Need a kick start on that adrenaline rush for the holiday season? Here are some things you can do in Wyoming to rekindle and ignite that Christmas spirit. After all, Christmas is the most magical time of the year, especially in the Cowboy State. That’s why it’s not Christmas in Wyoming until you do these enchanting things. May the spirit and magic of Christmas find its way into your heart to make this the most joyous season ever.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Ice Skating
Maybe Disney started it with their Christmas Cartoon Classics and Disney's Christmas On Ice but gracefully gliding over the ice has definitely romanticized the notion of this special holiday. Ice skating and Christmas just naturally go together. For some holiday ice skating fun, check out some of the skating rinks that are located in Laramie, Cheyenne, Jackson, Gillette, Cody and Casper.
2. Sleigh Ride
"Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin'." Sleighs have always been associated with Christmas especially since this is such an iconic symbol that dates back to Santa's magical sleigh and reindeer. Hallmark has also romanticized sleigh rides in their movies. So this holiday season be sure to "go over the river and through the woods....the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow". To hear the sound of hooves crunching the snow as the sleigh is gliding through the freshly fallen powder, check out the sleigh rides offered in Jackson. This makes for a picture perfect Christmas card.
If you want a fun alternative to a horse-drawn sleigh, then you can go gliding through the snow while being pulled by a pack of dogs. This is a unique opportunity to explore all those wide open spaces with virgin snow. Take an exhilarating ride and mush your way over the sparkling snow through the Teton and Shoshone National Forests in northwest Wyoming.
There's nothing any better at Christmas than staying in a luxurious ski resort. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the top rated ski resort in the country and festively decorated for the season with the lights adding that extra sparkle to the snow. Grand Targhee Ski Resort and Snow King Resort are also worth checking out. You may even see Santa practicing a few runs.
5. Ice Climbing
Ok, so ice climbing may not be for everybody but it always reminds me of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" movie where Yukon uses his pick ax to maneuver around on the ice and snow. You don't even have to participate, just watching these climbers tackling these majestic and sparkling icy fortresses is an enchanting spectacle. There are several ice climbing opportunities in Jackson, Pinedale and of course the Ice Festival in Cody that is held each February.
6. Snowmobiling To A Hot Spring
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! A magical Christmas is a white Christmas. Getting outside and going a little crazy in the snow is always a good thing. Snowmobiling is a great way to rev up your holiday spirit. What's even better is where this could take you. Why not relieve some of that holiday stress and take a snowmobile out to Granite Hot Springs where you can soak and give yourself a break from the stress of the holidays. You will leave there rejuvenated and ready to continue on with the festive holiday celebrations. There are all kinds of snowmobiling opportunities throughout the state. Granite Hot Springs is located off of Granite Creek Road in Bridger-Teton National Forest southeast of Jackson.
7. Town Square Lighting
The annual Town Square Lighting is held each year the day after Thanksgiving in Jackson. Thousands of LED lights are strung around the famous elk antler arch and other nearby trees. This favorite holiday event features music, holiday carols, lighting of the square, refreshments and the arrival of Santa Claus. The Salvation Army is also there ringing their bells. So many magical sights and sounds of this festive time of year to be enjoyed right here in this one spot.
8. Main Street Christmas Stroll In Sheridan
The Main Street Christmas Stroll in Sheridan offers hours of camaraderie while kicking off holiday shopping with some great deals. Every November, Main Street and Grinnell Plaza shut down for 4 hours and features Christmas trolley rides, hay rides, mini train rides and the arrival of Santa Claus. This holiday stroll brings the community and local businesses together while kicking the holiday season off right.
9. Christmas Parade
Other events that brings the holiday-spirited community together are the small town Christmas parades held throughout Wyoming. This is a great way to spread the holiday cheer, advertise new local businesses and celebrate Wyoming's culture. It also creates fond and lasting memories from childhood throughout adulthood. Remember how enchanted you were by the Christmas parade as a child with all the brightly lit floats and at the end, the appearance of Santa in his sleigh?
10. Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree
Cutting your own Christmas tree is a fun tradition that families look forward to every year. There are private tree farms where you can find that perfect tree or you can cut your own tree in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. Permits must be purchased and trees can only be cut down in designated areas of the forest. Going out in an enchanted forest and turning that plain tree into something magical with all the lights and decorations is the ultimate family tradition.
11. Nutcracker Ballet
"While visions of sugarplums danced in their head".....The Nutcracker Ballet is a holiday classic. Twirl your way into the holidays by going to see the Great Russian Nutcracker performed by the Moscow Ballet. These performances typically take place at the Casper Events Center and the Cheyenne Civic Center around the first week of December. This is just another enchanting way to take in the sights and sounds of the season.
12. Christmas Service At Chapel Of The Transfiguration
Enchantment and magic are both key elements when celebrating Christmas but something would be missing if we didn't celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Bundle up and strap on your snowshoes or skis and head out to the Chapel of the Transfiguration for Christmas Night Carols and Candles. This simple log chapel surrounded by the majestic Teton mountain range will put you in touch with the spiritual aspect of the holidays. This small log chapel can't help but lead you to reflect on that simple little manger that held the greatest gift of all. The Church of the Transfiguration is located near Moose in Grand Teton National Park.
13. Staying In A Cozy Cabin
There's something so peaceful about the warm glow radiating from a log cabin with the snow falling softly outside. Sitting by the fireplace with the stockings hung, the tree decorated, with a drink of your choice, eating Christmas cookies and reading a book or doing whatever you like to do will put everything into perspective. Starting with the fireplace, the log cabin, snow and beautiful scenery all around....it just couldn't get any more enchanting than that. That is the ultimate Christmas setting....another picture perfect holiday card.