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Colorado Skiing Makes Me Happy to be Home for the Holidays

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Confession: I was moderately depressed last year when I was unable to spend Christmas with my family in Canada.

But let’s face it: there are worse things than spending Christmas in Colorado.

And so my family of four opted to start a new tradition: We went skiing the day before Christmas at Loveland Ski Area. It was fantastic for a few reasons:

* Colorado’s resorts are the very epitome of a winter wonderland.
* My children exerted all their pent-up “Santa’s coming” energies on the slopes. They were passed out by 8:30 p.m.
* Santa visited Loveland’s ski school and skied with the kids.

Note: My 5-year-old daughter made sure to give him a thorough interrogation that he, indeed, was just Santa’s helper because surely the true St. Nick would not be slacking off on Christmas Eve.

Our fantastic experience made me resolve to head to the hills more often. I asked Colorado Ski Country USA to help me with a snapshot of upcoming activities and deals that will delight skiers and non-skiers.

Arapahoe Basin

“A-Basin” was the first place I skied when I first moved to Colorado so it holds a special place in my heart. This season, I am most excited about the Black Mountain Lodge Full Moon Snowshoe Dinner Series that embraces cuisine from regions such as the Andes, Pyrenees and the Dolomites on January 19, February 19, March 19 and April 16.

Not-to-be-missed is their New Year’s Eve Dinner ($89/person) with gourmet food, big band sounds, dancing and party favors. After dinner, guests may snowshoe down the mountain or ride the chairlift to the base area. arapahoebasin.com

Copper Mountain

Santa is hanging out at Copper on December 18, 24 and 25 during High Alpine Holidays when the Village at Copper comes alive with a tree lighting at dusk, carolers, s’mores, photos with Santa and free gift wrap for Village purchases. On Christmas Eve, kids will love Copper’s spectacular Torchlight Parade that weaves down the mountain.

En Fuego (the resort’s holiday tradition) boasts street entertainers, bonfires, fire performers and fireworks to complete the evening. The festivities close with New Year’s Eve En Fuego, on December 31. CopperColorado.com.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Hands down, Crested Butte is my favorite mountain town and holiday events at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) are in abundance. Guaranteed, you will marvel at the ice sculptures in Rock on Ice, a professional ice-carving competition on display around the base area December 18-21.

Equally as impressive is the gingerbread house building competition with cash prizes December 21 through January 1 and the torchlight parade on December 24 and 31. Also be sure to check out CBMR’s Grandest Christmas Package that makes this an affordable option. skicb.com

SolVista Basin at Granby Ranch

I have fond memories of my daughter learning to ski (and doing her first face-plant) at SolVista, one of Colorado’s most family-friendly resorts. Santa will make a visit on December 24 and kids will love night skiing and tubing under holiday lights December 26 through 30 from 5-8 p.m.

There will be carolers singing by the fire, s’mores with a cup of hot chocolate and the grand finale to the weeklong celebration will be fireworks over Granby Ranch at dusk on New Year’s Eve. Best of all, prices are affordable: Night skiing is $10/person; tubing is $11/person; or a combo ticket is $18/person. SolVista.com.

Steamboat

I’ve vacationed in charming mountain hamlet Steamboat but never in the winter. Their impressive line-up has must-visit motivators including Santa Claus, the Sprint New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks, and holiday s’mores and hot toddy-making classes in Gondola Square.

Oh, and did I mention holiday feasts at Hazie’s, Western BBQ, a sleigh ride to Ragnar’s and New Year’s Eve Kids Night Out ($75), which includes games, movies, gondola rides, dinner, snacks and watching the torchlight parade and fireworks. Steamboat.com.

Winter Park Resort

Winter Park Resort is offering an unsurpassed Christmas card photo opp: pose with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and live reindeer the two weekends prior to Christmas. Christmas Eve has an abundance of activities including a torchlight parade that is followed by snowcats making a Christmas tree design and Santa skiing down and meeting the children at the bottom. winterparkresort.com.

Talk about a having a Merry Christmas….

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Comments
  • comment avatar Andrea November 29, 2010

    How funny. We spent last Christmas Eve day on the slopes and were shocked no one was there. It’s going to be a new tradition for us as well.

    Great roundup. Thanks.

  • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck November 29, 2010

    My family thought the same thing. We practically had the whole resort to ourselves. I suspect people were busy getting ready for Christmas but that’s what made it all the better: no crowds or traffic on I-70!

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  • comment avatar Lori Lavender Luz November 29, 2010

    But what about the hot toddies!?

    Great tips for snow mamas and snow families.

  • comment avatar Colorado Ski Authority November 30, 2010

    I recall there was not much snow around Christmas of last year, although I think we did get a storm during that period. Vail, Arapahoe Basin and all of the nearby resorts are having a record breaking start to the season so far this year; this will be a great year to visit.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson November 30, 2010

    Yep, it was FREEEEEZING last year on Christmas Eve. I remember shivering and huddling for warmth on chairlifts. Let’s hope for more forgiving temperatures this year!

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