Where to Find Dog-Friendly Fun During the Holiday Season


Editor’s note: Have you seen the Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our December-January issue. Subscribe to Dogster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.

The holidays are more fun when you get to celebrate with your four-legged family member. So, check out these events that include dogs in all the merrymaking.

Christmas pooch parades

Pooch Parage in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Photo by Robert Dennis)
Get some outdoor fun at Kennebunkport’s Pooch Parade in Maine. (Photo by Robert Dennis)

There’s nothing cuter than a pup dressed up as a holiday gift or tiny reindeer. And Christmas parades are the perfect excuse for getting decked out and strutting through the streets.

Kennebunkport’s Pooch Parade in Maine is taking place on Dec. 11 and attracts people from all over. You can march behind the LL Beanmobile and Slugger the Sea Dog or spectate free of charge. Treats are handed out at the end, and there’s an “after-pawty” at Scalawags Pet Boutique. For more information, visit kennebunkport mainelodging.com.

The Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade on Dec. 11 in San Diego, California, is a great way to get outdoors and celebrate the season. The entry fee is $15 in advance and $20 the day of, but you can save $5 if you donate supplies to San Diego Humane Society’s PAWS San Diego. For more information, visit pawssandiego.org and gaslamp.org.

Symphony of lights

(Photo by Steve Rankin)
Christmas Town in McAdenville, North Carolina, boasts a stunning light display. (Photo by Steve Rankin)

Holiday lights will put you in the spirit. It’s a great excuse to go for a long, refreshing leash walk or cuddle up in the car together.

Las Vegas, Nevada, is home to Glittering Lights, a 2.5-mile drive-through spectacular featuring more than 3 million LED lights that intertwine through the speedway. Catch the spectacle Nov. 11 to Jan. 1. Take your pooch in your car, and he will get a treat! For more info, visit glitteringlightslasvegas.com.

Christmas Town in McAdenville, North Carolina (just outside Charlotte), is as festive as it sounds. Drive or walk through a stunning light display with your leashed pet from Dec. 1 to 26. For more info, visit mcadenville-christmastown.com.

Pictures with Santa

A Santa photo op at the Auburn Valley Humane Society in Washington. (Photo by Phil Morgan)
A Santa photo op at the Auburn Valley Humane Society in Washington. (Photo by Phil Morgan)

Who doesn’t want a pic with the man in the red suit? Snap a photo of your pet sitting proudly with “Santa Paws,” and cherish it for Christmases to come.

Dog Savvy in Denver, Colorado’s historic Larimer Square, is planning to host free visits with Santa called “Paws & Claus.” Donations to Pets for Vets are encouraged. The event date is likely Dec. 10 and will be confirmed closer to the holidays. For more information, visit dogsavvy.com.

The Auburn Valley Humane Society in Washington State has Santa Paws on deck for Dec. 10 and 11. Donate $10, and get a 4- by 6-inch photo card, dog toy, and treats. Make it $20, and you’ll take home digital photo files on a bone-shaped USB flash drive. Up it to $35, and you’ll also get a copy of the 2016 AVHS Pet Calendar. Be sure to bring your dog on his or her leash. For more information, visit auburnvalleyhs.org.

Holiday open houses

Open houses are fairly common across the country, and all it takes is a little digging to find one near you. They often go hand-in-hand with fundraising to benefit a rescue or shelter as well as informative tours while spreading holiday cheer.

MaxFund, a dog and cat shelter and wellness center in Denver, Colorado, throws its annual Holiday Open House on Dec. 10. Expect refreshments, merchandise for sale, a dog trainer, pet whisperer, and guided shelter tours. Bring supplies from the MaxFund wish list! For more information, visit maxfund.org.

Top photo: Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade by Michael Trimble.

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