The Buffalo Bill Center of the West hosts its annual Holiday Open House—a free day that is a long-standing tradition in the Cody community—on Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Holiday Open House is free, but families attending are encouraged to share the holiday spirit by bringing a non-perishable food item, still-packaged toy, dry pet food, or pet toy item. The donations can be placed in the collection boxes that will be located at the main entrance as well as the south entrance, open special for the day. The Center will distribute the food donations through Cody food pantries, toys through local charitable organizations, and pet items through the Park County Animal Shelter.
Local and regional groups perform for the crowds, with entertainment running in several venues. The diverse programs offer something for everyone: music by choruses, carolers, honor choirs, jazz bands, and instrumental quartets; dance in styles from ballet to modern, clogging to tap. All these performers generously volunteer their time and talent.
This year’s slate of performers includes the following groups: 40 Fabulous Fingers piano quartet, Alphabell Music, Brooks Robinson, Sheets Family Music, Absaroka Mountain Thunder, Cody Center for the Performing Arts, Sunlight Martial Arts, Rocky Mountain School of the Arts, Cody High School Jazz Band, Cody Middle School’s Cool Cougs band and Jazzical vocal ensemble, Yellowstone Harmony Chorus, Cody United Methodist Church Chapel Bell Choir, and the honor choirs from Eastside, Sunset, and Livingston elementary schools.
The full entertainment schedule with times and locations is posted on the Center’s online calendar at centerofthewest.org/calendar; while the schedule is subject to change and additions, updates will be posted on that page.
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 printer and volunteer Mike Parker demonstrates printing and assists visitors in printing their own souvenir bookmarks to take home.
The Center Store offers a storewide holiday sale with 30 – 75 percent off during the Holiday Open House (some exclusions apply, and discounts cannot be combined). With a purchase of $50 or more, customers may choose one of two free posters, either a Cody Firearms Museum poster or a Crow Cradle poster.
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 Breezeway leading to the Center’s Cody Firearms Museum.
NOTE: From December 1 – February 29, the Center operates on its winter schedule, open Thursday ─ Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Monday – Wednesday.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming—just an hour east of Yellowstone National Park—has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For more information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page. #centerofthewest