Historic Main Street cheerfully lit up with Christmas lights, snowy mountains in the background, and days of holiday music and activities planned by the local resorts make Park City one of the most magical places to spend the season. To make sure you get the most out of your time here, we've made this handy guide for how to celebrate the holidays at Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort this year.
The holiday season officially begins in Park City this weekend when Park City Mountain Resort kicks off their annual Snowfest (previously Decemberfest) on December 17th. The festival runs through the end of the year, culminating in a New Year's Eve Fireworks Celebration at Canyons Village. Every day of Snowfest features a wide range of après musical acts, village entertainers, and more. Here's what's on the schedule for this year.
Live Après Music at Park City Mountain
Undoubtedly, the biggest feature of Snowfest is the amazing line-up of live performances scheduled throughout the festival. Beginning everyday at 2:30 p.m., you can rock out while enjoying your favorite beverage as artists playing all styles of music take to stages at Park City Base Area, Park City Base Transit Station, and Canyons Village. Acts include Park City's resident DJ Velvet, the 7-piece cover band Metro Music Club, rock outfit Downright Citizens, Triggers and Slips, Fabulous Lumberjacks, and many other groups. Check the full line-up here.
Gingerbread Display at the Stein Eriksen Lodge
Every year the Stein Eriksen Lodge's Executive Pastry Chef creates a unique gingerbread structure in the spirit of the holidays. This year, they've put up an enormous AT-AT walker in celebration of the new Star Wars film. Reaching 11 feet in height and measuring 12 feet in length, this display took more than 50 pounds of molasses, 40 dozen eggs, 250 pounds of sugar and 4 pounds of pure spices for the gingerbread alone! Pop into the Stein Eriksen Lodge for a chance to admire this impressive display.
Santa Comes Down Town Lift
We all know Santa traditionally comes rolling into town on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. But here in Park City, Santa arrives on the slopes via Town Lift on a chair decorated as a sleigh and lit up with Christmas lights. Since he'll be busy getting presents ready later in the year, he'll be making his annual mid-December ride down to Town Lift Plaza on the 17th at 5:30 p.m. Bring out the kiddos and have your EpicPass on hand so you can get your photo taken by the Epic photographers.
One of the most magical nights of Snowfest takes place on Christmas Eve with the 54th Annual Torchlight Parade at Park City Base Area. The tradition is as old as the resort itself and one of the longest-running in town. After the sun drops behind the mountains, the resort lights up as resort staff ski down the mountain with torches, creating a wave of fire across the slopes, setting a special holiday atmosphere. Holiday music and activities begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Park City Base Area.
If you don't make it the PCMR one, have no fear, Deer Valley also hosts an annual Torchlight Parade. On December 30th at dusk, you can watch the lights trickle down the Big Stick ski run on Bald Eagle Mountain behind the Snow Park Lodge while sipping on complimentary hot cider and nibbling on cookies in the Snow Park Plaza from 5:45-6 p.m. The Seafood Buffet remains open during the event so you'll also have time to a cozy meal with the family.
Christmas Eve Santa Visit @ Deer Valley
Even on his busiest night of the year Santa is still making the time to visit Park City. Bring out the kiddos from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Snow Park Lodge or 1:30 p.m. at the Silver Lake Lodge for your chance to take a slope side picture with Santa. Don't forget your cameras!
New Year's Eve Celebration + Masquerade Ball @ Canyons Village
Ring in the New Year with celebrations at Canyons Village with a variety of celebratory events. The evening begins with the special Cabin Family Dinner from 5-7 p.m. at the Grand Summit Hotel. This multi-course meal, features a variety of options, ranging from Utah trout to crispy pork chops, charbroiled beef tenderloin, and more (full menu here). The cost is $69 for adults and $39 for children and you must make a reservation ahead of time.
The New Year's Fireworks Show starts at 7:30 p.m. in Canyons Village. Red, golds, and greens burst up over the ski slopes, in a picturesque display worthy of many "oohs and aahs." After the fireworks, head over to the Kokopelli Ballroom dressed in your best holiday mask and attire for the Masquerade Ball which runs from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. DJ Jake Russell will be spinning tunes so you can dance the night away. Cost of the event is $169 and includes dinner (served from 7:30-9:30 p.m.). Space is limited.
All this makes Park City one of the most idyllic settings for the holidays. We hope we'll see you there!