If you’re the kind of person to blare holiday music the day after Halloween, you’re in good company. With several bouts of snow already this year, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Durango.
Since we prefer not to wait to get festive, we’re highlighting the holiday events you should definitely look forward to, with the first starting as early as November 17th.
When: November 17th – January 2nd
“One thing about trains: It doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.”
Hop aboard the historic Durango & Silverton train and experience the magic that is the Polar Express. Inspired by the award-winning story by Chris Van Allsburg, experience our local steam locomotive like never before, as it transforms into a magical vessel transporting you and your family to a winter wonderland.
Be sure to wear your pajamas, get cozy and bring the whole family. On the train, every last detail of the story is represented, from Santa’s helpers to Santa’s final appearance. As I’m sure you all know, you can only reach the North Pole by sleigh or train. Immerse yourself in the story of the Polar Express as it's read over the sound system and concessionaires in chefs’ coats and hats serve cookies and “hot cocoa as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars.”
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” Tickets are on sale now but they sell fast. Learn more here.
Singing with Santa & Durango's Community Christmas Tree Lighting
You know it’s holiday season when you catch Santa belting Christmas Carols throughout our historic downtown Durango. Santa always visits Main Avenue on the day after Thanksgiving to lead the march to the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event at Buckley Park.
All are welcome to join in the march and sing Christmas carols with Santa. There will be free cookies, hot chocolate, and photographs available with the big man himself. This is one of the warmest, family and community-driven events of the year.
The Christmas Tree Train
November 25th – 26th and December 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th
Your perfect Christmas tree awaits in the San Juan National Forest. Create your own holiday memories aboard the historic Durango & Silverton train, which will take you through Cascade Canyon to a region where beautiful, picture-perfect Christmas trees abound. Saws will be provided at the destination, but dress warm and be prepared to do your own cutting.
By cutting down your own tree, you are supporting the San Juan National Forest Service in reducing wildfire danger. Of course, your tree will board the train with you on your way back to Durango. More information can be found here.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Noel Night celebration. A Christmas party of epic proportions, Noel Night is Durango’s way to say thanks to the community for always supporting local merchants and services. At least 93 downtown Durango merchants are participating in this year’s event and will offer various discounts, raffles, refreshments, and more incentives to shop ‘til you drop.
Flood your ears with live music and entertainment as you explore downtown Durango during the happiest season of the year. You won’t want to miss this.
Animas Museum’s Old Fashioned Christmas Bazaar
December 1st - 2nd
The Animas Museum offers a year-round glimpse into Durango’s history. And for one weekend only, this time machine opens its doors to unique, local vendors and merchants. If you’re looking for a truly meaningful and special gift this year, look no further than the Old Fashioned Christmas Bazaar.
Durango's 43rd Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival
December 2nd – 3rd
Expect to find a huge array of unique holiday gifts at the LaPlata County Fairgrounds. Just in time for the holidays, vendors will showcase their most interesting, creative products and gifts for a full weekend of fun and shopping.
Holiday Farmer’s & Artisan Market
What could be better than a morning spent at the Durango Farmer’s Market? A morning spent at the annual Holiday Market! Last year’s Market was one of the biggest we’ve ever seen and we’re excited to see even more interest this year.
Shop the last of the season’s fresh produce, meats and cheeses as you browse local, artisan products only showcased once a year. Hot food and hot beverages will be available for purchase from 10am-1pm. As always, think homemade and locally grown!
Bar D Wranglers Christmas Jubilee
The beloved western music singing group is back to spread Christmas cheer throughout the Southwest. The Bar D Wranglers band is putting a Wild West spin on your favorite holiday classics at the Community Concert Hall this December. They’ll be telling stories, sharing poetry and cracking jokes along the way. It’s a boot scootin’ boogie of a show the entire family can enjoy!
Festival of Trees
Durango isn’t just a town. It’s a tight knit community where we all take care of one another. Sponsored by Community Connections in partnership with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge, this 14th annual event represents Durango at its best.
Each year, local businesses donate hundreds of dollars each to the Festival of Trees. Each participating business is responsible for decorating one Christmas tree to be displayed at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Museum. (Your Pinterest board has nothing on some of these guys!)
There will be food, games, prizes and a silent auction. Many of the ornaments, decorations and the wrapped presents under the trees will be given away as prizes to a few lucky winners. If you see something you love, be sure to put your name in the drawing! The money goes to our local nonprofit Community Connections, which strives to provide support and resources to those with disabilities.
Enjoy Christmas Dinner at one of Durango's Local Restaurants
Here's a list of the restaurants that will be open for Christmas dinner. Call for times and special menus.
- Doubletree Edgewater Grill
- Kennebec Cafe
- Strater-Mahogany Grille
- The Palace
- Seven Rivers at the Sky Ute Casino