If you are planning a Christmas vacation, you really can’t beat Cheyenne, Wyoming. It is a city known for its western old school charming making it a terrific destination for some hoosegow fun with Santa.
The city is home to the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, a great place to check out 19th century passenger wagons and early rodeo artifacts. You can get lost in the labyrinth at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. Be sure to check out the 1904 Historic Governor’s Manion and the Wyoming State Capital building.
If you are hoping to spend a western-inspired Christmas in Cheyenne, read on to learn about all the things you can see and do.
The Cheyenne Christmas Parade
The Christmas parade is an annual Cheyenne tradition. The parade starts on 17thSt. and Carey Ave. and proceeds to 24th St. It continues on Carey and goes back to 17th St. where it ends. Then a tree lighting ceremony takes place at Depot Plaza.
Each parade has a theme with 2019’s being “Christmas at the Movies”.
There are tons of great floats including a Toys for Tots float that is in the front of the procession. Guests are encouraged to bring a toy to donate.
In preparation for the parade, the city reaches out the community asking them to buy poinsettias. The funds raised are used to make the parade happen.
Cheyenne Cowboy Christmas Market
The Cowboy Christmas Market happens every year at the Cheyenne Shrine Club. It’s a great place to find gifts from a variety of local venues. Photos with Santa are also available.
Christmas at the Historic Governors’ Mansion
The Wyoming Governors’ Mansion serves as a museum to interpret the history of the people that lived there from 1905 to 1976. The rooms are constantly being updated to reflect what’s going on in town and exciting events are held throughout the year.
Christmas is a special time at the mansion and visitors can come to enjoy the following happenings:
· Tinsel Through Time: Stories of Christmas: Collections on display in the mansion are inspired by classic Christmas tales. Entertainment and refreshments are provided the event is free and open to the public.
· Children’s Holiday Tea: This is a special tea event for children 5-10 years old. All children must be accompanied by adults. Check web site for prices.
· Evening at the Mansion: This provides guests with an opportunity to experience the Tinsel Through Time display if they missed it…or if they just want to check it out again.
· Christmas Cookie Decorating: Guests are welcome to come by for a cookie decorating workshop. Admission is free but guests must RSVP in advance.
Ice skating is a fun holiday activity, and the Cheyenne Ice and Events Center is a great place to take a few spins around the rink. Come by the Saturday before Christmas for the Santa Skate, a night of candy canes, decorations and fun.
Take a Holiday Tour on the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley
Cheyenne homes are sure to be lit up for the holiday season. Want to see them all? Book a tour on the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley. It leaves from the Cheyenne Depot and makes stops at all the well decorated homes in the area.
Women’s Civic League Christmas House
The Christmas House is a pop-up event and a great way to find unique items that make terrific holiday gifts. All proceeds are donated to various charities.
Buy a Cheyenne Depot Ornament
If you are looking for a great souvenir, you can’t go wrong purchasing a Cheyenne Depot ornament. Each year brings a new ornament which may depict any given city landmark. Past landmarks have featured the Cheyenne Union Pacific Depot and the Wyoming State Capitol.
The ornaments are limited edition and usually sell out so be sure to get one before they are gone. They can be purchased at 719 East 17th St. Monday through Friday for $20, cash or check.
Old West Holidays
The Old West Holidays kick off with a downtown tree lighting festival in late November and they run right through to New Years Eve with fireworks and a ball drop. Actors are in period Western cowboy dress and you can check out the decorated store fronts. There are also opportunities to meet Santa.
The Paul Smith Children’s Village at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens
The Cheyenne Botanic Gardens is a great place to enjoy nature. It is full of award-winning displays, plants, shrubs and trees. You can walk through the Shane Smith Grand Conservatory or check out the vegetable garden and greenhouse.
The Paul Smith Children’s Garden is another favorite attraction. During the holiday season it is decked out with a rare collection of Santas from all around the world. This 1000 Faces of Santa event comes complete with Elves on Shelves.
Holiday Magic with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra
The Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra features some of the best musicians in the state. Every year, the troop gets together for a Holiday Magic performance. Watch them play holiday classics at the Civic Center.
New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
If you’re still in Cheyenne on New Year’s, Depot Plaza is the place to be. Gather with visitors and locals to see a 75-foot ball drop and celebrate with music and fireworks.
If you are a winter outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of Cheyenne activities that will get you in the holiday mood. These include:
· ATV riding at Terry Bison Ranch
· Ice boating on the North Crow Reservoir of Curt Gowdy State Park
· Curt Gowdy State Park’s Reservoirs are also great for ice fishing. Check out Granite, Crystal and Upper North Crow.
· Pole Mountain is a great destination for hiking, tubing, sledding, snowshoeing, skating and classic and cross-country skiing.
Cheyenne is full of things to see and do that will make your season bright. Its country vibe will give your holidays an old school feel. Which of these activities will you be partaking in when you visit?