The holiday season is known to be quite stressful as you shop for gifts, decorate your house and prepare to spend time with the in-laws. So, if you are looking for holiday happenings that will keep your stress levels in the normal range, make plans to head to your happy place: the mountains. We have rounded up holiday mountain events that will keep your calendar full of fun from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
When: November 26
Thanksgiving seems to mark the official kickoff to Christmas, so Evergreen is jumping at the chance to throw a pancake breakfast in honor of St. Nick. With four different seatings at the Lake House, kids of all ages flock to enjoy this breakfast event and get photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. But this popular gathering almost always sells out, so get your tickets now.
Annual Georgetown Christmas Market
When: December 3 -4 and 10- 11
The Outdoor European Christmas Market in Georgetown has been going for 56 years strong. The market incorporates so many fun things to keep you busy all weekend long. The outdoor European marketplace, roasted chestnuts, horse-drawn wagon rides, carolers in Victorian costumes and appearances by St. Nicholas himself are just a few of the holiday happenings in Georgetown. While there, you can’t possibly leave without taking a ride on one of the Christmas trains. You have a choice between Santa’s Lighted Forest and Santa’s North Pole Adventure, both of which last an hour and offer plenty of Christmas cheer to carry you through December.
When: December 3 – 4
The first weekend in December marks the Holiday Mountain Market at the Nederland Community Center, and it is packed with local artisans and craftspeople who have been working on their goods all year long. It is a great place to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts for friends, family, teachers and more. You will also enjoy holiday music, festive food and a silent auction during your visit. Did we mention Santa will be there taking photos with kids of all ages? That’s right, sign us up.
When: December, all month long
Estes Park is a quintessential mountain town, surrounded by mountain peaks with a charming little downtown to suit your every need. Every year they have a self-guided Christmas light driving tour that the entire family can enjoy. You can even time it with some other holiday happenings in the area. November 25 is the Catch the Glow Christmas Parade and Celebration, where activities will kick off at noon and continue into the evening. Interested in more of an adult holiday celebration? The Tinsel Tavern Tour is just the ticket, and will take place on December 10.
When: December 3, all day
If you like your Christmas festivities like you like your pint glass (full), you will love this event. Complete with a chocolate walk, equine parade, free photos with Santa, a parade of lights, a chili cook-off, a screening of the Polar Express and a chance to cut down your own Christmas tree. Phew.
Race of the Santas
When: December 3, start time: 4:15 p.m.
If you’ve never seen hundreds of Santas in one place at the same time, the Race of the Santas in Breckenridge is worth a watch. You can rent a Santa suit from Vertical Runner for $25 if you want to participate, but you’ll need to hurry in before they run out of costumes. The best part of this race? The course is only six blocks long and all ages are welcome. If the Santa race is enough to get you out to Breckenridge, there will be plenty of other events happening around town: the Handmade Holiday Craft Market, Bernese Mountain Dog Parade, Christmas carolers and free hot chocolate and cookies to name a few. It’s going to be a fun day to be sure.
Steamboat Holiday Festival
When: December 18, 2 – 5:30 p.m.
While only a few hours long, this festival packs a lot of activities into those hours to get you into the holiday spirit. You can enjoy a Santa parade, cookie decorating, a stocking scramble, Toast to the Season, a visit with Santa’s reindeer, Face vocal band performance, story time, a torchlight parade and fireworks. Finish it all off with an evening of night skiing on Steamboat Mountain.
When: December 14 and 21 at 3 p.m.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, there are few things that warm the soul quite like a campfire sing-a-long, and Winter Park does it oh so well. Guests enjoy a steaming mug of apple cider while they sing along to their favorite classic songs around the real wood fireplace. Head to the Village Gazebo to grab a seat before they fill up at this popular event.