It’s hard not to get at least a little caught up in the festive vibe around Vail during the holidays. The setting is classic: snow drifts lay on the rooftops of Vail’s Village and Lionshead while the warm glow of lampposts light the cobbled streets. Pine garlands, red bows and strings of lights festoon the ice skating rinks and Alpine chalets and – to top it off – we’ve created daily activities and events to help you and your family celebrate the season. If you don’t get a perfect Facebook cover photo out of this setting, you just weren’t trying.
What is Vail Family HoliDaze?
Vail’s Family HoliDaze takes Vail’s already iconic setting and adds family activities, figure skating performances by world renowned athletes and outdoor events. Held from December 16th through the 30th, HoliDaze events bring an even more festive vibe to the Yuletide.
Vail Family Holidaze events
Tree Lighting Ceremony: The festivities begin Sunday, Dec. 16th at 5pm with a Vail tradition: the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Slifer Plaza – right next to the iconic Covered Bridge in Vail Village.
Candy Cane Patrol: Dec. 17th – 24th be sure to keep an eye out for the Candy Cane Patrol when you come off the slopes. This green and red clad crew will be waiting with treats at the Golden Peak, Vista Bahn and Lionshead base areas.
Kids Zones: After the kids are done skiing and riding, you can take them to one of the HoliDaze “Kids Zones” located in Vail Village and Lionshead. These free event stations include ornament making, snowman decorating, the Vail Arcitic Express train rides, Santa’s Workshop, entertainers and more. The Kids Zones will be set up Dec. 19th-24th from 3-5pm.
Family Movie Nights: Classic holiday films like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Charlie Brown Christmas will be shown from 5-7pm Dec. 17th and 18th at the Lionshead Info Center.
Dickens Carolers: Starting Dec. 20th, the Dickens Carolers – a longtime Vail tradition – roam the streets and pop into restaurants to give out hot cocoa and sweet harmonies. On Christmas Day they give their final performance from 9-10am at the Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead base areas.
Free Concerts: Two family-friendly bands will play free concerts in Solaris Plaza starting at 4pm (venue opens at 3:30) Dec. 19th and 23rd.
Winter Solstice on Ice: Perhaps the most popular Vail Holidaze event, the three “Winter Solstice on Ice” performances Dec. 20th-22nd at 5pm feature figure skating stars like Evan Lysacek, the current Olympic Champion, World Champion and Star of Dancing with the Stars as well as Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, current US National Pair Champions.
Skate with the Stars: before the stars of “Winter Solstice on Ice” take the spotlight, they want to share the ice with your aspiring figure skating champion from 3:15-4pm Dec. 20th-22nd. Space is limited so make sure to sign your child up at the skate rental shop at either the Arrabelle Square and Solaris Plaza Ice Rink.
New Year festivities
Once you’ve recovered from all the holiday festivities, ring in the New Year Vail style December 31st:
6:15pm Torchlight Parade: come to Golden Peak to watch the annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks at Golden Peak. Watch as ski instructors and Vail locals form a glowing train as they ski down Golden Peak with glowing sticks followed by a fireworks display.
7-9pm Family New Year’s Celebration: After the fireworks, bring the whole family to Lionshead and head up the gondola to Adventure Ridge for an evening of fun at the First Night Party. The gondola ride and select activities are complimentary. Packages will be available to purchase discounted dinner and activities to keep the fun going. All children must be accompanied by a chaperone.
9pm – 1:30am Vail NYE 2013 with Thievery Corporation: Dobson Ice Arena is turned into a massive night club with music, lights, dancing and special effects. After their incredible performance at last year’s Spring Back to Vail, we’re bringing Thievery Corporation back to ring in 2013. Tickets are available online at www.vailnye.com. This is a 21 and over event.