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Heading outdoors for the holidays

Winter Expo seeks to get people outdoors during the winter season

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There are countless adventures to be had this winter season, and the Northwest Adventure Center's second annual Winter Kick-Off Expo is where one can find the inspiration to step outside and enjoy all that the Northwest has to offer.

Attendees can learn more about the center's outdoorsy offerings during the expo, which will be held Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 8050 NCO Beach Rd. on Joint Base Lewis-McChord North.

The festivities have an early start time so that people working half-day shifts in honor of Veterans Day can stop by and take advantage of the services provided.

One of the major goals of the expo is to provide attendees with information about various events, trips and outdoor-themed opportunities happening in the upcoming months; there's an adventure to be had for every interest, budget and experience level. Staff will pass out the center's new Winter Calendar, which provides information about events that will take place from November to April and includes the prices and dates for each activity.

If exploring the Pacific Northwest sounds particularly interesting, the calendar showcases trips and treks that are dedicated to doing so. Shopping in Portland, going to the Bavarian Ice Fest in Leavenworth, and checking out Seattle's Pike's Place Market and Ride the Ducks tour are among the many excursions the center sponsors for the PNW enthusiast.

For ladies-only fun, consider a Bella-Donna trip, which is worth gathering up the gal-pals in pursuit of hiking Twin Falls, shopping Victoria, B.C., taking a sea kayak class or trekking up to Steven's Pass. When looking for ways to embrace the holiday spirit, participating in the Lighting Festival and Christkindlmarkt in Leavenworth, caroling around American Lake, and visiting Snowflake Lane in Bellevue are also among the fun-filled festivities that can be explained at the expo. Additionally, there are courses on photography, winter survival, and stand-up paddle boarding available for those looking to try something new.

In addition to providing program information, the expo will also host local ski resorts.

"Out of the five resorts that we contacted, four major ski resorts will be represented there," said Robert Conrad, Adventure Programs manager at the center. "We will also have (representatives from) Washington State Parks there to talk about access to state parks during the winter months and to answer questions about requirements for winter recreation."

The event will also feature winter safety demonstrations and information about the center's new JBLM Alpine Club. Bratwursts and sodas will be provided beginning at noon, and bottled beer will be available after 4 p.m. Door prizes, including winter adventure services, will be awarded, and upcoming trips to major ski resorts will be announced.

Although wintertime is typically regarded as a time to stay huddled up indoors, this year's Winter Expo may be the ticket to getting people away from the fireplace and onto a snow-covered mountain.

For more information, call 253.967.6263 or visit

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