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A Very Boise Holiday

'Tis the Season for Tradition-Making

Boise has many dazzling and magical activities for the entire family to enjoy in our community during the holiday season. With so many holiday-related events, festivals, bazaars and displays to experience, it can be hard to find the balance between celebrating and feeling overwhelmed. It takes some planning and prioritizing, but making time for family, friends and cherished traditions is what makes the holiday season “the most wonderful time of the year.” When it comes to planning your holiday activities this year, we would like to suggest five great ways to have a very merry Boise holiday season.

Jingle Blades Ice Show

An absolute must-try this season is the annual ice show featuring the Boise Figure Skating Club (BFSC) Skaters and Boise Parks and Recreation Learn to Skate students from Idaho Ice World.

On Dec. 8, at 5 p.m., more than 100 local amateur skaters will take to the ice to perform everything from a lively rock and roll opening number to classic holiday traditions.

This year’s holiday-themed Jingle Blades is being held at CenturyLink Arena where special guest star Ashley Clark-US Pro Open Champion, sponsored by TAPHOUSE, will perform "Fire on Ice!"

Expect to be dazzled by performance numbers displaying LED light as well as two synchronized skating teams, four large group numbers, one trio, one duet, 14 soloists and two additional guest stars.

Riverside Honors Choir will also be performing and to round out the extravaganza, Learn to Skate will feature eight groups that will include pre-school age kids through adults and Adaptive skaters.

Tickets are available through CenturyLink Arena Box Office.

Boise Tree Lighting

Grab a hot chocolate and head to downtown Boise for a fun family tradition.

Located at the Grove Plaza, the majestic Christmas Tree glows with 5,200 lights beginning the day after Thanksgiving through the holiday season and into the new year.

Each year, the Downtown Boise Association gives out an estimated 4,000 candles that participants light before the tree lighting countdown.

The Grove Plaza is home to the largest Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Idaho and brings thousands of Treasure Valley residents to the downtown festivities.

“Contrary to popular belief, we do not go out into the mountains to get a tree. The tree is always a local, Boise tree and is donated by the family to be the City Christmas Tree. Boise arborists and parks and recreation employees look all year for a family that would like to donate their tree," Jordyn Neerdaels, marketing manager at Downtown Boise Association, says.

It is free to visit, and the tree will be on display from now until the first of the year. The ceremony will take place the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 29.

The Nutcracker

The holiday season would not be complete without taking the kids to see the classic Christmas tale, The Nutcracker ballet, performed at Morrison Center for the Performing Arts. Children and adults alike with delight in the magical story filled with lively human-like mice, life-sized Nutcrackers, a handsome prince, a dreamy snowy scene and sugarplum fairies to tickle the imagination. More than 100 children from the ballet will be taking the stage along with professional company members. The enchantment begins Dec. 19 through Dec. 23. Tickets available at

Festival of the Trees

A great kickoff to the holiday season is the 36th annual Festival of Trees. Come experience the holiday magic of elaborately decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, and luxuriant home decor held at the Boise Centre and hosted by Saint Alphonsus Foundation. On opening night, enjoy the black-tie gala or take in the festival fashion show and experience the North Pole Village. There is literally something for everyone to enjoy.

Each year, proceeds from the Festival of Trees go to help Saint Alphonsus allocate extra healthcare efforts into our community. This year will be no exception as the funds raised will support the women's mobile outreach program, which helps to bring the latest advancements in screening tools to outlying and rural communities in order to detect cancer in its earliest most treatable stages.

Take in the magic Nov. 27-Dec. 1. The gala is Nov. 26, and the fashion show is Dec. 2.

Winter Garden ‘aGlow’

This dazzling holiday event is not to be missed.

Bring the entire family to the Idaho Botanical Gardens for an evening under the stars and 400,000 gleaming lights illuminating the magic of the holiday season. Running from Nov. 28 through Jan. 4 and open nightly, 6-9 p.m., the gardens are brought to life with clever and artful lighted displays that will delight all audiences. On select nights, Santa visits from the North Pole until Christmas, and local choirs fill the chilled night air with carols that help set the stage for a dazzling experience.

Serving as the garden’s largest annual fundraiser, Winter Garden aGlow helps to provide funds for a variety of programs at the gardens as well as year-round facilities improvements.

Tickets can be purchased online at or the gate.

  • Capitol Building
  • Winter Garden Aglow
  • Boise Figure Skating Club | Photo by Shelly West
  • Photo by Rapid Arial LLC
  • Photo Courtesy Idaho Botanical Gardens
  • Photo Courtesy Idaho Botanical Gardens
  • Photo by MK Wood
  • Photo by Sandie Hall
  • Photo by Sandie Hall