2017 Holiday Happenings

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Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s December 2017 issue.
Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here


Meet Santa at Scheels

  • December 2, 9, & 16 @ 10am-7pm
  • Head to the top of the escalators (with camera/smartphone in hand) to take your free photo with Santa! Each date includes an additional activity – Balloon Animals on Dec 2 & 9, Face Painting on Dec 16!

Santa at the Y!

  • December 16 @ 11am-3pm
  • Billings YMCA is inviting the community in for photos and festivities with Santa! The first 100 people through the door receive a signed ornament from Santa. (This event is raising funds for the Jacob Ford annual Campaign, photos with Santa are a minimum donation of 10+ dollars per family). As an added bonus, non-members who sign up for three months (or more) of a family or other membership will have the initiation/joiners’ fee waived!
  • More info: 248.1685

Cookies with Claus

  • December 9 @ 9am
  • Free
  • Bring the kiddos to the Food Court at Rimrock Mall to nibble on some scrumptious cookies with Santa while listening to an enchanting Christmas tale. Photo opportunities will be made available after the event in the Center Court Santa Set (photo packages are available to purchase there).

Christmas Tree Tours

  • November 15-January 7 (Closed Mondays, Dec 24, 25, 31, Jan 1)
  • Self-Guided Tours: $15/person; $12/seniors, military, students | Guided Tours (F/SA, 1pm): $20
  • This year, 15 trees are lighting up the rooms at Moss Mansion. Gorgeously and creatively decorated by a variety of non-profits and businesses in the theme, Montana Christmas. Guests will have the opportunity to vote for ‘People’s Choice’ for a small cash prize benefiting the organization that provided the tree.

Holiday Tour of Homes

  • December 9 @ 10am-3pm
  • Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 day of
  • Get lost in the beauty and wonder of this holiday season as you make your way through this self-guided tour of 7 exquisite homes uniquely and beautifully decorated to reflect the charm of the holidays. While touring the homes, your ears will delight in the sounds of live seasonal music performed by Billings Symphony artists.
  • More info: www.billingssymphony.org

Candlelight Tours

  • December 21-23 @ 6-9pm
  • Advance Reservations: $30/person | $40 admission at door, while available. www.mossmansion.com.
  • This must-experience holiday happening is geared more to the adults of the family, though families are welcome. These Christmas-themed tours are 20-30 minutes long and are guaranteed to help you shake off the hustle and bustle innate to the season. Upon arriving you’ll receive champagne, tour the beautiful mansion, with the sounds of live music drifting through the halls. Hors-d’oeuvres and mingling to follow.

A Celtic Christmas

  • December 8-10, 15-17, 22, 23 (Friday/Saturday performances @ 7:30pm, Sunday matinees @ 2pm)
  • The sounds of the season are taking on the music and traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and beyond in NOVA Center for the Performing Arts’ A Celtic Christmas. It’s everything from jigs and reels to Christmas favorites performed with Celtic flair! Expect sing-along songs and stories both poignant and preposterous.
  • NOVABillings.org

Holiday Pops: A Dickens’ Christmas

  • December 16 @ 7:30pm; December 17 @ 2pm
  • Billings Symphony Chorale presents their annual Holiday Pops concert with A Dickens’ Christmas. This holiday family classic will come to life with the help of soloist Bret Weston and narrator Dan Nickerson. And if that wasn’t enough, Santa will be making an appearance too!
  • More info: www.billingssymphony.org

A Charlie Brown Christmas

  • December 20 @ 7:30pm
  • For one night only, this line-by-line, song-by-song re-creation of the beloved TV special that first aired in 1965 and features all of your favorite characters in the PEANUTS gang, is coming to ABT’s stage. Get lost in nostalgia as Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and company present a pageant, save a tree, and uncover the true meaning of Christmas. The star on top of the evening is a Christmas caroling sing-a-long party with Schroeder’s band!
  • albertabairtheater.org

Wagon Rides at ZooLights

  • December 8-9, 15-16, 20-23, 26-27 @ 6-9pm
  • $12.95/adults, $6.95/children under age 12, Free/kids ages 3 and younger
  • ZooMontana is once again lighting up the holidays with their drive-through light display, but this year attendees can add a traditional horse-drawn sleigh (wagon) ride with Elk River Outfitters to enhance the experience! The wagons seat 16 people (reservations recommended!), pulled by a team of working draft horses.
  • redlodgehorsebackrides.com/sleigh-ride-zoolights/
    • Traditional ZooLights experience, take a “drive on the wild side!” $10/car, $15/van, $20/bus

Happy HoliZooDays

  • December 16 & 17 @ 10am-2pm
  • $5 admission all weekend (free for members)
  • Come experience the animals frolicking in their winter wonderland at ZooMontana during this weekend of family fun! While you’re there, do some holiday shopping, warm up with Mountain Mudd beverages, and be sure to snap a pic with Santa (making an appearance from 10:30am-1:30pm). The kiddos can also get creative with holiday crafts! And if there’s snow, you’re invited to bring your sleds!

Zoo Year – A Noon New Year’s Eve Celebration

  • December 31 @ 11am-1pm
  • Regular Zoo admission, free for members
  • This New Year’s Eve celebration is kid-friendly and all about family fun! Expect crafts for the kiddos; a dropping of the ball, and a New Year’s toast (with apple juice) at noon! The festivities are held in the EEC ZooPavilion, so be sure to dress for the weather, and if there is snow, guests are welcome to bring sleds and enjoy some fun on the hills in Bison Field!

The Zoo is open regular hours 10am-2pm. This event is sponsored by Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company

Live Nativity

  • December 15 & 16 @ 6-8pm
  • This special Christmas tradition is an annual event for the Open Bible Christian Center (302 19th Street West) that is performed in front of the church. You can expect live animals to be part of the festivities, which the kids can pet! After you’ve taken in the reason for the season, warm up inside with free hot cider and cookies.

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