Most longtime citizens of HeidiTown know that I live in Loveland, Colorado. We moved here in 2003 from Denver, and have seen the area undergo a lot of changes. One of the best things that has happened to this region’s holiday season is Loveland Wonder Winterlights. This extravaganza makes this city one of the finest when it comes to holiday happenings, and worth a visit to Loveland.
Located at Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, every night through January 1, starting at 5 p.m. a half-hour light show will repeat continuously until 9 p.m. The lights are synchronized with holiday music and it is quite delightful. There’s even a “Christmas Vacation” bit which warms my GenX heart.
The best weekends to enjoy Winter Wonderlights will be December 3 or 10th when there will be vendors, princesses, reindeer, ice sculptures and more.
We spent a two-night staycation at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Loveland. Locate just nine minutes from Winter Wonderlights, it makes an excellent headquarter for exploring Loveland this holiday season, especially if a show at Budweiser Events Center is on the schedule.
Embassy Suites in Loveland is just a seven-minute walk from the Budweiser Events Center. That’s right, it’s a walk away from this conference hotel and spa. The center hosts large shows like Jim Gaffigan and their upcoming Styx show in February. It’s also home to the Colorado Eagles, the state’s only professional minor league hockey team. They are also an affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche.
Spending a weekend at Embassy Suites, seeing the Winter Wonderlights and a Colorado Eagles game (or another show at Budweiser) is a special, memorable way to visit Loveland, or to enjoy a staycation in Loveland.
This is exactly what we did earlier this month, and I’d forgotten how much fun it can be at a Colorado Eagles game. We even got to experience the Budweiser Events Center’s restaurant, Blue Bar & Grill which is open 90 minutes prior to the start of events here, including hockey matches. Tickets are required as are reservations, so be sure to have both.
We had never stayed at this Embassy Suites location before, although we had attended events at the hotel conference center, and many years ago, I went to Spa Botanic, the in-house spa, for a facial.
Our Mountain View, King Suite on the 8th floor, was comprised of two large rooms and a basket of goodies. Our room overlooked the Rocky Mountains, as well as our house, which is a mere 10 minutes to the west near Boyd Lake.
There are two major highlights for me at Embassy Suites in Loveland—comfy pillows and delicious pork green chile. Our bed featured lovely bedding and pillows, and each morning, our stay came with a full breakfast, complete with an omelet bar.
The best part? I smothered my freshly made omelet with house-made pork green chile. And it’s good! I didn’t expect much from a hotel pork green chile, but this recipe came from someone who really knows how to make it. Honestly, it’s hard to impress us because we have stayed at so many hotels over the years, but this breakfast is among the top ones we’ve had (and we always have breakfast).
By the way, I learned from other locals that non-hotel guests can come and pay for breakfast here. Apparently, it’s a great place to take a group because there’s no wait.
A visit to Loveland (or a staycation in Loveland) is a merry way to ring in the holidays. Winter Wonderlights is located next to The Promenade Shops at Centerra where families can find a plethora of shopping and dining. I highly recommend the locally owned Cafe Athens where a family can find a yummy and affordable meal.
Also, located on the road between Embassy Suites and Winter Wonderlights is Mountain Cowboy Brewing Company’s Loveland location. Their first location is in Fredrick, Colorado. A bright and cheery space, this place is a brewery, coffee shop and bistro. A nice stop for local craft beer, a cup of steaming hot soup, and a view of the sunset over the Rocky Mountains.
Thank you to Visit Loveland for hosting this lovely staycation in our hometown.