Early Winter Happenings: November, December, and January Events

As the snow continues to pile up, the Bozeman, Big Sky and Yellowstone communities are busy planning loads of fun activities that locals and tourists look forward to all year long.


When: Thursday, November 8th

What: Life in Wonderland: An Evening With Yellowstone’s Legendary Winterkeeper Steven Fuller

Steve Fuller has become a legend in America’s oldest national park. As a Yellowstone “winterkeeper,” he is the last of his kind and the longest-serving winterkeeper in the park’s illustrious 146-year history. For 45 years he has lived near the edge of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and used his cameras to document a way of life that is unparalleled in the Lower 48 states. Today, with the effects of climate change bearing down, Yellowstone is in the midst of a profound transition. On the one hand, the Yellowstone that Fuller knew is disappearing and, on the other, aspects of the park—with recovering populations of grizzly bears, wolves and bison dwelling in the neighborhood—his backyard has also grown even wilder. Steve Fuller is a regular columnist for Mountain Journal.

Where: The Emerson Cultural Center, Bozeman

More Info: www.theemerson.org


When: November 9th

What: Main Street Speakeasy Whiskey Tasting

In its fourth year, Thrive, the Kitty Warren Social Club and Wisetail have teamed up to bring you another night of prohibition-era fun at this year’s Whiskey Tasting. A $50 ticket purchase gets you a night of music, friends and libations as you explore the diverse flavors of whiskey and support a great cause. Roaring ’20s and Prohibition-era costumes are encouraged and a prize will be awarded for the best-dressed couple.

Where: Main Street, Bozeman – Exact location is confidential

More Info/Tickets: www.allthrive.org


When: November 9th

What: The MSU Harvest Ball

This event has roots dating back to 1937, when Montana State University was Montana State College. Historically, the ball was held in October, just as many agricultural students were arriving to campus after the harvest season on family farms. In honor of MSU’s 125th anniversary, this old tradition will be revived on Friday, Nov. 9, from 8-10 pm. The dance is free and open to the public and includes live music by the Rocky Mountain Pearls, a cash bar, photo booth, light refreshments and prizes awarded for costumes.

Where: MSU Strand Union Building, Bozeman

More Info: www.montana.edu/news/18026


When: November 10th

What: The Bozeman Bluegrass Festival

ChickenJam West Productions and Bridger Brewing are proud to present the 12th Annual Bozeman Bluegrass Festival at the Emerson Theater & Ballroom. Matt Broughton, of Bridger Creek Boys, has been keeping this ole’ thing running for 11 years and we are excited that he has entrusted the new gang to carry it on in the future. This will be the biggest Bozeman Bluegrass Festival yet, with such amazing acts as Peter Rowan (with Guests TBA 9/21) doing Bill Monroe; Hot Buttered Rum; Laney Lou & The Bird Dogs; Larry Keel Experience; Dead Horses; Rumpke Mountain Boys; Whitewater Ramble; Armchair Boogie; The Fresh Boys; Bridger Creek Boys; Lazy Owl String Band; and Benjamin Jaffe (of HONEYHONEY).

Where: The Emerson Cultural Center, Bozeman

More Info/Tickets: www.theemerson.org


When: November 14th

What: (Live Music) The Devil Makes Three: “There’s a road that goes out of every town. All you’ve got to do is get on it,” Pete Bernhard says. The guitarist/singer and his cohorts in the raw and raucous trio The Devil Makes Three have found their way onto that road numerous times since they first left their picturesque rural hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont. Back then, they had no idea it would lead them to such auspicious destinations as the Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and on tours with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell and Trampled By Turtles. Along the way, they drew numerous accolades from a growing fan base and press alike. TDM3’s sound is garage-y ragtime, punkified blues, old n’ new timey without settling upon a particular era, inspired as much by mountain music as by Preservation Hall jazz.

Where: The Rialto Theater, Bozeman

More Info/Tickets: www.rialtobozeman.com


When: November 22nd (Thanksgiving Day)

What: Big Sky Resort Opening Day

Celebrate Thanksgiving with those who matter by doing all that really maters: skiing. As is tradition, Big Sky’s lifts will start spinning for the ’18-’19 season at 9am on Thanksgiving Day.

Where: Big Sky Resort, Big Sky

More Info/Tickets: www.bigskyresort.com


When: November 22nd (Thanksgiving Day)

What: 9th Annual Turkey Trot

Grab your shoes, your friends and your family, and come have some fun at the 9th annual Big Sky Education Foundation Turkey Trot 5k, presented by Authentic Inc. & The Big Sky Real Estate Co. The proceeds from the 9th Annual Turkey Trot 5k will help BSEF better serve its athletes, families and community.

