Helena Montana is a small town and the capital city of Montana. With mountains all around it, it’s a great place for hiking, fishing and skiing. It’s also the site of the Capitol building and St. Helena Cathedral.
Helena’s small town vibe and capital city status makes it a the perfect place to spend the holidays. Find out what you can do when you’re in town.
Christmas Eve at the Civic Center
Christmas Eve at the Civic Center makes for an unforgettable experience. Hosted by Narrate Church, it includes 45 minutes of Christmas songs performed by a band of local musicians. Then a guest speaker explores the story of Christmas putting it in an interesting light. There is also a live choir performance and free tea and coffee for guests.
Those that attend are asked to make a donation which will be distributed to the Lewis and Clark County Drug Treatment Court.
Vukonich Family Lights
There are several houses featuring spectacular decorations in the Helena area, but few top the Vukonich’s. The house is decorated with an array of moving and color changing LED lights. The show is set to music making it even more dramatic.
In past years, the Vukonich family partnered with the Montana Drone Company for an aerial view of the show that has been shared on the internet.
Wood Carvers’ Ornament Sale
This is a can’t miss destination for people who are looking for unique ornaments. It takes place at the Helena Senior Center and features work by the Rocky Woodcarvers. Stop by and see what they have to offer.
Lake Helena Lights
Another Helena home worth checking out is Reguin house. The house has been hosting a display since 2012 using Light-o-Rama controllers and software. The show includes 56,000 lights.
More recently, the family has become taking donations for God’s Love Homeless Shelter. There is a box set up in the front lawn where people can leave money. They manage to raise close to $1000 every year.
If you time your trip right, you may get a chance to meet the family in the front of the house as they answer questions and give out goodie bags.
Parade of Lights and Holiday Stroll Weekend
Downtown Helena kicks off the holidays with a Parade of Lights and Holiday Stroll Weekend. The festivities include a parade, a tree lighting and great shopping opportunities.
Each parade has a theme with 2019’s being Hometown Helena Past and Present. You can come by as a spectator or sign up to be a part of the festivities. There is also a Best in Show contest with prizes being given out for 1st, 2nd і 3rd замест гэтага.
The parade starts at Fuller Ave and goes to Placer. Then it turns right onto Last Chance Gulch and proceeds through the Pedestrian Mall past Lewis & Clark Library and Pioneer Park. The parade ends at Lewis & Clark Library and the awards ceremony and other festivities follow.
Christmas Gift Shows at Helena Civic Center
The Gift shows take place over two weekends in November and serve as a fundraising event to pay for renovations and improvements made to the Civic Center Ballroom. Over 80 crafters are present and there is also a lunch bar, snacks and refreshments. The two shows are completely unique with different vendors at each so be sure to come down for both.
Skiing is a great winter activity and Helena has plenty of resorts available. The Great Divide Montana is perhaps the most well-known. They have six different parks, and each caters to varying ski levels. There are several lodges on site. It’s a terrific destination for skiers and snowboarders. Guests can also enjoy ski parties with music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Visit the Cathedral of St. Helena
The Cathedral of St. Helena was modeled by architect A.O. Von Herbulls after the Votivkirche in Vienna. Construction began in 1908 and the first mass was held there in 19414. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Its most prominent architectural feature is its 230-foot twin spires which are adorned by gold leaf crosses that are 12 feet high and 6 feet wide. The North tower contains fifteen cast iron bells that represent the 15 mysteries of the rosary,
The interior features 11,693 square feet of stained glass across 59 windows the depict scenes from the old and new testament. The limestone exterior boasts 29 statues of saints and other religious figures.
Stop by to check out the architecture or attend a midnight mass.
Holiday Sale at the Holter Museum of Art
The Holter Museum of Art specializes in contemporary art from the Northwest and features local and national artists. Every year they host a HoHo Holter Holiday Sale and Bazaar with an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. It’s a great place to check out items made by local artists while enjoying the music of a live deejay.
Skate at the Helena Ice Arena
The holidays are a great time to get your skate on, and what better place to do it than at the Helena Ice Arena? The rink offers 41,000 square feet of ice-skating space and hosts public skates, laser skates, ice figure skating, hockey and more.
Sleeping Giant Lanes and Mini-Golf
If you’re looking for a fun night out with the family, Sleeping Giant Lanes and Mini-Golf is a great place to bowl and work on your tee. There is a pizzeria and snack bar on site.
When it comes to fun places to spend your Christmas vacation, Helena checks off all the boxes. It has a small town feel, but as a capital city, there’s plenty to see and do. Which activities will you be partaking in when you visit?