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Christmas Weekend Events in Denver

The Mile High City will put you in a festive mood. Explore these holiday events for new ways to celebrate Christmas with your friends and family.

More Holiday Fun

Denver Christkindlmarket 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 23, 2023
WHERE: Civic Center Park

This outdoor event brings the most beloved elements of an authentic German holiday experience to The Mile High City. 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. 

The Polar ExpressTM Train Ride

WHEN: Thru Dec. 23, 2023
WHERE: Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden
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 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. 


Las Posadas

WHEN: Dec. 24, 2023
WHERE: The Fort Restaurant/Tesoro Cultural Center 

Celebrated in Mexico and throughout the United States from Dec. 16 to 24, the Las Posadas celebration commemorates Mary and Joseph's journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter on the night of baby Jesus' birth. The Tesoro Cultural Center partners with The Fraternas to present this traditional event. Enjoy Mexican hot chocolate, hot cider and traditional biscochitos.

Cherry Creek Holiday Market

WHEN: Thru Dec. 24, 2023
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
The Cherry Creek North Holiday Market at Fillmore Plaza features more than 50 local artisan vendors, live music, and festive drinks and decor. The market is free, open to the public and family- and dog-friendly.

Santa's Flight Academy

WHEN: TBA 2023
WHERE: Cherry Creek Shopping Center
Your little ones can step inside a 22-foot-tall sleigh and experience the magical snowfall. They can also have their photos taken with Santa. Reservations are recommended. 

'Camp Christmas'

WHEN: Thru Dec. 24, 2023
WHERE: Stanley Marketplace
Welcome back to Colorado’s campiest, quirkiest holiday tradition! Make merry and immerse yourself in a 15,000-square-foot, 360-degree kaleidoscope of yuletide cheer. It’s fun, it’s fleeting and just the right amount of camp; it’s everything you love about the holidays wrapped into one sparkling experience. Leave your worries behind, discover your holiday superpower, visit Santa, and sample craft cocktails from the Base Camp and Fairy Bars. Wander through a surreal mashup of nostalgic scenes, scratch your head at playful pun trees, and, most importantly, reconnect with the joy of the season. 

Downtown Denver Rink

WHEN: Thru Feb. 14, 2024
WHERE: Skyline Park
Bundle up for some free ice skating in the heart of downtown and enjoy special events. ​Skate rentals for adults are $11 and $9 for kids 12 and under. Bring your own pair and skate for free! If you need a skatewalker for assistance, you can also rent one $5.

Hudson Holidays

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: Hudson Gardens & Events Center
You'll be enchanted by even more towering trees draped in thousands of colorful lights. A grove of dancing Christmas trees, a multi-colored forest inhabited by giant snowmen, the holiday light tunnel and glowing reindeer will light up Hudson Gardens into an extravaganza of holiday cheer. Purchase a delicious cup of hot cocoa or adult beverage before stopping by for a perfect free family photo opportunity with Santa.

Bridge of Lights

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023 on select days (closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day)
WHERE: Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, Cañon City
In an experience sure to become a time-honored Christmas tradition, you're invited to drive across the Royal Gorge Bridge, 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River, while it's decked out in thousands of holiday lights. Driving across the Royal Gorge Bridge is not regularly offered outside of pre-arranged car club groups, so this is truly something special! Guests can purchase hot cocoa, coffee or cider in a Bridge of Lights souvenir cup and holiday cookies to enjoy while driving through the light display. Hours: 5:30 p.m.–9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; 5:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

McGregor Skate

WHEN: Thru Feb. 25, 2024
WHERE: McGregor Square
McGregor Skate is LoDo’s newest skating rink located in the bustling McGregor Square plaza. Open daily, McGregor Skate is the perfect winter activity for guests of all ages. With skates available on-site, the rink can be enjoyed by locals and travelers alike.

