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Experience Christmas in Vail, Colorado

Beautifully nestled in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Vail is renowned for its snow-covered landscapes, charming Vail Village, and legendary winter activities and events. If you’re looking for one of the best places in North America to celebrate the holidays, few destinations can rival the enchantment of this magical alpine town. Discover why Vail is such a sought-after holiday destination — and why you should be here this festive season.

Snowy Paradise with a Festive Atmosphere

With its generous snowfall, idyllic winter scenery, Bavarian-inspired architecture, and picturesque streets and shops decked out in twinkling lights, ornaments, and decorations, Vail feels straight out of a Christmas movie. (Just watch the Hallmark Channel’s Winter in Vail!) There’s even a grand Christmas tree in the center of Vail Village, where locals and visitors alike gather for festive events and caroling.

Annual Holiday Events & Traditions

Speaking of Christmas trees, make sure you’re here for Revelry Vail and its tree-lighting ceremony, a long-standing tradition that officially kicks off holidays in Vail. Another must-see is Magic of Lights Vail, featuring a spectacular array of 500,000 lights that illuminates the natural beauty of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

If you’re a fan of skating, you can attempt an axel at either the Arrabelle or Solaris Ice Rinks, as well as watch professionals perform for free at Outdoor Ice Skating Shows. And if you’ll be in Vail to ring in 2024, go to the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade & Fireworks, complete with a silent disco, the evening torchlit parade of instructors skiing down Golden Peak, and a truly fantastic fireworks display.
If you’re thinking about spending Christmas in Colorado, here are a few more Vail holiday events you can look forward to this December.   

Fresh Powder for Phenomenal Skiing

With over 5,300 acres of skiable terrain, 195 trails, and ski runs for every level, Vail Ski Resort is one of the largest and most famed ski destinations on the continent.

Naturally, skiing and snowboarding are extremely popular during the holidays, so purchasing your Vail ski lift tickets in advance is strongly recommended, as very limited tickets are available onsite. And although the resort does participate in the Epic Pass program for Colorado skiing, double-check to see if your pass allows access whenever you’re planning to be in Vail.

Learn more about ticket prices, ticket FAQs, and mobile lift tickets here.

An Awesome Après Ski Scene

What exactly is après ski anyway? It comes from the French for “after skiing” and “encompasses any or all of the entertaining, social, anti-social, musical or non-musical activities you do after the day’s skiing is done.”

Of course, with so many après ski things to do in Vail, you have a veritable buffet of options to try out — ranging from casual outdoor patios with live music to taqueria and tequila bars, Bavarian-style cafés and craft beer houses to a soon-to-be-unveiled bar to open at The Sebastian – Vail, in addition to The Sebastian’s already celebrated restaurant Leonora.

Find a list of some of Vail’s well-known après ski restaurants and bars here

Excellent Shopping & Dining

If you need to do some shopping in Vail during Christmas, you’re in luck: Both Vail Village and Lionshead Village have hundreds of boutiques, shops, and specialty stores. To find exactly what you’re looking for, the Discover Vail website has specific filters to help you on your hunt for the perfect gift.

The combination of shopping and fresh mountain air is sure to work up an appetite. Fortunately, Vail is home to an incredible variety of restaurants for some much-needed and delicious sustenance. Standout restaurants in Vail include:

Leonora – a sophisticated inviting tapas experience inspired by the French Alps, Spanish Pyrenees and the Colorado Rockies
Swiss Chalet – traditional European cuisine specializing in hearty dishes, fondue and raclette
Mountain Standarda rustic and relaxed tavern using wood-burning grills and a rotisserie as inspiration


Ultra-Luxury Accommodations

This holiday season, where you stay should be just as special as where you go. Experience Christmas in Vail at The Sebastian, one of the mountain’s best luxury vacation rentals, combining approachable chic and high-alpine comfort with sweeping ski mountain and valley views.

Each of their extraordinary private residences — rarely available without ownership or membership — is set within an award-winning resort in the heart of Vail Village. Plus, you can enjoy all the exclusive amenities of an ultra-luxury property, highly responsive and personalized service to make your stay effortless, and the promise of unforgettable memories together during this very special time of year.