Snow laden trees, warm glowing fires and sparkling slopes of freshly groomed snow – the holidays are always a magical time of year in Winter Park, Colorado.
If you’re headed to Winter Park this Holiday season and want to take part in some of the local festivities, check out our quick line-up of Christmas event highlights in Winter Park below.
1 – 5 PM Santa visits the Village at Winter Park Resort
Visit with Santa at the Village Gazebo (next to the ice skating pond) between 1 PM – 5 PM. Ditch the mitts to make some holiday crafts, then gather the family for a 4 PM reading of T’was the night before Christmas by the bearded man himself.
3:15 – 5:15 PM Christmas Carols in the Village
Like a good sing-a-long? Team up with the What The Dickens? Carolers! as they stroll through the Village between 3.15 PM – 5.15 PM.
5:30 PM Torchlight Parade and Fireworks at Winter Park Resort
The pinnacle of the Holiday celebrations at Winter Park Resort is the Torchlight Parade and fireworks. Watch from below as skiers and riders bearing glowing torches weave their way down the mountain, followed by Santa and his elves. Then watch in awe as fireworks light up the night sky, and colorfully lit snowcats move down the mountain in a perfect Christmas tree formation.
Following the show, an inter-denominational service will be held in the lower level of Balcony House and a Catholic service will be held in level 4 of West Portal.
Friday, December 25th.
Sunspot Holiday Buffet, from 5:30 PM
Ride the gondola up the top of the mountain to enjoy a very unique dining experience at the Lodge at Sunspot. Choose either the 5 Course Fine Dining options ($79.95/adult, $49.99/child under 10), or the Sunspot Holiday Buffet ($59.95/adult, $29.95/child under 10).
Price includes gondola ride, non-alcoholic beverages and dinner. Reservations required: 970.726.1446
Ranch it up at Devil’s Thumb. Work up an appetite with a cross-country ski or snowy horseback ride, then indulge (guilt free!) at their Cowboy Christmas Buffet Dinner while tapping your feet to live bluegrass. Cowboy Buffet $59.95/adult (13 and up), $30/child (4-12). To make a reservation call 970-726.5362
Head to Hideaway Park in central Downtown Winter Park to sled, dance and watch fireworks spark up the skies at 9 PM.
Afterward, dance it up at Ullrs, keep it classy at Volario’s, or take your pick of late night hot spots to ring in the New Year.
Blow off the cobwebs with an early morning ski, zip up to the Continental Divide on a snowmobile tour, get wild with the pack on a dogsled ride, or soar to new heights on a hot air balloon ride. It’s the start of a brand new year, make it a great one!
Still need to book your Holiday getaway? Availability is disappearing fast, but we still have a few properties open for the Holidays. Click here to browse all of our vacation rentals in Winter Park, Colorado.
@[email protected] December 4th, 2015
Thinking of taking a break from skiing for a day? Want to see as much of the valley as possible? If you answered ‘yes’, you need to check out the snowmobile tours at Grand Adventures.
Some of our staff members took a recent snowmobile tour with this quality operation and here’s a snapshot of what they said:
‘wow, these are comfy….whoops, found the gas…..this is fun….oooh hand warmers….throttle on….we’re going down there??….I’ve never seen the valley from here…..I feel the need, the need for speed….oh, oh, I think I’m stuck…so, where can I buy a snowmobile?’
Grand Adventures is the largest snowmobile operation in Colorado with more than 350 miles of groomed trails to explore, and a fleet of more than 200 top of the line snowmobiles. They offer both guided & unguided tours in Winter Park’s extensive National Forest.
We took the popular 2 hour Continental Divide guided tour, which is a perfect introduction to snowmobiling for all levels of rider, including first time drivers. From the outset, we had complete confidence in the professionalism of all the staff. We were kitted out with our helmets and boots, and then briefed on what to expect on the ride, safety rules, and how to operate the snowmobiles.
Being type-A’s (must be a ski resort thing!), we all wanted to drive, so we were each issued our own sled; but these machines are like luxury cars, and can be ridden very comfortably by two people at once (only thing missing is the coffee cup holder).
The tour itself is an absolute blast. We started out at a steady pace, giving everyone the chance to get a feel for the sled, practice keeping a safe distance between each other, and learn how to lean into turns. Very quickly, we started to relax and gain confidence on our snowmobiles and the pace picked up a bit as we zipped up the mountain trails with huge grins on our faces. Just when we were starting to feel like x-games candidates, our guides took a pause and said ‘Ok, you guys are doing great, so we’re going to try a little single track riding’….hmnn, suddenly those butterflies again! We left the main road, to cruise down a narrow trail that wound its way through the forest along a frozen creek bed. It was absolutely stunning, and the nerves quickly subsided as we begin to enjoy the challenge of the trail and feel like we are really riding.
