(Last Updated On: December 16, 2016)

UPDATED 10/4/2016:

With snow coating the landscape and an abundance of holiday lights decorating the Victorian style historic district on Main Street, Breckenridge becomes the epitome of a Winter Wonderland.

This is the season that brings out the beauty, charm and unique character the town has to offer. (Not to mention the season for Dew Tour.) You can take a walk down Main Street, check out the Handmade Holiday Craft Market in the Arts District, ride in a horse drawn carriage or simply check out the twinkling lights with a hot crepe in hand. Don’t forget that enjoying the holidays before the holidays has its advantages, like value lodging and a low-key vibe. If you are visiting Breck anytime during the holiday season, here is a countdown of the top five things that you won’t want to miss:

#5:  Strolling Down Main Street

This is one time of year when you'll want to peer into windows. The holiday-themed window display contest lights up shops around Breckenridge.

Take time to peer into the windows this holiday season.

After spending the day on the mountain, head into town and take a walk back in time down Main Street. There are a variety of independent shops and restaurants, each with their own unique flairs and flavors. As you stroll by Modis or the Gold Pan, take a good look at the buildings, which date back to Breckenridge’s mining days. Keep an eye out for made-in-Breck items, which work well as gifts for friends or yourself.

#4: Spotting Santa and his entourage throughout town

The holidays bring out the inner child in many, and you just never know who – or what – you’ll see skiing or riding.

Sure, Santa and Mrs. Claus have been known to make a visit to the base of Peak 8, but in town, you’ll catch hundreds of Santas (and reindeer runners) sprinting down Main Street in support of the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. Race of the Santas takes place Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, followed by the Lighting of Breckenridge, which includes caroling and visits with the real Santa Claus.

Dates and locations for spotting Santa vary from year to year, but he typically makes appearances throughout December — keep an eye on the Lighting of Breckenridge, the Boy Scout Christmas tree lot on Park Avenue, Main Street Station, RE/MAX on Main Street, and the Ice Rink (when you can skate with him!).

#3: Sledding at Carter Park

Just a couple of blocks off Main Street, you and the family can take turns sledding down Carter Park.  Grab your favorite flexible flyer or saucer, as this is just good family fun and everyone can join in, watch, or take pictures. And the best part?  It’s FREE!

#2: Holiday market, movies and workshops with BreckCreate

Sure, the Breckenridge Arts District will host their annual Handmade Holiday Craft Market Dec. 2-4, 2016. But for those who’d rather make their own ornaments, workshops are the best bet. Past holiday-themed classes ranged from cards and painted tiles (both great for kids) to ceramic ornaments and gingerbread houses. Visit BreckCreate.org for details.

And..the #1 Thing Not to Miss: New Year’s Eve Fireworks and Torch Light Parade

My personal favorite is the annual Torch Light Parade, which takes place on New Year’s Eve. Skiers and boarders from Breckenridge Ski Resort begin a procession from the top of Peak 9 down to the base area, while carrying luminaries. The Maggie and the Coppertop are two great places to grab a drink and watch the glowing lighted procession wind its way down the mountain.

Continue the celebration and watch the fireworks as they are displayed over Peak 9. On New Year’s Eve, the skies will come alive with brilliant displays. Seriously, what better way is there to mark the New Year?! See the full list of Breckenridge’s New Year’s Eve activities and feel free to share your favorite holiday traditions in the comments below.