Photo credit: Loveland Ski Area
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After a Thanksgiving weekend filled with snowfall and with more snow expected through the beginning and middle of December, the holiday season is fast approaching in Colorado. Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts are ready to greet guests with family-friendly activities and events including holiday ice skating, fine dining, fireworks and torchlight parades. The magic of the holiday season will be plentiful in Colorado Ski Country this year with Santa making time in his busy schedule to ski and spread cheer at ski areas across the state. Guests can celebrate the holiday season and ring in the New Year at Colorado’s ski areas whether they are long-time skiers and snowboarders, first-time participants or non-skiers seeking a fun winter destination for the whole family.
Below is a summary of Colorado ski area events and programs for the 2018-19 holiday season.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Arapahoe Basin will host a variety of family-friendly holiday activities, beginning with a visit from Santa and an elf on Monday, Dec. 24. Santa will bring candy and holiday cheer, and the Summit County Choral Society will be caroling in the base area from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
A-Basin will also host New Year’s Eve in the Mountains, a special lift-served Moonlight Dinner at Black Mountain Lodge. This event will offer guests the opportunity to ring in 2019 with a gourmet dinner by Chef Steven Vlass including lobster, filet mignon and other delicious offerings. A-Basin will celebrate New Year's Eve with New York at 10 p.m. with live music, a glass of champagne, party favors and a balloon drop. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.
Aspen Snowmass will celebrate Chanukah with events throughout the holiday from Dec. 2-10. The annual Tree Lighting at the Little Nell on Sunday will take place Dec. 9, featuring a city-wide countdown, complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, carolers and photos with Santa Claus. On Saturday, Dec. 15, the festivities will continue with the Snowmass Base Village Grand Opening Celebration. This event will include a live band, food and drinks, and tons of giveaways as Aspen Snowmass unveils the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass, a new restaurant, a children’s game area and a five-story climbing wall.
On select evenings during the holidays, Elk Camp at Snowmass will host Ullr Nights, a nighttime winter wonderland event including tubing, snowbiking, snowshoe tours, live music, a bonfire, s’mores and the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Little Nell will host four-course prix fixe dinners at Element 47, featuring holiday favorites with a gourmet twist perfect for Christmas.
For New Year’s Eve, Aspen Snowmass will host a torchlight parade and free fireworks show over Aspen Mountain, plus several ticketed events including New Year’s Eve Dinners at Element 47 and Ajax Tavern, luxury private snowcat rides with Clicquot Cats, and the Dom Perignon Party at the Little Nell. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.
On Christmas Eve, Cooper will host Santa Claus for family-friendly opportunities to ski with Santa and take photos, along with Christmas carolers in the lodge. On New Year’s Eve, Cooper will host live music and a torchlight parade. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.
Copper Mountain transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays, including several themed events. Christmas Eve at Copper on December 24 will include a visit from Santa himself, along with a children’s glowstick pageant, a torchlight parade and Christmas Eve fireworks display.
On New Year’s Eve, Copper Mountain will host a Moonlight Dine & Ski event, offering guests an opportunity to enjoy the last moments of 2018 with a chairlift ride up to mid-mountain, where a champagne toast and delicious buffet dinner will be waiting in Solitude Station. After dinner, visitors can ski back down the mountain on a freshly groomed trail under the light of the moon and stars. New Year’s Eve at Copper Mountain will also feature a children’s glowstick pageant, a torchlight parade and a mountainside fireworks display. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.
Granby Ranch will celebrate the holidays with several days of family-friendly activities. Guests will have the chance to Ski with Santa on Dec. 22-23. On Christmas Eve, guests can enjoy free hot chocolate, a Grand Choral performance around the fire pit and a twilight reading of The Night Before Christmas. Christmas Day will bring a holiday buffet to Granby Ranch.
Granby Ranch will close out 2018 with an evening of live music and night skiing on Dec. 29, followed by a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring an outdoor bar, a glowstick parade and a fireworks display. There will be a family-friendly party with a DJ and photo booth until 9 p.m. and an adults-only party with midnight champagne toast and alcoholic beverages until 1 a.m. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.
