Ten Only-in-Colorado Holiday Traditions
Celebrate the holidays like a Coloradan would.
Nathan Bilow, Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Colorado’s charms are undeniable — from amber waves of grain to purple mountain majesties, we’ve got it all: the great outdoors, a great climate, great eats and arts, and a newfangled hip quotient that leaves the old cow-town designation behind in the dust. And naturally, we have our own special holiday traditions, whether we’re celebrating in the city or up in the hills. Here are ten of our favorites.
10) Leaving Santa edibles instead of cookies
Santa puts Colorado last on his route these days because he knows he will find cannabis-laced edibles instead of cookies under the tree. He might be gifted so many bomb-pot brownies, in fact, that he might need Mrs. Claus to be his designated driver, or even have Jesus take the wheel.
9) Touring the gingerbread houses at the Broadmoor
This holiday tradition is so f*cking Colorado, it's disgusting. Undoubtedly, every Colorado kid who’s ever visited the Colorado Springs landmark at Christmas time has a memory of walking the beautifully decorated halls and viewing all the Broadmoor’s outlandishly decorated, life-sized gingerbread houses. Go for the fairy-book fantasy, and stay for a film in the hotel movie theater, with screenings every night at 7 p.m. and matinees on the weekends.
8) Watch "Mr. Hanky" or "A Very Special Critter Christmas"
It wouldn't be Christmas in Colorado without a hilarious South Park holiday episode. While "Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo" has gotten the most brand attention, "A Very Special Critter Christmas" might just be the best. Spoiler alert: It's a sick, twisted tale written and narrated by Cartman, with cute little forest critters who yell, "Hail Satan!"
Tesoro Cultural Center
7) Promenade in Las Posadas at the Fort
Taking place on Christmas Eve on the grounds of The Fort – modeled after historic trading post Bent's Fort — the Tesoro Cultural Center’s annual Las Posadas celebration is a true Colorado holiday activity. Reenacting Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, this one-night Las Posadas is a shortened version of Mexico’s traditional nine-day event. But it’s not short on fun – kids are invited to be a part of the processional as musicians play traditional Las Posadas songs and Mexican hot chocolate and biscochitos are served. All ages and all faiths are welcome to participate.
6) Drool over the Chocolate Village at Keystone Resort
Nothing says the holidays like good chocolate, but when Keystone Lodge executive pastry chef Ned Archibald’s annual handcrafted chocolate alpine village takes over the lobby each winter, the cacao power goes right over the top. Comprised of hundreds of pounds of chocolate conjured in the lodge’s kitchens, the village includes a moving chocolate gondola and a pair of working chocolate trains, overseen by a life-sized white chocolate Christmas tree.
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