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20 Nov 2018

A vacation in stunning Telluride, Colorado, is only made better when you schedule it for the holidays, and the time is right for you to get your plans in order for an epic Christmas and New Year’s Eve season in this incredible mountain town. Of course, you’ll still get in plenty of skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding and the building of the traditional snow person family, but you’ll also be in town for several special holiday activities that have been scheduled in Telluride and nearby Mountain Village. Read on to learn more about the dates and descriptions of the festivities so that you can make your vacation plans accordingly.

Letters to Santa

After your little ones have written their Christmas wish list for Santa, be sure to bring them down to the Telluride Post Office. There they will discover a beautifully decorated mailbox that is designated only for letters to Santa at the North Pole so that they can be sure that their letter makes it to the jolly man himself.

Telluride Arts Holiday Bazaar (Nov. 30-Dec. 2)

This grand yearly event is a must for anyone who loves the arts or is looking for unique Christmas gifts. Talented area artists and artisans will have their handmade goods up for sale, and you’ll discover a wonderful selection of one-of-a-kind crafts, arts and delicious foods to choose from. It will be held at the Telluride Elks Lodge on Pacific Avenue with the grand opening from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30. Shoppers are also welcome to stop by from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2.

Noel Night (Dec. 5)

The very special night of Wednesday, Dec. 5, is when Telluride officially kicks off the Christmas season with the ceremonial lighting of the 17-foot Telluride Ski Tree at Elk’s Park and all of historic Main Street at 5:30 p.m. Right after, all of the downtown stores open their doors for a night of Christmas shopping with incredible discounts on most everything including food and drinks at the area restaurants and bars. Santa is usually available to count down to the lighting, and free hot chocolate is handed out at various locations. In case you’ve never heard of the Telluride Ski Tree, you might be delighted to know that it’s the first of its kind in the entire world, and it’s made up of old skis and colorful ski poles.

Telluride Fire Festival (Dec. 7-9)

Free fun for the entire family, this festival offers fire dancing demonstrations and workshops, impressive and often life-size fire sculptures and fire art workshops each evening in both Telluride and Mountain Village. Come see the magic and learn something new and fascinating.

Holiday Prelude (Dec. 15-16)

Families who are traveling with children will definitely want to include a visit to Mountain Village on the weekend of Dec. 15-16. That’s when the main part of town is beautifully transformed into the North Pole with incredible decorations and thousands of festive lights, and your youngsters won’t have any trouble believing that they’ve actually arrived at Santa’s home. This magical adventure begins with a ride on the gondola, where Santa’s elves will greet you and send you on your way to Santa’s workshop, which is situated in the Telluride Conference Center. These are just a few of the activities that the entire family may enjoy during two full days of holiday fun, and there will be more information on specific times closer to this event.

  • Meet Santa: The big guy himself will be available to meet with every child who wants to sit and talk about how good they’ve been all year and what gifts they might like to find under their tree on Christmas morning. You may also request a photo of your child with Santa.
  • Craft Time: Once your child has visited with Santa, they’ll be asked to join the Christmas elves at the tables that are set up for making crafts. Each child may create a craft to take home with them, and many of the youngsters use this time to make a special ornament to hang on their Christmas tree.
  • Holiday Movies: Well-loved Christmas movies will be shown, and these are all suitable for all age groups. Hot cocoa and popcorn will be available during movie time.
  • Live Reindeer: Everyone enjoys petting Santa’s magical reindeer, and these friendly animals can’t wait to eat the provided corn right out of your hands.
  • Rides on the Christmas Train: A magical train ride awaits, and many stops will be made at the reindeer pen as well as several Mountain Village shops that will be offering treats and gifts for every child who visits.
  • Ice Skating Fun: The Telluride Figure Skating Club puts on a wonderful performance on the ice, and everyone is welcome to get out and do some ice skating of their own after the show. There will be plenty of music and fun for everyone.
  • Sledding Down the Hill: It wouldn’t be Christmas without a time of fun sledding, and a perfect sledding hill is ready for everyone who wants to join in the fun. Sleds and snow tubes will be available.
  • Tree Lighting and Christmas Carols: Join in the singing of your favorite Christmas carols following the official lighting of the Christmas tree in Heritage Plaza.
  • Parents Lounge: While the children are enjoying themselves, the parents are welcome to come over to the cash bar for a holiday drink and a bit of relaxation.
  • Christmas Shopping: Most all of the Mountain Village stores will stay open late during this festive weekend, and you’ll find some great buys to help you finish up your Christmas shopping.

