Kids siblings looking at candy and pastry on Christmas market

Holidays in Estes Park

11/21/2016 | by Lyles Armour | Estes Park Holidays

The holidays are a magical time in Estes Park and if you're coming out in November or December, there’s no shortage of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy or themed events to attend. Here are some of our top picks with tips from a local on how to enjoy the holiday season in Estes Park.

Holiday events

9th Annual Turkey Trot

November 24

Join in on the fun and calorie burning Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk on November 24! All donations go toward the YMCA’s summer day camp scholarship program. Dogs are welcome to the race but must be leashed at all times.

Local tip: Bring lots of layers for this race! You may want to run in shorts and a t-shirt, or it may be snowing at the start – you never know in Estes Park!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Dinner

November 24

The Other Side offers a select Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday buffets and the Stanley Hotel hosts a Thanksgiving Holiday Feast and a generous Christmas Brunch Buffet. Reservations are required for both events at the Stanley Hotel.

Local tip: Looking to cook in your cabin? We can help make sure you have the cooking utensils you need, and Safeway is open on Thanksgiving Day.

Catch the Glow Christmas Parade & Celebration

November 25

This free holiday celebration starts at noon, with the parade at 5:30 p.m. down Elkhorn Avenue, where carolers sing jolly holiday tunes and seasonal characters make their way through the crowds. Be sure to stick around for the end of the parade for a special guest of honor!

Local tip: Stake out your spot early, as this popular parade draws thousands! Many shops and restaurants will stay open late so you can continue the festive celebrations after the parade is over.

Group Of Friends Enjoying Christmas Drinks In Bar

Tinsel Tavern Tour

December 10

Don your best holiday costume or sweater and take a tour of Estes Park’s taverns! The fun begins at the kick-off party before jumping on the Elkhorn Express Trolley to visit our local pubs. Tavern tourists must be 21 years of age with a valid ID to join in on the festivities.

Local tip: Taxi service is available for the end of the night! Please use one of our local companies to get back to your cabin or lodge room safely.

Santa’s Workshop

December 18

Head over to the Stanley Hotel and meet with Santa instead of ghosts! Santa will make a special appearance as kids enjoy decorating their own gingerbread houses ($25 per house). Hot chocolate will be available or parents and grandparents can visit the cash bar for specialty holiday beverages.

Local tip: If you need snacks to combat all of that candy, check out the appetizer menu at the Stanley’s famous whiskey bar. Delicious small plates that will help keep the blood sugar levels steady!

Fat biking in deep fresh snow

Winter activities

Snowshoeing: The falling snow doesn’t mean you can’t explore the trails! Get some snowshoes, or bring your own, and trek around Rocky Mountain National Park.

Fatbiking: Colorado welcomes biking any season with the use of fatbikes to ride on the snow. These bicycles employ large, wide tires, making it easy to bike across the packed snow on the trails. Check out Hermit Park for trails that are bike-friendly.

Sledding: Enjoy a thrilling, and hopefully not too chilling, ride with sledding at Hidden Valley!

S’more fun at the YMCA: Estes Park’s YMCA has Thanksgiving activities prior to and post-Thanksgiving including s’mores and sitting around the campfire at 7 p.m.!

Visiting breweries, distilleries, and wineries: Stay warm inside and out with a visit to any of our wonderful breweries, distilleries, or wineries!

Relax at the spa: One of our favorite ways to spend a snowy afternoon around the holidays – getting a massage or specialty treatment from the talented folks at Riverspointe Spa!

Planning a visit around the holidays? We can book up pretty quickly, so find your Estes Park cabin and reserve it today so you can feel relaxed going into the holiday season. 

Feet in wool socks warming at the fireplace

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