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 window displays and 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!
Check back this Fall for 2019 Holiday Event Guide & Schedule!
The 2018 Downtown Boise Holiday Event Guide:
2018 SCHEDULE OF HOLIDAY EVENTS:
D.L. EVANS BANK PRESENTS 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:
Saturday, December 1, 8, 15; 10am - 2pm
First Thursday, December 6; 6pm - 8pm
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!
HOLIDAY FARMERS MARKETS
Saturdays, October 27 - December 22
CAPITAL CITY PUBLIC MARKET - 10:30am - 2:30pm; The Grove Plaza starting Oct. 27th
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 - 9am - 2pm; Idaho Linen Supply Warehouse at 8th and Fulton starting Nov. 3rd
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 VETERANS PARADE
Saturday, November 3; 10:15am; 10th St / Jefferson St / 4th St / Bannock St / 11th St
This year's parade theme, "A Special Salute to WWI Veterans - a war that changed the world”. We are excited to announce that Earl Lewis Hurt, U.S. Army Sergeant has been posthumously named as our 2018 Boise Veterans Parade Grand Marshal. A special opening ceremony will begin at 10:00AM on the Idaho State Capital steps.
BOISE HOLIDAY PARADE
Saturday, November 17; 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 70th year! Bring the family to this year’s parade to celebrate “Christmas is Our Town” with Grand Marshal Dave Bieter, Mayor of Boise.
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.
8TH ANNUAL WINTRY MARKET
Saturday & Sunday, November 17 & 18; 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 60+ local artists & crafters. We pride ourselves as being an affordable marketplace for handmade goods. Come shop local for the holidays!
OLD BOISE N-SCALE MODEL RAILROADERS AND SANTA
Trains: Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas from 10am-5pm & December 6th First Thursday; Old Boise, Pioneer Tent Building, 106 N 6th St
Santa: Saturdays starting Thanksgiving Weekend through the Saturday before Christmas from Noon-4pm & December 6th 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.
16TH ANNUAL HYMNS OF THANKSGIVING
Sunday, November 18; 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.
IDAHO STATE CAPITOL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING
Monday, November 26; 5pm; Idaho State Capitol
5pm: Gather at Capitol steps
5:30pm: Program starts
6pm: Tree lighting ceremony
6-7pm: Gather inside Capitol to look at holiday decorations
35TH ANNUAL ST. ALPHONSUS FESTIVAL OF TREES
Wednesday – Sunday, November 21 - 25; Boise Centre
Gala: Tuesday, November 20; 5:30pm
Fashion Show: Monday, November 26; 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 beauty that is enhanced by a series of special events designed to please people of all ages. From the black-tie Gala to Breakfast with Santa, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Festival of Trees General Exhibition:
Wednesday, November 21 – 10am – 9pm – Senior Day; Senior Tea – 1pm – 4pm
Thursday, November 22 – 2pm – 9pm – Thanksgiving
Friday, November 23 – 10am – 9pm - $1 off adult entry with Downtown Boise treelighting candle cup
Saturday, November 24 – 10am – 9pm – Family Day
Sunday, November 25 – 10am – 9pm
Along with our amazing display of 350+ trees, wreaths and holiday décor items, the Festival of Trees includes live entertainment, interactive LEGO, virtual reality and train displays as well as visits with Santa in his own private living room!
TURKEY TROT RUN
Thursday, November 22; 9am; 6th & Main
Warm up your Thanksgiving appetite with the Turkey Trot Boise! The Turkey Trot Run Boise brings family and friends together to start the day in a healthy way. Come dressed the part, and join runners, joggers and walkers for this lighthearted run. We can’t anticipate the weather, but we can guarantee fun. And remember to PLEASE BRING NON-PERISHABLE FOOD ITEMS TO PACKET PICKUP OR TO THE START AREA ON THANKSGIVING MORNING to help us fill up the Boise Rescue Mission and City Light Home for Women and Children pantries!
DOWNTOWN CARRIAGE RIDES
Every Friday and Saturday from November 23rd - December 15th; 4 pm - 8 pm; Washington Trust Bank - 901 W. Bannock St. (Corner of Bannock & 9th)
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).
MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY PLAY
Boise Little Theatre
November 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 - 8pm
December 6, 13 - 7:30pm
December 2, 9, 15 - 2pm
A sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set two years after the novel ends, MISS BENNET continues the story, only this time with bookish middle-sister Mary as its unlikely heroine. Mary is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings’ romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love.
EMPTY BOWLS - IDAHO FOODBANK
Friday, November 23; 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 then 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.
ZIONS BANK PRESENTS DOWNTOWN BOISE HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING
Friday, November 23; 5:00pm - 6:30pm; The Grove Plaza
The Tree Lighting is a Downtown Boise Tradition! Boise Mayor Bieter lights up the Christmas tree in 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. Please visit the Downtown Boise Tree Lighting Page for the list of performers and schedule for the evening.
GIVING TREE BENEFITING THE WOMEN'S AND CHILDREN'S ALLIANCE
Friday, November 23 - Friday, December 21
Please join us and the Downtown Business Association at the annual tree lighting at The Grove Plaza on Friday, November 23, 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!
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Saturday, November 24; Downtown Boise
Kick off the holiday shopping season on Small Business Saturday, November 24 by supporting small businesses in Downtown Boise. Pick up your Small Business Saturday Downtown Boise Passport and be entered to win cool prizes and gift cards from your favorite places!
