Where Polar Bear Plunges Are Happening in 2024

Cold and clear πŸ»β€β„οΈ

A group of smiling people in bathing suits pose for a photo on a snow-covered beach after a polar bear plunge.

πŸ“Έ: Lake Sammamish State Park

Updated December 2023

πŸ“… Monday, January 1st, 2024

We can thank our neighbors to the north for the New Year’s Day tradition known as the Polar Bear PlungePeter Pantages, a Greek immigrant to Vancouver, BC, was known to swim in the city’s cold waters every day. He was such a proponent of this that in the early 1920s, he convinced others to join him, founding The Polar Bear Club

Early on, the club held its annual winter dip on Christmas Day, but the tradition moved to New Year’s Day by 1945. That tradition eventually made its way south to Seattle. Now, there are numerous plunges across the area, and many people enthusiastically swear by cold water’s health benefitsβ€”so much so that they dip year-round

Whether it’s your first year tiptoeing into the cold waters or if this is a yearly tradition for you, put on a penguin costume, grab some cocoa or coffee, and bring in the new year with a posse of other brave plungers

West Seattle Polar Bear Plunge @ Alki Beach

10 am @ ​​57th Ave SW & Alki Ave SW, Seattle

What to know:

⏰ Starts @ 10 am sharp! Don’t be late. 
πŸ‘₯ Before the plunge begins, participants line up and down the quarter-mile beach, hold hands, do a countdown, and then scream “Happy New Year” before running into the frigid water. 
🀩 Last year, over 1,000 people participated!
πŸ‘š Bring extra warm clothes to change into afterward.
FYI: The Coldwater Collective holds a weekly plunge here!

Renton Polar Bear Plunge @ Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

10 am @ 1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton

What to know:

🌊 The City of Renton holds this annual event @ 10 am on New Year’s Day in the chilly waters of Lake Washington. 
πŸ–Š Free registration is required and ends right before the plunge starts. 
🎟 Register by 9 am on December 29th to be entered into a raffle.
πŸ‘Ά Ages three & up!
🚀 Flotation devices approved by the US Coast Guard are allowed. 
β˜•οΈ Coffee, cocoa, and chowder will be available to registered participants after.

Normandy Park Polar Bear Plunge @ The Cove

11 am @ 1428 SW Shorebrook Dr, Normandy Park

What to know:

⏰ This 2nd annual plunge starts @ 11 am.
β˜•οΈ Get there early for coffee and cocoa, starting @ 10:30 am.
πŸ»β€β„οΈ Plunge happens regardless of rain, snow, or wind.
πŸ‘€ If you don’t want to take a dip, spectators are welcome!

Tacoma Polar Bear Plunge @ Point Defiance Marina

11:30 am & 12:30 pm @ 5912 Waterfront Dr, Tacoma

What to know:

πŸ»β€β„οΈ Adult-only (11:30 am) and all-ages (12:30 pm) plunges take place at the Point Defiance Marina Public Boat Launch on January 1st. 
🎟 Registration of $10 + tax per person is required. 
πŸ–Š On-site registration is available @ 10 am. No cash accepted.
🧸 Each ticket comes with a commemorative fleece blanketβ€”while supplies last. 
🀡🏻 Costumes encouraged. Lifeguards and life jackets provided. Please wear foot protection!
πŸ”₯ Propane heater warming stations and hot beverages provided.

Lake Sammamish Polar Bear Plunge @ Lake Sammamish State Park

12 pm @ 2182 NW Sammamish Rd, Issaquah

What to know:

πŸ₯Ύ Hike, plunge, or both at this event @ Lake Sammamish State Park.
πŸ–Š Registration starts @ 10:30 am and continues with entertainment until the plunge @ 12 noon. $10 minimum donation per person. 
πŸ” Hikes start @ 10:30 and 11 am. All ages, lasting about 15–20 min, covering roughly a half mile. 
πŸ¦Έβ€β™€οΈ A costume contest with prizes starts @ 11:30 am. Three categories: Holiday Festiveness, ’80s Throwback, and Pacific Northwest. 
πŸ‘€ Spectators are welcome! 
🎁 The first 300 people registered will get a commemorative pair of socks, a pin, a sticker, and other swag.
🍩 Hot beverages and donuts are available. Complimentary clam chowder from Ivar’s.
🚘 Visitors will not need a Discover Pass to park. Stay the day!

Burien Polar Bear Plunge @ Three Tree Point

12 pm @ SW 170th St, Burien

What to know:

πŸ“ It takes place at 12 noon @ Three Tree Point’s south beach.
πŸ† You can receive the Polar Bear Plunge trophy by winning the plunge’s costume contest. Think festive. Leftover Xmas decorations combined with Halloween attire??
πŸ’» If you’d rather stay inside, the event will be livestreamed on BTown Blog’s Facebook.
πŸ₯ͺ Visit the historic Three Tree Point Store for a bite or beverage before or after. 
πŸ‘Ÿ Bring water shoes to protect your feet from rocks and shells.
πŸš— Arrive early. Parking is limited!!!

Seattle Polar Bear Plunge @ Matthews Beach Park

12 pm @ 5100 NE 93rd St, just off Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

What to know:

πŸ»β€β„οΈ This plunge is held yearly on January 1st @ 12 noon.
πŸ™ Started in 2003, this was the first city-endorsed Polar Bear Plunge in the Puget Sound region, growing from 300 participants to now estimated over 1,000!
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­ This is a FREE event, with lifeguards present.
🎭 Costumes are encouraged! 
πŸŽ–οΈ Those who go neck deep get a 2024 “Commemorative Courage Badge.”
πŸ‘Ά Younger plungers or those who need more time can start early at 11:45 am. 
🧺 Stay dry until ready, and bring extra warm clothes to change into afterward. 

Edmonds Polar Bear Plunge @ Olympic Beach Park

1 pm @ 200 Admiral Way, Edmonds

What to know:

πŸ“ This is the 17th annual version of this Polar Bear Plunge, and it happens at 1 pm Brackett’s Landing in the park. 
🍸 This is put on annually by the Edmonds Uplift Society, which calls itself “a drinking club with a social conscience.” After-dip drinks
πŸŽ… Since this is a more casual event than a city-sanctioned one, there aren’t any contests, but feel free to dress up. And remember, be safe!


Patheresa Wells

Patheresa Wells is a Black/Persian, Pansexual, Polyamorous Poet (so many Ps) and writer living in Seatac. An aspiring comic, you can catch her cracking jokes at open mics around the area. In her free time, she likes to imagine what she’d do with free time and feed her backyard crows cuz they’re silly. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.

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