Christmas in the City
Christmas in the City takes place throughout Downtown Boise starting with the Downtown Boise Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration on the Friday following Thanksgiving and continuing with events through Christmas. It is a magical time in the urban heart of our city, a time of celebration, giving and community. See the decorations throughout Downtown Boise and while you are there enjoy Boise's finest shopping, retail services and dining at over 300 locations. Explore downtown, and visit Santa!
Click HERE for printable 2019 Holiday Event Guide!
2019 SCHEDULE OF HOLIDAY EVENTS DOWNTOWN:
D.L. EVANS BANK CITY SANTA
Downtown Boise’s City Santa is a holiday tradition for Boise families. Presented by D.L. Evans Bank, you can find Santa at the D.L. Evans downtown branch at 9th & Main Streets at the following times:
First Thursday, December 5; 6pm - 8pm
Saturday, December 7, 14, 21; 10am - 2pm
Photos with Santa are free. Donations raise funds for the Women’s and Children’s Alliance. And the smiles Santa brings… they’re priceless.
IDAHO STEELHEADS HOCKEY
Make CenturyLink Arena your destination for fun this winter! Enjoy Idaho Steelheads hockey downtown! The Steelheads have put together a series of great promotions- from theme nights to family ticket packages!
TOYS FOR TOTS
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in our community. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.
HOLIDAY SATURDAY MARKETS
CAPITAL CITY PUBLIC MARKET
10:30am - 2:30pm; The Grove Plaza starting Oct. 26th
This is Boise’s most unique shopping experience! Featuring local winter produce, fresh northwest cranberries, holiday wreaths and floral arrangements, Idaho specialty foods & wines, handmade cards, art, and so much more.
BOISE FARMERS MARKET INDOOR WINTER MARKET
9am - 1pm; 1500 Shoreline Dr. starting Nov. 2nd
Shop inside at the Winter Market - Fresh salad greens, fresh and dried herbs, microgreens, onions, carrots, winter squash, potatoes, peppers, fresh and dried apples, honey, eggs, bread and pastries, gourmet meats and Alaskan salmon, and Idaho wines and ciders. Specialty products include North West cranberries, freshly ground polenta corn, dates, dried beans, popcorn, maple syrup and maple sugar. One - stop shopping at the Indoor Boise Farmers Market!
BOISE HOLIDAY PARADE
Saturday, November 23; 10am - Noon; 10th & Jefferson / 4th St / Bannock St / 12th St
The Holiday Parade is a Boise tradition and a source of pride for our community. This is its 71st year! Bring the family to this year’s parade to celebrate “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” with Grand Marshal Dr. Bob Kustra, former President of BSU.
Saturday, November 23; 10am - 5pm
Boise GreenBike is once again proud to sponsor Cranksgiving, a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt on bicycles that helps feed families in need. On Saturday, November 23, teams of participants will use bicycles to gather a list of items to fill Thanksgiving food boxes. Boise GreenBike gives the food boxes to St. Vincent de Paul for distribution to families in need throughout the Treasure Valley. Last year, 43 food boxes were distributed.
9TH ANNUAL WINTRY MARKET
Saturday & Sunday, November 23 & 24; 10am - 5pm; JUMP 5th & 6th Floors
Free Admission to the public during the two days of the sale. This event is an upscale and inventive indie art/craft show in Boise the weekend before Thanksgiving recently named the best holiday bazaar in Idaho by Food & Wine magazine. Wintry Market consists of innovative and original items produced using traditional art/craft methods by 70 regional artists & crafters. We pride ourselves as being an affordable marketplace for one-of-a-kind goods. Come shop handmade for the holidays!
HANDMADE IDAHO HOLIDAY MARKET
Saturday & Sunday, November 23 & 24; 10am - 4pm; El Korah Shriners
Handmade Idaho is an all handmade, curated, show hosted in Boise, Idaho. A local gift shopping extravaganza! Produced by artists, for artists, our inaugural event will feature the popup shops of more than 50 artists November 23-24th, 2019 in downtown Boise. Special ticketed Preview Night November 22nd!
