Archive for the ‘Area Events & Entertainment’ Category

Motor fans get their fix at Raceway Park

July 17th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Sparks fly at Montana Raceway Park, just south of Whitefish

Sparks fly at Montana Raceway Park, just south of Whitefish

When it comes to motor racing, you probably don’t think of Montana as a hot bed for race fans – think again!  Right here in the Flathead Valley race fans can get their fix each Saturday night during the Summer months at Montana Raceway Park, a motorsports track just south of Whitefish.

The track hosts races in seven standard classes: Super Late Models, Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Bombers, CHS Legends, Bandoleros and Hornets. (Don’t ask me what each of them are, but it sounds impressive!)

The quarter mile track is high banked for high speed racing and the bleachers hold up to 4000 race fans.  Montana Raceway Park has been recognized as one of the top 10 short tracks in the nation.  Not bad for little old Montana.

Each Saturday, time trials start at 6 pm with racing starting at 7 pm. And, it’s fun for the whole family.  There are concession stands selling food, beer and souvenirs and it’s a great place to people watch.

So think outside the usual activities when you visit us in Whitefish, sure rafting, hiking, and mountain biking should be on your “to do” list, but a fun evening out can be had at nearby Raceway Park.

Info at: www.montanaracewaypark.com

Author: Sarah Stewart

Art is in the Spotlight – First Thursdays in Whitefish

July 1st, 2013 by kimtaylor

Look for the Art Spot flag outside of participating galleries and shops.

Look for the Art Spot flag outside of participating galleries and shops.

Gallery Nights, (aka. First Thursday Art Walk), in downtown Whitefish is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.  From the start, it was hit with locals and visitors alike, I mean what’s not to like about art, entertainment, beautiful Summer evenings & free refreshments?!  This laid back & low key tradition has been gaining traction since its inception on 2003.  Just remember to time your visit to “the Fish” to coincide with the first Thursday of the month if you’re planning to visit anytime between May and October. [One exception: for July, the Art Walk will be on Friday July 5th due to the Independence Day holiday.]

This year’s Gallery Nights has 14 participating art, specialty shops and galleries – (heck there’s even an artisanal pasta shop participating this year!), who swing their doors wide open and offer special art exhibits, (often with artist right there to talk about their artwork, techniques and to get them out of their studios), and most galleries offer free snacks and libations to their visitors. All of the participants are within a two block radius of Central Ave, the main drag of downtown Whitefish.  It makes a wonderful evening to stroll around to the various galleries and shops, starting at 6 pm and then head to one of the great Whitefish restaurants for dinner (Local’s tip: in the height of Summer make dinner reservations ahead of time, as this popular event has restaurants and bars hopping.)

Gallery Nights takes place from 6-9 pm and participating galleries have an Art Spot flag outside their shops so they are easily identified.  2013 Participating Galleries:

Mi Casa Pottery [550 E First St.]
Stumptown Art Studio [145 Central Ave.]
Going to the Sun Gallery [137 Central Ave.]
Whitefish Pottery & Stillwater Gallery [240 Central Ave.]
Stephen Isley Jewelry [241 Central Ave.]
The Purple Pomegranate [222 Central Ave.]
Great Northern Pasta [235 Baker Ave.]
Jest Gallery [305 E. 2nd St.]
Local Color Studio [116 Central Ave.]
Piney Creek Interiors [100 Central Ave.]
McGough & Co [131 Central Ave.]
Dick Idol Signature Gallery [238 Central Ave.]
Samarah Fine Art [15 Central Ave.]
The Walking Man [305 Baker Ave.]

The Whitefish Gallery Nights website is: http://whitefishgallerynights.org/
or follow them on Facebook.

This is a great opportunity to support local artists and to bring home a one of a kind memento of your trip to Montana.

Author: Sarah Stewart

Big Brews in Big Sky Country

June 3rd, 2013 by kimtaylor

Beer enthusiasts at the annual Great Northern Brewery Beer Barter.  What would you do for a year's supply of beer?

