Santa loves to ski, and Colorado ski resorts roll out the red carpet for the man in red every winter. Festive family fun focuses on skis, sleds, and skates. Here are 6 ways to celebrate the holidays at Colorado’s ski resorts.
The Twelve Days of Aspen Snowmass and New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade
During the The Twelve Days of Aspen (December 20-31), the charming ski town transforms into a winter wonderland. There is so much to see and do on the menu of family fun: free ice skating, tree lighting ceremonies, a visit with Santa and his live reindeer, holiday card making, cookie decorating, ugly sweater après, santa paws yappy hour for dogs, specialty Christmas dinners and more. Santa’s Magical Village sets up shop, so that good boys and girls can get their toy requests in before Christmas.
The free Torchlight Parade with fireworks on New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31 gives anyone eight years or older the chance to join a magical trail of lights down the mountain, with a grand fireworks show at the stroke of midnight. www.aspenchamber.org.
Christmas on Copper Mountain
On Christmas Eve, Santa pays a visit to Copper Mountain, where he is greeting by a children’s Glowstick Pageant and a Torchlight Parade down the Main Vein trail. Festive fireworks send him off on a night of delivery gifts around the world. www.coppercolorado.com.
Holiday Fun in Crested Butte
Crested Butt glows over the holidays, with dazzling twinkle lights, ice sculptures, and crowds gathered for the Torchlight Parade as skiers wind down the mountain on Christmas Eve. Santa himself comes down the mountain in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat. The Grand Lodge is located just 200 yards from the chairlift, making first tracks on Christmas morning a definite possibility. Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Grandest Christmas Package package features four nights of lodging at The Grand Lodge and three days of skiing or riding at CBMR, including passes to the resort’s Adventure Park, for a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids 17 and under) for $1049, plus tax and fees.(To book visit www.skicb.com/deals or call 844-993-9545.)
This year, the Crested Butte “Santa Ski and Crawl” hopes to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of skiers in full Santa costumes. After the group ski, a pub crawl will start on the mountain and finish at various watering holes in downtown Crested Butte.
Celebrate in Steamboat
At the Steamboat Holiday Festival (December 20), resort guests can celebrate the holiday season Steamboat Style. Santa even rides down the slopes…on horseback! Guests can participate in the stocking scramble and collect free holiday treats at surrounding stores and restaurants. Additional festivities include a cookie decorating and a special holiday concert. The party continues after dark with a torch-light parade and fireworks followed by night skiing. www.steamboat.com.
Telluride Transforms into the North Pole
Telluride’s Mountain Village turns into the North Pole for this year’s Holiday Prelude celebration during the weekend of December 11 – 13. The Mountain Village Holiday Prelude magic starts at the Oak Street gondola station where the free gondola is transformed into a Trip to the North Pole on Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12 from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Take in the decorations and lights galore as elves send guests on their way to visit Santa in his workshop in Heritage Plaza. Be sure to enjoy a free train ride throughout the Mountain Village’s festival of lights, and the North Pole on Ice professional skating performance on the Mountain Village Ice Rink outside of the Madeline Hotel and Residences. On Saturday (December 12), there will be free sledding and skating, and on Saturday night, families can participate in the Hotel Madeline Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Skating Party. To conclude the weekend of holiday fun, the Palmyra Restaurant at the Peaks will be hosting a pajama breakfast with Santa.
Winter Magic in Winter Park Resort
A beloved Christmas Eve tradition since 1978, Winter Park’s slopes come alight with the annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks show. The festivities begin with Christmas carols around the bonfire at the base of Winter Park Resort, next to the Zephyr Lift at 4pm. At 5:30pm, 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 www.winterparkresort.com.