Guide to holiday events at Colorado’s ski resorts
posted by: Amber Johnson
With the holidays fast approaching, Colorado’s resorts are ready to welcome guests from near and far ready to enjoy the holiday spirit. Colorado ski areas are offering fun, family-friendly events including tree-lighting ceremonies, skiing with Santa, torchlight parades, fine dining and fireworks. Guests can celebrate the winter season and ring in the New Year on Colorado’s world-class snow and terrain. Holiday events and celebrations at ski areas in Colorado include:
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Santa Claus at A-Basin
On Sunday, December 24, Santa Claus and his elf will arrive at A-Basin at 11 a.m. to hand out candy to children in the A-Frame Lodge and Mountain Goat Plaza. After Santa visits the base area buildings he will visit children in the Molly Hogan Learning Area before heading up Black Mountain Express to visit guests at Black Mountain Lodge. Santa will be leaving A-Basin just after 1 p.m. The Summit County Choral Society will be caroling in the base area from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.
5th Annual Tree Lighting at The Little Nell
On Sunday, December 10, this festive, family-friendly event will be held in the courtyard at The Little Nell from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, carolers and photo ops with Santa Claus. The Aspen Animal Shelter will be onsite with “reindeer” pups. Guests can donate new and gently worn winter clothing for the Aspen Homeless Shelter.
Santa’s Village and Carolers
From December 21-24, The North Pole will come to the Snowmass Mall and Base Village, where Santa himself will be available to hear last-minute requests from girls and boys. Complimentary photos with Santa will be offered from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Carolers will stroll through the Snowmass Mall and Base Village December 23-24.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks + Torchlight Parade
On Sunday, December 31 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Snowmass will ring in the New Year by lighting up the slopes with fireworks and a Torchlight Parade. Skiers and snowboarders ages eight and older will be welcome to ski in the parade, which will begin at 6 p.m., followed by fireworks over Snowmass at 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.
37th Annual Tree Lighting
On November 25, the 37th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony features a holiday poetry contest, ice skating show, and performances by various groups from all over Colorado.
On November 25, 2017, children of all ages will delight in making Christmas gifts for the whole family, decorating holiday cookies and taking photos with Santa! Santa’s elves will be on hand to help with crafting and photos. beavercreek.com
Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa
The Westin Riverfront launched something new this year: The 25 days of Christmas. This celebration features FREE holiday activities–crafts, story time, and s’mores parties, etc.–every day from Dec. 1-25. www.westinriverfrontbeavercreek.com
75th Anniversary New Year’s Eve Party
On Sunday, December 31, Cooper will honor their 75 years of operations with a New Year’s Eve Celebration complete with a torchlight parade, birthday cake, balloons and live music. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.
Christmas at Copper
On Sunday, December 24, Christmas Eve at Copper will bring a visit from Santa himself, as well as a children’s glowstick pageant and a torchlight parade. Guests will be able to close out the night with a Christmas Eve fireworks display.
New Year’s Eve Dine and Ski
On Sunday, December 31, guests will enjoy the last moments of 2017 by taking the American Eagle chairlift up to mid-mountain where a delicious buffet dinner will be waiting in Solitude Station. After dinner, guests will be able to ski back down the mountain under the light of the moon and stars.
New Year’s Eve Celebration
On Sunday, December 31, Copper Mountain will say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018 with a children’s glowstick pageant, a torchlight parade and a mountainside fireworks display. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Santa Ski and Crawl
On Saturday, December 9, Crested Butte Mountain Resort will sponsor the 5th annual “Santa Ski and Crawl” in hopes of breaking the World Record for the largest number of skiers in full Santa costumes. Participants must be decked out in a full Santa suit to participate in the group Santa Ski. $25 lift tickets will be available for guests in a full Santa suit (top, bottom, hat and beard).
