Holidays in Vail. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts.

Our family has made Vail, Colorado our hometown by choice. And, the holidays in Vail is one of the reasons. Vail is truly an alpine winter wonderland with lights twinkling in the snow covered pine trees all winter long. With majestic snow covered mountains, bountiful outdoor activities and creative culinary offerings Vail has something for everyone.

Winter Activities During Vail Holidays

Vail winter is best known for its epic ski mountain. The resort boasts 5289 skiable acres, 195 runs and 31 lifts with a variety of terrain for skiers of all abilities. And, Adventure Ridge located at the top of Vail Mountain offers a fantastic variety of winter activities including snow biking, a slippery slope of rip-roaring tubing lanes and more. Furthermore there is no shortage of winter outdoor adventures available in the Vail area. From sledding, snowshoeing and horse-drawn sleigh rides to enjoying hot cocoa or s’mores by the fire there is something for everyone!

And, there are plenty of indoor options too. You may want to just curl up by the fire with a book while the snow falls out your balcony window, enjoying fine dining and more.

Vail Mountain boasts 5289 skiable acres, 195 runs and 31 lifts with a variety of terrain for skiers of all abilities.

Vail Holiday Events

There was a time that we traveled during the holidays, but no more. Now our family enjoys taking advantage of the special Vail holiday events. The town of Vail offers a variety of events throughout the season. In addition, there’s just something magical about the ambiance of an alpine village covered in snow with lights twinkling and bells ringing.

Revely Vail Thanksgiving Festival

Thanksgiving week 2019 debuts a new week-long holiday celebration. Revely Vail is a celebration of beginnings. This festival offers many family-oriented activities throughout Vail Village. These include cooking classes, ice skating celebrations, an Explosion of Lights and Kris Kringle Market. In addition a gingerbread contest, Revely Music and a tree lighting will get everyone in the holiday spirit. A signature 10th Mountain Legacy Parade also takes place along the streets of Vail, honoring veterans and commemorating the legacy of Vail.

Vail Holidays

Vail’s holiday celebration includes a Paper Lantern Making Workshop and Walk, before the opening of the Winterfest Ice Theater. Finally, the torchlight parade New Year’s Eve is always fun. Ski instructors and Vail locals form a glowing train as they ski down Golden Peak followed by a fireworks display.

There’s no better place to be for the holidays than an alpine village with cobblestone streets, and twinkling lights as snow drifts from the mountain skies.

2019 Vail Holiday Events

Sunday, December 15, 5:00 p.m. Vail Village Tree Lighting Ceremony at Slifer Square

Wednesday, December 18, 6:00 p.m. Dickens Carolers at Vail Public Library

Friday, December 20, 5:00 p.m. Vail Skating Festival and Ice Spectacular

Sunday, December 22, Holiday Lantern Walk and Grand Opening of the Vail Winterfest Ice & Light Installation

Friday, December 27, 6 p.m., 10th Mountain Legacy Parade

Tuesday, December 31, 6:15 p.m., Ski Down Torchlight Parade & Fireworks

Tuesday, December 31, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.Beaver Creek Illuminate the Night & NYE Ski Down

Insider Tip: Consider cutting down your own Christmas tree. This is a fun, bonding family holiday tradition that can be planned at your leisure.

Vail Apres Bell Ringing

This new (winter 2019-2020) après tradition is meant to pay homage to the limitless, fun experiences one can encounter in the course of any day on Vail Mountain. Each day at 3:00 pm, bells in both Lionshead and Vail Village will toll to signify the beginning of après. The largest of these bells, in the bell towers that dot both villages, will toll first and loudest. Subsquently, dozens of smaller bells lining the streets of town will also toll creating a harmonious sound to signal that Vail Après has started.

Holidays in Vail
The holiday tree lighting December 17th, 2017 kicks off the holidays in Vail. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts.

Things for Families to Do during the Vail Holidays

Vail Sledding Hills

Sledding is a great way to get the kids out of the house (or hotel room) for some fresh air. Wear them out running back up the hill, and just have FUN. Plus the only cost is that of procuring a sled.

Ice Skating

Vail ice skating is one activity that the entire family can enjoy together. The town of Vail boasts three ice skating rinks. Two are outdoors and open only during the winter. One is an indoor ice skating rink.

Family-friendly Vail Restaurants

One of the many things that Vail is known for is its fantastic chefs and restaurants. While many of these dining options are high end, there are also many kid friendly Vail restaurants.

Toddler-Friendly Vail Activities

Vail is very family friendly and has lots of activities for kids, from the epic outdoor adventures to bowling and ice skating. But toddler friendly activities in Vail, Colorado are a bit less known. Here are our top seven (mostly free) toddler-friendly activities in Vail, Colorado.

What is your favorite part of the Vail holidays?

Our family loves spending a snowy Christmas at home. We get out and enjoy some of the festival holiday events and ski, sled and play family games in front of the fire and tree at our house. What is your favorite place to spend the holidays? Tell us in the comments below!

The holidays in Vail are a special time with twinkling lights on snow covered pine trees, epic skiing and lots of fun holiday events.

The holidays in Vail are a special time with twinkling lights on snow covered pine trees, epic skiing and lots of fun holiday events. #Vail The holidays in Vail are a special time with twinkling lights on snow covered pine trees, epic skiing and lots of fun holiday events. #Vail

The holidays in Vail are a special time with twinkling lights on snow covered pine trees, epic skiing and lots of fun holiday events. #Vail
Photo courtesy Vail Resorts/ Jack Affleck

This is an updated version of a post from December 2017.

Holidays in Vail

Liana Moore

Liana Moore is a third-culture kid with a hangover from those days that is a severe case of wanderlust. She is more comfortable driving the cliffs of Amalfi, Italy or the dirt roads of Costa Rica or attempting to decipher the street signs of Osaka, Japan than navigating the theme parks of Disney World. But she loves it all. She doesn't believe a vacation is complete without an adventure. Her husband and kids know well that "adventure" often is code for mishap or challenge and it usually results in a good story. They seek outdoor experiences whether in the mountains, on a beach or in the jungle of a tropical country. Her favorite vacation is... all the ones she hasn't yet taken, as well as those she plans on taking again. And, that list is so, so long. But she continues to extensively explore her home state of Colorado, spends lots of time wandering Texas, California, New Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway and has even explored Kazakhstan.

4 thoughts on “Holidays in Vail

  • December 2, 2017 at 2:35 am

    I have always wanted to be a part of a small town that has a tree lighting ceremony. I’m kind of jealous. Vail sounds like the perfect winter getaway!!

  • December 2, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I have a dear friend that lives in Colorado and would love to spend the holidays with her one year. She’s not too far from Vail, so a day trip is definitely possible!

  • December 12, 2017 at 12:02 am

    I can only imagine how fabulous it is during the holidays in Vail! You guys are so lucky to have a “real” Christmas out there! I miss having snow or just plain being able to wear a coat for December! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday – hope to see you again this week! xo

  • December 12, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Vail looks wonderful! I love everything festive. The lights look so blessed. Christmastime is so beautiful. I need to head there now! See you at Fly Away Friday this week!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *