6 alternative ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

6 alternative ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Steamboat Springs

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — New Year's Eve. For one magical night a year, expectations run high, resolutions are made, gym memberships are purchased and there's hope for what the next year might bring.

But if the hype of bar scene spectacles and copious amounts of NYE shenanigans are to be left in the past with 2017, here are six alternative ways to ring in the new year.

Adventure seekers

For outdoor enthusiasts, let the light of the moon guide your night.

Yampatika Moonlight Snowshoe

4:40 to 6:30 p.m. | Monday, Jan. 1 | Emerald Mountain, Blackmer Drive

Join Yampatika naturalists for a snowshoe by the light of the full moon and explore the beauty and history of Emerald Mountain and Howelsen Hill. This tour is for ages 18 and older. The cost is $20 and the price includes snowshoes. Registration is required; call 970-871-9151 to register.

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Yampatika, a local nonprofit dedicated to educating visitors and residents of Northwest Colorado about the natural and cultural resources around them, also offers a variety of other programming that includes the Ski With a Naturalist program on Mount Werner on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a Uranium Mine Snowshoe tour at Fish Creek Falls on Fridays and  the Emerald Mountain Snowshoe tour on Howelsen Hill on Saturdays.

Another option is Yampatika's hire a naturalist program, a customized snowshoe experience set at $60 for the first four people.

Betsy Frick, visitor information assistant at the USDA Forest Service Office, suggests people go for a backcountry snowshoe excursion on Rabbit Ears, Emerald Mountain or Fish Creek Falls.

Note: Areas in higher elevations are listed with considerable avalanche danger through midnight Friday. Frick said to stay clear of avalanche danger areas like Hahn's Peak and areas with a slope more than 30 degrees.

For those who don’t ski or ride, they can join a Steamboat Ski Resort Ambassador for a guided snowshoe tour at the top of the gondola. Stop by the Welcome Center or call 970-871-5444 to sign up in advance.

Steamboat Ski Touring Center 36th annual New Year's Relay

10 a.m. | Saturday, Dec. 30 | Steamboat Ski Touring Center

The Steamboat Ski Touring Center hosts its 36th annual New Year's Relay event starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. To register for the family-friendly, three-person event, get there by 9 a.m.

Manager Kajsa Lindgren said team participants can race a 5K or 7.5K leg. A youth race will allow legs of 2 kilometers.

For the longer two events, the first skier must ski classic style, and the next two can go however they’d like. The event is aimed at getting the whole family out to enjoy cross-country skiing.

Teams can register for the relay by calling the Touring Center at 970-879-8180 or by visiting http://www.nordicski.net.

First Day Hike at the Park

10 a.m. | Monday, Jan. 1 | Yampa River State Park

Bring the family for the Yampa River State Park's day of hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on a 1.4-mile groomed trail at the park headquarters. Ice skating will be available all day on the park’s new rink, and refreshments will be provided. An avalanche awareness exercise will be administered with a park ranger, and environmental education materials will be featured. The rangers will also have giveaways for attendees while supplies last. Don’t have snowshoes or skates? The park will provide gear.

Hike at Stagecoach

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Monday, Jan. 1 | Stagecoach State Park, 25500 Routt County Road 14, Oak Creek

Meet at the Yampatheater and warm up by the bonfire before starting the hike at 10:30 a.m. This is a kid-friendly hike around Pinnacle Peak to a longer scenic loop.

Host a dinner party

Try to center the evening on an activity besides drinking. It could be anything from an end-of-year quiz, an impromptu skit, a talent competition, an awards ceremony, a dance-off or a murder mystery party.

Another idea is to have a tasting event by grabbing 10 of your favorite microbrews and gathering your friends for an evening of blindfolded beer tasting. This could also be done with an assortment of wine or cocktails. To really impress your guests, serve your Champagne or proseco as a sparking Bellini made with sparkling cider, a squeeze of lime juice and raspberries.

You can also make the dinner more interesting with a bake-off where everyone brings a dish or baked good and people vote on the favorites with winners taking home a prize.

Early bird gets the freshies

On New Year's morning, lift lines might be a bit sleepy with merrymakers still fast asleep. If the thought of freshies early in the morning sounds more appealing than epic amounts of Champagne (the alcohol, not the powder), then hit the hay earlier and set the alarm so you can make it in time for the first chair.

Finding zen

Attend a new yoga class or workshop at one of the over 20 yoga studios found in Steamboat Springs. There will also a New Year Gong Immersion and other mediation classes offered at various studios.

Low-key evening

If you’re a movie buff, then heading to your closest theater to see a newly-released film is a great way to end the year. Plus, it will likely be less crowded as many folks head out to house parties or bars to ring in 2018.

Some of the new releases include “Star Wars: The Last Jedi," “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle" and “Molly’s Game."

Sledding excursions

When was the last time you went sledding?

Whether along Spring Creek Trail, Emerald Mountain or above the Steamboat Springs Middle School, there are plenty of hills locals love to sled. Keep it safe and responsible by finding a spot with room to stop without running into danger and avoid sledding on private property.

Another area for tubing locals know well would be Saddleback Ranch tubing at 37350 Routt County Road 179 west of Steamboat. Follow signs to the tubing hill or grab a ride on one of the ranch’s shuttles, which make frequent trips to Steamboat Springs.

Check out http://www.saddlebackranch.net for more information and reservations. A 90-minute session tubing costs $25 and is free for children 5 and younger.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@steamboattoday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

Helpful tips for New Year’s Eve

• Dress in warm layers – it’s the middle of winter

• Don’t underestimate how cold it’s going to be standing for hours on end outside. Best options: synthetics, like Goretex, wind-resistant and water-repellant outerwear, throw on a warm beanie to stay warm all night.

• Don’t drink too much – pace yourself and don’t forget to hydrate

• Resist the temptation to list failed attempts

• So often we measure the year based on what we didn’t do or fell short of; instead, focus on the good and recognize how far you’ve come in just a year

• Choose your event wisely – know before you go where you want to be for the countdown to 2018 and know how you’re going to get home safely