We want to take this opportunity to wish every one of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for your support in 2010 and we look forward to seeing you again next year!
When most of us think of winter activities we think skiing, snowboarding, maybe even snowshoeing. But how many of you have ever been dog sledding? Winter is a beautiful season here in Montana and one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty is by getting away from the roads and towns and people. In order to really get deep into the wilderness where you can see a variety of wildlife, you must find an alternate method of transportation. Cross country skiing can be a great way to do this. Another amazing option is to take a dog sled tour.
One great company in the Paradise Valley region that offers a range of dog sled tours is Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures. They have half day tours, full day tours and even a Full Moon Mush nighttime ride! If you have never been before and just want a little taste of what dog sledding is like or if you have children who you would like to take with you, there is also a “Sampler” option which lasts just 1-2 hours. Their website is full of information about the different tours that they offer, the dogs that they use and special multi-day trips.
If you are thinking about visiting Livingston during the winter months and looking for a unique activity that the whole family can enjoy then definitely consider taking a dog sled tour! You will be guaranteed to take home some incredible memories.
Photo courtesy of Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures
This weekend is going to be full of fun holiday related activities in Livingston! Friday, December 3rd is the annual Livingston Holiday Stroll. If you have never been to the Stroll you really have to go check it out. It is a great small town winter experience. Here is a schedule of all of the wonderful events that will be taking place, including a few here at the hotel!
4-5 pm: Arts and Crafts at the Livingston Center for Art & Culture 119 S. Main St
5-7pm: Free photos with Santa provided by the Livingston Chamber at Truex Furniture 124 S. Main St
5-8pm: Free photos with Frosty at American Title 206 E. Callender St
5-8pm: Art Galleries open
5-8pm: Yellow Bus Sing-Along Rides with hot cocoa at Grabow Building 204 E. Callender St
5-8pm: Hayride Sing-Along at the Office Lounge – stops at the Murray Hotel & American Bank and travels to The Spur Line
5-8pm: Sidewalk Holiday Music at Cowboy Connection & Conley’s Books and Music 106 and 110 S. Main St
5-8pm: Landon’s Lookout teen hangout food and music 110 E. Lewis
5:30-8:30pm: $5 Pet and Family Photos to raise money for the Stafford Animal Shelter at The Spur Line 1370 Hwy 10
6:15 & 6:45pm: Yellowstone Ballet Co. Performances at Park County Senior Center 206 S. Main St
6:30-8pm: Reading of “The Polar Express” at the Murray Hotel
After the Stroll, for any adults who want to continue the fun, wonderful Missoula musician David Boone will be playing at the Murray Bar, Dave Walker Band will be at the Mint, and Denny Earnest and the Resonators will be at the Office Lounge.
With all of this Friday night fun make sure to save a little energy for Saturday as well! On Saturday there are two great opportunities to find locally made gifts, first at the Holiday Farmers Market being held at the Civic Center (9am-4pm) and second at the 20th Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Fair being held at the Park County Fairgrounds (8am-4pm).
Have fun and be safe! Many of the roads are clearing up in Livingston but some of them are still pretty slick. We hope to see you at the Murray Hotel tomorrow night!
It is almost Thanksgiving and that means that the mad shopping rush is almost upon us! So often, before we know it, the holiday season turns into a frantic, hectic shopping spree. We all do it, with our lists of friends and family members to whom we want to show our gratitude with the “perfect” gift. And on that list there are always people who are impossible to buy for. Well this year, why not do something a little different? Why not donate to a charity or non-profit in that special someone’s name? If you think about it, it really is the perfect gift. Many of us don’t really need more little gadgets and knick knacks but there are many people out there who do need basic necessities. There are so many wonderful organizations helping other people in a variety of ways that it makes it easy to customize each and every gift by donating to a group that matches the recipient’s interests. From teen programs, to animal shelters, to food banks, the possibilities are endless. Give a gift and give back to your community all at the same time! Here is a list of just a few of the organizations to consider (if there are others that you want people to know about, please list them in the comments!):
Big Brothers Big Sisters: This organization pairs children with adult mentors who they can look up to and spend time with in order to help them realize their full potential. Check out all of the programs they offer.
Community Closet: A non-profit thrift store providing low-cost, pre-owned clothing and household items. They also distribute profits to charitable activities in this area.
Counterpoint: Counterpoint has been helping adults with disabilities since 1976 by providing residential, vocational and transportation services.
Livingston Food Pantry: Help the Food Pantry with their mission to eliminate hunger in Livingston and Park County. They accept donations of food and money and you can read more about them at their website.
Manaia: A local organization that provides empowerment and personal development workshops for youth. You can read more about what they do at their website and also donate directly through the website.
This is obviously just a very small sampling of what is out there. Park County Community Foundation has an extensive list of non-profits if you would like to see more. And don’t forget that if you do not have a lot of money to give you can always give back by volunteering your time as well!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
If you are not already a fan of The Murray Hotel on Facebook we would love for you to check out our page. It is a great way to stay up to date, not only on what is going on with the hotel, but also on all sorts of Livingston events and happenings. We even have specials that are only available to our Facebook fans. So, next time you are logged in head on over to our page!
People in Livingston take Halloween very seriously! From the local Haunted House, to the annual Halloween Bash at the Depot, to the entirety of Yellowstone Street, which gets blocked off so that all of the children in the town can trick-or-treat together in one area, we are a town full of Halloween loving people. And here at the hotel is no exception. We love Halloween and we wanted to share some photos with all of you of our decorations from this year.