Torchlight Parade and Santa’s Sleigh Ride
On Sunday, December 24, Crested Butte will begin the holiday festivities as Santa comes down the mountain in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat. Santa will hand out candy canes to children. Guests will be able to stay to watch the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School perform their famous torchlight parade down the front side of the mountain at 5:30 p.m. Photos with Santa will be available immediately following the torchlight parade inside the Spellbound Pizza area next to Butte 66.
NYE Apres Party at the Umbrella Bar
Starting at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, Crested Butte will offer a new take on New Year’s Eve celebrations. Guests can take a self-guided skin or snowshoe tour to the top of Ten Peaks and warm up inside the Umbrella Bar while watching the fireworks display, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy appetizers, champagne and dessert as they celebrate the coming of a new year. The event will cost $50 per person. For more information, visit www.skicb.com.
Annual Ugly Sweater Contest
On Sunday, December 24, Eldora will host guests in their ugliest holiday sweaters as they host a festive holiday celebration. There will be lots of holiday cheer as Santa leads a group of skiers and riders down the mountain to the deck for hot chocolate, candy canes and fun festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. Guests will be able to participate in the ugly sweater contest and a holiday dance contest. For more information, visit www.eldora.com.
From December 22-24, skiers and riders will be able to celebrate the holiday season with music, holiday treats, Santa, Christmas cookies, card decorating and more.
New Year’s Eve Party
On Sunday, December 31, Granby Ranch will host a New Year’s Eve party for guests to ring in the New Year on the slopes. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.
Santa Claus is Coming to Keystone
On December 16, 17, 20, 22, 23 and 24, Santa is coming to town. Photo opportunities, skiing, parades, a family-friendly brunch and the Mountaintop Spectacular will highlight his visits. Don’t miss Keystone’s famous snow fort!
Keystone Chocolate Village
Keystone Executive Pastry Chef Ned Archibald utilizes more than 7,500 pounds of imported chocolate for the Keystone Chocolate Village located in the lobby of the Keystone Lodge & Spa from Dec. 21, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018. www.keystoneresort.com
Loveland Ski Area
Santa at Loveland
Every Christmas Santa takes time out of his busy schedule to ski at Loveland Ski Area. This year is no different as Santa will make his appearance at Loveland on December 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Not only will he be cruising the slopes, but he’ll also visit the Ski & Ride School and Children’s Center to hand out candy to young ones and pose for photos. For more information, visitwww.skiloveland.com.
Skiing with Santa
Santa will be skiing Monarch Mountain on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017. Guests who stick around Monarch will be treated to the New Year’s Eve fireworks and torchlight parade. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.
Powderhorn Mountain Resort
New Year’s Eve Celebration
On Sunday, December 31, Powderhorn will host the annual Torchlight Parade, along with a fireworks display, a New Year’s Rail Jam, and live music at the SlopeSide Inn with drink and food specials until 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
The Holidays at Purgatory
Purgatory Resort offers a variety of holiday activities to celebrate this season. On Saturday, December 23, guests will be able to attend a free wreath-making class and spend time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will visit via horse-drawn sleigh ride, delivering candy canes and taking last minute gift requests. On Sunday, December 24, skiers and riders will be able to spend time off the slopes with a Build Your Own Gingerbread House event and a free Holiday S’mores Party on the beach, while the Slopeside Restaurant will host a Christmas Eve dinner complete with a buffet-style holiday feast, a hot cocoa bar, Christmas Cookie station, and dessert buffet. From December 26-29, Purgatory will be home to Snow Sculptures in the Plaza with world-renowned artist Keith Martin, and on Sunday, December 31 guests will ring in the New Year with fireworks, a torchlight parade and a New Year’s Eve special dinner-buffet with carving stations and decadent desserts. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.
New Year’s Eve
Silverton Mountain will offer a New Years’ Eve package December 29-31, including three days of guided skiing, parties each night, lunch and après drinks every day, and more. This package will be offered on opening weekend at Silverton Mountain, so conditions will be untouched and on steep terrain. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com.
