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Holiday favorites give you the chance to do as the locals do during the holidays in Denver. Read below for some of our most beloved winter rituals and events. Make a weekend of it with hotel deals starting at $99!

THE POLAR EXPRESSTM TRAIN RIDE

WHEN: Nov. 10–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: Colorado Railroad Museum

The story of The Polar ExpressTM is theatrically re-created and combined with a magical train ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Children get to meet Santa and experience all the sights and sounds of this classic tale as if happening all around them.

L'ESPRIT DE NOËL HOLIDAY HOME TOUR

WHEN: Nov. 16–17, 2018
WHERE: 740 South Jackson Street
This two-day walking tour features six magnificent homes in Denver’s Bonnie Brae and Belcaro neighborhoods, each one beautifully decorated for the holidays by some of the area’s most accomplished florists and table designers. Proceeds support the Central City Opera.

DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET

WHEN: Nov. 16–Dec. 23, 2018
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! 

DOWNTOWN DENVER RINK AT SKYLINE PARK

WHEN: Nov. 20, 2018–Feb. 3, 2019
WHERE: Skyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
One of the most popular holiday events in Denver, the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park in downtown Denver provides 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.

'A CHRISTMAS CAROL'

WHEN: Nov. 21–Dec. 24, 2018
WHEREStage 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.

COLORADO BALLET'S 'THE NUTCRACKER'

WHEN: Nov. 24–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: Ellie Caulkins Opera House

It's not the holidays until you see visions of sugar-plum fairies dancing before your eyes. Colorado Ballet's "The Nutcracker" is a cherished family holiday tradition and the largest production of the holiday favorite in Colorado.

9NEWS PARADE OF LIGHTS

WHEN: Nov. 30, 2018 (8 p.m.) and Dec. 1, 2018 (6 p.m.)
WHERE: downtown Denver 

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.

1940'S WHITE CHRISTMAS BALL

WHEN: Dec. 1, 2018
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
Set in a beautiful ballroom in downtown Denver, the 1940’s White Christmas Ball is one of the The Mile High City's most glamorous holiday events. Dance to big band music among vintage vehicles, movie set lights and props, re-enactors, sleighs and Christmas trees under a canopy of glistening lights.

OLDE GOLDEN CHRISTMAS

WHEN: Dec. 1–Dec. 31, 2018
WHERE: 1010 Washington Ave., Golden
Olde Golden Christmas includes a community candlelight walk, Victorian carolers, free Newfoundland dog-pulled cart rides, holiday art market, parades, shopping, music and theater productions, Santa Claus, holiday lights, art and more!

MOVIE & MARTINIS: NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION

WHEN: Dec. 2–Dec. 16, 2018
WHERE: CU South Denver
Take a break from the hectic holiday season to enjoy a chaotic Christmas classic! This all-inclusive night out includes two holiday-themed cocktails, wine or beer; a Griswald Christmas dinner with food stations, passed hors d'oeuvres and dessert; and gourmet movie popcorn.

FAMILY WORKSHOP: WARM WINTER COCOA

WHEN: Dec. 9, 2018
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

Learn about the journey of the cacao bean and discover how chocolate is made, then make your own hot chocolate mix to take home! This hands-on workshop is designed for families and children ages 5–10.

DENVER PAVILIONS HOLIDAY CAROUSEL

WHEN: Dec. 15, 2018–Jan. 2, 2019
WHERE: Denver Pavilions

Create Memories for years to come at the Denver Pavilions beautiful downtown Holiday Carousel. Throughout December, families can enjoy the magic of the holidays from the perch of a horse on a beautiful carousel. $3 per ride.

ANNUAL TUBACHRISTMAS

WHEN: Dec. 16, 2018
WHERE: DPAC/Denver Performing Arts Complex
Tired of the same old holiday soundtrack? Revive your holiday spirit at the Annual TubaChristmas concert! Tap your toes to your favorite holiday tunes being played by 300 tuba players from all over the region.

NOON YEAR'S EVE

WHEN: Dec. 31, 2018
WHERE: Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

Enjoy the sights, sounds. and excitement of Times Square, all before bedtime! Each hour, count down to a glittering ball drop and pop bubble wrap fireworks as fountains of confetti flutter all around for Noon Year's Eve!

NATIONAL WESTERN STOCK SHOW & RODEO

WHEN: Jan. 12–27, 2019
WHERE: National Western Complex

Held every January, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is the world's largest stock show, involving more than 15,000 animals. Enjoy rodeos featuring top-notch bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions and auctions.