And hopefully next year you will come visit our lovely town and partake in the festivities in person!
It is really amazing how much goes on in and around this community! Even as the busy summer season dies down and we all prepare for ski season, there is still so much to do every single week. Here are some announcements you might be interested in:
BOGO begins! Believe it or not it really is already time to start thinking about Christmas and Holiday shopping. If you are looking for a great deal, you don’t want to miss out on this event. Every Friday and Saturday in November participating downtown Livingston businesses will offer a “Buy One Get One” special. Look for the BOGO posters in store windows to see who is participating. Happy shopping!
The East Side Arts Center is now open and presenting CATS through November 21st. It is supposed to be an amazing new venue for performances and is located in the newly renovated old East Side School building. Let us know what you think if you go check out one of the shows.
Getting excited for ski season to finally be here? If you are looking for ski gear or wanting to get rid of some old gear there is no better place to go than the Bridger Ski Foundation annual Ski Swap. It is this Friday-Sunday at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds in Bozeman. Consignment day is Friday and the sale starts Saturday at 10 a.m.
The leaves have all changed color and many of them have fallen off of the trees. While the days have been absolutely beautiful, the nights and mornings are becoming increasingly chilly. That’s right, it’s fall here in Montana and that means that the snow and cold could be upon us any day now. It means we should all be getting outside as much as possible. It means that it is a perfect time to come visit this beautiful part of the country, and it also means that it’s time for pumpkins and apples from Rocky Creek Farm!
Rocky Creek Farm is located off of Bear Canyon Road and can be accessed coming from both Livingston and Bozeman on I-90. Depending on the time of year, they offer different “pick your own” crops including raspberries and corn. This time of year is pumpkin and apple time.
While you don’t actually get to harvest your own pumpkin or pick the apples off of the trees, Rocky Creek Farm does offer a fun filled experience, especially for the little ones, including a hayride to the “pumpkin patch” and the chance to turn your apples into apple cider! Or you might want to take your apples home and turn them into homemade applesauce. If you do, check out this website for very thorough instructions!
They also have stacks of hay bales for the kids to play on, a petting zoo, baby pigs to feed, and brand new this year is the haunted swamp!
The haunted swamp will be taking place in the evenings this weekend and next weekend in celebration of Halloween. If you would like more information, directions, or to find out what the exact hours of operation are you can call Rocky Creek Farm at 406.585.0225.
Get out there and enjoy this beautiful Montana fall that we are having!
Well it isn’t exactly wedding season here in Montana anymore. But it is the start of wedding planning season! There are many people who begin planning their wedding anywhere between one year and 6 months before the actual wedding date. If you fall into this category and have a wedding coming up next summer, here is a little information that you might find helpful about the Livingston area.
Starting with your venue choices, since those usually need to be booked the furthest in advance, here are a couple of options in or close to Livingston. The first place to consider for a venue if you are looking for something right downtown is the Depot. It can be a great spot for a wedding with a very urban feel. If you are looking for a venue that showcases the natural beauty of Montana, be sure to take a look at Deep Creek Range which has a beautiful field with a view of the mountains or Yellowstone Valley Lodge which is right along the Yellowstone River. Many people also choose to have their ceremony in one of the churches in town and then have the reception at one of the places already mentioned.
Most people who get married in and around Livingston have a lot of friends and family coming in from out of town. That being the case, most of them want to make a full blown vacation out of their trip. We all know that it is not cheap to fly into Montana which makes it hard to justify a quick weekend trip, even for a wedding. One thing to consider when looking at flights is Allegiant Airlines. They do fly into Bozeman now from Las Vegas and Phoenix or to Billings from Los Angeles and their prices are incredibly low! There are also some great websites that will compare all of the fares from other travel sites for you, such as Kayak.com.
Once your guests are here you will want to give them an authentic Montana experience! Book a block of rooms at the Murray Hotel for them and they are guaranteed to have a good time. They will be within walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, the movie theater, fly shops, galleries, everything they could want. Plus they get to stay in an historic building with unique character. We even have suites if families want to stay together. We will gladly recommend places to eat and things to do if they ask us and be sure to tell your guests to keep checking our website for updates on what is going on in Livingston.
There are so many aspects to planning a wedding that it just isn’t possible to delve into all of them in this post. If you are looking for some great vendors we suggest you pick up a copy of the Montana Wedding Guide or go to their website. Or if you already have one or two vendors picked out, ask them who they recommend for other vendors.
We will give you two tips though:
1. Check out Bittersweet on Second Street in Livingston for some amazing alternatives to the traditional wedding cake.
Get planning and give us a call if you have any questions about blocking off rooms for your wedding or fun things to do around here!
The next time you are driving into Livingston from Paradise Valley on Hwy 89 you will pass our new billboard! We collaborated on this one with the wonderful Murray Bar and the always fabulous Second Street Bistro. Both of those businesses, as well as the hotel, were featured in the “No Reservations” episode where Anthony Bourdain visits Montana. If you haven’t seen it yet, go find a copy and watch it! We are very proud to have an authentic Montana bar, where you can get great drinks and listen to good local music, and a fine dining establishment with delicious food featuring many local ingredients, all in the same building as our hotel. It truly is “the wild west at its civilized best”!