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. 



WHEN: Nov. 13–17, 20–24, 29–30 and Dec. 1, 4–8, 11–15 and 17–23, 2019
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. 22–Dec. 23, 2019
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. 22–23, 2019
WHERE: University Park Neighborhood
This two-day walking tour features six magnificent homes in Denver’s University Park neighborhood, 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. 26, 2019Feb. 16, 2020
WHERE: Corner of 16th and Arapahoe
Take a spin on the ice — for free! Grab your family and friends and head to 16th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver to the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park in Downtown Denver! Skate rentals are $7-$9, or bring your own pair and skate for free. Free days for kids will take place throughout the season. Look for regularly scheduled entertainment and activities each week, including Friday night DJs; Saturday morning skating lessons; Saturday night concerts; and Sunday afternoon family entertainment.


WHENNov. 29, 2019
WHEREDenver Union Station
The Grand Illumination features beautiful lighting displays in the LoDo District and Denver Union Station. Downtown's unique holiday atmosphere is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Festivities at Denver Union Station include a countdown to this year's holiday lighting, carolers and treats, drinks at Terminal Bar and more.


WHEN: Nov. 29, 2019
WHERE: Denver City and County Building

The City and County of Denver and 9News present the annual lighting of Denver's City and County Building. This fun and heart-warming tradition is nearly 100 years old and is the perfect kick-off to the holiday season! Don't miss the ceremonial flipping of the light switch between 6:30 and 7 p.m. Be sure to explore the winter festival in Civic Center Park, which will feature a variety of family-friendly crafts and activities, a heated Bookmobile and story-time tent, a mural-painting project, roaming carolers, food trucks, beer and warm beverages from 4 to 8 p.m. Bring hats, gloves and scarfs for the Giving Tree to benefit Denver families in need. 


WHEN: Nov. 29–Dec. 22, 2019
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
Explore Chatfield Farms as it is transformed into a magical holiday wonderland. Santa's Village is a family-friendly holiday event including hayrides, holiday gifts, Santa’s Workshop and so much more.


WHEN: Nov. 29–Dec. 30, 2019
WHERE: Denver Zoo

Zoo Lights will span 70 acres of Denver Zoo's campus with nightly entertainment, animal encounters, Santa meet-and-greets and, of course, illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they’re least expected.


WHEN: Nov. 29–30 and Dec. 6–8, 13–24 and 26–31, 2019
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: Nov. 29, 2019–Jan. 1, 2020
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. 


WHEN: Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, 2019
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 helps you celebrate in style. There are also carolers, carriage rides and Santa on Saturdays throughout the season. Visits with Santa are free and open to the public. On December 7th, join us for “Paws & Claus,” an event for pet-lovers to get photos with Santa. All furry friends are welcome and donations will benefit the Denver Animal Shelter.


WHEN: Nov. 30–Dec. 31, 2019
WHERE: 1010 Washington Ave., Golden
Olde Golden Christmas includes a community candlelight walk, Victorian carolers, free Newfoundland dog-pulled cart rides, a holiday art market, parades, shopping, music and theater productions, Santa Claus and twinkling holiday lights!


WHEN: Nov. 30, 2019–Jan. 31, 2020, 5 p.m.–10:30 p.m., free shows every evening
WHERE: Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex

Join in the free nightly festivities at Denver’s newest 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 every 30 minutes throughout the evening. At 39-feet in diameter, the conical structure can host up to 140 guests at a time for an immersive viewing experience within the tree itself. There will be areas to purchase both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well as holiday treats. 


WHEN: Dec. 6, 2019
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Hop aboard a comfortable, heated bus as you cruise through some of Denver's most beautiful neighborhoods, all lit up for the season. You'll also learn about the state’s historic holiday traditions and warm up with hot chocolate and cookies.


WHEN: Dec. 6–7, 2019
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. 20, 2019–Jan. 2, 2020
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. The carousel was featured in the film "Selena" starring Jennifer Lopez. Partial proceeds benefit Food Bank of the Rockies. 


