As the days grow shorter and the snow gets deeper, resorts are ready to ring in the winter holiday season in Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA)with lodging packages, fun family activities, and a variety of festive events. From Kids Ski Free promotions and on-mountain holiday dining to skiing with Santa in his natural high alpine habitat and New Years fireworks galore, guests at Colorados ski resorts can celebrate the winter holidays as they were meant to be experienced.
Following are highlights of some of the holiday activities and programs visitors to CSCUSA resorts can enjoy in the coming weeks:
New Years Eve Moonlight Dinner, December 31
Guests at Arapahoe Basin can ring in 2015 on the Continental Divide in a rustic, romantic setting in the glow of the full moon. Chef Christopher Rybak will serve a gourmet four-course meal at mid-mountains Black Mountain Lodge that is sure to start the New Year off right. Dinner begins at 7:00 pm and attendees will celebrate New Year’s Eve with New York at 10:00 p.m. with a glass of champagne and party favors. Because of New Years Eves proximity to the full moon, this will also serve as the January instalment of Arapahoe Basins Moonlight Dinner series. This event is lift-served; please, no hiking. Cost: $98 plus tax. For more information please call 888-ARAPAHOE or visit www.arapahoebasin.com.
Perfect Holiday Package: Kids Ski & Stay Free in December
Kids ski free with the purchase of an adult lift ticket, rent free with the purchase of an adult equipment rental and stay free. Kids also eat lunch free with a comparable adult purchase at select on-mountain restaurants. Equipment rentals include ski and snowboard packages and individual items. Package must be booked by December 2, 2014 and is valid December 20-25, 2014. It also must be booked with a Stay Aspen Snowmass vacation expert by calling 800.290.1326. For more information, visit www.stayaspensnowmass.com.
The Twelve Days of Aspen, December 20-31
Downtown Aspen celebrates the 12 Days of Aspen with everything from free ice skating, tree lighting ceremonies with hot cocoa and carolers and guests might even spot Santa skiing down the hill. Two fireworks shows light up Aspen Mountain on New Years Eve amidst prix fixe dinners and free flowing champagne parties. For more information, visit www.aspenchamber.org.
The Twelve Days of Copper, December 20-31
The holidays at Copper Mountain feature skiers skiing, riders sliding, holiday shopping, happy hours hopping twelve days of events, discounts and holiday surprises. There will be enough holiday cheer to go around with activity, aprs and dining specials. In addition, guests can take care of their holiday shopping and take advantage of discounts at Coppers fine retail establishments. Details will be available at www.CopperColorado.com.
Grandest Christmas Package
Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR)s Grandest Christmas package features four nights of lodging at The Grand Lodge and three days of skiing or riding at CBMR, including passes to the resorts Adventure Park, for a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids 17 and under) for $999. Dazzling twinkle lights line Elk Avenue, ice sculptures adorn the base area, and crowds gather for the Torchlight Parade as skiers wind down the mountain on Christmas Eve. The Grand Lodge is located just 200 yards from the chairlift, making first tracks on Christmas morning a definite possibility. To book visit www.skicb.com/deals or call 844-993-9545.
Light Up the Night, December 12 – 13
Light Up the Night weekend kicks off the 12 Days of Cheer in town on Friday, December 12. The parade will start at 5:00 pm and culminate with a tree lighting. The fun continues on Saturday, December 13 in the Lodge at Mountaineer Square for some holiday cheer. The S’mores station starts at 5:00 pm and the tree lighting happens at 5:30 pm, followed by photos with Santa.
Santa Day, December 14
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is sponsoring a “Santa Ski and Crawl” in hopes of breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of skiers in full Santa costumes. Santa crawlers need to be decked out in a full Santa suit in order to participate. CBMR is offering $22 lift tickets for those in full costume and lodging deals for participants when booking with Crested Butte Vacations (888-879-7317). After the group ski, a pub crawl will start on the mountain and finish at various watering holes in downtown Crested Butte. More information visit www.cbsantacrawl.com.
Christmas Eve at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, December 24
Resort guests can watch Santa come down the mountain in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat and then stay to watch the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School perform their famous torchlight parade down the front side of the mountain.
Christmas Dinner at Uleys Cabin, December 25
Uleys Cabin is an epicurean adventure in Crested Butte and is hosting a special Christmas meal to bring good cheer. Guests will board a sleigh ride to a cabin nestled in the woods, where a four-course meal and a roaring fire await. With a menu of roasted chestnut soup, winter green salad and a choice of Colorado venison, beef tenderloin or a roasted half duckling and finishing with a house made Scottish toffee cake, the evening will be one to remember. Reservations can be made at www.skicb.com/uleys. For more information about holiday events and promotions at Crested Butte, visit www.skicb.com.
Ski and Ride Loveland with Santa
Skiers and snowboarders who venture to Loveland around Christmastime can find themselves riding the lifts and slopes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Visit www.skiloveland.com for more information.
Santa Skis (or Rides) Monarch on Christmas Eve
Parents can bring the kids up to Monarch on Christmas Eve to meet Santa and spend a day on the mountain.
New Years Eve / 75th Anniversary Party
Monarch will be holding its traditional New Years Eve party, with fireworks, torch-light parade and local brews. The party starts as soon as the lifts close at 4:00 pm. This year, Monarch is hosting a bigger bash than usual in celebration of its 75th Anniversary. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.
Powderhorns New Years festivities will feature its annual Torchlight Parade and Fireworks display, with music playing throughout the day and an after-party in the lodge following the fireworks. The Torchlight Parade and fireworks can be seen all across the valley below. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort
Celebrate the Holidays with Friends and Family at Durango Mountain Resort
Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit Durango Mountain Resort, arriving via horse-drawn sleigh so the reindeers can rest up, on Sunday, December 21 and Wednesday, December 24. Guests will enjoy a special Christmas dinner buffet, live music, holiday kids movies, aprs ski hot cocoa and smores, Kids Night Out at the Den Childcare Center, and more throughout the holiday week.
Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort will usher in the New Year with a Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display, as well as a celebration for kids at 10:00 pm with party favors, and a celebration at midnight for adults with live music and a New Years Eve toast.
Resort guests can enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides on the snow, alpenglow snowshoe tours with spectacular views, dog sledding, and more fun on the snow. For more information and packages, log on to www.SkiPurg.com.
Ski Granby Ranch
Winter Wonderland, December 24 January 4
Granby Ranch is hosting Winter Wonderland December 24 through January 4. On Christmas Eve guests can ride the slopes with Santa from 9:00am-12:00pm or visit him at the base from 12:30-2:45. Following a day of skiing and snowboarding, visitors to Granby Ranch can celebrate Christmas Eve with a service at the Base Lodge at 5pm. From December 26-30, guests can extend their ski day with free horse-drawn carriage rides from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
New Years Eve Festivities, December 31
Ski Granby Ranch guests can ring in the New Year at a family dance party from 4:00-9:30pm. A glow stick parade, torchlight parade, and fireworks begin at 6pm.
Ice Maze and Ice Games, January 2-4
From January 2-4 visitors can see the work of Cool Hand Ice and his team as they create an ice maze and ice games for the whole family to enjoy. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.
Demo Days with Santa, December 20-21
Sunlight Mountain Resort hosts its annual Demo Days with Santa winter event on December 20-21. Guests have the opportunity to try new skis and boards for free while the kids visit with Santa. This is an opportunity to find the best Christmas present ever; for more information visit www.sunlightmtn.com.
Torchlight Parades and Fireworks, December 31
To ring in the New Year, the Steamboat Snowsports School treats guests to spectacular on-snow parades down the mountain lit only by torches. In conjunction with the torchlight parades, a fireworks display will illuminate the sky, providing a perfect ending to the evening.
Kids Torchlight Parades, December 26, 2014; January 1, 2015
The young ones will get a chance to ski down the mountain and join in the excitement of night torchlight parades on these two select holiday evenings. Before the mountain lights up for night skiing, these young skiers illuminate the evening sky as they snake their way down the slopes to the base area with glow sticks and smiles almost as bright.
Steamboat Holiday Festival, December 21
Resort guests can celebrate the holiday season Steamboat Style at gondola square, featuring Santa riding 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 cookie decorating, story time and a special holiday concert by the Face Vocal Band as seen on NBCs the Sing Off and Americas Got Talent. The party continues after dark with a torch light parade and fireworks followed by night skiing. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.
Chefs from the resort meticulously construct a multiple story gingerbread house, which goes on display at the resorts downtown shop during the annual holiday celebration. This work of art takes a team several days to construct in all its holiday glory. Guests at the Steamboat Grand can make their own gingerbread houses on 12/26 and 12/30.
Merry MainStreet Downtown Steamboat
MainStreet Steamboat and the businesses along Lincoln Avenue will be hosting Merry MainStreet. The event will include open houses in the stores, a gingerbread house contest, themed and decorated holiday store windows, Santas light parade, visits and photo opportunities with Santa in the center of Downtown, carolers, performances by local groups. The Steamboat Santa Crawl featuring sample sizes of holiday beverages will be offered in several of the restaurants. For more information, visit www.mainstreetsteamboat.com/
Holiday Prelude, December 3-14
Together with the Town of Telluride and the Town of Mountain Village, the destination is offering 12 days of special events and discounts.Holiday Prelude goes from December 3-14 and begins with Noel Night, where merchants in downtown Telluride offer discounts in their stores for all patrons.As the week progresses, the annual Ski Tree will be lit on Friday, December 6.The Ski Tree is a sculpture, made from recycled skis, that looks like a decorated fir.
Jingle Jam, December 12
The Jingle Jam features discounts at retail outlets throughout Mountain Village, free train rides for kids throughout the village plazas, a tree lighting ceremony, free sledding, and the grand opening of the new Burton store in Heritage Plaza.
North Pole on Ice, December 12 -13
The grandest part of the 12 day celebration is a two-night ice skating show at Mountain Village, The North Pole on Ice, featuring ice skating medalists doing jumps, dizzying spins and creative lifts on December 12 and 13. Full details on Tellurides Holiday Prelude can be found at http://www.visittelluride.com/holidayprelude.
Winter Park Resort
Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show, December 24
A Christmas Eve tradition since 1978, the slopes of Winter Park will be aglow with the annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks show. The fun begins at dusk with Christmas carols around a bonfire built at the base of Winter Park next to the Zephyr Express Lift. As night falls, a procession of over 100 torch-bearing skiers and riders begin their way down Lower Hughes trail, followed by Santa Claus and his elves. Snowcats adorned with Christmas colors then light up the slopes in a Christmas tree formation, as a spectacular fireworks show lights up the skies. After the show, visitors are welcome to attend Christmas Eve interdenominational services located in the lower level of Balcony House and a Catholic Mass in West Portal Level 4. Santa can also be found both in the Village as well as on the slopes in the days leading up to Christmas Eve. For more information, visit http://www.winterparkresort.com.
Known for its delicious homemade food, during Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, Wolf Creek Upper Lodge Chefs will prepare a festive holiday lunch especially to celebrate the holidays. Cornish Game Hens are baked until golden brown and served with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and a choice of dessert. The Thanksgiving and Christmas lunch specials are available for $10.00.
In addition, Santa Claus will be visit Wolf Creek Ski Area on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Hell spread holiday cheer around the mountain by handing out candy canes and mingling with guests. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.