things to do in chelan in winter

Things to Do in Chelan in the Winter: Inner Wellness Activities

If, for some wacky reason, parasailing several hundred feet above the lake or caroming at top speed behind one of our sport boats isn’t quite your thing, or it’s just too cold outside, the town of Chelan offers some—shall we say—gentler options designed to foster relaxation, inner wellness, and all-around positive vibrations. As we point out in this article, there are many things to do in Chelan in winter.

To be truthful, at Chelan Parasail we don’t think inner wellness and outer thrill-seeking are at odds with each other; more like two parts of the same circle. In other words, a yin and yang approach!

Whatever your inspiration, we’ve collected a few of our favorite local options for coming down, getting relaxed and centered, and making the absolute most of your visit to our beautiful lake.

Things to Do in Chelan in Winter

Chelan Yoga and Massage

When we want to expand our bodies (and minds), we head to Glow Yoga, a studio offering a unique and eclectic blend of classes, workshops, and individually tailored massage therapies. Choose from various yogic styles—including Vinyasa and heated hatha—and fun, out-of-the-box activities such as belly dancing, aromatherapy-fueled core-building workouts, meditation space and more. It’s Chelan’s one-stop-shop for relaxation and recentering!

And the free-spirited Yogachelan takes yoga out of the studio and into the world, bringing an inspired mix of classes and styles to such locations as wineries, outdoor parks, and even paddle boards (naturally, we love that last option!). Alternately, you can enjoy their classes—tailored for yogis of all ages—from the comfort of their studio located right in the middle of town.

Chelan Dance

Though they draw inspiration from very different traditions, dance and yoga are not worlds apart from each other. The Chelan Dance Centre offers a variety of classes for dancers—or those who just want to stretch, tone and play to the music—of all ages.

Chelan Spa

A dedicated center for the relaxation and rejuvenation of the body, Chelan Valley Spa specializes in carefully tailored skin care, from facials, body scrubs and wraps, bionic hydrotherapy, and many other modalities.

Heal Wellness Studio takes a different approach, combining massage therapy and tailored rejuvenation plans for body, spirit, and mind. You can dive even deeper with unique aroma, light and color therapies, guided meditation and the family of intuitive therapies: tarot cards, pendulums, runic stones and more!

While not a traditional spa, Wellness Garden is a unique “integrative medical clinic,” offering acupuncture, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and an infrared sauna.

Chelan Gym

If you prefer to workout rather than be worked on, Chelan has options. Valley Fitness is a 24/7 gym stocked with a variety of cardio and strength-training equipment such as Precor, Nautilus, Matrix, and Cybex. If you’re only visiting Chelan for a few days, the gym offers day or weeklong passes as well!

Another option is Chelan Two Four Seven Fitness Club, a full-featured workout space including a juice bar—Yum!—daycare, Zumba, ladies’ classes, and even tanning.

In short, Chelan offers a broad range of options to address your spirit and inner core, as well as all the “outward-facing” options for watery fun we offer here at Chelan Parasail & Watersports!

Lake Chelan Crush

Experience Harvest Season with the Lake Chelan Crush Festival

The end of the water sports season is always a little bit bittersweet for us; time to take a well-deserved rest, but also time to say goodbye to all the fun we have (and share with our customers and friends!) out on the lake. At least until it all starts up again next summer!

Fortunately, Fall holds a few treats in store for Chelan. It’s still typically sunny here, but the foliage begins to shift from green to the brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows we associate with Autumn. It’s warm and hospitable, but quite different from Summer.

And as you probably already know, Lake Chelan is a world-class wine region. Fall brings perhaps the most exciting time of the entire year for wine lovers: The crush, when ripe grapes are harvested and crushed, the first step in making delicious wine.

Chelan celebrates the crush with a yearly festival called, naturally, Lake Chelan Crush Festival. This year, it falls on two consecutive weekends: October 7 – 8 and 14 – 15. Here’s a little taste of what you’ll find there.

