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hero_wildlife-park-toursDashing through the Snow

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays in Jackson Hole. Everywhere you go, snow carpets slopes, holly decorates doorways and lights twinkle from trees, making Jackson Hole the quintessential holiday destination.

Beyond holiday decorations, fun-for-all activities amplify the festive spirit. Set off on a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge on the daily excursions that leave from the Visitors’ Center (be sure to bundle up). Or experience wildlife in a warmer setting inside the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Speed demons can ride inner tubes down a mountain at Snow King’s King Tubes, and nature lovers can explore Grand Teton National Park on snowshoes or cross-country skis.

‘Tis the season for Santa and shopping. In downtown Jackson, Santa visits Town Square every evening from 5 to 7 p.m. December 15 through Christmas Eve. For crafty types, the historic Wort Hotel hosts 12 Days of Christmas, a series of festive workshops ranging from cookie decorating to cocktail making. To celebrate kids’ creativity, Dancers’ Workshop presents “The Princess and the Pea: A Fragmented Fairytale” from December 20 to 22, an enchanting production starring hundreds of darling dance students. Retail festivities abound downtown as well: collecting stamps from local businesses in a Holiday Passport enters you into a drawing for great prizes, while the Great Until Late campaign, organized by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, encourages stores to stay open until 8 o’clock on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Holiday fun fills Teton Village too. On December 21, Santa arrives aboard the Aerial Tram and greets kids on the Teton Club deck from 4:45 to 5:30pm. Two hotels host Santa on December 23, with a letter writing workshop from 4 to 5pm at Hotel Terra and a fireside visit with jolly St. Nick from 5 to 6pm at Teton Mountain Lodge. For last-minute gifts, visit the trunk show featuring handcrafted items from Kyrgyzstan, held December 21 and 22 at the Snake River Lodge and Spa. On Christmas Eve, former NBC correspondent Lea Thompson will read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas from 4:30 to 5pm at Teton Mountain Lodge, Meanwhile, at the Four Seasons Resort, holiday carols will be sung from 4:30 to 5pm, followed by a Catholic Mass at 5pm. An interdenominational service will begin at 5:30pm in Hotel Terra. And then, on Christmas Day, Santa will hit the slopes, starting at 1pm from Teewinot.

Holiday festivities with mountain flare make December a delightful time to be in Jackson Hole.

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