There’s no place like home (in Boise) for the holidays! This month as the temperatures near their low point for the year in the Treasure Valley, the holiday spirit will reach its height with events, concerts, markets, and more. Whether you have family in town and want to show them why you love where you live, or you’re looking for a quiet date night event, you’ll find enough options here to fill your calendar and then some. Here’s your list of what to do in Boise this December.
Winter Wonderland Festival | Indian Creek Plaza, Caldwell
Every year, Indian Creek Plaza in Caldwell becomes a winter wonderland with over a million beautiful lights and holiday decorations to enjoy. For the second year, the addition of The Ice Ribbon—a circular ice skating path—makes Caldwell the place to take in the season. Learn more.
Village at Meridian Holiday Events
There’s one place sure to be aglow with holiday spirit all December long, and that’s The Village at Meridian. From photos with Santa to Paws & Claus pet photos with Santa events, there’s something for everyone this month at the Village.
Throughout December, you and your tots can enjoy a round of ice skating at the Village’s rink. On Mondays, your family can experience a festive storytime with the Elves and Mrs. Claus. Also, for the extra special kiddos in your life, the Village is offering a Silent Santa event specifically tailored for children with special needs. Visit their website for a full list of events. Learn more.
Christmas Lights Throughout the Valley
Take a drive or a walk through some of the dazzling light displays through the Treasure Valley this month. Boisean William Higginson keeps and updates a yearly map of community light displays for you to find the best and brightest lights available. Deck your own front yard and submit your light display to William’s map if you’re up to the challenge. Check them out on Instagram @BoiseChristmasLights, Facebook at Boise Christmas Lights, or on Twitter @BoiseXmasLights. Learn more.
Winter Garden aGlow | Idaho Botanical Garden
Over 550,000 twinkling lights adorn the beautiful Idaho Botanical Garden grounds throughout late November until January 4th. This popular annual event is the perfect way to show off Boise to visiting relatives or get in the holiday spirit with your family. Open evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm and on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s, the Winter Garden aGlow is a Boise holiday tradition you won’t want to miss.
Old Boise Model Railroad Open House | The Pioneer Tent Building
Saturdays throughout December
Steady hands, patience, and expertise go into the extensive festive display of model trains in the downstairs meeting space of the Pioneer Tent building in Old Boise. Every Tuesday evening year round and each Saturday throughout the month of December, the hard work of the Boise N-Scale Model Railroad Club is on display and is sure to dazzle young and old alike. This display is free and open to the public, so grab a hot cocoa and enjoy a Saturday afternoon in Old Boise with a visit to the model railroad holiday open house. Learn more.
The Giving Tree | The Grove Plaza
Through December 20
Every year, the enormous downtown Boise holiday tree on the Grove Plaza has a good cause: it allows you to get into the spirit of giving and support local charities. This year, community members can take tags from the tree detailing needs of the Women’s and Children’s Alliance and drop off their donations at any Zion’s Bank location. Learn more.
Kenny G: The Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour | The Morrison Center
Kenny G‘s sound became a staple on adult contemporary and smooth jazz radio stations during the 1980s and ’90s. On this holiday themed tour, Kenny G will perform some of his greatest hits, including songs from his 1994 album Miracles: The Holiday Album, which ranks as one of the most successful holiday albums ever.
Boise Classic Movies: Christmas Movies
December 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 20
What’s on your movie list every holiday season? Check off a few of your favorites and catch a Christmas classic at the historic Egyptian Theater downtown with Boise Classic Movies. Choose from titles like Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Home Alone, White Christmas, and more. Beer and wine nights are 21+ only, while other nights are family-friendly. Learn more.
Meridian Winter Lights Parade & Tree Lighting
The City of Meridian will host its 7th annual tree lighting and holiday parade on the evening of Friday, December 6th, complete with horse-drawn carriage rides and hot cocoa. Bring the family out to see downtown Meridian aglow as the city’s spectacular light display gets plugged in. Learn more.
Boise Christmas Show | Expo Idaho
When it comes to holiday markets, the Boise Christmas Show is the place to see an enormous array of vendors and finish up your holiday shopping. With over 300 vendors and thousands of unique gifts, you’ll find exactly what you need for everyone on your list. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus while you’re there and enjoy free activities for the whole family.
Hip Holiday Craft Market | Flying M in Downtown Nampa
This juried holiday craft market brings together local makers and artisan food vendors so you can put local goodies under the tree. Browse through 30+ artists and creators booths and sample from five food vendors, and don’t forget to get a picture with Hipster Santa. Check out the full lineup of vendors and crafters on Flying M’s website.
