Buffalo Bill Center of the West is a world class museum located in Cody.
A small town with less than 10,000 people.
A town that receives almost a million tourists a year.
Early in December each year the museum holds a free open house for the public.
There are few if any tourists around at that time of year but the open house is always packed.
A Christmas gift to the locals.
The museum during the open house is always covered with huge trees and endless Christmas decorations, Santa is there to listen to young visitors, there is free hot chocolate and cookies made by museum volunteers, and of course every part of the museum is open to the public.
The first year we went to the open house we spent three hours in the gun museum alone.
Imagine one museum featuring every gun ever made, by every country that ever made a gun, and by every manufacturer that ever manufactured a gun.
The gun museum is huge and interesting and overwhelming and one of a handful of museums under one roof.
There is also a museum dedicated to Bill Cody, one dedicated to western art, one focusing on plains Indians, another on western plant and animal life, a raptor rehab center, endless bronze statuary on the grounds outside and more.
A very special place...................
I was supposed to meet LC at the huge Christmas tree in the front lobby of the museum at 2pm right after my store closed.
At 2pm I called him to tell him that someone had just walked in the door and I would be late.
"I'll call you when I'm on the way".
Five minutes later someone else walked in.
And then someone else.
By the time I finally arrived at the museum it was 3:15 and we were eager and ready to wander.
On one hand I was sorry to be late because free entry to the museum only happens once a year. But my other hand was gleeful, satisfied, excited that my business was doing well.
It IS doing well.......................
Surprisingly most of the gun museum was closed to the public.
After seeing this extraordinary place the year before we were disappointed that it was closed - but it is being renovated and will reopen again next summer.
Cannot wait to see what they have done with it.....................
The center closed at 5pm, and after a quick snack of hot chocolate and a handful of tasty cookies, we decided to go to a museum that we had not visited before.
The Natural History Museum.................
By the time we were done it was 20 minutes before closing.
After quickly wandering through the gift store LC had an idea.
We stopped at the desk outside the gift store and asked.
And were surprised to learn that it was only $100 for both of us, for an annual pass to the museum.
Our early Christmas present to each other.
As we walked out of the museum we talked excitedly about all of the times we could visit the museum at our leisure over the coming year.
Of how quiet the museum would be through the winter.
How many special events, lectures and demonstrations we could experience during the busy summer season.
We have already visited twice more since purchasing the annual pass..............
Random picture of an outstandingly interesting wall downtown Cody (in an alleyway across from the Irma Hotel).....................