Holiday lights are twinkling around the state, a winter chill is in the air and it’s the perfect time to enjoy winter festivals throughout Idaho. Whether you’re looking for things to do with holiday company or just exploring for yourself, check out the list of festivals and events below to get started.


Winter Wonderland Christmas Lights at Indian Creek Plaza

Enjoy this family-friendly, free event with over a million sparkling holiday lights in downtown Caldwell. Come together at Indian Creek Plaza for the Winter Wonderland Festival on November 22 for the official lighting of the holiday lights along with ice skating, music, food vendors, character meet and greets, and a free shuttle. If you can’t make it to the festival, the lights sparkle through mid-January.

Winter Garden aGlow

Wander through this winter wonderland with more than 400,000 dazzling lights on display spanning 14 acres on the grounds of the Idaho Botanical Garden. This magical experience starts on November 28 and runs through January 4, 2020.

Winter Garden Aglow.
Winter Garden Aglow. Photo credit: Idaho Botanical Garden.

Coeur d’Alene Holiday Lights Show & Journey to the North Pole Cruise
Coeur d’Alene

Recognized as the largest on-the-water holiday light display in the nation, Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Holiday Light Show is nothing short of spectacular. This display was rated one of the best in the country by USA Today’s readers and offers visitors a chance to check out the lights from the water with a delightful Holiday Light Show Lake Cruise that makes a stop to visit Santa Claus at his waterfront North Pole toy workshop.


Winter Spirit

Historic downtown Lewiston is decked out in more than one million lights that illuminate the trees and walkways in the park as part of this festive display.

Retro Christmas Festival

Celebrate the holiday season with a retro twist. This annual two-weekend festival features a tree-lighting, caroling, a craft fair, and hayrides. During the final day of the festival check out the paw parade and take a picture with Santa.

Winter Wonderland
Sun Valley/Ketchum/Hailey

Scavenger hunts, musical performances, sleigh rides and holiday lights are all part of this December celebration in the Wood River Valley.

Idaho Potato Drop

An unusual way to ring in the new year, the Idaho Potato Drop features a giant glowing potato.


McCall Winter Carnival

This iconic 10-day festival features fireworks over Payette Lake, towering snow sculptures, Torchlight and Mardi Gras Parades, and more.

McCall Winter Carnival, McCall
McCall Winter Carnival, McCall. Photo Credit: Idaho Tourism.

Wild West Winterfest
Island Park

A torch-lit snowmobile parade, fireworks, and a vintage snowmobile show are just part of the festivities. Island Park also boasts the longest Main Street in the U.S., coming in at 33 miles!

Vintage Snowmobile Races
Priest Lake

Rev it up for some classic snowmobile fun in northern Idaho with these vintage machines. Additional races are held in early and late February.


Fire & Ice Winterfest
Lava Hot Springs

This quirky winter festival features a costumed river float, a parade and fire performers.

Fire and Ice Winterfest, Lava Hot Springs
Fire and Ice Winterfest, Lava Hot Springs. Photo Credit: Idaho Tourism.

Sandpoint Winter Carnival

This 10-day celebration kicks off with a parade of lights. Hit the town for live music, games and special culinary experiences while the fun continues at Schweitzer Mountain Resort.

Stanley Winterfest

Say goodbye to cabin fever and embrace the elements during this winter festival. With unusual activities like outhouse races, raft rides and skijoring, it’s sure to be a good time.

Snowbike SnowBeast Grand Prix and Extreme Skijor
Wallace and Mullan

ATVs tow skiers and snowboarders down a snow-packed, downtown Wallace street course at the “Wildest Event in the Rockies,” while pro and amateur motorized snowbike racers from around the West and Canada compete on the grand prix course in Mullan.

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Published on November 21, 2019