Best of: Colorado Winter Events and Festivals
There’s so much happening around our great state each winter, it can be tricky deciding which Colorado events and festivals to attend. Here are a few of our favorite winter traditions, sports celebrations, legendary mountain parties and family-friendly Colorado events.
A-Basin Turns 70
December 9–11, 2016
Arapahoe Basin Ski & Snowboard Area is throwing a weekend-long 70th Anniversary Platinum celebration, complete with birthday cake, live music and discount lift tickets.
January 12–15, 2017
The 66th Annual Wintersköl Celebration toasts the season with a soup cook-off, Canine Fashion Show, WinterFest, snow sculptures, fat bike race and fireworks.
January 11–14, 2017
Celebrate the Norse god of winter with Breck’s 53rd annual Ullr Fest. Wear your Viking hat to the Main Street parade and attend Ullympics, comedy night and the town bonfire.
International Snow Sculpture Championships
January 24–28, 2017
Watch as sculptors from around the world carve 20-ton blocks of snow into beautiful works of art using only hand tools.
Ugly Sweater Ski
January 21, 2017
Deck the whole family out in ugly sweaters and see who can ski the most laps. Hang out after for post-race awards and festivities.
February 18–19, 2017
Cheer on competitors in this cross-country mountain race and see what winter riding is all about with fat bike demos and free fun rides for the kids.
Santa Ski and Crawl
December 10, 2016
Help set the world record for the most number of skiers and riders in Santa costumes at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Don’t have a season pass? Ski for only $23 if you’re in a Santa suit.
110th National Western Stock Show
January 7–22, 2017
This 16-day show hosts a professional rodeo, the “Super Bowl” of livestock shows, nationally recognized horse shows and Colorado’s largest Western Trade Show.
The Polar Express
Head to the Durango train depot to see this award-winning book come to life on a historic steam train.
39th Annual Snowdown
February 1–5, 2017
Embrace the best of Colorado winter with a parade, music and special events throughout Durango.
Estes Park Winter Festival
January 14–15, 2017
Sip Colorado wine and beer, browse outdoor adventure gear, attend the green and white chili cook-off and learn all about Rocky Mountain National Park.
December 2–11, 2016
Shop and stroll festive Main Street while sipping wassail (spiced holiday cider) from local businesses during this Frisco tradition. There’s also free sleigh rides, tubing, caroling, Santa visits and much more.
Spontaneous Combustion Community Bonfire
February 4, 2017
Fireworks and recycled Christmas trees light up the night while guests enjoy food and beverages and raise money for the Summit Nordic Ski Club.
Colorado Family Ski Month
December 1–23, 2016
Keystone Resort hosts the first-ever Colorado Family Ski Month featuring the World’s Largest Snow Fort, Bigfoot Adventure Walks, night skiing, fireworks, village parades and free skiing for kids 12 and younger (with the purchase of an adult lift ticket or presence of an adult season pass holder).
11th Annual Kayaks on Snow
April 15, 2017
Okay, this is actually a spring event, but it’s just too fun not to mention. Kayakers race down a specially designed snow-packed course featuring berms, banks and bumps and ending in an icy pond.
Frozen Dead Guy Days
March 10–12, 2017
See why The New York Times named FDGD among its Top 10 Best Parties of the Winter. Nederland’s biggest party of the year honors a local cryogenically frozen man with live music, food, a polar bear plunge and coffin races.
Ouray Ice Festival
January 19–22, 2017
Celebrate the growing sport of ice climbing. Demo the latest ice tools and gear and watch the world’s best ice and mixed climbing pros. At night, take in multimedia presentations and enjoy music, food and dance parties.
32nd Annual MusicFest at Steamboat
January 5–10, 2017
Six days, 50 bands and the best of Americana, country, blues and rock music come together for free après ski concerts, evening performances and special parties.
February 24–26, 2017
Dance to the best national, regional and local bluegrass while sipping on Colorado craft beers, wines and spirits at this winter concert extravaganza.
Vail Snow Daze
December 9–11, 2016
Join the winter fun at North America’s largest early-season mountain event. Ski all day and attend après parties and free live concerts at night. This year’s lineup includes Michael Franti, Lettuce and more.