Your Guide to Winterfest in The Vail Valley [Families, Solo Travelers and Couples Included]

 It’s no secret that winter is the ideal time to be experiencing The Vail Valley with all of the different events and activities the season brings. Locals and visitors flock to nearby ski resorts like Beaver Creek and Vail Mountain as soon as the snow hits the ground for renowned skiing and snowboarding. January in The Valley in particular is one of the best times of the year! The slopes come alive as the snow continues to fall, and the Annual Winterfest returns for a full month of ice sculptures on display in the iconic Vail Village. 

The 17th Annual Winterfest features 25,000 pounds of ice on Gore Creek Promenade, transformed by Alpine Ice into truly magnificent ice sculptures. Locals and visitors look forward to Winterfest all season for its unique designs, light displays, and many photo opportunities in this winter wonderland. 

This season’s sculptures come alive with three grand sculpted ice profiles, joined by a song of birds. “The sculptures explore the connection between influences and ensuing thoughts embodied by the birds,” said Alpine Ice. 

Sculptures will be on display for all ages to see and enjoy until the ice melts, which is typically in early February. After dark, the ice sculptures light up, setting the scene for couples strolling through and families taking in the art over a cup of hot cocoa. Bring beanies and gloves to stay comfortable for the cold weather! Lights illuminate the ice at dusk and turn off at 10pm. 

The Inn At Riverwalk Lobby

Spending Winterfest in Edwards

Winterfest is an invitation to all to enjoy the winter season, and there is no better place to make your temporary home base than Edwards. Just five minutes from skiing at Beaver Creek, down the road from Vail Village’s Winterfest, and surrounded by local shops and eateries, Edwards is the perfect spot for every traveler.

Solo Travelers

Winterfest is the perfect excuse to get out of town and take in the winter season. Traveling solo means you can customize your activities to be just what you need, and on your schedule. Whether you choose to see the sculptures after a morning of skiing or a snowmobiling tour, the weekend is yours to plan! 

Our recommendation: Book tours and reservations before your stay to reserve your spot. 


Winterfest is a great starting point for couples looking for a weekend away together. Take in the sculptures after dark, and get a table for two at one of the many spots in town. Warm up over appetizers and drinks at The Gas House Restaurant and stargaze from the hot tub at The Inn at Riverwalk.

Our recommendation: Call ahead for a reservation to save on wait times.

Night sky from The Vail Valley I  Nima Sarram


Edwards and The Vail Valley is a lovely place to visit for families in the winter as well. Plan a weekend of outdoor activities, ice sculptures and time to connect this Winterfest. 

Prefer skates over skis? There are many places in and around Edwards to enjoy the ice. Spend the day skating at Nottingham Lake in Avon, or at the iconic Solaris Plaza and Ice RInk to stay near shops and restaurants.

Public Art in The Vail Valley

Aside from the area’s world renowned skiing and culinary scene, our beloved Valley holds some of the most beautiful public art. Vail’s Art in Public Places Program focuses on beautifying the area and making art accessible to enjoy. Sculptures, murals, paintings and more are across The Valley to enjoy. The Inn At Riverwalk features a large mountain scene mural in its lobby. Visitors looking to take in more of the local art scene can book The Inn At Riverwalk’s Roundup River Ranch Donation Room. This double queen room includes all of this boutique Inn’s comforts with a beautiful 92 x 92 inch wall mural by local artist Marley Seifert. The collaboration fuses art with the notion of giving back in an effort to provide donations to Roundup River Ranch.

Our recommendation: Check out the artwork using the interactive art in Vail map. See the locations of public art in Vail, then waltz through Edwards’s Riverwalk for beautiful views and local art. 

2024 Ice Sculpture I Discover Vail

Getting Here

For those traveling by car, we have come up with a few key tips for a smooth drive into Edwards:

  • Conveniently, I-70 runs right through the Vail Valley, making it a pretty straight shot for those traveling from Denver and the Front Range.

  • If you can, head to The Valley before Friday to avoid the skier traffic of the weekend. We recommend getting on the road early in the day and week. 

  • Look at the weather forecast for the area! Colorado weather can be a bit unexpected at times. Be sure to plan and pack accordingly. We recommend following @i70Things on Instagram and Facebook for live updates on road closures and delays. 

We are lucky to have a regional airport just a 20 minute drive from The Inn. Eagle County Regional Airport has flights arriving into The Valley daily, making it easy to touch down and get into vacation mode. Plus, you will likely get a beautiful view of the mountains and Edwards while flying in. 

Roundup River Ranch Room I The Inn At Riverwalk

Where To Stay

The Vail Valley is made up of nine mountain towns, including charming Edwards. Close to the action, yet away from it all, The Inn is an independent hotel in the heart of Edwards, just a short drive from Vail Village and the fun of Winterfest.

A wide selection of rooms and one- or two-bedroom condos offer mountain or river views. Each unit has modern amenities, plush, feather-bed-topped mattresses, and luxurious bath products. Warm up at the 24/7 self-serve Lavazza Coffee and Tea Bar, offering lattes, hot chocolate, and herbal teas, before taking in the beauty of art in The Vail Valley. 

Book your stay at The Inn at Riverwalk today.