Winter Events You Won’t Want to Miss
Winter is here, 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 16–December 24, 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 22–December 23, 2019
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, 2019
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 29, 2019–January 3, 2020
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 Alesso, Bazzi, Illenium, and Rae Sremmurd.
January 23–26, 2020
This yearly event is being held at Copper Mountain this year for the first time, and later than its usual holiday schedule. Now hosted in February, the Dew Tour is free to attend, so locals and 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.
February 6–9, 2020
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 23–26, 2020
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 Modest Mouse and The Head and the Heart, 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 12–15, 2019
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 24–26, 2020
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 20–20, 2020
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 5–9, 2020
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 more than fifty 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.
December 11–15, 2019
Every year 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 13–15, 2020