Colorado completely transforms every winter. As snow blankets the mountains, the colorful state turns into a winter wonderland. From majestic castles made entirely of ice to scenic train rides through glittering snow-capped peaks, there’s plenty of holiday cheer spread around the state. Here are just a few of our favorite events and festivals taking place in Colorado this 2019-20 winter season.

1. Christmas in Colorado (November 22 to January 4)

Christmas in Color
Photo Credit: Christmas in Color.

Dazzle your soul at Christmas in Color with a holiday display consisting of 1.5 million lights. Colorado light shows, which can be found at Water World in Federal Heights and Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, will run from November 22, 2019, to January 4, 2020. Please note shows will be closed on Thanksgiving, November 28 and Christmas night, December 28. For more details, click here.

2. Santa Express Train (Canon City, select dates from November to December)

Santa Express Train Courtesy of Royal Gorge Railroad
Photo Courtesy: Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Discover the magic of the holiday season aboard the 2019 Santa Express Train from November 14 to December 30, with up to four daily departures. Journey to the “North Pole” to meet Santa Claus himself while soaking in incredible winter views of the Royal Gorge and Arkansas River. Children of all ages are welcome. Ticket prices vary. Guests also have the option to purchase a “grill meal package” and a photo package. Get more info here.

3. Christkindl Market (Denver, November 22 to December 23)

Photo Credit: AleksandarNakic (iStock).
Photo Credit: AleksandarNakic (iStock).

Kick up the spirit of the season at the Denver Christkindl Market filled with seasonal sips, shops, and flavors. Come hungry for authentic German cuisine and European confections paired deliciously with mulled wine or hot chocolate. The festivities including live music, a light display, dancing, and plenty of shopping will take place from November 22 to December 23. It’s at the Skyline Park located at 1515 Arapahoe Street in Denver. Be sure to take full advantage of the nearby outdoor ice skating rink. Admission to the market is free. Find more details here.

4. Winter on The Mountain (Glenwood Springs, Weekends from November 23-February 28)

Experience all the wonders of the holiday season at Winter on the Mountain returning on weekends to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The holiday fun will kick off on Friday, November 23 through February 28. Magic will certainly fill the mountain air with over half a million lights, holiday entertainment, winter rides, seasonal attractions, and much more. Find more details here

5. Santa’s Village (Littleton, November 29 to December 22)

Santa's Village at Chatfield Farms (C) Denver Botanic Gardens. Photo by Scott Dressel-Martin.
Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms (C) Denver Botanic Gardens. Photo by Scott Dressel-Martin.

If you’re in the need of some holiday cheer, Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms is the place to be. Spark the spirit of the season on select dates from November 29 to December 22, with dazzling light displays, seasonal hayrides, photographs with Santa, sing-alongs with Mrs. Claus, a giant snow globe open for play, and much more. The seasonal fun awaits at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, located at 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Road in Littleton. Ticket prices vary. Holiday treats and warm drinks will also be available for purchase. Get the full scoop here.

6. Blossoms of Light (Denver, November 29 to January 3)

Blossoms of Light (TM). (C) Denver Botanic Gardens. Photo by Scott Dressel-Martin

Turn up the charm for the holidays at the Blossoms of Light. This magical winter extravaganza featuring a colorful and ever-changing display of holiday lights is set to return to the Denver Botanic Gardens from November 29 to January 3, located at 1007 York Street in Denver. Dinner, holiday treats, and hot drinks will also be available for purchase. Ticket prices vary by date. Snag all the details here.

7. Holiday Chocolate Festival (Colorado Springs, December 14)

Chocolate Candies. Photo Credit: puhhha (iStock).
Photo Credit: puhhha (iStock).

Get your fix of holiday sweets at the Holiday Chocolate Festival. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true with over 100,000 samples of chocolate candies, cakes, cookies, fountains, truffles, fudge, brownies, toffees, coffees, sauces, and drinks. Sink your teeth into loads of chocolate on Saturday, December 14, at the Colorado Springs Event Center located at 3960 Palmer Park Boulevard in Colorado Springs. There will also be a variety of shopping vendors staged at the event offering jewelry, clothes, imports, and crafts. Snag all the details here.

8.  Ice Castles (Dillon, late December to early March)

Photo Credit: Ice Castles, A.J Mellor.
Photo Credit: Ice Castles, A.J Mellor.

Calling all castle lovers. A dreamy escape filled with colorful sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, and fountains awaits at the Ice Castles of Colorado. This frosty attraction is scheduled to return to Dillon Town Park sometime from late December to early March, depending on the weather conditions. This is one award-winning attraction you don’t want to miss. The iconic castles are only staged in six cities across North America. Head here for all the details.

9. Ouray Ice Festival (Ouray, January 23-26)

Zoe Hart Ouray Ice Festival 2011 Photo Credit Christian Murdock - OutThere Colorado
Zoe Hart falls while competing during the ice climbing competition during the 2011 Ouray Ice Festival Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, in the Ouray Ice Park. The four-day festival, featuring clinics, gear demos, and the competition with climbers from around the world, concludes Sunday. Photo Credit: Christian Murdock.

Get your ice axes out and head to the 25th Annual Ouray Ice Festival, returning to the “Switzerland of America” from January 23 to 26. This ice climbing extravaganza packs some serious high-altitude beauty into three days and four nights at Ouray Ice Park located at 280 County Road 361 in Ouray. Also, known as the ‘Outdoor Recreation Capital of Colorado, fun times will be plentiful. Get additional details here.

10. Denver Winter Whiskey Tasting Festival (Denver, January 25)

Whiskey, Photo Credit: jordan_rusev (iStock).
Photo Credit: jordan_rusev (iStock).

Take your taste buds on a wild adventure at the Denver Winter Whiskey Tasting Festival kicking off on Saturday, January 25. Guests can explore a world of whiskey with dozens of varieties including Scotch, Irish, single malt, blends, bourbon, and rye. The exact location for this festival has not yet been determined. For more details, click here.

11.  International Snow Sculpture Championships (Breckenridge, January 20-29)

International Snow Sculpture Championships
Teams from the U.S. and 11 other countries will create an amazing outdoor art gallery in downtown Breckenridge. Photo Courtesy: Breckenridge Tourism Office

Bring your pals for an art show of a different kind at the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships set to take place from January 20-29. Teams from around the world will come together to transform 20-ton blocks of snow into intricate works of art. The wildest part – absolutely no power tools are allowed. Admission is free. Get more details here.

12. Winter X Games (Aspen, January 23-26)

SnoCross at Winter XGames Michael Ciaglo; The Gazette
SnoCross at the Winter X-Games. Photo Credit: Michael Ciaglo; The Gazette.

If you haven’t been already, you need to add the Winter X-Games to your Colorado bucket list. The X-Games will return to Buttermilk Mountain Ski Area in Aspen, Colorado on January 23 to 26 for three days of winter action sports, music, and plenty of slope-side fun and excitement. All sport competitions are free and open to the public. Live coverage of the event will also air on ESPN and ABC. Get the details here.

13. Steamboat Winter Carnival (Steamboat Springs, February 5-9)

The Steamboat Winter Carnival is unlike any other you’ll experience in the state. Set to take place at the Steamboat Ski & Resort located at 2305 Mt. Werner Circle from February 5-9, this unique event has it all. You’ll find everything from horse-pulled skiers to the nightly show of the legendary “Lighted Man” and a parade featuring the Steamboat’s skiing high school band (the only one in the country). It’s a one-of-a-kind experience. Not to mention, it’s the oldest winter carnival in the state. Find all the details here.

14. The Wizard’s Beer Festival (Denver, February 9)

Photo Credit: The Wizard's Beer Festival Denver
Photo Credit: The Wizard’s Beer Festival Denver

Wannabe witches and wizards, this beer festival is for you! The Wizard’s Beer Festival, featuring local DJs, tarot card readers, and wand making classes, is packed with all kinds of wizardly fun, perfect for Harry Potter fans. The magic awaits on Sunday, February 9, at Diebolt Brewing Company located at 3855 Mariposa Street in the Mile High City of Denver. Tickets are $45. For more details, click here

15. Cripple Creek Ice Festival (Cripple Creek, February 8-16)

A shot of a jousting-themed exhibit from the 2018 Cripple Creek Ice Festival, themed as Renaissance in Ice SN'ICE Snow & Ice Carving
A shot of a jousting-themed exhibit from the 2018 Cripple Creek Ice Festival, themed as Renaissance in Ice. Photo Credit: SN’ICE Snow & Ice Carving.

The Cripple Creek Ice Festival takes place from February 8-16 and is filled with a series of icy attractions including mazes, slides, and a spectacular array of ice sculptures. The festival features a different theme each year, allowing talented ice sculptors to transform giant blocks of ice into incredible works of art. In past years, themes have included Mythological Wonderland, Story Time, Under the Sea, a Military Salute Carved in Ice, a Rocky Mountain Wonderland, the Old West and Safari. While this year’s theme has not been determined, it’s sure to be something spectacular. Get the details here.

Find more Colorado events here.

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