Claus ‘n’ Paws Free Day | Zoo Boise
The annual Claus ‘n’ Paws free zoo admission day is December 7th, Zoo Boise’s yearly way of thanking the community for supporting their conservation mission. Get a picture with Santa, enjoy free activities such as face painting and holiday crafts, and watch the zoo residents receive their holiday gifts. Learn more.
Eagle Country Christmas | Downtown Eagle
Join the City of Eagle and a plethora of vendors for the classic Eagle Country Christmas celebration. Enjoy a holiday market, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, the annual tree lighting ceremony, and free hot cocoa for the kids. The whole family will find some fun at the Eagle Country Christmas this year.
Capital City Holiday Market and Boise Farmers Market Indoor Market
December 7, 14, 21
The Capital City Public Market transforms into a holiday market through the end of the year and is open on the Grove on Saturdays through December 21st from 10:30-2:30. Support local makers and put Boise-made goodies under the tree. The Boise Farmers Market has moved indoors to its winter location at 1500 Shoreline Drive and is operating Saturdays through December 21st, so grab your fresh locally-grown produce there before you miss your chance for the year.
Boise Trolley Holiday Lights Tour
See the lights of Boise from a historic trolley with Boise Trolley Tours! Starting December 8th and nightly until Christmas Eve, you can hop on a trolley and see the city lit up for Christmas. A trolley tour with family and friends through the frosty city streets may be the perfect way to kick your Christmas spirit up a notch. Learn more.
Christmas Lights and Points of Light Event | Scentsy Commons
For the fourth year in a row, Scentsy will bring 43 miles of bright lights and holiday joy to the valley at their Meridian location on Pine Ave. Scentsy’s Points of Light event runs three nights in December and features a visit from Santa, a live nativity, a camel, refreshments and more! Bundle up and head out to enjoy the spectacular show with the whole family. Learn more.
Twilight Christmas Market | Meridian
Give something locally-crafted and one-of-a-kind this Christmas. The Twilight Christmas Market in Meridian will feature an array of local artisans and makers, sweet treats and holiday gifts, live entertainment, mulled wine and beer, and unique shopping experience.
Vintage Movie Night: ELF & A Christmas Story
December 11, 12, 18
Whether you love classic movies or are just looking to meet other humans that share your affinity for elf culture, don't miss The Sapphire Rooms "Vintage Movie Night." Enjoy bottomless movie snacks with popcorn and theatre candy favorites, all included in the ticket price. Catch ELF on the 11th (HERE) or 12th (HERE) and A Christmas Story on the 18th (HERE).
Holiday Pops - Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale
‘Tis the season! Bring your entire family to the symphony for an evening of holiday carols and cheer. Special guests include the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale and other solo vocalists. Holiday Pops promises to mesmerize listeners with familiar repertoire and sing along while inspiring joyful memories of holidays past. Buy your tickets early because this concert is usually a sell-out!
Boise Depot Holiday Open House
Bring the kids and their blankets for a Story Time Polar Express with the conductor. Celebrate a festive Open House and Toy Drive to Benefit Toys for Tots. Enjoy a winter wonderland of holiday trees, toy soldiers, Santa and his Elves will showcase the interior of the historic building while providing a whimsical backdrop for donations of new, unwrapped gifts. Learn more.
Ballet Idaho’s The Nutcracker | The Morrison Center
The enduring holiday classic The Nutcracker is presented with all the glitter and splendor of the holiday season by Ballet Idaho, with music by the Boise Philharmonic. Experience the beauty, excitement, and drama of this timeless holiday story at the Morrison Center.
Christmas Run | Treasure Valley YMCA
Is it time for a new holiday tradition for your family? Why not celebrate together with a fun run or walk? The YMCA Christmas Run is a favorite of Boise locals for its festive atmosphere. Choose from 1, 2, or 6-mile courses and enjoy post-race soup from Create Common Good and the Boise Co-Op and bagels from Blue Sky. Don your ugly Christmas sweater and get ready to run. Learn more.
New Year’s Eve Idaho Potato Drop | Idaho State Capitol
Gather in front of the Idaho State Capitol downtown for a truly unique New Year’s Eve experience: the famous Idaho Potato Drop! Live music, a cutting-edge snow park, live ice sculpting, and more will keep you entertained and help you ring in the new year the right way. Cozy up in a heated tent and warm up with refreshments and drinks. There’s no better place to be when it’s time to bring in 2020. Learn more.
There’s nothing better than celebrating the holidays in Boise. What’s on your calendar this month?
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