BOISE CLASSIC MOVIES - HOLIDAY SHOWS!
Egyptian Theatre, 700 W Main Street - All Showings At 7pm (unless otherwise noted)
Saturday, November 24: Elf
Friday, November 30: Home Alone
Tuesday, December 4: Die Hard
Thursday, December 6: White Christmas
Saturday, December 8: Muppet Christmas Carol
Thursday, December 13: A Christmas Story (21+)
Friday, December 14: A Christmas Story (All Ages)
Wednesday, December 19: A Wonderful Life
Thursday, December 20: Love Actually
Saturday, December 22: Christmas Vacation
Friday, November 30; 8pm; St. John's Cathedral
Saturday, December 1; 8pm; St. John's Cathedral
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. Jim Jirak, BPMC Music Director.) Concert-goers are encouraged to purchase tickets early because both evenings are sure to sell-out! For tickets call 344-7849 or boisephil.org.
CLAUS 'N' PAWS
Saturday, December 1; 10am - 5pm; Zoo Boise
Join Zoo Boise for Claus ‘N’ Paws, a FREE admission day on Saturday, December 1 from 10am – 5pm (last admission at 4:30pm). 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.
Saturday, December 1; 4pm; Boise State Capital 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 1:00 for registration, and we will begin our rehearsal at 1:30 p.m. 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.
DECEMBER FIRST THURSDAY
Thursday, December 6; 5pm - 9pm; Downtown Boise
Experience Downtown Boise at its finest as retailers, galleries, and restaurants entertain you with a variety of mini-events, including the 11th Annual Winter Window Gallery! Best of all– it’s free! Find a map & listings of locations by clicking "DECEMBER FIRST THURSDAY" above.
BUY IDAHO HOLIDAY MARKET
Thursday, December 6; 4pm - 9pm; Location Coming Soon
Buy Idaho 7th Annual Holiday Market. The Market will feature up to 30 vendors sampling and selling made in Idaho gifts, a local beer and wine garden, live music and SANTA!
BOISE STATE DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC ANNUAL HOLIDAY CONCERT
Friday, December 7; 7:30-9:30pm; Morrison Center Main Hall
Celebrate the season with this yearly tradition for music lovers in the Treasure Valley! Tickets are $10 general admission ($14 with ticket fees), $8.00 for seniors (60 and older, $10.50 with ticket fees), $2.00 ($3.50 with ticket fees) for non-Boise State students (with ID) and children 12 and under, free for Boise State students, faculty and staff (with ID), and may be purchased at http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/1E005515E6CE4998?brand=morrisoncenter. Free tickets available at Morrison Center ticket office only. Phone/online orders are also subject to a $2.50 handling fee. Parking is free for ticketholders for this event. Please follow the signs and/or parking staff directions. Visit www.MorrisonCenter.com for more information regarding parking, or general information.
Saturday, December 8; 7:30pm; Morrison Center
‘Tis the season! Bring your entire family to the symphony for an evening of holiday carols and cheer. Featuring the full Boise Philharmonic and Master Chorale with guest conductor, Chelsea Tipton II. 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!
BALLET IDAHO, THE NUTCRACKER
Thursday, December 13; 7:30pm
Friday, December 14; 7:30pm
Saturday, December 15; 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 16; 12pm & 4pm
The Morrison Center
Ballet Idaho continues the beloved holiday tradition of the timeless family classic, The Nutcracker, returning with live music by the Boise Philharmonic. See this version of The Nutcracker for the last time before the unveiling of the new production in the 2019/20 season! 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.
13TH ANNUAL XTREME HOLIDAY XTRAVAGANZA
Sunday, December 16 & Monday, December 17; Egyptian Theatre
Lucky number 13 has us in a tizzy with all kinds of fun ideas to make this event even more rollicking, fun and full of good cheer. Tickets will go on sale November 1st at egyptiantheatre.net. General Admission tickets for Floor and Balcony will be $50. Reserved Floor seating (First Four Rows) will be $100. So mark your calendar for the ticket sale and shows cause tickets sell out fast for this wonderful holiday event that raises much needed funds for Interfaith Sanctuary. See you at the shows!
BOISE HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR & ORCHESTRA ROTUNDA CONCERT
Thursday, December 20; 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm; Idaho State Capitol Building
Enjoy the tradition of the beautiful free holiday concert hosted by Boise High School.
2018 FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Friday, December 21; 2pm; Albertsons Stadium, Boise State University
Mountain West Conference vs. Mid-American Conference Football Game
35TH ANNUAL YMCA CHRISTMAS RUN
Saturday, December 22; 10:15am; 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.
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!
ANNUAL DOWNTOWN BOISE CHRISTMAS CHURCH WALK
Wednesday, December 26; 3 pm - 5:30 pm; Downtown Boise
This Treasure Valley event sponsored by the Les Bois Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is free and open to the public. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour to look at the Christmas decorations, hear special music, and view the various architectural styles of the churches. You are invited to bring your friends and the walk can begin at any of the participating churches: Capitol City Christian Church, First Presbyterian Church, Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. John's Roman Catholic Cathedral, St. Michael's Episcopal Cathedral, and First Methodist Church.
IDAHO POTATO DROP
New Year's Eve; 3pm - 1am; Idaho State Capitol
Idaho’s signature holiday event that can only be truly experienced LIVE at the Idaho State Capitol! The Idaho® Potato Drop is a free and charitable community event that supports local arts, business and charities.