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Winter makes The Mile High City sparkle. There's plenty of snowy fun this year, from a Winter Brew Fest to a rare winter concert at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. Denver is also the world's largest après ski town. It's a great place to gear up, find deals and acclimatize before you hit the higher Rocky Mountain ski slopes of Colorado. You can even ride a ski train from downtown to Winter Park Resort. 

WINTER EVENTS

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER 

WHEN: Permanent installation
WHERE
Daniels & Fisher Tower
Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening.

WINTER’S GLOW

WHEN: Feb. 19, 2020
WHERE: Curtis Park, Greenwood Village

This free event has become a popular way to celebrate the winter season. Featuring ice carvers, fire dancers, interactive light-up sculptures, a climbing wall and some surprises Winter's Glow is fun for the whole family.

DENVER RESTAURANT WEEK 

WHEN: Feb. 21–Mar. 1, 2020
WHERE: Various Denver Restaurants

Hundreds of The Mile High City's restaurants will take part in the 16th annual Denver Restaurant Week. Try new tastes from a favorite haunt or visit that spot you've always wanted to try for a multi-course dinner at a flat rate ($25, $35 or $45 depending on the restaurant and menu). 

COLORADO GARDEN & HOME SHOW

WHEN: Feb. 22–Mar. 1, 2020
WHERE: Colorado Convention Center

The Colorado Garden & Home Show is the region's oldest, largest and most prestigious garden and home show. Find inspiration from the latest ideas and trends in landscaping, gardening and home improvement as you stroll through more than an acre of professionally landscaped gardens — 11 in all. Talk to representatives from more than 650 companies and visit with the area's most renowned gardening gurus and home improvement experts. 

FAMILYFEST

WHEN: Feb. 22, 2020
WHERE: National Western Complex

As the name implies, this the family-friendly event of the year in The Mile High City! Expect a day of activities to keep the whole family happy at FamilyFest, from music and stage performances, to bounce houses, to interactive activities like coloring books, carnival games, balloon artists and face painting. Best of all, kids get in free with paid adults.

SIDE STORIES // RINO

WHEN: Feb. 28–Mar. 6, 2020
WHERE: River North Art District

Part film festival, part walking tour, this free event brings a walkable art experience to Denver by projecting eight short digital works from Colorado artists onto exterior walls in the RiNo neighborhood. Visitors will also receive block-by-block suggestions about where to stop along the way for food, libations and shopping.

ARVADA WINTERFEST

WHEN: Feb. 29, 2020
WHERE: McIlvoy Park, Arvada

This annual outdoor celebration highlights the variety of cultures in Arvada, allowing attendees to learn, sample and enjoy diverse arts, culture and entertainment. Come see live cultural performances, ice-sculpting demonstrations, craft vendors and winter-themed attractions at this free, family-friendly event.

8TH ANNUAL 285 WINTERFEST

WHEN: Feb. 29, 2020
WHERE: Conifer

Enjoy a celebration of all things winter, with a snow-tubing competition, snowman-carving competition, a craft brewery crawl for adults and a free showing of the movie "Abominable" for the kiddos. 

CHANGIN' OF THE SIGN

WHEN: Mar. 12, 2020
WHERE: Blake & 20th Street

Every year the City of Denver paints a green stripe down Blake street in honor of St. Patrick's Day on the Thursday before the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Blake Street becomes Tooley Street for a short time! 

ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE

WHEN: March 14, 2020
WHERE: LoDo
Join one of Colorado’s largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations and enjoy Irish dancers, bagpipes, bands, equestrians, civic clubs and cultural groups. 

RUNNIN' OF THE GREEN

WHEN: March 15, 2020
WHERE: LoDo
This family-oriented race/walk is centered around the Irish celebration of Saint Patrick's Day and Spring. After the race, stay for live Irish music and dancers, a beer garden and the Colorado Youth Pipe Band. 

DENVER MARCH POWWOW

WHEN: March 20–22, 2020
WHERE: Denver Coliseum
One of the largest events of its kind in the country, Denver March Powwow features more than 1,500 dancers from close to 100 tribes from 38 states and three Canadian provinces. 

Nightlife, Indoor Fun, Game Bars and Museums

While Denver locals love the outdoors, there is plenty of indoor entertainment. Head to dance clubs and places to hear jazz like Nocturne and Dazzle, along with several jazz concert series. Also check out a wide variety of Denver music and nightlife, including dance clubs.

Want to burn off some energy from cabin fever? At DAGAR you can throw axes at wooden targets while enjoying local craft beer, wine and artwork. And at  Archery Games Denver in nearby Arvada, you can shoot foam-tipped arrows at your friends.

