About the Festival
The holidays in Missoula Montana look different from other places because of fairy lights, twinkle lights trees, and blinking Christmas lights. The light exhibition makes the holiday season even colorful and exciting. It is filled with exciting activities for all ages while the venue is illuminated with magical lights.
The Christmas light festival has been a tradition and much-awaited event in the area for a long time. Many families gather together to celebrate the holiday season while witnessing the mesmerizing beauty of lights. Whether you are with your friends or family, the Christmas light show will definitely bring happiness, hope, and new memories.
It is not every day that you will experience the light festival in Missoula, Montana. So, never miss that experience during the holiday season. Locals and foreign tourists see to it that they will not miss the event.
For 2023, the festival dates are not yet announced. However, the dates often take place in December. Don’t worry; the organizers will post the dates after finalizing them. So, stay updated to avoid misconceptions.
Meanwhile, another amazing event in Missoula takes place on December 2, 2023. It’s called the Parade of Lights, and it is a free event that everyone can enjoy.
How to Get There
Missoula is a medium-sized city in Western Montana. Besides being the home to the University of Montana, the residents consider it Montana’s most liberal city. It offers a unique mix of tourists, athletes, artists, students, yuppies, hippies, cowboys, and ranchers.
If you plan to explore Missoula and visit the festival of lights, you have nothing to worry about the transportation. The easiest way to access Missoula, Montana, is by air. Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Denver, and Salt Lake City are the major hubs that service the Missoula International Airport.
The airport plays a critical role in the western Montana regional airport system and the region’s transportation infrastructure. As a commercial service airport, it serves a diverse aviation community. The major aviation activities include scheduled airline, recreational flying, air taxi service, cargo operations, and more.
You can also reach Missoula by car via US Highway 93 or US Interstate 90, which runs north to south from the Idaho border at Long Trail Pass and then to Albert, Canada. If you choose, the US Highway 12 route provides easy access to incredible scenery and unspoiled wilderness areas.
Since the festival takes place during the winter months, beware that Montana’s road conditions can be hazardous in this season. If you are not used to driving in extreme rain, hail, sleet, ice, and snow conditions or winding mountain roads, ensure to take extra caution.
If you plan to access Missoula by bus, the nearest bus line is the Greyhound Bus Lines. You can find it at the corner of Sherwood Street and West Broadway.
If you liked this festival, you might want to check out these other amazing lights festivals:
Festival are some of the most beautiful events you can ever experience. From decorations to activities, they offer lots of visual appeal to the eyes and even unique memories. So, it’s no surprise if you fall in love with the Festival of Lights Missoula Montana.
While exploring different lights within the venue, you may wish to stop the clock and just enjoy the moment. Most of the time, the festival hours are from 5 PM to 8 PM. Ensure to stay updated with the official festival hours. Once the time is finalized, mark your calendar and start inviting your loved ones.
How Does It Cost to Visit the Festival
The festival ticket costs are not yet released. We will update it as soon as it is released.
One of the best ways to find your inner child is by visiting the annual light exhibition. Plus, you have an excellent opportunity to have a quality time with your loved ones. You do not need to look for expensive gifts for them; taking them to the festival is enough to make them feel special and show that you always have time for them.
Weather and What to Wear
No matter what time of the year you visit Missoula, Montana, you will have a great time. You can enjoy lots of attractions and try different dishes. However, the lights festival season is one of the most anticipated events, and you should not miss it.
Since the festival of lights in Missoula often occurs in December, you need to prepare your winter attire. The winters are partly cloudy and freezing. The cold season lasts for three months, from November to February, with a daily high temperature below 41˚F.
Before you get too excited and pack your things, ensure that you have an idea about the area’s weather. With that, you know which clothing you should bring and keep you comfortable throughout the festival visit.
For women, you can wear a puffer jacket, toasty mittens, winter pants. Do not forget to pack wool socks and a sweater. For men, ensure to bring clothing like a jacket, wool sweater, warm jeans, and fingerless gloves.
Where to Sleep
Before you head your way to Missoula, ensure that you have already booked a hotel. Don’t worry; you can find affordable hotels with excellent service in the area. You can easily find accommodation, depending on your travel requirements.
If it is your first time visiting the city, below are the top accommodations you may want to consider:
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Missoula
La Quinta is only about four miles from the University of Montana. This accommodation offers a daily breakfast and free Wi-Fi. If you want to visit Glacier National Park, it is approximately 140 miles away. The rooms are clean, and the staff is accommodating and friendly.
