December in Durango is filled with festive community events in anticipation of Christmas and the New Year. Here are our top seasonal picks!
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Durango’s Noel Night. December 1st kicks off the holiday shopping season with a “support local” initiative. The night is filled with special deals, live music, pop-up events, and other treats for locals and tourists to shop local for the holidays.
The Durango Team is proud to sponsor Community Connections’ Festival of Trees and Wreaths - a beautiful culmination of decorated Christmas trees and wreaths in the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. Available to the public for free, onlookers get to vote on their favorite tree and support the organization to fulfill their mission of assisting those with disabilities live healthy lives in Southwest Colorado. You can tour the display and join the auction in person or online from December 1st - 3rd.
Still need your Christmas tree? San Juan Mountain Association’s Annual Christmas Trees for Conservation Fundraiser is a tree lot in downtown Durango offering locally cut white firs and Wisconsin balsams. Volunteers help cut the trees, set up the lot, and sell the trees from the day after Thanksgiving to December 15th, or until trees sell out. The profits from this event support stewardship and conservation education alongside the positive wildfire mitigation efforts made by thinning the San Juan Forest through white fir thinning. The farmed trees from Wisconsin also serve nature as an animal habitat for the six to ten years it takes for them to reach an ideal size.
Durango’s Holiday Bazaars offer a huge variety of handmade gifts to admire and purchase in support of local artisans. The 49th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival will be held at the La Plata County Fairgrounds December 1st - 3rd with over 70 vendors with items ranging from tumblers and cutting boards to jams and kettle corn. At the same location on December 9th, the Durango Farmers Market will be offering handmade gifts in addition to the season’s last fresh veggies, meats, cheeses, and more.
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
The St.Columba 29th Annual Christmas Craft Bazaar is a favorite with new and returning crafts as well as breakfast burritos! St. Marks Epicostal Church’s Christmas Bazaar is also returning with handcrafted gifts, famous cinnamon rolls, take and bake casseroles, cookies, and plenty more. The Durango/La Plata County Senior Center is hosting their Holiday Food & Craft Bazaar with handmade candles, jewelry, baked goods, and more. Durango Native American Education Program is hosting their 2nd Annual Native American Crafts Market and Round Dance at the Durango High School Aux Gym where everyone is invited to come and support our Title VI Native American students. The MakerLab is hosting a Holiday Market and Open House to learn more about their programs and get some Christmas shopping done at the same time. The ArtRoom Collective at The Smiley is home to 22 local artists and they will be offering creative holiday shopping accompanied by live music and warm drinks from the Smiley Cafe during their Holiday Art Market event.
Meet Santa Claus
Running every night in December, the Polar Express offers an unforgettable, immersive experience to travel to the North Pole, sing songs, drink hot chocolate, and meet Santa Claus. Allison Ragsdale Photography is offering portraits with Santa Ken on December 15th with limited time slots available so book soon! TBK is hosting their 2nd Annual Cookies and Cocoa with Santa on December 16th. Free to the community, join in on the fun including treats, caroling, crafts, a silent auction, and photos with Santa. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Purgatory Resort on December 22nd to meet everyone on the beach right before Christmas! Not to forget the furry friends, Creature Comforts is offering pet pictures with Santa on December 9th with donations benefiting the La Plata County Humane Society.
You can check gift shopping, meeting Santa, admiring decorations, and supporting local business off your list with these Durango events next month. Take a look at all upcoming events on our calendar and please let us know if you have any questions about things to do in Durango in winter and the holiday season.