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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.

FEATURED EVENTS

MILE HIGH UNITED WAY TURKEY TROT

WHEN: TBA 2019
WHERE: Washington Park    
Run your yams off at the annual Mile High United Way Turkey Trot in Denver's beautiful Washington Park. The four-mile race and quarter-mile family fun run is expected to host over 10,000 participants in support of Mile High United Way's work in the community to improve the lives of children, families, and individuals in need. This year's Turkey Trot will include a start and finish village featuring pre-race coffee, live entertainment, music, booths and a beer garden sponsored by Great Divide Brewing Co. 

GRAND ILLUMINATION

WHEN: TBA 2019
WHERE: Downtown Denver
As part of Downtown Denver's Winter in the City program, Downtown Denver's Grand Illumination event will light up downtown, from Denver Union Station to the City and County Building at Civic Center Park. Afterward, meet Santa, enjoy drinks at Terminal Bar and dance to holiday classics by the Denver Dolls. The lights stay on through the end of December.

LIGHT THE LIGHTS

WHEN: TBA 2019
WHERE: Civic Center Park

The City and County of Denver and 9News present the annual lighting of Denver's City and County Building. This fun and heart-warming tradition is nearly 100 years old and is the perfect kick-off to the holiday season! Don't miss the ceremonial flipping of the light switch between 6:30 and 7 p.m.Be sure to explore the winter festival in Civic Center Park and bring hats, gloves and scarfs for the Giving Treeto benefit for Denver families in need.

LIGHTS AND ICE FESTIVAL

WHEN: TBA 2019
WHERE: Civic Center Park

Holiday cheer will abound at this family-friendly winter festival. There'll be hot chocolate, cold adult beverages, food trucks and the Sugar Plum Bazaar at the McNichols Building. Dress your four-legged friends in their fanciest holiday outfits to compete in the first-ever Yellow Snow Dog Race! Denver Public Library's Wheelie the Book Bike will also be there with free books and holiday crafts.

MORE HOLIDAY EVENTS

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ TRAIN RIDE

WHEN: TBA 2019
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. 

SANTA'S FLIGHT ACADEMY

WHEN: TBA 2019
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: TBA 2019
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: TBA 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. 

A HUDSON CHRISTMAS

WHEN: TBA 2019
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: TBA 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 ON THE SQUARE

WHEN: TBA 2019
WHERE: Larimer Square
It's the happiest season of all at Larimer Square, where historic charm meets holiday cheer. With festive dining options and boutiques filled with treasures for everyone on your 'Nice' list, Larimer Square help you celebrate in style. There are also carolers, carriage rides and Santa on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. Visits with Santa are free and open to the public.

SANTA'S VILLAGE AT CHATFIELD FARMS

WHEN: TBA 2019
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 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.

MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS

'A CHRISTMAS CAROL'

WHEN: TBA 2019
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: TBA 2019
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: TBA 2019
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: TBA 2019
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

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.

SPORTING EVENTS

Check back for the 2019 sporting events lineup.

 

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. Larimer Square and Cherry Creek North are also celebrating Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24, 2018. Or shop for handmade gifts and decor at the Holiday Flea at Denver Union Station or the Holiday Sugar Plum Bazaar at the McNichols Civic Center Building.