Our Favorite Events and Experiences in Mesa Verde Country This Holiday Season

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Yes, Mesa Verde Country is geared up for the season with special events that will surely bring a magic touch to your holidays this year.  

If you are looking for a winter vacation filled with unique, made-in-Colorado experiences, Mesa Verde Country will not disappoint you. 

We have selected the best holiday events and winter experiences for you to enjoy while visiting.

Annual Holiday Open House, Luminaria

Luminarias are paper bags with a light source inside. They are distributed around the park and create a magical atmosphere at night. The park hopes to resume the popular tradition next year. Though we’ll miss this stunning event this year, when you get the chance to see it, you’ll never forget it.

Dolores Christmas Bazaar

Stop by the Dolores Community Center on December 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a packed house of more than 50 vendors from the Four Corners. You will be visiting the biggest Christmas Bazaar in the area. Make sure to keep an eye out for Santa who always likes to make an appaerance on this occasion.

Enjoy Christmas at the Galloping Goose

Gather the family on December 10 at the Galloping Goose Historical Society Museum in Dolores for Santa, candies, cookies, tree lighting, live music, treat bags for kids, train rides and a bonfire. Don’t miss storytime on the train brought to you by the Dolores Library. The event is free.

Olde Fashion Christmas

As it sounds, dress up for Christmas just like they used to and go celebrate with the Mancos community!

Visit Mesa Verde National Park

Enjoy the peace and the beauty of a quiet, snow-dusted Mesa Verde National Park. The park is open in the winter months and offers a wonderful way to spend the holidays with family. Reservations are not needed to enter the park at this time. The Mesa Top Loop Road is a 6-mile (10 km) drive through 700 years of Ancestral Pueblo history. Along the road, you will find short, easily-accessible paved trails to archeological sites and views of cliff dwellings such as Cliff Palace from the Sun Temple stop. A trail guide is available. You can also download the audio tour, Mesa Top Loop Drive: A Pueblo Perspective and listen along in your car or on your phone.

Outdoor Winter Wonderland

Winter in Mesa Verde Country can also offer a wonderful opportunity for Nordic (cross-country) skiing, snowshoeing, and walking. Check the park’s hiking page for trails that are available before the snow falls and the winter trails are open. Located near the town of Mancos, Chicken Creek Nordic Trail offers superlative views of Mancos Valley. In Cortez, over 600 acres of open land allows visitors to enjoy stunning nature walks.

Dining Out

Gather around the farm-to-table! One—and perhaps the most important—moment of the holidays is sharing a meal with family and friends. Mesa Verde Country will not only delight your palate with the many dining options available, but it will also surprise you with the quality of its farm-to-table restaurants. There is even a winter farmers market in Mesa Verde Country at the Four Seasons Greenhouse. It’s open from 10 am to 1 pm every Saturday through mid-March.

Local Wines and Craft Beers Bring The Holiday Cheer

Celebrate with a wine or a beer tasting, there are several options to choose from. Mesa Verde Country is home to two wineries − Fenceline and Yellow Car Country Wines, and five craft breweries − Mancos Brewing Company, Dolores River Brewery, J. Fargo’s Family Dining & Micro Brewery, Wildedge Brewery Collective and Main Street Brewery & Restaurant. 

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