Latern walk with Santa in Vail | Tricia's Top Weekend PIcks |

Santa, Scrooge, the Grinch and more | Tricia’s weekend picks 12/21/18

Lantern making workshops and the Holiday Lantern Walk

It wouldn’t be the holidays without some arts and crafts and the Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places has teamed up with Alpine Arts Center to help get your creative juices flowing.

In its 12th year, Art in Public Places is pleased to announce its signature Vail Winterfest events for all to enjoy. Programs include the Paper Lantern Project, Holiday Lantern Walk and the popular Vail Winterfest Ice Theater.

On Friday, adults can show their creativity at the Cocktails & Canvas Lantern Painting with the Alpine Arts Center. Instructors will be on hand to guide participants on how to paint paper lanterns. This lively evening will include holiday music, complimentary light snacks and wine and beer available for purchase. Create your unique lantern and bring it to the Holiday Lantern Walk on Sunday.

  • Where: Vail Recreation District Community Programming room-second floor of the Lionshead Welcome Center
  • When: Friday, 4:30–6:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10
  • RSVP at or 970-926-2732. Please indicate number in your party, space is limited

There is still time to make a lantern and participate in the Lantern Walk on Sunday. A Lantern Making Workshop with Alpine Arts Center will be family friendly. Immediately following the workshop, join locals and visitors alike for the Holiday Lantern Walk through Vail Village. Please note this is a new style of lantern making workshop and appropriate for all ages and abilities, so let your creativity shine.

  • Where: Vail Public Library Community Room
  • Where: Sunday, drop-in from 1–4 p.m. – allow yourself 30 minutes to create your lantern
  • Cost: Free
  • RSVP to or 970-479-2344 and indicate number in your party.

All this creativity culminates on Sunday at the Holiday Lantern Walk through Vail Village. This free event will feature festive live music by Grown Men in Lederhosen, a visit from Santa before he leads the Holiday Lantern Walk through Vail Village to the Gore Creek Promenade for the debut of the 12th Annual Vail Winterfest Ice Theater. Please note, even if you don’t have a lantern, the public is invited to attend and participate in the procession to the Winterfest Ice Theater.

  • Where: Slifer Square in Vail Village
  • When: Sunday starting at 4:30-5:30 p.m. with music by Grown Men in Lederhosen,
  • 5 p.m. Santa and Ralph, the World’s Tallest Elf mingle with guests, 5:30-5:45 p.m. Lantern Walk to the Winterfest Ice Theater
  • Cost: Free

12th Annual Vail Winterfest Ice Theater

For weeks, ice sculptor Paul Wertin of Alpine Ice has been shaping and carving large blocks of ice into huge thrones and a large screen to mimic a lounge setting where Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will be playing right on the ice screen at the Vail Winterfest Ice Theater.

Take a seat in the oversized ice chairs while enjoying the scenic Gore Creek during the day and film projections on a screen created in ice during the evening. Projection begins daily at dusk and runs until 10:00 p.m. and will be on view until the ice melts.

“The response has been so positive and it’s very interactive. People love getting their picture taken in front of the screen or in one of the big chairs. Kids even sit on the snow and watch the movie for a while,” said Molly Eppard, Coordinator for the Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places. For additional information about the 12th annual Vail Winterfest, visit

Holiday Shows at the Vilar Performing Arts Center

The Vilar Performing Arts Center has a busy two weeks of shows surrounding the holiday theme. From a lively brass quintet to a traditional tale, to amazing acrobatic feats, the caliber of entertainment is amazing at this gem of a theater in the Rockies.

Nestled within Beaver Creek Village below the Black Family Ice Rink sits a 530-seat theater that celebrates 21 years this season. The holidays have always been a special time at the Vilar and some shows have been returning for about as long as the Vilar has been around.

This Friday, enjoy songs like “Hallelujah”, “Carol of the Bells” and Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here” by the Spanish Brass. Two trumpets, a trombone, French horn and a tuba will fill the theater with holiday tunes. Show starts at 7 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday marks the return of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, an unrepentant and miserable man who is forced to see his life from a different perspective by viewing his past, present and future. Even though this is a well-known story and one that warrants being repeated, the production company out of New Hampshire traveling here for the show offers a few twists and adaptations throughout. Stunning sets, lush costumes, a good chunk of humor and two dozen holiday carols weaved throughout the performance will usher in your holiday season. Show time for both nights is 6:30 p.m.

Just after Christmas, catch Santa’s Circus, a spectacular themed Christmas production with over 30 performers.  Breathtaking stunts, amazing skills, magic, illusions and comedy are just a few things you’ll experience. Santa’s Cirque is a great family show about an orphaned girl who has stopped believing in Christmas. She takes an extraordinary adventure to the North Pole and learns the spirit of Christmas never disappears for those who believe.

In true Cirque fashion, there are over 30 performers including dancers, jugglers, tightrope walkers, contortionists, magicians, comedians, clowns, and trapeze artists. There will be two showings on Thursday at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

For tickets to any of these shows, visit or call the box office at 970.845.TIXS.

Last minute gift ideas

There are only a few days left to do your Christmas shopping but don’t worry, there are plenty of great items you can get right here in the Vail Valley, some even in unlikely places. Did you know that the Colorado Snowsports Museum not only houses the history of skiing in our state, it also has an awesome gift shop featuring everything from Vail-themed tree ornaments to books and videos about skiing’s history in Colorado along with tales of the famed 10th Mountain Division.

Another unlikely spot to find gifts is the spa or athletic club. Many locations have either a boutique with cute items or a few racks of workout wear for many on your list. The other day I needed gifts and wondered when I would find time to go shopping. Soon I was making a purchase at about 7:30 a.m. that included candles, picture frames, hats and cute socks. I got my workout in AND I crossed off a few names on my holiday gift list.

Coffee shops also offer shopping during early hours. The Bookworm in Edwards is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekend and has more than books to choose from. Sneak in a few gift purchases while grabbing that latte.

Need something unique? How about the new Vail Monopoly game? The classic game has a Vail Valley twist with Park Place and the Boardwalk replaced by iconic Vail locales. Even the game pieces have a Vail theme. Pick up yours at Buzz’s Boards, Colorado Snowsports Museum, Gorsuch, The Red Lion, The Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail Chophouse, Vail Daily, P. Furniture and Home Outfitters. The cost is $40 per game and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Vail Jazz Foundation.

If you are at a loss for what to get someone, give an experience. From performances at the Vilar, to a snowmobile tour, a ski or snowboard lesson, or a trip up to Adventure Ridge, a fun activity with loved ones is priceless.

Move over Siri, Vail Resorts introduces Emma

Just in time for all the holiday travelers, Vail Resorts rolls out the world’s first digital assistant for the slopes. Need to know lift line wait times or what runs are open during your Christmas vacation? Emma, the new “Epic Mountain Assistant,” uses artificial intelligence through natural language processing to answer questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the ski and snowboard season through short message service text.

Directions to ski school, where to get lunch and what the weather is like can now be answered by texting Emma at 77477 at the following resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Whistler Blackcomb, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood.

Emma can even answer your questions about your Epic Mix stats. Simply text her a question like, “how much did I ski today?” or “what are my stats?” and then provide Emma the 11-digit number located on your season pass or lift ticket.

Emma is in the beta version now and will continue to improve service to guests over time and with feedback. For more information about Emma, please visit

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