Get ready for the month of December, because Colorado ski resorts are making it easy for you to enjoy memorable holidays this season. From snowy slopes and skiing Santas to sparkling firework shows and snowcat parades, winter lovers are sure to find themselves in modern-day Currier and Ives holiday celebrations on and off the slopes. Festive events last through New Year’s as resorts welcome joyful holiday skiers and riders.
For 12 days in December, downtown Aspen transforms into a fabulous winter wonderland overflowing with holiday festivities. Events include free ice skating, visits with Santa and his reindeer, s’more making around the fire, cookies, cocoa and holiday drink specials. Guests can enjoy the 12 Days of Aspen all day-long or swing by for some après fun. The festivities culminate with New Year’s Eve fireworks over Aspen Mountain.
Skiers and riders are invited to celebrate the holidays at Copper Mountain with En Fuego, a family-friendly entertainment series featuring snowcat parades, fireworks and Woodward at Copper rail jams. On Christmas Eve, a spectacular snowcat parade will make its way down the mountain as guests enjoy bonfires, a Woodward Rail session and street performers in Center Village.
This Dec. 15 – 22, the Rock on Ice team returns to Mt. Crested Butte for an ice carving festival in celebration of the holiday season. Visitors will be amazed as two of the world’s most renowned carvers create larger than life sized sculptures of animals, holiday characters and other iconic figures out of blocks of ice. The event will feature daily ice carving demonstrations, including interactive sculptures perfect for family photos, and a dazzling ice sculpture garden in the Courtyard at Mountaineer Square.
SKI & VISIT WITH SANTA
Christmas at Arapahoe Basin will take place Dec. 22. Santa is rumored to be making an appearance (usually around 11 a.m.) stopping by the base area before taking a few laps on the mountain. Complimentary cake and refreshments will be served in the base area at 12:30 p.m.
On Christmas Eve at Crested Butte Mountain Resort guests can watch Santa come down the mountain on a sleigh pulled by a snowcat as he hands out candy canes and spreads some holiday spirit. After visiting with Santa, guests are invited to stay and watch the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School perform their famous torchlight parade down the front side of the mountain.
Skiers and riders can see Santa at Eldora Mountain Resort on Dec. 25 and are invited to celebrate Christmas with special holiday menus in Timbers Grill and Corona Bar.
Santa will take a break from his holiday duties to ski at Loveland Ski Area on Dec. 24 and 25.
Bring the little ones up to Monarch on Dec. 24 to visit with Santa as he skis or snowboards around the resort spreading Christmas cheer. Photo opportunities will also be available.
Powderhorn guests will get a visit from Santa on Dec. 23 and 24.
Santa Claus will make a pre-holiday visit to the Ski Cooper Lodge on Dec. 22. Kids will have a chance to tell Santa their holiday wishes, and he will be bringing his sled for the perfect holiday family photo.
The North Pole comes to the Snowmass Village Mall and Base Village when Santa’s magical village opens to hear the last minute requests of good girls and boys on Dec. 23 and 24. Complimentary photos with Santa are offered each day. Additionally, carolers and a barber shop quartet will stroll through the mall and Base Village singing favorite Christmas Carols.
On Dec. 22 and 23 Sunlight will host Demo Days with Santa Claus. Santa will be at the resort to visit with guests, and kids can tell him their Christmas wishes and get their picture taken with him, and they might even get a special treat. In addition to Santa, various ski and snowboard equipment brands will be at the resort and guests will be able to try new skis, boards, and bindings.
Santa is planning to visit Wolf Creek’s young skiers and rider in the Wolf Pups building in Dec. 24 and 25.
TORCHLIGHT PARADES & FIREWORKS
Copper Mountain welcomes guests on New Year’s Eve for a day of skiing followed by the USASA/X Games Rail Jam Qualifier and fireworks over the mountain. Holiday En Fuego begins at 5 p.m. in Center Village and is free for all to enjoy. www.CopperColorado.com.
On Dec. 31, a New Year’s Eve torchlight parade will be put on by Crested Butte’s finest ski and snowboard instructors. Visitors can watch as they wind their way down the mountain carrying orange flames to light up their path. Following the torchlight parade, there will be a fireworks show, best seen from the base area of the mountain and best enjoyed with an après ski beverage on the deck of 9380. www.SkiCB.com
Ring in the New Year with Durango Mountain Resort as they host a New Year’s Eve torchlight parade and fireworks celebration. www.DurangoMountainResort.com
Skiers and riders can join Monarch for their annual Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show on New Year’s Eve. Festivities will begin around sunset with drink specials and an incredible firework display. Guests can sign up with Guest Services to participate in the Torchlight Parade. For more information and registration, call 888-996-7669 x-5050 or visit www.SkiMonarch.com.
Guests can celebrate the New Year at Powderhorn as they host a rail jam followed by a torchlight parade and fireworks display. www.Powderhorn.com.
Whether watching or participating, visitors can enjoy the annual torchlight parade down Snowmass’ slopes on Dec. 27. Moms, dads and kids ages 8 and older are invited to be part of the trail of light down the mountain and take in the free fireworks after the parade. For more information, stop by the Guest Services Information Desk in the Ticket Pavilion on the Snowmass Mall or call 970.923.0560. www.AspenSnowmass.com.
This New Year’s Eve the Steamboat Ski & Snowboard School treats tourists and locals to spectacular on-snow parades down the mountain lit only by torches. In conjunction with the torchlight parade, a fireworks display will illuminate the sky providing a perfect ending to the year. On Dec. 26, children get a chance to ski down the mountain and join in the excitement as a special finale to the Kids’ Ski Week program. www.Steamboat.com
When in Telluride this holiday season, guests can look up from the base of Lift 4 at dusk in Mountain Village and see skiers carrying torches down the Misty Maiden run to celebrate the annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade. The parade will be followed by a fireworks show. www.TellurideSkiResort.com.
The Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade is one of the most beloved Winter Park traditions. The event begins with Christmas carols around the bonfire at the base of Winter Park Resort, next to the Zephyr Lift at 4 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. a procession of torch-bearing skiers and riders 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 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 Christmas Eve interdenominational services located in the lower level of the Balcony House and Catholic Church services located in West Portal Level 4. Services are scheduled to last about an hour. For more information on this Christmas Eve ski down, call 970.726.1564. www.WinterParkResort.com.