10 Helena, Montana Holiday Traditions

This time of year, traditions can make you feel at home. They can help you feel connected. And, year after year, a tradition builds and becomes something the next generation can embrace.

Visiting or living in Helena, Montana offers great opportunities for establishing a holiday tradition in a beautiful community – Montana’s Capital City.

In honor of the season, here is the list of the top ten Helena, Montana Traditions you can create!

Bring a donation to an area non-profit like Helena Food Share.

  1. Go to the Parrot for a hot bowl of chili or a hot dog. Pick out candy to leave for Santa.

The Parrot Confectionery is a Helena, Montana tradition. This old-fashioned soda fountain is a Helena staple. Meet a friend for a bowl of chili and a strawberry phosphate. Not in Helena, but need a taste of delicious? The Parrot ships!

  1.  Play a game of football with your family or your friends on the Capitol grounds.

The area is all lit up at night and there are some great flat spots on the lawn. Singing Christmas carols while playing should not be optional!

  1. Visit one of Helena’s non-profits and make the trip meaningful with a donation.

Bring treats to the dogs at the Lewis & Clark Humane Society. Bring cereals or peanut butter to Helena Food Share. Bring some toilet paper or women’s tennis shoes to the YWCA. There’s no better way to make your heart feel warm!

  1.  Go ice skating at the Memorial Park Ice Rink.

Skate at Memorial Park with your friends!

The current opening date of the ice rink is December 22. There are plenty of skates available to borrow and the admission price is nominal. The rink is operated by the City of Helena Parks Department. Make it festive and bring some Christmas cookies to share.

  1.   Take a Christmas day hike or bike up to the top of Mount Helena or Mount Ascension.

You might just be surprised how many others make this Christmas trek exploring Helena’s trails. Be sure to wear your Santa hat and wish everyone you pass a Merry Christmas!

  1. Head to a Helena neighborhood to take in all the beautiful Christmas lights while listening to the sounds of the season on KMTX 105.3 FM.

Neighborhoods that make the “must-visit” list include:

Treasure State Acres puts the “Jingle Bell Rock” into decorating. You’ll likely see the beacon of lights leading you to the neighborhood, but if you’d like a little more reference put 4150 Bobcat into your mapping app or click here for more info.

3167 Stillwell Drive in the East Valley. As you pass nightly from 5:20 pm to 10:00 pm on Monday through Thursday or 5:15 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday or Saturday, tune your radio to 87.9 FM to hear music that corresponds to the light show.

  1.  Check out a semi-pro hockey team – the Bighorns.

The games are fast-paced and exciting. Upcoming games are December 29 when the Bighorns play the Missoula Bruins at 7:05 and December 31 when they challenge the Butte Cobras at 7:30. The complete schedule is available online.

  1. Meet your friends at a local brewery, wine bar or distillery. Take a moment to reconnect before the holidays.

There’s nothing like barley, grapes and grain Montana-Style. And, you’ll enjoy everything more with friends. Here’s an official helenamt.com list of places to imbibe.

  1. Take your kiddos down to the Walking Mall in Downtown Helena and give them money to buy Christmas gifts for

    A child takes in the magic of Christmas windows on Helena’s Walking Mall.

    their siblings.

(Or, something for you at Sole Sisters! DADS – this is a hint. Are you paying attention?)

10.Go sledding at Carroll College.

After you’re nice and chilly, head on over to the General Mercantile where the BEST cup of hot chocolate awaits along with unique, last-minute stocking stuffers.

Did we miss your family’s Helena, Montana tradition? Please comment and tell us what should be on the list!