This ski season is off to a very fast start, with plenty of good snow and three more mountain opening this weekend. But there's plenty to do off the slopes, too. Keep reading for hundreds of outdoor-related activities across Colorado through the end of the year.
Through December 14: Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix: Freeskiers and snowboarders hit Copper Mountain's halfpipe at this national competition. Free, Copper Mountain, usskiandsnowboard.org.
Through December 15: Hartford Ski Spectacular: The week-long event includes ski, snowboard, curling, biathlon and sled hockey lessons and races for folks with disabilities. Beaver Run Resort, 620 Village Road, Breckenridge, disabledsportsusa.org. NOTE: Registration closed November 1.
Through December 15: Ullr Fest: A big parade, bigger horned helmets and the world's biggest shot ski are the highlights of this winter fest. Most events free, various Breckenridge locations, gobreck.com.
Through December 15: Vail Snow Days: The Head and the Heart and Modest Mouse headline four days of free concerts, bonfires and block parties. VIP packages $150, various Vail locations, vailsnowdays.com.
December 13: Granby Ranch Opening Day: 1000 Village Road, Granby, 888-850-4615, granbyranch.com.
December 13: Powderhorn Opening Day: 48338 Powderhorn Road, Mesa, 970-268-5700, powderhorn.com.
December 13: Sunlight Mountain Opening Day: 10901 County Road 117, Glenwood Springs, 970-945-7491, sunlightmtn.com.
December 13-15: Passapalooza: You'll get access to all four mountains for a mere $59 with a pass from any ski resort in the world; discounted clinics and demo packages are also available. Aspen Snowmass, Aspen, 800-525-6200, aspensnowmass.com.
December 13-27: Game of Stones: “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die:” Luckily, the stakes at this weekly curling series in Snowmass Village aren't as high as they are in Westeros. Fridays, 3 p.m.-5 p.m., Base Village Ice Rink, Snowmass, 800-525-6200, aspensnowmass.com.
December 14: Alley Loop Race Series #1-#3: The first three of five ski races leading up to the Alley Loop Nordic Marathon are open to all ages and skill levels. 9:30 a.m., $10, Crested Butte Nordic Center, 620 Second Street, Crested Butte, 970-349-1707, cbnordic.org.
December 14: Boulder Nordic Sport Demo Day: Try before you buy cross-country gear. 8 a.m., Snow Mountain Ranch, 1101 County Road 53, Granby, 970-887-2152, snowmountainranch.org.
December 14: Demo Days and Skiing with Santa: Demo ski and snowboard gear for free, then join St. Nick on the slopes. Sunlight Mountain Resort, 10901 County Road 117, Glenwood Springs, 970-945-7491, sunlightmtn.com.
December 14: Fun Race: Engage in some friendly (not fierce) competition at this all-ages, all-levels race. 11 a.m., free with lift ticket, Wolf Creek Ski Area, Pagosa Springs, 970-264-5639, wolfcreekski.com.
December 14: Kendall Mountain Opening Day: 1 Kendall Place, Silverton, 970-387-5522, colorado.gov/townofsilverton.
December 14: Tree Lighting: Santa shows up to flip the switch on the area's outdoor lights and Christmas tree. 6 p.m., free, Granby Ranch, 1000 Village Road, Granby, 888-850-4615, facebook.com.
December 14: Venture Out and Family Fests: Leave your hotel room and you'll be rewarded with s'mores, dog sledding, ziplining, and clinics on skijoring, waxing and backcountry basics. Later, the whole family can enjoy fireworks and a bonfire at the base of the mountain. Noon-6:30 p.m., free, Winter Park Resort, 85 Parsenn Road, Winter Park, 970-726-1564, winterparkresort.com.
December 15: Bentgate Ski and Board Demo: Icelantic, Faction, Never Summer K2 and Salomon are just a few of the brands expected to show at this demo. Loveland Ski Area, Georgetown, 720-744-3773, skiloveland.com.
December 15: Grand Nordic Free Lesson Day: Grand Nordic Ski Club offers skating and Nordic skiing lessons for all levels. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., free with registration, Snow Mountain Ranch, 1101 County Road 53, Granby, 970-887-2152, grandnordic.org.
December 17: Rise and Shine Rando Series #4: Get your blood flowing mid-week with this series of uphill challenges. 7 a.m., $25, Arapahoe Basin, 28194 Highway 6, Dillon, 970-468-0718, arapahoebasin.com.
December 17-20: Rock on Ice: Crested Butte's Mountaineer Square is the site of ice carving demos, an ice sculpture garden and photo ops galore. Free, Crested Butte, 877-547-5143, skicb.com.
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December 20 (est.)-March: Ice Castles: Wander through a hand-carved ice palace with tunnels, towers, archways, thrones, and fountains. Check website for info, Dillon, icecastles.com/dillon.
