Saturday, December 1 brings the start of winter hours and the annual Holiday Open House to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. The winter schedule of open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, closed Monday – Wednesday, remains in effect through February.
The Holiday Open House begins at 10 a.m. on December 1 and, although free, families attending are all encouraged to bring a can of food or a new, unwrapped toy, which the Historical Center will in turn donate to charitable organizations in the community for local distribution. The family-friendly event includes scheduled entertainment in two venues throughout the day, free holiday treats donated by staff and volunteers, and of course, Santa Claus is always there to visit with children of all ages.
The birds of the Greater Yellowstone Raptor Experience—great-horned owl, red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, and turkey vulture—appear in the John Bunker Sands Photography Gallery during the day, where the special exhibition National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West is also on display. Short talks about the birds take place at half past each hour.
The Museum Store offers one-day-only holiday savings for Christmas shoppers, and hosts book signings by staff and community authors from 1 – 3 p.m. in front of the store. Authors scheduled to appear include Dr. Charles Preston (natural history titles), Lynn Houze (Cody: Then and Now), and Bob Berry (Yellowstone: Yesterday and Today).
Music and dance groups scheduled to perform at the Open House this year include the honor choirs from Eastside, Livingston, and Sunset Elementary schools; dance groups from Absaroka Mountain Thunder, Cody Center for the Performing Arts, and Rocky Mountain School of the Arts; the choir groups Synergy and Equestria! from Cody High School and Jazzical from Cody Middle School; and family and community singing groups including the Munaris, the Sheets family, Yellowstone Harmony Chorus, Pizazz!, the Tannabaumettes, and the Corr family.
Holiday decorations deck the halls at the Historical Center from now through the first week in January. For Christmas week, the Center adds open days to its regular winter schedule especially to accommodate those with family and friends visiting Cody for the holidays. With the exception of Christmas Day when it is closed for the official holiday, the Center is open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. the full week between Christmas and New Year’s, in other words December 20 – 31. Regular winter hours return January 1, i.e. open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, closed Monday – Wednesday.
Since 1917, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has been committed to the greatness and growth of the American West, keeping western experiences alive. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms, and the nature and science of Yellowstone—into the rich panorama that is the American West.