FROM HIGH TEA TO A HORSE-DRAWN SLEIGH RIDE, ’TIS THE SEASON TO CELEBRATE.
Keystone has 10 miles of groomed trails at the Nordic Center to kick and glide. PHOTO BY ANDREW MAGUIRE/COURTESY OF KEYSTONE RESORT
THIS SEASON FEELS LIKE THE TIME TO COME TOGETHER—in real life—and celebrate with family and friends. It’s been a couple of years, right? We say, no more Zoom cocktail hours. No more hunkering down at home. Let’s get out there and enjoy life. To give you some ideas for winter celebrations, we’ve pulled together a roundup of Colorado events and experiences to embrace the holidays (and beyond). Cheers!
Sleigh ride at Keystone Resort. SLEIGH PHOTO BY ANDREW MAGUIRE/COURTESY OF KEYSTONE
Keystone has a packed lineup of winter adventure, from the thrill of night skiing under the lights to romping around in the world’s largest snowfort to cross-country skiing on 10 miles of groomed trails at the Nordic Center. We like the idea of a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the Soda Creek Valley. Bundle up for the ride, where you’ll literally go dashing through the snow. Your destination: a cowboy dinner at an original Keystone homestead.
THE BROWN PALACE, DENVER
Every December, the halls of the seven-story atrium at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa (brownpalace.com) are decked in evergreen garlands, twinkling lights and red ornaments, transforming the space into an opulent holiday dreamscape and the perfect backdrop for a series of time-honored events. Start with the 34th annual Champagne Cascade in mid-November, when a swordsman uses a Napoleonic saber to sever Champagne bottle necks and then pours the Moët & Chandon into the uppermost glass of a two-story, 6,000-glass pyramid. Sit in the atrium sipping tea topped with Devonshire cream and scones with the hotel’s popular Holiday Tea (through Jan. 22). For families, the Grand Dame hosts breakfast with Santa. These experiences sell out quickly, so if you missed this year’s events, check with the hotel in June when they open up reservations for 2023.
Holiday tea at The Brown Palace. TEA PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BROWN PALACE HOTEL AND SPA, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION
UNION STATION, DENVER
Merry & Bright Lights transform Denver’s landmark train station into a spectacular canvas, featuring interactive visual imagery projected across the station’s historic facade. The lights kick on at 5pm nightly through Dec. 26. Afterward, stop by the Miracle at Union Station pop-up cocktail bar, which promises “delightfully ostentatious holiday decor.”
DAIRY BLOCK, DENVER
For holiday shopping, head for the Après Ski Holiday Market (through Dec. 18), held in the Dairy Block Alley (dairyblock.com) near The Maven hotel. The Dairy Block will also host a series of festive activations, including live music by the Jingle Belles and holiday story time in Denver Milk Market.
Cirque: Spirit of Christmas at Gaylord Rockies. PHOTO COURTESY OF GAYLORD ROCKIES RESORT
GAYLORD ROCKIES, DENVER
After a two-year hiatus, the 17,500-square-foot, frozen attraction called ICE! is back on tap at Gaylord Rockies (christmasatgaylordrockies.com). Using more than 2 million pounds of ice, a team of 40 artisans will use chisels, chippers, tongs, handsaws, grinders and chainsaws to carve scenes from the classic Peanuts story A Charlie Brown Christmas out of 6,700 massive blocks of ice (through Jan. 1). Gaylord Hotels also stages Cirque: Spirit of Christmas, featuring high-flying trapeze artists, acrobats and aerial silk performers.
THE BROADMOOR, COLORADO SPRINGS
Holidays are built on traditions, and this iconic hotel has been a favorite for the holidays for more than a century. The season kicks off with a lighting ceremony at The Broadmoor on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when the hotel flips the switch on millions of twinkling white lights. The hotel’s holiday lineup includes a holiday show featuring special guest and Broadway star Marcus Lovett, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, a wassail tea service and the unveiling of the resort’s annual and truly massive gingerbread display.