Kick off the new year with Seattle's official Polar Bear Plunge

Dec 4 2019, 5:06 pm

Start your New Year with a splash — literally. The 18th annual Polar Bear Plunge is back at Matthews Beach on the first day of the new year.


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A great way to wash off after a night of New Year’s Eve parties is to plunge into freezing water at noon the morning after. Wake up nice and early to register at 10 am. Don’t worry, if you fall asleep in the water, lifeguards are on duty and will rescue you if needed.

While waiting for the plunge, take your mind off the chill by playing games with friends, taking photos at a photo booth, dancing to upbeat music, or shopping at the t-shirt and hoodie vendors.

Make sure to get as much of your body as possible under the frigid water. Those who survive the freeze and immerse themselves neck-deep will earn themselves a 2020 Commemorative Polar Bear Badge of Courage — a patch that shows the world your strength. (Please, do not submerge your head, and make sure to change out of your wet clothing as soon as you’re out of the water.)


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Heat yourself up from the inside-out with warm drinks, served after the plunge. Coffee, cocoa, and hot tang are all on the menu.

Younger polar bears and anyone else who needs a little more room can take part in the Polar Cub Club, an event immediately preceding the main plunge. Eager bears can most definitely double-dip into both events.

18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge

When: January 1, 2020
Time: Registration at 10 am; Plunge at 12 pm
Where: Matthews Beach — 9300 51st Avenue NE, Seattle
Admission: Free

Alyssa TherrienAlyssa Therrien

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