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2019
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: Dec. 31, 2019 
WHERE: 16th Street Mall

The sky will once again sparkle over downtown at the close of 2019 with the New Year's Eve Fireworks Downtown. The two spectacular fireworks shows will occur at 9 p.m. and midnight. For the best viewpoints, stand along the 16th Street Mall. The identical fireworks shows will be synched to a music playlist from live DJs along the mall. Each show will run for about eight minutes and can be viewed from anywhere along the mall. The DJs will play tunes from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Please note, between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., RTD Light Rail trains will not cross the 16th Street Mall, and MallRide shuttles will stop temporarily during the two fireworks shows.


WHEN: Jan. 9–12, 2020
WHERE: Colorado Convention Center
Join thousands of hunting, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts for four days of outdoor-themed seminars and activities, including a Youth Fair, hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 


WHEN: Jan. 11–26, 2020
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: Jan. 31, 2020
WHERE: Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre
Don't miss the annual Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks, a rare winter concert at one of the world's most iconic venues, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.


WHEN: Jan. 24–25, 2020
WHERE: Mile High Station  
Toast the winter season at Winter Brew Fest. This annual event at Mile High Station celebrates craft beverages from around Colorado and other U.S. microbrews and features live local music, food and other vendors. Cheers! 


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


WHEN: TBA 2020
WHERE: Improper City
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day all day at Improper City in RiNo. Start with Irish coffees and brunch then enjoy DJs and live music while you sip Black and Tans and Drop Shots on the patio. 


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?



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. 


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.


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.




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


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Colorado Avalanche

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Nov. 23, 2019: Toronto Maple Leafs

Nov. 27, 2019: Edmonton Oilers

Nov. 30, 2019: Chicago Blackhawks

Dec. 9, 2019: Calgary Flames

Dec. 11, 2019: Philadelphia Flyers

Dec. 13, 2019: New Jersey Devils

Dec. 19, 2019: Carolina Hurricanes

Dec. 21, 2019: Chicago Blackhawks

Dec. 27, 2019: Minnesota Wild

Dec. 31, 2019: Winnipeg Jets

Jan. 2, 2020: St. Louis Blues

Jan. 10, 2020: Pittsburgh Penguins

Jan. 14, 2020: Dallas Stars

Jan. 16, 2020: San Jose Sharks

Jan. 18, 2020: St. Louis Blues

Jan. 20, 2020: Detroit Red Wings

Feb. 11, 2020: Ottawa Senators

Feb. 13, 2020: Washington Capitals

Feb. 15, 2020: Los Angeles Kings

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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Nov. 29, 2019: Saskatchewan Rush

Jan. 4, 2020: Vancouver Warriors

Jan. 25, 2020: Buffalo Bandits

Feb. 15, 2020: San Diego Seals

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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Nov. 14, 2019: Brooklyn Nets

Nov. 20, 2019: Houston Rockets

Nov. 22, 2019: Boston Celtics

Nov. 24, 2019: Phoenix Suns

Nov. 26, 2019: Washington Wizards

Dec. 3, 2019: Los Angeles Lakers

Dec. 12, 2019: Portland Trail Blazers

Dec. 14, 2019: Oklahoma City Thunder

Dec. 15, 2019: New York Knicks

Dec. 18, 2019: Orlando Magic

Dec. 20, 2019: Minnesota Timberwolves

Dec. 25, 2019: New Orleans Pelicans

Dec. 28, 2019: Memphis Grizzlies

Dec. 29, 2019: Sacramento Kings

Jan. 11, 2020: Cleveland Cavaliers

Jan. 12, 2020: Los Angeles Clippers

Jan. 15, 2020: Charlotte Hornets

Jan. 19, 2020: Indiana Pacers

Jan. 26, 2020: Houston Rockets

Jan. 30, 2020: Utah Jazz

Feb. 4, 2020: Portland Trail Blazers

Feb. 10, 2020: San Antonio Spurs

Feb. 12, 2020: Los Angeles Lakers

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

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Apr. 13, 2020: Dallas Mavericks


Denver Broncos

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Dec. 1, 2019: Los Angeles Chargers

Dec. 22, 2019: Detroit Lions

Dec. 29, 2019: Oakland Raiders