The holiday season in Cody, Wyoming, would not be complete without the annual Holiday Open House at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This year’s date is Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event is free, although the Center encourages all attending to share the spirit of the season by bringing a can of food or new, unwrapped toy for donation to local charities for distribution in the community.
Santa Claus is a favorite part of the Holiday Open House and will be on hand to visit with children of all ages. Parents are encouraged to be prepared with a camera to photograph the youngsters telling Santa their Christmas wishes. Volunteers from the Cody Reading Council station themselves nearby to read favorite holiday stories to all who are on their way to visit Santa.
Entertainment from schools, community organizations, and families—all volunteering their talent—are always a highlight of the event. Groups scheduled to perform include elementary school choirs from Wapiti, Livingston, Sunset, and Eastside; jazz bands from Cody Middle School and Cody High School; choirs Jazzical and Cougar Chorale from the middle school, Equestria! and SYNERGY from the high school, and the women’s choir Yellowstone Harmony Chorus; and dance groups from Cody Center for the Performing Arts, Absaroka Mountain Thunder, Rocky Mountain School of the Arts, and Big Horn Belly Dance. The Sheets Family, a guitar quartet, and the piano quartet 40 Fabulous Fingers round out the schedule.
One of the Center’s most popular programs, the Greater Yellowstone Raptor Experience, participates in the Open House as well. Attendees can view the birds—great-horned owl, peregrine falcon, red tailed hawk, turkey vulture, and golden eagle—and ask questions of their handlers all day in the Center’s Draper Natural History Museum.
Homemade cookies and other treats are donated by Center staff and volunteers for the enjoyment of the crowd. The Center Store’s two locations, at the Center of the West and downtown at 1210 Sheridan Avenue, also offer one-day-only holiday discounts of 30 percent (some exclusions apply) storewide just for the Holiday Open House December 7.
For more information and the full performance schedule for the Holiday Open House, visit our Holiday Open House page.
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. The Center of the West has been honored with numerous awards, including the prestigious 2012 National Tour Association’s Award for “favorite museum for groups,” the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and, most recently, one of the “Top 10 Must See Western Museums” by True West magazine.