Thanksgiving in Denver returns with fun (and free) events, blockbuster museum exhibitions, lights displays and plenty of family-friendly activities. Don't miss out on great hotel deals. For a delicious deep dive into Denver's culinary scene, check out these Thanksgiving meals for takeout.

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.

Holiday Lights | Holiday Shopping | Family-Friendly Events | Food & Drink | Music & Performing Arts | Sporting Events | Museum & Gallery Exhibitions

Holiday Shopping Kicks Off

The holiday shopping season kicks off after Thanksgiving! There will be free parking on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday in the Denver Pavilions underground garage while Cherry Creek North is celebrating Small Business Weekend

Family-Friendly Events & Activities

Downtown Denver Rink

WHEN: Thru Feb. 20, 2022
WHERE: Skyline Park
Bundle up for some free ice skating in the heart of downtown and enjoy special events. 

The Polar ExpressTM Train Ride

WHEN: TBA 2022
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. This year, a whole host of carefully crafted updates have been made in order 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. 

Santa's Flight Academy

WHEN: TBA 2022
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. 

Cherry Creek North Holiday Market

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
The free Cherry Creek North Holiday Market at Fillmore Plaza features 30 local artisan vendors, live music, and festive drinks and decor.

'Camp Christmas'

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park

An over-the-top, outdoor/indoor extravaganza as big as the season it celebrates! Leave your worries behind and immerse yourself in Denver Center for the Performing Arts' (DCPA's) biggest holiday experience ever! 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. Most importantly, Camp Christmas is an opportunity to rediscover (and reimagine!) the holiday spirit and connect with people you love.

Denver Christkindlmarket 

WHEN: TBA 2022

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. 

Avista Adventist Hospital Louisville Turkey Trot 5K

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Front Street, Downtown Louisville
Join your neighbors and friends on Thanksgiving morning for the 2021 Avista Adventist Hospital Louisville Turkey Trot. Your entry and any other food donations go to support Community Food Share, whose mission is to eliminate hunger in Boulder and Broomfield Counties through engagement, collaboration and leadership.

Film on the Rocks

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison
Enjoy a one-of-a-kind drive-in movie experience at the iconic Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre with a new lineup of films to celebrate the holidays. Here's what's happening for Thanksgiving weekend:

A Hudson Christmas: Extravaganza of Lights

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Hudson Gardens & Events Center
Hudson Christmas is back after two long years. 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.

Santa at McGregor Square

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Milepost Zero Food Hall

Santa will be available for photos on the following dates/times:

A Storybook Holiday in Evergreen

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Evergreen

See classic Christmas stories depicted in ice! The mountain community of Evergreen is “hiding” ice sculptures around town and Santa is flying in from the North Pole to do some special readings. 

Farolito Lighting & Pinecone Ceremony

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: The Fort Restaurant, Morrison

Welcome the holiday season and honor a member of the community who has enlightened the hearts and minds of others. Feel the warmth and watch as pinecones are tossed into the courtyard fire, sending good thoughts and prayers into the night sky. Sing along to Christmas carols from the 1830s and 1840s with music students from the Colorado School of Mines and other strolling musicians. Enjoy Mexican hot chocolate, hot cider and traditional biscochitos.

Food & Drink

Champagne Cascade  

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Brown Palace Hotel & Spa by Marriott 

Begin your holiday celebrations by experiencing the 34th Annual Champagne Cascade in the picturesque atrium lobby. This iconic event features master swordsmen using Napoleonic sabers to sever the bottlenecks of Moet & Chandon Champagne. The Champagne is then poured into the uppermost glass of a two-story high, 5,000-plus glass pyramid. As the Champagne is poured, it cascades into the glasses below, creating a stunning display of bubbly liquid as it is cheered on by live holiday tunes and the crowd lining all levels of the holiday-adorned atrium. 

Thanksgiving Buffet

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Downtown Aquarium

The aquarium's buffet will feature traditional Thanksgiving favorites, including carved turkey, cornbread stuffing and house-made cranberry sauce. 

Music & Performing Arts

'A Christmas Carol'

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Wolf Theatre

Essential to the holiday season in Denver, "A Christmas Carol" is a joyous and opulent musical adaptation that traces money-hoarding curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption.

Colorado Ballet Presents 'The Nutcraker'

WHEN: TBA 2022
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.

'Drums of the World'

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex

Marimba, bongos, bass drums, woodblocks, log drums, boo-bams, Chinese cymbals, metal trash cans, darabukkas, talking drums, plastic pipe, acoustic guitar, toy trumpet, tablespoons, Burma gongs, water can, crow call, tambourine, gankogui and sleigh bells! These are just some of the percussion instruments that the virtuoso percussionists of your Colorado Symphony will be using in this dynamic concert that is fun for the entire family.

'A Face Christmas'

WHEN: TBA 2022
WHERE: Lone Tree Arts Center

Ring in the holidays with a fabulous, fun, festive holiday concert by the amazing all-vocal rock band Face! It’s a wonderful night out for the whole family and it’ll have your elf shoes tapping and your jingle bells ringing with the joy of the season. The band — using only their voices — meld popular tunes, complex harmonies, beat-box rhythms and more into captivating concert performances.

Sporting Events

Check back for the 2022 lineup!

Museum & Gallery Exhibitions

Memory Mirror

WHEN: Thru Mar. 5, 2023
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

Lares Feliciano's Memory Mirror is an immersive installation that invites visitors to explore their relationship with memory through animation, dioramas and interactive storytelling. Designed to evoke the memory of a relative's living room, this exhibition will transform the museum's Precourt Family Discovery Hall into a surreal domestic den that is both familiar and fantastic.