The Buffalo Bill Center of the West hosts its annual free Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 5, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event coincides with a full slate of celebrations and activities in Cody, including the Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade, the Festival of Trees, and Old Trail Town Christmas. The festivities together kick off the holiday season for the community and surrounding region.
While the Holiday Open House is free, the Center of the West encourages all attending to share the spirit of the season by bringing a can of non-perishable food or a new, unwrapped toy to share. The Center then contributes these donations to Cody Cupboard and Holiday Helpers for distribution to those in need throughout the community.
The Center decks the halls for the occasion, and serves up cookies and treats made by staff and volunteers. Santa Claus is in attendance all day to visit with children and go over those Christmas lists. Live entertainment takes place in two venues throughout the day and includes school, family, and community groups, as well as local performing arts organizations. Programs offer something for everyone: holiday music by choruses, choirs, and jazz bands; and dance in a variety of styles. Visit the Holiday Open House event page for the full schedule.
The Center Store offers special holiday discounts the day of the Open House on merchandise ranging from books, jewelry, gifts, prints, and more (some exclusions apply). The Store also hosts book signings by Center authors: from noon – 2 p.m. Raptor Program Manager Melissa Hill signs copes of her books about raptors; and from 2 – 4 p.m. curators Jeremy Johnston and Dr. Charles Preston are on hand with their new edited and annotated edition of Ernest Thompson Seton’s Wahb: The Biography of a Grizzly.
The birds of the Draper Museum Raptor Experience, one of the Center’s most popular programs, get into the spirit of season for the Open House as well. Attendees can view the birds—golden eagle, great-horned owl, peregrine falcon, red tailed hawk, turkey vulture, and American kestrel—and ask questions of their handlers in the Center’s Draper Natural History Museum.
And just in time for the Holiday Open House, the Center’s Cody Firearms Museum reopens two revamped galleries, one featuring the Browning Arms Company, and the other featuring the popular exhibition Journeying West: Distinctive Firearms from the Smithsonian. Firearms Curator Ashley Hlebinsky will be on hand to talk about both displays with interested visitors.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page.