Beer enthusiasts at the annual Great Northern Brewery Beer Barter. What would you do for a year’s supply of beer?

Something’s brewing in the Flathead Valley and beer enthusiasts are rejoicing.  Two new breweries are set to open this Summer in NW Montana joining the ranks of 5 other breweries already producing fine, locally crafted lagers, stouts and ales.  According to the Montana Brewers Association there are 40 craft brewers in the State – maybe the Flathead Valley aims to be the ‘Napa Valley’ of brewing regions in the Treasure State.  You never know….  Craft beer brewing here and across the nation shows no signs of stopping and beer aficionados are jumping for joy.

If you have a beer lover in your family or group who is visiting the area why not take a day and visit a couple of local breweries for tours, tastings and some ‘pub grub’.  Just make sure there’s a tee-totaling designated driver at the wheel.

Right here in Whitefish is the Great Northern Brewery [just look for the tallest building in town!].  Established in 1995 it is the oldest brewery in the area.  They started their claim to fame with Black Star a double hopped golden lager and expanded their offerings to include Wheatfish, Wild Huckleberry, Going to the Sun IPA and Snow Ghost Winter Lager to name a few.  At their Draught House you can sample free tastings of each of their featured brews as well as sandwiches and snacks to go with them.  Summer tours of the brewery take place Monday – Thursday at 1 pm and 3 pm.

After that you can head on over to Desert Mountain Brewing & Draughthaus in Columbia Falls.  Their grand opening took place in March 2013 and featured Two Ocean IPA, Siyeh Stout and Bad Marriage Blonde, an amber hybrid in style, similar to German Alt beer named for Bad Marriage Mountain on the East side of Glacier National Park.  Visit their taproom in downtown Columbia Falls for beer tasting, board games, watching a game on TV or surfing the web.

From there, visit our friends to the South. Around beautiful Flathead Lake there are 3 breweries to choose from… or why choose?  Why not stop at all three!  Flathead Lake Brewing Co. is located in Woods Bay on the East side of the Lake and they have a deck to sit out and enjoy the view.  Farther South in Polson, Glacier Brewing Co. has a variety of beers (and sodas!) on tap for tasting including Golden Grizzly Ale, Wildhorse Island Pale Ale and in tribute to the cherry growers in the area, Flathead Cherry Ale.  For the kids there’s Polson Pepper Soda and Glacier Brewing Root Beer.   Then head back north around the West side of the Lake to the Tamarack Brewing Company’s Alehouse and Grill in Lakeside, MT.  Their wide range of beers, from Blue Jay White IPA to Yard Sale Ale to Switchback Stout will make it a tough choice to pick the perfect beer to go along with their extensive menu choices from fish tacos to salads to burgers and grilled sandwiches.  If trivia is your thing, join them on Tuesdays for trivia night starting at 7 pm.

Opening up this summer is the Kalispell Brewing Company {August 2013} and Homestead Ales in Eureka {June 2013}

For more information on Montana made beers visit www.montanabeerfinder.com and get the scoop on all the Big Sky brewers.

Author: Sarah Stewart

Spring Things-to-Do in the “Off-Season”

April 15th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Cyclists can go where cars can't in the Spring on the Going-to-the Sun Hwy.

Cyclists can go where cars can’t in the Spring on the Going-to-the Sun Hwy.

When the lifts stop running on the Big Mountain for the ski season and before they roar back to life to take visitors zip-lining through the trees in the Summer it is known as the “off-season” here in Whitefish.  Things quiet down, life moves a little slower, traffic is a little lighter and the weather is a tad more unpredictable.  That being said, it can be a great time to visit our area – but you have to make your own fun with some of the more off-the-beaten path activities, take things easy and be prepared for just about any kind of weather.

So if you find yourself wanting to get away from the heat of the South, the noise of city life, or the traffic jams on your daily commute, visit us in the Spring and you can see what the life of a Whitefish “local” is really like, when the skiing stops and the hiking trails in Glacier Park are still covered in snow.

Here are some ideas for fun and sometimes overlooked activities that still go on when the tourists go home:

Visit a distillery, winery, or brewery: Great Northern Brewing Co. has a tasting room less than 2 miles from the Hidden Moose and samples of their many offerings are “on the house”.  Glacier Distilling Co. in Coram and the Glacier Sun Winery in Kalispell also offer tastings of their unique libations.

Visit a museum: You might think museums are just in big cities, but some of the funkier museums are located in small towns across the country and the Flathead Valley is no exception.  Right here in Whitefish is the Stumptown Historical Society Museum located in the Train Depot. Just 15 miles away in Kalispell there’s the Hockaday Museum of Art, Central School Museum and Conrad Mansion (Open May 15-Oct 13)  –  a hidden jewel of a beautifully preserved pre-1900 mansion of the founder of Kalispell, Charles Conrad, complete with over 90% of the original family furnishings.

Get pampered: Perhaps in your day-to-day life you don’t have time for massages & spa treatments – but now you do – you’re on vacation after all!   Take a day out for a mani/pedi, massage or facial at one of the many day spas & salons here in the Valley.  We’re happy to recommend our favorites or visit: www.whitefishchamber.org for a list of options.

Go thrifting: Yea, it’s a thing now – shopping at thrift stores and consignment shops – what used to be the necessity of a broke college student is now “cool” and a great way to find one-of-a-kind unique items and fashion finds. Whitefish has 2 thrift stores and several consignment shops including the Chic Boutique and Copperleaf Consignment.  More thrift stores and consignment shops are to be had in Kalispell.

Hike local trails:  The Whitefish Trail is a great place to get some exercise and the snow will be gone long before the trails of Glacier Park are cleared of the white stuff.  Pick up a trail map and get moving.

Bike: There are many local mountain bike trails less than 10 miles from the Moose, including Spencer Mountain.  You can rent a bike at Glacier Cyclery and hit the road.  Here’s a local’s tip – Bike the Going to the Sun Road before it opens to car traffic.  In mid-May to early June (perhaps earlier depending on the weather) the park service has the Going-to-the-Sun Road closed at Avalanche Creek to car traffic but beyond that point bikes are allowed and the road can be cleared to the Loop and beyond before you run into plow crews trying to clear the road.  The road offers spectacular views and you won’t have to worry about cars.  For road status call: (406) 888-7800 or see it at: http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm

See how things are made: Montana Coffee Traders gives tours of their roasting facility and as mentioned in a previous blog post Whitefish Pottery gives tours of their facility to curious visitors who want to pull back the curtain to see how artists get their hands dirty to make beautiful pottery.

Those are just a few of the things you can do in the “off-season” here in the Flathead Valley and I didn’t even get to mention: Seeing live music and theatre, antiquing, gambling, fishing or just bellying up to the bar at a local joint to get recommendations on things to do and see from a friendly barkeep who lives here year-round.

Spring is also a great time to get great rates at the Hidden Moose Lodge since it’s our “off season” too.  See our Specials & Packages page for more info.  Then give us a call at: 1 (888) 733-6667.

Author: Sarah Stewart

Whitefish Pottery “mugs” it up for the Hidden Moose Lodge

April 8th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Whitefish Pottery makes our custom Hidden Moose coffee mugs.

Whitefish Pottery makes our custom Hidden Moose coffee mugs.

Have you ever given any thought to where your coffee mug comes from?  Go ahead, turn over your mug and look, [but make sure it’s empty first – Doh!]  When we were deciding on where to get our coffee mugs for the Hidden Moose Lodge, (important in our line of business),  we decided to “go local”. For many years we’ve been serving our morning coffee to sleepy guests in locally made mugs from Whitefish Pottery.  Tom Gilfillan, [aka. “Tom the Potter”], owner of Whitefish Pottery, is one of the biggest Bruce Springsteen fans we know, [if not THE biggest], and a talented potter as well.   He and his wheel spinning crew hand throw each Hidden Moose logo’d mug and glaze them in a variety of beautiful colors.

Besides Hidden Moose coffee mugs, Whitefish Pottery, make a variety of handcrafted items from cookie jars to wine crocks to serving bowls that are sold in their downtown retail store, Stillwater Gallery.  In addition to their pottery, they also feature wonderful local artwork, crafts and other handmade pottery at their store.

Other “fun facts” about Tom’s business:

  • Whitefish Pottery was commissioned to make the “official” coffee mug for the Glacier National Park Centennial celebration.  How cool is that?
  • You can take a free tour of their pottery studio (about 5 miles from downtown Whitefish), to see how they actually make, fire & glaze their creations.
  • Stillwater Gallery is one of 13 galleries that participate in “Gallery Nights” – Held from May-October each year on the first Thursday of the month in Whitefish.  Local galleries & shops stay open late, lay out free refreshments and feature a variety of special artist exhibitions.
  • Each year Whitefish Pottery holds an anniversary party for the whole community out at the studio location.   This year’s 18th anniversary bash will be on Friday May 10th – with live music, food and libations – it’s always a blast.

Our guests often purchase a Hidden Moose Lodge mug handmade by Whitefish Pottery as a memento of their stay with us.  It’ll not only looks cool on their desk at work, but they swear their coffee tastes better!

For more on Whitefish Pottery visit their website at: www.whitefishpottery.com or find them on Facebook.

Author: Sarah Stewart

Unique Ironwork gives the Hidden Moose Lodge a rustic flair.

April 2nd, 2013 by kimtaylor

An ice axe and climbing rope decorating the Glacier suite mirror,  were custom made by the Iron Thistle Forge of Whitefish Montana.

An ice axe and climbing rope decorating the Glacier suite mirror, were custom made by the Iron Thistle Forge of Whitefish Montana.

One of the things that makes the Hidden Moose Lodge unique is that each of our rooms & suites are decorated with a different theme.  Nothing about the Moose is cookie-cutter. Part of that unique décor is the ironwork that is featured throughout the lodge.  Best of all it is made right here in Whitefish by a talented blacksmith who hails from the “other side of the pond”, but had chosen to live in our beautiful corner of the world.  Tony Stewart owns the Iron Thistle Forge, a blacksmithing shop just 8 miles from Whitefish and he’s worked closely with Kent & Kim over the years.

Tony takes the theme of each room and runs with it… creating mirrors, iron head boards, light fixtures and towel bars – Our “Glacier” suite mirror features and ice axe and climbing rope, all hand forged in metal.  A forest of iron pine trees dons the bathroom light fixture for our “Treetops” room.  All custom made by Tony just for the Hidden Moose Lodge – believe me you won’t find these in any catalog.

You may have even caught a glimpse of Tony’s work on the Bachelor episode that took place in Whitefish.  Part of that episode was filmed at the Hidden Moose and had the outdoor chandeliers created by the Iron Thistle Forge in the scene. [When one of the girls was sent packing and Sean walked her out to the waiting limo that whisks the teary bachelorette away to the airport.]

Using raw metal stock, Tony heats, hammers, twists and bends the metal into beautiful shapes until it becomes a bear, moose, mountain goat or a jumping trout like those featured in our “Riverbed” room.

You can visit his website and see more of his beautiful ironwork at: www.ironthistleforge.com – or see his works of art in person when you stay at the Hidden Moose Lodge.

Author: Sarah Stewart

March (and April) Madness in Whitefish.

March 18th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Pond Skimming at the Whitefish Mountain Resort is an end-of-ski-season highlight.  This year it takes place on April 6, 2013.

