Looking for some extra cheer? These holiday festivities in Vail and Denver should do the trick
Special to the Daily
There is no doubt that the holiday season is a magical time of the year in Vail. Visitors flock to town for the winter ambiance of an alpine village covered in snow and sparkling lights. There’s no shortage of Christmas light displays and opportunities to visit with Santa. The Vail Valley is even lucky enough to have colorful fireworks displays during the holidays.
Vail Valley Holiday Festivities
Here’s a rundown on some of the local holiday events here in the Vail area that should get you in the Christmas spirit, if you aren’t already.
Today, 6 p.m.
Vail Public Library
Wearing Victorian costumes (many of them made by hand by the singers themselves), this volunteer musical group performs at the library, as well as throughout the village.
Vail Skating Festival and Ice Spectacular
Friday, 5 p.m. at Solaris Ice Rink, Vail Village
6:30 p.m. at Arrabelle Ice Rink, Lionshead
Saturday, 6:30 p.m., Dobson Ice Arena
Enjoy two short ice skating exhibitions featuring U.S. national and international medalists. The free shows are at the in-town ice rinks, and the Ice Spectacular is a paid show at Dobson Ice Arena. Olympian and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Mirai Nagasu will skate. Pick up Thursday’s Vail Daily for n exclusive interview with the famed skater or visit vaildaily.com/sports.
Holiday Lantern Walk
Sunday, 4 p.m.
The Holiday Lantern Walk is a joyful celebration of light for all ages. A short jolly procession led by Santa and Ralph, the world’s tallest elf, winds its way through Vail Village to the Gore Creek Promenade for the grand opening of the 13th annual Vail Winterfest Ice Theater.
Grand Opening of the Vail Winterfest Ice & Light Installation
Sunday, 5:15 p.m.
Art in Public Places celebrates Celestial Wonders through the integration of ice, snow, and light at this season’s Vail Winterfest. Artists Paul Wertin and Alt Ethos fuse ice art with technology. This immersive art experience will transform the Gore Creek Promenade. Lights go on in the installation daily from dusk until 10 p.m., and the work will be up through Jan. 20, 2020.
10th Mountain Legacy Parade
Friday, Dec. 27, 6 p.m.
Vail Village, Colorado Snowsports Museum
Skiers dressed in traditional 10th Mountain Division Ski Trooper uniforms perform a Torchlight Ski Down to the base of Gondola One. This is followed by a parade of military veterans, also in traditional uniform, marching from Gondola One down Bridge Street, across the Covered Bridge and finishing at the 10th Mountain statue. The celebration features a film on the history and legacy of Vail projected at the base of Gondola One and animated with fireworks. Vail’s newly-renovated Colorado Snowsports Museum will stay open after the parade for guests to visit and learn about Colorado’s ski history through the new 10th Mountain Division exhibit and a showing of the film “Climb to Glory.”
Ski Down Torchlight Parade & Fireworks
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 6:15 p.m.
Watch the annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks from the mountain base at Golden Peak. Ski instructors and Vail locals form a glowing train as they ski down Golden Peak with glow sticks. The procession is followed by a colorful fireworks display.
Beaver Creek Illuminate the Night & NYE Ski Down
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 5-8 p.m.
Beaver Creek Village
Participate in a sparkler parade, then make a wish at the wishing ceremony. Also, there is an evening ski-down and fireworks finale.
Denver Christmas Celebrations
Heading to Denver to pick up relatives from the airport? Or are you just a local looking for the extravagant holiday displays a big city has to offer? Whatever sends you out of the mountains to the Mile High City, check out some of these attractions: make a family trip out of it, or just enjoy it because you can.
New for Christmas 2019, the Gaylord Rockies has brought Gaylord ICE to Denver. The Gaylord hotel in Denver has transformed into a holiday wonderland. The centerpiece of these Christmas celebrations is a winter wonderland carved from more than two million pounds of colorful ice. Cirque Dreams Holiday performance, a cirque adventure meets Broadway musical set to a Christmas theme, also delights all ages. However, it was the ice bumper cars that our kids wanted to ride over and over.
Denver’s new Mile High Tree is a 39-feet in diameter art installation in Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The conical structure can host up to 140 guests at a time for an immersive viewing experience within the tree itself. The tree is surrounded by oversized holiday ornaments and includes a dazzling lights and music show every 15 minutes throughout the evening through Jan. 31.
Through Jan. 4, hop onto your warm vehicle and experience Christmas in Color from the comfort of your car. Visitors drive through acres of more than 1.5 million lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music listen to through your car radio. Light displays include giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. There are two locations: Water World at 8801 N. Pecos St., Federal Heights; and the Bandimere Speedway 3051 S. Rooney Road, Morrison.
Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Lights is back with festive holiday cheer now through Jan. 3. This annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms the York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. This year’s display includes a refreshed interactive light display in the UMB Bank Amphitheater. The field of LED lights are sound-reactive, allowing visitors to change the color themes and movement patterns between programmed holiday song cycles. Carolers also stroll the gardens on select evenings.
Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo is back for its 28th year. Running through Dec. 30 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. the holiday magic spans across over 70 acres. This Denver holiday spectacular boasts more than two million lights, nightly entertainment, sweet treats, animal encounters and the Festival of Lanterns. Plus illuminated animal sculptures swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they’re least expected.
Denver Union Station officially launched the holiday season on Nov. 29 with Denver’s Grand Illumination celebration. The landmark train station’s outdoor Christmas tree is 40 feet tall and features more than 7,000 holiday lights. Santa makes appearances throughout the holiday season.