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