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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
WHEN: Nov. 21–Dec. 24, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
WHEN: Nov. 9–Dec. 24, 2018
WHERE: Park Meadows Retail Resort
Colorado's largest enclosed shopping center will offer plenty of time with Santa this holiday season. With events from Pet Nights to Family Portraits, Park Meadows offers a Santa experience for the entire family.
WHEN: Nov. 10–Dec. 24, 2018
WHERE: Cherry Creek Shopping Center
Santa's Flight Academy is a wholly interactive and magical hero's journey that transforms children into key members of Santa's Flight Crew. Create memorable and sharable moments for families, including the Flight Suit Visualizer and the Flight Navigation Station. Experience a magical snow and light show inside Santa's sleigh and, of course, a visit with Santa Claus.
WHEN: Nov. 23–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: Chatfield Farms Botanic Gardens
Explore Chatfield Farms as it is transformed into a magical village. Santa's Village is a family-friendly holiday event including hayrides, holiday gifts, Santa’s Workshop and so much more.
WHEN: Nov. 23–24, Nov. 30–Dec. 2, Dec. 7–9, 14–24 and 26–31, 2018
WHERE: Hudson Gardens & Events Center
Bundle up for a visit with Santa at Hudson Gardens in Littleton. After sharing your list with Ol' Saint Nick, sip hot chocolate as you stroll the outdoor paths lined with trees decked with more than a million twinkling lights.
WHEN: Dec. 8–9, 15–16 and 22–24, 2018
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.
WHEN: Nov. 23–25, Dec. 1–2, 8–9, 15–16, 22–24
WHERE: Larimer Square
It's the happiest season of all at Larimer Square, where historic charm meets holiday cheer. With festive dining options and boutiques filled with treasures for everyone on your 'Nice' list, Larimer Square help you celebrate in style. There are also carolers, carriage rides and Santa on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. Visits with Santa are free and open to the public.