FX Excursions

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An Old-Fashion Christmas in Chautauqua

by Angelique Platas

Nov 11, 2019

Lmphot | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Yes, it’s not even Thanksgiving and we are talking Christmas — but this is a family-friendly festival to plan for: WinterFest 2019. Hosted at The Colorado Chautauqua, a national historic landmark in Boulder, Colorado, the inaugural event is a free, or close to it, celebration of all things Christmas and holiday cheer, Dec. 13–15.


Expect all the traditional seasonal fun your family can handle, including horse-drawn carriage rides through Chautauqua’s historic setting and ice skating at Boulder’s only outdoor rink. Glide along the ice with the mountains in the distance, beyond the twinkling lights surrounding the rink.


Arrive hungry and enjoy breakfast with Santa, stick around for a children’s holiday concert and tour the historic cottages of Chautauqua all decorated for Christmas. It’s truly a storybook locale for such a good, clean, fun event.


Whether already visiting Boulder for a family ski trip or in the area as a local, WinterFest 2019 is a great option for a day or weekend trip with the kids.


Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Colin Young | Dreamstime.com

Stick to the many free events and individually priced activities for budget-friendly options, like the Chautauqua WinterFest Lighting Ceremony and live music Friday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m., or go all out with a weekend pass. Daily passes include the outdoor skating rink, horse-drawn carriage rides, a holiday scavenger hunt and Polaroid photo souvenir. Pay a visit to Santa’s Cottage and enjoy some hot cocoa and crafts with the kids, or get to know more about the area with a Campus Tour.


The adolescent travelers in your group, ages 12 and younger, enjoy free admission to the Historic Cottage Tour, while WinterFest Skate is free for children 3 and under.


Head inside the Missions House for the WinterFest Market, loaded with shopping opportunities for families seeking last-minute gifts and souvenirs. Worked up an appetite yet? Casual food truck fare lines the holiday-themed grounds.


Between all the skating, eating, shopping, meeting Santa and running around, guests can use their festival ticket for extra discounts on accommodations at one of Chautauqua’s cottages.


Get your tickets here and see what else the festival entails. Check out surrounding seasonal fun and other attractions in Boulder during your stay and enjoy a quintessential white Christmas in the mountains with the whole family.


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