The Northwest Montana History Museum will open its doors to the community for the museum’s annual holiday open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. Admission is free.
For the first time, visitors can sit in the 1890 rumble seat sleigh (above) in the museum lobby--a great photo opportunity in a vintage ride.
“This event is the perfect way for everyone to start the holiday season,” museum executive director Margaret Davis said. “We’ve got a lot of fun planned for the evening, and we expect a great turnout.”
Highlights of the evening include a kids’ reading at 5:30 p.m. featuring a twist on a classic: Jo Parry’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas in Montana, followed by a presentation at 6:15 p.m. by Ferndale author Leslie Budewitz, who has written more than a dozen books, including the Spice Shop and Food Lovers’ Village mysteries. This will be the first Kalispell book signing for her latest title, Blind Faith.
In addition, Flathead Valley favorite John Fraley returns to the museum and will sign copies of his books, including his fifth, My Wilderness Life, in the museum book and gift shop. A history writer and wildlife biologist, this is Fraley’s first account of his personal experiences in the wild. Of course, the open house is an opportunity for guests to explore the main event: The museum’s exhibits themselves, which cover many aspects of Kalispell and Northwest Montana history and life in the Flathead Valley and beyond.
“Our open house is a wonderful example of community collaboration and our ongoing commitment to education and preserving history,” Davis said. “We will have new holiday displays for which nearly 100 kids from scouting groups, Bigfork ACES after-school program, and Kalispell Middle School are creating ornaments and other decorative elements, many based on their own class research.
“It is exciting to see this all come together,” she said. “I can’t wait to see the community response to the great work these kids, their leaders, and our volunteers are doing together.” Refreshments will be served, including fun treats drawn from the recipes in Budewitz’s holiday mysteries Peppermint Barked and As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles.