A Picture Perfect Holiday: Experiencing the Holidays in Vail

Dec. 10, 2015

Colorful lights bouncing off snow-covered hills, ice skaters twirling to holiday tunes and townspeople sipping toasty drinks around warm fires. If you think this only exists in postcards, think again.

While we’re known as a world-class ski town, we have more than meets the eye. Our village comes alive during the holiday season, brimming with magic and good cheer. Alongside storybook decorations, Vail village offers a series of popular holiday events, not to mention hundreds of well-dressed shops and art galleries to help you find the perfect gift for that special someone (or yourself!). Join us this holiday season for our signature events sure to warm everyone’s holiday spirit. Some family members might even mistake this mountain village for the North Pole!


Vail Family Holidaze


This family festival brings an extra heap of holiday magic to the Yuletide. Set in Vail’s already iconic setting, Holidaze hosts an array of outdoor events like concerts, skating, paper lantern-making and cookie decorating to celebrate the holiday season. Held from mid-December through the end of the year, all events are free and open to the public.

See a full list of Holidaze events.

Tree Lighting

Tree Lighting


Watch the holidays come alive during the Holidaze Tree Lighting event. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, music and entertainment. You might have to pinch yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming.

Santa’s Lantern Walk

Tree Lighting


Immediately following the tree lighting, holiday goers are encouraged to participate in the community lantern walk led by Santa himself. Be sure to bring your paper lanterns—kids and adults alike are encouraged to create their own for the walk! Prizes will be awarded to various age groups for most creative and unique paper lanterns.

Skate With Santa

Santa's Lantern Walk


Take in the beauty of Vail village and its surrounding peaks while twirling on your toes in the village ice skating rink. Local skaters will be at Arrabelle Square and Solaris Ice Skating rink to skate with your child to the tune of iconic holiday melodies. And, rumor has it that on December 19, one specific jolly man and some of his helpers will be taking a break from their work to blow off some steam on the ice.

Torchlight Parade and Fireworks

Torchlight Parade and Fireworks

Ring in the New Year “Vail style” with the traditional Torchlight Parade and fireworks at Golden Peak. Vail gives a special mountain twist to the traditional parade route – ski instructors and Vail locals ski down Golden Peak with glowing sticks, forming a magnificent luminous train as they glide. Immediately following the parade, night fireworks illuminate the sky with musical accompaniment to dazzle everyone right into 2016.

Picturesque Sleigh Rides

Picturesque Sleigh Rides

Get swept up in holiday magic with a whimsical horse-drawn sleigh ride through Vail’s winter wonderland. Nothing will warm your spirit and your soul faster than the soft sound of hooves galloping through the snow while you marvel at the scenery cuddled under a warm blanket. Whether you’re looking for elegant romance or family fun, there are several options to choose from, many of which include dinner and entertainment packages.

Vail Public Library’s Annual Family Holiday Party

Annual Family Holiday Party

Caroling, crafting and socializing are all part of this annual holiday party at the Vail Public Library. Not to mention Santa will be in attendance, giving out special gifts to all who visit. No matter what age, holiday goers will surely enjoy this heart-warming party.