Or do you want to have a drink while stimulating your mind? The Game Lounge has custom tables for playing board games while you eat delicious food and drink craft cocktails. Located one block from Coors Field, Viewhouse Eatery, Bar & Rooftop has a rooftop patio with great views, a downstairs tavern bar and a turfed courtyard, featuring a variety of lawn games. It's also a great place for sports fans to gather and watch games. With 30 HD TVs and two 120-inch projectors and a fun vibe, Stoney's Bar and Grill is also a great spot to catch games. 

Winter is also a great time to take in Denver's art museums. See world-class exhibitions at Denver Art Museum or contemporary art at MCA Denver (Museum of Contemporary Art Denver). Here's how you can experience Denver's art scene in one day. Also, learn about natural history at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and human history with a Colorado spin at History Colorado Center.

WINTER BEAUTY IN DENVER'S PARKS

The Mile High City boasts more than 4,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, which include 2,500 urban natural acres. In the winter, they take on a wondrous glow, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. Stroll through Washington Park and City Park during this season and take in gorgeous views of the skyline, framed by the Rocky Mountains. Cheesman Park positively glitters in winter, with large snowy expanses stretching out in front of you. Snowball fight, anyone?

WINTER DAY TRIPS

RED ROCKS & GOLDEN

The concert season at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison) may be over, but you can still enjoy this natural wonder year-round. The Red Rocks Visitor Center's winter hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m., seven days a week. Check out the Red Rocks Performers Hall of Fame, featuring photos and memorabilia from more than 40 years of incredible concerts. Learn about the massive rock formations in the Geologic Niche and explore the Trading Post Loop Hiking Trail, a 1.4-mile adventure through spectacular rock formations, valleys and a natural meadow. After you've enjoyed Red Rocks, spend some time in nearby Golden's Old West-themed downtown, with a charming selection of shops, restaurants and attractions. 

CENTRAL CITY AND BLACK HAWK

I-70 West and Exit 243 onto Central City Pkwy.
Head for the hills and check out all the fun Central City and Black Hawk have to offer. Located 34 miles (55km) west of Denver, the two towns offer more than 30 casinos with blackjack tables, craps, roulette, poker games and more than 10,000 slot machines. In 2009, gambling stakes were raised to $100, to the delight of high rollers. The two cities are also known for having some of the best-preserved Victorian architecture in the West. Other attractions include the Teller House Hotel, where President Grant once stayed and the Central City Opera House, which still features an outstanding summer season of opera after more than 100 years. There are mine tours, mining museums and several places offering instruction in the fine art of in-stream gold panning where a half billion dollars of the coveted, shiny metal was once found.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

I-25 North to Exit 217, US Hwy. 36 west to Estes Park
The legendary Rocky Mountain National Park, located just an hour from The Mile High City, offers spectacular snowshoeing and cross country skiing options that will take you to some of the most scenic and serene spots in all of Colorado. Rent cross country skis and/or snowshoes in Denver and take the short drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park - you won't regret it. Check with rangers at visitor centers for info on the right trail for you.

 

 

WINTER FUN AT NEARBY SKI SLOPES

Located two hours or less from most Front Range ski areas, Denver has always been the gateway to Colorado skiing and boarding.

WINTER PARK 

Winter Park Resort is nestled at the base of the Continental Divide at the east end of the Fraser Valley. As the closest major destination resort to Denver, Winter Park offers easy access to skiers arriving at Denver International Airport from hundreds of domestic and international points. Just two hours from the airport, the surrounding mountain expanses and breathtaking scenery at Winter Park give visitors the impression that they are far away from the hustle and hassle of city life. If you don't want to drive, hop on the Winter Park Express ski train for a memorable ride through a stunning landscape. 

VAIL

One of the largest ski resorts in the world with more than 5,200 acres of open terrain, Back Bowls spanning seven miles and the most groomed terrain on the planet, Vail has been the ideal winter destination for skiers and snowboarders for more than 50 years. Besides being one of the favorite ski destinations in the world, Vail features everything from Ski & Snowboard School to on-mountain events, shops and spas, numerous dining options and luxurious accommodations. Vail is a mountain resort like nothing on earth.

LOVELAND SKI AREA

Just 53 miles west of Denver on I-70, Loveland Ski Area is super close to Denver and averages 400 inches of snow annually. Loveland's location offers unique skiing possibilities you simply cannot find at other ski areas. There's no glitz here. Loveland has been long known for some of the best skiing and snowboarding conditions in Colorado. At Loveland you get 1,365 diverse acres of terrain and breathtaking views from the second-highest chairlift in the world, high atop the Continental Divide. When you need to escape from the city for a day of riding and a night of good food, Loveland won't disappoint. Daytripper packages are available, including lift ticket, equipment and clothing rental. Ski school lessons are available for all abilities and schedules.

