December 2012
Explore Idaho Things To Do Places To Stay

Sleigh Bells Ring...Are You Listening?

The snow is falling around the state and the holidays will be here before we know it. As much as we love our winter sports available – skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and snow tubing, to name a few – sometimes it’s nice to take off the boots and bindings and let someone else do the work.  Picture yourself snuggled in a horse-drawn sleigh, surrounded by friends and family and a snow-covered landscape.  Your trip might lead to a scrumptious meal in a cozy cabin, or to feed majestic elk, or perhaps it is a pleasure ride with your smiling, giggling children.

There are plenty of sleigh ride options in Idaho and all promise memories that last well beyond the winter snows.

Northern Idaho
At Western Pleasure Guest Ranch near Sandpoint, visitors enjoy scenic horse-drawn sleigh rides powered by one of four draft teams. Feel like a kid again as the horses plod and jingle along a two-mile loop trail of dense forests and fantastic views of the Selkirk Mountains. A variety of sleigh sizes can accommodate groups and families, and there is a one horse open sleigh for two for that intimate outing. After the ride, warm up in front of a crackling fire and enjoy hot drinks and fresh popped popcorn, or take advantage of the optional country gourmet dinner package. 208.263.9066 

Rider Ranch in Coeur d’Alene provides horse-drawn wagon rides during the winter months.  The 30 minute tour takes guests into the meadow where riders will see the ranch horses and cattle, and occasionally some wildlife.  After the ride, guests return to the barn area to enjoy a warm campfire, hot chocolate or hot apple cider and marshmallows to toast over the fire.  208.667.3373

Central Idaho
In the resort town of Sun Valley, after a day on the slopes visitors will enjoy one of the most memorable and fun Sun Valley winter experiences -- a sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner.  Round trip scenic rides in a horse-drawn sleigh are available Tuesday through Saturday and nightly during the Christmas holidays and President's Week.  208.622.2135

Eastern Idaho
The Grand Targhee Resort near Driggs offers a dinner sleigh ride that takes guests to a high altitude yurt for a western style dinner, complete with scones and honey butter. Dress in layers — the ride can be brisk, but the yurt is warm and cozy.  307.353.230

On the Linn Canyon Ranch sleigh ride in Teton Valley, guests are met with a cup of hot chocolate or cider and then bundled under warm blankets for a trip around the ranch to visit the llamas, horses and hopefully some local wildlife. As the sun sets and the sleigh bells ring, guests are welcomed back to the lodge for a gourmet dinner.  208.787.5466

The Mountain River Ranch in Ririe offers a nightly sleigh ride and dinner show in December and on weekends through January.  Guests to the ranch are greeted with thousands of colorful lights and a cup of hot cider.  The ride across glistening, snow-covered fields will have you singing your favorite holiday song while the frosty air fuels your appetite for the prime rib or pork loin dinners that await. The holiday entertainment will keep you laughing until your sides ache.  208.538.7337

The Teton Mountain Ranch in Victor lets guests get up close and personal with the wildlife on its horse-drawn sleigh ride and elk tour.  Picture yourself leisurely sliding through glistening white snow with the beautiful Caribou Targhee National Forest in the background, surrounded by majestic elk.  Elk are curious animals and aren’t afraid to come in close, so cameras are a must.  208.787.9005

Southwest Idaho
Idaho Sleigh Rides in Garden Valley takes guests on a 45 minute sleigh ride through rolling glades and tree filled valleys. Few things compare to riding in an old fashioned horse drawn sleigh while snuggled under a warm blanket and listening to the sounds of sleigh bells mixed with laughter and song. Guests may choose sleighs for a larger group or a smaller sleigh for that private, more romantic ride, and have the option of completing their outing with a warm drink or a complete meal.  208.462.3416

Join Bogus Creek Outfitters in Boise for a winter sleigh ride and dinner. Guests snuggle in blankets as they’re whisked through a winter wonderland to a cozy location in the Boise National Forest. Friendly staff welcomes guests with a warm fire, live acoustic music and hot drinks. After a savory grilled steak and prawn dinner, the cowboy crew will spin a few tales to entertain.  The dinner sleigh ride is perfect for a date night...or get a group of friends and family together for a magical experience to remember.  208.278.7000

Hap and Florence Points Sleigh Rides in Donnelly lets riders see Rocky Mountain Elk and other wildlife on this scenic trip along the Gold Fork River in the central Idaho mountains.  The setting is rustic, with guests riding a horse drawn sleigh to feed the elk and move amongst them. The ride offers an old-fashioned, unique and intimate opportunity to view a wild population of elk in their natural habitat, on their terms.  208.325.8876 or 208325.8783

Go to to learn about all of Idaho's winter recreation and lodging options.  You will be singing Jingle Bells in no time!