17TH ANNUAL HYMNS OF THANKSGIVING
Sunday, November 24; 7:30pm; CenturyLink Arena
A community choir and orchestra of about 350 musicians have been organized to present this event. Open seating, no tickets required. Doors open at 6:30. Free to the public. Bring the entire family! Guests are invited to make a monetary donation to the Idaho Foodbank at the event.
CIRQUE MUSICA PRESENTS HOLIDAY WISHES
Tuesday, November 26; 6:30pm Doors Open; CenturyLink Arena
Cirque Musica invites you and your family to Wish this Holiday season! Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes brings a holiday story to life in a full theatrical cirque event for the entire family. Featuring the world-renowned cast of Cirque Musica with your favorite holiday hits all performed LIVE by a full symphony orchestra. Audiences will be amazed by the acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks and holiday cheer. The show blends the spellbinding grace and daredevil athleticism of today’s greatest circus performers with the sensory majesty of a symphony orchestra that is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Holiday Wishes come true with Cirque Musica!
36TH ANNUAL ST. ALPHONSUS FESTIVAL OF TREES
Wednesday – Sunday, November 27 – December 1; Boise Centre
Gala: Tuesday, November 26; 5:30pm
Fashion Show: Monday, December 2; 11am - 1:30pm
Festival of Trees has become a favorite seasonal tradition for residents of the Treasure Valley. During Thanksgiving week, Boise Centre becomes home to a wonderland of holiday splendor, featuring hundreds of lavishly decorated Christmas trees, wreaths and inspirational decor. From its opening night black-tie Gala to the Festival Fashion Show and North Pole Village, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
TURKEY DAY 5K
Thursday, November 28; 9am – 12pm; Capitol Blvd & Main St
Gather your family and friends and join us for this Thanksgiving morning tradition! This year the race will start on Main Street between Capitol and 6th Street.Visit turkeyday5kboise.com to register or to learn more!Your registration benefits the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries and the Boise Special Olympics.
WINTER GARDEN aGLOW
Thursday, November 28 - Saturday, January 4; 6pm - 9pm; Idaho Botanical Garden
Our signature event of the year is starting November 28, 2019, and will be open 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. through January 4, 2020.* View over 400,000 multi-colored lights on trees, rocks, gazebos, and other garden structures. Santa visits, princesses appear, and local choirs carol in the Garden on select evenings. There is hot chocolate, hot cider, food trucks, and firepits. This is one family tradition that all visitors overwhelming enjoy! This is an outdoor event, so be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Gates open at 6 p.m. Last admission is at 8:30 p.m. *Closed for private events on Wednesday, December 4, and Tuesday, December 10. Military Night – open to military/veterans and their families – Tuesday, December 10. There will be two adult nights – 21+ only evenings ̶ Wednesday, December 11, and Wednesday, December 18. Advance: $10 Nonmember Adult, $8 Member & Youth (4-12), 3 and under free. At Gate: $12 Nonmember Adult, $10 Member & Youth, 3 and under free.
EMPTY BOWLS - IDAHO FOODBANK
Friday, November 29; 10am – 1:30pm; The Grove Plaza
Throughout the year, we collect handcrafted and hand-painted bowls from professional and amateur artisans, students, and studios. The event offers the opportunity to select a unique bowl from thousands and enjoy a hot bowl of soup generously donated by one of several of our finest local restaurants. While you enjoy your meal, we encourage you to remember that not all our Idaho neighbors are able to meet the basic need of feeding their families. The funds raised by this event helps to provide food assistance to those badly in need this winter.
