A winter visit to Jackson Hole—that inevitably includes a healthy amount of skiing—can undoubtedly be expensive between airfare, lift tickets, ski rentals, lodging and the like. And while “free” is not a word one tosses around easily in Jackson Hole, it’s not impossible to partake of some great gratis activities during, after, or instead of a day on the slopes. Below are 5 such gems.
1. Ice Skate on Town Square or in Teton Village
Winter on Town Square features an outdoor skating rink, named "Winter Wonderland." If you have your own skates, you can glide across the ice under the twinkling lights of the square and elk antler arches at anytime day or night for free. If you don't have skates, the rink is manned from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and noon to 9 p.m. on weekends. During these times, skate rentals ($10) are available in the Stage Stop building. Hot chocolate is free at the Stage Stop, too!
Teton Village's skating rink in the Village Commons at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is open daily from 3 to 9 p.m. No fee to skate and skate rentals ($12) are available in the warming hut next to the rink.
2. See a Ski Flick
Teton Gravity Research has a retail store on Town Square that includes a 30-seat theatre where nightly at 7 p.m. you can see the TGR-produced feature film "Far Out." Also, every hour on the hour you can marvel at their 25-minute ski flick "Wild Jackson." The store location is 50 W Broadway in the Pink Garter Plaza. Visit TGR's website at tetongravity.com.
3. Listen To Music on the Mountain
During and after your Saturday ski day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this season, you will be treated to free music slope side to pump you up for your next set of runs, or help you get into the après ski spirit.
• Billing itself as "ski bum music," the Tram Jam is stationed at the bottom of the Bridger Gondola (or the Aerial Tram) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday throughout the winter. For more than 25 years, the band—fronted by Jackson Hole music legend, Peter “Chanman” Chandler–has been jamming out roots and rock-reggae beats no matter what the weather.
• Music Under the Tram is a free spring concert series. Great bands entertain the crowds starting at 3 p.m. every Saturday in March in this unforgettable, sunny location under the tram.
• The annual Jackson Hole Rendezvous Festival is a thrilling three days of free concerts and one of the highlights of the month of March. Jackson Hole's big music fling is held in mid-March at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and on Jackson's Town Square. Check our website and March calendar in February for details on 2020’s festival.
4. See Raptors Up Close and Personal
The National Elk Refuge and Teton Raptor Center have scheduled a series of "Feathered Fridays" visits this winter at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. The free programs, offered each Friday from noon to 2 p.m., run weekly from late December through the end of March.
The “Feathered Fridays” program feature naturalists and educators from the raptor center and the elk refuge, along with a variety of live raptors on the glove. This is an excellent way to learn about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem through the eyes of live birds of prey. There is no beginning, middle or end to the program during the two hours; the public can stop by at any time to meet with Friday’s fine-feathered friends.
5. Stop By the National Fish Hatchery
Jackson Hole is home to the National Fish Hatchery and this little-known local attraction is fascinating. Located four miles north of the town of Jackson and adjacent to the National Elk Refuge, the National Fish Hatchery welcomes visitors for free tours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (except on federal holidays) for a close up view of Snake River cutthroat trout. Observe fish in several indoor tanks and view photographic displays of spawning and stocking.