Breckenridge Vacation Guide: Why Visit Breckenridge in December

Seasons: Holidays

Breckenridge in December is like stepping into a real-life snow globe. Sparkling holiday lights and glittering snowflakes are enough to make any Grinch believe again. The entire month is filled with special events, holiday celebrations and plenty of reasons to head outside so be sure to mark your calendars for a December trip to Breckenridge this winter!

Breckenridge in December: Events

Breckenridge Lighting of the Trees Christmas holiday tradition.
The entire town converges onto the Blue River Plaza to witness the Lighting of Breckenridge.

It’s a truly magical time of the year. Here’s a lineup of the signature events:

The Lighting of Breckenridge and the Race of the Santas

The holiday kickoff event typically falls on the first weekend in December and features hundreds of Santas racing down Main Street with milk and cookie “aid” stations followed by caroling, the official lighting up of the holiday lights in Blue River Plaza and throughout town and visits with Santa. This event is perfect for the whole family and includes a Holiday Dog Parade for your furry friends and a Reindeer Run for kids 12 and under.   Everyone will enjoy seeing Santa’s early visit to Breckenridge to light the town tree and the holiday spirit.
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Dew Tour

The annual winter Dew Tour ski and snowboard competition and festival will return to Breckenridge, Colo. December 13-16, 2018. The four-day event includes the world’s best male and female skiers and snowboarders competing in individual Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions, Dew Tour’s signature Team Challenge and Streetstyle competitions and a calendar of fan-based activities. Watch the world’s top athletes compete and catch live performances that include The Motet and Gramatik.
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  • Snowboarder Catching Air on Breckenridge Dew Tour's Super Pipe
    Local pro halfpipe rider and Olympian, Arielle Gold, sends it out of the pipe at Dew Tour.

Don’t miss out on seeing the Super Pipe snowboarders catching air!

Handmade Holiday Market

Head to Breckenridge for Handmade Holiday, December 8-9th! Meet local artists, tour the Breckenridge Arts District, shop for hand crafted holiday gifts or sign up for a class and make your own handmade items. This open house event in downtown Breckenridge coincides with the Lighting of Breckenridge, Holiday Dog Parade and Race of the Santas, all on December 8th.

New Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year with a bang and a boom. Breckenridge hosts an on-mountain Torchlight Parade followed by a dazzling fireworks display (weather permitting). Continue the celebration at one of Breckenridge’s 80+ bars and restaurants.

New Years Eve fireworks in the sky above downtown Breckenridge
Breckenridge is one of the most energetic mountain towns in the United States.

Reggae on the Blue: New Year’s Eve with Anthony B

World Music Development presents Reggae on the Blue featuring Anthony B with special guests Split Window and The Hollywood Farmers. Join us on New Year’s Eve for an unforgettable evening of live music and giving back to the community.

Get in the Holiday Spirit

There’s nothing better than a white Christmas filled with lights and holiday cheer. With snow covered peaks, frosty trees and scenic views, Breckenridge is the perfect destination to get you in the holiday spirit. Join us in our winter wonderland and find out what to do in Breckenridge this holiday season.

Santa Comes to Town!

Join us at REMAX and say hi to Santa!

Visit Santa at these locations:

Monday December 10th
-REMAX on Main St. 4:30pm-6:30 pm

Saturday December 15th
-Grand Colorado Peak 8 12:00pm – 3:00pm
-Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties Breckenridge 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Sunday December 16th
-Grand Colorado Peak 8 9:30am – 12:00pm
-Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties Breckenridge 12:30pm – 3:00pm

Saturday December 22nd
-Grand Colorado Peak 8 12:00pm – 3:00pm
-Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties Breckenridge 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Sunday December 23rd
-Grand Colorado Peak 8 9:30am – 12:00pm
-Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties Breckenridge 12:30pm – 3:00pm

Skate with Santa

Santa loves Breckenridge as much as you do, so come say hello while he has a little fun before starting his evening deliveries around the world!
Monday December 24th, 2:00-3:45pm
Fee: Regular public skating fees apply

Christmas Shows and Concerts

High Country Holidays
“Ding Dong, Merrily on High” kicks off the annual High Country Holidays Concert and Goodie Sale, presented by the Summit Choral Society, Summit Community Orchestra and Summit Concert Band, joining together with students from Summit High School and Middle School choirs along with the ringers of the Handbell choir from Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church. Enjoy favorite holiday tunes, from sacred and secular to old-world classics and modern riffs. The concert takes place on Sunday, December 9, 2018, 6:00 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.

A Christmas Story
Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case over and over again only to be told, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Presented by the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, showtimes running December 13-30.

The Celtic Gift

Join us at the Riverwalk Center for a holiday show like no other!

Open a magical world this Christmas with Irish Dance Theatre’s holiday production, The Celtic Gift, for the first time in Breckenridge! A family friendly evening of beautiful Christmas and Celtic music with jaw-dropping Irish dance weaving a magical holiday tale. Not to be missed. One night only, December 17, 7:30 pm.

Dining

Views from inside Hearthstone Restaurant in Breckenridge
The views of Breckenridge from inside Hearthstone Restaurant are some of the best in the county.

Forego the stress of cooking a big meal for the whole family and eat out at one of many restaurants in Breckenridge providing holiday dining. Most restaurants are open for Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Years Eve, but may have a separate fee for holiday dinners. Be sure to make reservations or start early because tables may fill up. The local grocery stores also offer holiday dinners for pick-up if you’re looking for a tasty stay-in option with minimum prep. On New Year’s Eve, check out Aurum restaurant for a romantic dinner celebration to start your night on the town.

December Activities

Breckenridge is an outdoor paradise in the winter making December one of the best times to visit.  The ample amounts of snow mean there are tons of great activities to enjoy.  From days on the mountain to one of a kind experiences, there is plenty to do.  If you are looking to fully embrace the holiday spirit, fill your vacation with classic holiday activities.

Check out more winter activities here.

Tips For Visiting in December

Weather & Layers

It’s winter in Breckenridge so be prepared to dress in layers and waterproof gear.   You’ll also want to bring sunglasses, googles and sunscreen because with 300 days of annual sunshine, you’re bound to catch more than a few rays.  Know the forecast and when the next powder day is expected by checking the locals favorite weather forecasts, On the Snow and Open Snow.

Plan Ahead

During the last two weeks of December, the key to success is to plan ahead.  It’s one of the busiest times of the year and some of the most popular activities will sell out.  Make reservations as far ahead as possible, especially for any guided tour that has limited space (dog sledding, snowmobiling, guided fly fishing).  If you are going skiing or snowboarding, buy your lift tickets at least 7 days in advance for the biggest savings, pick-up rental gear the night before heading out and book any ski lessons online ahead of time.  These tips will save you money and tons of time in the morning.

Dinner Reservations
Many of Breckenridge’s nicer restaurants are on OpenTable we suggest booking a month or more in advance during this timeframe.  If you are going to a restaurant that doesn’t accept reservations plan to arrive an hour earlier than normal and expect a wait. Most restaurants have buzzers so you can check-in and stroll town until a table opens up.  If you are looking for holiday reservations, our Holiday Dining Guide is the best source of who is offering what.  Book as far ahead as possible as space is limited.  The local grocery stores offer holiday dinners for pick-up if you are looking for a stay-in option with minimum prep.

By Breck Editorial

The Breckenridge Tourism Office works to enhance and promote the unique character and experience of Breckenridge as a world-renowned destination resort and to represent, serve and perpetuate the common interest and character of its membership and community.

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