Holiday Pop-Up Market (Dec. 16-17)

Local artisans, crafters and retailers bring some incredible gift options to the Sheridan Opera House for a pop-up shopping experience that begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. each day. Everyone is welcome.

Mind Blown at the Madeline (Dec. 21-Jan. 5)

Multiple shows are scheduled during the holiday season at the Madeline Hotel in Mountain Village. This epic magic experience showcases the astonishing magical talents of Ty Gallenbeck, and those attending are encouraged to dress to impress. This show is suitable for children ages 12 and up and adults, and certain dates offer an early show at 7 p.m. and a late show at 9 p.m. Tickets are available for $40 to $65.

Warren Miller’s “Face of Winter” Film (Dec. 23)

A Telluride Christmas tradition, this year’s incredible film will be screened at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheridan Opera House. It beautifully showcases professional snowboarders Brennan Metzler and Francesca Pavillard-Cain as they explore legendary Portillo and tackle the challenging mountains outside of Santiago, Chile. Those in attendance have the opportunity to win amazing door prizes from Bootdoctors, and tickets are $10 for children age 18 and under and $20 for adults.

Torchlight Parade (Dec. 24 and Dec. 31)

This long-standing Telluride tradition is held each Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at 6:30 p.m., and it’s an incredible sight to see. The mountain will literally light up as skiers bearing bright red torches ski down Coonskin, onto Telluride Trail and into Mountain Village. This is sponsored by the Telluride Ski Resort as a lovely way to welcome in Christmas and the New Year.

New Year’s Eve Sleigh Ride Dinner (Dec. 31)

A family event at the Gorrono Ranch, this holiday event offers guests a ride in a snow cat-pulled open sleigh that allows you to enjoy the natural snowy scenery, the sun set and the town’s holiday lights. A delicious buffet-style dinner will be served, and the entire family is invited to warm up in front of the roaring fire at the ranch while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Everyone should dress warm in gloves, hats, scarves and snow boots, and prices are $200 for adults, $100 for ages 13 to 21 and $55 for children ages 6-12. Children under the age of 6 are admitted for free. Advance reservations are absolutely required as space is quite limited, and you may call 970-728-7445 to reserve your spot.

Concerts at Telluride’s Historic Sheridan Opera House

Live entertainment is abundant during the holiday season, and these are just a few of the concerts that you might want to see.

Shawn Colvin Live (Dec. 22)

Fans of this Grammy winning singer and songwriter or anyone who enjoys contemporary folk music will definitely want to attend this fabulous live concert at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $45 to $55 for reserved seats.

An Evening With John Oates (Dec. 27)

Come enjoy a night filled with the blues, top hits and holiday songs with John Oates of Hall and Oates fame and special guest Guthrie Trapp. The doors open at 7 p.m., and ticket prices are $50 to $60 for reserved seating. Those in attendance are also invited to attend the After Show in the Show Bar with entertainment by Chris Curtiss.

A Night With Freddy and Francine (Dec. 28)

If you’re a regular at the yearly Telluride Bluegrass Festival, then you’ll know all about these popular folk singers. Freddy and Francine will put on a show beginning at 8 p.m., and tickets for reserved seats are $30 to $40.

The Hot Sardines (Dec. 29)

A taste of New York awaits with this talented jazz ensemble that offers piano melodies, brassy horn arrangements and incredible vocals. The doors open at 8 p.m., and general admission (standing room) tickets are $45 and reserved seating is $60.

New Year’s Eve Concert: Robert Randolph and the Family Band (Dec. 31)

Robert Randolph is known as an amazing pedal-steel guitarist and vocalist who brings a unique sound through his fusion of jazz, soul, funk and rock. The doors open at 9 p.m., and the main entertainment begins at 10:30. At the stroke of midnight, the audience will be treated to champagne and party favors as the balloon drops. Tickets are $100 for general admission, or you may reserve seats in the balcony for prices that range from $250 to $500.

Reserve Your Holiday Vacation Home Today

We’d love for you to come spend the holidays with us here at Exceptional Stays, and you can see that we offer lots of fun ways to celebrate. We still have luxury vacation rentals in Telluride available for the dates of each of these festivities, and you’re welcome to come for the entire month if you like. You may choose from a cozy vacation home that’s just right for your family on Telluride’s Main Street or a huge multi-family home over in Mountain Village near all of the best ski slopes. Contact us today to lock in your preferred rental, and we’ll show you everything that we have that fits your criteria. Please let us know if you’re interested in such perks as a full staff or a private swimming pool when you make your reservations.