The tour continued in a similar vain with some road riding, combined with some single track, and incredible views of the valley from an elevation of close to 12,000 ft (that’s 3,000 ft higher than when we started out). We took a few stops along the way to take some pictures, stretch out our legs, and learn a little history of the area. My favorite stop was at the old Trestle of the historic “Moffat” railroad that linked Winter Park with the Front Range via Corona Pass.
At the mid-point of the tour we are led to a big open meadow and given the opportunity to hit the gas and see what those sleds could do. Our one rule was to all go clockwise around the meadow, be aware of distances, and don’t take the sleds off into the powder (these machines aren’t designed for that type of riding, but some of the other tours do have powder fun on the agenda). In a big old flurry of excitement, we all took off around the meadow, and within seconds one of our crew had inadvertently found themselves in the forbidden powder and going nowhere. The guides took it all in good nature and just laughed saying, ‘yeah, there’s pretty much always one’. Within minutes they had the snowmobile out of the snow and we were back off down the trail.
When we reach the end of the ride, everyone had an exhilarated glow about them, and was eager to share their experience with one another. Some of our first time snowmobilers admitted to being nervous before the trip, but were now absolutely ecstatic that they went, and can’t wait to sign up for an even longer tour next time.
This tour is perfect for beginner to intermediate riders, and families looking to take a day away from the slopes. There are also advanced tours available for the more experienced snowmobiler, and rentals for those who like to go it alone.
Grand Adventures is located in Winter Park and offers tours and rentals on a daily basis. For further information, or to book a tour or rental, visit www.grandadventures.com, or call them on 970-726-9247.
Chris February 7th, 2014
See the world from a whole new perspective when you take a dog sled ride with our friends at Dog Sled Rides Of Winter Park.
This top notch outfit offers daily rides all year round and homes approximately 70 happy, healthy, Siberian Huskeys, who clearly love their day job.
Some of our staff at Winter Park Lodging Company were lucky enough to take a ride with the pack recently, and haven’t stopped talking about it since.
As soon as you drive into the kennels, the dogs know that a ride is right around the corner, and you can see them getting all amped up with excited anticipation, jumping up and down and howling into the air. After signing in, we were given the opportunity to love on some of the younger dogs (‘the welcoming committee’) while our mushers selected dogs for the ride, and started hooking up the sleds.
Then it was time for us to get in on the action, and we were shown to the sleds; each sled can carry up to 350 lbs, so most couples, and parents & kids can generally ride together.
The tallest rider sits at the back of the sled, with the smaller rider sitting between their legs, and back pads inserted between you to keep things comfortable for everyone. Then you’re carefully wrapped up in a thick burrito of fleece and wool, which is so ridiculously cozy and comfortable, it’s not uncommon for kids to doze off during the ride.
As we get closer and closer to ‘Go-Time’, the electricity in the air is tangible as the dogs strain against their tethers, and reach a fever pitch of barking. Then, all of a sudden, we feel a whoosh, and we’re off! An unbelievable silence falls, as the dogs take off and immediately settle into work, no more barking, just the sound of pounding paws on the trail as we leave the kennels behind us.
The thing I notice straight away is the fluid motion of the sled, no sudden jarring or changes in speed, just the whistle of the wind as you glide through the meadows and weave through pine groves. There’s maybe two inches between my rear and the snow, and I’ve never been so comfortable in my life! Being so low to the ground, and close to the pack, makes you feel like you are running alongside the dogs, but you still feel completely at ease thanks to the undeniable partnership between musher and his team.
A quick word to the lead dogs from our musher, and we whip left or right through the spider web of trails, that allow each musher to split their sleds off in different directions, giving each guest sled an individual experience…only occasionally catching a glimpse of another sled in the distance (a spectacular sight in itself).
The ride lasts for approximately 45 minutes and offers stunning views of the mountains and surrounding vistas from one of the most peaceful settings within the Fraser valley. Once in a while, the musher would take pause on the trail to let the pack enjoy a quick roll in the snow (tails wagging, tongues happily hanging from their mouths), and its a great time to ask about the personalities of your team of dogs. Every dog is different, and all the staff know every one their individual personalities and history (most of the dogs were bred and raised on the ranch).
Perhaps the best moment for me came at the end of the ride, when guests are encouraged to say thank you to the pack with a friendly pet and kind words. The dogs love human touch, and it bowled me over just how much these working dogs loved the affection; it makes it so abundantly clear that they are well handled and love their lives.
If you are looking for a truly unique and memorable experience during your visit to Winter Park, we highly recommend you try a dog sled ride with our friends at Dog Sled Rides Of Winter Park.