Pressing the Grapes

The Crush Festival is an excuse to throw a big party, but it’s also an actual process. Grapes are picked and stemmed, then sent into giant stainless-steel juicers (no, we don’t use our feet for that anymore). At this stage, the wine is just grape juice (many winemakers will set aside some for you to try!); it’s the addition of yeasts that sparks the fermentation into wine.

Winemaker Dinners

We love wine on its own, but it’s almost impossible to separate it from delicious foods! Many of our favorite local wineries are hosting special winemaker dinners, harvest meals, and other culinary celebrations of the end of the season. Check this Wine Events page for updates about specific meals and activities, or browse the list of Chelan wineries to contact the wineries you’re most interested in visiting.

Winery Parties and General Merriment

Of course, actual wine tasting is limited to adults of legal drinking age, but many wineries are planning family-friendly, all-day events featuring live music, dancing, tastings and more. Just as for the special harvest dinners, check back with the Wine Events page as we get closer to the Festival for updates and announcements of new harvest parties.

We hope to see you for this end-of-summer finale; it’s such a sweet way to end the season and welcome in the change to Fall. To help you plan your Crush experience, here’s a list of Chelan Valley wineries; many will be hosting dinners, parties, live music and more!

history of parasailing

The Evolution and History of Parasailing

Parasailers are a common sight not only on Lake Chelan—where, as we’re sure you already know, we were the first to bring it to Washington State—but around the world. It’s a bona fide craze with fans on literally every continent (yes, including Antarctica!) Who would suspect that only a few years ago, parasailing was just another “crazy dream.” Here’s how and why parasailing became so popular, and the many experiments and improvements along the way that make it such a thrilling—and safe—way to fly today.

Parasailing: High-Tech Beginnings

The story of parasailing is a story of adventure-seekers and risk-takers, but also one very practical and methodical designer: Pierre-Marcel Lemoigne. A French engineer, Lemoigne was primarily interested in simplifying the process of training parachutists for military and commercial uses, but as with so many other things, once the potential for fun was recognized there was no way it was going to be stifled!

By modifying a standard “ParaCommander” parachute, Lemoigne created an “ascending-gliding” parachute. Skydiving trainees no longer needed to be taken aloft in airplanes; with sufficient wind and velocity, they could make limited controlled ascents and descents, greatly simplifying the training process.

Parasailing…Into Outer Space?

Within a short time, NASA and the United States Air Force recognized the system’s potential and employed parasails to train astronauts for the 1965 Gemini 6 orbital mission. After the mission’s successful (and televised) completion, it’s probable that civilians started putting two and two together and realized that controlled parachuting over water sounded like a lot of fun!

The first step towards recreational parasailing came with vehicle-towed “beach parasailing” on tourist beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean in the late 1960s. But beach parasailing was by all accounts a relatively crude and unsafe approach: Vehicles had limited access to empty beaches, and maneuverability was severely limited by the extent of passable sand. Today, the practice has almost entirely disappeared; from a health and safety standpoint, we’re glad to see it go.

The Modern Era of Parasail: Leaps in Safety and Reliability

In the early 1970s, Mark McCulloh pioneered the combined launch and recovery boat equipped with a winch, the standard arrangement still in use. In 1976, designer Brian Gaskin, using cutting-edge waterproof fabrics, engineered a design we’d recognize today as being thoroughly modern. This leap forward and subsequent improvements have made parasailing so reliable and safe that two- and three-seat models—like the ones we operate over Lake Chelan—are commonplace.

In short, parasailing has a long and fascinating history, and its been continually improved over the last 55 years or so. While it’s every bit as thrilling as when it was first envisioned, it’s now so safe that anyone age five or older can go for a flight. If you haven’t experienced the beauty of Lake Chelan from the air, you’re in for the thrill of a lifetime. Catch the end of our summertime deals and come fly the Lake with us today!