From picturesque mountain towns to dazzling city lights, all veiled in a blanket of snow, Colorado can certainly be a magical place to visit during the winter holidays. Many of our favorite mountain communities here host some of the best Christmas Tree and town lighting celebrations around. If you are looking for the perfect Colorado Christmas town, check out our favorites here and add one or more to your itinerary.
Best Colorado Mountain Town Holiday Festivals- 2018
Breckenridge – The Lighting of Breckenridge
With its Victorian light posts and historic homes, the town of Breckenridge transforms itself into a magnificent Victorian-style Christmas town during the holidays. The celebration kicks off with the Lighting of Breckenridge the first weekend in December. Festivities include holiday carols by the Summit Choral Society, the Bernese Mountain Dog Parade, cookies and hot cocoa served, trees along Main Street lit, plus a visit from Santa at the Barney Ford Museum. And not to forget, the annual Running of the Santas – a 5K run in which hundreds of supersized red-clad elves take to the streets – all just as ski season kicks into high gear.
Throughout the holiday season, visitors can enjoy carriage rides, tons of shopping opportunities, delicious holiday treats, and the chance to feel as though you’ve stepped into an old-fashioned holiday painting. Stick around for New Year’s Eve and experience the torchlight parade as it makes its way down the mountain followed by a fireworks display.
Vail / Beaver Creek – Vail Holidays
There is something magical about the holiday season in the Vail and Beaver Creek area as Vail Holidays kicks off with daily family activities during the month of December. Such activities include the Kris Kringle Market, ice skating, tree lighting activities, workshops, the Torchlight Parade, and more! The Town of Vail Holiday Tree Lighting takes place this year on December 16, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. in Vail Village. Visitors can enjoy live music, local craft vendors, authentic food and drink, a visit not only from ol’ St. Nick, but also from the Town of Vail Mayor himself.
Vail Holidays is the perfect place for family celebration this holiday season, as the town and mountain come alive with lights, sounds, events, and cheer throughout the month of December. So come out and capture a true spirit of the Holiday Season while shopping for that unique, perfect holiday gift.
Steamboat Springs – Steamboat Holiday Festival at Gondola Square
Come to Gondola Square and celebrate the holidays “Steamboat Style” as the annual Steamboat Holiday Festival kicks off on December 23, 2018. Visitors will witness Santa himself riding down the slopes during the afternoon Santa Parade on Horseback, then catch up with Santa at his workshop along with some of his favorite reindeer friends. Other festivities include a “stocking scramble” for participants to collect free holiday treats at surrounding gift shops and restaurants, cookie decorating, live music, snowshoeing, hot air balloon rides, and more! The day’s events conclude that evening with the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks, followed by the resort staying open for night skiing.
Aspen / Snowmass – Annual Town Tree Lightings
What better place to experience Christmas cheer than Aspen and Snowmass? Join the locals for the annual Little Nell Tree Lighting Ceremony from 5:00-6:00 p.m. December 9, 2018. This festive, family-friendly event is held in the courtyard at The Little Nell in Aspen. The town will count down together the annual tree lighting, and visitors can enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, Victorian carolers, and photo opportunities with Santa. The Aspen Animal Shelter will also be on site with “reindeer” pups.
Snowmass Village’s annual “Light Up the Night!” Tree Lighting Ceremony held at Snowmass Chapel sets the stage for the holidays December 8, 2018, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Gather ‘round the fire for a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, cookies, hot cocoa, carols, and holiday cheer. Then, get ready to countdown to the lighting of dozens of trees surrounding the beautiful Chapel grounds. More than 25 trees will be lit for the season. This is definitely a great, not-to-be-missed community event!
Telluride – Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade
If you are looking for a unique holiday lighting experience, head to Telluride for the Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade December 24, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. Nearly 100 Telluride Ski Resort employees can be seen as they ski down Coonskin to Telluride Trail and into town with glowing torches. Be sure to get there early to catch the best viewing spots on Main Street, Pacific Street, and Columbia Ave.
Winter Park – Winter on the Avenue Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
Join the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and City of Winter Park in kicking off Winter on the Avenue featuring the town’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony December 7, 2018, from 5-10 p.m. The holiday street party will offer a flurry of activities along Park Avenue and in Central Park including What the Dickens? Carolers, Holiday Market, and a visit from Santa. The annual tree lighting ceremony concludes festivities at dusk with performances by children’s choirs and children’s activities. Bring the entire family for a night of holiday cheer to this free event!
Georgetown – Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration and More!
For visitors along the Colorado Front Range and Denver Metro area, there are plenty of holiday lighting festivities to experience. First stop – Georgetown! This Victorian mining town is just an hour west of Denver, nestled in the Rockies, and is the perfect place for visitors to experience Christmas cheer all year round.
During the holiday season, though, Georgetown really goes all out – visitors can experience all those magical things Christmas brings like chestnuts roasting on an open fire, vintage horse carriage rides, and the annual Historic Georgetown Christmas Market featuring unique, hard-to-find gifts. The merriment begins with Georgetown’s annual tree lighting on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, where locals and visitors alike gather for holiday songs, visits with Santa, and sipping hot chocolate around the bonfire. Catch a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad and see downtown Georgetown lit up for the holiday season!
While in town, don’t forget to pop in and do a little Christmas shopping at any one of our Christy Sports locations. We have stores in or near all these Colorado “Christmas” towns!