Christmas church services, Christmas buffets, Magic of Lights Vail, family fun at Beaver Creek and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 12/24/21
Find a church service for Christmas Eve, enjoy a festive holiday brunch, check out ice skating performances, ice sculptures and one more week of Magic of Lights Vail.
Christmas church services
Christmas is here and if you are looking for a place to worship on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, there are plenty of congregations that will welcome you to join in the celebrations of the season.
Churches like the Vail Chapel, Beaver Creek Chapel and the Edwards Interfaith Chapel host many different denominations every Sunday and will do the same on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Check the websites for more information:
- Vail Interfaith Chapel – vailchapel.com
- The Chapel at Beaver Creek – beavercreekchapel.com
- Edwards Interfaith Chapel – edwardsinterfaithchapel.org
Some churches do things a little differently during the holidays. Some churches, like the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration will have a special Christmas Pageant at 1 p.m. on Friday followed by several more services offering festival worship and communion at 2:30, 4:30, 5:45, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. across the Valley at the three chapels mentioned above. Find out more at episcopalvail.com or 970-476-0618.
The Eagle River Presbyterian Church will have a family service at 5 p.m. complete with a children’s pageant. Prior to the Christmas Pageant, they will host an old fashioned sing-a-long service outside the church by the firepits at 3 p.m. At 7 p.m. there will be a traditional service and at 9:30 p.m. there will be a reflective service by candlelight. Go to erpc.org for more information.
Mountain Life Calvary Chapel will be hosting its Cowboy Christmas at 4 Eagle Ranch outside of Wolcott at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. and a candlelight service at 7 p.m. For more information, go to mountainlife.church.
The Catholic Parishes of the Valley includes St. Mary’s in Eagle, St. Claire of Assisi in Edwards and St. Patrick’s in Minturn. The parishes will host many services at the home locations on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some services will event be held for larger audiences at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. Take a look at catholicparishesofthevalley.org for more information and schedules.
The Vail Church will host services and plenty of music at 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m. at its location in Eagle Vail. Go to thevailchurch.org for more information.
Gracious Savior Lutheran Church in Edwards will host two Christmas Eve services at 5 and 7 p.m. complete with carols, cider, candles and cookies. Nursery will be provided at the 5 p.m. service. For more information, visit gracioussavior.org.
This is just a small listing of the many services that will be held on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and keep in mind that many churches offer virtual services as well due to COVID-19. Here are some more churches and their websites:
- Trinity Church – trinityvail.com
- Covenant Presbyterian Church – covenantvail.org
- Calvary Christian Fellowship – acalvarychurch.com
- Mount of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church – mountholycross.org
Hotel holiday cheer
Maya Christmas Day brunch
Maya at The Westin Riverfront will also be serving a special Christmas Day Brunch on Saturday from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. Enjoy an omelet station, prime rib, honey roasted ham and a seafood display with snow crab claws, poached jumbo shrimp and oysters. There will also be a waffles pancakes, chorizo & polenta benedicts, Christmas cookies and assorted mini desserts.
Christmas Day brunch at Maya pricing:
- $59 for adults
- $19 for kids under age 12
- Reservations recommended
- Website: riverfrontdining.com
Grand Hyatt Vail Christmas buffet
The Grand Hyatt Vail is doing a Christmas buffet dinner from 3 to 7 p.m. with alpine-inspired fare by Chef Pierson Shields. Start out with a lobster bisque and a simple greens salad followed by hand carved cherry wood ham or bone-in-grilled tomahawk steaks. Hand carved roasts will be served with sides such as corn bread stuffing, roasted rainbow carrots or, get this, they will be serving gnocchi mac and cheese. Finish off the meal with desserts and mini desserts or decorate your treat before you eat it at the cookie decorating station.
