Winter getting to be too much? It’s time to mix it up with a trip to the Great Divide Ski Area.
The Great Divide is located just about thirty minutes outside of Helena. It offers 140 trails, six terrain parks and three mountain peaks. The Great Divide is family friendly and perfect for the beginner.
A hop on the bunny hill at the Great Divide could not be more affordable as it’s FREE! And, the Great Divide offers reasonable kids’ rentals at $15 for a day and $10 for a half day. On the Back Yard (which is the Great Divides name for the bunny hill), the wonderful Great Divide staff will be on-hand to help your little ones with the tow ropes and the pizza.
Pack a lunch or eat a cafeteria-style meal at the lodge. Or, just warm up with a cup of hot cocoa.
The Great Divide hours for this weekend:
For the current snow report, lift ticket info and all the details visit their site by clicking»Here«
See you on the hill!
I’ve been anxiously awaiting the opening of the Memorial Park Ice Rink in Helena. This week it has felt cold enough for it to be open so I’m hoping that the ice is ice and not slush on opening day. Opening day coincides with the last day of school — Friday, December 21 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm.
Two years ago we “discovered” the ice rink now it’s a must for my family! We all start feeling a little cooped up over the winter and a couple of days into the Holiday break we are going need to get outside. Sometimes the drive up the Great Divide seems a little too long and ice skating is a great outdoor alternative.
You can’t beat the warming house admission prices:
Ages 0-5 Free
Ages 6-17 $1.00
Ages 18+ $1.50
The Ice Rink does offer a limited amount of skates for your use at no charge, but they don’t have that many and encourage people to bring their own if they have them. If you’re just learning to skate a few walkers are available to help you “glide” along.
If you’re looking for a way to burn some of that excess holiday energy or to burn a few cookie calories, check out the Memorial Park Ice Rink this winter. A complete schedule of hours and promotions can be found here: http://www.helenamt.gov/departments/parks-recreation/recreation-programs-and-activities/winter-programs/ice-rink.
Looking back at my childhood during Christmas time, it becomes obvious that every single holiday tradition that was a part of my life involved family. With twenty plus cousins, four grandparents and endless aunts and uncles it’s no wonder every holiday activity involved family.
Our traditional family Christmas included a football game, the gift exchange that over the years grew to have close to a hundred rules to abide by, and the must have Lithuanian bacon buns. Now I’m a thousand miles away from those people who made my childhood something special. And, even if I were to return, half of them would no longer be there.
As my children have grown up so far away from most of my family, I have been determined to introduce traditions to them that will make their Christmas memories complete. I have now realized that it’s silly to work at traditions; they just naturally fall in place and this event has become our tradition.
This weekend we will be heading to the Lewis & Clark Library for Children’s Holiday Program with SANTA! This year the event, which is co-hosted by the Library and Downtown Helena, will also feature the Capital High Drama Students. I wonder if some of these students remembering attending the event as a child? It was in place December of 1991.
I look forward to children’s librarian aka Elf Candice sprinkling me with her elf dust. As she does, I anticipate the magic of the holiday and the magic of tradition will spread over me. One day maybe my boys will be taking their children to the Lewis & Clark Library for this event.
Saturday, December 8
Children’s Holiday Program from 10:30 am to 11:15 am.
Clothing and Disposable Diaper Drive sponsored by Helena Family Fun from 10:00 am to 11:15.
Lewis & Clark Library, 120 S. Last Chance Gulch
For More Information
Ph. 406-447-1690 x. 124
Yesterday I was able to get off work at three to pick up my two boys from elementary school. I got to the school a few minutes early so I just sat in my car admiring the snow-covered mountains against the fading afternoon light. Then, I saw a grandpa pick up a large handful of snow and make the most perfect snowball. He hid it behind his back and walked down the sidewalk to the doors and waited for the school bell to ring. When his grandson burst o ut of the doors at the end of the day, he was greeted by his grandfather throwing the snowball at his chest. The little boy was in shock. The grandpa was laughing. The incident was followed by a few more snowballs and then a big hug.
I know the grandpa violated a school rule or two, but rules-schmules! I will remember this whole scene playing out for a long time to come. What a fun Grandpa! What a great tone he set for spending the rest of the afternoon with his grandson. We all need some fun spontaneity in our lives. So whether it’s through travel or hitting your grandson with a snowball, I encourage you all to have fun and enjoy life!