Sled prices range from $150 to $210 per sled; and tours depart daily at 9.10, 10.30, 12 noon, 1.45, 3.15 & 4.30 (top tip…the dogs are at their most lively during the early morning ride due to that fresh chill in the air).
Dog Sled Rides Of Winter Park are located in Fraser, and have a world of information and online booking available at www.dogsledridesofwinterpark.com. They can also be contacted by telephone at 970-726-8326.
Chris February 7th, 2014
Don’t Strike Out At The Winter Park Wipeout!
Support The Mountain Family Center and have a blast at Winter Park’s first full scale Urban Adventure Race: The Winter Park Wipeout.
On April 6th, Winter Park will officially live up to it’s brand as Colorado’s Favorite Playground with a 2.5 hour mad cap adventure from the slopes to the streets. Expect ridiculous challenges, unexpected thrills and more than a few fabulous spills as competitors take on 12 mystery challenges and run the gauntlet in the Wipeout Zone.
The race is open to all aged 7 (kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult) to 70 years old, and spans approximately 2 miles of variable terrain.
So, if you want to join in the fun and show off that hidden talent in lunch tray surfing, visit the Winter Park Wipeout site today and complete an online registration.
Chris March 3rd, 2013
‘Who Let The Dogs Out?’
A full weekend of International Sled Dog Association sanctioned races will be taking place at Grand Park, this February 16th & 17th, 2013.
Watch the incredible display of communication between each musher and his pack as the area’s top teams battle it out in 4, 6 & 8 dog races.
Also, check out the one and two dog skijouring races, where the mushers fly along with the pack on skis rather than sleds. If you really like the look of it, you can even give it a try with your very own BFF (Best Furry Friend) in a free clinic on Saturday. Find out more about the Grand Park Dog Days Of Winter, here.
Did you know that many of our properties are pet friendly? If you are thinking of bringing the whole family on vacation with you this winter, check out our Pet Friendly Properties.
Chris February 4th, 2013
As this ski season is winding down with Mary Jane closing April 15th and the whole of Winter Park Resort closing April 22 it may be time to think when the resort will be opening up for summer activities. Winter Park Resort base activities and attractions include the Zephyr Lift opening with access to favorite attractions such as the Alpine Slide, Amaze’n Human Maze, Leaps & Bounds Bungee, Rock ‘n Roll Gyro, Mountainside Mini Golf and Outdoor Climbing Wall.
Winter Park Resort base activities will be opening June 16th, 2012. Summer hours of operation are 10am through 5:30pm, 7 days a week, from June 16 through September 3, 2012 (Labor Day) – and the same hours weekends in September. Ticket windows open at 9:30am. The Zephyr Express Chairlift closes at 5pm, while other activities close at 5:30pm.
Trestle Bike Park will be opening by June 16th if not before. This year new at Trestle will be Cruel and Unusual as well as 2 more new trails near the base. And DO NOT MISS the inaugural Colorado Freeride Festival – July 26-29, 2012 at Trestle Bike Park. The Colorado Freeride Festival replaces Crankworx Colorado. Trestle Bike Park passes will be available in early May.
Now is the time to get your Winter Park Resort Lodging to get all the rides you can on Colorado’s longest alpine slide. Check out all the Winter Park Resort summer activities. Winter Park Lodging Company provides the best Trestle Bike Park lodging at the Winter Park Resort Base.
Mark it down, Winter Park Resort summer activities open for business June 16th, 2012.
Chris April 12th, 2012
New Theater and Bowling Alley in Winter Park, CO
We are getting a new bowling alley and movie theater here in Winter Park. That big ole’ building popping up right between The Grand Park Community Rec Center and the Winter Park Lodging Company offices will be the destination to catch a flick in the Winter Park area. The Village at Grand Park will house eight lanes of bowling, two digital cinemas with stadium seating, video arcade games and a bistro specializing in brick oven pizza. The project is scheduled to open summer of 2012. Rumor has it there will also be a bar serving at least beer and wine.
The above picture is an artist rendering of what the building will look like from the Winter Park Lodging Company parking lot. Below is the view from US Highway 40.
We are getting all fancy here in WP with lots of new things. Next thing you know we will be getting a Wallmart…. oh I hope not, but a Target would be really cool! Or our little town can stay just the same with the tasteful stores that we already have.
But hey, we are getting a new movie theater and bowling alley so no more driving to Grand Lake for guys night out bowling. Kids can catch a flick in a stadium seating theater and hopefully we will be able to have a brew while waiting. Now we have a perfect setting to view the Warren Miller ski movie each year.
We can’t wait for the new Grand Park Bowl & Cinema.
