Christmas is almost here and every ski resort across the globe is welcoming the holiday season. They’ll deck the slopes with holiday cheer and tons of special events. Here’s a special listing of some of the fun waiting for you and your family.
Sunday River, Maine: Celebrate the arrival of winter and the upcoming holiday season Dec. 5 with the extraordinary spectacle of more than 250 Santas cruising down to South Ridge. You can join in the late morning fun. You must be in full Santa-attire, including beard. This signature Sunday River event kicks off the holiday season in style. Spectators should also get to South Ridge by 11 a.m. to get a good view of the Santa descent.
Stratton Mountain, Vermont: Change it up a bit from skiing or boarding. Celebrating the sunrise while hiking the Nordic trails with a guide beginning at 7:30 a.m. on available Sundays when the Nordic Center is open. Coffee, tea or hot cocoa will be available. Or check out the Nordic Lights Nordic Center trails in the evening from 5-8 p.m. with 5k lighted trails with snowshoeing and cross-country every other Sat. beginning Dec. 18. Nearby Manchester puts its most festive foot forward during the holidays. Enjoy a stroll through this sparkling village and shops to put you in the mood to soak in the season. Not to mention snagging those last minute gifts.
Lake Placid, N.Y: The Olympic Village of Lake Placid, home to Whiteface Ski Area just 13 miles away, is hosting a raft of special holiday festivities for the whole family. There are skating parties, Ugly Sweater Party, Jingle Bell Run/Walk, TikTok dance class and don’t forget about two special visitors: The Grinch and Santa. Santa even has his own fire truck parade. There’s so much more, you won’t have to celebrate again until, well, next year.
Christmas Mountain, Wisconsin: Christmas Mountain, what could be more appropriate? It’s located in the Wisconsin Dells. Christmas Mountain has a variety of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain as well as a terrain park. The resort has lots of lodging amenities, ranging from log cabins to townhomes. You’re right there with something like 77 other Dells attractions.
Shanty Creek, Michigan: Leave the assembling of gingerbread houses to the experts, but order a fully assembled one and decorate it with your friends and family. Then you can impress your neighbors on New Year’s Eve. Don’t forget to reserve your family’s seating at the traditional Lakeview Restaurant Christmas Eve Buffet. Psst- don’t miss the Shanty Crab Dip.
Boyne Mt., Michigan: Santa keeps busy, but he has to remember to eat something to keep that energy going. There’s two events during December when you can share that holiday feeling with him: Lunch Dec. 18 with Santa at Stein Eriksen’s in The Clock Tower Lodge from noon – 2 p.m as the kids share their wish lists, and most importantly, a scrumptious lunch with Mr. Claus himself. Can’t make it for lunch? How about Christmas Eve dinner Dec. 24? Dine with the big man in person at Stein’s from 5-9 p.m.
Vail, Colorado: Well, there’s all that skiing plus holiday fun, too. Dec. 11-12 pre-Christmas events include cooking classes throughout the village; Gingerbread contest for chefs, outdoor ice skating exhibition show of champions, tree lighting and an explosion of lights. Stroll through the streets of the village enjoying The Kris Kringle Market Dec. 17 and 18 and popping some roasted nuts into your mouth. Wear your ugliest sweater Dec. 11 during the 5k fun run while you support local Vail Valley charities. You can stroll through the Magic of Lights until Jan. 2, a family-friendly, winter lighting walkthrough experience. The half-mile walking loop will feature an array of majestic lighting displays, made from half a million individual low-impact LED lights, creating a bright and fun winter wonderland.
Sun Valley, Idaho: It’s always a classic Christmas at iconic Sun Valley.The Open Air Holiday Market is set for Dec. 11-12 .The market is a European-style outdoor event offering unique and local items displayed on the Duck Pond Lawn. Dec. 11 features the tree lighting ceremony near the Duck Pond in the village starting at 5:30 p.m. with music and lights on at 6 p.m. Head for the Opera House Dec. 17 and 18 for singing, dancing, and storytelling. Tickets are $25. Christmas Eve brings the Christmas Eve Ice Show and Torchlight Parade. This will be a ticketed event with all proceeds benefitting a local nonprofit. The torchlight parade and fireworks on Dollar Mt. will begin immediately following the ice show. Hey, it’s Sun Valley, take one of those romantic sleigh rides.
Keystone, Colorado: How’s this for a delicious event? The famous all-chocolate (7,000 pounds of it) miniature alpine village will be available for viewing (not eating) in the Keystone Lodge and Spa 24 hours a day. It features a working gondola, a running train, cascading waterfall and a 6-foot tall Christmas tree. Keystone mascot Riparoo leads a parade around River Run every Saturday at 4 p.m., ending at Dercum Square Ice Rink for hot cocoa and cookies.
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico: Christmas in Taos is a multicultural event. Not only are Christian and Jewish holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah celebrated, but there are also the Native American, Hispanic and Winter Solstice traditions that make this time of year so special.
Mammoth Mt., California: Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with a one-of-a-kind evening Dec. 18 at Canyon Lodge. Night of Lights is a free, fun-filled event for all ages with live music, a firework show, kids activities and more. There’s a terrific Christmas Dinner at the Weston’s Whitebark Restaurant. Seatings from 5 p.m., but be sure to make reservations.
Mountain High, California: Celebrate high above Los Angeles and get a free ticket on Sunday, Dec. 19. There’s a catch: To participate in Santa Sunday, guests are required to donate a minimum of $20 to a non-profit charity and be present at registration in order to claim your day ticket. You must wear a Santa suit, complete with hat, beard, coat, belt, and pants.
Northstar, California: Enjoy family friendly Noel Nights from 6-8 p.m. for free live music, photos with Santa, a Letters to Santa location, face painting and balloon animals. Grab some skates from their rental location, or bring your own, and walk through The Village at Northstar. Event will take place December 3, 10 and 17 at the Northstar Ice Skating Rink.
Mt. Bachelor, Oregon: Santa will be all over the slopes spreading the holiday cheer Christmas Eve Day from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. as he cruises around the slopes, passing out candy canes and posing for your family pictures.
Sunshine Village, Alberta: You’ll ski at Sunshine Village, Mt. Norquay and Lake Louise, but the town of Banff itself turns on the magic at Christmas, too. Enjoy a live “In Search of Christmas Spirit” free outdoor lighting experience through Jan. 1 on select nights of the holiday season. The experience is ticketed. The story journey will take approximately 45-minutes to complete – an easy walk through a live Christmas story told by the illuminated wildlife of Banff National Park. Then bundle up, grab a hot chocolate and enjoy a stroll through the all-new Bear Street Holiday Market this festive season Dec. 3-31. Located in the heart of downtown Banff, the Christmas Market features local artisans, retailers and food stalls.
Tremblant, Quebec: You can plan on a fully decked out Christmas in Tremblant. Take the kids ice skating on Lake Mercier, or visit the town for a holiday Christmas carol or fresh crepes. Holiday events happen all month long until January 5. There’s a parade in town Christmas Eve, where you’ll be able to take photos with Santa Claus who, by the way, gives gifts to all the kids. Costumed holiday characters such as Rudolph, elves and the Grinch are added to the festive atmosphere. Enjoy Christmas carols and warm cocoa by a cozy fire.