Butterfly Pavilion's Monarch Magic

WHEN: TBA 2023
WHERE: Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster
By supporting native monarch populations, we’re not only keeping an important pollinator population healthy but also helping preserve unique cultural traditions. These butterflies hold an especially significant spot as one of the essential symbols in the Mexican tradition of Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Butterfly Pavilion celebrates this cultural tradition by opening their doors and providing a unique, unforgettable and enchanting experience for all.

Downtown Denver Rink

WHEN: TBA 2023
WHERE: Skyline Park
Bundle up for some free ice skating in the heart of downtown and enjoy special events.

Snow Days

WHEN: TBA 2023
WHERE: Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Spend your day gliding around the rink, sledding on REAL snow, warming up by a toasty fire and much, much more.


Music & Performing Arts

'Santa's Big Red Sack' 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 23, 2023
WHERE: The People's Building

Get ready to let go of everything you hold dear about the holidays—and have it all come back twisted, hilarious and glittering with lights. "Santa’s Big Red Sack" is a non-stop sketch comedy, music and technology bursting at the seams with irreverent wit and unforgettable characters. Your belly will turn to jelly. Your heart will dance. You’ll never experience the holidays the same way again.  

'Yippee Ki Yay'

WHEN: Thru Dec. 23, 2023
WHERE: Garner Galleria Theatre & Bar

Witness the acclaimed retelling of the classic film "Die Hard" from Richard Marsh-Fringe First-winner, London poetry slam champion, BBC Audio Drama Best Scripted Comedy Drama award-winner and New York cop (one of these is untrue). 

Colorado Ballet: 'The Nutcracker'

WHEN: Thru Dec. 24, 2023
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.

'A Christmas Story'

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: Miners Alley Playhouse, Golden

All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family's temperamental exploding furnace; the boys' experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie's father winning a lamp shaped like a woman's leg in a net stocking; Ralphie's fantasy scenarios and more. "A Christmas Story" is destined to become a theatrical holiday tradition!

'The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical'

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: Miners Alley Performing Arts Center, Golden

A sequel to "The Great American Trailer Park," the Christmas version takes audiences back to Florida’s favorite trailer park community, Armadillo Acres, where there’s a healthy dose of kitschy holiday cheer and non-stop shenanigans. Just watch out for cranky new resident Darlene, who disrupts the usual holiday routine and brings a whirlwind of drama, romance and downright hilarious surprises to the trailer park. This ca n’t-miss musical takes the audience along with the residents of Armadillo Acres as they navigate the treacherous holiday season with humor, heartwarming moments, tinsel and keg nog (yes, keg nog!).

'Elf The Musical'

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado Springs
Beloved the world over, "Elf The Musical" can easily become an annual tradition. Based on the cherished film and featuring songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, "Elf" tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan who crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole, where he is raised as an elf. Eventually, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. 

'Holly, Alaska!'

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: Dairy Arts Center, Boulder

In the tiny town of Holly, Alaska, a merry band of community theater players have been keeping the tradition of an annual holiday pageant alive for 119 years. Due to recent cutbacks, the town council has decided this year’s show can’t happen. In a last-ditch effort to save the pageant (and the town itself), the actors pull out all the stops in this heartwarming tale of love, connection, and holiday revelry of the goofiest kind.

'A Christmas Story'

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: Miners Alley Playhouse, Golden

All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family's temperamental exploding furnace; the boys' experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie's father winning a lamp shaped like a woman's leg in a net stocking; Ralphie's fantasy scenarios and more. "A Christmas Story" is destined to become a theatrical holiday tradition!

'Elvis Christmas Spectacular'

WHEN: Dec. 19, 2023
WHERE: Boettcher Concert Hall 

Celebrate the King of Rock and Roll with the Colorado Symphony’s "Elvis Christmas Spectacular," a new symphonic take on his timeless Christmas favorites, including "White Christmas," "Silver Bells," "Silent Night" and more.

A Night At Santa's Headshop - Comedy Show 

WHEN: Dec. 22, 2023
WHERE: The Denver Comedy Lounge

Santa needs a little help at his headshop this year. Come and spread some holiday cheer and enjoy a little standup with The Denver Comedy Lounge and Colorado Sake Co.

'Elf™' in Concert

WHEN: Dec. 22 and 23, 2023
WHERE: Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex

This holiday season relive this heart-warming holiday classic on four giant screens as every note of John Debney’s wonderful score is played live by the Colorado Symphony. 

'Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet'

WHEN: Dec. 23–24, 2023
WHERE: Paramount Theatre

Gather your loved ones for the warm nostalgia of America’s favorite Christmas celebration. Experience the extraordinary international cast and Ukrainian Principal Artists performing at the peak of classical European Ballet. Be transported by the magic of jaw-dropping acrobatics, larger-than-life puppets and stunning hand-crafted sets and costumes. Don’t miss this chance to experience the wonder of "NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet."


Museum & Gallery Exhibitions

Confection Perfection: Jolly Rancher Company 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 30, 2023
WHERE: Golden History Museum & Park, Golden

Seeking additional income for her family, homemaker-turned-entrepreneur Dorothy Harmsen heard about people making a fortune in Florida selling ice cream from newly invented soft serve machines. In 1949, Harmsen rented a store in downtown Golden and made a down payment on a new machine. Within a few years, she and her husband, Bill, built one of the most iconic confectionery companies in the world.

Epic Events 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 30, 2023
WHERE: Golden History Museum & Park, Golden

Epic Events walks you through over three dozen moments that shaped Golden’s past. Those times range from big to small, happy to sad. Some are memorable and some are best forgotten. Step inside this exhibit and feel what it’s like to live through 150 years in Golden.

Legendary People 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 30, 2023
WHERE: Golden History Museum & Park, Golden

People are the ingredient that makes Golden a vibrant community. Over the years, so many have called the area home, from nomadic Native Americans, adventurous miners and cunning politicians, to innovative business owners, hard-working students and curious tourists. Their interesting stories make for a rich history. Learn the biographical highlights of some little-known characters, like beloved educator Gertrude Bell, Olympic athlete Lindsey Horan and many more.

Signs O’ The Times 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 30, 2023
WHERE: Golden History Museum & Park, Golden

Old signs are powerful evidence of the changes Golden has experienced. Simply put, signs are visual graphics we use to communicate information to each other. We’ve used them for thousands of years, and if you stop and look around, they’re everywhere. The permanent City of Golden collection currently cares for more than two dozen commercial and business signs.

Borderlands of Southern Colorado 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Presented in English and Spanish, Borderlands explores the shifting geopolitical history of southern Colorado. This area, framed by mountains and rivers, is naturally conducive to unique and resilient forms of cultural connection. An international border crossed over the people in this region, changing their lives forever, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo moved a portion of the US–Mexico border from the Arkansas River—which flows through the middle of Colorado—down to the Rio Grande in 1848.

Vision and Resolve 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: Center for Colorado Women's History

This exhibition illuminates how women and their social movements have impacted Colorado’s History. Focusing on suffragist Ida Clark DePriest, gay rights activist Mary Lopez Dussart, disability rights activist Laura Hershey, civic activist Anne Evans and the women leaders of Casa Verde Mothers of Pueblo, this Vision and Resolve allows visitors to experience their stories along with artifacts from the History Colorado Collection. Highlights include Equal Rights Amendment protest wear from the late 1970s and “Western Women Wild with Joy,” a newly acquired contemporary sculpture celebrating suffrage.

Seeds of a Nation 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: Center for Colorado Women's History

Seeds of a Nation takes visitors through an investigation of the complexities that sprouted with the development of Victory Gardens. Grown out of the necessity of war, Victory Gardens allowed American civilians to contribute to the war effort by planting, harvesting and storing their own food. Even after the war was over, the gardens remained as symbols of resilience, unity and self-sufficiency and contributed to the complex beliefs around what it means “to be American,” especially in turbulent times. 

