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Blue River Plaza
Photo courtesy Carl Scofield

9 Magical Mountain Holiday Displays and Tree Lightings

Celebrate the holiday season in a winter wonderland full of twinkling lights and holiday cheer.

We”ve compiled a list of holiday displays and tree lighting events to add a little merriness to your mountain getaways. Enjoy everything from twinkling lights, parades, holiday music, activities for kids, and appearances from Santa himself.

Beaver Creek: 36th Annual Tree Lighting

The day after Thanksgiving, Beaver Creek turns into a magical winter wonderland complete with holiday tunes, an ice skating show, and fun holiday crafts and activities for kids. Don’t miss your chance to see Santa at the town’s 36th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. This festive event kicks off the season with a bang—literally—with a fireworks display at the end of the night.

Date/Time: November 25, 4-8 p.m.

Location: Beaver Creek

Cost: free


Copper Mountain: Snowcat Santa and Fireworks

Santa’s leaving the sleigh and reindeer at home and coming to town in true Colorado style—arriving via snowcat—at Copper’s annual kickoff event in Center Village. Don’t miss the man in red himself, and Mrs. Claus too, along with a tree lighting celebration and fireworks.

Date/Time: November 25

Location: Center Village

Cost: free


Estes Park: Catch the Glow Christmas Parade

Watch festive floats light up at night as they parade through downtown, along with bands, dancers, and holiday music. Enjoy a weekend of festive events including hayrides and visits with Santa.

Date/Time: November 25, 5:30 p.m.

Location: Downtown Estes Park

Cost: free


Steamboat Springs: Light Up the Night

Downtown Steamboat Springs welcomes the holiday season with its annual Light Up the Night celebration. Bring the family and see the town’s trees illuminate with tons of bright lights, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, sing along to holiday favorites, and visit with Santa.

Date/Time: November 25, 6–7 p.m.

Location: County Courthouse Lawn

Cost: free


Keystone: Lighting of the River Run Celebration

The annual holiday tree lighting event includes visits with Santa, carolers, hot chocolate, and fresh baked cookies. Stick around for a free Welcome Winter Carnival on Sunday for more festive family fun.

Date/Time: November 25, 5 p.m.

Location: River Run Village

Cost: free


Winter Park: Holiday Market and Tree Lighting

Check out the Holiday Market, visit with Santa, listen to carolers singing holiday tunes in the Village, and witness a festive tree lighting ceremony.

Date/Time: November 26, 12:30-6 p.m.

Location: Winter Park Resort

Cost: free


Frisco: Holiday Tree Lighting

As part of the town’s annual Wassail Days holiday celebration, the town of Frisco illuminates with 600 luminaries and the lighting of the holiday tree. Visitors can enjoy the sounds of the holidays as carolers sing their way up and down Main Street, and kids can take pictures with Santa.

Date/Time: December 2, 6 p.m.

Location: Frisco

Cost: free


Breckenridge: Lighting of Breckenridge

The holiday season in Breckenridge kicks off the first weekend in December with the Lighting of Breckenridge. See hundreds of Santas race down Main Street and enjoy holiday caroling, free hot cocoa and cookies, and a Bernese mountain dog parade. Santa comes to town early for a magical lighting of the tree.

Date/Time: December 3, noon-7 p.m.

Location: Blue River Plaza

Cost: free


Aspen: 12 Days of Aspen

For 12 days in December, the town of Aspen turns into a winter wonderland. Families can enjoy free ice skating, visits with Santa and his reindeer, tree lightings, holiday movies, cookie decorating, and more.

Date/Time: December 20-31, times vary

Location: Aspen

Cost: most events are free


This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2016.

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