Pond Skimming at the Whitefish Mountain Resort is an end-of-ski-season highlight. This year it takes place on April 6, 2013.

This is NOT a post about basketball “March Madness” – so either you’re disappointed or breathing a sigh of relief.   This is a post about all the fun stuff is happening in the next few weeks in Whitefish.  We are an active bunch here and if you’ve got that same adventurous spirit, book a room at the Hidden Moose Lodge for a respite from the crazy adventures you too can get in on.  Here are just a few that take place in the next month:

Pole, Peddle & Paddle Triathlon – March 23, 2013

As we begin to look towards the changing seasons the Whitefish Mountain Resort is offering an event that caters to whatever your pleasure may be. This 3-leg multi sport relay race includes a Boating section, a Biking section and a Mountain section (which includes an uphill and downhill portion).  The event can be raced by individuals doing all 3 legs of the race, or with teams of 3 with one member completing one section each.

SCHEDULE

8-9am – Registration/Check In at Riverside Park (on Baker Ave.)
10am – Race Start
Paddle:  2.0 miles –From Riverside Park
Peddle:  Bike -8 miles / 1500’ vertical -From Riverside Park to the Base Lodge of Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Pole: Mountain Section – 3.4 miles / 2200’ vertical -From the Base Lodge to the Summit, and skiing back down to the Base Lodge.
Awards – 30 minutes after last finisher on the Base Lodge Deck. 1-2ish

Brewfest & Dummy Derby – March 30, 2013

1-4 pm: The 5th annual Brewfest is fundraising event for the S.N.O.W. Bus presented by the Big Mountain Commercial Association. Featuring over 12 regional microbreweries, it takes place in the Upper Village Area of the Whitefish Mountain Resort.  Tickets $20/advance [available at the Base Lodge Guest & Info Center or the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce – 307 Spokane #103] or $25/door, $5/kids and designated drivers. The S.N.O.W. bus is a great and FREE service that takes skiers & boarders up and down the mountain all winter long.

Then, catch the Dummy Derby right after Brewfest is over. Watch homemade “rafts” (dummies on skis) crash after soaring over an enormous custom built jump. Or better yet, build and enter your own Dummy! Free to enter and you could win $500!

DUMMY DERBY SCHEDULE:

12:00-1:30pm – Registration and Dummy drop off at Event Office in the Upper Village
1:30pm – Dummy Must be at Registration
2:00pm – Dummy Judging
4:00pm – All participants at start
4:30pm – Start
Awards – 30 minutes after final Dummy at the event venue.

8th Annual Pond Skim – April 6, 2013

The Pond Skim is open to all competitors 21 yrs and older, and everyone is welcome to come watch this great winter finale. The Pond Skim celebrates the wacky feeling of spring and the end of another great ski season. Participants must have skis or snowboards appropriately worn (normally mounted) as they attempt to cross an 80+ foot pond. Costumes are required and will be judged in a category by itself.

Skimming will be an individual competition based on longest skim ($1000 for first place!). Participants will advance to the next round after each successful skim. Each subsequent round will be started lower down the slope, making it more difficult to cross the pond with less speed…and you have to go over a jump in the later rounds… as well as some other ideas to make it harder for you to cross.

This event always sells out for competitors so register early, and there are upwards of 2000 spectators.  $30 to enter, t-shirt included.

POND SKIM SCHEDULE

1:45pm all participants at start
2:30pm Start
Awards 30 minutes after final skim

More info on all these events at: www.skiwhitefish.com

Author: Sarah Stewart

St. Patrick’s Day Fun in the Flathead!

March 13th, 2013 by kimtaylor

OK...we're not sure who this is, but he appears to be in the St. Patrick's Day spirit at the Great Northern Bar in Whitefish.

OK…we’re not sure who this is, but he appears to be in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit at the Great Northern Bar in Whitefish.

