From giant gingerbread houses to starting out the year with a hike, the Evergreen State has one too many holiday rituals. But here's one New Year's in Seattle that'll probably win you an actual "bravery badge": The Polar Bear Plunge. 

Every year in the dead of winter, Puget Sounders welcome the new year in true Emerald City style. They run into freezing cold waters as part of a beloved tradition and now you can too.

The free event goes down at noon on January 1, 2020, at Matthews Beach. If this isn't a refreshing way to kickstart a new decade, we don't know what is! 

You can head over to the beach a couple of hours ahead to register to be a part of the shindig. Extra points if you're in a costume — we've seen everything from the prettiest tutu bathing suits to Bojack Horseman heads if you want some inspo. 

Hosted by Seattle Parks and Recreation, this was the first event of its kind in the city. What started off with 300 people, is now in its 18th year, and last year saw thousands of brave bears make the polar splash. 

Once you've taken the "plunge" or immersed yourself neck-deep in the icy water of Puget Sound (for not over 15 minutes), you'll get a 2020 Commemorative Polar Bear Badge of Courage too.

The patch will show off your bravery to the world.

If you're a water baby and are up for a winter beach party, this is the place to be. 

The party doesn't end there though. There'll be several games, photo booths, music and vendors for a beach party afterward. You'll also get complimentary drinks like coffee, cocoa, and hot tang (yes, that's a thing!) to keep you toasty

There'll be bathrooms, changing rooms, and hot showers for you to slip into your next OOTD, and make a splash into the new year too. 

The question is, are you brave enough? 

Polar Bear Plunge

Price: Free

When: Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at noon

Address: Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE, Seattle, WA

Why You Need To Go: Welcome the new year by being a part of one of Seattle's beloved traditions — only if you dare.

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We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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