December 20-22: Early Season On-Snow Camp: Snow Mountain Ranch, 1101 County Road 53, Granby, 970-887-2152, snowmountainranch.org.
December 20-22: Vail Skating Festival: The slopes aren't the only place you can find winter athleticism; enjoy two free exhibitions on outdoor ice, plus clinics and a performance by Olympic medalist Mirai Nagasu. $20 and up, various Vail locations, vailskatefest.com.
December 21: Hesperus Opening Day: Durango, 970-385-2199, ski-hesperus.com.
December 21: Santa Claus on the Mountain: St. Nick and the old ball and chain will be giving out candy canes while they suss out who's been naughty and who's been nice. 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Purgatory, 1 Skier Place, Durango, 970-247-9000, purgatoryresort.com.
December 21-24: Santa's Village: Submit your petition to be moved from the "naughty" to "nice" list to St. Nick while you listen to holiday carolers. Free, Snowmass Base Village, gosnowmass.com.
December 21-March 28: Mountaintop Yurt Dinner: Take a Snowcat to the peak of Cooper Mountain for dinner in a cozy and rustic yurt. Saturdays only, $149, Cooper, 232 Country Road 29, Leadville, 800-707-6114, skicooper.com.
December 22: Holiday Lantern Making and Walk: Start at the Vail Public Library and decorate your own paper lantern, then gather in Slifer Square for live music and a lantern-lit stroll through town. Noon-5:15 p.m., free, various Vail locations, artinvail.com.
December 22: Steamboat Holiday Festival: Santa comes down the mountain not on skis, but on horseback; other fun includes a holiday concert, torchlight parade, fireworks and night skiing. 2 p.m., Steamboat, 2305 Mt. Werner Circle, Steamboat Springs, 877-783-2628, steamboat.com.
December 22: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: What happens when Santa's naughty-and-nice list goes missing? Enter an undercover elf, precocious little girl and rapping mice. 6:30 p.m., $35-$55, Wheeler Opera House, 320 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen, 970-920-5770, aspenshowtix.com.
December 22, 27 and 30: First Tracks: Beat the crowd and be the first to carve up the mountain at this private early-morning run followed by breakfast. 7:15 a.m., $160, Beaver Creek, 970-754-0200, beavercreek.com.
December 22-30: Snowmass Hanukkah: On December 22, Snowmass Base Village will have traditional prayers, food and dreidel games; the Viceroy Snowmass will have a menorah lighting ceremony and Hanukkah treats daily at 5 p.m. Various Snowmass Village locations, gosnowmass.com.
December 22-January 20: Vail Winterfest Ice Theater: Ice art is illuminated while moviegoers perched on seats sculpted from ice watch seasonal movies. Dusk-10 p.m., free, Gore Creek Promenade, Vail, artinvail.com.
December 23: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: What happens when Santa's naughty-and-nice list goes
missing? Enter an undercover elf, precocious little girl and rapping mice. 6:30 p.m., $48, Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, 970-845-8497, vilarpac.org.
December 24: Santa at A-Basin: The Summit Choral Society will be belting out carols while Kris Kringle hands out candy to kiddos. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., free, Arapahoe Basin, 28194 Highway 6, Dillon, 970-468-0718, arapahoebasin.com.
December 24: Telluride Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade: The winter tradition takes over Telluride's slopes. 6:30 p.m., free, Telluride Ski Resort, 565 Mountain Village Boulevard, Telluride, 970-728-6900, tellurideskiresort.com.
December 24: Ski with Santa: Kids can join Santa on the beginner slopes for photos and fun. Cooper, 232 Country Road 29, Leadville, 800-707-6114, skicooper.com.
December 24: Snowmass Chapel Christmas Eve: The 5 p.m. designed for families with children, while the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. services include a full choir and orchestra. Free, Snowmass Chapel, 5307 Owl Creek Road, Snowmass Village, 970-923-61692, snowmasschapel.org.
December 24: Winter Park Torchlight Parade: Gather 'round a bonfire for warmth while you watch skiers descend the mountain with torches. 5:30 p.m., free, Winter Park Resort, 85 Parsenn Road, Winter Park, 970-726-1564, winterparkresort.com.
December 24-25: Santa Visits Wolf Creek: Be nice and buy Santa a drink: He's tired from hitting so many of Colorado's ski areas in just one day. Wolf Creek Ski Area, Pagosa Springs, 970-264-5639, wolfcreekski.com.
December 24-25: Santa Claus and Silverton Community Christmas Luncheon: Santa arrives at the town Christmas tree at 12:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve; on Christmas Day, join neighbors at a community potluck. Free, various Silverton locations, 970-387-56554, silvertoncolorado.com.
December 25: Ski With Santa: Santa and his elves will be on hand giving out free cocoa and candy canes on Christmas Day. Kendall Mountain, 1 Kendall Place, Silverton, 970-387-5522, colorado.gov/townofsilverton.
