It’s beginning to look a lot like, well, a pretty darn good ski season, and with the holidays approaching faster than an out-of-control downhiller on a black diamond run, it’s time to make some plans to visit a nearby mountain or two.
Many of New Mexico’s ski slopes target families with special events during the holidays, helping to create a little cheer and some memories.
Here is a rundown of some of what’s happening on some of the northern slopes:
Taos Ski Valley (skitaos.com)
Although it is his busiest time of the year, jolly St. Nick will be making a stopover from 3:30-5 p.m. Dec. 22 at the holiday tree on the Taos Plaza, said Erin Dolan, Taos Ski Valley spokeswoman. Of course, it wouldn’t be the Christmas season without some carols, provided by the Taos Community Chorus.
Although Christmas will have passed, the famous Taos Folk (taosfolk.com) pop-up store will be at the Taos Tent Dec. 27 through Jan. 5 with their eclectic collection of local artwork.
And New Year’s Eve is a celebration of the passing of the old year and the welcoming of the new.
“Watch as skiers make their way down the mountain in the dark with flares as their only means of light,” Dolan said. “And don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display by Gemini Fireworks.”
Angel Fire Resort (angelfireresort.com)
The holidays are special time at the resort, said Krysty O’Quinn Ronchetti, Angel Fire spokeswoman.
“Spend Christmas Eve with Angel Fire,” she said. “With something to do for the whole family, we’re sure this will be your new Christmas Eve tradition.”
The day before Christmas is whirlwind of activity as Santa will be in the Lodge from 2-4 p.m. taking photos. Special dinners are on tap at the Elements Restaurant and the Legends Grill.
Then “bundle up the family and join us at the base area for our annual Christmas Eve Fireworks & Torchlight parade,” Ronchetti said. “Keep an eye out … Santa and Mrs. Claus have been known to join in the festivities.”
A similar torchlight parade on the ski mountain, followed by fireworks, will light New Year’s Eve.
Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort (sipapu.ski)
It is family time at the resort on Christmas Eve, said Kim Oyler, spokeswoman for resort owner Mountain Capital Partners.
“Celebrate Christmas Eve at Sipapu with this annual tradition filled with holiday music, an art project for the kids, tasty treats and good cheer,” she said of the annual event from 5-8 p.m. at the Riverside Café.
Throughout the holiday season, Friday nights at the café are filled with live local music from 5-8 p.m. And from 6-8 p.m. Saturdays, it is open mic night for aspiring songwriters and musicians of all abilities.
Red River Ski & Summer Area (redriverskiarea.com)
After making the rounds and making deliveries, Santa is due for a little relaxation on Christmas Day. He spends it at Red River making a few runs down the slopes.
He and his elves will be up and about beginning at 11:30 a.m., handing out candy canes and posing for photos. At noon he’ll head to the Main Chalet to catch any stragglers, then it is over to the Youth Center to hob knob with the younger skiers.
Ski Santa Fe (skisantafe.com)
The local bluegrass band Kitty Jo Creek will be playing from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 15.
That’s the perfect day for newcomers to try their hands and feet on the slopes as part of the “Learn to Ski Weekend.”
Parents with children 10 and older can learn to ski together from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. with a package deal of lift tickets, lesson and rentals for $180.