Best Western Plus Grant Creek Inn
This accommodation is about a 10-minute drive away from the popular attraction Snowbowl Ski Recreation Area. It features a gym and a indoor pool. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi. This pet-friendly accommodation provides clean and comfortable rooms. Guests can enjoy a fantastic breakfast, including burritos, potatoes, biscuits, fresh fruits, sausage, and more.
Motel 6-Missoula MT
If you are looking for affordable accommodation close to the Missoula International Airport, this hotel is a perfect choice as it is only 3.1 miles away. The rooms are comfortable and clean, so you will have a good night’s sleep after a long day of exploring the city and enjoying the festival.
Wingate by Wyndham Missoula Airport
This accommodation is known for its spacious and bright rooms. It offers free Wi-Fi, and the staff is friendly and professional. Overall, you will have a great experience throughout your stay.
What to Eat
Missoula is not only famous for lights festival and exciting attractions. This is also the city where you can try delicious dishes that can make your visit even more worthwhile. So, check out the food destinations below:
Rattlesnake Gardens Market & Cafe
This dining destination offers a quaint and cozy ambiance. It serves weekend breakfast and lunch, and dinner daily. The grilled chicken caesar wrap is one of the favorite food options by most diners.
If you are a sandwich lover, this delicatessen is a fantastic choice. It also serves some of the best craft cheese and meats in the city. You can try the sandwiches such as The Kiss (provolone, prosciutto, olive oil, arugula, fig, and walnut chutney) and The Zeppelin (provolone, greens, onions, vinegar, pastrami, dry salame, and turkey.
This cafe is decorated with detailed mosaics, arched doorways, and painted ceilings. You will love how beautiful the patios are. As you enter this cafe, you will feel as if you are in Western Europe. The menu evolves depending on the season. You can try homemade pastry or house-made gelato.
More Things To Do
The fun and excitement do not stop after you visit the festival. You can try other activities and attractions, such as:
This attraction is located in the city’s eastern part. It offers a fabulous view from its summit. It is a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts.
Montana Snowbowl nestles in the middle of the woods of Lolo National Forest. It is a perfect destination for mountain biking and hiking. You can invite your entire family and enjoy the scenery.
Fort Missoula Museum
This museum was established by the US Army in 1877 to protect the Western Montana settlers. You can visit it to explore tons of exhibits and historic buildings to get more familiar with the region.
If you are ready to have fun and create beautiful memories in Missoula, visit the festival of lights. Bring your friends and families and enjoy exploring
Thanks for reading
Here is one more festival that you should check the zoo lights denver
1. What are the parking arrangements for the Festival of Lights in Missoula?
Answer: Missoula has several public parking facilities, including garages and street parking. However, with the festival drawing crowds, spaces might fill up quickly. We recommend using public transport, carpooling, or arriving early to find a convenient parking spot.
2. Is smoking permitted during the Festival of Lights?
Answer: While Missoula has some open public areas where smoking is allowed, the festival may have designated smoking zones to ensure the comfort of all attendees. We advise being mindful of others and using these designated areas if provided.
3. Can I bring my pets to the Festival of Lights?
Answer: Yes, pets are generally welcome at outdoor public events in Missoula. However, due to the crowds and noise, it’s essential to ensure your pet is comfortable and remains on a leash at all times.
4. Are there food and drink vendors available during the festival?
Answer: Certainly! The Festival of Lights typically features a variety of food and beverage vendors, showcasing both local favorites and other popular choices for attendees to enjoy.
5. Are there any prohibited items that I shouldn’t bring to the festival?
Answer: For the safety of all attendees, it’s advised to avoid bringing items like glass containers, large umbrellas, drones, and any potential weapons. Specific event areas might have additional restrictions.
6. Which spots are recommended for the best views of the light displays?
Answer: The Festival of Lights illuminates various parts of Missoula, with some key locations offering more spectacular displays. Event maps or schedules usually highlight these popular spots, and local attendees often have their favorite spots they might share!
7. Is the festival venue accessible for attendees with disabilities?
Answer: Yes, the Festival of Lights in Missoula aims to be accessible to everyone. There are usually designated pathways for wheelchairs, accessible restrooms, and other provisions for those with special needs.
8. What happens if there’s bad weather? Will the festival be rescheduled or canceled?
Answer: The Festival of Lights is typically a rain-or-shine event. In the event of extreme weather conditions, safety is paramount. Any changes or potential cancellations will be communicated through the festival’s official channels and local media outlets.