Park City Mountain Resort/Snowmammas

Ski resorts nationwide are hosting a multitude of Christmas events for the whole family to enjoy.  

Tree lightings in the villages or plazas kick off many Christmas festivities. Santa makes a visit to almost all resorts via some mode of transportation and torchlight parades are a staple Christmas Eve. Cookies, hot chocolate, and carols won’t be in short supply. Some areas offer free skiing or boarding if you come dressed as Santa and/or Ms. Claus. Here is a sampling of what you can expect.


The elves at Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vt. help get the kids ready for Santa’s arrival with visits to condominiums for bedtime stories and tuck-ins for young children Dec. 19-23. Santa arrives Dec. 24 greeting kids and adults, singing carols, and checking wish lists. The evening wraps up with a torchlight parade and fireworks.


The historic Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H., invites you to their Family Winter Holiday, Dec. 21-24. There are sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, and stories with Santa; evening movies like “Polar Express” and “It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie”; and musical performances including the South Church Handbell Ringers who don Victorian clothes, as well as the a cappella group Blue Silk Ensemble. Kids will enjoy tea and storytelling with Mrs. Claus, and a chance to decorate their own cookies. 


A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas runs Dec. 23-31 at Virginia’s Wintergreen Resort. There’s a lot of family holiday fun like cookie decorating and story reading by Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves. Christmas Eve and Day feature Santa on the slopes handing out candy, and choose from among several dining choices at the resort. Family Broomball with 20-minute playing sessions is an option, with a hot chocolate and doughnut break between games Dec. 26. 


Michigan’s Boyne Highlands plans 30- and 60-minute dog sled rides, 2.5-hour zipline adventure tours through trees and over slopes, complimentary horse drawn wagon rides, and live entertainment. Don’t forget to sample eggnog, punch, and cookies in the Main Lodge Lobby from 6-8 p.m. Christmas Eve. Santa makes his entrance at 7:15 p.m.


Sister resort Boyne Mountain has horseback trail rides, bonfire with s’mores, storytime for the kids followed by a family movie, 2-hour twin zip rides, and live entertainment. Santa makes the short trip from Boyne Mountain Christmas Eve.


Crested Butte, Colo., Nordic Center‘s Pre-Christmas Yurt Dinner combines an easy one-mile cross-country ski or snowshoe to the Magic Meadows Yurt where you’re rewarded for your exercise with a five-course gourmet meal, Dec. 23. The event is repeated Dec. 28. Dinner is prepared by local chef Josephine Kellett and served at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $70 for adults, $35 for kids under 12, and includes a trail pass and equipment rental. 


Utah’s Park City welcomes Santa Claus as he and his eight reindeer arrive from the top of a mountain via the Town Lift in the plaza off Main Street, Dec. 15 at 6:15 p.m.  The lift is designed to look like a sleigh. Have some hot chocolate and cookies while you’re waiting for Santa and follow up with a picture with him from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Santa will also be the Grand Marshall of the torchlight parade Dec. 24. 


Mammoth Mountain in Calif. will be celebrating Dec. 22-25. Festivities kick off Dec. 22 with the Night of Lights. Take the complimentary village gondola to Canyon Lodge and enjoy a firework show and torchlight parade. Later that same night the Edison theatre presents  “A Dickens’ Christmas Card” at 7 p.m., and again Dec. 23 at 4 p.m. Other activities include the Christmas Art Festival in the Minaret Village Mall from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 22; Live Music in the Yard from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Dec. 22 & 23; Fireside Story Time at the Plaza Fire Pit Dec. 23-25 at 4 p.m.; and roaming entertainers Dec. 24 & 25 from 3-5 p.m.


Just pick your favorite ski area and check to see what’s happening for the holidays. 


Photo: Park City Mountain Resort/Snowmammas