Top 5 tips for attending a Colorado winter festival

I was asked recently to write a “tips for attending winter festivals” post. Well, I had already written that post way back in 2014. Since it has some great winter festival survival tips I decided I’d re-post the original article.  

The following post originally appeared on on February 7, 2014.


I was prompted to write this post after an experience I had last month during Breckenridge’s Ullr Festival. For the first time ever I experienced the terrible symptoms of severe dehydration. As a longtime Coloradan, I am embarrassed to admit this, but it happened and it’s NOT fun.

On our second night in town, after soaking in the beautiful hot tubs at Grand Timber Lodge, we went out to dinner where I started to feel shaky and nauseated. I thought I was coming down with the flu. I didn’t touch dinner and had to head back to our condo early where I crawled into bed with intense muscle cramps and aches all over my body.

The next day I was fine, a bit weak, but otherwise back to normal. When I searched my symptoms on Google, I discovered that I had suffered from dehydration. Usually I drink a ton of water, but on this trip I was so busy with Nordic skiing and partying that hydration had skipped my mind. It won’t happen again.

This long story leads me to tip number 1, which is HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!

Beer at Breckenridge Brewery.

It’s delicious, but it’s not water. Drink one of these and follow it up with a pint of water.

Colorado is at elevation – all of it – but especially in the mountains where most of the great winter festivals take place. Dehydration can happen to anyone, even a Colorado resident – case in point -but those coming from outside the state should be even more conscientious of this issue.

Visit Denver has high altitude tips on their website where they advise visitors to Colorado to drink twice as much water as they would at home. For those of us who live here, when we go up into the mountains and physically exert ourselves, we need to also abide by this rule.

Tip number two for attending a Colorado winter festival is to purchase touch screen friendly gloves. I can’t emphasis how much this will enhance your experience, especially if you are an avid social media fan like me. If you have to take your gloves on and off to tweet, Facebook or Instagram, then your hands will get cold and ultimately they won’t warm back up. I know this from experience.

Taking a photo with touch screen campatible gloves.

Here I am taking a photo at Ullr Festival with my touch screen compatible gloves.

Unfortunately, I’ve lost fancy touch-screen and regular old gloves all over Colorado. No joke. I’ve lost one in Winter Park, one in Grand Lake and one in Breckenridge. Just one. I have three very nice left hand gloves here at home. If someone has a good tip on how not to lose gloves, I’d love to hear it.

Packing an extra camera battery is tip number three. The cold weather at a winter festival can quickly zap your camera battery and your smart phone battery too. Make sure that your phone is well charged before you head out. A lot of people were lamenting dead phones at the Ullr Festival Parade this past January, which was a real bummer for those who use their smart phones as their camera.

Tip number four is to layer your clothing. I have an awesome pair of thin, yet very warm long johns that fit nicely under jeans. They have saved me on many occasions. Also, for you out-of-staters, it’s perfectly acceptable to simply wear your snow pants around a Colorado ski town. You do not need to pull out your high heels and nylons around here. First, you’ll freeze, and second, you’ll slip on ice and fall on your butt.

at the ice castle sin Breckenridge, Colorado.

It’s chilly inside the Ice Castles in Breckenridge, but I was toasty warm in my layers and my warm, sturdy boots.

Tip number five is wear warm shoes. Keeping my toes warm makes me happy. Style is less important than a good, sturdy pair of warm boots when attending a Colorado winter festival. I love my Sorrels, and this is NOT a paid or sponsored endorsement.  I just really love how warm they keep my feet.

So there you have it, my top 5 tips to make your next Colorado winter festival that much more enjoyable.

3 Responses to Top 5 tips for attending a Colorado winter festival

  • Great tips. Even us natives forget how cold your toes get!!

  • Winterskök in Aspen : Jan. 9–12, 2014 Aspen ‘s annual “toast to winter” dates back to January 1951 when locals began celebrating the town’s unique Nordic lifestyle. The-four day fest features on-mountain activities, Soupsköl, a canine fashion show, winterfest, fireworks and much more.

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