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While here in Cody Yellowstone, we see most of our visitors during the traditional warm weather vacation months. When winter rolls around, people turn their attention to cold weather recreation like skiing, snowmobiling, holiday gatherings, ice climbing, and fishing. 

Once the summer tourist season ends, our small-town feel becomes even more pronounced. Activities and events are fun for both locals and visitors who embrace winter.

Here are some noteworthy events this winter:

November 25 — Cody Cowboy Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade

Santa Claus waves at the Cody Christmas Parade in Cody Yellowstone

Starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, on Cody’s main drag, Sheridan Ave., the Cody Cowboy Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade features food trucks, a scavenger hunt, warming barrels, and the big guy (Santa) himself. 

December 2–3 — Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Holiday Open House 

A Christmas Tree at Buffalo Bill Center of the West

On Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, this annual tradition in Cody features two free days to explore the Center’s five spacious museums, beautiful holiday decorations, complimentary hot cocoa and candy canes and discounts in Points West Market to jump-start Christmas shopping. The Center will also collect non-perishable food items to be distributed through Cody food pantries and new, packaged toys to be distributed through Toys for Tots.

December — Sleeping Giant Ski Area Opens for the Season 

A child skiing at Sleeping Giant Ski Area in Cody Yellowstone

Wyoming’s friendliest ski hill — Sleeping Giant Ski Area — will open for the season in December.  Located near the East Gate to Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming’s Absaroka Mountain Range, Sleeping Giant is one of the country’s oldest ski hills dating back to the winter of 1936. Sleeping Giant features 184 acres of skier and rider-accessible terrain with trails for skiers of every ability.

The ski area has partnered with several Cody lodges to offer money-saving “Ski and Stay packages.”

January 4–7 — Wyoming Ice Festival

A person ice climbing

The Wyoming Ice Festival will return Jan. 4-7, 2024, for its second year, with more than 20 climbing clinics for every level, from beginner to advanced. The festival features ice climbing clinics by day and nightly speakers and presentations developed to inspire and encourage festival participants. Evening activities will start each night at 7 p.m. with food trucks and Snake River Brewing beer available. The Cody Cattle Company will host evening events. The nearby Best Western Ivy Inn & Suites in Cody is offering special rates of $115 per night for a double-queen room. 

February 2–5 — Meeteetse Ice Fishing Derby 

Ice Fishing

The perennially popular Meeteetse Ice Fishing Derby, set for the first weekend in February 2024, is one of the largest annual ice fishing festivals in the U.S. and drew more than 300 participants last year. Hosted by Visit Meeteetse in cooperation with Cody Yellowstone, the competition will feature up to 125 teams vying to catch the longest trout. Last year’s winners caught three fish totaling 81 inches and won $3,100 in the process.

February 8–12, 2024 — Wild Winter Photography Workshop

Photographers at Sunrise near Cody Yellowstone

Renowned photographers Scott Kranz and National Geographic contributor Stephen Matera will lead participants as they capture outdoor scenes during the day and the dark sky at night. The workshop includes a welcome event at the Buffalo Bill Center of The West, four nights of accommodations at Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel, photography lessons, local transportation and more.

February 10 – 11th Annual Taste of Trails — Pahaska Tepee

Sponsored by the Park County Nordic Ski Association, the 11th annual Taste of the Trails is a family-friendly event designed to encourage skiers and snowshoers of all ages. A 5k course (3.1 miles) at Pahaska Tepee will feature stops along the way for a variety of hot food dishes. This is a non-competitive and casual opportunity to meet others in our area who also enjoy snowshoeing and skiing. 

Winter is Heating up in Cody Yellowstone

The secret is out about winter in Cody Yellowstone — it’s a ton of fun! Start planning your Wild winter escape today!