The Christmas-New Years season at Colorado ski and snowboard resorts definitively says that winter is here for good, punctuated by traditional torchlight runs down the slopes, fireworks, Santa appearances and much more.
Winter Park. Torchlight parade and fireworks right after sundown on Dec. 24, followed by interdenominational service in the Balcony House at 6 p.m.
Vail. In town, after tree lighting on Dec. 20, Santa leads illuminated walk around the village. Sculptures of polar bears go on display Dec. 23.
Steamboat. This cowboy town puts Santa on horseback on Dec. 20 for stocking scramble, torchlight parade and fireworks. On Dec. 24-30, ride up gondola, then load into sleigh mid-mountain ride to gourmet dinner.
Ski Granby Ranch. From Dec. 26-30, nighttime skiing and snowboarding combines with snacks by the fire, treasure hunts and gondola photo booth.
Eldora. On Dec. 24, fashionistas dress up for the annual Ugly Sweater- Elf Costume contest, with a season pass on the line.
Copper Mountain. New Year’s Eve kicks off with USASA Rail Jam at the base, plus torchlight parade and fireworks. New is an on-mountain gourmet dinner after an after-dark ride up the American Eagle chairlift.
Beaver Creek. Santa shows up at 3 p.m., starting Dec. 19, as does kids parade at 4 p.m. each day. Local skaters put on shows Dec. 20 and 27 at 6 p.m. at Beaver Creek village rink.
Aspen/Snowmass. Bottomless Dom Perignon champagne highlights Little Nell celebration on New Years Eve – part of Aspen Mountain’s 12 Days of Christmas. At Snowmass, a “magical village” will be set up prior to Dec. 25.
Keystone. Running Dec. 18 through New Years, Keystone Lodge is home to annual chocolate bonanza, with more than 7,000 pounds of chocolate -- including working gondola, waterfall and six-foot tree all made out of the sweet stuff.
Photos: Top -- Winter Park's Christmas Tree welcomes the season (Winter Park/Facebook); Fireworks light up the Steamboat skies (Steamboat/Facebook)