OK, Butte may be the hub of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations here in the Treasure State, but Whitefish and the Flathead Valley can hold their own on the day when everyone wants to be “kissed because they’re Irish” – here’s some fun things to do on St. Paddy’s day in the Flathead Valley:

Let’s start in Kalispell if you’ll be in that direction:

Starting at 1 pm Brannigan’s Irish Pub [101 E. Center St.] will have live music with the Highlander Bag Pipes and the party & live music continues all day in the bar and in a heated tent in their parking lot.  All Irish beers are on special, there will be poster and t-shirt give-a-ways and a green bikini contest starting at 9 pm.

Get your green on and follow the end of the rainbow down to Scotty’s Bar [2205 US Hwy 93 S. ] for a chance to win $100 in “gold” coin! The O’Connell Band starts the party up again at 9:30 PM. Give-a-ways & games plus no cover charge. Shuttle service from Brannigan’s Irish Pub to Scotty’s Bar will start at 10 PM and will also be available for sober rides home.

The Ancient Order of the Hibernians and the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a St. Patrick’s Day parade starting at 4 pm moving north on Main Street through downtown Kalispell for some family-friendly Irish fun.

Closer to home, Whitefish will have the following events to get your “Irish On”

Casey’s Bar [101 Central Ave.] will be having an all-day Irish Celebration starting at 11am – Corned Beef will be on the menu as well as green beer and a “green-drink” special [what that green drink is, is TBA – but I’m guessing it’s not for ‘light weights’].  “Paddy O’Bear” will be playing Celtic tunes from 2-6 pm.

Local favorite watering hole, the Great Northern Bar [27 Central Ave.] will have live Celtic music by McGrin and O’Bear It from 6:30 – 8:30 pm followed by music by 20 Grand.

The Great Northern Brewery [2 Central Ave.] presents “Tim’s Kitchen Takeover” all day – where caterer extraordinaire Tim Good of Cuisine Machine Catering will be presenting Irish food for foodies.  They will also be introducing their Nitro Tap at the Draft House.  What’s a Nitro Tap?  Go and find out!

The Boat Club Lounge [1380 Wisconsin Ave.] will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with local musician John Dunnigan from 6-9 pm and feature food specials of Corned Beef & Cabbage Spring Rolls & Irish Nachos.

If you’re up at the Whitefish Mountain Resort skiing , watch some amazing boardercross action at the Nate Chute Classic [OK…. so it’s not St. Patrick’s Day related, but it’s still fun!]  It’s one of the biggest boardercross events in the NW with about 125 riders competing for the title and cool trophies.  2 to 5 riders race through a great course consisting of jumps, banks, rollers and traffic.  More info at 887-SKI-FISH.

If live theatre is your thing then don’t miss the Pirates ‘O Penzance [get it?] at 3 pm at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center, brought to you by the Glacier Chorale & Operetta Orchestra.  Info at 257-3241 or gscmusic.org

And… remember designate a driver or call a taxi and don’t forget to wear green!

Author: Sarah Stewart

ABC’s The Bachelor films episode at the Hidden Moose Lodge

February 18th, 2013 by kimtaylor

The Bachelor came to Whitefish last Fall and chose to film the infamous two-on-one date at the Hidden Moose Lodge!

The exterior of Lodge was filmed in both the arrival and departure scenes (when the unfortunate dismissed date was sent packing).  And the dinner date was shot in our Great Room and on the front porch.  Sean’s & the Girls’  “confessions” were shot in the Big Sky Suite and Glacier Suite.  Producers and camera crews spent hours getting the scene just right – moving furniture and setting up sound and lighting equipment.  Although we were full at the time, our non-Bachelor guests were real troopers as they had to contend with all the goings on, although most will admit that it was not only interesting, but exciting, to watch this popular TV show unfold before our very eyes.

Thank you to the Bachelor and the State of Montana for selecting the Hidden Moose Lodge for this very special episode.