Steamboat Holiday Festival
On Friday, December 17 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Steamboat will welcome guests to gondola square to celebrate the holiday season Steamboat style. Santa will ride down the slopes on horseback and meet guests at his workshop along with some of his favorite reindeer friends. There will be a stocking scramble and free holiday treats at surrounding stores and restaurants. Additional festivities will include cookie decorating and a special holiday concert featuring the Face Vocal Band. The party will continue after dark with a torchlight parade and fireworks followed by night skiing.
Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
On Sunday, December 31 from 5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Steamboat Snowsports School will treat folks to a spectacular on-snow parade down the mountain lit only by torches. Along with the torchlight parades, a fireworks display will illuminate the sky providing a perfect ending to the evening. Following the Torchlight Parade, guests will ring in the New Year at a kid-friendly event with the Family Fun New Year’s Eve bash at the Steamboat Grand. The festivities will kick off with a family-style buffet dinner in the Grand Ballroom followed by magic, juggling and comedy. Other children’s activities and face painting will fill the time before the 2018 countdown, complete with noise makers and party hats, happening at 9 p.m.
Korbel New Year’s Eve Party
Guests can join Steamboat for a New Year’s Eve celebration at the top of the gondola in Thunderhead Lodge from 6 p.m. on December 31 to 1 a.m. on January 1. Visitors will dance the night away with DJ entertainment and indulge in a desert bar, chocolate fondue station and small bite appetizers before ringing in 2018. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.
Sunlight Mountain Resort
Shred with Santa
From December 16-17, guests will be able to take a free ride on all the best 2017 skis and snowboards during Sunlight’s annual Free Demo Days. Kids will enjoy free photos with Santa on Sunlight’s West Deck and then enjoy a few runs with the man in red. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.
Telluride Ski Resort
From December 16-17, Telluride’s Mountain Village will be transformed once again into the North Pole for this year’s Holiday Prelude celebration. Guests will enjoy a whole day of holidaymovies, train rides, Santa and his workshop, live reindeer, ice skating and children’s holiday surprises around every corner.
Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade
On Sunday, December 24, guests will be able to watch as Telluride Ski Resort employees meander down the mountain with torches to light up the mountainside.
New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade: (Dec. 31)
On Sunday, December 31 skiers and snowboarders will take a run down the mountain carrying blazing red torches. Guests can view parades on both sides of the resort: Town and Mountain Village. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.
Embrace the holidays with the annual tree lighting ceremony and lantern walk. On New Year’s Eve torchlight ski down and fireworks, ring in the New Year Vail style with the Torchlight Parade, followed by fireworks at Golden Peak. Watch as ski instructors and Vail locals form a train as they ski down Golden Peak with glowing sticks followed by a fireworks display. Holidays is free and open to the public daily, December 16 through December 31. www.vail.com
Winter Park Resort
Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade
Winter Park’s Christmas Eve celebrations will begin on Sunday, December 24 at 1 p.m. with a visit from Santa in the gazebo, followed by Christmas carolers at 3:15 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., a procession of torch-bearing skiers and riders will begin their way down Lower Hughes trail, followed by Santa Claus and his merry helpers. A spectacular fireworks display and snowcats adorned with Christmas colors will light up the slopes in a Christmas tree formation to conclude the festivities.
Immediately following the show at 6 p.m., visitors are welcome to attend a Christmas Eve non-denominational service located in West Portal. The service will last about an hour. After the parade or the non-denominational service, guests can enjoy a holiday buffet at Sunspot Lodge. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.
Wolf Creek Ski Area
Santa at Wolf Creek
From December 24-25, Santa will make pit stops at Wolf Creek while out and about delivering presents. Santa will explore Wolf Creek greeting guests, spreading holiday cheer and handing out candy canes. The Wolf Creek Lodge will serve a Christmas dinner of Cornish game hen and the traditional sides for skiers and boarders celebrating the holiday. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.