The mountains are calling. And we understand it completely – the snow-covered slopes beckon you at this time of the year. But sometimes you have to break off your skis or board for a good old-fashioned beer festival. Or a sip of the world’s largest shot ski. Or, listen to some bluegrass with a side – you guessed it – more beer. Winter up the mile is no time to hibernate. From snow-capped adventures in the Rocky Mountains to leisurely beer fun in town, this season has plenty of options that you don’t just have to spend in front of the fireplace or hit the slopes (though, of course, you should be doing those things too).
Ullr festival | GoBreck
Wednesday December 11th – Sunday December 15th
This annual weekend of debauchery in the name of the Nordic god of winter offers uninterrupted fun. Come to the fat bike race, to dive into the ice, to the local talent show, to the parade with ski jumps on the main street and to the campfire. Stay for a historic event – the (unofficial) longest shot ski in the world.
Costs: Most events are free, but book your accommodation well in advance. Registration as part of the shot ski costs $ 10. Saturday December 14th
3881 Steele St.
Ventilate your ailments while enjoying brewed beers here at Mile High. Partly an ode to Seinfeld and the strange traditions of Festivus, partly a celebration of local beer performances. This is your excuse for drinking great beers (and wearing that ugly Christmas sweater).
Costs: General admission tickets are $ 45Ice castlesOpens in late December; weather dependent data
This unique frozen wonderland comes alive again in Dillion – as soon as the temperatures get cold enough. Explore the archways, tunnels, slides, and fountains, all made of huge amounts of ice.
Costs: Ticket prices will be announcedMonday December 31st
Not only does the Resolution NYE Party get you close to downtown for the midnight fireworks, it also offers unlimited booze. There will also be DJs, live bands, and theatrical performances spread over three floors of decked out party space, along with a midnight countdown balloon.
Costs: Tickets start at $ 99Thursday January 9th – Saturday January 11th
This specialty beer festival is more focused on education. So if you’re a true beer connoisseur, you’ve come to the right place. Over 120 breweries will take part in the event and will share not only their beers but also their knowledge.
Costs: Commercial tasting cards are $ 75Thursday January 9th – Sunday January 12th
Colorado Convention Center
With over 500 exhibitors, this huge annual event is packed with free seminars, competitions, and the latest news and innovations from well-known outdoor sports companies. From the fly fishing pavilion to archery, learn some new tips and skills for those spring and summer 2020 adventures.
Costs: $ 16Friday January 11th – Sunday January 26th
This annual event kicks off with a parade of longhorns through downtown Denver, followed by two weeks of rodeos, mutton busting, horse shows, the ever-popular calf-catching competition, and much more. The Stock Show has been around since 1906 and is a huge part of Denver history. So dig out the huge belt buckle and get in touch with your Wild West side.
Costs: Basic entry starts at $ 10International snow sculpture championships | Courtesy of the Breckenridge Tourism OfficeMonday January 20th – Wednesday January 29th
Global competitors from 16 teams will take part in this annual event. Browse through the creations made from 20-ton blocks of snow that have been hand-carved with expertise.
Costs: Free participationX gamesThursday January 23rd – Sunday January 26th
The extreme sports competitions may be the main reason for this annual event, but the music has become a huge draw for the crowd. This year you can jam with acts like Rae Sremmurd, Alesso, Bazzi and Illenium, then explore the festival village and catch some of the head-to-head competitions.
Costs: General admission tickets for all pieces of music are $ 120Saturday 25th January
Mile high station
The Denver beer festival season lasts year-round, and winter is no exception. Denver Winter Brew Fest is back with plenty of beer from local and national breweries, plus live music, food trucks, and more. Plus, drinking always feels great for a good cause, and the proceeds from this event will go to Swallow Hill Music.
Costs: General admission tickets start at $ 35 Saturday 25th January
Place will be announced
What’s your favorite whiskey? Do you like scotch? Do you prefer rye? No idea? Well, after you’ve tried all the whiskey to use at this feast, you’re sure to get warmed up quickly.
