks
Downtown Coeur d’Alene local businesses host fantastic music performances on the fourth Friday of each month from January through March.
The music walks are from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm where you can explore downtown businesses turned concert venues and sample music from local artists.
Along with the music are the Art Walks which happen on the second Friday of each month from April through December. All of the participating businesses are open extended hours and street parking is free for 2 hours. Visit www.coeurdalene.org for more information.
Triple Play Family Fun Park (Fun For The Whole Family)
If you’re looking to knock it out of the park for the little ones the Triple Play Family Fun Park will do the trick. I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s also really fun for us adults too.
This indoor complex has far too many things to mention but here are some highlights. R.A.I.D. Rapid Alien Invasion Defense, Bumper cars, Bowling, Laser tag, Laser maze, and a Ropes Course to name just a few.
Firework Shows A True Holiday Light Display
There’s no shortage of pomp and circumstance when visiting Coeur d’Alene in Winter. And if you’re looking for some amazing fireworks shows they are plentiful here.
They have several shows that start with the Lighting Ceremony and end with the massive New years celebration. Head over to the events calendar for specific dates.
Walk McEuen Park
If you’re looking for a quick break from the city a walk through McEuen Park will likely do the trick. You might even catch a glimpse of one of the many Osprey that call this park home.
The park is located right downtown and is a perfect escape to stretch the legs for a bit.
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Holiday Shopping On Sherman Ave
Bundle up and take to the streets of Coeur d’Alene for a great holiday shopping experience. Coeur d’Alene is home to so many great mom and pop shops that promise unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else.
With over 100 shops and restaurants in the heart of downtown you can literally shop till you drop.
And when you do drop pick yourself back up with a World-Famous burger from Hudsons.
Here’s a list of some great stores to visit while shopping in CDA
- Figpickles Toy Emporium – Toy store
- Mix It Up – Home goods store
- Lucky Monkey – Women’s clothing store
- Mountain Madness Soap Co. – soap and bath bombs
- Coeur d’Alene Clothing – CDA branded clothings
- Magpie – fun and unique gifts
- Christmas at the Lake – Are you ready to get into the holiday spirit? Look no further than this store, full of every Christmas-related item imaginable. Make sure that when you wander down Sherman during the festivities, a stop here is mandatory! Why not grab a Coeur d’Alene ornament and make your tree sparkle even more this year?
Outdoor Active Things To Do In Coeur d’ Alene
There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy at Coeur d’ Alene. Here are some of the top things to do:
Play In The Mountains Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
There’s no shortage of awesome skiing in Northern Idaho and Coeur d’Alene is right in the middle of it all. With some of the best snow in the country catching some fresh pow is easy.
Just to the north you have Schweitzer ski area. The independently owned and operated 2900 acres ski area still has that small mountain feel but with big mountain skiing. Perfect for the entire family.
Just to the East you have Lookout Pass recently named the most family-friendly mountain resort in the Pacific Northwest. With over 400 inches of annual snowfall and some of the most affordable lift passes, Lookout Pass is a real gem.
Want to ski or board in Idaho? Check out 19 Idaho Ski Resorts That Make Idaho a Premiere Ski Destination
Winter Sports For People of All Ages Coeur d’Alene Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
With all the mountain snow it’s no wonder Coeur d’Alene is home to some of the best nordic skiing. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll in snowshoes or a skate skiing adventure you’ll have no problem finding the perfect mountain for your day on the snow. Below are just some of our favorite cross country skiing areas near Coeur d’Alene.
Snowmobiling Coeur d’Alene
If throwing down some throttle and letting the snowmobile do the work for you is more your thing, Coeur d’Alene is the place to do it. Remember how we mentioned northern Idaho has some of the best snow in the country?
Well along with that is a massive network of trails and backcountry access all open to snowmobiling.
Whether your looking for a groomed snowmobile road or the most extreme backcountry experience, snowmobiling in Northern Idaho won’t disappoint.
To learn more about snowmobiling, head to the Coeur d’Alene Snowmobile Club website.
Coeur d’Alene On Ice
If taking a walk though McEuen Park Doesn’t quench your thirst for adventure then try the newly opened Coeur d’Alene On Ice.
The new ice rink located in McEuen park is a great way to celebrate the winter season. Take a relaxing skate while enjoying the outdoor sights of Coeur d’Alene Idaho.
Where to Stay Near Downtown?
The Coeur d’Alene Resort
When it comes to where you should stay during your visit, the answer is simple – The Coeur d’Alene Resort.
This magnificent hotel sits directly on beautiful Coeur d’Alene Lake and offers breathtaking views from its unbeatable downtown location. Everything noteworthy in Downtown Coeur D’Alene can be easily accessed for an unforgettable experience!
Book your stay today! In the wintertime, come rest and warm up by the hotel lobby’s grand fireplace. This is an ideal spot to unwind after a long day in the cold weather.
When you’re on vacation at the resort, don’t miss out on some of its delightful restaurants! Beverly’s is ideal for those special occasions where a high-end experience matters most.
And if it’s an enormous dessert that you crave, make sure to try Gooey’s from Dockside – they are truly scrumptious!
Indulge in the exquisite cocktails and delightful late-night appetizers at Whispers Bar; a must-visit for all!
The Roosevelt Inn
For those unable to stay at the resort, The Roosevelt Inn serves as a stunning bed and breakfast only minutes away from downtown Coeur d’Alene.
It’s practically just around the corner – a quick two-minute drive or seven-minute walk!
Constructed in 1905, this stunning historic schoolhouse still stands today as the oldest of its kind in the area. Boasting a blend of vintage charm and contemporary amenities, you’ll be sure to find all that you need here!
Of course there are cheaper accommodations if you are looking to save money on your trip. A popular option is AirBnB, which offers lower prices than hotels and often includes kitchens and living spaces.
There are also several motel chains in the area that offer more affordable rates.
Final Thoughts About Things To Do In Couer d’Alene In The Winter
Coeur d’Alene is a stunning place any time of the year but there’s something magical about winter here. With a dusting of snow amongst the holiday lights there’s no better place for a winter stroll.
And if adventure is your calling then you won’t be disappointed with the skiing and snowmobiling. With all the amazing food, shopping, and accommodations it’s the ultimate base camp for your winter adventure.