Winter on the Mountain returns to Glenwood Caverns, through Dec. 31 | VailDaily.com

Winter on the Mountain returns to Glenwood Caverns, through Dec. 31

Daily staff report
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Roast s’mores and sip hot cocoa, cider and winter beverages for kids and adults at the fire pits in the plaza outside the Lookout Grille at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Winter on the Mountain returns to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for a third year, with a display of more than a half-million lights, a warming hut decorated as the North Pole, fire pits for roasting s'mores and lighted thrill rides. A giant Christmas tree with a light show choreographed to music takes center stage in the plaza. Holiday visits from Santa Claus and carolers add to the festive spirit.

"We're very excited to kick off another year of Winter on the Mountain," said Nancy Heard, general manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. "The trees, rides and buildings are sparkling with 35 miles of colorful lights, and we've got some excellent entertainment lined up, as well."

Kickoff party

The Adventure Park celebrates the beginning of the holiday season with a Winter on the Mountain kickoff party today from 5 to 8 p.m. Visit and take photos with Santa in the North Pole warming hut until 7 p.m., which is when the lighting of the Christmas tree begins. The Coca-Cola polar bear is giving away souvenir bears and bear hugs from 6 to 8 p.m. The Leonard Curry Band will perform holiday and classical music in the Lookout Grille throughout the evening.

Also on Saturday, the park is hosting the third-annual Turkey Tram-a-Ganza to benefit the local Lift-Up food pantries. Donate a frozen turkey between noon and 4 p.m. to receive up to four free tram rides to use that day and get entered in a drawing to win an Annual Thrill Pass to the Adventure Park or day passes for Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

"We're hoping that having Turkey Tram-a-Ganza and Winter on the Mountain kickoff party on the same day will encourage even more people to participate," Heard said. "The Glenwood Springs community is so supportive; I know we can help a lot of area families enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner together."

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Lighted attractions

Evenings at Winter on the Mountain begin with a ride on the Iron Mountain Tramway from the floor of the Roaring Fork Valley up to the park. Lights on the tracks for the Alpine Coaster and on the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride enable riders to experience these thrill rides at night, as well as during the daytime, and holiday-themed lighting inside Glenwood Caverns make the King's Row Tour even more colorful than usual.

Roast s'mores and sip hot cocoa, cider and winter beverages for kids and adults at the fire pits in the plaza outside the Lookout Grille. The restaurant offers fireside appetizers, sandwiches, hearty winter specials and desserts. Beer, wine, cocktails and a Bloody Mary bar round out the drink options. Through the end of the year, the Lookout Grille will host Friday Afternoon Club from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., with free tram rides after 4 p.m., live music and food and drink specials.

The 4D Motion Theater is showing "Winter Wipeout," which features two snowmen racing down a snowy mountain while trying to avoid troublesome Yeti and penguins, as well as "Rats Race," "Bamboo Express" and "Pirates Rapids."

About Winter Funday pass

The Winter Funday Pass includes the tram ride, unlimited turns on the Alpine Coaster, Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, 4D Motion Theater and laser tag arena and two guided cave tours for $40 per adult and $35 per child, ages 3 to 12. A round-trip ride on the Iron Mountain Tramway is $15 per adult and $10 per child for visitors who want to view the lights, eat lunch or dinner at the Lookout Grille, do some shopping at the General Store and visit with Santa.

Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 31. The park is closed Monday through Thursday. During the holidays, it will be open daily Nov. 18 to 27, except for Thanksgiving Day, and Dec. 16 to 31, except for Christmas Day.

More information about the park, including hours of operation and a list of which attractions are open, can be found at http://www.glenwoodcaverns.com or by calling 970-945-4228, ext. 0.

If you go …

What: Winter on the Mountain kickoff party.

When: 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.

Where: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs.

Cost: Winter Funday Passes are $40 per adult and $35 per child, ages 3 to 12.

More information: Visit http://www.glenwoodcaverns.com or call 970-945-4228, ext. 0.