Beginning Thanksgiving weekend, Downtown Denver will be twinkling like never before. Take an evening stroll through the heart of the city by following this self-guided tour. All of these attractions are free and can be experienced throughout the holiday season.
You can start the tour at any point and easily get around using the free 16th Street MallRide. See the map below. Along the way, there are tons of places to dine or warm up with a coffee, tea, cocoa or hot toddy.
Denver Union Station
During Thanksgiving weekend each year, the switch gets flipped on the holiday lights at Denver Union Station, providing the perfect backdrop for selfies.
Just two blocks from Denver Union Station, Dairy Block created Denver's first fully activated alleyway and has become a year-round must-see in the city with access to the Denver Milk Market gourmet food hall and the Maven Hotel. For the holidays, the alley has taken on some special magical cheer.
Night Lights Denver at the Daniels & Fisher Tower
Along the 16th Street Mall, the Denver Theatre District launched Night Lights Denver in early November 2019. This year-round, cutting-edge projection mapping installation on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower (1601 Arapahoe St.) is on display every Thursday through Saturday evening. Don’t miss the chance to see ultra-creative minds utilize this iconic Denver landmark — once the tallest building in Denver and west of the Mississippi — as a cultural canvas for sharing their work. Night Lights Denver features works by Colorado-based artists.
The Mile High Tree Presented by Xfinity
Step inside this brilliantly lit, 110-foot-tall, 39-foot-wide immersive art installation. The Mile High Tree is the tallest digital tree in North America (and the tallest art installation in Denver’s history by the way) and features spectacular evening light shows using pixel LED technology choreographed to the classic holiday songs. The tree will be lit throughout the season for the public’s enjoyment and will be open for program viewings every night from 5–10 p.m., Nov. 17–31, 2023. The tree is located near one of Denver's other major holiday attractions, the Denver Christkindlmarket (Nov. 17–Dec. 22, 2023), in Civic Center Park. It's the city’s only authentic German holiday market and features lights, food, music and, of course, unique gifts. It's open until 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (with some exceptions), so it's the perfect way to start or end your tour.
Denver City & County Building
It doesn't get any more colorful than this. Denver’s annual lighting of the City & County Building on the day after Thanksgiving dates back almost 100 years. You can see the brilliant display nightly throughout the holiday season.
More Lights All Over Town
And there's more! Hundreds of thousands of lights also adorn the 16th Street Mall, Skyline Park, 14th Street, Larimer Square and more. Merry and magical moments are all over downtown just waiting to be unwrapped. Also, check out Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo, Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens and Lumniova Holidays at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. See more lights extravaganzas.
If you want a guided experience where you can meet new people and learn more about the holiday traditions, check out the Denver Holiday Lights & Sights Tour with Denver Walking Tours or Denver Local Tours. They are offering tours that cover the aforementioned attractions and more. Custom tours are also available.