On Sunday, Dec. 9, Howelsen will host a Community Holiday Party featuring tubing, Santa’s workshop, caroling, hot chocolate and cookies. Howelsen will also host two Ski Free Sundays during the holiday period, on Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, giving Steamboat Springs holiday visitors a fun and affordable family-friendly skiing opportunity. For more information, visit www.steamboatsprings.net/131/Howelsen-Hill-Ski-Area.
Kendall Mountain will be open every day Dec. 21- Jan. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., including night skiing on Dec. 22. Guests can ski with Santa on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. For more information, visit www.colorado.gov/pacific/townofsilverton/ski-kendall.
Loveland Ski Area
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 appearances at Loveland on December 23, 24, and 25. 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, visit www.skiloveland.com.
Monarch Mountain’s Christmas Eve festivities will include a visit from the big man himself, Santa Claus, who will ski Monarch all day. Santa will hand out candy canes and take pictures with guests, who can also try to keep up with him on skis or a snowboard.
For New Year’s Eve, Monarch will celebrate with the annual torchlight parade and fireworks show. The event will also feature live music, food, drinks and activities for the kids. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.
On New Year’s Eve, Powderhorn Resort will stay open late and host a holiday rail jam, a bonfire and fireworks. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
Purgatory Resort will offer a variety of holiday activities, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, free wreath-making classes and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Guests will also be able to experience an alpenglow snowshoe tour, view the Snow Sculptures in the Plaza by world-renowned artist Keith Martin, and adults can enjoy special events with craft beer, wine & spirits tastings.
For Christmas Eve, Purgatory will host a special dinner complete with a buffet-style holiday feast, hot cocoa bar, Christmas cookie station, and dessert buffet.
On Dec. 31, guests will ring in the New Year with fireworks and a torchlight parade, a special night rail jam, a 5-course gourmet dinner with wine pairings via Snowcat ride to the Powderhouse, followed by a party to celebrate the New Year. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.
Silverton will be open for guests who wish to heli ski over the holidays. Silverton also offers groups the opportunity to rent the mountain for the day, a great option for company holiday parties, charity fundraisers and special events. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com.
Steamboat Resort will ring in the holidays on Dec. 23 with the Holiday Festival in Gondola Square, featuring Santa on horseback riding down the slopes, cookie decorating and holiday treats, and the stocking scramble followed by a free concert, a torchlight parade and fireworks.
Steamboat will also host the New Year’s Eve torchlight parade and fireworks as the Steamboat Snowsports School make their way down the mountain by torchlight. After the parade, a dazzling fireworks display will illuminate the sky. The family-friendly Korbel New Year’s Eve Party at the top of the Gondola in Thunderhead Lodge will feature DJ entertainment, food and a and cash bar. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.
Sunlight Mountain Resort
On December 21, Sunlight will host demo days plus skiing with Santa. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.
Telluride Ski Resort
Telluride will keep the holiday spirit alive with several family-friendly events. On Dec. 15-16, the Holiday Prelude will take over Mountain Village, complete with free ice skating, rides on the Polar Express to the North Pole, Santa’s Village, live Reindeer, a tree lighting and caroling. Mountain Village shoppers will receive some of the best discounts of the year, along with raffles, giveaways, food and drink specials, and more.
Telluride’s Torchlight Parades will light up the mountainside on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.
Winter Park Resort
Santa will be stopping at Winter Park Resort during his busy holiday schedule on Dec. 15, 22, 23 and 24. He will pose for photos with families and participate in the Christmas Eve torchlight parade on Dec. 24, complete with Christmas carols and hot chocolate, followed by a procession of torch-bearing skiers and riders lighting up the slopes. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display and snowcats adorned with Christmas colors. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.
Wolf Creek Ski Area
Wolf Creek will host a holiday visit from Santa Claus on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Santa will spread holiday cheer around the mountain by handing out candy canes while letting the reindeer rest. Wolf Creek Upper Lodge chefs will bake festive Cornish Game Hens with traditional mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and a choice of dessert. Pathfinder Bar will also offer festive drink specials. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.