Registration and Check-In opens at 7:30 am at the Fire Pit Park. Register early to receive your free Turkey Trot shirt.

Where: Big Sky Town Center – Fire Pit Park

More Info/Registration: competitivetiming.com/calendar


When: November 27th

What: Brews & The Big Sky

Montana Made, Montana Brewed: Brews & the Big Sky explores the unique history of the Big Sky State paired with unique Montana brews. Enjoy an adults-only night out as the museum becomes a lively venue for drinks and local history. Sample beer from a featured Montana brewery, enjoy light appetizers and wander through MOR’s exhibitions.

Where: Museum of the Rockies

More Info/Tickets: www.museumoftherockies.org


When: December 1st

What: Bozeman Christmas Stroll

Be a part of Downtown Bozeman’s greatest holiday tradition: The Christmas Stroll. Always on the first Saturday in December, come downtown to officially kick-off the Holiday Season. First, Santa Claus works his way from the Emerson Cultural Center down Main Street, singing Christmas carols and lighting the downtown holiday lights with more than 5,000 people in tow to help get people into the holiday spirit. Then enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa Claus, entertainment, holiday treats and much more. The fun lasts until 7:30PM. Buttons will be available for purchase after Thanksgiving at various Bozeman locations.

Where: Downtown Bozeman

More Info: www.bozemandailychronicle.com


When: December 3rd

What: Big Sky Madrigal Dinner

The Arts Council of Big Sky is proud to present the 22nd annual Madrigal Dinner, slated for Monday, Dec. 3, at 5 pm in the Montana Room at Buck’s T-4 Lodge. This event is considered by many as the traditional opening of the holiday season and is one of the highlights for the Big Sky community. Tickets for the Madrigal Dinner can be purchased in advance for $60 per person, which includes a fantastic three-course dinner prepared by the chefs at Buck’s, as well as festive music from the Montana State University Montanans, the MSU Brass Quintet and the MSU Chorale.

Where: Buck’s T-4 Lodge, Big Sky

More Info/Tickets: www.bigskyarts.org/406.995.2742


When: December 5-9th

What: The Bozeman Ice Festival

The Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival, presented by Black Diamond, is the signature event of the Ice Climbing Alliance. The five-day celebration of everything-ice climbing includes films, on-ice clinics, adventure trip presentations from some of the sport’s top athletes and more.

Where: The Emerson Cultural Center

More Info/Schedule of Events: www.bozemanicefest.org


When: December 7th

What: Big Sky Christmas Stroll

The streets of the Big Sky area will come alive from 5:30 – 9:15 pm for the 21st Annual Big Sky Christmas Stroll. It’s a long-standing tradition for many to come up to Big Sky to ski and après with family and friends at the stroll. Big Sky Resort and many local businesses celebrate and show their holiday spirit as well with ski and stay packages and open houses that weekend. Ski, stay and stroll with us this holiday season.

Where: Big Sky Town Center and Big Sky Meadow Village

More Info: www.bigskytowncenter.com/bigskychristmasstroll


When: December 8th

What: Third Annual Holiday Home Tour

Tour three beautiful Big Sky homes for architectural and holiday décor inspiration while enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Transportation is available to each home on a first come, first served basis. The tour will end at Discovery Academy’s Community Learning Center for a Holiday Bazaar. Guests will be able to browse a wide range of holiday gift options from talented local artists and vendors along with specialty items made by Discovery Academy students.

Where: Big Sky Town Center

More Info/Tickets: http://bigskydiscoveryacademy.org/holiday-home-tour/


When: December 15th

What: West Yellowstone Christmas Stroll and Parade of Lights

It’s a time of rosy cheeks and laughter. Join the friendly citizens of West Yellowstone as they light the Town tree, greet Santa and stroll the shops seeking just the right gifts.

Where: West Yellowstone, Montana

More Info: www.destinationyellowstone.com


When: December 15th-16th

What: Kids’N’Snow

Don’t miss a special weekend in West Yellowstone filled full of fun activities for kids (and parents and grandparents) both outdoors and inside. Practice snowshoeing and learn about nature with a ranger, ice skate, have fun on cross country skis, meet a raptor and other special kids programs. Join the fun at the West Yellowstone Ice Rink in the Town Park. Warm-up with hot beverages, toast some marshmallows, sled on the sledding hill and make your own S’mores, all the fixings provided. Bring your own sled for our Kid’s Sledding Hill. Or, try out West Yellowstone’s ice skating rink. Skates available at no charge. Old-fashioned family fun for everyone of every age – all Yellowstone visitors welcome.

