When it comes to the Holidays, everyone’s traditions are a little different. But I’m pretty confident in saying there are a number of activities that are specific to this time of year. For instance, in Montana we always consider the sentiment of a “White Christmas” and there are few years when we don’t have a white Christmas (this may be one of those years) – with the snow comes activities like sledding, snowman building, skiing, snowshoeing and more! It’s likely that at some point during the holidays you turn down an extra street, or maybe specifically hop in the car, to go see the colorful lights decorating the neighborhoods.
As we’ve suggested in earlier posts, baking is one of our favorite Holiday traditions – especially when we are able to shop local to do so! And when baking isn’t an option, ordering from a local bakery is!
All of this to say that making gingerbread houses is another one of those so distinctly Holiday oriented activities that we cannot get enough of.
We’ve mentioned in previous posts (like Confection Connection) that Southwest Montana is home to a number of Candy Stores, including the Sweet Palace in Philipsburg, The Parrot in Helena, Shepperd’s Candy in Butte, The Candy Shack in Helena, and Virginia City’s Cousins Candy.
What goes together better than Candy and Gingerbread Houses? We thought our 2020 Gingerbread Houses would be the PERFECT excuse to visit and highlight the candy shops in the region!
We weren’t able to make it to Cousin’s as they are closed for the season, but we will definitely make a trip this summer, and we missed Shepperd’s in Butte as well. Shepperd’s is still open and encouraging call ahead orders given the restrictions of COVID and their small counter space.
I will be the first to admit that I cheated, purely for peace of mind, and purchased a Gingerbread House Kit for this experience. With my house in hand, we made a trip through Helena and over to Philipsburg to select our Candy! Between the three shops, there is no doubt you will find everything you need for a beautiful Gingerbread House!
While we were in Philipsburg, we spent a little time at the Philipsburg Ice Rink! The ice, even given the warm temperatures is impeccable and well worth the visit. Due to Covid, the warming house will remain closed for the season and skate rentals are unavailable. BUT, if you have a pair of skates or can rent a pair before setting off this is the perfect way to spend a beautiful winter afternoon! Visit the Philipsburg Ice Association on Facebook for more information!
Back to being a kid in a candy store! As you wander the aisles and find yourself peering through the glass cases, you’ll find that the world is your oyster. I mean … we walked away with around $100 of candy.
After perusing the Sweet Palace, my sister decided the theme of her house would be the traditional rainforest approach. While that house has yet to be made, we have a carpet of green jelly beans, various gummy creatures, and some cotton candy that will be perfect for the theme! *I promise to update with a picture if we get around to completing the masterpiece!
In the meantime, my adorably small cabin will have to do! Complete with a walkway, stack of firewood, and frozen pond for the penguins to enjoy.
The roof is made with Candy Melts from the Parrot (we chose cloves and peppermint); the penguins, ice (melted Kits), wood stack, door, lights, and window came from The Sweet Palace, and the trees along with the cotton candy were purchased at the Candy Shack!
If you are looking for a classic Montana experience, this has been one of my favorites! It involved time with friends, a beautiful drive, and a variety of perfectly winter experiences!
If you choose to travel through Southwest Montana, make sure you are up-to-date on the latest travel information for the State!