(Last Updated On: April 18, 2017)

Breckenridge in December is like stepping into a real-life snow globe. Sparkling holiday lights and glittering snowflakes are enough to make any grinch believe again. Visit at the beginning of the month for lots of festivities and events, but not as many crowds. As the days increase, so do the number of revelers in and around town. In fact, the last two weeks of December are traditionally the busiest of the year in town.


Oh, the weather outside is frightful … frightfully good if you’re a skier or snowboarder, that is. The average temperature in December is 15.3 degrees (Fahrenheit) with the average high coming in at 30.2 degrees.


It’s a truly magical time of the year. Here’s a lineup of the signature events:

  • The Lighting of Breckenridge and the Race of the Santas
    • The holiday kickoff event typically falls on the first weekend in December and features hundreds of Santas racing down Main Street with milk and cookie “aid” stations followed by caroling, the official lighting up of the holiday lights in Blue River Plaza and throughout town and visits with Santa.
  • Dew Tour
    • The top ski and snowboard athletes in the world converge on Breckenridge’s Freeway Terrain Park for one of the first big competitions of the winter season. In the past, the Town of Breck has hosted a unique street-style event right smack dab in the middle of downtown.
  • Handmade for the Holidays
    • Meet local artists, tour the Breckenridge Arts District, shop for hand crafted holiday gifts or sign up for a class and make your own handmade items. This open house event in downtown Breckenridge typically coincides with the Lighting of Breckenridge (which is the first weekend of December), but check dates and details.
  • New Year’s Eve
    • Ring in the New Year with a bang and a boom. Breck hosts an on-mountain Torchlight Parade followed by a dazzling fireworks display. (weather permitting)


Check www.opensnow.com for up-to-date forecasts and conditions. And, if you’re heading out of bounds, Know Before you Go. Check the forecasts and updates from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

During the last two weeks of December, the key to success is to plan ahead for anything and everything. Leave enough time for shuttle rides or to drive and park and remember there’s not as much free parking anymore in town. Parking is still free after 3 p.m. in certain lots in town. But, during the day (typically after 10 am during peak season), any of the convenient parking spots to the slopes or to town are pay-to-play. Check the parking information here. Or, better yet, take the free bus, Uber, use Zipcar or, if you absolutely must drive, carpool.

Photo: Bob Winsett

Dinner reservations are a must for the holidays and should be booked a month or two in advance. Book your ski / snowboard rentals well in advance. And, if you’re driving, check your snow tires and the traction laws.