December 2019 Family Fun Freebies

December 1, 2019 | by b davis

“Christmas is here, Christmas is here!” That’s all my kids have been saying now that Thanksgiving is over. And I don’t blame them, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love to drive around town and look at all the pretty lights, drink hot cocoa while it’s snowing, and enjoy extra quality time with the kids while they are out of school. Speaking of quality time, spend some of that time together at any of these free events coming up throughout December!


  • Wednesday/Friday Fun at the Library, 3-4:45pm– Play games and build LEGOS from 3-4:45pm, every Wednesday and Friday at Billings Public Library in the Craft Corner! 
  • Friday Night Fun: Holiday Crafts – Friday, December 6, 6:30-8:30pm. Create your own holiday ornament. Choose between four different options. All supplies are provided. All ages are welcome!
  • READ to a Dog – Saturday, December 7, 11am-12pm. Each reading child will sign up for one 15 minute slot with a dog of their choice. Sign up happens on the day of the program. READ to a Dog program is a chance for children to read to a dog one on one. Sometimes, children may have a difficult time reading, and reading to a dog can bring a feeling of non-judgment, which makes reading a more relaxing and fun experience. With bringing the Intermountain Therapy dogs here, it creates that relaxed feeling in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • A Celebration of Holiday Music: Big Sky Holiday Chorus – Saturday, December 7, 11am-12pm. The Big Sky Holiday Chorus has been bringing their barbershop-style harmony to a celebration of favorite carols at the Library for many years. It's become a holiday tradition at BPL! Join us under the skylight on the 1st floor
  • Friday Night Fun: Interactive Film Elf – Friday, December 13, 6:30-8:30pm. How can we make the delightful film Elf even more fun? By making it interactive! Join us for the film, and we'll all play together.
  • Make and Take Slime Craft – Monday, December 16, 3:00-4:45pm. Make Holiday cards to give to loved ones during the holidays. This is a winter holiday inclusive event. Please limit 2 cards per child. Clean-up begins at 4:45 pm. All children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Friday Night Fun: Pictures with Santa! – Friday, December 20, 6-8:30pm. Don't miss your last chance to snag a picture with Santa before Christmas! We'll be in the Community Room with some fun crafts and activities, light snacks, and of course Santa himself. We hope to see you there!
  • Kids Books to Movies: Polar Express – Thursday, December 26, 2-4pm. ¨ Watch: Polar Express based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. Rated G, running time of 1 hr. 40 mins. ¨ Stay for the whole movie, and be entered into a drawing for a copy of the movie and the book the movie is based on.
  • Kids Books to Movies: Dumbo – Friday, December 27, 2-4pm. ¨ Watch Dumbo based on the book by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl. Rated PG, running time of 1 hr. 52 mins ¨ Stay for the whole movie, and be entered into a drawing for a copy of the movie and the book the movie is based on.
  • Friday Night Fun: Game Night of Giving – Friday, December 27, 6:30-8:30pm. Enjoy a night of fun games, snacks and company with your pals all while helping the community by bringing in items to donate to local charities. We will be accepting donations of hats, gloves, scarves and socks. Items will be donated to Family Services.
  • Kids Books to Movies: Mary Poppins Returns – Saturday, December 28, 2-4pm. ¨ Watch: Mary Poppins Returns based on the book by P.L. Travers. Rated PG, running time of 2 hrs. 20 mins ¨ Stay for the whole movie, and be entered into a drawing for a copy of the movie and the book the movie is based on.


  • Open House– Saturday, December 21, 11am-3pm. Open House at the Montana Audubon Center is a great time to explore the great outdoors and ask a naturalist any questions you might have.


  • Wise Wonders: First Free Friday Night – Friday, December 6, 5-9pm. Visit Wise Wonders every first Friday of the month for free from 5pm to 9pm!
  • Billings First Friday’s – Friday, December 6, 5-8pm. Invite your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors and more to spend each and every First Friday in the heart of our community. Billings First Friday's celebrates and highlights what our local shops, restaurants, cultural venues, and nightlife hotspots have to offer from 5:00pm - 8:00 pm the first Friday of every month. Participating shops and businesses will host special events, offer refreshments & promotions, and sponsor live entertainment. Everyone is welcome to attend!
  • First Friday at YAM – Friday, December 6, 5-9pm. Stop by the YAM every First Friday! Each month the museum will feature either an artist, musician, or lecture series. Free parking and free admission to our current art exhibitions.
  • Artwalk and Christmas Stroll @ Aspinwall – Friday, December 6, 5-9pm. We are always excited for this First Friday Artwalk. Featuring Trevan Hiersche Photography, Sean McCotter Acrylic Landscapes & owner Derek Aspinwall’s wildlife oil on canvas, this Artwalk is extra special with the Downtown Christmas Stroll! A perfect night to come shop local and get into the Christmas spirit. This night we will have FREE Beer from Montana Brew Pub and homemade hot cocoa and cookies by Sider House. Santa will be around Downtown for photos and Free shuttles will be offered.
  • Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – Friday, December 6, 6-7pm. The Billings Jaycees and Billings Parks and Recreation have teamed up again to bring you the 3rd Annual Historic Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Join us at Community Park on the corner of Division and 1st Ave N. The ceremony will feature music, a visit from Santa, free refreshments and more! The official tree lighting will take place at 6:30 pm sharp! What a great way to kick-off the holiday season! Additional parking is available across the street between Yellowstone and Wyoming.
  • Holiday Playapalooza @ Western Heritage Center – Saturday, December 14, 10-3pm. Join us for live music, refreshments, old fashioned games, and a visit with your favorite bearded Christmas character.


