McCall holds an ice sculpture contest for its annual Winter Carnival. // © 2012 McCall Winter Carnival
Winter traditionalists can revel in snowy Idaho’s customary holiday celebrations with Boise’s Christmas in the City, which runs through the end of December. Visitors to Boise can enjoy holiday classics such as Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” performed on Dec. 9 at the Morrison Center Recital Hall and “The Nutcracker,” performed by Ballet Idaho on Dec. 21-23. Boise’s Idaho Botanical Garden is offering the Winter Garden aGlow celebration, with a display of over 250,000 dazzling lights and various evening entertainment through Jan. 10.
Outside Idaho’s capital, the small resort town McCall will host its 44th Winter Carnival from Jan. 25 to Feb. 3, which will include an ice sculpture contest, a wine and art jubilee, a fireworks displays, community dances and live music. For those heading to Northern Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Holiday Light Show is running nightly cruises through Jan. 1 across Lake Coeur d’Alene to visit Santa at the “North Pole."
Outdoor winter activity enthusiasts should head to southeast Idaho’s Fire and Ice Winter Fest in Lava Hot Springs, which runs Feb. 1-3 and will feature a Frisbee golf tournament, a swimming pool rock climb, a chili cook off and the Portneuf River Polar Bear Float, among many other events. The truly cold-defying can participate in the Running of the Bulls: a jog down Main Street in swimwear and flip-flops, followed up with a plunge in the hot pools from which the city earned its name.