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9News Parade of Lights
9News Parade of Lights
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Parade of Lights Weekend

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights, on Dec. 2 (8 p.m.) and Dec. 3 (6 p.m.), is the signature event of the holiday season in downtown Denver. See countless sparkling lights, marching bands, giant balloons, majestic floats and delightful characters.

It begins at the Denver City and County Building on 14th Avenue and Bannock Street and makes a rectangular, two-mile pattern, finishing on 14th Street and Glenarm Place. While viewing is free along the route, there is a ticket charge for grandstand seating at the City & County Building ($16 for children 2-12 and $19 for 13 and up. All tickets are $20 when purchased on the day of the event).

But that's not all. Stay for the weekend to check out other fabulous events like blockbuster museum exhibits and holiday-themed events.


Extreme Mammals

WHEN: Sept. 23, 2016–Jan. 8, 2017 
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Fill some of your family time Thanksgiving weekend with a trip to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Extreme Mammals exhibit, where you'll meet some of the largest, smallest and most extreme mammals Mother Nature has ever dreamed up. 

Washed Ashore, Art to Save the Sea

WHEN: Sept. 24-Jan. 16, 2017
Denver Zoo
See 15 giant sculptures of sea life made almost entirely from debris collected from beaches. Developed by the non-profit group The Washed Ashore Project, the exhibit is meant to create awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution though art. Washed Ashore, Art to Save the Sea will be open for the public to enjoy daily, weather pending and will be free with regular admission to the zoo.

Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs

WHEN: Oct. 14, 2016-Feb. 5, 2017
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Ancient Egyptian and Peruvian mummies, many of which have never been on public display, come to light at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science come to light for Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs. More than 20 mummies reveal secrets about the burial rites of their respective cultures, plus details about their lives and the societies they lived in. Visitors will enjoying seeing elaborately decorated coffins, sarcophaguses, mummification tools and animal mummies. Plus gain insight into how the latest technologies make it possible to delve further into the distant past.

Star WarsTM and the Power of Costume

WHEN: Nov. 13, 2016–Apr. 2, 2017 
Denver Art Museum
Have a sci-fi or fantasy fan in your family? Then they won't want to miss the Star WarsTM and the Power of Costume exhibit at Denver Art Museum, featuring original costumes from the films. 


'A Christmas Carol'

WHEN: Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 2016
WHERE: Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge's triumphant overnight journey to redemption. "A Christmas Carol" illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations. 

'The Santaland Diaries'

WHEN: Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 2016
WHERE: The Jones, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious holiday hijinks in this acclaimed one-man show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking this year? David Sedaris' offbeat tales from his stint as a Macy's elf in New York City is the sure cure for the common Christmas show. Mature language makes this one best enjoyed by adults.

'The Nutcracker'

WHEN: Nov. 26-Dec. 24, 2016
WHERE: Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex
The holidays are not complete until you see the Colorado Ballet perform their annual "The Nutcracker," featuring unforgettable characters, dazzling costumes, classic choreography and Tchaikovsky's extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. This dazzling spectacle of glittering snowflakes and shimmering sugarplums will transport audiences to the Land of Sweets.

Holiday Festivities at Denver Pavilions

WHEN: Throughout December
Denver Pavilions
Located on the 16th Street Mall, the Denver Pavilions is a 350,000 square foot open-air retail, restaurant, and entertainment complex. With 40 restaurants, shops & entertainment venues, Denver Pavilions is your convenient and fun resource for holiday festivities. Valet parking available nightly for only $5 after 5pm with a same day purchase from the Center. The Denver Pavilions Holiday Carousel returns to the 16th St. Mall and complements additional holiday activities at the shopping center.

Breakfast with Santa

WHEN: Dec. 3-4, 2016
WHERE: Downtown Aquarium
Join Sharkey and Santa for a delicious breakfast buffet at Denver's Downtown Aquarium! After breakfast, explore the Aquarium Adventure Exhibit with more than one million gallons of extraordinary marine life. 

The Polar ExpressTM Train Ride

WHEN: Nov. 10-Dec. 23, 2016
Colorado Railroad Museum
The story of The Polar ExpressTM is being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children's tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the holiday season!  


WHEN: Nov. 18-Dec. 23, 2016
WHERE: Skyline Park

The Christkindl Market includes vendors from Germany and other countries, as well as local artisans, offering high-quality, handcrafted gifts such as traditional hand-carved wooden figurines, handmade candles and ornaments. Traditional German food will tempt your taste buds. Sip on warm Glühwein (hot spiced wine) as you listen to traditional Christmas carols and live German music. Entry is free and the entire family is invited to enjoy this great tradition! 

Southwest Rink at Skyline Park

WHEN: Nov. 22, 2016-Feb. 14, 2017 
WHERE: Southwest Rink at Skyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
One of the most popular holiday events in Denver, the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park returns in 2016 with ice skating and family fun. The rink is free and open to the public with the option to bring your own skates or rent a pair at a minimal cost.

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