Costs: General admission tickets are $ 35Friday January 24th – Sunday January 26th
This music and beer festival in the foothills outside of Denver is the perfect getaway in the middle of winter. There’s also an optional beer festival along with a costume contest (think Game of Thrones style beards and fur).
Costs: Weekend tickets start at $ 60Saturday 25th January
Place will be announced
Whiskey staff are available to guide you through a tasting (including tasting cards, each good for a 0.25-ounce pour). Try as many as you can, then vote for your favorite brand.
Costs: Tickets start at $ 35Wednesday January 29th
Vine Street Pub & Brewery
The strong month is (almost) back, but you can be among the first to try this year’s special brews. Vine Street brewers will be on hand to introduce you to the seven types of stouts that will be featured this year. You can also enjoy appetizers specially made for the event with the beers featured. You also get a free beer when you stop by to buy your tickets.
costs: $ 50Friday January 31st
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater
This world famous venue is a summer destination, but thanks to Icelantics Winter on the Rocks, you don’t have to wait for the warm weather to return to enjoy live music here. This year’s line-up includes THEY., SNBRN, Channel Tres and DJ Cassidy.
Costs: Tickets start at $ 49.95Sunday February 2nd
You won’t see the Broncos in the Super Bowl this year, but you can still show your team spirit at this run. Do something productive before drinking all of those beers and nachos.
Costs: Adult pre-registration is $ 35Dew tourThursday February 6th – Sunday February 9th
With some of the best extreme athletes in winter sports, this event is also a weekend party and the perfect excuse for a mountain escape.
Costs: Participation in competitions is freeSaturday 15th February
Runway 35, 8863 E 47th Ave.
Bread, butter, cheese and heat. This classic combo is possibly one of the best foods ever created. If you agree, don’t miss this celebration of ooey gooey melted cheesy excellence. Local chefs bring their best grilled cheese creations for your tasting pleasure. The event also features beers from local breweries, entertainment, games, and more.
Costs: General admission tickets are $ 54Wednesday February 19th
The Ramble Hotel
If you need a visit after Valentine’s Day, listen to the comedians tell their funniest stories about love and dating. The lineup includes Christie Buchele from High Plains Comedy Fest, Nick Ross from The Moth, James Lopez, Sammy Anzer, and Lizzy Wolfson (along with a matchmaker from Its Just Lunch and a dating coach from A Little Nudge).
Costs: $ 15Friday February 21st – Sunday February 23rd
This epic mountain music festival returns to Steamboat with a jam-packed cast. This year’s artists include Greensky Bluegrass, Billy Strings and Margo Price.
Costs: Three-day general admission tickets start at $ 199Friday February 21st – Sunday March 1st
Explore Mile High’s booming dining scene during this weeklong celebration of the city’s culinary culture. Many of the best Denver restaurants have special Prix Fixe menus that give you a taste of what they do best.
Costs: Multi-course dinners are $ 25, $ 25, or $ 45 per personSaturday February 22nd
It’s getting cold, but that’s no excuse to miss this “short” fun run for a good cause. The annual Undie Run raises funds to find a cure for neurofibromatosis (NF).
Costs: Registration costs $ 30
MediaNews Group / Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images / ContributorThursday March 5th – Sunday March 8th
The 16th annual edition of this festival features an opening night on the red carpet, a culinary battle of the sexes, happy hour for filmmakers, and more. Tickets for individual performances are available closer to the festival dates.
Costs: Early bird festival passes are $ 395Saturday March 14th
Put on your best green clothes for this annual tradition. Get there early to find a prime vantage point, then enjoy the marching bands, Irish dancers, and the sound of bagpipes echoing in the street. And yes, a lot of bars along the route will whip green beer and offer specialty drinks.
Costs: Free participation
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Molly Martin is a Denver, Colorado freelance writer who is always on the hunt for fun things to do. Follow her Mile High adventures @mollydbu on Twitter and Instagram.