Where: West Yellowstone, Montana

More Info/Registration: www.kidsnsnow.org


When: December 15th-16th

What: Military Appreciation Weekend

During this weekend, Big Sky Resort is offering free skiing to active and retired military members, half-off lift tickets to their spouses and immediate family, and discounted lodging at the Huntley Lodge and Big Horn Condos.

Where: Big Sky Resort, Big Sky

More Info/Tickets: www.bigskyresort.com


When: December 24th (Christmas Eve)

What: Big Sky Torchlight Parade

Head on up to Big Sky Resort to Celebrate the holidays on the slopes with a torchlight parade down Andesite Mountain, fireworks and even skiing Santa Claus. The event is free to spectators.

Where: Big Sky Resort – Andesite Mountain

More Info/Tickets: www.bigskyresort.com


When: January 5th

What: Free XC Ski & Try Biathlon Day

In honor of National Winter Trails Day, the Custer Gallatin National Forest has waived trail fees on the Rendezvous Trail System for the day. West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation (WYSEF) will be hosting free, 1-hour cross country ski tutorials at 1pm. Freeheel & Wheel is offering free, 2-hour equipment rentals (no reservations, first-come, first-served). Altius Custom Firearms and WYSEF are hosting the Try-It Biathlon Demo at 12pm. All rifles and ammo provided. Learn what it takes to ski & shoot.

Where: Rendezvous Ski Trails, West Yellowstone, Montana

More Info: www.skirunbikemt.com/events


When: January 18-20th

What: West Yellowstone/Hebgen Lake NAIFC Ice Fishing Qualifier Tournament

This NAIFC (North American Ice Fishing Circuit) qualifying event is open to any two-person team looking to get out on the ice and rip some lips. The tournament is located on Hebgen Lake, just outside of West Yellowstone, at Kirkwood Resort & Marina. This is also the location for the tournament starting point and Free Kid’s Ice Fishing Camp. It all kicks off with a Friday night social hour gathering, informal introductory information and networking at the West Yellowstone Holiday Inn Conference Center (315 Yellowstone Avenue). Saturday is pre-fishing for the teams and the ever-popular free NAIFC Kid’s Free Ice Fishing Camp. This is the largest kids’ ice fishing camp in the Intermountain West, where kids get to meet ice fishing pros, and members of the USA Ice Fishing team. On Sunday, the NAIFC will conduct the Hebgen Lake Qualifier with two-person teams fishing from approximately 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. At 3:00 pm, the NAIFC Tournament weigh-in will be conducted at the Holiday Inn Conference Center. Cash and prizes will be awarded to the top teams. The top ten finishing teams also receive an invitation to the  NAIFC National/North American Championship to be held next December.

Where: Kirkwood Marina, West Yellowstone

More Info/Registration: www.westyellowstonemticefishing.com


When: January 19-20th

What: SnoBar (Weekend 1)

Snobar returns to Big Sky Resort this winter for two weekends of partying in the elements. Ski all day and dance all night in a bar made out of snow. DJ lineup and details to follow. Stay tuned.

Where: Big Sky Resort – Base Area

More Info: www.bigskyresort.com


When: January 20th

What: (Live Music) Yonder Mountain String Band

Yonder Mountain String Band comes to Bozeman to showcase their first new album in two years: “Love. Ain’t Love.” The album is undeniably the Colorado-based progressive bluegrass outfit’s most surprising, creative and yes, energetic, studio excursion to date. Melding sophisticated songcraft, irrepressible spirit and remarkable instrumental ability, the album is a testament to Yonder Mountain String Band’s organic, dynamic and intensely personal brand of contemporary bluegrass-fueled Americana.

Where: The Rialto Theater, Bozeman

More Info/Tickets: www.rialtobozeman.com


When: January 26-27th

What: US Biathlon Western Championships

Come watch some of the world’s best biathletes compete for the gold as they ski and shoot their way through West Yellowstone’s famed Rendezvous course.

Where: Rendezvous Ski Trails, West Yellowstone

More Info: www.skirunbikemt.com/events


When: January 26-27th

What: SnoBar (Weekend 2)

Snobar returns to Big Sky Resort this winter for two weekends of partying in the elements. Ski all day and dance all night in a bar made out of snow. DJ lineup and details to follow. Stay tuned.

Where: Big Sky Resort – Base Area

More Info: www.bigskyresort.com

By | 2018-11-08T20:43:02+00:00 November 8th, 2018|Beer, Big Sky, Bozeman, Family, Far From Ordinary|0 Comments

About the Author: