As the seasons change, Missoula celebrates. In the summer, we celebrate the sun (we get 13 hours of it each day, after all!). As autumn moves in, we celebrate the harvest and the beautiful leaves that line our mountains and streets. Winter is a time for family, and for winter fun, so we grab our skis or snowshoes and take in as much of winter as we can. As springs rolls in, the days get longer and the colors begin to shine. Wildflowers and wildlife abound in Missoula year round, but there is something about springtime and the anticipation of the coming summer months that is pretty special. And with every season, we have our adorable seasonal traditions that have become a part of Missoula's identity.
Each April, the International Wildlife Film Festival is held at the Roxy Theater, and a part of this festival is the Wild Walk, a parade for all critters, and WildFest, a family friendly festival celebrating Missoula's wild lands. The Wild Walk takes place at the end of Higgins where children and adults dress as their favorite animal and make their way down to Caras Park for WildFest. The parade brings out some absolutely adorable costumes, and for a good cause - to celebrate the wild spaces in our state and our world and the animals who call them home.
Summer has so many adorable traditions that it is hard to chose, but it is hard to find a more iconic Missoula activity than our Saturday Farmers and People's Markets. Each Saturday in Missoula, the streets are filled with members of the community and visitors alike. We have two farmers markets on Saturdays, The Missoula Farmers Market, located at the end of Higgins, and The Clark Fork Market near Caras Park. At these farmers markets, enjoy live music, fresh produce, meat and dairy products, and takeaway foods like burritos and pastries. In addition, the Missoula Peoples Market takes over the corner of Higgins and Pine from May to September where locally handcrafted artisan goods are sold.
There is no better way to celebrate the harvest than with a good old fashioned maze! The Missoula Maze features a hay maze and a corn maze that cover over 1 acre of land. After winding your way through the maze, the fun does not stop. There is also a petting zoo on site and pumpkins for purchase. On Thursdays, prizes from local businesses are hidden in the maze, and there is also a smaller, for child-friendly maze for the little harvest lovers among us!
Photo credit; @msomoments via Instagram
In December, the streets of Missoula become covered with blankets of snow. The town settles in a little bit, and things start to move slower. The days are shorter, which only means that time outside is more precious. During this time, the nearby Resort at Paws Up gives a wonderful service to the town. Two weekends a year, the horses and carriages from Paws Up make their way to downtown Missoula, and free carriage rides are offered. Cozy up under warm blankets and take in the lovely Missoula Valley and surrounding hills from the comfort of a horse drawn carriage!