The holidays are here!  Amid the hustle and bustle of travel, cooking, shopping, and get-togethers with family and friends – here are a few ideas to create new memories and make the season extra special this year.

Holiday Happenings!

  • Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, Big Sky: Dec 27 & 28 – Concert for America – Superstar Vanessa Williams and six-time Tony Winner Audra McDonald join stars of film, television, music, comedy, and Broadway in a concert to raise funds for five national charities; Jan 6 –   Mark Nizer – A combination of original comedy, world class juggling, movement, music and technology promises a spellbinding evening for all ages. Special earlier performance for young families. For tickets and more information:
  • Bridger Ski Foundation Hyalite Tour, Bozeman: Dec 30 –   A free, casual, and family friendly Nordic ski event at Hyalite reservoir.  For details:
  • Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman: Planetarium shows featuring ‘Season of Light’ and ‘Escher’s Universe’, along with the Dinosaur Complex, and Exhibition of Memory on Glass: D.F. Barry on Standing Rock, Children’s Discovery Center, plus an amazing gift shop!  For hours and show times:
  • Big Sky Town Center, Ice Skating  – Rent skates at nearby Grizzly Outfitters, or bring your own and have a blast with the whole family at the ice rink.  More info available at:
  • Yellowstone National Park Snowcoach Tours – Don’t miss Old Faithful in the winter!
  • Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone – Explore animals and learn about their behaviors and habitat
  • Winter Farmers’ Market, Emerson Cultural Center, Bozeman – Dec 23 –
  • Big Sky Resort Torchlight Parade – Dec 24
  • Bridger Bowl Torchlight Parade & Fireworks – Dec 30
  • Big Sky Resort Fireworks – Dec 31

From our family to yours, we wish you a joyous holiday season, and new year filled with peace, good health, hope, and happiness!

2017/2018 Winter Planning Guide

Our favorites! Places & Events not to miss when planning a trip to Big Sky country!
[11.12.17]  Thanksgiving is next week, a perfect time to be with friends and family, share memories, and while you have the group together – finalize plans for your winter vacation! Making arrangements now will ensure you get the best locations and accommodations, so don’t wait!  Additionally, experiencing the culture and cuisine is one of the best parts of travel. Be sure to include plans to enjoy some of our favorite spots while you are here.

Stay Montana & Lone Mountain Escapes Top 5 Dinner spots in Big Sky:

  • Gallatin Riverhouse Grill – – Amazing BBQ in an old west saloon setting on the Gallatin River.  This family-friendly restaurant is fun, affordable, and open seven days a week.  Get there early, if you don’t want to wait…or take out works too if feeding a hungry crowd.
  • Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro – – Looking for a Montana fine dining experience – look no further!  Chef Warren “Bibber” and Jennie Bibbins treat us to a fantastic meal every time we visit.  Growing up in New England, their love for fresh seafood shows in many of their delectable entrees. The chefs’ specials are always delightful, particularly the halibut.  Our favorite dish is the Rocky Mountain Elk!
  • Ousel & Spur Pizza Co. – – Great hand-tossed pizzas with fresh sauces and ingredients from Montana farms.  They also have a nice selection of Italian pasta dishes and their spaghetti & meatballs are a staff favorite.
  • Lotus Pad – – If you like Thai, this is your place in Big Sky. Fun, fresh, fusion of flavors using organic ingredients whenever possible, this restaurant has been a Big Sky favorite for years.
  • Buck’s T4 – – For some authentic Montanan cuisine, this place has been doing it right for more than 50 years. Starting as a roadhouse lodge, Buck’s has built a reputation for great dining in a rustic Montana setting. Chef & Co-Owner Chuck Schommer has refined the Big Sky dining experience and is an established leader in the community.  The culinary creations here are complemented by an extensive wine list. If you’ve never tried wild game, this is the place to do it! …cast iron seared red deer with duck bacon risotto and Montana wild berry reduction…yum!  And while it will be very difficult to do….always save room for dessert!

If your stay expands beyond 5 nights, you might also want to try: Horn & Cantle, By Word of Mouth, Peaks, Andiamo Italian Grille, Moonlight Tavern, and Everett’s 8800. For hearty on-the-go breakfast sandwiches and pastries: Blue Moon Bakery and Hungry Moose Market.

Adventure Dining:
Two great adventure dining experiences not to be missed in Big Sky:

  • Montana Dinner Yurt – – It was a long desire of mine to ride a snowcat.  To fall asleep mountainside watching their lights glow on the trails as they create pristine skiing conditions for the next day, to their unique hum in the morning as they return to base after a full night’s work – I was always mesmerized by the dreams of what it must be like to ride a snowcat. Thus, I originally booked a reservation with the Montana Dinner Yurt – just so I could ride a snowcat!  However, I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing food in a really cool yurt atmosphere in a hidden backcountry location.  Don’t miss this fun dinner adventure – and you too can check ‘snowcat ride’ off your bucket list!
  • Lone Mountain Ranch Sleigh Ride Dinner – This dining experience is magical!  Riding a horse-drawn sleigh through the snow-covered woods to a candlelit cabin for dinner is something right out of a movie.  And it is something you will talk about for years to come. BTW, the food is great, too.

Big Sky Après:
For the adults in the group, après is the perfect way to end a phenomenal ski day.  Some of our favorites include:

  • The Carabiner Lounge – ski right to the Carabiner, park your skis outside the door and enjoy an after-ski beverage in a beautiful setting.
  • Lone Peak Brewery & Tap House – in Meadow Village – Big Sky’s first microbrewery offers a wide selection of seasonal and award-winning brews
  • Beehive Basin Brewery – a new addition to Big Sky Town Center offering handcrafted beers
  • Chopper’s Pub – over 100 beers available in Big Sky Town Center

Stocking the Pantry: Big Sky
If you prefer to express your creativity and showcase your culinary skills hosting dinners in the comfort of your vacation home, these two grocery shops can help you take the hassle out of sourcing ingredients and stocking the kitchen.

  • Hungry Moose Market – – A great little market in Big Sky Town Center that also provides online shopping and delivery to your vacation property for stocking the kitchen before you arrive.  This market has nearly everything you will need to make your favorite culinary creation!  Plus, they have a great wine selection too.
  • Roxy’s Market – the newest grocery store addition to Big Sky, Roxy’s offers a wide selection of items to feed a hungry crowd.

Big Sky & Bozeman Events
For an extra special vacation experience, be sure to book your vacation home lodging during these favorite events.  Put these dates on your calendar now!
Nov 23 – Big Sky Resort Planned Opening Day
Nov 24 – Bridger Bowl Planned Opening Day – early this year due to snowfall!
Dec 2 – Bozeman Christmas Stroll
Dec 9 – Big Sky Christmas Stroll
Dec 24 – Big Sky Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade
Dec 30 – Bridger Bowl Torchlight Parade & Fireworks Display
Dec 31 – Big Sky New Years’ Eve Fireworks
Feb 8 – Big Sky Big Grass – Blue Grass Festival Feb 8th – 11th
Apr 1 – Sunrise Easter Service & Projected Closing Day at Bridger Bowl
Apr 21 – Big Sky Pond Skim 2018
Apr 22 – Big Sky Resort Closing Day

So you don’t ski?  Now what!!
Do not fret!  Pack your bags and come enjoy a great winter vacation experience!  There is plenty to do here that does not involve strapping boards to your feet and flying downhill. So don’t miss out on all the other family or group fun just because you don’t ski or snowboard!  Here are some fun things to do – solo or as a group – while you are in Big Sky country.

  • Yellowstone Snowcoach & Snowmobile tours – – This is a great way to experience Yellowstone National Park to see wildlife, Old Faithful, and the beautiful geysers in YNP.
  • Snowshoeing – you can rent snowshoes and poles at many of the local sporting goods shops
  • Dog sledding – Spirit of the North Sled Dog Adventures or
  • Ice Skating in Big Sky Town Center – rent skates at nearby Grizzly Outfitters
  • Nordic skiing – in Big Sky; or (formerly Bohart Ranch) in Bozeman
  • Spa Day – treat yourself to a well earned day at the spa, with many options to choose from in Big Sky and Bozeman including: Solace Spa, Ozssage Spa, Canyon River Spa
  • Museum of the Rockies – – treat yourself to a fun day of exploration, and a great gift shop for the little scientist in all of us.
  • Shopping – Here are some of our favorites in Big Sky: Provisions in Summit hotel; JP Woolies and Big Sky Sports in Big Sky mountain mall; Horse of a Different Color and Willow Boutique in Meadow Village Center
  • Art Galleries – so many choices! – but don’t miss Creighton Block Gallery, Ryan Turner Photography in Big Sky; and Old Main Gallery, Sun Dog Fine Art, and Thomas Nygard in Bozeman
  • Downtown Bozeman – take a stroll on Main Street downtown between Grand and Rouse and enjoy shopping for clothing, sporting goods, jewelry, art, books, wine, and more!  Also enjoy some of our favorite lunch and beverage places:  Ted’s Montana Grill, Jam!, Plonk, Wild Joe’s Coffee, Rockford Coffee, Sweet Chili’s, Starky’s Deli, Cateye Cafe, The Nova Cafe, Main Street Overeasy
  • Respite – perhaps life has been stressful, and you might enjoy a day to yourself to sit by the fire and lose yourself in that novel you’ve been wanting to read…. Enjoy!

And, if you feel the lure of the mountain calling, and you decide to try skiing or boarding for the first time….we recommend renting gear and hiring a pro for lessons.  It is worth it – trust us! The new gear styles and methods of teaching have improved greatly since we were kids.  It is much easier than you might think!  And there are plenty of easy/green trails for learning. Have fun out there!

Stay Montana & Lone Mountain Escapes Top 7 Dining Spots in Bozeman:

  • Saffron Table – – Tasty dishes from the diverse cuisine of India and south Asia are presented in a delightful bistro atmosphere. You will love the biryani, curries, and the locally sourced chicken, fish, and lamb dishes.
  • Plonk – – an eclectic wine bar with great food and delicious specialty cocktails. Plonk is an excellent location for Happy Hour, dinner, or dessert. Start with the cheeseboard or ploughman’s platter, select your favorite beverage, and see where the evening leads….you will not be disappointed!
  • South 9th Bistro – – Loved by local foodies, South 9th Bistro offers great food in a quaint relaxed environment.
  • Montana Ale Works – – This local favorite has a great bar with 40+ draft beers, great food, and a great vibe!
  • Open Range – – an upscale comfortable environment with cast iron seared specialties.  When you’re hungry for a steak – this is the place!
  • 14 North – – upscale pub with delicious small plates for Happy Hour, and seafood, pasta, burgers, and vegetarian dishes to please the entire crowd.  My winter favorite is the butternut squash tortellini.  Good kids menu with a steak option.
  • Urban Kitchen – – experienced chefs recently opened this neighborhood restaurant, and it has gone straight to the top of the charts of places to eat in Bozeman.  Fresh ingredients, inspired twists to traditional favorites, and they customize dishes to accommodate food allergies and preferences with ease. Service is superb.  UK is definitely a home run dinner choice.