New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge @ Across Puget Sound

Rituals are in 🥶

📸: Courtesy Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park

Sunday, January 1

One big cultural shift nobody is talking about: the lack of “New Year, New Me” rhetoric as we close out 2022. Post-pandemic, life doesn’t work like that. It never did, and I’m here for that collective change in mindset. It’s a relief to be the same me, with a new perspective. 

In 2023, resolutions are out, but rituals are in. An icy, cleansing plunge is my favorite tradition for welcoming the new year. Swimming clubs worldwide intentionally enter frigid waters at annual events on January 1; the first documented Polar Bear Plunge took place in the Boston Harbor in 1904

Seattle’s proximity to swimmable bodies of water means abundant opportunities to polar plunge communally. Check out one of these local events below for the full experience. Some events require a fee, most are free, and many include entertainment like music and after-parties. Pro tip: pack a big blanket and fuzzy socks to cozy into afterward. 

🐻‍❄️ Seattle: Polar Bear Plunge @ Matthews Beach

🐻‍❄️ Edmonds:  Polar Bear Plunge @ Olympic Beach Park

🐻‍❄️ Gig Harbor: Polar Bear Plunge @ Glen Cove

🐻‍❄️ Issaquah: Polar Bear Plunge @ Lake Sammamish State Park

🐻‍❄️ Des Moines: Polar Bear Plunge @ Des Moines Beach Park

🐻‍❄️ Renton: Polar Bear Plunge @ Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park


Meghna Jaradi

Meghna leads with her curiosity when writing about travel, food, and beverages. She previously wrote about cookbooks at Kitchen Arts & Letters, and has managed events and communications at Book Larder, Peddler Brewing Company, and Cascade Bicycle Club. She is newly pescatarian and a Seattle native. Follow along at @wanderingthali.