During the holiday season, Bozeman, Montana comes to life. Outside of being a natural winter wonderland with snow-laden peaks and crisp, clear air, the Bozeman community is filled with holiday spirit. Every year, visitors and locals come together to celebrate in holly jolly fashion with fun events, holiday shopping and tons of twinkly decor. Whip up some hot chocolate and head out for these holiday happenings and activities in winter 2021.
The Christmas Stroll is a longtime tradition that draws hundreds of families to downtown Bozeman each year. Magic is in the air as Santa Claus works his way from the Emerson Cultural Center down Main Street, singing Christmas carols and lighting the downtown holiday lights to help get people into the holiday spirit. Stroll past businesses to view the elaborate window light displays created by those participating in the Parade of Lights Window Contest. Ooo and ah at the edible, architectural structures of the Gingerbread House Contest at Jacob’s Crossing Lobby. Or enjoy a meal at one of Bozeman’s downtown restaurants a little more than normal, with many of them participating in the Restaurant Give-Back, in which proceeds from menu specials are donated to local nonprofit organizations.
Celebrate Small Business Saturday the weekend after Thanksgiving by heading downtown and shopping at the many local businesses along Main Street. Show your local love and purchase unique gifts for your loved ones (or treat yourself to something fun). Expect sales and deals every Saturday on outdoor gear, clothing, home decor and more as you enjoy strolling down iconic Main Street.
Shop tons of unique, handmade items at this festive holiday market. Held at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, the market will host dozens of vendors with artisan products from food to jewelry, home decor and more. Sip a local coffee while you shop, and snag your loved ones a gift they won’t find anywhere else.
In Bozeman, art walks are a monthly staple throughout the summer, with the exception of one Winter Art Walk where you can stock up on one-of-a-kind art for holiday gifts. From 4 - 8 p.m. art galleries and businesses will display artwork along Main Street and at the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture. Many galleries offer receptions with hors d’oeuvres and complimentary refreshments. Keep an eye out for local musicians playing music as you stroll Main Street!
In winter, it’s always lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with friends and family! Enjoy Bozeman’s plentiful snow and breathtaking views on a horse-drawn sleigh with Sunrise Pack Station’s holiday-themed sleigh rides. During the ride, you’ll stop at a cozy campfire for hot chocolate and seasonal holiday stories.
Lace up your skates and glide (or wobble) across the ice to holiday music at one of Bozeman’s several ice rinks. Beall Park, Southside Park, and Bogert Park all have seasonal outdoor rinks, some of which are covered, that usually begin opening around Christmas. Haynes Pavillion is an indoor rink that hosts the city’s hockey teams but also offers public skating hours. You can rent skates here, or at Chalet Sports before hitting the ice, and plan to grab a cup of hot cocoa downtown afterward.
Driving through the neighborhoods of Bozeman, you’ll see plenty of festive light displays. The Westridge Subdivision in particular is known for its Christmas Eve tradition of lighting the largest luminaria display in town, with candles in paper sacks lining the sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. Downtown Bozeman traditionally has spider-shaped lights at each intersection, and the nearby historic neighborhoods often participate in a grand fashion.
Stay up-to-date on events and things to do around Bozeman by exploring the VRBozeman website. Check out VRBozeman’s luxury vacation rentals for the perfect place to stay around the holidays, with walkable access to seasonal shopping and events year-round.