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 $89!
We strive to post the most current and accurate event information, but changes and cancellations do occur, so please check the official event website to confirm all details before attending.
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Denver Zoo
It's official: Zoo Lights has been making magic, memories, and even marriages for 30 amazing years! Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, this illuminating annual event transforms Denver Zoo into Colorado's WILDEST winter wonderland. Don't miss this year's historic celebration, with more than a million lights sparkling over 80 acres—plus a host of special measures to keep your family safe and healthy.
WHEN: Nov 11-Dec. 23, 2021
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. This year, a whole host of carefully crafted updates have been made in order to ensure the health and safety of guests, cast and crew, so put on your pajamas and your most fashionable mask and bring the family to enjoy sharing hot cocoa and cookies together as the "Hot, Hot, Hot—Chocolate" song and dance unfolds before your eyes.
WHEN: Nov. 18, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022
WHERE: Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park
Journey through artist Lonnie Hanzon’s fantastical wonderland of lights, dazzling decorations, music, and memorabilia as you explore mesmerizing yuletide scenes spread across a six-acre landscape. The experience is primarily outdoors, with several opportunities to visit decked-out indoor displays (and warm up!) throughout.
WHEN: Nov. 19, 2021-Jan. 8, 2022
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens is proud to host Blossoms of Light, an annual family-friendly event that has become a tradition for people across Colorado. Come interact with incredible light displays — a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights — plus sip warm drinks and nibble on tasty treats as you stroll. Pre-purchased timed tickets and masks covering the face and nose are required.
WHEN: Nov. 19-Dec. 23, 2021
WHERE: Civic Center Park
This outdoor event brings the most beloved elements of an authentic German holiday experience to Denver's Civic Center Park. Stroll through a European village decorated for the holiday season as you shop for finely crafted artisan gifts and treats at charming wooden huts. Fuel your shopping with authentic Glühwein (mulled spiced wine), German Biers and hot chocolate, and nosh on Bavarian-style pretzels, fresh smoked salmon, Knödel, Goulasch, Nürnberger Sausages, pastries, caramels and European chocolates.
WHEN: Nov. 27-Dec. 24, 2021
WHERE: Ellie Caulkins Opera House
The beloved holiday favorite returns in a dazzling production like no one's ever seen, featuring all-new sets and costumes created especially for Colorado Ballet. A sellout every year, this magical tale of Clara, the Nutcracker and the Mouse King is going to be dreamier than ever.
WHEN: Nov. 27-Dec. 31, 2021
WHERE: Evergreen, various locations
A Story Book Christmas in Evergreen is coming back for a second year with Classic Christmas Stories depicted in Ice. See "hidden" ice sculptures around the mountain community while Santa is flying in from the North Pole to do some special readings. Join the family-friendly scavenger hunt and support local businesses. The grand unveiling is on Nov. 27.
WHEN: Dec. 3-4, 2021
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
Experience an enchanting evening of dancing with your sweetheart amidst 1940s and 50s vehicles, movie set props, re-enactors, sleighs, Christmas trees and live music from big bands and vintage touring acts such as Jukebox Saturday Night, The Satin Dollz, Dandy Wellington, The Hot Tomatoes Dance Orchestra, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles, and Bianca and the Flyboys with the Denver Dolls.
PARADE OF LIGHTS
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Throughout downtown Denver
The Downtown Denver Partnership is transforming the community tradition, 9News Parade of Lights, in 2020! This year's parade will be a multi-week, socially safe extravaganza of activities across downtown. The floats you know and love will be displayed throughout downtown, from Denver Pavilions to Denver Union Station, offering multiple chances for our community to relish in the charm and excitement of the holiday season again and again. Download the mobile app for the exact locations.
THE MILE HIGH TREE
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: 16th Street Mall at Welton Street
Join in the free festivities at this festive holiday attraction, the Mile High Tree. It’s a brilliantly lit, 110-foot-tall immersive art installation that provides a dazzling lights-and-music show.
GRANNY DANCES TO A HOLIDAY DRUM
WHEN: TBA 2021
A Denver family tradition for 29 years, this incredible blend of dance, music, and spoken word lifts the spirit and fills the heart with joy, love, and peace! Even in challenging times, the magic of Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum, presented by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, continues. Guided by the Three Angels of the Rainbow, Granny visits Africa, the Americas, Mexico, Asia, and the Caribbean to celebrate the joy of Holiday Times! From the African Harvest to Kwanzaa, from the Chinese New Year to Junkanoo.... a celebration of both diversity and oneness!
WHEN: Nov. 26, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
Stroll through the Colorado countryside along a winding path glistening with lights. Features this year include a three-sided light tunnel, illuminated antique and model tractors, a children's play area and warms holiday food and drink. Visitors must purchase a ticket online for a specific day and time.