You don’t need a one-horse-open sleigh to enjoy an evening Christmas ride in the countryside.
NoCo Winter Wonderland is a sparkling drive-through holiday light experience unique to Northern Colorado. Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves, Candy Cane Lane — they’re all here.
The annual display, which raises operating funds for the nonprofit Colorado Youth Outdoors, comes to life on the 220-acre CYO property located at the southeast edge of Fort Collins, near the intersection of Larimer County Road 5 and Kechter Road.
Continuing each night (5:15 p.m.-8:30 p.m.) through Christmas, NoCo Winter Wonderland includes 19 light features totaling 500,000 lights (double that if you count the reflections off the 12 ponds located along the tour).
The one-mile-long route is a 15-minute trip packed with twinkling light sculptures. And true to the spirit of the CYO mission, there are even light displays of five Colorado big game species and a fly-fishing Santa along the route.
Tickets are only $25 per car. Proceeds support Colorado Youth Outdoors in its efforts to connect both kids and adults with outdoor experiences. Funds are needed for operating expenses and scholarships, which go to 25% of program participants.
NoCo Winter Wonderland is the culmination of six months of work, with approximately 350 volunteers donating nearly 700 hours. CYO is thankful to the 23 local businesses that sponsor NoCo Winter Wonderland. The businesses generously cover expenses to ensure the event is a fundraiser.
Colorado Youth Outdoors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was created in 2001. CYO’s mission is to build relationships and bring kids and parents closer through traditional outdoor recreation. To help accomplish this, CYO integrates the words Participate, Appreciate, Communicate, and Dedicate into their recreation curriculum, which they call the PACD Model. The nonprofit works to incorporate PACD into all activities, which include spin and fly fishing, archery, camping, shooting sports, and nature play. coloradoyo.org