Pleasant Beach Village, located near the Lynwood portion of Bainbridge Island, is known for its cute and quaint shops year-round, but during the holidays the village transforms into a winter wonderland.
Dubbed “Holidays at the Village,” this year’s events will be slightly modified due to Gov. Jay Inslee’s most-recent COVID-19 mandate pertaining to indoor seating and capacity. Although the events might look slightly different, PBV staff has forged through these hardships in order to provide families with a glimpse of holiday glee.
“We were sort of doing this before the current mandate anyway just to be extra safe,” events coordinator Robert Freitag said.
Freitag said these holiday happenings have been ongoing for a while at the village, but only recently did staff start promoting them, adding to their popularity.
“It’s always been a huge thing out here,” he said. “The last few years we’ve been a bit more public about the whole thing. Last year we had a carousel here… It’s always been here; we’ve just sort of ramped it up in the last few years.”
The event that has gained the most appeal this year has been the Gingerbread House Parties. Typically the event is held in The Manor House, but due to COVID protocols it will take place in a spacious solarium called the “Wintergarden.”
Freitag said the Wintergarden will feature holiday lighting with heaters trying to keep everyone warm. There will be nine socially distanced tables with a capacity of five people per table.
“You’re covered from the rain but there’s plenty of air circulation,” he said. “We’re encouraging people to bundle up.”
One gingerbread house for a group of five costs $48 plus tax. If you’d like to purchase an additional gingerbread house, it will cost an extra $17 plus tax. Staff is also providing a take-and-make at-home kit for those who are uncomfortable participating at the village.
The first sessions start Nov. 28 and run through Dec. 23 with 24 sessions in total. Space is limited so sign up at holidaysatthevillage.com.
“With people sort of looking forward with caution, they’re trying to figure out things that they can do that are safe. We’re trying to offer people a little bit of an escape and something to enjoy,” Freitag said.
The Wintergarden is also open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 4-8 p.m. when folks can enjoy a holiday cocktail or local takeout from a restaurant.
If you want to get the little ones out of the house, taking a Holiday Loop through the village might be the perfect joyride. Beginning Nov. 27 at dusk, vehicles will be welcomed to follow the bright lights and holiday decorations up Woodson Lane and along the loop at Pleasant Beach Resort. The loop will be open to vehicles nightly through Dec. 31.
“We’re doing a lot of decorating around Pleasant Beach Village,” Freitag said. “We’re going full board with the lights and everything.”
The one night the Holiday Loop won’t be taking place is Dec. 8 from 5-7 p.m. when staff will be holding the Lights & Leashes events, when folks can walk their furry friends through the village to experience the holiday atmosphere.
“It’s sort of our little pet-friendly event,” Freitag said.
Along those same lines is the Tips 4 PAWS fundraiser throughout December. All tips left at PBV merchant shops will be matched by Pleasant Beach Village to support PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap. This is the fifth year of the fundraiser, which has raised over $100,000 to support the PAWS pet adoption program since 2016. Freitag added there will be a little Santa’s mailbox for people to make donations.
The one event that isn’t feasible this year due to COVID is Winter Weddings, since those are held indoors, Freitag said. Aside from that, he is looking forward to the seasonal events and all those who come out to enjoy them.
“It’s a continual and building tradition, and we encourage everyone to come out,” Freitag said. “It’s wonderful to just kind of walk around the property once we get the lights up. It’s a beautiful winter walk.”