Are you looking to get into the holiday spirit? Look no further than Vail, Colorado.
Vail's legendary winters are marked by cold weather, holiday cheer, and plenty of snowfall.
The snow helps this ski town turn into an all-out winter wonderland during Christmas time. You can sip hot cocoa by an outdoor ice skating rink.
You can watch the streets light up with epic Christmas light displays. Or you can dash through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh.
If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, spending Christmas in Vail will make that dream come true.
Read on for the top seven reasons to celebrate the holidays in Vail this year.
No list about Vail is complete without a reference to its world-class ski terrain.
Vail is widely regarded as one of the best places to ski in Colorado. It's an impressive feat when you consider the stiff competition in the Rocky Mountains.
What makes it such a popular destination? It's one of the largest ski resorts not just in the U.S. but in the entire world. The mountain has 5,289 acres of skiable terrain.
The ski season is already well underway by the time the holidays arrive. You'll find fresh powder, diverse terrain, and loads of chairlifts to help you avoid long lines.
Thrillseekers can hit the mountain's largest terrain park under the Riva Bahn chairlift. It's home to two half pipes and over 30 jibs, boxes, and rails. It also has nine jumps ranging in size from 10 feet to 50 feet.
Beginners can utilize their many lessons designed for adults and children. You'll be hitting the slopes in no time no matter your age or skill level.
Come see for yourself why so many people choose Vail as their skiing destination.
2. Vail Holidays
Christmas in Vail kicks off with the annual Vail Holidays event.
This two-week event runs from December 16-31 and features many beloved Christmas traditions. The event kicks off with several holiday-themed events, including the tree lighting in Silfer Square.
Vail Holidays features Christmas spectacles, performances, and activities that are fun for the whole family. You can strap on some ice skates and enjoy their indoor and outdoor skating rink. You can also enjoy some holiday treats by attending a cookie decorating session.
Did we mention that Vail Holidays is open and free to the public? Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.
3. Vail Winterfest Ice Theater
There aren't many places where you'll find an outdoor ice theater. But most places aren't like Vail.
The Vail Winterfest Ice Theater is an outdoor cinematic experience for the whole family. Alpine Ice and ice sculptor Paul Wertin create a full-scale ice theater complete with large ice chairs.
The event takes place right near Gore Creek. You can cozy up with your kids, sip hot cocoa, and enjoy a holiday classic under the stars. Movies play daily starting at dusk and run until 10:00 p.m.
4. Kris Kringle Market
Christmas in Vail wouldn't be complete without jolly old Saint Nick.
You can celebrate Santa's spirit by making a trip to the Kris Kringle Market. This farmer's market is located on Willow Bridge Road. It's so filled with holiday gifts and cheer that it's easy to mistake it for Santa's village.
This outdoor holiday market is the perfect place to buy local Vail products. The event promises over 30 local and regional vendors from Colorado each year.
You can buy holiday toys, food, decorations and more at this one-of-a-kind event. Kris Kringle Market even has live music and carolers to help you get into the holiday spirit.
Rumor has it that Santa might even make an appearance.
5. Winter Sleigh Rides
Are you looking to take full advantage of a white Christmas? Why not hop on a winter sleigh ride? You can do just that at Christmas in Vail.
Vail has several ranches that offer winter sleigh rides. You'll feel like you're in a Christmas movie as you wind through a snow-drenched mountain.
Many of the trails roll through private properties. As a result, you'll get a unique behind the scenes view of Vail during your sleigh ride.
The sleigh rides range in distance and time. You can take a one-hour tour or enjoy a two and a half hour dinner sleigh ride. Private and group tours are also available.
Grab a coat, blanket, and some hot cocoa and enjoy your horse-drawn sleigh experience.
6. Holiday Lantern Walk
Vail Holidays is so jam-packed with events that it's hard to highlight just one. But one of the crowd favorites is the Holiday Lantern Walk.
This free event takes place in Vail Village every year. It's scheduled close to the winter solstice and is an epic celebration of holiday cheer.
During the lantern walk, you'll be given a free LED light and lantern. You will then walk through a street filled with thousands of illuminated lanterns. The walk culminates with the opening of the Vail Winterfest Ice Theater.
You'll also run into live music, holiday treats, and plenty of smiling faces.
7. Vail Village
Vail Village is a spectacle no matter the time of year.
The legendary village is like something out of a small European town. It's filled with old-school architecture and cobblestone streets. The towering mountains and large trees add for a perfect backdrop.
Vail Village has many famous shops, restaurants, and hotels. It's also a stone's throw away from the ski hill and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Though it's a great place to visit any time of the year, Vail Village is especially impressive during Christmas. It turns into its own winter wonderland filled with snow, decorations, lights, and attractions.
Vail Village is a special destination. You won't want to leave this impressive holiday-themed town.
Your Christmas in Vail
Christmas is a great time to visit Vail. Majestic snow and legendary skiing is just the tip of the iceberg. Get into the Christmas spirit by taking a trip to Vail this holiday season.
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By Coldwell Banker