Things to Do on Your Sun Valley, Idaho Christmas Vacation

December 6, 2023 - Uncategorized

Things to Do on Your Sun Valley, Idaho Christmas Vacation

With the holiday season upon us, Wood River Valley is lighting up with festive cheer and seasonal activities, making it a perfect destination for an Idaho Christmas vacation. From Thanksgiving through New Year, there's no shortage of magical ways to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in Wood River Valley.   Whether you're looking to hit the slopes, cozy up by the fire, partake in some hometown holiday traditions in Hailey, Idaho, or join local events this Christmas in Sun Valley, this guide will give you an inside scoop on the most memorable ways to soak up the magic Wood River Valley has to offer. From quaint parades to spirited festivals, we'll give you a taste of the unique flavor of holidays in this idyllic side of Idaho.   Start planning your holiday now - the most wonderful months are here, and adventure is awaiting around every snowy corner!

Hailey’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting

When: Friday, December 1st from 5 to 8 PM
Where: Town Center West


With the coming of December, the town of Hailey ushers in the holidays with its annual Tree Lighting at Town Center West. On Friday, December 1st from 5 to 8 PM, residents and visitors alike are invited to take in the sights and sounds of the season. 


Guests can enjoy festive entertainment like live Christmas music and visits with Santa himself. Children will love selecting cookies and cozying up with cups of hot cocoa. Meanwhile, locals will appreciate perusing the crafts and goods of neighboring vendors under sparkling holiday lights. 

Don’t miss the magic – mark your calendars now and experience the most cheerful start to the season with your friends and neighbors at this fun and timeless small-town tradition!

Ice Skating

How to get here – 5 minutes from Mountain Valley Lodge


Glide over to the Hailey Ice at the Campion Ice House, an indoor rink offering a smooth and exciting skating experience. Whether you’re doing pirouettes or just keeping your balance, it’s heaps of fun.

Dark Sky Dinner

When: December 12 & 14, 2023, doors open at 5:30pm
Where: Sawtooth Botanical Garden

What better way to experience the magic of a snow-dusted evening than enjoying an intimate evening “farm to greenhouse” meal under the dazzling night sky? Enjoy an intimate outdoor dinner amongst friends at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. With wine, cozy fire pits, a festive “snow bar”, and knowledgeable local astronomers on hand, you’ll want to bundle up for an evening unlike any other. Marvel at the celestial wonders overhead during astronomy presentations while indulging in a farm-fresh menu crafted with care. Register soon before space fills up.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Ready to hit the slopes? Sun Valley Resort is a premier destination for skiers and snowboarders. With over 130 trails across three mountain peaks, there are runs for all skill levels. Don’t miss the legendary Bald Mountain or “Baldy” as the locals call it for experts or Dollar Mountain’s gentle slopes for beginners. Enjoy aprés-ski at the base area Lodge or unwind in the heated outdoor pools. Learn how to ski or just watch the others, the views are worth the trip alone.

Annual Papoose Club Holiday Bazaar

When: December 2, Saturday from 9am to 5pm and December 3, Sunday from 9:30am to 3pm
Where: Hemingway Elementary School

Get a head start on holiday shopping on your Idaho Christmas vacation at the annual Papoose Club Holiday Bazaar on December 2 to 3. With over 70 artists showcasing unique handmade gifts, you’re sure to find something special for everyone on your list. 


From artwork to apparel, delicious baked treats to dazzling jewelry pieces, discover an array of options while supporting talented local creators. Enjoy exploring this artisan market held at the familiar Hemingway Elementary School both Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 9:30am to 3pm.


Fat Biking

Forget the sleds and skis for a day and jump on a fatbike for an unforgettable twist to your winter adventures. This winter sport is gaining traction fast, and for good reason—it’s an absolute blast! With thick tires designed to cruise over snow, you can pedal your way through winter scenes straight out of a postcard. It’s a great activity for families, couples, or solo explorers looking to mix up their winter routine. Many local shops offer rentals, so all you need to bring is your sense of adventure!

Winter Wonderland: Sun Valley’s Most Magical Event of the Season

When: December 9th through the 31st
Where: Sun Valley Resort

If you’re looking for a jolly good time with family and friends on your vacation this Christmas in Sun Valley, look no further than Sun Valley Resort’s highly anticipated Winter Wonderland festivities from December 9th through the 31st. 


Throughout the month of December, an incredible lineup of festive events awaits you on your Hailey, Idaho Christmas vacation. Feel the holiday spirit in the air as carolers stroll through the European-style market filled with local artisans. See the magic sparkle in the ceremoniously lit Christmas tree and the torchlights that parade down Dollar Mountain on Christmas Eve. 


Here are just some of the exciting things lined up for Winter Wonderland 2023:


  • Winter Wonderland Kickoff on December 9th with photos with Santa, festive strolls from Colla Voce carolers, cookie decorating for the kids, and shopping for a cause to support local nonprofits.
  • Holiday Market from December 15th-17th featuring locally-made goods, wreaths, roasted nuts and more. Strolling carolers will serenade you through the snow-dusted streets.    
  • Enjoy the Christmas Movie Series at the Opera House from December 15th through 17th
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 16th. Gather at 6pm for the lighting of the majestic tree surrounded by music, ice carvings, cookies and more.
  • “A Sun Valley Story” on December 21st-22nd a fictional retelling the story of the first holiday season in Sun Valley through inspiring performances at the historic Opera House.  
  • Brunch with Santa on December 23rd-24th. Indulge in a delicious buffet amongst friends old and new while the little ones visit with Santa.    
  • The iconic Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks illuminate the mountainside on December 24th. Complimentary cookies and cocoa will put you in the holiday spirit!
  • The return of the Christmas Eve Ice Show and celebration on the Lodge Terrace on December 24th just before the parade.

This beloved tradition is the highlight of the season, so make plans now to soak up the holiday magic in stunning Sun Valley!

Where to Stay on your Idaho Christmas vacation

There is no better place to stay on your Idaho Christmas vacation than Mountain Valley Lodge. Nestled in the heart of the idyllic town of Hailey, our lodge offers the perfect location for exploring all that Hailey has to offer. With its scenic views of the snow-capped Bald Mountain Range and proximity to the festive holiday events, Mountain Valley Lodge provides a cozy and convenient haven for your winter getaway.

Our lodge-style accommodations offer home-style hospitality in a cozy setting. Whether you’re traveling alone or in a large group, our well-appointed rooms and suites complete with plush bedding and modern comforts are perfect for a comfortable stay. Start your day with a delicious complimentary breakfast before venturing out to experience the magic of Hailey. After a day of exploring, return to the lodge and unwind by our inviting fireplace, or soak in our rejuvenating hot tub.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures on the slopes or immersing yourself in the charming holiday traditions of Hailey, Mountain Valley Lodge is the perfect base for your holiday escape. Book your stay with us now and create lasting memories in this winter wonderland.



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