GIVING TREE BENEFITING THE WOMEN'S AND CHILDREN'S ALLIANCE
Friday, November 29 - Friday, December 20
Please join us and the Downtown Business Association at the annual tree lighting at The Grove Plaza on Friday, November 29, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm. Boise Mayor Bieter lights up the Christmas tree on The Grove Plaza in Downtown Boise, while families in attendance sing carols and join in the candle lighting ceremony. This is also the kick off of our annual Giving Tree program, in which gift tags are hung around the tree that list the WCA’s facility and child care needs. Community members can take tags from the tree and drop the items off at any Zion’s Bank location. Can’t wait to see you there to ring in the holiday season!
DOWNTOWN CARRIAGE RIDES
Every Friday and Saturday from November 29 - December 21; 4 pm - 8 pm; Washington Trust Bank
Enjoy a free Horse Drawn Carriage Ride and hot cocoa in Downtown Boise, courtesy of Washington Trust Bank! Rides depart from Washington Trust Bank at 901 W Bannock St. (corner of 9th and Bannock).
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Saturday, November 30; Downtown Boise
Kick off the holiday shopping season on Small Business Saturday, November 30 by supporting small businesses in Downtown Boise. Pick up your Small Business Saturday Downtown Boise Passport at Rediscovered Books located at 180 N 8th St. and be entered to win cool prizes and gift cards from your favorite places! View participating businesses here. #ShopSmallBoise
OLD BOISE N-SCALE MODEL RAILROADERS AND SANTA
Trains: Every Saturday between Thanksgiving and New Years from 10am-5pm & December 5th First Thursday; Old Boise, Pioneer Tent Building, 106 N 6th St
Santa: Every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas from Noon-4pm & December 5th First Thursday; Old Boise, Pioneer Tent Building, 106 N 6th St
Santa will be in the building! Visit the model railroaders exhibit, complete with numerous towns, figures, lights and trains! And don’t forget the special Christmas Trains that only run at this time of year. What can be a better combo - Trains and Santa - to bring in the holidays! So bring your camera to get your children’s or family picture with Santa (NO CHARGE). Thanks to the generous support of the Old Boise Merchants Association.
BOISE CLASSIC MOVIES - HOLIDAY SHOWS!
Egyptian Theatre, 700 W Main Street - All Showings At 7pm (unless otherwise noted)
Saturday, November 30: Elf (x2)
Wednesday, December 4: White Christmas
Thursday, December 5: White Christmas
Saturday, December 7: The Muppet Christmas Carol
Tuesday, December 10: Die Hard
Thursday, December 12: A Christmas Story
Friday, December 13: A Christmas Story
Saturday, December 14: Home Alone
Tuesday, December 17: Wonderful Life
Thursday, December 19: Love Actually
Friday, December 20: Christmas Vacation (x2)
IDAHO STATE CAPITOL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING
Monday, December 2; 5pm; Idaho Statehouse Steps
DECEMBER FIRST THURSDAY - FIRST ANNUAL HOLIDAY SIP-N-SHOP
Thursday, December 5; 5pm - 9pm; Downtown Boise
Experience Downtown Boise at its finest as retailers, galleries, and restaurants entertain you with a variety of mini-events! Find a map & listings of locations by clicking "DECEMBER FIRST THURSDAY..." above. Grab your friends, round up the girls or make it the perfect 'date night' in Downtown Boise. Join us for an evening downtown as we host the first annual sip-n-shop event where you can drop off the kids, enjoy some down time while sampling some local wine and beer tastings, all while you get your holiday shopping done. Given it's the season for caring and sharing, all proceeds from this event will be donated to the Boise chapter of Women's & Children's Alliance that fosters a community where individuals thrive in a safe, healthy relationships. In return, you'll be able to sip and swirl around town, enjoy savory local specials at restaurants, hotels and shops... its all included in this program. With the purchase of your wine tasting ticket, you'll receive a souvenir glass to commemorate this special event.
BUY IDAHO HOLIDAY MARKET
Thursday, December 5; 4pm - 9pm; The Linen Building
Join us for holiday festivities and fun during December's First Thursday in downtown Boise. Our Holiday Pop-Up Shop is an ideal opportunity to showcase your Idaho business while giving shoppers a venue to "Buy Idaho" this holiday season with YOUR unique, made in Idaho gifts.
