If you’re planning to spend time away from home for Christmas, then there’s nothing quite like going skiing for the holidays. You’re guaranteed a white Christmas, you can stay in a cozy cabin or lodge, and it’s a great excuse to spend some time with family and friends. So, which ski resorts are open in December and where should you spend the holidays?
Vail in Colorado is an absolutely breathtaking place to spend Christmas. If you live in a state that doesn’t usually have snow during the holidays, you’ll love the winter wonderland feel of the resort. Best of all, it’s a town that loves to celebrate during the festive season, so there are plenty of Christmas events in Vail from the lighting of the tree to the holiday lantern walk. You could even stay until New Year’s for the huge firework display over the mountains. Vail has mostly expert trails, but there are a few for beginners and intermediates, as well as other winter sports.
If you love the small-town vibe, then Jackson Hole is a charming destination where you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Christmas movie. Its remote Wyoming location means you can escape from the modern world and enjoy a peaceful ski vacation. There are sleigh rides, appearances from Santa in the Town Square, and holiday-themed shows at the local playhouse. Jackson Hole is popular with families, so if you don’t have much skiing experience then you should still have plenty to do. You should read some ski tips for beginners before you go and then book a place at the excellent ski school where you’ll learn to get around the slopes.
Those who don’t want to go too far off the beaten track for their Christmas vacation should consider Park City, Utah. It’s less than an hour from Salt Lake City, which has excellent air connections, so you won’t spend hours and hours traveling the mountain roads. Park City is one of the USA’s biggest linked ski areas, so there’s a sprawling network of ski trails suitable for all abilities. The town itself has a lively program of events over the holidays such as the torchlight parade where hundreds of skiers decked in fairy lights take to the slopes and the sing-along concerts the local theater.
The French Alps are the ultimate destination for those who love to ski, and Val-d’Isère is a favorite destination for Europeans over the Christmas period. This stylish resort has amazing scenery and great snowfall in December, and the French know how to do Christmas well, with loads of tempting food and drink. Val-d’Isère used to be a resort that was mostly frequented by expert skiers, but in recent years there has been an increased number of beginner’s trails opened, plus there’s plenty for non-skiers such as snowshoeing, lively après ski and Ski-Doo snowmobiles.
Whether you’re an experienced skier or just someone who enjoys being out in the snow, going to a ski resort is a great way to spend your Christmas vacation. Once you’re done on the slopes, there are lots of festive events, or you can relax by the fireplace with a glass of wine and enjoy the atmosphere.