Book

Forget about the turkey: Denver's Thanksgiving Weekend returns with fun (and free) events, performing arts, live music and plenty of family-friendly activities.

Don't miss out on great Denver hotel deals during Thanksgiving Weekend.

MORE HOLIDAY EVENTS

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ TRAIN RIDE

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

Grab your golden ticket! The beloved children's book comes to life in The Polar Express™ Train Ride, a theatrical recreation at the Colorado Railroad Museum that takes place inside a real train car, complete with cookies and hot chocolate. 

DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET

WHEN: Nov. 16–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: 1515 Arapahoe St.

The Christkindl Market includes vendors from Germany, Ukraine, Ireland and other countries — as well as local artisans — offering high-quality gifts, such as 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.

DOWNTOWN DENVER RINK AT SKYLINE PARK

WHEN: Nov. 22, 2018–Jan. 31, 2019
WHERE: Skyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
Grab your family and friends and head to 16th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver to the Skyline Rink. Skate rentals are $2, or bring your own pair and take a spin on the ice 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. 

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. 

SANTA'S VILLAGE AT CHATFIELD FARMS

WHEN: Nov. 23–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: Chatfield Farms at the Denver Botanic Gardens

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

ZOO LIGHTS

WHEN: TBA, 2018
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.

LIGHT THE LIGHTS

WHEN: TBA, 2018
WHERE: City & County Building, 1437 Bannock St.

The official kick-off to the largest lighting display in Denver happens on November 24 at 3 p.m. with festivities at the City & County Building, and at 6 p.m. 600,000 lights will illuminate the neo-classical building. Enjoy family-friendly fun, food and live music in the light of the City and County Building at Light the Lights.

SANTA'S FLIGHT ACADEMY

WHEN: TBA, 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

MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS

'AMERICA’S MUSICAL JOURNEY' IMAX 3D

WHEN: Feb. 16–Dec. 31, 2018
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Tap your toe across America as you experience the sounds of jazz, blues, zydeco and old-time country music, and see how they have shaped our nation’s distinctive musical heritage in this engaging film. 

'PASSPORT TO THE UNIVERSE'

WHEN: Mar. 6–Dec. 31, 2018
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Visit the Gates Planetarium to take a journey across billions of light years as you soar beneath the rings of Saturn, into the heart of the Orion Nebula and out into the vastness of the known universe. Narrated by actor Tom Hanks. 

'PANDAS 3D'

WHEN: Apr. 6, 2018–Jan. 24, 2019
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Meet an adorable panda cub named Qian Qian, born in captivity at Chengdu Panda Base in China, as she prepares live in the wild on the mountains of Sichuan. Narrated by actress Kristen Bell.

'CORDUROY'

WHEN: Oct. 5–Dec. 9, 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. 

'COME FROM AWAY'

WHEN: Nov. 13–25, 2018
WHERE:
Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
This new Broadway musical tells the true story 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. 

'A CHRISTMAS CAROL'

WHEN: Nov. 21–Dec. 24, 2018
WHERE:
Stage Theatre, Denver Center for Performing Arts
Keep the holiday spirit flowing with this classic Christmas tale from Charles Dickens. "A Christmas Carol" is the ultimate holiday treat for theatergoers young and old. 

'THE SANTALAND DIARIES'

WHEN: Nov. 23–Dec. 24, 2018
WHERE: The JonesDenver Performing Arts Complex
For a less traditional take on the holiday season, don't miss "The SantaLand Diaries," based on author David Sedaris' hilarious account of his stint as a Macy's Christmas elf in New York City. This one-man show isn't for kids, but it will leave adults roaring with holiday cheer. 

'THE NUTCRACKER'

WHEN: Nov. 24–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Center for the Performing Arts

A holiday tradition, Colorado Ballet's performance of Tchaikovsky’s famous score was named the best-loved "The Nutcracker" production in the country last year. 

DRUMS OF THE WORLD

WHEN: Nov. 25, 2018 
WHERE: Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver Center for Performing Arts

This popular annual family concert takes attendees on a musical trip around the globe. Drums of the World features your very own Colorado Symphony percussionists playing rhythmic instruments new and old — it'll be everything but the kitchen sink! Arrive early for pre-concert activities in the lobby.

MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

STAMPEDE: ANIMALS IN ART

WHEN: Sept. 10, 2017–May 19, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Whether depicted as faithful companions or threatening adversaries, animals have been the subjects of human art for centuries. Stampede allows visitors to consider the roles animals play in our lives and in our art through more than 300 paintings, sculptures and more. 

ZOOM IN: THE CENTENNIAL STATE IN 100 OBJECTS

WHEN: Nov. 21, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018
WHERE: History Colorado Center

History Colorado created a brand-new space, the Tim Schultz Gallery, to house this 3,700-square-foot exhibit of 100 objects, each of which had a role in shaping the history and culture of Colorado.

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. 

MINDBENDER MANSION

WHEN: July 20, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Gather hidden clues and secret passwords as you work your way through puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges of Mindbender Mansion, designed to put minds of all ages to the test.

EYES ON: JULIEBUFFALOHEAD

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.

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.

REMBRANDT: PAINTER AS PRINTMAKER

WHEN: Sept. 16, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Take a close look at Rembrandt's innovative approach to printmaking. The exhibit — which will only appear at Denver Art Museum — features more than 100 prints, drawings and paintings from the Dutch master's career.

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.

CUBA!

WHEN: Oct. 26, 2018–Jan. 20, 2019
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science
This lively experience — presented in English and Spanish — immerses you in the people, landscapes, flora, fauna and daily life of Cuba. Learn about Cuban art and artists, walk along a Cuban street and explore a coral reef diorama.

DIOR: FROM PARIS TO THE WORLD

WHEN: Nov. 19, 2018–Mar. 3, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
The 150 couture dresses, accessories, drawings, photographs and videos span 70 years of the House of Dior's enduring fashion legacy.

SPORTING EVENTS

TBA, 2018 

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.