January is "Learn to Ski and Snowboard" Month

Skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing…there are lots of ways to enjoy winter! “Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate” is the theme for this national effort to get children and adults outside this winter for fun and exercise on snow. Ski Idaho and ski destinations across the nation are gearing up to help you learn a snow sport this winter. Head to Idaho in January when Idaho ski resorts offer lessons, rentals and special discounts throughout the month, making learning easy and fun!  Visit and to learn more about Idaho’s winter offerings and start planning your January trip.

Idaho Winter Giveaways -- Get Your Vitamin ID and Cure Those Winter Time Blahs

Idaho Tourism and Ski Idaho want to give everyone a chance to experience the bluebird skies and great snow of Idaho.  Visit to enter to win Idaho winter getaways.  New offers will be available every Friday through early March.  You can enter online through email.

December’s giveaways are:
Week 1 - Enjoy powder days at Tamarack Resort with two full day lift tickets, then relax with a two-night stay in a luxury hotel room located in The Lodge at Osprey Meadows at Tamarack.

Week 2 - Based in the outdoor mecca of Boise, Lucky Bums offers high-quality clothing and active lifestyle gear. Win a $75 gift certificate.

Week 3 - Escape to Sandpoint for the annual Winter Carnival Feb 15-24, 2013! Offer includes three-nights lodging at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sandpoint, four lift tickets to Schweitzer Mountain Resort & gift certificates to local merchants.

Week 4 - Get ready to explore your habitat with Native Eyewear. You could be the proud owner of his and her goggles, so get ready to hit the slopes. 

Visit for complete offer information.  Enter today!

What Have The For 91 Days Bloggers Been Up To?

The travel writing duo has moved on, but they leave behind wonderful Idaho experiences that will inspire a visit to Idaho. Read more to plan your Idaho Adventure in Living.

Upcoming Events

thru dec 8
New Jerusalem

Recent off-Broadway hit from playwright David Ives challenges traditional political and religious thinking with conviction, passion, and wit.  Twin Falls.

thru jan 1
Journey to the North Pole Holiday Light Show

More than 1.5 million lights sparkle across Lake Coeur d'Alene when the largest on-the-water resort holiday light show in America comes to life.  Coeur d'Alene.

Thru Jan 4
Winter Wonderland Festival

Thousands of lights show you the way to one of Sun Valley’s most romantic and magical holiday seasons.  Sun Valley.

Dec 6
First Thursday

Stroll through the unique shops and galleries in downtown, while enjoying in-store entertainment and special events. Boise.

dec 7
Title IX Basketball Game Anniversary Celebration

Title IX 40th anniversary celebration and Boise State University women's basketball game against Eastern Washington University.  Boise.

Dec 7
Pierce Festival of Trees

Fun event for the whole family! Live entertainment, refreshments and kids' crafts. Pierce.

Dec 8
Christmas with Voice Male

Popular a'capella group brings its unique vocal sounds and talents to the Allinger Community Theatre. Montpelier.

Dec 12
Lava Hot Springs Customer Appreciation Day

Free admission to Idaho's World Famous Hot Pools. Come enjoy the soothing, all natural hot spring water. Lava Hot Springs.

Jan 11-13
WildWest Winterfest

Slap on your cowboy boots and join the fun to celebrate an exciting part of winter.  Island Park.

dec 12-30
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Based on the beloved “Peanuts” comic strip, this updated classic is comprised of memorable moments from the life of Charlie Brown. Hailey.

Dec 15
Gifts of Music

Enjoy holiday magic and music this glorious season! Riggins.

dec 24
Nutcracker On Ice

Enjoy a free performance of the classic Christmas tale, free hot chocolate, cookies, fireworks and Dollar Mountain torchlight parade, arrival of Santa and free ice skating after the show. Sun Valley.

Dec 28-30
Hansel and Gretel

Family-friendly opera based on the well-known German fairy tale. Boise.

jan 18-21
Teton Valley Great Snow Fest

Includes snow sculpting, ice sculpting demon-stration, multi-day skijoring and snowcross competitions, a snow bike race, a mini hockey tournament, luge, snow bike, snow plane and snow kite demos. Teton Valley.

jan 24
Matt Anderson in concert

His guitar style, a hybrid of sprawling blues, roots and rock, is amplified by an immensely powerful and soulful voice. Twin Falls.

jan 25-27
Sawtooth Outdoor Bonspiel

The Boise Curling Club will host its inaugural bonspiel on Stanley's outdoor ice rink. It will be a 12-team, three-day bonspiel, with a three game guarantee. Stanley.

Jan 25-Feb 3
McCall Winter Carnival

Family fun with parade, fireworks, live entertainment, snow sculptures competition and more.  McCall.

jan 26
Ice Fishing Derby

Come ice fishing at Winchester Lake State Park. You can ice fish any time as soon as the lake is safely frozen over or join in the derby fun. Winchester.

Feb 15-24
Sandpoint Winter Carnival

Pure fun celebrating the best of the snowy season ... indoors and out!  Sandpoint.


Idaho Department of Commerce,
Division of Tourism Development
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0093

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C.L. “Butch” Otter, Governor
Jeffery Sayer, Director
Karen Ballard, Administrator

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