Winter makes The Mile High City sparkle. 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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS MINI GOLF
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Adventure Golf & Raceway, Westminster
During the holiday season, Buccaneer Bay, Adventure Cove and The Lost Continent transform into beautiful holiday-themed light displays with more than 100,000 interactive lights on all three courses!
A STORYBOOK HOLIDAY IN EVERGREEN
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Throughout Evergreen
This ice extravaganza brings favorite holiday stories alive through a series of beautiful, life-size ice sculptures staged throughout Evergreen. Enjoy the sculptures as you meander through Evergreen while visiting local shops and restaurants. As the sun sets, the sculptures come to life as holiday lights illuminate them.
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.
WINTER WANDERLAND LIGHT WALK
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
New for 2020, experience Denver's only free holiday light art walk with dazzling light displays in trees throughout the district, culminating with the transformation of Fillmore Plaza into a sparkling winter light display.
CHERRY CREEK HOLIDAY MARKET
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Fillmore Plaza
Join the festivities this holiday season as Cherry Creek North visitors fill Fillmore Plaza between 1st and 2nd. Shop from 30 vendors featuring products in European chalet-style clad shipping containers; enjoy live music by bands and carolers, and sip cocktails and hot beverages throughout Fillmore Plaza.
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. 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.
DENVER LIGHTS & SIGHTS WALKING TOUR
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Denver City & County Building
There's nothing quite like an evening stroll under twinkling holiday lights to celebrate the season! Embark on a fun-filled 1.5-hour Holiday Lights & Sights walking experience as you take in all of the magic and cheer of this festive time of year in The Mile High City. Along the way, you'll learn about the unique history, architecture and holiday traditions of Denver and Colorado.
CHRISTMAS IN COLOR: WATER WORLD
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Water World
Drive through millions of twinkling lights synchronized to holiday music you'll hear through your radio. Drive past giant candy canes, friendly snowmen, arched pathways and more.
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.
CHRISTMAS IN COLOR: BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY
WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: Bandimere Speedway, Morrison
Drive through millions of holiday lights perfectly synchronized to music you'll hear through your radio. Drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more.
SCULPTURE ON THE GREEN II: FEATURING ROBERT MANGOLD
WHEN: Thru May 2022
WHERE: Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
MOA presents Sculpture on the Green II, the second installation of an ongoing, annual, rotating exhibition. This year features Colorado sculptor Robert Mangold. The sculptures are made from industrial steel piping. Some are painted a brilliant red, while others are simply polished, allowing for the beauty in the raw material to be revealed.
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. See it for free every Tuesday through Sunday evening.
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.
RED ROCKS & GOLDEN
The concert season at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre 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 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.
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. (Note: The ski train has suspended operations indefinitely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.)
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.
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.
Winter activities at 9,600 ft. available at Copper Mountain include skiing, snowshoeing, overnight back-country hut trips, sleigh rides and more! As the largest resort in Summit County, Copper offers diverse terrain on a well-designed, easy-to-navigate mountain. Veteran skiers prefer the east side, while beginner and intermediate skiers enjoy the moderate terrain farther west. The resort also boasts 16 miles of cross-country trails and first-rate terrain parks.
Located just 36 miles from Denver in nearby in Idaho Springs, Echo Mountain is the closest ski area to Denver, making it easy to fit into even the shortest weekend trip! Originally opened in 1960 as the Squaw Pass Ski Area, Echo has gone through many iterations over the years, including a terrain park and a private ski race training facility. It reopened as a ski resort in 2016 and has undergone extensive renovations over the past few years, including a brand new tubing hill, an expanded beginner ski area and a new food-and-beverage menu (featuring“life-changing fries”). Night owls can even take part in night skiing throughout the season!