1. Shop Local
With so many talented artists & creators, shopping local is easy in Bozeman! There are a few events this time of year like the Holiday Bazaar at the Emerson Cultural Center (November 22-23) or the SLAM Festival on December 7 & 9 where you can find goods from more than 30 local artists. If you can’t make those events, it’s easy to just take a stroll downtown to find gifts at some of our favorite local shops like Intrigue Ink, Hattie Rex and Vargo’s Jazz City & Books. Click here for our list of 8 Made in Montana gifts that we love.
We are always so proud of the way our community dedicates itself to giving back, not only during the holiday season but all year long! There are so many wonderful organizations in Bozeman that need volunteers this winter. Salvation Army, Fork & Spoon, the Warming Center, the Food Bank and events like Huffing for Stuffing are all looking for volunteers. The HRDC website is a great place to start, click here to see volunteer positions available or click here to see our list of 10 ways to volunteer in Bozeman.
3. Check Out the Lights
Is there anything more Christmassy than Christmas lights? There are some seriously impressive Christmas light displays in Bozeman this year that will definitely get you in the holiday spirit! Click here for our list of the best Christmas lights in Bozeman and or click here to enter a home into Bozeman’s Ultimate Christmas Light Contest!
The Christmas Stroll is THE Bozeman event you don’t want to miss this holiday season. This 40-year-old tradition kicks off the Christmas season, shutting down Main Street and filling the streets with food vendors, music, caroling, shopping and sometimes even a hot air balloon! The event is such a Bozeman favorite that now it fills a whole day. In the morning there is a 5k Santa Run for Education, and afterward ornament and gingerbread house decorating in the Emerson Center. There will also be a holiday music concert at the Bozeman public library from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. At 4:30, you can meet Santa at the Emerson Center to follow him down Main Street where he lights the Christmas decorations on Main Street and kicks off the Christmas Stroll!
5. Go to a Show
Honestly, it doesn’t even matter what’s playing, just walking into the beautiful Ellen Theatre puts us in the holiday spirit! But if you do want to go to a show, live performances of A Christmas Carol begin at the Ellen Theatre on December 6 and run through December 22. The Montana Ballet Company is putting on its annual Nutcracker performance at the Willson Auditorium December 7-8 and the Dance Center’s “Nutcracker in a Nutshell” will be performed at the Ellen Theatre December 18 & 19.
6. Get Your Running Shoes on
If you want to get a little fresh air and exercise while supporting great causes, consider joining one of Bozeman’s holiday races. Huffing for Stuffing is a Thanksgiving Day tradition in Bozeman that raises money for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. There is something for everyone with a 10k, 5k, 5k Fun Run and a Kids Run. Click here for more info.
The 5k Santa Run on December 7 is the first event in Bozeman’s epic Christmas Stroll weekend. This run raises money for the Bozeman, Belgrade, Gallatin Gateway, Manhattan and Monforton public schools. Runners will be entered to win some awesome prizes including a Bridger Bowl 10-time pass, a yeti cooler, and snow tires. Those are worth running for!
7. Art Walk
Bozeman’s winter Art Walk is one of our favorite winter events! Downtown shops and galleries open their doors, offering hors d’oeuvres and beverages to the public while featuring work from local artists. This is another great way to get some of your holiday shopping done while supporting our local artists and businesses! The Art Walk is December 13 from 6-8 p.m.