The holidays in Sun Valley are unique. From the snow-covered peaks (and ski runs!) that surround the Wood River Valley, to the old-fashioned charm of the Sun Valley Village and the decidedly European feel of the Resort, Christmas in Sun Valley is straight out of a beloved picture book. I have spent more than 30 Christmases in Sun Valley and while I certainly appreciate all that the Resort does to keep current (our amazing snowmaking and grooming, the gorgeous Lodge remodel, The Spa, and new
Candy canes and hot cocoa; carols and sleigh rides; visions of sugarplums, bedecked trees, and festivals of light. It’s December and it’s holiday time in Sun Valley! One of the most magical, fun-filled times of the year is upon us and you don’t want to miss a minute. Many highlights of the upcoming weeks may be found below, but be sure to check here for a full listing of everything certain to make your holidays merry and bright.
The most wonderful time of the year is upon us. Come celebrate an authentic, old-fashioned, fun-filled holiday in Sun Valley
Here, nestled among the snowy mountains, Sun Valley transforms into a Winter Wonderland sure to delight the entire family. We invite you to come ‘home for the holidays’ with an authentic Window Stroll and Scavenger Hunt from December 10 to January 2. On the 10th, the celebration begins with an event featuring a kids’ village train, entertainment, live holiday music, cookie decorating, a scavenger hunt, and much more. Please check back to this blog next week for more details on this wonderful afternoon.
There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by attending the annual tree lighting ceremony on December 17, starting at 5:30 p.m. The Sun Valley Village will glimmer with thousands of lights, welcoming revelers to visit with Santa, to enjoy the nostalgic, traditional sounds of the Sun Valley Carolers, to shop at leisure and enjoy a “wrap and run” event to benefit the local chapter of Girls on the Run.
Sun Valley is a true Winter Wonderland over the holidays and the annual tree lighting ceremony is magical
Big celebrations are numerous this season. The biggest? Sun Valley will celebrate its 80th birthday and the 81st winter season in style with a party and you are invited! On December 21, come dance the night away in the Duchin Lounge. And don’t forget the annual Christmas Eve Ice Show, followed by the torchlight parade, and fireworks.
Numerous other ways to enjoy the holiday season abound:
Entertainment and Après Ski
There is music in the mountains at every turn in December. Kick the season into high gear with a very special night of dancing at the Duchin Lounge in the Sun Valley Lodge. On December 14, Brooks Hartell will play the piano as you trip the light fantastic from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. That day, there is also fondue in the Sun Valley Lodge Terrace and Duchin Lounge from 4 – 5 p.m. Reservations are not required.
Enjoy a great lineup of après ski acts at the River Run Lodge, the Warm Springs Lodge, starting December 9. Enjoy some great turns on Baldy and then enjoy the company of friends over a cocktail or beer at the base of the mountain for a true ski town experience.
Do the hokey pokey! Did you know this wildly popular dance craze was invented in the Ram Lounge in 1949? On December 22, relive all the fun of your childhood at the place where it all started from 7 – 9 p.m. Step up to the challenge! If you would like to make a longer evening of it, enjoy a martini tasting at the Ram Lounge the same day from 4 – 5 p.m. You will enjoy three different types of martinis paired with small bites, all for $45. Reservations for the tasting are required. Please call 208-622-2272 for more information.
Some would say that half of the fun of a great day on the mountain is a great afternoon of après ski! Come and enjoy this tradition with live music at the base of the mountain. Cheers!
Pop into the luxurious Spa at Sun Valley to create some Body Scrub Alchemy from 3 – 5 p.m. December 15 and December 17. Create your own decadent body scrubs with natural ingredients like salt, sugar, essential oils, and flower buds. Treat yourself to your finished product or present a unique gift to your family and friends. The cost is from $15 to $25 a bottle. Be sure to make an appointment for an indulgent massage, facial, body treatment, or salon service while you’re there!
There is nothing more magical than seeing, or hearing about, the holidays from a child’s perspective. All the little ones are invited to the Sun Valley Lodge Sunroom on the 15th from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. for a special storytelling time. Each child will receive a holiday treat bag when they leave. This special event is held in partnership with Ketchum’s Community Library.
Another event children and the whole family will cherish is Brunch with Santa at the Sun Valley Club. Offered twice this season, on December 23 and 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., this bountiful brunch features selections sure to delight everyone, set to a backdrop of live holiday music, and photos with the big man himself. Reservations are recommended. Please call 208-622-2919 or 208-622-2135 for more information.
Break out those fabulous Christmas sweaters and make your way to the Duchin Lounge on December 16 for a Holiday Vintage Sweater Contest and Party. Enjoy some light-hearted fun and take your chance at winning a prize for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place – plus a few surprises. The party is from 5 – 7 p.m.
The Duchin Lounge is the place to be for dancing, fondue, and Christmas sweater contests – not to mention fabulous hand-crafted cocktails
There is almost nothing I enjoy more than high tea. From the finger sandwiches to the scones and clotted cream, this is a perfect repast! But you don’t need to travel to London to partake of the real deal. Sun Valley is offering a High Tea at the Lodge Terrace Room December 18, 23, and 30 between 2 and 5 p.m. Please call 208-622-2097 for your reservations (required).
Put on your dancing shoes on December 19 to enjoy Holiday DancZen at the Boiler Room. Dance lessons will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. followed by a party from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Learn some dance moves to contemporary pop, swing, blues, and country music.
The annual Christmas Eve Ice Show, torchlight parade, and fireworks are a high point of holiday celebrations
On December 20, be sure to get your tickets for the 9th annual Classic Christmas Concert at the Opera House. Doors open 6:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. Hosted by Patty Parsons-Tewson and featuring Carolyn and Ken Cutler, Joe Cannon, Joe Fos, and special guests, this promises to be a delightful evening. Admission is $25 and tickets may be purchased at the Sun Valley Recreation Center or online.
Sun Valley is the perfect place to find a truly one-of-a-kind gift for your loved ones as talented local artists showcase their work this holiday season. At Sun Valley Signatures and Gifts on December 15, valley favorite Nancy Liston presents her new winter designs and the release of the 2016 limited-edition holiday ornament from 4 – 8 p.m. She returns on the 16th and 17th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nancy focuses on Sun Valley-themed ceramics, paintings, and hand-dyed scarves that are a wonderful memento of a memorable vacation. The artist will be on hand to demonstrate her techniques and to personalize purchases.
Another special Sun Valley favorite, jewelry designer Christina Healy, will present her gorgeous pieces during trunk shows on December 29 and 30. Billed as a “bling in the New Year event,” this internationally renowned artist and designer will be on hand to help you look your very best for the most glamorous night of the year. Meet Christina at the Sun Valley Lodge Gift Shop from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There is no better place to play, dine, shop, and celebrate than Sun Valley during the holidays
Don’t miss the Glassybaby Road Show, coming to the Sun Valley Lodge Gift Shop from 1 – 6 p.m. December 16 and 17. These gorgeous hand-blown collectible glass votives, made in Seattle, are a one-of-a-kind gift and popular collectors’ piece. Every sale benefits charity.
Sun Valley favorite Bogner starts the season off with some slopeside glamour at the annual Bogner party, held this year on December 9 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Brass Ranch in the Sun Valley Village. Come check out this premiere ski line’s newest pieces, nibble, nosh, and socialize. This is a great time to drop a hint about what you would love to see wrapped beneath your Christmas tree.
Believe it or not, this only scratches the surface of what is planned for December in Sun Valley. Please check here in the coming weeks for a full listing of events, dining options, and more on planning for New Year’s Eve.
Ho, Ho, Ho! Bring on the holidays!
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