Breckenridge, CO is the epitome of a winter wonderland. Towering pines coated with fluffy white snow, glittering streets with twinkling lights, and people bundled up in colorful scarves and puffy ski jackets make this the perfect place to spend the Christmas season.
Visitors can head downtown in the early afternoon and partake in free kids’ Make and Take art projects at the Fuqua in the Arts District. Afterwards, the Summit Choral Society performs Christmas carols at the lovely Blue River Plaza where onlookers can listen to beautiful Christmas music while gazing out over the numbered peaks and the tumbling Blue River.
From 3 to 6 p.m., Main St. is bursting with carolers as they entrance visitors with rousing rounds of Joy to the World and Silent Night to shoppers. Over 200 shops line historic Main St so visitors can get in some last minute Christmas shopping while soaking in the liberal amounts of Christmas spirit.
A Swan Mountain Christmas is Breckenridge’s only Christmas Shop and offers hundreds of ornaments, including personalizing of any ornament. For those with art lovers on their Christmas lists, Art on a Whim keeps a selection of Colorado artists, ranging from paintings to funky sculptures. Canary in a Clothesmine is a unique clothes boutique stuffed to the gills with trendy pieces that tourists surely won’t find anywhere else.
At 4pm, the Race of the Santas kicks off the Lighting of Breckenridge, a 5k fun run that benefits the Adopt an Angel Summit County. Race participants can dress up and included in the $30 entry fee is a Santa Suit.
A $10 Reindeer Run for kids 12 and under is also offered and kids get a set of antlers to run their race in. After the race, racers are offered hot cocoa to warm chilly fingers before Santa’s arrival at the Red, White, and Blue Firehouse. Both racers and onlookers are invited to the firehouse after the race for free cocoa and cookies.
At 5pm, just as the sun as begun to set behind the snowcapped peaks, Santa Claus arrives in a horse-drawn carriage and leads a procession to the center of the Blue River Plaza to light the tree. Included in the procession is a Bernese Mountain Dog Parade, which is always a huge hit with the crowds.
The tree lighting is, of course, the most magical part of the day. A day of Christmas carols, Christmas shopping, cookies, cocoa, and arts and crafts culminates in the center of town as the starts twinkle in the indigo sky and families huddle together in anticipation of seeing the statuesque tree burst into thousands of slivers of silvery blue light.
Framed by old-fashioned streetlights tied with red ribbons and wrapped in authentic pine garland, Santa Claus will invite the crowds to the Barney Ford Museum where he will spend the next couple of hours greeting children and taking holiday wishes and memorializing the moment with pictures.
There isn’t a better place to kick off the Christmas season than Breckenridge. An almost constant cover of snow and a cheerful small town feel create the perfect Christmas atmosphere for both residents and visitors.