Christmas buffet at Grand Hyatt Vail pricing:
- $75 per person
- Children up to 12 years old pay their age
- Reservations: 970.476.1234
Who Vail at Four Seasons Vail
The Grinch is back and so is the Who Vail gingerbread “house” at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. Stop by the lobby and check out this large display made out of 150 pounds of gingerbread, 120 pounds of powdered sugar, 100 pounds of fondant and 300 macaroons. Send a letter to Santa in the mail box adjacent to the house. Stay a little longer and enjoy the Haute Chocolate Experience at the Remedy bar, which is delicious for kids and adults … you can spike your hot chocolate if you want to.
Magic of Lights Vail
You only have through the holiday season to view the Magic of Lights Vail, which ends after Jan. 2. This spectacular display of over 500,000 lights will fill the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, the Lower Bench of Ford Park with the magic and wonder of the season.
This is a ticketed event where you choose a time slot and a date to attend, then don your boots and warm coats, hats and mittens for this half-mile stroll through a winter wonderland of lights and interactive elements. Need a hot beverage to keep you warm? Stop by the concession stand for hot alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, enjoy the warmth of the fire pits and s’mores stations, and new this year is a playground area for the kids. There will also be music and live performances on select evenings.
For more information and to get tickets and reserve a time slot, go to magicoflightsvail.com.
Beaver Creek’s Cheer
Beaver Creek Extraordinaire presents Cheer, a celebration of the holiday season with a variety of family-friendly activities in the village from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2.
After the slopes close, head to the plaza level and ice rink to enjoy Sounds of the Season live music. There will also be storytime by the fire, Thursday Night Lights and an acrobat show.
Beaver Creek hosts the weekly FunFest on Saturday, where kids can earn tokens to redeem prizes after running from one game tent to the next. The complimentary event begins at 4 p.m. and last call to exchange tokens for prizes is at 5:30 p.m.
See how fire and ice can be used as a medium for art. Demonstrations will be held on the stage on Monday starting at 4 p.m. For more information, visit beavercreek.com.
- Dec. 26 – Fireside Storytime with Sven 4 -7 p.m.
- Dec. 27 – Fire & Ice, Live Ice Demo on Fountain Stage at 4 p.m., Roaming Fire Show 4 -7 p.m.
- Dec. 28 – In the Air, Live Acrobatic Show 4 -7 p.m.
- Dec. 29 – Sounds of the Season with the Charles Dickens Carolers, 4 -5 p.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Dec. 30 – Thursday Night Lights
- Dec. 31- Beaver Creek New Year’s Eve Celebration
- Jan. 1- Beaver Creek FunFest with DJ Courtney 4 -5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 2 – Fireside Storytime with Sven 4 -7 p.m.
Vail Holidays and Vail Winterfest
Ice Skating Shows
Vail Holidays has been busy getting everyone in the holiday spirit with tree lightings, an Ugly Holiday Sweater 5k, a holiday market and more. Vail Holidays has also hosted ice skating shows throughout the season. Enjoy a free, 20-minute exhibition of elite skating at the Solaris Ice rink this Sunday. The show is high-energy ice entertainment with great popular and holiday-themed music. The skaters are sure to impress. There will be World, International, Team USA skaters and seasoned professionals on the ice. The first show is from 5 to 5:20 p.m. and the second show is from 6 to 6:20 p.m.
15th annual Vail Winterfest
Head to Gore Creek to view the illuminated ice sculptors and colorful lanterns along Gore Creek, all part of the 15th annual Vail Winterfest. This winter exhibit debuted last weekend, showcasing the works of Paul Wertin and his team from Alpine Ice and guest artist, Olive Moya, who’s doing artwork in Vail Village prior to this collaboration.
View the illuminated ice sculptures from a distance or wear footwear that will get you up close enough to walk around and in between the ice sculptures. The sculptures span between 5-feet and 12-feet. Once the sun goes down and the colorful lighting is up, the area is perfect for photo opportunities.
There’s approximately 25,000 pounds of sculpted ice along the Gore Creek Promenade. You can enjoy the illumination daily from dusk until 10 p.m. until it melts.
Also, check out the colorful lanterns that span high above the International Bridge and along the banks of the Gore Creek.