Winter is the coziest time of year in Whitefish, Montana. The little ski town celebrates the season with festive decorations, community gatherings and special events all about celebrating the holidays with family.
This time of year features the best of winter in Whitefish, when locals and visitors alike share an infectious excitement for the season—from shoppers strolling by shops to bartenders mixing a Christmas cocktail, you can see it on everyone's face! It might be cold outside, but Whitefish knows how to bundle up and spread the merriment of the season.
As a perfect Christmas gathering spot, Whitefish has something for everyone. From joining together to watch the torchlight parade to sipping a yuletide drink by the fireplace, you’ll feel like you came home for the holidays.
Here are some of the happenings in Whitefish that we love the most:
1. Christmas Stroll: December 8
In early December every year, the town comes out to Central Ave—the hub of downtown Whitefish—to kick off the wintery festivities. The Christmas Stroll offers hot chocolate, snacks, caroling, and activities for everyone right in the middle of the main street. If you get too chilly, you can pop into one of the restaurants for a meal and drink to warm up. Don’t miss the Winter Carnival Royalty in their robes and crowns - they're the community members who reign over the annual Winter Carnival in February and are there to oversee the Christmas Stroll and encourage everyone to have a good time.
2. Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade at Whitefish Mountain Resort: December 24
The torchlight parade is a Christmas Eve tradition for many families with good reason. Whitefish Mountain Resort welcomes Santa Claus to greet the children, and a hush of silence falls over the crowd as the lighted torches swoosh down the hillside, making the eyes sparkle of children and adults alike. The torchlight parade is a great reminder of the magic of Christmas.
3. Shopping at Local Boutiques
Every little shop in Whitefish dresses up for the holidays, making Christmas shopping as festive and fun as in the days before online shopping. Enjoy gift buying the way we used to—with a mug of hot chocolate and a few friends, window shopping and, of course, stopping in the cute boutiques for seasonal sales and checking people off your lists.
4. Sitting by the Fireplace
At Grouse Mountain Lodge, the central lounge area looks out over a golf course that becomes a pristine wintery meadow when the snow falls. Bring a book and a glass of wine to the cozy chairs and curl up by the fireplace, looking out at Christmas lights reflecting on the snow. After a day of skiing or sledding or winter fun, there's no better place.
5. Nordic skiing at Glacier Nordic Center
Just across the road from Grouse Mountain Lodge is the Glacier Nordic Center, which features groomed, lit paths for cross-country skiing. Squeeze a workout into your morning or spend the day sliding along—when it’s so convenient, you can make your visit as active or as mellow as you’d like.
Christmas in Whitefish isn’t just the happiest time of the year – it’s the best time of the year. Locals adorn the town with garlands, bells, and lights, and everyone is in the spirit. Soak in the joy of the season with your family in downtown Whitefish.
Come See Us
Stay updated on all the events and follow along as the Holiday Spirit spreads by following Glacier Park, Inc. and other local info sources like Explore Whitefish on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Call the friendly lodging specialists at Glacier Park, Inc. to book your stay at Grouse Mountain Lodge, and we’ll toast with a hot toddy when we see you in Whitefish this holiday season.