Holiday TV shows and movies set in Colorado |

Holiday TV shows and movies set in Colorado

A sampling of holiday shows and movies set or filmed here, with an emphasis on the snowy ski towns that signify the state to outsiders

John Wenzel
The Denver Post
The Hallmark Christmas one-off “Winter in Vail” uses romantic-comedy tropes to tell the story of a Los Angeles career woman who rediscovers herself and “small-town values” in Vail.
Hallmark/Courtesy photo

“Dumb and Dumber”

Having set its comedic bar so hilariously low with gross-out slapstick and gags, “Dumb and Dumber” has become an influential comedy classic. It’s also, to paraphrase one of my editors, a holiday movie in our house. When Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) set out on a cross-country trip to return a briefcase to the elusive Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), they end up in Aspen — actually filmed in Estes Park at the historic (and “Shining”-inspiring) Stanley Hotel — for the holidays.

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

Wait, isn’t this 1989 Chevy Chase vehicle set in and around Chicago? It is, but we’re including it here because its opening sequence — a brutally cartoonish series of tree-cutting fails — was filmed in Colorado, along with a few others. The outdoor scene-setting for the Walmart shopping spree with Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and interiors were filmed in Frisco, according to, while the shots in which the Griswold station wagon jumps into the Christmas tree lot parking area were captured in Breckenridge.

“Die Hard 2”

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With the original 1988 film firmly a holiday-action classic, the sequel (also set on Christmas Eve and starring Bruce Willis) is enjoying a closer second look. Many scenes were shot in Colorado, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, and not just exterior establishing shots.


Scenes for the minor cult film were shot in and around the Carnegie Library in Colorado Springs, as well as the Colorado Springs School, according to The former Hibbard & Co. department store in downtown Colorado Springs was featured prominently throughout the first half, The Location Scout blog reported. The full movie is available on YouTube.

“Winter in Vail”

By our count, dozens of Hallmark, Lifetime and other made-for-TV miniseries and holiday specials have been set in Colorado’s high country. But 2020’s “Winter in Vail” is one of the most recent, and exemplary of what makes these such comfort food for certain viewers. As with most of these romantic-dramedy plots, it features an outsider (Hallmark regular Lacey Chabert as harried career woman Chelsea Whitmore), who decamps from a big city (Los Angeles) to Vail and quickly becomes more Vail than Vail’s residents.

Read more via The Denver Post.


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