Chris January 17th, 2012
Posted In: Local Info
Grand Adventure Snowmobile Tours – Ride the Divide
Looking for some great fun of the Winter Park Resort slopes? Well, get your thrill on at Grand Adventure Snowmobile Tours.
At Grand Adventures, you have the unique opportunity to choose from a wide variety of snowmobile activities (guided or unguided). They will do everything possible to assure a safe and enjoyable experience.
The Grand Adventure Snowmobile staff of professional guides know how to customize each tour based upon the conditions and the group to “maximize” your snowmobiling and Colorado experience. Each of their guides is in constant radio communication with the base facility. Assigned are no more than 8 machines to one guide. All our guides are fully trained in first aid, CPR and back country Snowmobiling expertise. GAST guides have excellent understanding of the area. You’ll be in superior hands and will have a memorable experience.
For the advanced snowmobile rider, the machine rentals are the latest and creates with a staff to service therse beauties. Mountain performance and luxurious touring sleds are ready for you and your touring group. Grand Adventures will cover machine operation, map orientation and safety tips with each group before departure.
Grand Adventure Snowmobile Tours is on The Winter Park Lodging Company VIP Discount card so make sure to bring your card with you to get that extra 15% off on your day of snowmobiling. You do need to be a WPLCo guest to get that 15% of so make sure to get your Winter Park vacation lodging from Winter Park Lodging Company.
If you are looking for of some really fun adventure check out the snowmobiles at Grand Adventures. A day of riding the Continental Divide is a day not to be forgotten and you may even get that “sled addiction”, as they call it up here in WP, and will keep you coming back for more and more.
Grand Adventures Snowmobile Tours
Chris December 15th, 2011
Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides Winter Park, CO
Looking for some fun for the kids and the whole family? Devil’s Thumb Ranch is offering guests of Winter Park Lodging Company a 10% discount on their interactive feed sleigh rides at their Cabin Creek Stables.
The feed sleigh rides are offered at 10:30 am and 3 pm daily. Reservations are required, as space limited on these popular rides.
The feed sleigh ride heads out into the nearby meadow where a herd of 50+ hungry horses eagerly await their breakfast or dinner. Guests are encouraged to help the wranglers throw the hay off the back of the sleigh as they learn some of the stories of the horses, along with some interesting facts on keeping a herd in our cold climate. When the hay as been fed out to all the animals, the sleigh will come to a rest, and guests can have an opportunity to pet on all the friendly critters as they come up to the sleigh to say ‘hi’. The sleigh will then take a short ride around the scenic trails overlooking the Fraser Valley, before returning back to the barn for some well deserved hot chocolate and smores.
To book a sleigh ride at Cabin Creek Stables, call 970-726-5632.
For more details on Cabin Creek Stables, and the many other activities on offer at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, click here.
Dinner at either The Ranch House Restaurant or Heck’s Tavern is some of the best eatin’ you will find here in Winter Park or the whole Fraser Valley. If you have never been out to Devil’s Thumb you are missing one of the top destinations in Grand County and Colorado for that matter.
So if your heading up to Winter Park let us here at the Winter Park Lodging Company set you up with the best deals and most fun activities that be had on your Winter PArk winter vacation. Check out all the special deals WPLCo has to offer guests of the Grand County and the Fraser Valley.
Come on up and get to horsin’ around and have a grand time in Grand County, Colorado.
Chris February 14th, 2011
Skiing with Children in Winter Park, CO
Where was the first place that you skied? What was your favorite run as child? Well pretty much all my childhood memories of skiing are right here in Winter Park, Colorado. My oldest brother, David, would take me and my two other older brothers, Matthew & Stephen, and slog us up the hill and try to ski down with me between his legs. David is now up for sainthood. Even though I remember it being very hard and sometimes cold the biggest memory is of how incredibly fun it was to get out on the slopes on snow and shuush down the hill. Probably just a convenient memory because at four I was definitely not shuushing.
Anywho, it is time for me to pay back the teaching. We have been taking our twin boys, Nicholas & Willem, out to the teaching areas at Winter Park and Mary Jane and man what a kick they are getting out it. The above video is of Mom and Nicholas hitting Discovery Park. After a few runs at Mt. Maury we took Nicholas up the Gemini and let him get after some skiing. we then went back down and Nicholas fell in love with the magic carpet and trying to do pizza with his skis. The edgy-wedgy helps a lot with the young kids keeping the skis together.
At the end of the day we met up with Teddy, Niko and Theo for some french fries, PB & J and some nice sunshine. We will be heading out this weekend with both Nicholas & Willem and those two will be rippen’ up the slopes. A couple more trips to Winter Park and Mary Jane and the little tykes will be ready for Winter Park Ski School.
Chris December 3rd, 2010