December in The Mile High City is packed with fun, traditional holiday events and new experiences. In addition to Denver’s year-round renowned arts and cultural offerings, thriving culinary scene and urban adventure, there are hundreds of exciting events that encourage people to reclaim the weekend.
Below are several events taking place during December weekends; for more, visit DenverWeekends.com.
Weekend of November 30
Parade of Lights (November 30 & December 1)
This free holiday spectacular features two nights of parades with marching bands, ornate floats, and, of course, a special appearance by Santa Claus. Friday night’s parade begins at 8:00pm, and Saturday night’s begins at 6:00pm; and each parade winds two miles through downtown Denver.
Holiday Flea (weekends through December 16)
This year, at its largest event ever, Denver Flea will feature a Union Station Holiday Market – four weekends of shopping, festivities and winter fun. Hundreds of Colorado’s best makers and artisan brands will pack the plaza at Denver Union Station each weekend for holiday shopping paired with music, eats, drinks and more.
Mistletoe Jam (December 1)
Popular bands Halestorm and In this Moment will perform live at the 1STBANK Center with special guest, New Years Day.
Christkindl Market (through December 23)
The annual Christkindl Market in downtown Denver brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to The Mile High City. Guests will find delicious cuisine, festive German drinks, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing, gifts and live entertainment in the plaza south of Skyline Park.
Visit DenverWeekends.com for more to do this weekend including the Red Rocks Local Dinner Set and Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center.
Weekend of December 7
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (December 5-15)
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, performed at the Buell Theatre, tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, this is a timeless tale of joy and good will.
The Nutcracker (through December 23)
Children and adults will enjoy Colorado Ballet's 58th annual production of the classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker, held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and featuring unforgettable characters, classic choreography, exquisite sets, dazzling costumes and Tchaikovsky's extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.
Breakfast with Santa at the Downtown Aquarium (weekends, December 8-24)
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.
Visit DenverWeekends.com for more to do this weekend including the Makers Market at Improper City and the Ugly Sweater Brew Run.
Weekend of December 14
7th Annual Denver Beer Festivus (December 15)
An annual Denver favorite, Festivus invites every brewery in Denver’s city limits to share their favorite brews with the crowds. Inspired by the Seinfeld holiday of the same name, Festivus is a giant, beer filled celebration of Denver’s beer scene and the holiday season.
John Legend: A Legendary Christmas (December 15)
Renowned singer/songwriter John Legend will perform songs from his newest album, A Legendary Christmas, at the Bellco Theatre this holiday season. Also included with every pair of tickets purchased online is a standard copy of the album.
43rd Annual TubaChristmas (December 16)
More than 300 tuba players from all over the region will play favorite holiday tunes at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which will be decorated for the season, making it a perfect setting to experience this holiday spectacular. The TubaChristmas Concert is one of the most celebrated and longest-running holiday festivities in Colorado; and participants have ranged in ages from 7 to 86 with instruments including tubas, sousaphones, baritones, euphoniums, antique tubas from the Civil War era, decorated tubas, and more.
Visit DenverWeekends.com for more to do this weekend including Yuletide Teas at the Molly Brown House Museum and the Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns game.
Weekend of December 21
Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks (December 21)
The NHL’s Colorado Avalanche will face the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center.
Colorado Symphony’s Too Hot to Handel (December 21-22)
This exuberant jazz, gospel, and R&B-infused concert returning by popular demand to the Boettcher Concert Hall brilliantly reinvents Handel’s Messiah. With associate conductor Christopher Dragon at the podium, and featuring audience-favorite guest soloists Cynthia Renée Saffron and Lawrence Clayton and members of the Colorado Symphony Chorus, this exhilarating night of music will leave viewers rejoicing in the aisles.
Blossoms of Light (through January 1, 2019)
Embrace the holidays with thousands of colorful lights draped in elegant designs at Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Light. The 2018 event will display more than one million colorful lights highlighting the Gardens' winter beauty. Visitors can enjoy sparkling passages, new displays and romantic spots under the mistletoe, all made even more beautiful through HoloSpex glasses. Warm drinks and tasty treats will also be available.
Visit DenverWeekends.com for more to do this weekend including Bluegrass Jam & Beer at Seedstock Brewing Company and The Polar Express™ at Colorado Railroad Museum.
New Year’s Weekend – December 28
Urban Brunch with the Adam Bodine Trio (December 30)
Each week, Dazzle at Baur’s features a brunch buffet of home-style comfort food. Pianist Adam Bodine and his genre-bending band elevate the Sunday “funday” brunch experience with a creative spin on a wide range of fun cover songs.
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers (December 30)
The Denver Broncos will face the Los Angeles Chargers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
Zoo Lights (through January 6, 2019)
Zoo Lights span 70 acres of Denver Zoo's campus, with nightly entertainment, animal encounters, Santa meet-and-greets and, of course, illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns hide in bushes and appear in places where they are least expected. New this year, guests will be able to control some of the sculptures at special interactive stations featuring “kid-level” control panels.
New Year’s Eve
Decadence (December 30-31)
Global Dance, AEG Live and Live Nation join together to put on a massive dance celebration at the Colorado Convention Center over the course of two nights. Guests enjoy world-class music, performances, diamond-clad decor, glimmering displays of technology and luxurious art installations on the theme, City of Decadence.
A Night in Vienna, December 31
The Colorado Symphony transports revelers to Austria with an evening of live polkas, waltzes and marches conducted by Music Director Brett Mitchell. The festive performance at the Boettcher Concert Hall is a time-honored tradition and fantastic sendoff to 2018 — and the 6:30 pm start time ensures dancers will not miss the 16th Street Mall fireworks.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks (December 31)
The sky will once again sparkle over downtown Denver at the close of 2018 with the New Year's Eve Fireworks Downtown. The two spectacular fireworks shows will occur at the family-friendly hour of 9 p.m. and the traditional midnight. For the best viewpoints, stand along the 16th Street Mall, where there will also be costumed entertainers including magicians, mascots, balloon artists, stilt walkers and comedians.
Visit DenverWeekends.com for more to do this weekend and through the New Year’s holiday including STS9 at the Fillmore Auditorium and Noon Year’s Eve at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.