Don’t miss these wonderful, family friendly performances, events and activities in Denver during the holiday season, ranging from dazzling lighting displays to beloved classics like “A Christmas Carol” and “The Nutcracker”.


Make a weekend of it, taking advantage of dozens of incredible Mile High Holiday hotel deals with specials as low as $52.80 per night. (Denver is exactly 5280 feet above sea level – one mile high.)  Visit for information on packages. 


Skate for Free at the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park

Skyline Park (Arapahoe and 16th, next to the D&F Clocktower)

Opening November 25, 2011

The Southwest Rink at Skyline Park (Arapahoe & 16th St., Downtown Denver) returns in 2011 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.


Enjoy the Heartwarming Musical “A Christmas Carol

Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex

November 26 – December 24, 2011

The heart-warming holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol”, returns to the Stage Theatre.  Original songs, ghostly chills, laughter, and warmth deck the halls, as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by the spirits of his past, present, and likely future.  This evergreen tale of generosity, kindness, and true Christmas spirit comes to joyous life with splendid period sets and costumes.


Experience the Magic of The Ice Palace

Cherry Creek Shopping Center

November 11 – December 24

This one-of-a-kind experience includes a magical snow and light show inside a soaring 22-foot dome encircled with a series of arches and snow globes featuring polar and arctic animals. In addition to photo opportunities with Santa during all mall hours, new this year, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, The Ice Palace Princess will be visiting, allowing families to meet, interact and take photographs with royalty.


Be Dazzled By Millions of Twinkling Lights at the 9NEWS Parade of Lights

Downtown Denver

December 2 (8 p.m.) and 3 (6 p.m.)

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights is the signature event of the Downtown Denver holiday season.  The countless sparkling lights, marching bands, giant balloons, majestic floats and delightful characters will once again wow hundreds of thousands.  Viewing along the parade route is free, and grandstand tickets are sold for seating in front of the beautifully illuminated City & County building.


See Santa Swim With The Sharks!

Downtown Aquarium

December 3-4, 10-11, 17-24

Enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet at Downtown Aquarium with a scuba-diving Santa

Claus and Sharkey and Java, the Aquarium’s mascots.


Embrace the Holiday Season at Blossoms of Light

Denver Botanic Gardens, York Street

December 2 – January 1, 2012

More than one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs highlight the Gardens winter beauty.  Romantic and popular kissing spots will return, as well as the always anticipated HoloSpex glasses, which magically transform the lights into shimmering 3-D shapes. Warm drinks and tasty treats will also be available. Seasonal entertainment will be available on select evenings.


Sing Along with the Colorado Symphony

Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver Performing Arts Complex

December 9 – 11

Now in its 27th year, Colorado Christmas continues to ring in the Holiday spirit in grand orchestral style. Join the Colorado Symphony, Chorus, Colorado Children’s Chorale, vocalists and dancers in a program of your favorite traditional Christmas carols and songs. Special mood lighting and a few magical guests from the North Pole make this Holiday classic the perfect way to celebrate the season.


Hear the Sound of 300 Tubas Playing Holiday Classics

Skyline Park (Arapahoe and 16th)

December 11

Tap your toes to your favorite holiday tunes at the 37th Annual TubaChristmas Concert at Skyline Park, featuring 300 tuba players from all over the region. 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.


Go On a Holiday Lights Safari

Denver Zoo

December 9 – January 1, 2012

Come and experience a holiday light safari during Zoo Lights, with more than 38 brilliantly-illuminated acres of lights, featuring more than 150 animated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they’re least expected.


Ring in the New Year with a BIG Bang

Downtown Denver

December 31, 2011

Ring in the New Year with Denver’s annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks with viewpoints along the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. The two spectacular fireworks shows will occur at 9 p.m. and Midnight, taking place simultaneously at two undisclosed sites along the 16th Street Mall. It is recommended that viewers stand along the 16th Street Mall for optimal viewing. New to the festivities will be six live DJs performing along the 16th Street Mall.