Spend Christmas in a True Winter Wonderland
When’s the last time you’ve had chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Or Jack Frost nipping at your nose? Maybe it’s time to swap out these Christmas traditions for s’mores and champagne served slope-side by a fire pit and two feet of fresh snow courtesy of Old Man Winter!
Lake Tahoe has been transformed into a true winter wonderland thanks to recent storms that dropped nearly two feet of fresh snow, and the resorts are aglow with thousands of twinkling lights and festive holiday decorations. In addition to miles of carvable corduroy and breathtaking lake views, the Ski Lake Tahoe resorts will be hosting countless holiday celebrations and family-friendly New Year’s Eve parties, the perfect making for magical ski vacation memories.
Heavenly Mountain Resort is set to host its annual Heavenly Holidays at Heavenly Village, a two-week festival from December 19 through December 31 featuring ice sculptors, live music and a 16-foot, oversized snow globe inside which kids can get their picture taken with Santa. The two-week festival culminates on New Year’s Eve with an outdoor concert, LED dance show, 9:00 pm Gondola ball drop and a dazzling firework show.
Skiing is believing at Homewood Mountain Resort as Santa Claus will take to the slopes each day from December 21-24 at 11:00am-2:00pm with the cobalt blue waters of Lake Tahoe serving as the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable Christmas card. The resort will also be celebrating the last runs of 2016 with its New Year’s Eve-ning celebration from 3-5:00pm on December 31 with live music, champagne toasts, s’mores, firepits, snowcat photo opportunities and poster signings by Homewood’s ski patrol dogs.
Taking advantage of its spectacular setting atop the Pacific Crest, Kirkwood Mountain Resort will be welcoming in the new year with its annual Torchlight Parade and New Year’s Eve Firework Show beginning at 6:00pm on December 31. The festivities include an on-snow bonfire and guests looking for the ultimate firework viewing experience can reserve a seat about the resort’s enclosed Expedition: Kirkwood snowcat for a ride to the top of Caples Crest for a complimentary champagne toast and hot chocolate.
Northstar California looks like a scene straight from a Charles Dickens novel as The Village Ice Rink and festive storefronts at the Village at Northstar have been decorated with thousands of twinkling lights and holiday garlands. Guests can enjoy Noel Nights on Thursdays in December with classic ways to celebrate the season including ice skating, sleigh rides and hot cocoa and s’mores beside a fire pit. These holiday traditions expand to nightly celebrations from December 15 through December 24 along with the addition of Santa Sightings and Ripperoo Parades. The resort will be ringing in 2017 on December 31 during its annual New Year’s Eve Fire & Ice Celebration featuring a David Bowie tribute band and a firework show at 9:00pm.
Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe was one of the first Lake Tahoe resorts to get into the holiday spirit as hundreds of skiers and snowboarders dressed as Santa took over the slopes on December 10 to take part in the resort’s annual Santa Ski Day. Long known for its laidback atmosphere and family-friendly vibe, Mt. Rose will be celebrating New Year’s Eve from 4:30-6:30pm on December 31 with a kids’ torchlight parade, a snowcat parade and its crowd-pleasing firework show.
Tis the season to shred at Sierra-at-Tahoe as the resort is set to host its Holiday Hollapalooza, from 12-2:00pm on December 18, a festive GS race pitting families and friends dressed up as Santa’s elves and Mrs. Claus in head-to-head heats. Sierra Saxmas also takes place on December 18 featuring some of California’s best saxophone players performing in the Solstice Plaza from 12-3:00pm. Sierra will be celebrating Christmas Eve on December 24 with an Apres Ski Ugly Sweater Party before Santa hits the slopes on Christmas Day, December 25.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is rolling out Santa’s red carpet to commemorate its first annual Merry Days & Holly Nights from December 17-31, two-weeks of fun-filled holiday festivities getting featuring ice sculptor demonstrations, moonlit snowshoe tours, farm-to-table dinners with Olympians and legends, horse-drawn carriage rides, a mini-Polar Express train for kids and a giant singing Christmas Tree. Special performances will include two nights of the Holly Feet & Grinch’s Groove show featuring the Utah Ballroom Dance Company, Truckee Dance Factory and a Grinch Look-a-Like contest for kids judged by Santa True himself. Guests can ski or ride with Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley on select days and the two-week celebration climaxes with a New Year’s Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show on December 31.