KEYSTONE RESORT

Seventy miles west of Denver, in Summit County, Colorado, you'll find Keystone Resort. With 131 trails, 235 inches of snow, more than 3,000 skiable acres and 20 lifts, Keystone delivers a truly world-class mountain experience, all within a short drive from Denver and the Front Range. At 11,640 feet, Dercum Mountain is home to long, open runs and perfect groomers to keep you cruising all day — a great place to start for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. For those who crave big air, Keystone's A51 Terrain Park will not disappoint. Named a top-ranked park by Freeskier and Transworld Magazines, this is the place to be for shredders and jibbers. Looking to explore Denver by day and Keystone at night? The mountain offers not only the largest night skiing operation in Colorado, but the longest ski day as well, operating from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI AREA

Known for its excellent snow and extended ski season (the longest in Colorado), Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (or "A-Basin" to locals) is 68 miles from Denver, with killer views. A-Basin's acclaimed terrain and laid-back vibe make it a favorite for experts to beginners. Half of the mountain is above timberline, with open-bowl skiing and snowboarding through spring and into early summer. One of its signature runs, Pallavicini, is one of Colorado's longest and steepest trails. Family-friendly features include two learning areas, a full-service Snowsports School, on-site rentals and three dining locations. On sunny days, you might want to lounge on "The Beach," a stretch near the Early Riser parking lot that backs up to three lower-mountain chairlifts.

ELDORA MOUNTAIN RESORT

A favorite among locals due to its convenient location — only 21 miles from Boulder and 47 miles from Denver — Eldora Mountain receives 300 inches of snow per year. Eldora boasts Colorado's best snowmaking system. Coverage is 100 percent of groomed terrain, more than any other resort in Colorado. Eldora also holds the distinction of being accessible via public transportation: you can take the bus from Boulder up the mountain for a mere $4.50 one way.

Ski and Snowshoe Tours

Take a ski, snowboard or snowshoe tour of Colorado's world-class ski resorts or experience the gorgeous backcountry and let someone else do the driving and planning. Aspire Tours will pick you up from your hotel in Denver and show you an amazing time with experienced guides. Trips usually take 9–10 hours and are perfect for those who have limited days to enjoy the famous ski country.

Outfitting in Denver

Denver is a great place to outfit before you head up into the hills. One of the local supermarket chains, King Soopers, sells lift tickets at a small discount. REI is one of the largest sporting goods stores in the nation, offering a full range of ski, snowboard, cross-country ski, snowshoeing and winter clothing. Denver boasts more winter sports stores per capita (and has the highest number of skiers per capita) of any city in America, and big-city competition makes the prices much cheaper than the mountains.

WINTER SPORTING EVENTS

Colorado Avalanche
 

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Feb. 17, 2020: Tampa Bay Lightning

Feb. 19, 2020: New York Islanders

Feb. 26, 2020: Buffalo Sabres

Mar. 4, 2020: Anaheim Ducks

Mar. 11, 2020: New York Rangers

Mar. 13, 2020: Vancouver Canucks

Mar. 15, 2020: Vegas Golden Knights

Mar. 17, 2020: San Jose Sharks

Mar. 21, 2020: Montreal Canadiens

Mar. 29, 2020: Nashville Predators

Mar. 31, 2020: Arizona Coyotes

Apr. 2, 2020: Winnipeg Jets

Apr. 4, 2020: St. Louis Blues

 

Colorado Mammoth
 

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Feb. 29, 2020: Philadelphia Wings

Mar. 8, 2020: Rochester Knighthawks

Mar. 20, 2020: Calgary Roughnecks

Apr. 4, 2020: New England Black Wolves

Apr. 17, 2020: Vancouver Warriors

 

Denver Nuggets
 

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Feb. 23, 2020: Minnesota Timberwolves

Feb. 25, 2020: Detroit Pistons

Mar. 1, 2020: Toronto Raptors

Mar. 3, 2020: Golden State Warriors

Mar. 9, 2020: Milwaukee Bucks

Mar. 18, 2020: Los Angeles Clippers

Mar. 27, 2020: San Antonio Spurs

Mar. 30, 2020: Oklahoma City Thunder

Apr. 3, 2020: Chicago Bulls

Apr. 5, 2020: Utah Jazz

Apr. 7, 2020: Memphis Grizzlies

Apr. 13, 2020: Dallas Mavericks

 

Denver Broncos
 

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Check back for the 2020 schedule.