  • Kids’ Workshop: Christmas Countdown Calendar – Saturday, December 7, 9-12pm. Create your own countdown to the holidays, and have a blast with your child while doing it. Kids develop hands-on skills with sanding, nailing and applying stickers. With help from parents and store associates, your child will make a merry memory this holiday season. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last.


  • Storytime and Activities Featuring How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Saturday, December 7, 11am. Even the grinchiest of grinches can't deny this heartwarming classic! Join us for Story time and activities, and receive a free Advent calendar, while supplies last. 
  • Storytime and Activities Featuring Construction Site on Christmas Night – Saturday, December 21, 11am. It's Christmas time at your favorite construction site! After the trucks finish their big, important job, they receive their very own Christmas surprise.
  • Story time and Activities Featuring The Kindness Book – Saturday, December 28, 11am. No matter what other people choose to do, you can always choose to be kind. This book is the perfect introduction to a timely and timeless topic.


  • Treats and Story Time Provided by Krispy Kreme Donuts – Saturday, December 7, 9am. Who doesn't dream of eating donuts with Santa? Bring the kids to munch on delicious Krispy Kreme donuts and listen to an enchanting story with Santa in the Food Court.
  • Loading and Sorting Donated Toys with GoUnite – Saturday, December 8, 12:30-3:30pm. Come volunteer for GoUnite's December Community Project. All ages welcome! The Salvation Army and the motorcycle group, Roaddogs, partner every year to collect toys for kids in need for Christmas. Last year, more than 600 motorcyclists, many wearing Santa hats and riding tinsel-wrapped Harleys, rode through Billings, delivering enough toys for 700 families! All of these toys are stacked in the middle of Rimrock Mall and need to be loaded into The Salvation Army trucks and taken down to their warehouse. We are looking for volunteers to help load toys and also to help sort the toys by type/age so they can easily be distributed to kids in need. We will be meeting at Rimrock Mall by the big Christmas Tree in the middle of the mall at 12:30, help load toys then head down to The Salvation Army's warehouse (10 South 30th St) to help sort and organize these toys. Anyone is welcome to come volunteer with us, and kids of any age welcome to come help too.
  • Christmas Caroling – Friday, December 13, 6:30-8pm. Christmas music is a time-honored tradition. It soothes the holiday stress. Take a moment to enjoy the holiday musical sounds of the Open Bible Church as you shop. 
  • Treats and Story Time Provided by Cinnabon – Saturday, December 14, 9am. Cinnabon with Santa? It's everyone's dream! Bring the kids to the Food Court and enjoy delicious cinnamon rolls, from Cinnabon, while they listen to a delightful story with Santa.
  • JCPenney Kids Zone – Saturday, November 9, 11am-12pm. Design a ginger bread man t-shirt.


  • Photo with Santa and Activities – Everyday Day until December 24th, check website for exact times and activities. This is a completely free event, fun for the whole family.


  • Meet Santa! – Saturday, December 7 & 14, 11am. Bring the whole family and join us for meeting Santa. The event will be held in our upstairs training room from 11am-5pm both Saturday December 7th and 14th. Be sure to bring your own camera for any photos.


  • HoliZOONights – Friday & Saturday, December 6&7, 6-8pm. Santa is coming to ZooMontana! Stop by the Wild Side Gift Shop after or before doing ZooLights and visit Santa (free pictures by Vande’ Studios). There will be holiday shopping specials as well as cookie decorating and holiday card/gift bag making! NO admission fee and you do not have to attend ZooLights to participate, but we highly encourage you to drive through the amazing holiday light display!


  • Kids Christmas Party – Sunday, December 8, 1-4pm. Knights of Columbus #1259 invites you to attend our Annual Children's Christmas Party at Columbia Club 2216 Grand Ave. Billings, MT. This is a free event and all are welcome. We will have a magic show, balloon animals, and face painting featuring Pattycakes the Clown with Montana Premiere Entertainment. There will also be treats, crafts, games and a visit from Santa. Children of all ages are welcome.
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