DENVER – There is no better place to celebrate the holidays than a destination filled with snow-covered trees, white-capped mountains and streets sparkling with holiday lights. Colorado is a picturesque holiday escape and offers a variety of ways to get in the spirit this season. From experiencing the THE POLAR EXPRESS™ and admiring the lights of “Winter on the Mountain,” to spending New Year’s Eve at a prestigious resort in Aspen or in a yurt in Crested Butte, Colorado’s holiday celebration options are endless. Below are just a few ways to experience the holidays in Colorado. For more information, visit http://www.colorado.com/articles/winter-events-colorado.
Colorado in Lights
Greeley Festival of Trees (Greeley). Twenty-seven years ago, an annual tradition began by the City of Greeley and the Greeley Philharmonic Guild. This tradition is a week-long extravaganza (November 28 – December 6) in which guests enjoy a forest of beautifully decorated trees, each tree with its own theme. Also, check out Candy Cane Lane, which presents evergreens decorated by the “mini-crafters” who compete for the Kid’s Choice Ribbon. Bring the kids along to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, take a horse and carriage ride, and hear the beautiful, merry music from the Christmas choirs.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Winter on the Mountain (Glenwood Springs). From November 1 through January 4, 2015, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will be lit up with more than half a million lights, 35 miles of lights to be exact. There will also be a warming hut, fire pits and a new 4D movie along with the thrill rides. The Alpine Coaster and the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride will be lit and open for rides, and the caves will be filled with holiday lighting.
Tours and Treks (Denver). On Friday, December 12 from 4:30 – 9:30 p.m. explore the History Colorado Center’s collection of toys as a preview to a future traveling exhibit Toys. After, hop on the warm bus to tour the sparkling lights around Denver while sipping hot cocoa and munching on holiday treats. The cost is $36 members and $46 for nonmembers.
Unique Twists on Holiday Stories We Know and Love
Scrooge’s Holiday Flight (Boulder). From December 12-14, Boulder’s aerial dance company, Frequent Flyers Productions, takes its inspiration from the traditional “Christmas Carol” and turns it upside down — literally! Instead of traditional ballet, the student company uses the low-flying trapeze, stilts, hoop and aerial fabric to tell the story of Ebenezer Scrooge as he deals with the three ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ (Golden). Take a 75-minute journey on the THE POLAR EXPRESS™ beginning November 21 through December 28 at the Colorado Railroad Museum. While waiting for the train to arrive, dancing chefs and waiters serve cookies and hot chocolate while sharing the story of the Polar Express. Once on the train, see the story come to life around the train. At the North Pole, look for Santa’s bag of toys and the giant Christmas tree.
Visit Santa – at the North Pole (Colorado Springs). Visitors can make a trip to Santa’s Workshop, also known as The North Pole, through December 24. This Christmas-themed amusement park has two dozen family rides to choose from. Meet Santa and his elves, ride on an Aerial Tram through the sky and don’t forget to touch snow that never melts.
Race of the Santas (Breckenridge). Come see hundreds of Santas, or participate with them, on a six-block race down Main Street in Breckenridge the first weekend of December. The event is to help benefit the local charity, Adopt an Angel. The festivities continue with the Lighting of Breckenridge. Join Santa as he greets visitors from his horse-drawn carriage. The event is $15 for those who have their own suit and $45 for registration plus a suit.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations
New Years at the St. Regis (Aspen). The St. Regis in Aspen is having two full days of festivities for the New Year. Begin with the New Year’s Eve family buffet at Trecento Quindici Decano from 6-11 p.m. Continue the night in the resort’s courtyard in a transparent tent for a cozy viewing spot of the fireworks. There will also be live music from the Derek Brown Band along with a DJ. Celebrate the New Year at the New Year’s Day Breakfast Buffet in Trecento Quindici Decano from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New Year’s Yurt Dinner & Party (Crested Butte). Ski or snowshoe to Crested Butte Nordic’s Magic Meadows Yurt at sunset for a New Year’s Eve that will be one for the memory books. Enjoy a five-course gourmet dinner, libations and live music for $90, which includes a trail pass, ski or snowshoe rental, dinner, beer and wine. Doors open at 7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. There also is an option for the New Year’s Eve yurt party only that begins at 10:30 p.m. and features a DJ supplying high-energy music. The $35 cost includes trail pass, beer, wine and a celebratory toast at midnight. For those who want to partake in the entire evening, the cost is $120.
Torchlight Parade (Durango). Usher in the New Year at Purgatory Mountain Resort with a Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display at 6 p.m. Watch the torchlight parade wind down the mountain as spectacular fireworks illuminate the sky overhead; the best place to see all the action is right from Purgatory Beach. Enjoy a kid-friendly celebration at 10 p.m., complete with party favors at Paradise Pizzeria & Ice Creamery. Savor a special New Year’s Eve Buffet dinner complete with live music by Lacey Black, and then head to Purgy’s to dance the night away with live music by Black Velvet and a toast at midnight.