Santa, The Grinch, Nutcracker, ugly holiday sweater runs and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 12/11/20 |

Santa, The Grinch, Nutcracker, ugly holiday sweater runs and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 12/11/20

Here’s a line up of the holiday happenings in Vail this weekend

The Magic of Lights Vail is a new outdoor attraction with over 500,000 lights in the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens east of Vail Village. (Vail Valley Foundation
Special to the Daily)

Magic of Lights Vail

It’s the opening weekend of Magic of Lights Vail, a brand new attraction that will fill the nights with fun and wonder after a great day on the slopes. Magic of Lights Vail is a walk-through display of colorful lights and winter-themed displays consisting of 500,000 lights along a half-mile path throughout Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the Lower Bench of Ford Park.

The area is large enough to allow for social distancing, and reservations are set so there’s a specific number of people allowed into the area at one time. Reserve your tickets to walk through between 4 and 9 p.m., open nightly from now until Jan. 24. Visit for more information. Pricing is as follows:

Off Peak Pricing: Sunday through Thursday*

  • Adult: $15
  • Child: $5 (Ages 3- 12 years old)

Peak Pricing: Friday and Saturday*

  • Adult: $20
  • Child: $10 (Ages 3- 12 years old)

*Holidays periods subject to Peak Pricing

Vail Holidays returns with the Kris Kringle Market, Ugly Sweater 5k, tree lighting and more. (Jessie Klehfoth
Special to the Daily)

Vail Holidays

Vail Holidays returns with a full line-up events and activities to help the family get into the holiday spirit. For more information go to

Kris Kringle Market – Dec. 11 and 12

Do your holiday shopping while socially distanced and outdoors and support local and regional vendors.

  • International Bridge – Vail Village
  • 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Free

Ugly Holiday Sweater 5k Fun Run – Dec. 12

Don your craziest holiday sweater and run for fun this Saturday.

  • The event will start and end at Bart and Yeti’s in Lionshead
  • Groups will start in waves to allow for social distancing

Ice Skating Shows

Catch a glimpse of world-class ice skating on Saturday nights throughout December.

  • Show times are at 5 and 6 p.m.
  • Solaris Ice Rink
  • Free

Vail Village Virtual Tree Lighting – Dec. 13

The town of Vail will be lit up when Santa flips the switch on a special tree near the Covered Bridge.

  • Watch virtually by going to
  • 4:30 p.m.
  • Free
“The Nutcracker” ballet will feature dancers from the Vail Youth Ballet Company and the Vail Valley Academy of Dance. The event will be performed virtually from the Vilar Performing Arts Center. (Special to the Daily)

“The Nutcracker” in Beaver Creek

The saying “the show must go on” couldn’t be more true for this year’s performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet, performed by dancers from the Vail Youth Ballet Company and the Vail Valley Academy of Dance. With COVID-19 numbers on the rise, what was once going to be an in-person performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center will now be shown to the public virtually.

Auditions were held in September and rehearsals have been held in small groups since. The dancers wear masks while practicing and performing.

“We are definitely navigating uncharted waters. I hope each dancer knows how much we want to get them on stage at the Vilar Center this year and capture the incredible work to share with our community, friends and family across the country,” artistic director Ashley Calligan said of rehearsing and performing during 2020.

The performance has been filmed at the Vilar Performing Arts Center and can be viewed from the comfort of your home (tell your cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents to watch from afar, too!) starting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 13 through Jan. 1. Tickets cost $38 and allow a household to watch it from one device. Want to watch it again? You can purchase another ticket for another viewing.

Tickets to the Vail Friends of Dance “The Nutcracker” ballet can be purchased at

WhoVail returns to the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail just in time for the property’s 10th anniversary. (Daily File photo)


The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season and even though many things have been canceled in 2020, the hotel is happy to keep its WhoVail tradition alive. The images and characters of Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” will be revealed at the property on Friday at 4 p.m.

Stop by to hear some holiday tunes and originals from local artist Trevor Michael and view very special guests The Grinch and his dog Max, who is being played by Fizzy Bruno, dog of local shop keepers, Jen and Luca Bruno. Photos can be taken from afar of The Grinch and the gingerbread house is photo-worthy as well.

It’s a team effort to make the WhoVail life-sized gingerbread house happen every year. Due to the pandemic, it will be a facade instead of a structure you can go into, but it is still impressive. The facade is built in-house by master carpenter, Frank Bontempo and the engineering team along with pastry chef, Christine Clancy and the pastry team. The facade stands 9-feet-by-10-feet and consists of 315 pounds of frosting, gingerbread dough, powdered sugar, sugar and butter.

The Grinch and Max will be around from 4 to 6 p.m. and the WhoVail gingerbread house facade will be on display throughout the holiday season.

Due to the pandemic, in-person visits with Santa won’t be possible, but hop on a Zoom call with Old St. Nick to get your orders in before Christmas. (Scott Miller
Special to the Daily)

Virtual Visits with Santa

The pandemic has changed a lot of things this year, but one thing remains the same: kids still want to talk to Santa. This year, instead of meeting Santa in person to give him the wish list, kids can have a virtual visit with Santa.

Santa’s elves and the Vail Rec District have been working hard to get the communication up and running. Log onto and choose one of the available 10-minute time slots. Each family will have approximately one to two minutes to visit with Santa as there will be multiple families per time slot. Participating families will need a free Zoom account and a computer or smartphone that has a webcam or front-facing camera and can run the Zoom app.

The Vail Daily also has a line to the North Pole. If you can’t get a Zoom call scheduled for Friday with Santa via the Vail Recreation District, send Santa an email at to set up your Zoom call with the man in red. Tell him the Vail Daily sent you.


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