December 26: Silverton Mountain Guided Opening Day: 6226 Highway 110, Silverton, 970-387-5706, silvertonmountain.com.
December 27: 10th Mountain Legacy Parade: Gather at Gondola One for a torchlight parade of 10th Mountain Division ski troopers and veterans, plus fireworks, a Camp Hale documentary and an after-hours visit to the Colorado Snowsports Museum. Free, various Vail locations, 970-754-8245, vail.com.
December 28: Snowcat Dining Excursion: Head up the mountain in a Snowcat for a wine dinner lit by alpenglow. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m., $150, Purgatory, 1 Skier Place, Durango, 800-525-0892, purgatoryresort.com.
Through December 29: Warren Miller's Timeless: The studio's seventieth film includes appearances by Glen Plake, Caite Zeliff, Jalin Kauf and Baker Boyd. Various Colorado locations, warrenmiller.com.
Through January 2: The Polar Express: Re-create the beloved children's book on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Select dates, $32-$75, 479 Main Street, Durango, 888-872-4607, durangotrain.com.
December 29: Cooper Cup Race #1: On Black Powder. Cooper, 232 Country Road 29, Leadville, 800-707-6114, skicooper.com.
December 29: Ski Free at Kendall Mountain: All ages ski free with no proof of residency required. Kendall Mountain, 1 Kendall Place, Silverton, 970-387-5522, colorado.gov/townofsilverton.
December 30: Audi Ajax Cup: Watch six pro-led teams take on a dual giant slalom course in a race benefiting Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, then enjoy an epic après party. 9 a.m., Shlomo's, 501 East Dean Street, Aspen, 970-205-5101, audiajaxcup.com.
December 31: Aspen New Year's Eve: With two fireworks shows over Aspen Mountain, both early birds and night owls will be happy. 8 p.m. and midnight, Wagner Park, 419 South Mill Street, Aspen, aspenspecialevents.com.
December 31: Cooper New Year's Eve: Cooper, 232 Country Road 29, Leadville, 800-707-6114, skicooper.com.
December 31: Moonlight Dinner Series: New Year's Eve in the Mountains: Don your fanciest snow gear for a trip up the mountain to celebrate East Coast NYE. 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m., $125, Arapahoe Basin, 28194 Highway 6, Dillon, 970-468-0718, arapahoebasin.com.
December 31: Beaver Creek New Year's Eve: Dancing, DJs, arcade games and a lavish buffet wrap up early so you can rest up for the first ski day of 2020. 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m., $300, Park Hyatt, 136 East Thomas Place, Beaver Creek, beavercreek.com.
December 31: Breckenridge New Year's Eve: A torchlight parade down Peak 9 starts the festivities at 6 p.m. Various Breckenridge locations, gobreck.com.
December 31: Copper Mountain New Year's Eve: The party includes a rail jam, fireworks, torchlight parade, and a special Moonlight Dine & Ski for those who want to ring in the New Year with food and champagne. Copper Mountain, 970-968-2318, coppercolorado.com.
December 31: Crested Butte New Year's Eve: The town's celebration starts with a torchlight parade and finishes with fireworks. 5:30 p.m., free, Crested Butte, 877-547-5143, skicb.com.
December 31: Snowmass New Year's Eve: Skiers and riders ages 8 and up can participate in the torchlight parade at 6 p.m. At 10 p.m., fireworks explode over the mountain. Free, Snowmass Base Village, 970-922-2233, gosnowmass.com.
December 31: Steamboat New Year's Eve: Brave the cold for views of fireworks over the peaks and a torchlight parade, then ride the gondola to Thunderhead Lodge, where you can ring in the new year with a champagne toast and views of the Yampa Valley. 5:30 p.m., free-$60 Steamboat, 2305 Mt. Werner Circle, Steamboat Springs, 877-783-2628, steamboat.com.
December 31: Telluride New Year's Eve: Kick off the night with a torchlight parade and pyrotechnics. 6:30 p.m., free, Telluride Ski Resort, 565 Mountain Village Boulevard, Telluride, 970-728-6900, tellurideskiresort.com.
December 31: Winter Park New Year's Eve: Fireworks, sledding and hot chocolate make for a fun, family-friendly party. 8:30 p.m., free, Rendezvous Event Center, 78821 Highway 40, Winter Park, 970-726-4118, playwinterpark.com.
Through April: Kidtopia: Kids have fun with Keystone's season-long schedule of Santa sightings, the world's largest snow fort, weekly parades and fireworks, avalanche dog meet and greets and activities. Free, Keystone, 970-754-0001, keystoneresort.com.
These listings were compiled for our Winter Guide, inserted in the November 14 issue of Westword. If you know of an event that deserves attention, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.