Many people might think that Christmas is pretty much the same wherever you go, but Christmas in Boise Idaho is an especially magical time of year. The festivities start in mid-November in anticipation of the holiday and run through ringing in the New Year. If you live in the City of Trees, you're probably aware of all the festive things to do during Christmas in Boise. It's well worth the trip, though, for those from other cities or even out of state to come experience the festivals, shopping, and ceremonious displays that demonstrate why Idaho holiday cheer makes Christmas in Boise Idaho the most wonderful time of the year.       

Christmastime in Downtown Boise 

Elegant and classic, downtown is the ideal setting for Christmas in Boise. The season is ushered in with the annual tree lighting ceremony in November. The mayor traditionally sets the holiday tree aglow in Grove Plaza the day after Thanksgiving, and it remains decorated and radiant for all to see until after the New Year. The ceremony itself includes candle lighting and caroling, and the entire community is always on the guest list. 

The Boise Downtown merchants love spreading Idaho holiday cheer and have made window decoration their own tradition. Christmas in Boise Idaho isn't complete unless you take a stroll through Downtown Boise in December to take in the creative, whimsical, and charming window art. Make it Downtown within the first two weeks of December, and you'll be able to cast a vote for your favorite.  

The Reason for the Season--Live for Christmas in Boise Idaho!

Anyone can set up a Nativity scene in their living room or front yard, but Christmas in Boise includes live Nativities in honor of the true meaning of Christmas. There's something extra special when the créche is brought to life, giving everyone a genuine vision to reflect upon. Mix 106 notes that two churches in the Treasure Valley present live Nativity scenes during the holiday season. This year the Meridian Seventh-Day Adventist Church offers nightly showings December 13 through 15, and the Five Mile Church of the Nazarene's live Nativity can be viewed December 20 through 22.  

Winter Garden A Glow

The Idaho Botanical Garden is impressive in full bloom during the summer, but the Winter Garden A Glow is truly a holiday sight to behold. Anyone who has experienced Christmas in Boise knows that the Garden puts on an extraordinary display that is as beautiful as it is full of Idaho holiday cheer. Over 300,000 colorful, twinkling lights are artistically arranged, adorning the bushes, trees, and other displays, but that's only part of the many elements that create a festive atmosphere in the Garden. A model train dubbed the Holiday Express rolls through the glowing winter garden, and Santa is on hand with his trusty reindeer Prancer to greet and delight all visitors of any age. 

Visits With Santa

And speaking of visiting with Santa...Christmas in Boise Idaho wouldn't be Christmas at all without access to St. Nick. Fortunately, he thoroughly enjoys Idaho holiday cheer and makes frequent appearances throughout the Treasure Valley during the entire month leading up to Christmas. He's on-hand for photo-ops and to receive wish lists at the Boise Town Square Mall as well as the Village at Meridian. Santa knows that kids young and old aren't the only ones who want to see him during the holiday season, so he also schedules some time for his Paws and Clause event to give special attention to his furry fans.

Holiday Lights

Most communities have a collection of neighborhoods that go all-out when decorating for the holidays, and Boise is no exception. Naturally, some of the most beautiful homes in the city deck their halls and exterior walls with colorful lights and lawn ornaments. That's why Christmas in Boise is always a delightful time to take an evening drive because it's the best time to view the light displays that range from attractive to outrageous. Some homeowners, like one in particular on Tiger Lily Drive, have gone to the trouble of synchronizing their blinking lights with music. If you're in the mood to drive a bit further, rumor has it that nearly all the homes in the Hidden Springs community are decorated and lit for your holiday pleasure.

Pickin' a Tree  

No matter how technology improves and how realistic tree manufacturing companies can make an artificial tree look, nothing beats the real thing. Because Idaho is a wilderness state full of several types of conifers, picking out your own live tree, cutting it down, and bringing it home is a traditional part of Christmas in Boise Idaho. says that the Boise National Forest allows tree harvesting just for that purpose, and permits go on sale in late November. Up to three permits per family can be obtained and, at just $10 a pop, that's some authentic Idaho holiday cheer that's very affordable. 

Christmas Traditions

Traditional holiday entertainment is big around Christmas in Boise, and there is plenty to be had all through the month of December. Early in the month, the Boise Philharmonic performs Handel's Messiah at St. John's Cathedral, and a few weeks later the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale performs a Holiday Pops Concert. BSU's music department puts on an annual holiday concert, usually held in the Morrison Center Main Hall. Watching a performance of the Nutcracker is what rounds out Christmas in Boise and Ballet Idaho performs the classic Christmas ballet beautifully, making it an annual practice of opening up the casting to include children from all corners of the Treasure Valley to participate as extras. 

Dash With the Deer

The YMCA's Annual Reindeer Dash isn't really like running with the bulls in Pamplona, but it's still a terrific way to exercise off all those holiday treats you can't say no to. Plus, it's all for a good cause because all proceeds benefit the YMCA. The actual Reindeer Dash is a 1-mile walk or run, and the entire event also includes a 2-mile and 6-mile run. Runners and walkers (of the Elven rather than zombie kind) can participate as individuals or in teams, so it's an event full of Idaho holiday cheer that entire families can get in on. The Annual Christmas Run has become known for the holiday costume contest that is part of the festivities, so pick up your packet and arrive at the starting line with bells on--literally!

Nostalgic Carriage Rides

Few things inspire the mood for Christmas in Boise Idaho like a holiday carriage ride through historic Downtown Boise. It's a holly jolly way to see the sights and enjoy the Christmas window artwork along a route that takes you from the Washington Trust Bank on the corner of 9th and Bannock to Capitol and back again.  

Get in the Spirit

White Christmas, Its' a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Elf... they're all classics, and every one is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. The Egyptian Theatre goes 100 percent holiday, running all those movies and more starting after Thanksgiving and into December as their way of celebrating Christmas in Boise Idaho. Join them for your favorites or block out your calendar to see them all. It's one of the most enjoyable ways to make the holiday merry.  

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

For proud Idahoans and football fans alike, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is always part of Christmas in Boise Idaho. The Potato Bowl is the bowl game for the Big West Conference Championship. Although it's an event that sports enthusiasts in the Treasure Valley and beyond look forward to every year, it's not just about the game. The festivities last for 5 days starting with team arrivals in Boise. There are dinners, breakfasts, winter sports and go\-kart racing, press conferences, practices and more.  

Spreading the Cheer

There's so much Idaho holiday cheer in Boise that it has spilled out to the surrounding cities. Places like Meridian, Nampa, and Caldwell have plenty of festive things to do, and they're just a short drive when you're spending Christmas in Boise. For example, the St. Chapelle Winery in Caldwell hosts cork ornament and crafting. You can ice skate at the Village in Meridian. There are Christmas bake sales and bazaars aplenty, and enough Christmas concerts to ensure you can fit at least one into your schedule this holiday season. 

If an enchanting Christmas in Boise Idaho has you thinking of a move to the Treasure Valley, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call. Since 2002, Jeff has worked in a variety of areas of real estate in southwestern Idaho including as an appraiser, real estate agent and broker. Jeff and his professional team would be happy to give you a personal tour of the area and some great homes that fit your style and budget. 

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

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Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or