How to Spend the Holidays in Crested Butte
Spending time in Crested Butte during the holidays feels as if you’ve dropped yourself into a Norman Rockwell or Grandma Moses painting. Snowflakes falling, warm and cozy fireplaces crackling, singing carolers and abundant winter activities are all some of the things you can expect to find in Crested Butte during the holidays. Whether you are a local or visitor, I’ve put together a list of activities and events to get you into the holiday spirit!
Light Up Night Weekend – An entire weekend in December is dedicated to kick off the season. Santa visits and takes pictures with the whole family and the large Christmas tree is lit in the ski base area. This year’s (December 6-8, 2019) information is below. You can also view the information on the Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Saturday, December 7 – Join us as Santa lights Mt. Crested Butte’s Tree in the Mountaineer Square while you enjoy hot cocoa from The Coffee Lab, Popcorn from Oh Be Dogful, Crafts for the family, Live music from Tyler Hansen and free Photos with Santa from Nathan Bilow Photography.
Reindeer Scavenger Hunt – Help us find our missing reindeer! Stop by the CB Visitor Center Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Light Up Night weekend from 9 am-5 pm to pick up a list of which businesses have spotted reindeer sightings. Then spend the weekend helping us find those crazy caribous in CB and Mt. CB! When you’ve found them all (and gotten initials at each shop), drop off your sheet (parents- please complete the demographics questions on the back to help us out) for a sweet treat from St. Nick himself!
Window Display Contest – Pick up an ornament and list of participating businesses at the CB Visitor Center on Friday, Saturday or Sunday of Light Up Night weekend from 9 am – 5 pm, and check out all of the great window displays around town. Give your ornament to the shop with the best display by closing time on Sunday (please note- times vary depending on businesses!). The business with the most ornaments wins!
Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree – One of my favorite family traditions here in Crested Butte is cutting down our own Christmas tree. You’ll need a permit from the forest service in Gunnison (they do sometimes sell permits on certain days in Crested Butte – check with the office at (970) 641-0471). It’s a great way to get the whole family outside enjoying the fresh air. There are plenty of trees for purchase around town (Ace Hardware) if you’re not up for trekking through the woods!
Enjoy an outdoor activity – There is so much to do outdoors during the Crested Butte winter. Bundle up and try a new activity!
- Sledding – Grab the entire family and head out to the town’s sledding hill next to the hockey rink (corner of Belleview and 3rd) for a thrilling ride! Depending on the amount of snow we’ve received, it may not yet be open. Not to fret – there are plenty of downhill pitches in the valley that should be sled-ready by the holidays.
- Cross country skiing – The Crested Butte Nordic Center is your go-to place to rent cross country gear and get trail information. There are plenty of backcountry trails in the area or purchase a pass and enjoy one of their groomed trials.
- Snowshoeing – Another way to enjoy the scenery and fresh air is to snowshoe the trails. Again, the Crested Butte Nordic Center will rent you the gear you need.
- Ice Skate – Next to the Nordic Center is our covered Big Mine Ice Arena. Rent some skates at the Nordic Center and skate away! The Town of Crested Butte schedules open skate time so please be sure to call their ICE LINE at (970)349-0974 or check online.
- Snowmobile – Rent a snowmobile and head out on a winter adventure you’re sure never to forget! I have written an entire blog post on the Crested Butte activity you can view here.
Shopping – Walking the streets of Elk Avenue while searching for gifts for friends and family is a fine way to get ready for the holidays in Crested Butte! Our little town boasts a variety of shops with interesting and unique items. The base area of Mt. Crested Butte is also host to a number of shops. Use the free bus to get between both areas! December 7, 2019 is the local holiday bazaar where local makers and crafters sell their goods. See more information here.
Skiing – No trip in Crested Butte is complete in the winter without making some turns on the ski hill! Renowned for its steep and expert terrain, our mountain also boasts plenty of beginner and intermediate runs. New to the sport? Take a group or individual lesson with an amazing Crested Butte instructor!
Sleigh Ride Dinner – For a unique experience, book the sleigh ride dinner at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. According to its website, “Cozy blankets await you on the sleigh, and as you chug up the mountain, with the snowy trees illuminated by alpenglow and the headlights of the snowcat. Your destination is a warmly lit cabin in the woods, built in memory of Uley Sheer, a miner, moonshiner and mountain man to boot, who eked out a life in a small cabin on Forest Hill. Though his residence was a quaint 6 X 8 foot cabin, your digs for the evening is something much finer—a large cozy cabin warmed by a proper fire, trimmed with décor reminiscent of the life Uley led in the woods. The entire meal has a French flair, making each course unique, yet familiar. Familiar in that the cuisine is definitively Colorado, evocative of the valley in which you’ll be dining. We invite you to experience something that is both adventurous, yet comforting.” Find more information here.
See a Holiday Show – Entertainment options vary by year, but this year (2019) the Crested Butte School of Dance is hosting its version of the Nutcracker December 13-15. The Mallardi Theatre usually puts on a holiday play as well. Check its website here for dates and times.
Santa Visit – In addition to Santa visiting the during the Light Up Night Weekend mentioned above, he also visits the ski area on Christmas Eve (check CBMR’s website for details). He rides down the ski slopes in his snowcat-driven sleigh to visit the children one last time before he takes off for the night!
Religious Services – If you are visiting Crested Butte, a simple Google search will show you the religious communities and services available while in Crested Butte.
New Year’s Eve – Visit the ski area immediately at dusk and enjoy the torchlight parade and fireworks display. It’s a great way to spend New Year’s Eve with the family. Head downtown for libations and celebrations held in the restaurants and bars on Elk Avenue.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season while in Crested Butte. If you’d like more information about Crested Butte or its real estate market, please contact me at (970) 209-2421 or GHuresky@livsothebysrealty.com. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!