Winter Events You Won't Want to Miss
Winter is coming, and with it comes an entire new world of fun in Colorado. Markets, festivals, and other events abound in the Centennial State during the winter, and whether you’re looking for a creative date night or a family-friendly way to spend a day, Colorado is ready to deliver. There are so many more events than just these that go on in Colorado every winter, but here are just a few to get you started.
This family favorite adds a holiday twist to a Colorado classic. The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a historic train that takes passengers through the beautiful Rocky Mountains, with two depots in Georgetown and Silver Plume. On the one hour round trip ride of Santa’s North Pole Adventure, guests will have the chance to meet the big man himself, as he hands out treats and presents to the little ones. In the evenings, guests can opt to take the train to Santa’s Lighted Forest, and the beautiful lights of the North Pole village, seen from the heated, enclosed train cars, are about as festive as it gets.
November 17, 2018 - January 3, 2019
The Denver Christkindl Market is an excellent place to shop for holiday gifts, all while immersing yourself in the traditional atmosphere of a charming German Christmas market. Handmade gifts and goodies are on sale, as well as delicious street food, and a tent with live entertainment, hot meals, and an assortment of beer, eggnog cocktails, and hot Glühwein served in a souvenir mug. Located right in the heart of downtown Denver, it’s a fun event you won’t want to miss.
November 16 - December 23, 2018
The 12 Days of Aspen are an annual celebration with something for everyone, and every day features a fresh new schedule of exciting events and activities. Appearances from Santa and Mrs. Claus, s’more and hot chocolate making events, and story time performances are perfect for kids and families, and adults will enjoy evening performances from live musicians, and internationally recognized DJs, comedians, and other performers. There are daily events from local businesses, special exhibits from local museums, film screenings, ice skating, and more.
December 20 - 31, 2018
Winter Sports Competitions and Events
Every year, Aspen plays host to the X Games, one of the biggest winter sports events in the world. Sports competitions are all absolutely free and open to the public, so a visit to Aspen during the X Games means you’ll have the chance to watch some world class skiers and snowboarders doing what they do best. The X Games also features live music shows from internationally known artists, and this year the lineup includes the Chainsmokers, Lil Wayne, Kygo, and Louis the Child.
January 24 - 27, 2019
This yearly event in Breckenridge is free to attend, so visitors to the area in December will have a great opportunity to watch some incredibly talented men and women compete in extreme snowboarding and skiing competitions. Tickets can be purchased for VIP passes or for music events.
December 13th, 2018 - December 16th, 2018
Every year for a few days, Ouray becomes a mecca for ice climbing enthusiasts. Maybe it’s something to do with the vendors and presentations about equipment and techniques, but more likely it has to do with the climbers themselves! Every year, hundreds of spectators gather to watch competitive ice climbers compete as they climb the mile-long frozen gorge. At night, there is music, food, dancing, and plenty of events to keep everyone entertained… and warm!
January 24-27, 2019
Art, Lights, and Parades
The dazzling display of lights amongst the flowers and trees of the Botanic Gardens in Denver is an annual treat. Guests of all ages will love seeing the bright and colorful lights of the gardens as it is transformed into a winter wonderland. Carolers, warm drinks, food, and more turn this festive outdoor event into a lovely holiday tradition.
November 23, 2018 - January 1, 2019
The day after Thanksgiving, the sun will go down and the lights will go up in the charming town of Estes Park. Marching bands, colorful floats, and bright lights will make their way down Elkhorn Ave, and the whole town gets into the spirit with activities and specials.
November 23, 2018
This year will be the 43rd annual Parade of Lights in Denver, when all of the city’s downtown area lights up and dazzles spectators with marching bands and brightly lit displays. The City and County Building gets lit up in a spectacular display of color, and whether you’re trying to spot Santa from the grandstand or the streets, the Parade of Lights is a great family friendly event.
November 30 and December 31, 2018
Celebrations of Winter
Help ring in the winter season at Vail Resort for their annual Vail Snowdays festival, a four day event with free concerts from artists like Shakey Graves and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, on-mountain and in-town specials, a festival village full of great vendors and demos, and some amazing after-dark parties, bonfires, and other events.
December 13 - 16, 2018
Spending a weekend in Pagosa Springs will be fun for all ages during Winterfest, a weekend festival that includes a parade, target shooting competitions, a penguin plunge, and a mass hot air balloon ascension first thing in the morning!
January 21 - 22, 2019
Every year during January, Breckenridge--and its abundant snow--becomes the setting for an incredible display of talent. Teams from all over the world head to Breck to show off what they’ve got, and the 16 teams will spend 96 hours sculpting some amazing pieces of art from giant, 12 foot tall blocks of snow that weigh 25 tons.
January 21 - 30, 2019
At the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival, which after 106 years is the oldest continuous Winter Carnival West of the Mississippi River, visitors will see parades of people on skis being pulled along by horses, and skiers jumping through hoops lit on fire. At night, athletes in glowing suits will ski the slopes while onlookers watch, and during the day, food, music, and merriment include sporting events, silly competitions, and more.
February 6 - 10, 2019
Unique Cultural Festivals
Celebrate Ullr, the Norse god of snow, alongside thousands of others in Breckenridge this January. The festival has been an annual event for 55 years, and is personified by the many horned Viking hats in the crowd and on the heads of skiers and snowboarders. With massive bonfires fed by donated old Christmas trees, the world’s longest Shot Ski, and a freezing cold Ullr Ice Plunge, as well as food, drink, music, and other activities, it’s a one of a kind event in tribute to the snow and winter.
January 9 - 12, 2019
Every year on the first weekend in March, the town of Nederland celebrates some of its most peculiar history: “Grandpa” Bredo Morstoel, a man whose body is cryogenically frozen in a Tuff Shed in the town. The practice of freezing a corpse in a shed has since been outlawed in Nederland, but the celebration of Grandpa Bredo carry on every year, with icy coffin races, frozen wet t-shirt contests, frozen salmon tossing, and more.
March 8 - 10, 2019