The holiday season is one of our region’s best; the days are short and sometimes cold, but the warm spirit of residents, combined with the company of visitors, make these some of the liveliest days we see all year long. One could fill a book describing all of the uniquely Montana holiday events that take place this time of year. These are just a few that you can attend to check off of your list, or come back to time and time again:
Each December, two of Montana’s best Christmas Strolls happen just down the road from one another: One in Bozeman and one in Big Sky. At these cheerful events, community members and visitors alike gather to socialize at intimate holiday soirees hosted by local retailers, shop for gifts and soak up the holiday spirit. The Christmas Stroll is one of the most highly anticipated events of the season, so whether you attend one event or both, prepare to make holiday memories that will last a lifetime.
December 1st: Downtown Bozeman Christmas Stroll: Be a part of Downtown Bozeman’s greatest holiday tradition: The Christmas Stroll. 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. Then, enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa Claus, entertainment, holiday treats and much more. The fun lasts until 7:30pm. Buttons for admission will be available for purchase after Thanksgiving at various Bozeman locations.
Where: Downtown Bozeman
More info: www.bozemandailychronicle.com
December 7th: Big Sky Christmas Stroll: The streets of the Big Sky area will come alive from 5:30 – 9:15pm for the 21st Annual Big Sky Christmas Stroll. It’s a long-standing tradition for many to come up to Big Sky, 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.
Where: Big Sky Town Center and Big Sky Meadow Village
Holiday Markets and Bazaars
We have many talented artisans living in close proximity to each other in the Gallatin Valley and entire events are created to celebrate their work during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift, ingredients for a holiday dish or just want to admire world-class local craftsmanship, these holiday events are bound to have what you’re looking for, plus some:
November 24th: Holiday Farmers Market: This is a great opportunity for you to shop for your one of a kind Christmas gifts made by local crafters and artists and to purchase locally raised meats for your holiday dinner table. Many of the vendors you will see are from the Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market at the Fairgrounds in the summer, plus vendors you don’t see on a regular basis. Some of the gift ideas you can choose from are: Jewelry, metal art, wood items and furniture, soap, lotion, tea, vests, Christmas Santa photographs, quilts, towels, woolen items, jams, art work, Christmas Ham and much, much more.
Where: Gallatin Valley Fairgrounds
More Info: www.gallatinvalleyfarmersmarket.com
December 8th: 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’s Community Learning Center for a Holiday Bazaar. Here, 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/
Torch Light Ceremonies
Two of the things that people enjoy most about Montana’s winters are skiing and fire. If combining the two sounds like a good time, then you’ll love the annual Torch Light Parades that take place at each of our local ski areas. At the events, dozens of staff members light torches and make a choreographed run down front side trails, producing a mesmerizing spectacle for crowds of cheerful onlookers. So bundle up, grab a thermos and cap off your 2018 at one of these truly Montana events:
December 24th (Christmas Eve): Big Sky Torchlight Parade: Spend Christmas Eve at Big Sky Resort watching a torchlight parade down Andesite Mountain, fireworks and even a skiing Santa Claus. The event is free to spectators and takes place only a stone’s throw from several of Big Sky’s cozy on-hill taverns.
Where: Big Sky Resort- Andesite Mountain
More Info: www.bigskyresort.com
December 30th: Bridger Bowl Torchlight Parade: Extend your après and start your New Years celebration a day early at the Bridger Bowl Torchlight Parade. The fireworks display and torchlight procession are free to spectators and start at 5:30pm.
Where: Bridger Bowl, Bozeman
More Info: www.bridgerbowl.com