Group 2 5 min Read

Let it Snow!: Breckenridge Heats Up as the Temperatures Drop

It’s not exactly news that Breckenridge beckons skiers, snowboarders, and winter enthusiasts from around the world to take on the Rockies, but this town doesn’t disappoint off the slopes during the colder months. Festivals light up Breckenridge–think racing Santas and Viking helmet-clad revelers–and offerings from distillery tours to nights at the theater offer escapes from winter’s bite.  Whether you want to spend the day outside savoring the mountain majesty or beat the chill by retreating indoors, you really can choose your own winter adventure in Breckenridge.

Winter Festival Fun

Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas

Those blurs of red, white, and Christmas whizzing by you? It must be the many Santas (and Mrs. Clauses) running down Main Street for the Breckenridge’s Race of the Santas. This year’s holiday run kicks off the season on December 2nd, and racing isn’t the only excitement. Check out the day’s other events like the Holiday Pet Parade, the Moose March for walkers and littler elves, the arrival of the Big Guy himself, and the Countdown to the Tree Lighting. Runners, purchase full Santa gear ($35) and Santa hats ($15) on site or bring your own, but don’t wait–if you’re in the first 700 registrants, score your own present of commemorative socks for those frosty nights. 

Breckenridge Ullr Fest

Harken back to the Scandinavian past and gather to celebrate the Norse god of Snow, Ullr, during the Breckenridge Ullr Fest running from December 7-9. Don your horned helmet and secure a spot in the world’s longest shot ski (picture more than 1,000 revelers lined up to imbibe shots from glasses glued to a very long line of skis). Even though Breckenridge claimed top spot last year with a 2,401-foot ski chain to beat rival Park City, it’s anyone’s guess for 2023. Make sure to get a spot in line to help clinch the record, watch the Ullr parade down Main Street, and cozy up to the Ullr Bonfire to mark winter’s reign and appease the winter gods. 

Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championship

Freezing temps temp artists to wield only hand tools and creativity to bring icy installations to life for the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championship (BISC). Marvel at the artistic mastery during Sculpting Week (January 22-26) as artists  carve into 25-tons snow block canvasses. The final pieces adorn downtown Breckenridge during Viewing Week (January 26-31) and other events include sculpting demos, children’s activities, and live music.  

Snowy Adventures Off the Slopes


Give the skis a rest, grab a sled, and fly down the hill at Carter Park, one of Breckridge’s most popular sledding hills. This free family fun lets kids burn off energy and lets inner kids play. Sledding is free and located four black off of Main Street, and since the hill backs up to a neighborhood, have fun but be respectful and remember, sledding is at your own risk.

Fat Biking

Over the past few years, a new biking trend has gained traction. Fat biking allows cyclists to explore snowy scenes previously inaccessible and because of the oversized tires, cyclists can grip the snow and take in alpine trails. Breckenridge Gold Nordic Center has doubled its fat biking trails and offers rentals and tours. Weave through historic mining sites and winter trails along the Blue River Recreation Path. Whiskey lovers, check out Ridden for tours that culminate with a distillery visit. 

Dog Sledding

Explore alpine terrain in a new way by guiding a team of Siberian huskies through a six-mile trek through the Swan River Valley. The tour accommodates up to six people. Guests ride in a passenger sleigh with a guide, and can even take a turn at running the dog sled. Note that children younger than four and pregnant women aren’t permitted. 

Breckenridge Scenic Snowcat Tours

Enjoy the snow-blanketed pines as you sit back, relax, and take on winter in style and comfort. Snowcat tours start off at the Breckenridge Nordic Center with a hot beverage (adult and cocoa) and lead you through alpine trails from the coziness of an all-glass cabin where you can spy wildlife and vistas of the Ten Mile Range. A mid-ride break stops for s’mores and hot chocolate before heading back. Give the slopes–and your feet–a break while still savoring winter’s beauty. 

Outside the Weather is Frightful

Breckenridge Distillery Tour

There are more ways than one to warm up this winter! Breckenridge Distillery Tours offer 30-minute tours on Saturdays and Sundays with after-tour libations and a Glen Carin glass, yours to keep. Private tours accommodate one-to-10 people and cater to the history buffs with fun facts detailing bourbon’s hold throughout the years and other distillery key points. Complementary spirits tastings and The Founder’s Experience, an amped-up tasting, round out the ways to kick back and beat Breckenridge’s chill. 

Ready, Paint, Fire

Explore your creativity at ReadyPaintFire. The rehabbed 19th-century-house-turned-art studio invites you to fire up your imagination. Paint pottery pieces from mugs to cookie jars to beer steins. In town before the holidays? Seasonal items infused with your artistic flair make the perfect gift . The studio’s candle bar experience lets your nose decide what to bring to life–maybe one to keep and one to wrap up? Pick up a brush at one of the studio’s daily painting classes or gather the whole group and book a painting party. If glass is your medium, a mosaic project can unleash your vision. ReadyPaintFire’s welcoming vibe makes this an ideal winter retreat. 

Breck Create Workshops

Breck Create manages much of the arts community that makes Breckenridge more than a ski destination. Head inside for artist-run classes ranging from sculpting to jewelry making to glass blowing. Classes for kids and adults let imagination shine and offer a creative counterpoint to time spent exploring the mountain. The organization also sponsors the Holiday House, so if you’re in town, snag that one-of-a-kind gift and support local Breckenridge artisans.