Book

The two-night 9NEWS Parade of Lights is the signature event of the holiday season in downtown Denver. But that's not all! Check out other fabulous events like blockbuster museum exhibitions and holiday-themed events.​

Stay for the weekend and take advantage of great hotel deals.

9NEWS Parade of Lights

WHEN: Nov. 30 (8 p.m.) and Dec. 1 (6 p.m.), 2018
WHERE: Downtown
See countless sparkling lights, marching bands, giant balloons, majestic floats and delightful characters like Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa. The 9NEWS Parade of Lights begins at the Denver City and County Building on 14th Avenue and Bannock Street and makes a rectangular, two-mile pattern, finishing on 14th Street and Glenarm Place. While viewing is free along the route, there is a ticket charge for grandstand seating at the City and County Building: $16 for children 2–12 and $19 for 13 and up for advance tickets; $25 for all tickets when purchased on the day of the event.

PERFORMING ARTS 

'CORDUROY'

WHEN: Oct. 5–Dec. 16, 2018
WHERE: 
The Conservatory Theatre
Your little ones will love the tale of Corduroy, a teddy bear who's been patiently waiting on a department store shelf and hoping for a real home. 

'XANADU'

WHEN: Nov. 3, 2018–Apr. 28, 2019
WHERE: 
Garner Galleria Theatre & Bar
Relive the glorious days of roller disco with this 1980s musical journey set in Venice Beach, California. 

'ELF – THE MUSICAL'

WHEN: Nov. 20–Dec. 23, 2018
WHEREArvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
Follow Buddy the Elf as he travels from The North Pole to New York City in search of his biological father, spreading holiday cheer and saving Christmas in the process.

'A CHRISTMAS CAROL'

WHEN: Nov. 21–Dec. 24, 2018
WHEREStage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge's triumphant overnight journey to redemption. "A Christmas Carol" illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations.

'THE SANTALAND DIARIES'

WHEN: Nov. 23–Dec. 24, 2018
WHEREThe Jones, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious holiday hijinks in this acclaimed one-man show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking this year? David Sedaris' offbeat tales from his stint as a Macy's elf in New York City is the sure cure for the common Christmas show. Because of mature language, "The Santaland Diaries" is best enjoyed by adults.

'THE NUTCRACKER'

WHEN: Nov. 24–Dec. 24, 2018
WHEREEllie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex
The holidays are not complete until you see the Colorado Ballet perform their annual "The Nutcracker," featuring unforgettable characters, dazzling costumes, classic choreography and Tchaikovsky's extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. This dazzling spectacle of glittering snowflakes and shimmering sugarplums will transport audiences to the Land of Sweets.

ALL BEETHOVEN

WHEN: Nov. 30–Dec. 2, 2018
WHEREBoettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Hans Graf takes the podium as the Colorado Symphony performs a full weekend of some of Beethoven's most revered and recognized works.

OTHER HOLIDAY EVENTS

The Polar ExpressTM Train Ride

WHEN: Nov. 10–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: Colorado Railroad Museum

The story of The Polar ExpressTM is being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children's tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the holiday season!

SANTA'S FLIGHT ACADEMY

WHEN: Nov. 10–Dec. 24, 2018
WHERE: Cherry Creek Shopping Center
Let your little ones help Santa ready his sleigh for the big day during Santa's Flight Academy! Visit with jolly St. Nick, try out his Flight Suit Visualizer and enjoy the magical snow and light show at Cherry Creek Shopping Center

DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET

WHEN: Nov. 16–Dec. 23, 2018
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! 

DOWNTOWN DENVER RINK AT SKYLINE PARK

WHEN: Nov. 20, 2018–Feb. 3, 2019
WHERE: Skyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
One of the most popular holiday events in Denver, the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park returns with ice skating and family fun. The rink is free and open to the public with the option to bring your own skates or rent a pair at a minimal cost.

SANTA'S VILLAGE AT CHATFIELD FARMS

WHEN: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 23–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

Bring the kids to Santa's Village to meet Santa (and his reindeer), make crafts with Mrs. Claus and take a magical hayride under twinkling holiday lights. Afterward the whole family can shop for handcrafted gifts in Santa's workshop. 

A HUDSON CHRISTMAS

WHEN: Nov. 23–24, Nov. 30–Dec. 2, Dec. 7–9, 14–24 and 26–31, 2018
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.

BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT

WHEN: Nov. 23, 2018–Jan. 1, 2019
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

Embrace the holiday season at Blossoms of Light. The first night will display over one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs highlighting the Gardens' winter beauty. Enjoy sparkling passages, new displays and romantic kissing spots under the mistletoe, all made even more beautiful through HoloSpex glasses. Warm drinks and tasty treats will also be available. 

LAKEWOOD LIGHTS

WHEN: Nov. 30–Dec. 1, 2018
WHERE: Lakewood Heritage Center
Get a free family photo with Santa, listen to Yuletide tunes and take a holiday hayride at Lakewood Lights, where all of the buildings at the Lakewood Heritage Center will be lit up in a display of seasonal cheer. Afterward, warm up in the Country Schoolhouse and make holiday ornaments while watching holiday films.

ZOO LIGHTS

WHEN: Nov. 30, 2018–Jan. 6, 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.

1940'S WHITE CHRISTMAS BALL

WHEN: Dec. 1, 2018
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
Set in a beautiful ballroom in downtown Denver, the 1940’s White Christmas Ball is one of the The Mile High City's most glamorous holiday events. Dance to big band music among vintage vehicles, movie set lights and props, re-enactors, sleighs and Christmas trees under a canopy of glistening lights.

MISTLETOE JAM

WHEN: Dec. 1, 2018
WHERE: 1STBANK Center
Kick off December with Halestorm and In This Moment along with New Year's Day at Broomfield's 1STBANK Center.

MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

A WALK IN THE WOODS

WHEN: Dec. 27, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
The new family space in the Denver Art Museum features animal-related activities created to complement the exhibition Stampede: Animals in Art.

POP-UP MINING EXHIBIT

WHEN: May 1–Dec. 1, 2018
WHERE: Molly Brown House Museum

Get a sense of what it was like to work in one of Colorado's many mines in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in this temporary mining exhibit, curated by the Western Museum of Mining & Industry in Colorado Springs. 

SPECIAL GUEST

WHEN: June. 14–Dec. 1, 2018
WHERE: DPAC/Denver Performing Arts Complex

Meow Wolf is coming to Denver in 2020, but in the meantime, they're collaborating with local Denver artists to bring this free art show to The Mile High City. 

EYES ON: JULIE BUFFALOHEAD

WHEN: July 29, 2018–Jan. 20, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Eyes On is a multi-year art series that features the work of contemporary artists. Minnesota-based Julie Buffalohead, a citizen of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, often uses animals in her artwork to illustrate the commercialization of American Indian culture.

EYES ON: SHIMABUKU

WHEN: July 29, 2018–Jan. 20, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Eyes On: Shimabuku features a video by Japanese artist Shimabuku that follows a group of Japanese snow monkeys in a Texas sanctuary.

WELDED & FABRICATED POETRY: THE ARTISTIC LIFE OF ELIZABETH YANISH SHWAYDER

WHEN: Aug. 24, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019
WHERE: Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Elizabeth Yanish Shwayder came to Colorado in the late 1940s and has since created hundreds of sculptures and executed a number of public art commissions in the Rocky Mountain region. This exhibition — co-curated by Hugh Grant, the Kirkland's founding director, and Christopher Herron, the museum's deputy curator — will feature highlights from Shwayder's career.

EL INFINITO

WHEN: Sept. 13, 2018–Feb. 23, 2019
WHERE: Museo de las Americas
This exhibit explores some of the powerful images taken by different satellites of Latin America over the past 20 years and the connection that exists between people, satellites and the Infinite — the eternal inhabitants of the universe.

TARA DONOVAN: FIELDWORK

WHEN: Sept. 21, 2018–Jan. 27, 2019
WHERE: MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Known for her transformation of mundane materials into elaborate, mind-bending objects, Tara Donovan's latest exhibit includes sculpture, drawings, works on paper and site-responsive installations that evoke the natural world in nuanced and unexpected ways.

CLAES OLDENBURG WITH COOSJE VAN BRUGGEN: DRAWING

WHEN: Oct. 7, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Modern artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen are known for their monumental and imaginative sculptures, located in major cities throughout the world. This exhibition presents drawings and one sculpture spanning the artists’ careers from 1961 through 2001.

SPORTING EVENTS

COLORADO AVALANCHE VS. ST. LOUIS BLUES

WHEN: Nov. 30, 2018
WHERE: Pepsi Center
Hockey fans can cheer on the Colorado Avalanche as they take on the visiting St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center.

COLORADO MAMMOTH VS. CALGARY ROUGHNECKS

WHEN: Dec. 1, 2018
WHERE: Pepsi Center
The Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team takes on the Calgary Roughnecks in their first game of the season.