12 Fun Family Christmas Events In Telluride!

Like it or not, the Christmas & New Year holiday season is quickly approaching! Despite all of the chaos & stress, once it arrives it’s hard to deny that Christmas in Telluride is truly magical. Once December 25 rolls around, it’s hard not to feel the warm fuzzy glow of the winter festive season – the smell of the Christmas tree, excited kids anticipating Santa’s arrival & spending quality time with family & friends.

Christmas lights in Telluride, CO.
Christmas lights adorn this cute Victorian house on Colorado Avenue in Telluride.


There are some events that make Telluride an extra special place to be during the holiday season. If you are visiting Telluride during the month of December, there is sure to be Christmas celebration going on somewhere. Below is a list of 5 signature Telluride Christmas events. Whether you are a new Telluride resident, or visiting for the holidays, these events are a fabulous chance to get your kids outside, meet new people & revel in the Christmas spirit.

1. Noel Night – December 3, 2014

Location: Telluride town

This is a great opportunity t get some Christmas shopping done, as well as being immersed in Telluride’s festive holiday ambiance. Local retailers and restaurants offer discounts of up to 40% off. Shop locally for your holiday gifts, and participate in the holiday cheer!


2. Holiday Arts Bazaar- December 5-7, 2015

Location: Telluride Middle/High School

From the Visit Telluride website:

The Telluride Arts Bazaar was established in 1983 and has developed into a lively holiday tradition that today features the work of over 40 regional artists.The Telluride Arts Bazaar features work of the regions’ many excellent artisans. A variety of works are available, including handmade jewelry, sewn and knitted clothing and accessories, toys, sumptuous local foods, house-wares, candles and so much more. The Bazaar offers an opportunity to buy thoughtful, truly unique, high quality hand crafted gifts AND support local artists, artisans and a vibrant local economy.

3. Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration At Schmidt Ranch – December 6, 2014

Location: Schmid Ranch (approximately 25 minutes from Telluride)

I’m ashamed to say it took me 6 years to make the pilgrimage to Schmidt Ranch for their Christmas Celebration. Once our daughter was born, it was suddenly on the radar & I have to say it is my absolute favorite part of Christmas. I wouldn’t miss it for anything. The event is FREE to attend. You can cut down a beautifully fresh Christmas tree for about $20 (a bargain compared to Telluride prices). From the Visit Telluride website:

Bring the kids and step into Christmases past. Find your Christmas tree from the Schmid Family Ranch forest, make a wreath, enjoy homemade hot cocoa and more! The Schmid Family Ranch is a Centennial farm on Wilson Mesa, about ten miles West of Telluride, Colorado. The ranch has been in operation since the family homesteaded in 1882. The family worked with the Nature Conservancy to preserve the entire ranch through a conservation easement now held by the San Miguel Conservation Foundation. Today the family’s wish is to share this unique property with the community while maintaining a way of life that honors the land. This event is FREE and open to the public, 12-4 p.m.

Christmas Celebration at Schmidt Ranch.
Make the drive out to Schmidt Ranch for the annual Christmas Celebration. This is my very favorite Telluride Christmas event.


4. Christmas Ski Tree Lighting & Ullr’s Ceremonial Ski Burn – December 6, 2014. 5.30pm.

Location: Telluride Elks Park

Another Telluride classic, the huge Telluride Ski Tree is constructed by retro, once loved skis donated by the Telluride community. The tree is lit up, then ceremoniously burned to favor the old Norse god Ullr, Patron Saint of Skiers. DJ Soul Atomic will spin tunes during the festivities. If this years snowfall is anything to go by (53″ in the last 2 weeks alone, yewww!), Ullr has been hard at work already. We don’t want him to slacken off though!!

The Ski Tree in Telluride's Elks Park.
The Ski Tree lighting & burning in Elks Park is a truly Telluride Christmas event.


5. Jingle Jam – December 12, 2014

Location: All retail outlets in Mountain Village.

From the Visit Telluride website:

Get your Christmas shopping done during Jingle Jam where shoppers will receive some of the best discounts of the year, along with raffles, giveaways, food and drink specials and more at participating Mountain Village locations.

6. Santa’s Workshop: Holiday Crafts & Cookie Decorating. 12th Dec 2014.

Location: Mountain Village. Heritage Plaza.

Another awesome FREE holiday events. Santa’s Workshop will be open from 3-6pm in Heritage Plaza. Help Santa’s elves make Christmas ornaments, or decorate your own cookie!



7. North Pole Express Train Rides. December 12, 13 & 14, 2014. 3pm. 

Location: Mountain Village. Heritage Plaza.

Again, FREE! While at the North Pole, catch a ride on the North Pole Express! Children and adults will be dazzled on the free train ride through Mountain Village’s festival of lights, with more decorations throughout the village than ever before.

8. Trip to The North Pole & Sitting With Santa. December 12 & 13, 2014. 3-6pm. 

Location: starts in Telluride town at the gondola station & ends in Mountain Village.

The magic starts at the Oak Street gondola station where the free gondola is being transformed into a Trip to the North Pole. Children of all ages will delight in the decorations and lights galore as our elves send you on your way to visit Santa in his workshop. Tell Santa what you want for Christmas, make an ornament with one of his elves, decorate a cookie and enjoy free hot chocolate in Heritage Plaza from 3-6pm.

Schmidt Ranch Christmas Celebration
Don’t miss Santa at the Schmidt Ranch Christmas Celebration on Wilson Mesa!

9. Tree Lighting Ceremony With Santa. December 12, 2014. 

Location: Mountain Village. Heritage Plaza.

10. “North Pole On Ice” Ice Skating Show. December 12 & 13. 6.30pm. 

Location: Mountain Village Ice Skating Rink

“The North Pole on Ice” show will feature International and National ice skating medalists with two pair teams, a male soloist, and a female soloist. You don’t want to miss this show filled with triple jumps, dizzying spins, creative pair lifts, death spirals, and even a back flip. The shows are scheduled on the Mountain Village Ice Rink on both Friday, 12/12 and Saturday, 12/13 at 6:30 p.m.

11. Frosty & The Grinch. December 13, 2014. 3-5pm. 

Location: Mountain Village, Heritage Plaza.

Say “hello” to holiday character favorites Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch in Heritage Plaza from 3-5pm.


Christmas post box at Telluride Post Office.
Psssst! Santa’s post box is located at the Telluride Post Office. Make sure that letter gets to the North Pole in time!!


12. 2014 Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade. December 24, 2014. Starts 4.30pm (torchlight at 6.30pm). 

Location: Mountain Village

Join Telluride Ski Resort for a favorite tradition among locals and visitors alike.  At 6:30pm gather in the Town of Telluride and watch as skiers and boarders meander down Coonskin and Telluride Trail with blazing red torchlights.

I hope you find this list of events useful for the upcoming holiday season! For your Telluride lodging needs, call our team on 888-998-6471. Here at Lodging In Telluride, we have a selection of vacation rental condos that are affordable & well located in Telluride town. Friendly & attentive service is our hallmark.