BASQUE MUSEUM HOLIDAY SALE & OPEN HOUSE
Thursday, December 5; 5:30pm - 8:30pm; Basque Museum
Join us from 5:30pm-8:30pm for December’s First Thursday Holiday Sale & Open House. There will be free admission for everyone, tours of the CJU House, live music, and food and drink for free as well as wine to purchase, not to mention 10-20% off in the Museum Store, just in time for Christmas!
IDAHO CENTRAL CREDIT UNION PRESENTS DOWNTOWN BOISE HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING
Friday, December 6; 6:00-6:30pm; The Grove Plaza
The Tree Lighting is a Downtown Boise Tradition! Boise Mayor Bieter lights up the holiday tree on The Grove Plaza in Downtown Boise, while families in attendance sing carols and join in the candle lighting ceremony. The community is invited to attend this traditional event that lights up downtown and welcomes the holiday season to the Treasure Valley. Grab a coffee/hot chocolate from any nearby coffee shop downtown!
Friday, December 6; 8pm; St. John's Cathedral, Boise
Saturday, December 7; 8pm; St. John's Cathedral, Boise
A cherished holiday tradition. Bring the whole family and your friends to experience Boise Philharmonic’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah in the beautiful St. John’s Cathedral at 8:00pm. Join Music Director Eric Garcia as he leads the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra and Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale (prepared by Dr. James Jirak, BPMC Music Director.) Concert-goers are encouraged to purchase tickets early because both evenings are sure to sell-out! For tickets call 208-344-7849 or boisephil.org.
BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY ANNUAL FAMILY HOLIDAY CONCERT
Friday, December 6; 7:30-9:30pm; Morrison Center Main Hall
Celebrate the season with the yearly tradition for music lovers in the Treasure Valley! BSU Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni are eligible for a FREE ticket. Valid ID must be presented in person at the Morrison Center box office. Discounted tickets are available for Seniors 60 years and above, Non BSU students and children's tickets are also discounted. Everyone who enters MUST have a ticket, including babes-in-arms. Please 'purchase' tickets in advance - lines can be lengthy night of show.
CLAUS 'N' PAWS
Saturday, December 7; 10am - 5pm; Zoo Boise
Join Zoo Boise for Claus ‘N’ Paws, a FREE admission day. This is our way to thank our community for supporting the zoo and our wildlife conservation mission. Santa Claus will visit the zoo for photo opportunities (for a small donation which benefits zoo programs). There will also be holiday crafts, face painting, and don’t miss the animal residents receiving their holiday gifts. Santa will be at the zoo for photos from 11am - 4pm (for a fee). As much as we love pets, no pets are allowed inside the zoo except for ADA service animals. Companion animals are not allowed.
Saturday, December 7; 4pm; Idaho Capitol Rotunda
Boise’s TubaChristmas has been an ongoing community gathering of tuba and euphonium musicians since 1992. Members of this unique ensemble include student musicians from local high schools, middle schools, and colleges/universities, as well as adult musicians from a variety of professions. It is truly a Boise tradition! Tuba and euphonium players of all ages are invited to join us. If you would like to participate, simply show up at 12:30pm for registration, and we will begin our rehearsal at 1:00pm. See the Schedule, Costs, and What to Bring sections here. This year, Boise’s TubaChristmas will be directed by Boise State faculty member Dr. Sarah Paradis (Professor of Trombone and Euphonium) and tuba professor emeritus, Dr. William Winkle.
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
Sunday, December 8; 1pm - 3pm; Idaho State Musuem
Bring your friends and family to the 1947 holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street, starring Maureen O’Hara on Sunday, December 8th at 1:00 PM. Enjoy complimentary cocoa, cider, and cookies! Doors open at 12:30. $2 for members, $5 for public. Museum admission and the Maureen O’Hara pop-up exhibit not included in ticket price.
