The holiday season draws droves of skiers and boarders to their favorite resorts. Not surprisingly, many of those resorts keep them entertained with plenty of Christmas-themed activities. Let’s just say Santa and his reindeer log a lot of miles making appearances at ski areas from coast-to-coast.
For the past 18 years, Sunday River has kicked off its holiday season in early December with “Santa Sunday.” This year’s charity event drew 160 skiing and boarding Santas.
The resort keeps up the Christmas spirit going right up to the big day with a Christmas Eve worship service. The interdenominational candlelight service will be held at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Barker Lodge.
Sugarbush will host a Family Gingerbread House Building Workshop on Friday, Dec. 22, from 5-7 p.m. at the Gate House Lodge at Lincoln Peak. The event costs $35 for an entire family.
On Saturday, Dec. 23, 3-7 p.m., the Ugly Sweater Party at Castlerock Pub at Lincoln Peak will support Toys for Tots. Bringing a wrapped, unopened toy to put under the tree earns a complimentary first drink. Then on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 5 p.m., a non-denominational Christmas Eve service will be in Gate House Lodge.
Keep an eye out for La Famille Grelot in the pedestrian village of Tremblant from Dec. 23-31. The merry performers may be best described as elves with a Quebec folklore twist. The resort’s holiday parade will begin on Christmas Eve at 3:30 p.m. on Place des Voyageurs. The parade will go over to Place St-Bernard where Santa will visit the kids.
Santa’s magic also allows him to spend two busy days, Dec, 23-24, across Canada over at Sun Peaks. He will ski Saturday, Dec. 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. off the top of the Sunburst chairlift, then skate from 5-7 p.m. that evening at the village skating rink. The following day on Christmas Eve, Santa will host a breakfast at 8 a.m. in Masa’s Bar and Grill. At 7:30 p.m. that night, he’ll read the Night Before Christmas in the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel Main Lobby.
Legendary Canadian World Cup skier Nancy Greene will carry on a Sun Peaks Christmas tradition by leading caroling in the village. Anyone interested in singing may meet in the Village Day Lodge at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 23 and 24. The group will move over to the Clock Tower at 7 p.m. to sing.
Santa will make a stop at Grand Targhee from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23. Santa Land will be set up on the Plaza. On that Saturday evening, the Trap Bar and Grill will hold its Ugly Sweater Party with judging at 8:30 p.m.
Winter Park will hold its annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade at 5:30 p.m. on Lower Hughes Trail. A fireworks display will serve as the parade finale. A non-denominational Christmas Eve service in West Portal will follow at 6 p.m. after the parade and fireworks.
The Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show at Copper Mountain will start at 6:15 p.m. in Center Village. Candlelight Christmas services will be held at both 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Copper Mountain Chapel.
Good Ol’ Saint Nick makes a stop at Solitude on Christmas Eve, 4-6 p.m., at the Solitude Village fire pits. Then after delivering presents around the world that night, Santa gets some needed recreation by hitting the slopes on Christmas Day from 9 to 11 a.m.
Snowbird will host a Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade and fireworks starting at about 6 p.m. Santa’s grand entrance will make this particular torchlight parade unique. The jolly old elf plans to rappel out of the famous Snowbird Tram to greet the kids. A Christmas candlelight service will immediately follow the parade and fireworks. Santa and Mrs. Claus are also planning to make some turns at Snowbird on Christmas Day.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows hold the Merry Days and Holly Nights festival, Dec. 18-31. Highlights include a performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23. Tickets for the performance are $60.
Santa will also be spending lots of time at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. He has a busy schedule of appearances through Christmas Day.