Public Invited to Join in the 1846 Holiday Celebration at Bent’s Fort

Bent’s Holiday Celebration


Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site will celebrate the holidays in 1840s fashion beginning on Friday evening, December 1, and continuing throughout the day on Saturday, December 2.

The event begins with candlelight tours starting at 6:30 pm on Friday, December 1. Groups are led by lantern light through the rooms of the fort interacting with inhabitants preparing for or celebrating the holidays as they might have in 1846.  Reservations for those tours are now full.  The reservation window opened on November 1, and all slots for both Friday and Saturday tours were filled by November 17.

On Saturday, December 2, festivities will continue during the daylight hours, with no reservations needed. The fort will open at 9 am with the first event being toy-making in the carpenter’s shop beginning at 9:30.  Wagon rides across the prairie around the fort will begin at 11 am.  Afternoon activities will include a taffy pull, more toy-making, a piñata break (2 pm), and a Yule log hunt (2:15 pm).  The fort will close at 4 pm and then reopen for the reserved candlelight tours at 5 pm.

The fort will be very active all through the day Saturday as over 60 living history volunteers bring the holidays to life and provide a glimpse into the meaning of the season for the fort’s diverse occupants.   Even at an outpost far from home for many, and while the work of the trading post had to go on, the holidays became a memorable time for the men and women who lived at the fort.

In order to cover event costs, the park will be charging a special event fee of $5 per person, ages 6 and up, for admission to the fort during the holiday celebration. Kids 5 and under are free.   National Park Passes are honored for this fee.  Fees will be collected at the fort entrance.  As always, visitors should be prepared for the weather.  Water, appropriate outerwear and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is located on Colorado State Highway 194, 6 miles east of La Junta or 13 miles west of Las Animas. For more information, go to the park’s website at, call the park at (719) 383-5010, or visit the Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site Facebook page.


Filed Under: Consumer IssuesCountyEducationEntertainmentEventsFeaturedHistoryMedia ReleaseRecreationTourism


About the Author: