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Travel & Outdoors

Guide to Polar Plunges in Western WA

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credit:  MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images

credit: MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images

Want to start the new year off with a SPLASH? There are several Puget Sound area Polar Plunges. Many go to help Washington’s own Special Olympics.

Polar Plunge
http://www.specialolympicswashington.org

Do you have what it takes to take a dip in the frigid waters of Washington? Here’s your chance to ‘bear’ it all for Special Olympics Washington. Create a team, raise money and earn prizes! Don’t miss out on the ‘coolest’ event of the year:

Idylwood Park – Redmond
January 1, 2012

Sarg Hubbard Park – Yakima
January 14, 2012

Columbia Park – Kennewick
January 21, 2012

Polar Bear Plunge
Sunday, January 1, 2012
11:00am
Golden Gardens Park
8498 Seaview Place Northwest
Seattle, WA 98117

It’s the third annual plunge at this Ballard area park.

Polar Bear Dip
Sunday, January 1, 2012
11:00am
Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
1201 Lake Washington Boulevard North
Renton, WA 98056
425.430.6700
http://www.rentonwa.gov/living

Start the new year with a quick dip into the icy waters of Lake Washington at the swimming beach. Why would you do it? Some say it’s to try something new for the new year, others say it’s the atmosphere of the event. Whatever the reason, it’s sure to be fun! No registration is necessary.

10th Annual Polar Bear Plunge
Sunday, January 1, 2012
12:00pm
Matthews Beach Park
Corner Of NE 93rd St And Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
http://www.seattle.gov

The Event Includes:
1. Dress Up In Your Swim Suit, Costumes Add The Whimsy
2. Jump In at Noon
3. Enjoy A Hot Beverage/Warm Up
4. Sign the Online Memory Book
5. Receive the Official 2012 Polar Bear Plunge Patch (cold badge o’ courage)
6. “New” “Polar Cub Club”- a special time just before the “Polar Bears” for younger folks or people needing a little more room!

First Annual Polar Bear Plunge
Sunday, January 1, 2012
11:30am
Point Defiance Park
5912 N Waterfront Dr.
253.591.5325
http://www.metroparkstacoma.org

The fun begins with a Cub Plunge, for youth under 10 years of age, at 11:30am, followed by an Adult/Family Plunge at noon. The event is free of charge. Costumes are welcome but not required. Spectators are welcome to be a part of the fun by cheering and encouraging those who brave the water. The event takes place rain or shine at the Point Defiance boat launch, located at 5912 N. Waterfront Drive in Point Defiance Park. Hot drinks, tents and heaters will be provided.

Polar Bear Plunge
Sunday, Jan 1, 2012
12:00pm
Long Lake Park
2790 Carpenter Road
Lacey, WA 98503

Join fellow enthusiasts in this chilling ritual of bringing in the New Year! Enjoy campfires, music, hot cocoa and coffee — culminating with the “plunge” at 1:00pm. Or stay warm and dry on shore and cheer on the swimmers! All ages welcome.

Polar Bear Swim
January 1, 2012
Waterfront by Birch Bay Visitor Information Center
7900 Birch Bay Drive
Blaine, WA 98230
The Plunge: 12:00pm
Registration: 9:30am
http://www.birchbaychamber.com

Started in 1982 by local residents on a dare, this annual ritual draws hundreds of participants and onlookers each year. The Polar Bear Plunge is becoming a destination spot for the the holiday. Participants come from as far away as Germany, Tokyo, Chicago, and British Columbia to plunge in to the bay’s chilly water.

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