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December 2021 Events in Estes Park

Here's a complete list of the best events in Estes Park this December.

You can't hike the entire time you're in town, although no one here will blame you for trying. Instead, fill out your trip with local events that will give you a taste of the sights, sounds and flavors of this vibrant little mountain town. Check out what is going on in December.


Get your groove on: First Friday! Art Groove

December 3

Explore Estes Park's local art galleries while also exploring our local craft beverage options. Behold beautiful artwork and discover the many talented artists in our little mountain town. Grab a friend and enjoy! Participating galleries are subject to change.



November 27- December 20

Join our scavenger hunt to find everything on your list and support small businesses in Estes Park. The Bank of Estes Park will hide Eddie the Elk in five stores each week. Find him and win a $50 gift card to that store on the spot!!  The Estes Chamber will post clues and more details each Friday at


YMCA of the Rockies Holiday Events (Closed to the public December 10th-16th)

Note: if you're not staying at the YMCA of the Rockies, you'll need to purchase a day pass. 2515 Tunnel Rd, Estes Park, CO, 80517; (970) 586-3341;

North Pole “Train” Experience

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until December 26th

Climb aboard the “Christmas Train” at the YMCA of the Rockies as it travels to the North Pole. Carols, storytimes, dazzling lights and a meetup with Santa are just some of the stops. This is a free event but advance registration is required.

Daily Holiday Events

Drive-Through Christmas Village

From the comfort of your own car, take a cruise through a wonderful light display at the Flower Circle area of the YMCA of the Rockies. Set the mood with some holiday music on the radio!

Santa’s Workshop & Gift Wrapping 

Santa’s elves are hard at work helping visitors create and package gifts at the Mootz Family Craft and Design Center! Jewelry, wood crafts, ceramics and more! Or bring your own gift and the elves will help package and wrap it for that special loved one. 

Gingerbread House Contest

Pick up a festive and unique gingerbread house kit from the Sweet Memorial Building for $15 to take back to your cabin or lodge room. Once your masterpiece is created, enter it into our Gingerbread House Village contest for the chance to win a $50 activity gift certificate!

Ice Skating at Dorsey Pond

Strap on your skates and enjoy the scenic outdoor ice skating pond. 

Cookie Decorating

Cookie decorating kits are available at the Rustic Cafe and include all items needed for some creative cookie decorating fun!

Snowflake Making

Get crafty as you learn to create your own unique paper snowflake. Snowflake experts are there to help with your creation at the Sweet Memorial Program Building. 


The Nutcracker at the Stanley Hotel

December 11 & 12

Come watch one of three performances of this holiday classic, put on by the Boulder Ballet at the Stanley Hotel. If you go to a Saturday showing, you may even get a visit from Santa. Tickets at StanleyLive.com333 Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO, 80517; (970) 577-4000;


Holiday Celebration at the Museum and Storytime Around the Campfire

Saturday, December 18, 10am - 11:30am 

Music, stories, carols and hot cocoa are just part of the Christmas Tradition. Stand around the campfire at the Estes Park Museum for a magical storytime and then sing classic Christmas carols in the museum's main room. 200 4th St, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 586 6256;


Say Hi to Santa and Ride the Mountain Coaster

December 20

This exhilarating experience with epic views just got a whole lot better because Santa's in town! Stop by anytime from 12-3 and tell him what's on your list. Maybe a ride on the mountain coaster? 1180 Dry Gulch Rd, Estes Park, CO, 80517; (970) 972-1829;


The Cowboy Christmas Getaway; an exclusive country escape before Christmas at the Stanley

Join us for the inaugural Cowboy Christmas Getaway at the Stanley December 17-18, 2021!

This spectacular weekend will showcase LIVE comedy, music, and custom made gifts. Before heading out for the hustle and bustle of holiday travel and large family gatherings, bring your loved one for a last minute getaway for just the two of you. Treat each other to the right balance of relaxation and entertainment and pick out that custom gift for each other while enjoying the beautifully historic Stanley Hotel.  333 Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO, 80517; (970) 577 4000;


12 Days of Christmas at Bird & Jim

Starts December 24 (closed December 25) 

Expand your palette with 12 days of 3-course pairing menus at Bird & Jim restaurantSee the menu and make reservations online915 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 586-9832;


New Years Eve Dinner with Bird & Jim

December 31

Say goodbye to 2021 with a 5-course dinner menu with available wine pairings at Bird & Jim. See the menu and make reservations online915 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 586-9832;


Laugh your way into 2022 at the Crystal Ball

December 31

Ring in the new year with a night of comedy, food, and dancing in the Stanley Hotel's MacGregor Ballroom. Get your tickets to the Crystal Ball here333 Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO, 80517; (970) 577 4000;


Recurring Events:


Create a Unique Hydro-Dipped Tumbler at Inspired Artisan Market & Studio

Weekly on Saturdays

Choose your favorite colors and experience the new, fun art medium of Hydro Dipping at the Inspired Artisan Market & Studio. Once finished, you will have a unique drink tumbler that you created - ready to keep your coffee warm this fall season in the mountains.


Scream "BINGO!" at the American Legion

Weekly on Sunday

Bring the whole family to Bingo at the American Legion and test your luck in this classic game of chance here in Estes Park. Food and drinks are available.  850 N St Vrain Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 586-6118;


Weekly Pub Trivia in Estes Park at the American Legion

Weekly on Tuesday 

Strap on that thinking cap, get creative with a team name and compete against others while enjoying food and drinks at the American Legion's Pub Trivia850 N St Vrain Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 586-6118;


Live Music @ the Twin Owl Steakhouse 

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6-9pm.

Delight in a fine glass of wine paired with your favorite meal as soothing live music creates a relaxing atmosphere at Twin Owls Steakhouse. 3110 S St Vrain Ave Suite B, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 586-9344;


Open Mic and street taco night at the American Legion

First and third Thursday 6-8pm 

Jam with Nadine and sing your heart out! Then taste chef Will's delicious street tacos at Circle 119 home of the American legion850 N St Vrain Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 586-6118;



Check out our full list of events and book your next trip to Estes Park.



This article was written for Visit Estes Park by local photographer, Chris Layton.