We don’t head inside when the weather gets cold and the snow starts falling — we celebrate with special Colorado events! Winter carnivals, ice-carving competitions and lighting ceremonies are some of the ways we live the season to the fullest.
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Winter Carnivals in Colorado
Coloradans consider winter our most privileged season, and we love to celebrate all that comes with it at winter carnivals across the state.
Vail Snowdays, Dec. 12–15, 2019
This bash welcomes the ski and snowboard season with free concerts, aprés parties and a rockin’ street fair in Vail Village. Past headliners included The Wallflowers, Lukas Nelson & P.O.T.R. and Rusted Root.
12 Days of Aspen: Dec. 20–31, 2019
Downtown comes alive with a variety of free holiday activities, cookies, hot chocolate and much more to celebrate the holidays and the winter season.
Breckenridge ULLR Fest: Dec. 11–15, 2019
Snow lovers celebrate Norse mythology dressed as vikings with a downtown Breckenridge parade and bonfire, a town-wide talent show, the Ullr Ice Plunge, ice skating and fat-bike racing.
Wintersköl in Aspen: Jan. 9–12, 2020
Aspen's annual "toast to winter" dates back to January 1951 when locals began celebrating the town's unique Nordic lifestyle. The-four day fest features on-mountain activities, film screenings, a winterfest, broomball and fat-biking competitions and much more.
Estes Park Winter Festival: Jan. 19–20, 2020
The Estes Park Events Complex comes alive with winter fun, including a chili cook-off, ski and snowboard demonstrations, beer and wine tasting and tons of other family activities.
UllrGrass in Golden, Jan. 24–26, 2020
Put on your faux fur and Viking horns for this family-friendly winter music and beer fest surrounded by the beauty of the Rocky Mountain foothills in Golden. Highlights include the UrllGrass Park Parade, music from local and national bluegrass musicians and tons of local food and craft vendors.
Pagosa Springs' Winterfest: Jan. 24–26, 2020
Are you brave enough to submerge yourself in the San Juan River's Penguin Plunge? Test your skills in the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race or sit back and watch the mass ascension of hot-air balloons in Pagosa Springs.
Steamboat Springs' Winter Carnival: Feb. 5–9, 2020
Steamboat has reveled in their bounty of trademark Champagne Powder™ since 1914. The carnival features ski-jumping competitions, dog-sled pulls, cross-country obstacle races and a spectacular fireworks display.
Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival in Leadville: March 6–8, 2020
A fearless skier navigates an obstacle course connected by towrope to a horse and rider galloping at top speed, and it all takes place in the middle of town, in addition to a winter carnival with other snowy activities.
Colorado Snow & Ice Festivals
Though they don’t linger too long during Colorado’s sunny winter months, frozen masterpieces created by gifted ice artisans leave a lasting impression.
Berthoud Snowfest & Colorado Snow Sculpting Competition: Dec. 11–14, 2019
This winter festival in Berthoud includes the sanctioned Colorado Snow Sculpting Competition. See the snow sculptures, visit booths with food and tummy-warming drinks, shop the artisan market, see Santa and Mrs. Claus, view the parade of lights and more!
Ouray Ice Festival: Jan. 23–26, 2020
Though it’s an ice festival of a different sort, Ouray’s celebration is one of the most spectacular. Each year, 3,000 climbers descend on the town to ascend the Ouray Ice Park’s mile-long frozen gorge, while spectators watch in amazement.
Budweiser International Snow Sculpting Championship: Jan. 20–29, 2020
Teams from around the world spend a week in Breckenridge gently coaxing intricate sculptures out of 20-ton blocks of snow.
Ski & Snowboard Competitions
- Winter Dew Tour at Copper Mountain: Feb. 6–9, 2020
- X Games Aspen: Jan. 23–26, 2020
- Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineer Race in Snowmass: Feb. 29, 2020
Colorado Holiday Events
- Denver Christkindl Market: Nov. 22–Dec. 23, 2019
- Downtown Boulder's Switch on the Holidays: Nov. 24, 2019
- Estes Park's Catch the Glow Parade & Celebration: Nov. 29, 2019
- Greeley Lights the Night Parade: Nov. 30, 2019
- Olde Golden Christmas in Golden: Nov. 30–Dec. 31, 2019
- Denver Parade of Lights: Dec. 6–7, 2019
- CU Presents: Boulder Holiday Festival: Dec. 6–8, 2019
- Georgetown Christmas Market in Georgetown: Dec. 7–8 and Dec. 14–15, 2019
- Winter Arts & Crafts Show in Craig: TBA, 2019
- Iconic Winter Events & Celebrations
- Colorado Festivals: Holiday Lighting
- Holiday Markets
- Winter Train Trips