Zoom In 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: History Colorado Center

This exhibition has 100 stories to tell. Culled from the vast collections of History Colorado, every object on view had a role in shaping our state—from the age of the Paleoindians to Jack Swigert’s Apollo 13 flight suit and beyond. You could never distill Colorado’s rich history into only 100 objects. But the ones we’ve selected, both ordinary and extraordinary, combine into a telling mosaic of the past—and, just maybe, a glimpse into our future. 

What's Your Story? 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Each of us is on a journey toward making a difference. Explore your superpower and those of Coloradans past, present and future. Find out how they made an impact on our state, whether by fighting school segregation or being a world-class athlete. See how your experience compares to the challenges and opportunities faced by generations of Coloradans before you. Through one-of-a-kind multimedia experiences, you can tell the world what’s important to you, and share it on the big screen for all to see.

After the Asteroid: Earth's Comeback Story 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2023
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science
A trove of remarkably preserved fossils found at Corral Bluffs near Colorado Springs brings into sharp focus how Earth recovered after the devastating asteroid impact 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs. This discovery is a watershed scientific moment, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's bilingual exhibit brings it to life. 

By Design: Stories and Ideas Behind Objects  

WHEN: Thru Jan. 1, 2024
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

A series of thematic installations drawn primarily from the architecture and design collection, this exhibition illustrates the abundance and versatility of approaches to design. How does it come into being? Who creates it and for what purpose? What trends inspire it? And how does it serve society?

The World in Denver: Photography by Robert Weinberg 

WHEN: Thru Jan. 10, 2024
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Over the course of his career, Robert Weinberg captured images of those who left their mark on Denver. Best known for his work with the Intermountain Jewish News, Weinberg focused on portraits of people in the Denver community. Weinberg's photography adds a valuable dimension to the visual record of the Mile High City during the 1980s and 1990s. Now legally blind, Weinberg created braille labels to accompany his work, ensuring that his photographs are accessible to all. He continues to advocate for the visually impaired community by promoting organizations to assist people with low vision to live independently.

Personal Geographies: Trent Davis Bailey ǀ Brian Adams 

WHEN: Thru Feb. 11, 2024
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

This exhibition presents a selection of images by two artists who seek to understand themselves and the places they treasure through photography. Colorado photographer Trent Davis Bailey reflects on his personal history and the relationship between images and memory. Personal Geographies presents work from his series The North Fork, which draws inspiration from childhood memories, small-scale family farms and the landscape of western Colorado. Anchorage-based Iñupiaq photographer Brian Adams has traveled across Alaska and beyond to make pictures that celebrate the Arctic landscape and sensitively share the stories, cultures and perspectives of Inuit people and communities.

Islands Beyond Blue 

WHEN: Thru May 14, 2024
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

This presentation showcases the work of Niki Hastings-McFall, a celebrated contemporary artist of Sāmoan and Pākehā descent who has been credited with shepherding contemporary Pacific art onto an international stage. Known for her large-scale and immersive "lei bombing" installations, she used hundreds of synthetic lei to create the installation. Her work is presented in dialogue with approximately 25 treasures from the DAM's collection that illustrate regional historic arts alongside new innovations. This inaugural exhibition aims to dispel romantic notions of the Pacific Islands as a tourist’s paradise through a nuanced exploration of the area’s vibrant cultural landscape. 

Gio Ponti: Designer of a Thousand Talents  

WHEN: Thru July 19, 2024
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

Gio Ponti was one of the most inventive Italian architects and designers of his time. For more than 60 years, Ponti’s exuberant approach found expression in public and private commissions from buildings, interiors and furniture to glass, ceramics and flatware, influencing international design for more than 50 years.