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Celebrating Christmas in McCall, Idaho

The Best Rental Cabins, Homes, Lakefront Estates and Romantic Getaways in McCall, Donnelly, Cascade & New Meadows

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? McCall, Idaho, is surrounded by beautiful snow-covered scenery, easy access to skiing, snowmobiling, and tubing, and full of magical Christmas adventures that bring an idyllic festive spirit to the holiday season

Often overlooked by larger winter destinations, McCall, Idaho, offers its own special charm when it comes to Christmas. The quaint downtown area is adorned with twinkling Christmas lights, and your chances of waking up to snow on Christmas morning from your luxurious mountain rental are as good as it gets.

Jump on your snowmobile; it’s time to hit the backcountry! This is everything you need to know about celebrating Christmas in the McCall area.

About Christmas in McCall, Idaho

Christmas in McCall is pure winter magic. In December, McCall is blessed with around 30 inches of snow in addition to the snow that’s already been on the ground since November. If you’re hoping for a white Christmas, McCall is one of your best bets- Mother Nature has a near perfect record of delivering a white Christmas to McCall!

December weather in McCall is cold but not too cold. Average highs at this time of year in McCall are 30ºF, and average lows are 13ºF. This is the perfect temperature for donning your cozy Christmas sweaters, curling up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa, or perusing downtown McCall with your winter coats and checking out all the festive Christmas lights.

Getting There

To get to McCall, Idaho, you have two options for flying in: The Boise Airport or the smaller McCall Airport.

The Boise Airport is located about a 2.5-hour drive from McCall, Idaho. While the McCall Airport is located right in town, it’s a much smaller airport, and flights might be pricier, especially around the holidays.

The easiest way to get to McCall from Boise is to rent a car and drive. If you are going to rent a car, we recommend getting a car with high clearance that’s good for driving in the snow- you’re coming here for a white Christmas, after all!

You can also take a bus with Northwestern Stagelines to make the journey.

Getting Around

Once you’ve arrived in McCall, the easiest way to get around is with a rental car. However, McCall does have good free public transportation and shuttles frequently running to and from Brundage Ski Resort. McCall is also fairly walkable if you want to explore the town on foot. Just be sure to bundle up!

Christmas in McCall, Idaho Activities

If you plan on spending Christmas in McCall, you’re in for a treat. This little mountain town is a fantastic Christmas destination. Here are some of the best things to do while spending Christmas in McCall.

Ice Skating

Photo Credit: Vit Kovalcik

What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than twirling around the rink? Ice skating is one of the top Christmas activities in McCall.

The Manchester Ice & Events Center is one of the most popular places for ice skating in McCall. They offer public indoor ice skating sessions, ice skating lessons, and even ice bumper cars if you want to change it up a little.

Want to ice skate surrounded by trees under strings of twinkly lights? Check out the McCall outdoor ice skating arena. This outdoor ice skating rink is open to the public from 12 pm to 8 pm during the winter season in McCall and is located at Gold Glove Park. You can also grab rental ice skates from McCall Sports Exchange.

Indulge in Delicious Baked Goods from Stacey Cakes

There’s nothing quite like enjoying delicious holiday pastries while experiencing a white Christmas. You can even leave some out for Santa! There are a few options for tasty baked goods in McCall around Christmas, but Stacey Cakes takes the cake.

In addition to their famous gingersnaps, Stacey Cakes also offers holiday cookie gift boxes. Perfect for gifting to friends and family or enjoying back at your cozy rental home.

Hit the Slopes

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to enjoy Christmas in McCall is by getting out at Brundage Mountain Resort and hitting the slopes! In December, Brundage sees an impressive 65” of average snowfall and boasts a mountain base depth of 29”.

Brundage Mountain has 1500 acres of skiable terrain, with various runs for all skill levels. Families can take the little ones over to Beartopia Fun Zone so everyone is happy.

If you plan skiing or snowboarding on Christmas Day, you might spot Santa! Rumor has it that after he finishes delivering everyone’s presents, he takes a few laps on Brundage Mountain. What’s better than skiing with Santa?

Nordic skiing is also a fun Christmas activity in McCall, and you can read all about the best Nordic trails in our Nordic skiing guide.

Sleigh Rides

Photo Credit: CSNafzger

Another excellent way to celebrate Christmas in McCall is to ride a winter sleigh! Just a 30-minute drive from McCall, Happy and Florence Points offer amazing horse-drawn sleigh rides where you’ll ride right through large groups of majestic elk.

The Activity Barn also offers horse-drawn sleigh rides if you want to stay a little closer to town.

Christmas in McCall, Idaho Events

Tree Lighting Ceremony in Early December

Photo Credit: Guschenkova

If you’re planning a longer Christmas getaway to McCall, you can watch the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in early December. The event takes place on 2nd Street and includes ice skating, live music, and photos with Santa.

The Snow Ball

The Snow Ball is an annual event in mid-December hosted by Payette Lakes Ski Club. This fun gala features fancy formal attire, dancing, dinner, and a charity auction. If you want to kick off the Christmas season with a glamorous gala, don’t miss the Snow Ball event.

Holiday Ice Show

The Holiday Ice Show is the perfect event to bundle up and get into the Christmas spirit. The McCall Figure Skating Club puts on the Holiday Ice Show at the Manchester Ice and Events Center every year.

During the show, skaters of all ages take to the ice with their breathtaking performances. Each performance is perfectly choreographed, and you might even spot Santa out there on the ice!

McCall Winter Carnival

Photo Credit: CSNafzger

While this event doesn’t take place during Christmas per se if you’re looking to keep the holiday spirit going for a little longer, consider extending your winter trip to late January to attend the McCall Winter Carnival!

What to Pack for Christmas in McCall

To stay warm during your Christmas in McCall, you’ll want to pack at least the following:

  • Winter coat
  • Ski jacket and ski pants if you intend on hitting the slopes
  • A buff to keep your face warm
  • Wool underlayers
  • Wool socks
  • Mittens and beanies
  • Boots
  • Sweatshirt
  • Chapstick

Enjoy Christmas in McCall

Every year during Christmas, McCall transforms into a winter wonderland. This small Idaho mountain town is the perfect Christmas destination, especially if you’re seeking a white Christmas.

With our guide to Christmas in McCall in hand, you’re now ready to take on Christmas in McCall. Book your stay today to let the magic begin!

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