The Buffalo Bill Center of the West hosts its annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 2, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The free event, always the first Saturday in December, is a long-standing community tradition in Cody.
While the Holiday Open House is free, the Center asks that all attending share the spirit of the season by bringing a non-perishable food item. The Center will then divide these donations among Cody Cupboard and Manna House in Cody, and Powell Valley Loaves & Fishes 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 hear their Christmas wishes. The Cody Reading Council sets up shop near Santa to reading favorite holiday stories. And resident printer Mike Parker demonstrates printing and assists visitors to print their own souvenir bookmarks to take home.
Live entertainment takes place throughout the day in two venues—the Center’s Coe Auditorium, and the lower level of the Draper Natural History Museum.
Entertainers include school, family, and community groups, as well as local performing arts organizations. Programs offer something for everyone: holiday music by choruses, choirs, ensembles, and jazz bands; and dance in a variety of styles. The full schedule can be found on the Holiday Open House event page; while the schedule is subject to change, any updates will be posted on that page.
The Center Stores—both on site and downtown—offer special holiday discounts the day of the Holiday Open House. Sale prices on a variety of items including books, jewelry, gifts, prints, and clothing range from 30–75 percent (some exclusions apply).
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 and ask questions of their handlers from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. in the Center’s Draper Natural History Museum.
The Center’s five museums are all open for viewing all day, as are two special exhibitions: Cody to the World: Celebrating 100 Years at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and Out West Where the North Begins: Harold McCracken in Alaska and the Arctic, 1916–1928. The special exhibitions remain on display just through February 4, 2018, making the Holiday Open House a good opportunity to see them before they close.
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. #100YearsMore
Image: The Cody High School Jazz Band performing at the 2016 Holiday Open House at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.