Welcome the New Year with healthy, active outdoor fun. Polar Bear Dips are for those willing to brave icy Northwest winter water, including Lake Washington and Puget Sound. If you prefer to stay dry, then check out our list below of the many First Day Hikes at Washington State Parks around the region.
Polar Bear Dip Safety Tips
- Heart health. Anyone with heart problems, consult your health care provider, or just plan to watch the fun.
- Bring change of clothes and towel.
- Do Not Drink Alcohol: alcohol does not warm you up, it accelerates hypothermia.
- Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes; body heat is lost 25 times faster in the water than in air.
- Do not remove your clothing until swim time and remove wet clothing before getting back into dry clothes.
- Most events are free, however some are fundraisers for charitable causes. Check their website for details.
2024 Polar Bear Plunges
The following polar plunges take place Monday, January 1, 2024. Listed alphabetically by location.)
Burien Three Tree Point Polar Bear Plunge
Burien’s annual Polar Bear Plunge on January 1 at Noon. All are invited. This annual tradition is meant to help people splash into the New Year and cleanse themselves of negative thoughts, bad vibes, icky hangovers, or just to have a fun, silly start to the New Year. More info: Splash into the New Year at Three Tree Point Polar Bear Plunge (b-townblog.com)
Des Moines Polar Bear Plunge
Join fellow revelers by diving into icy waters in Puget Sound at Des Moines Beach Park (21815 Marine View Dr at S 7th Ave). More info: Events | Seattle Southside
Edmonds Polar Bear Plunge
Ring in the New Year with splash at the annual Polar Bear Plunge, hosted by The Edmonds Uplift Society at 1 p.m. on January 1. The event will be at Brackett’s Landing beach at the foot of Main Street — just north of the Edmonds-Kingston ferry terminal — and all are invited to participate. More info: Welcome 2024 at 17th annual Polar Bear Plunge in Edmonds Jan. 1 – My Edmonds News
Gig Harbor YMCA Polar Bear Plunge
YMCA Camp Seymour hosts a Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day. Y members and campers registered for summer are FREE. Community Members | $5 per person (credit card or cash the day of the event). Space is limited. Reserve your time! More info: YMCA Camp Seymour | Polar Bear Plunge
Normandy Park Polar Plunge
Start the New Year with an invigorating dip at the Cove at 11 a.m. on January 1. This family-friendly event is open to all. More info: Normandy Park’s 2nd annual Polar Plunge (b-townblog.com)
Renton Polar Bear Plunge
Celebrate the new year at the annual Polar Bear Plunge on January 1 at 10AM. Participants will meet at
the South Beach of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park Henry Moses Aquatic Center at 1719 Maple Valley Highway. The change in venue is caused by the recent detection of potentially toxic algae blooms in Lake Washington (seattletimes.com). Bring your towel and dry clothes to warm up. *Pre-Registered participants will have access to coffee, hot cocoa, and chowder after taking the plunge!* More info: Polar Bear Plunge – City of Renton (rentonwa.gov)
Sammamish Polar Bear Plunge
Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. with registration, music, and merriment on the shores of Sunset Beach. The crowd will “plunge” at noon. The first 300 registered participants will receive some goodies at the event. Registration fee is a $10 minimum donation per person. More info: LSSP Polar Plunge 2024! — Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park
Seattle Parks & Rec Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach
Seattle will still have its New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach Park. Due to recent tests showing toxic algae blooms in Lake Washington, the water will be tested before the event (seattletimes.com). If necessary, expect a change in location. Start off the New Year with a splash at 12-noon on January 1 at Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the plunge starts at noon sharp. More info: Polar Bear Plunge – New Years 2024! – Parkways (seattle.gov)
Tacoma Polar Bear Plunge at Point Defiance Marina
Kick off the new year by plunging into Puget Sound! Costumes are welcome but not required. Shoes/foot protection highly recommended. For the safety of participants, life jackets will be available, and lifeguards will be stationed on the docks. Parking is located at Point Defiance Marina Boat Launch (5912 Waterfront Dr, Tacoma, WA 98407). Sign up online in advance $10 per person. In-person registration begins at the event at 10 am (no cash). More info: Polar Bear Plunge – Metro Parks Tacoma
West Seattle Alki Beach Polar Bear Plunge at Alki Beach
The New Year’s Day tradition that lines Alki Beach with hundreds of people ready to (briefly) submerge themselves in the chilly water of Puget Sound promptly at 10:00 AM. More info: West Seattle Blog… | ‘Be brave!’ You’re invited to the 2024 West Seattle New Year’s Polar Bear Plunge at Alki Beach
2024 First Day Hikes
First Day Hikes is a national initiative led by America’s State Parks, encouraging people to get outdoors on New Year’s Day. Each year, tens of thousands of people hike over 100,000 miles during these free events throughout the nation.
Ring in the New Year with Washington State Parks. First Day Hikes offer an experience for everyone to get outside and enjoy our beautiful state parks. All hikes are free. New Year’s Day is also a Washington State Parks ’Free Entrance Day’, when you don’t need a Discover Pass for vehicle access to state parks.
Choose from ranger and staff-led hikes, bike rides, snowshoe excursions, and more. Please read hike descriptions carefully and check the park’s event descriptions to make sure you are registered and have what you need! You may need to register for some events with participation limits and/or purchase the appropriate Sno-Park permit.
More info: First Day Hikes | Washington State Parks
You might also like:
- 30 great park trails for kids in the Puget Sound region
- Popular King County parks for day hikes
- Bird Watching in the Puget Sound region
Event calendar for New Year’s Weekend
Events on our calendar for New Years Weekend, December 29, 2023 to January 1, 2024.
Friday, December 29, 2023
Saturday, December 30, 2023
Sunday, December 31, 2023
Monday, January 1, 2024