An epic ski day is a fine way to see out 2013, but if you're looking for something with a bit more pizazz, Curbed Ski has the goods for you. From family fun in Whistler to Whitefish fireworks to into-the-wee-hours partying in Aspen, here's the ultimate ski-town guide for where to have the best New Year's Eve of your life.
↑ Whitefish: Small, isolated ski towns know how to throw down, and this one is no exception. Camp out at the On Snow Bar, at the base of Ed's Run, and catch the Rail Jam (a ski/riding comp), torchlight parade and fireworks. There's also the Dash for Cash, an obstacle race held between the skiers' and snowboarders' jam sessions. Wind up the evening with live music at Ed and Mully's or the Bierstube (advance tickets required). Find all the details here.
↑ Whistler: Got the kids in tow? There's no shortage of events for little people here, including outdoor skating at the Whistler Olympic Plaza, a warming hut featuring songs and sweets, and a Countdown and Bubble Wrap Stomp at Millennium Palace ("three levels of fun including maple taffies, popcorn, cartoons, face painting, storytelling, and balloon drop," all by 9pm. Parents: be prepared to have a babysitter on stand-by for conked out kids if you plan to see the new year in). There's also a Kids' NYE Countdown at the Conference Center (bouncy castle! crafts!). Grown-ups can enjoy a fireworks display, or check out locals catching big air at the Fire & Ice Show at Skier's Plaza; local venues Barefoot Bistro, Longhorn Saloon, Firerock Bistro, and Garfinkel's are also hosting events, from fine dining dinners to all-out parties. Bonus: free public transit and extra buses from the Village until 4am. Details here.
↑ Aspen: From the St. Regis' swanky, costumed Speakeasy soirée to a cover-free fête at The Little Nell's new Chair 9 bar (DJ and drink specials), Aspen knows how to do NYE. Events abound: there's also Sky Hotel's annual NYE themed masquerade party (multiple bar, casino table, DJ), and perhaps the hottest ticket in town, the Flaming Lips at the Belly Up. On a budget? There's always the spectacular fireworks display over Ajax mountain and pub-hopping. Pick your poison here.
↑ Vail: You won't want to miss the Sebastian Hotel's (one of our 38 Essential Ski Town Hotels) Street Foods of the World party, in which the ballroom is transformed into a funked up nightclub (DJ included). There's also Mix Master Mike and DJ Logic at Dobson Ice Arena (21 and up), and a five-course Fireworks Dinner at Larkspur at Golden Peak (children welcome; DJ, signature cocktail and champagne toast for adults, advance purchase required). A torchlight parade and fireworks at Golden Peak will commence at 6:15pm; free buses will run until 2am. Details here.
↑ Crested Butte: There's no shortage of bars in which to get your new year's on, but if you're looking for something a bit less boozy, consider the ArtWalk Evening downtown, or the much-loved annual Yurt Dinner at Magic Meadows- $90 gets you a trail pass, ski or snowshoe rental, five-course dinner, beer, wine, and DJ. Just there to party? It's $35 for trail pass and drinks; $120 for the whole shebang. See all Crested Butte NYE options here.
↑ Breckenridge: Bring in the New Year with a boom! Weather permitting, catch the 5 p.m. Torchlight Parade flowing down the Breckenridge Ski Resort. At 9 p.m. watch a spectacular array of fireworks (launched from between peak 8 and 9), visible from all over Breckenridge. Late night: Bars and restaurants throughout town ring in the New Year in true mountain style - choose from clubs and dancing, cocktail bars, and fine restaurants. Check it all out here.
· 38 Essential Ski Town Hotels [Curbed Ski]
· The Top Ski Towns for the Holidays and the Round-Up of What to Do When You Get There [Curbed Ski]
-By Laurel Miller