Holidays in the High Country

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, & More

Holidays in the High Country

Winter Park truly is a wonderful spot to savor the holiday season. In addition to the overabundance of winter activities, Winter Park plays host to several truly unique and memorable events that make the holidays even more magical. 

Check out Winter Park deals before booking your vacation. 


Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

November 1 , 2019 - January 6, 2020  |  Arapahoe National Forest

Grand County allows Christmas Tree cutting in designated areas of the Arapahoe National Forest from November 1, 2019-January 6, 2020. All you need to do is gas up, gear up (gloves, saw, etc...), get a permit, and you are on the hunt to finding the perfect tree.  

Local Tips: 

  • Get a permit. The USFS takes permits and their rules and regulations very seriously. Read up before you cut
  • Bring rope or twine. Don't be that car with all arms out the windows holding on to your tree!  

Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners

The holidays in Winter Park are magical - you can get outside before and after a big meal and enjoy the fresh air, new snow, and good times with family and friends.  Decide whether to dine in or dine out and plan accordingly. 

Local Tips:

  • Locals like to leave the cooking to the experts too, so if want to eat out, make your reservations early
  • If you are set on cooking the big meal, plan accordingly. We have grocery stores but they may not stock your great Aunt Edna's obscure secret sauce ingredients.

Holiday Market & Tree Lighting 

November 30, 2019  |  12:00pm - 5:00pm  |  Winter Park Resort

Kick off the holiday season with shopping, Santa, and a tree lighting during Winter Park Resort's Holiday Market. Meander your way through local Colorado artisans stalls selling art and and jewelry and souvenirs and sweets then make your way to Santa for free photos and the Resort's traditional Tree Lighting at 5:00pm.

Local Tips: 

  • Santa is super popular (obviously!), so if you are dead set on snapping that photo -- get pics early and then head back for gifts and sourvenirs.
  • Bring a reusable shopping bag for those inevitable holiday purchases. It is good to be green!
  • Use Winter Park's Transit shuttle, The Lift, to get you to and fro safely and for free! 

Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade 

December 24, 2019  |  4:00pm - 8:00pm  |  Winter Park Resort

The Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade is one of the most beloved Winter Park traditions - the mountain is lit up by ski patrol and volunteers skiing down -- an electrifying and enchanting experience for all in attendance.

Local Tips: 

  • Get there early and grab a spot near the bonfire.
  • Bring handwarmers, hot chocolate (Bailey's for the 21+ crowd), and pocket snacks (snacks that are easily procured from a pocket).
  • Take Winter Park's Transit shuttle, The Lift -- it is free, safe, and no one has to worry about parking!  
  • There's a non-denominational service at 6pm in West Portal after the parade. Participate in services on Christmas Eve so you can sleep in on Christmas Day!

New Year's Eve Celebration with Fireworks

December 31, 2019  |  8:30pm-10:00pm  |  Rendezvous Event Center

Fireworks aren't just for 4th of July in Winter Park -- we shoot 'em off during our New Year's Eve Celebration as well. 

Local Tips: 

  • Take Winter Park's Transit shuttle, The Lift -- it is free, safe, and no one has to worry about parking!  
  • Put the kids in snowgear -- one run down the hill on the community sleds, they'll be hooked! 
  • Free hot chocolate is provided by the Town -- but locals always know to bring their own secret stash and pocket snacks.
  • Need more than Fireworks to fire up your New Year's Eve? Check out the event calendar for other activities.

Other Signature Winter Events

January 2 -- Stagecoach Classic 2020  |  Devil's Thumb Ranch 

February 22 -- Village Mardi Gras  |  Winter Park Resort 

Winter Park Event Calendar