Celebrate the holidays with Green O

Vacation time at Montana’s premier ranch resort is more than merry. Add some excitement to your vacation with Paws Up.

What’s the most magical time of year to experience the Resort at Paws Up with the entire crew — or that special someone at the adjacent adults-only sister property, the Green o? The obvious one-word answer is anytime. But if you really want to push us (without insulting the spectacular spring, summer, or fall in these areas), winter holiday season at the luxury ranch resort is something straight out of the Montana Santa playbook. And yes, the big happy guy himself will be here on time.

“We tend to embrace the holiday spirit about as much as Buddy the Elf does here,” says Sunny Jin, senior executive chef at Paws Up. “The streets are lit, the trees are decorated and new favorite moments are waiting to be discovered. Year-round we aim to exceed the expectations of every family that is welcomed into our 37,000 acre home, but the vacation experience at Paws Up is full of real surprises, driven by an immense responsibility to fully capture the whole spirit of it and to share time and place.”

Paws Up’s Christmas Package is the resort’s signature epic event of many big ones held here throughout the year. The five-night, five-star experience inevitably begins with a wow! Moment as he first pulls into the vast estate and enters its remarkable living quarters. Over the holidays they will be prepared for the occasion with decorated Christmas trees and all the comforts in a festive family holiday environment that Clark Griswold could only dream of. Lodging options at Paws Up range from luxurious Meadow/Big Timber Homes to palatial two-story Wilderness Estates that feature vaulted living rooms, chef’s kitchens, three master suites, huge lofted playrooms, and a pastoral backyard of snow-capped pines and gently curving pines Meadows framed by a horizon of Montana mountains. Nestled in its own woody universe just down the road, Green O’s pine-clad homes are marvels of contemporary design, with private outdoor hot tubs, stone fireplaces, and cozy-chic suites that merge into a forest teeming with families of deer trudging past wall-to-wall windows.


Recreational choices at the resort are as active, blissfully idle, or full-bodied Christmassy as you and the family take care of. Little ones’ favorites include sleigh rides, nearby snow tubing and ice skating trails, holiday-themed scavenger hunts, and a gaping gingerbread house. “Last year’s creation was a 4′ x 5′ sugar-coated replica of our Moonlight Camp,” says Jin. “We began planning this year’s Gingerbread structure in July with a view to exceeding all expectations, including our own, in December.”

During the snow season, guests can explore the resort’s vast and diverse backcountry on horseback, snowmobile, dog sled, snowshoe, or quad bikes along miles of wintry trails. For an epicurean après adventure, the property’s cozy spa is tucked away in an original farmhouse, like something out of a fairy tale book.

The adventurous highlights of the day are offset by the culinary delights at a resort nationally known for hosting one of the West’s hottest dining scenes. Holiday dining at Paws Up is no exception, offering a feast of locally grown, harvested and farmed foods prepared at Pomp, the resort’s fine-dining restaurant. Next door at Trough, tasty home-cooked western dishes are served in a less formal setting. In green o’s spectacular Social Haus dining area, multi-course fixed price meals are a gourmet event in themselves, prepared in an open kitchen by a creative team of award-winning chefs.

“The Social House is perfect for grown-up families to come together and enjoy an intimate holiday experience,” says Brandon Cunningham, Executive Chef at Green O. “We take holiday celebrations very seriously here and like to stick to traditional fare while also offering imaginative ones dishes.”

When Christmas Eve arrives at Paws Up, a gift-carrying, ho-ho-ho-ing (but pragmatic) Santa Claus himself stops by each guest house and chooses the front door over the chimney. New Year’s Eve features live music, fireworks and midnight bubbly at Paws Up. The intimate Green O scene is decidedly calmer, while wrapping the same deliciously enchanting Christmas in the Big Sky Country Epiphany — which Merry doesn’t quite manage to describe in full.

Learn more about the green o:
Experience the Green O
A green summer
The unique artistic architecture of Green O
Some Green O recipes

Paws Up’s Christmas package includes five nights’ accommodation, all daily meals, select alcoholic beverages, $500 prepaid resort credit per person and round-trip transportation from Missoula International Airport – and a gifted visit from St. Nick on Christmas Eve. Visit pawsup.com for more information.

Images courtesy of Stuart Thurlkill