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One of the best kept secrets about our region? It’s not as cold out as people think (shhhhh!) with 350-plus days of sunshine, there are many blue-bird days to be had on the mountain! Dress warmly and make your way up to Breckenridge for these eight midwinter thrills—whether it’s a new IPA or an out-of-bounds helicopter ski drop, January and February offer them all.  If you get chilly—pop over to your ski-in, ski-out resort and add more layers.

1. New Year’s Eve Celebration

Photo: Getty Images.

If you’re going to Breckenridge for New Year’s Eve, you’re going to want to scope out the best place to view the fireworks at midnight. Lucky for you, guests at Beaver Run have the best seat in the house at the Coppertop Bar and Cafe. Their delicious late night menu and cool cocktail choices have Breck insiders returning for more than just the classic New Year’s countdown. There’s an on-mountain torchlight parade to take in as well—and since  Coppertop is at the base of Peak 9, you’re close enough to see the spark of the revelers’ torches—or to join in yourself.

2. Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival

Photo Courtesy: Beaver Run Resort and Spa.

Okay, we know this famed festival is a local favorite but there’s stuff you probably don’t know about it. For example, you can get discounted ski and snowboard rentals and discount lodging at the luxurious Resort and Spa at Beaver Run. Another secret you’ll want to know about is the  Falling Rock Cantina, a pop-up lounge located on level three next to the hot tub area that will exist for only three days (January 10-12). Have fun sampling different types of craft beers, taking brewing seminars and learning about “The Yoga of Brewing” to “enhance your skill as both a brewer and a consumer of amazing beer.”

3. January 20-29 International Snow Sculpture Championships

Photo Courtesy: Breckenridge Tourism Office/Rachel Lawlis.

The artists from around the world who converge on Breckenridge for the International Snow Sculpture Championships  sometimes take almost 100 hours to complete their sculptures. The Thaw Lounge inside the Riverwalk Center will fill you in on little known facts about the Festival’s 30-year history. Show up for Thursday’s all-night carving, when artists detail the winning design and people mill about to watch. After the event, warm up in one of Beaver Run’s nine outdoor hot tubs, or order something from the in-room dining menu (5-9 pm) before you head down to the sculptures. Beaver Run is also running great specials during February, the height of the ski season, so act fast!

4. Leap into Savings Special

Photo Courtesy: Beaver Run Resort and Spa.

February is one of the best times to visit Breckenridge during winter. Come experience world-class Rocky Mountain skiing during peak season and a wide range of events both on the mountain and in town! Beaver Run offers a ski-in, ski-out location, all the while being just a quick walk or complimentary shuttle ride to all that town has to offer. Right now, they’re offering multiple length-of-stay discounts.

5. Winter Events and Activities

Photo: Getty Images.

You don’t have to travel far away from town to enjoy a stunning showshoe hike in February. There are plenty of peaceful trails within walking distance from Beaver Run Resort and Spa. In the winter, the South Illinois Creek Trailhead transforms into a perfect cross-country trail with several great overlooks of Mt. Baldy. Just head down Main Street to Boreas Pass Road and enter on the trailhead in the Southeastern corner of the parking lot next to the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.

6. Scenic Sleigh Rides

Photo Courtesy: Beaver Run Resort and Spa.

Take a wonderful step back into the past with Breckenridge’s sleigh ride offerings this winter. You can sip schnapps; cuddle up under blankets with cocoa; and be pulled by draft horses, donkeys or a team of matching mules. A dinner sleigh ride might include a campfire singalong, while another offering visits a mining camp: Actors entertain you with an “old-timey” dinner show that might include historical figure, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” on one night, and dancehall divas on the next..

7. Breck Create: Breckenridge Creative Arts

Photo Credit: Ren Adkins Photography.

We’re used to thinking of Breck as an outdoor destination for skiers and others seeking a thrill, but few may know the thrilling depth and breadth of its arts community. This includes everything from sculpture and painting classes at the various studios around town, to many opportunities to enjoy national rock acts and refined symphonies.

The Yacht Rock Revue on February 22 at the Riverwalk Center celebrates the music of the late seventies, and according to event planners, will include a “massive sing-along soft rock hits, tight bell-bottom jeans, impeccable musicianship, polyester shirts, glorious vocal harmonies, sunglasses at night, breezy dancing and sax … lots of sax. …”

Your group can even book private instruction in metalsmithing, painting, photography, ceramics and more. Call 970-547-3100.

8. Fat Tuesday Fun – Mardi Gras in Breck

Photo Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office/Jessie Unruh.

Did you know the first American Mardi Gras occurred in Mobile, Alabama in 1699 when French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville stepped off this ship at “Point du Mardi Gras”? They still claim the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S., but Breck might be the highest one, at 9600 feet above sea level.  On February 25, join in an active street party complete with music, masks, boas, gumbo and more.

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