8 Legendary ways to honor traditions in North Dakota

Print / Email

Time-honored traditions are part of our culture. They are reminders of who we are and what makes us unique as a state; as a people. Keep it simple this holiday season by shopping close to home and spending quality time with the family. Choose a home-grown gift made by local artisans or attend one of the many events happening across the state. Take a moment to remember and honor those who have served in the military at a Veterans Day event near you. Here are a few options to check out, or contact North Dakota Tourism for additional ideas at www.ndtourism.com or call 800-435-5663 or 701-328-2525

1.Homemade North Dakota … it's tradition
November is when people begin looking for the perfect Christmas gift. It's a great time to load up the family and search out that one-of-a-kind present created by neighbors at a regional arts and crafts show. Check out the Big One Arts and Crafts shows in Minot and Bismarck and Pride of Dakota shows at Grand Forks, Minot, Fargo and Bismarck. Or if you are still seeking that special gift with North Dakota flare, shop on-line at our North Dakota Legendary store.

2.The hunting tradition
Hunting is a great bonding experience for North Dakota families. In many households, it is customary that kids and dads treat the deer season opener as a holiday and disappear into the countryside in search of that dream whitetail or muley. This year, making memories will begin on November 3. And if you feel you've got a winner, be sure to enter it into the Big Buck Contest in Linton.

3.Honor our Veterans
North Dakotans are proud of their veterans. Celebrate our homegrown heroes at one of the many Veterans' Day events around the state on November 11. Remember the contributions of those from World War II at the opening of North Dakotans in World War II Aviation at the Taube Museum in Minot, or gather at the North Dakota Heritage Center at 11 a.m. to witness the lighting of the memorial. Local communities also host events to honor their veterans.

4.Start a new tradition with the kids
Adults may see this as a learning experience but it's really just plain old fun for the kids. A variety of learning-based activities catering to youngsters include zoo activities, arts and even Santa Claus. Make sure you check out Animal Ed-Venture at Bismarck's Dakota Zoo, Awesome Art Afternoons in Fargo, or make a clay masterpiece at Muddy Waters Clay Center in Grand Forks.

5.Shopping: a time-honored tradition
It might actually begin on Black Friday but there is something to be said about an afternoon with friends and family at the local mall or window shopping along Main Street in your hometown. Several communities have scheduled events to showcase what "downtown" has to offer. Dickinson will have a "Ladies Night Out" shopping just for the girls. Food and fun are on tap at the Holiday Shopping Celebration in Mandan, 1st Thursdays in Bismarck and a "Day of Shopping" with local vendors at the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre.

6.Thankful for traditions
Turkey, dressing, cranberries and football. It is a tradition to give thanks in November and after you've had your fill of food, football and family, step back in time at the Dickens Village Festival in Garrison where the entire community steps into character for this time-honored classic. Continue the holiday spirit with Christmas in the Park in Bismarck and Grand Forks, Santa Village in Fargo and Christmas at Carroll House in Fullerton. 

7.Traditional fitness
We all love the traditional foods of fall but there is a way to enjoy both eating and maintaining your health this season in North Dakota. For yourself and those active relatives, you might participate in the annual Turkey Trot Run/Walk in Bismarck or set your own course at the Greenway in Grand Forks. If a nature trail is more your style, check out some of the great hiking opportunities at North Dakota state parks.

8.Parades of Lights
Grab a cup of hot chocolate and join your friends at a cool nighttime parade, where every entry is beautifully decorated with colorful holiday lights. In eastern North Dakota, you can enjoy the Holiday of Lights parade in Fargo, Hometown Holidays in Lisbon, Santa Parade in Cavalier, Holiday Dazzle on Main in Jamestown and the Winter Wonderland of Lights in Casselton. If the west is where you'll be this holiday season, catch lighted parades in Garrison, Bismarck, Hettinger, Ashley and Dickinson.

These are just a few ideas to honor traditions in North Dakota. For more information, go to NDtourism.com or phone 800-435-5663 or 701-328-2525.

Follow North Dakota Tourism on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TravelND or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TravelND and get tips on what to see and do all year long.