When I worked for Downtown Helena, I had the honor of helping to coordinate Helena’s 145th celebration. As part of that experience, I got to interview four Helena residents who helped make Helena the wonderful place that it is. I had the pleasure of interviewing and getting to know Russ Ritter, Peter Sullivan, Don Fredrikson and Paul Kleffner. The spirit of Helena in these men truly changed the way that I felt about my adopted hometown of Helena, Montana.
This morning’s paper revealed that Paul Kleffner passed away on May 22 at the age of 95. What a man! What a life! The day I went to interview Paul was a sunny, bright spring day. I found Paul’s apartment at the Waterford and was greeted by two of his daughters. Paul shared his many Helena stories with me over the span of a couple of hours, pausing only to wave at the groundskeeper. I thought I’d share with you the article that I wrote about Paul in hopes that it captures just some of this man’s great spirit.
Paul Kleffner was giving a tour of his historic ranch and home that he and his family had occupied since 1943, The Kleffner Ranch. This particular group of visitors was from Texas and one of these gentlemen was fascinated with the fact that there seemed to be no mice in the barn which has a total area of 27,743 square feet. He asked Paul how this could possibly be. Paul replied, “Catfish.” The Texan questioned Paul, “Catfish?”
“Oh, yes,” replied Paul. “I have trained the catfish in the creek. First I would put a mouse pretty close to the edge. Of course, the catfish would easily jump out of the creek and catch the mouse. So, then I went a little further and a little further. Pretty soon, I had those catfish halfway up to the barn. Kept on working on getting them closer and closer. What do you know? Not a mouse to be found in this barn, thanks to the catfish.”
Paul was born on July 27, 1916, to John and Clara Kleffner. He grew up on the family farm near Belt where they raised cattle, grain and hay. There were a total of ten children in his family growing up and Paul is number five. He graduated from Belt High School in 1935, and Chillicothe Business College, Chillicothe, Missouri, in 1940. Paul likes it to be known that event during the Depression, Chillicothe Business College would guarantee that their graduates would find jobs. Paul insists that the very best education a farmer can have is that of business. There is never a day that goes by that a farmer will not use his business education.
While he was in college, Paul met Thelma Putnam at a dance. It was ladies’ choice, and Paul was shocked when the most beautiful woman in the room picked him to dance with her. Paul and Thelma worked hard to restore the Kleffner Ranch which Paul refers to as the Child-Kleffner ranch because “you have to give ole Child some credit too.” Paul and Thelma had seven children who reside in Montana and the western United States.
Paul has been an active member of St. Cyril & Methodius Parish since moving to Helena. He served as a 4-H leader for twenty years, was an active Kiwanian for fifty years, and was a member of the Helena Chamber of Commerce. Paul served on the Jefferson County Planning Board and the Soil Conservation Board. At the age of eighty, Paul audited several courses at Carroll College.
Paul says that he purchased the Child-Kleffner Ranch for $20,000 and was able to come up with the $2000 down-payment because he had a couple of blessed years leasing the land. Blessed he is, but if there was ever a time when you could say a positive attitude can get you far in life, all you have to do is to look at Paul. He took a dilapidated ranch that had originally been built by thirty stonemasons from Italy and through hard work, love of the land, love of life, love of people, and a constant smile restored it to beauty. Paul wants to be remembered as a man who can tell a great story. The catfish are only the beginning and the Kleffner Ranch is a standing legacy of great stories. Just ask Paul to share another with you.
The Helena Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) is seeking an enthusiastic, outgoing Community Outreach Coordinator to work to develop community partnerships and build collaboration with others for new programs and projects designed to make Helena a destination of choice for targeted markets. Looking for a team player with great communication and organizational skills - project management experience a plus. This is a full-time position with full benefits, salary range starts at $16./hour and up - depending on experience. Submit your resume’, cover letter, and 3 work-related references to the Chamber office at 225 Cruse Ave. or via email to the TBID Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complete job description below. Open until filled. EOE.
TBID Community Outreach Coordinator
Helena Chamber President/CEO
Work directly with the TBID Director of Sales and Marketing to develop community outreach and marketing opportunities for the Helena Area and coordinate specific tourism promotion projects and programs as assigned, This position will offer technical support to current TBID projects. This is a non-exempt position.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Send cover letter, reseume and three work-related references to email@example.com.