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Recently named the number 1 ski town in North America, Steamboat Springs, Colorado is a magical winter wonderland. By the 18th of November 2015 it had already received over 40 inches of snow and for the first time in more than a decade it opened a week ahead of the scheduled season open date.

Just 3 hours northwest of Denver and Boulder, it’s breathtaking landscape and sunsets; quirky winter events; and small town friendliness has all the perks of a getaway to get away.

Follow our guide and take advantage of all the fun it has to offer!

1. Ski and sing at MusicFest

This weeklong festival is a fun way to extend your New Year’s celebrations. Kicking off days after the new year, MusicFest combines skiing and musical performances from over 40 bands in ten different venues! The main music genres are are Texas and Americana.

 

2. Enjoy some collegiate competition, all in good fun!

The Steamboat Mascot Stampede is a friendly competition that brings college mascots together from around the country to partake in various events such as ‘mascot snow bowling’ and ‘mascot mingle.’

Image credit: Visit Steamboat

3. Watch the mountains light up for Night Skiing

Now in its second season, Steamboat Springs offers night skiing from Thursday through Monday evenings from opening day until spring. A ride on The Christie Peak Express chairlift transforms the resort into a magical scene straight out of a holiday fairytale.

Image Credit: Bound for Snow

4. Get in the spirit at the Steamboat Holiday Festival

If the snow and cold wasn’t enough to fill you with holiday cheer, the Steamboat Holiday Festival will! See Santa come down the slopes, decorate some cookies, and dance along at the holiday concert.

Image Credit: Steamboat.com

5. Cheer on the 42nd Annual Bud Light Cowboy Downhill

Cowboys in their cowboy gear ski down a mountain, this after being dumped from a helicopter in a parachute with their hats on! During their obstacle course, they must complete a jump, rope a woman and saddle a horse before they reach the finish line. Note, while they are professional rodeo men, they are not professional skiers!

Uniquely Coloradan, the Cowboy Downhill always runs in sync to the very popular National Western Stock Show hosted every January in Denver. The 2016 event will be hosted on January

After the race, enjoy a free concert hosted by event sponsor, Bud Light.

Image Credit: Worldwest Media

6. Don’t miss the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival

This 103-year-old tradition, named one of the Top 10 Winter Carnivals in the World, first began as a way for residents to cope with the long winter. Fun fact: the penalty for being caught without a carnival button used to be pushing a peanut down Lincoln Avenue with your nose! So don’t forget to get one in order to have access to attending all the events!

Image Credit: CBS Denver

7. Celebrate Mardi Gras – Colorado style!

Free concerts, parades, Cajun BBQ’s, and more. Combat the cold with a couple of belly warming drinks!

Image Credit: Colorado Bucket List

8. Go dog sledding!

Drive your own team of Alaskan Huskies, or sit back and have someone else drive you!

Image Credit: Steamboat Dog Sledding

Featured image shown in header: The iconic More Barn in Steamboat Springs

Image Credit: Creative Commons, Dave Soldano

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8 things to do in Steamboat Springs Colorado this winter