BOISE ICE SHOW - JINGLE BLADES
Sunday, December 8; 4:30pm Doors Open; CenturyLink Arena
Join your favorite figure skaters with the Boise Figure Skating Club and skaters from the Learn To Skate program at Idaho Ice World for this one night only spectacular performance! U.S. Pro Open Champion Ashley Clark will be a special guest star in this can’t miss showcase!
Saturday, December 14; 7:30pm; Morrison Center
Holiday cheer is in the air in Boise! Join us for our traditional celebration of the Holiday Season, featuring the full Boise Phil and Master Chorale with guest conductor, Charles Latshaw. Always a family favorite, and always sold out! Buy your tickets now for the best seats. Bring a pair of new, warm socks to help us reach our goal of 1,000 pairs before the end of December! All donations will be given to the First United Methodist Church, the Cathedral of the Rockies. Concert generously sponsored by Ann Peterson & Gardner & Co.
BALLET IDAHO, THE NUTCRACKER
Thursday, December 19; 7:30pm
Friday, December 20; 7:30pm
Saturday, December 21; 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 22; 1pm & 6:30pm
Monday, December 23; 2pm
The Morrison Center
Ballet Idaho’s beloved holiday classic, now with all new sets and costumes! Join us as we celebrate the season in glittering fashion – a joyful and elegant holiday party for the children, magical and playful mice, and the Nutcracker doll’s transformation into the handsome prince, who guides Clara through a beautiful swirling snow scene to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Over 100 children from the Ballet Idaho Academy will grace the stage with our professional company members for a larger than life, not to be missed production.
BOISE HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR & ORCHESTRA ROTUNDA CONCERT
Thursday, December 19; 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm; Idaho State Capitol Building
Enjoy the tradition of the beautiful free holiday concert hosted by Boise High School.
36TH ANNUAL YMCA CHRISTMAS RUN
Saturday, December 21; 10am; Boise High School
Create a new tradition! Celebrate the holiday season as a family by running or walking together. ‘Tis the season for bells, holiday costumes, carolers and Santa! Join us for the Christmas Run Presented by Saint Alphonsus. The race starts and finishes in Downtown Boise at Boise High School. Enjoy hot soup from Create Common Good and Boise Co-Op and bagels from Blue Sky at finish line. The annual Christmas Costume Contest will be held at 9:30am on the Boise High Steps.
MIRACLE ON IDAHO STREET
Christmas Day; 10am - 3pm; Old Chicago Restaurant 730 W Idaho St
Over 1,000 of Boise’s homeless and displaced guests will arrive at Old Chicago for a Christmas Day celebration. Each guest will receive a warm welcome and an extraordinary dining experience, a finely dressed table and a meal with all the trimmings. New gifts of warm clothing, toys, books, school supplies, and blankets will be distributed, and each guest will have the chance to enjoy a visit and picture on Santa’s lap!
Christmas Downtown Church Walk
Thursday, December 26; 2:30pm; Downtown Boise Churches
The event is a free self guided tour of the historical churches in downtown Boise coordinated by the Coalition of Idaho Living Historians & Idaho Colonial Society. Come enjoy organ, choral, and other instrumental music; Christmas decorations, holiday treats, and beverages all while enjoying the amazing architecture of the downtown churches. Come learn a bit about the history of these churches in downtown Boise. Immanuel Lutheran Church will also do caroling sing along from 530pm-6pm. Capital Christian Church tours will end at 630pm.
Capital City Christian Church 615 N 9th St
First Presbyterian Church 950 W State St
Immanuel Lutheran 707 W Fort St
St Johns Roman Catholic Cathedral 775 N 8th St
St Michael's Episcopal Cathedral 518 n 8th St
Cathedral of the Rockies at 717 n 11th St
2019 FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Friday, January 3; 1:30pm; Albertsons Stadium, Boise State University
Mountain West Conference vs. Mid-American Conference Football Game