Winter makes The Mile High City sparkle. Denver is also the world's largest après ski town. It's a great place to gear up, find deals and acclimatize before you hit the higher Rocky Mountain ski slopes of Colorado. 

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.

Events | Get Outside | Nightlife & Indoor Fun | Day TripsSki Slopes

Winter Events & Activities

Après Ski Holiday Market

WHEN: Thru Dec. 18, 2022 (weekends)
WHERE: Dairy Block
Paying homage to the quaint European holiday festivals, the Aprés Ski-themed weekend festival takes place in the heated alleyway between all the Daily Block shops and restaurants. Running every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aprés Holiday Market gives consumers the opportunity to engage with unique, independently owned and high-quality brands to shop while enjoying a beverage and embracing their inner ski vibes.

Denver Christkindlmarket

WHEN: Thru Dec. 23, 2022
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. 

Cherry Creek North Winter Wanderland Light Walk

WHEN: Thru Dec. 24, 2022
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
At Cherry Creek North, savor the season with a musical light walk under a million twinkling lights. Children of all ages will enjoy searching for eight sparkling trees that are choreographed to winter melodies in a beautifully timed show. Scan the QR code at each tree for a chance to win a $1,000 Cherry Creek North shopping spree.

Cherry Creek Holiday Market

WHEN: Thru Dec. 24, 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: Thru Dec. 24, 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.

Merry & Bright Lights Show — Miracle at Union Station Cocktail Bar — Santa Visits 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 27, 2022
WHERE: Denver Union Station
Stop by Denver Union Station to admire the 40-foot-tall outdoor Christmas tree that features more than 7,000 holiday lights. In the evening, visit for the Merry & Bright Lights show, which will once again transform the exterior façade of Denver’s landmark train station into a spectacular canvas spreading holiday cheer. You can see it each night of the season while you sip on seasonal-themed libations at Miracle at Union Station, a whimsical pop-up cocktail bar. Meanwhile, Santa and Mrs. Claus  will be making regular appearances at the station from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 5, 12 and 19

The Mile High Tree presented by XCEL Energy & Xfinity

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2022
WHERE: Civic Center Park
Join in the free festivities at this festive holiday attraction, the Mile High Tree. It’s a brilliantly lit, 110-foot-tall immersive art installation that provides a dazzling lights-and-music show. 

A Hudson Christmas: Extravaganza of Lights 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2022 (on select days)
WHERE: Hudson Gardens & Events Center, Littleton
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.

Denver Holiday Lights & Sights Tour

WHEN: Thru Jan. 1, 2023
WHERE: Downtown Denver
This holiday season, embark on a fun-filled, two-hour Denver holiday lights walking tour experience as you take in all of the magic and cheer of this festive time of year in the Mile High City. Enjoy the unique history, architecture and beauty of Denver’s holiday lights and top sights at night during this limited-run Denver holiday lights experience! This experience was designed to give you views and great photo opportunities of Denver’s most beautiful and famous landmarks, magnificently lit up for this cheery time of year. Besides getting the inside scoop on the famous and incredibly lit-up sights, you'll hear about holiday traditions that got their start right here in Denver.

Trail of Lights 

WHEN: Thru Jan. 1, 2023; 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (closed December 25)
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, Littleton
Stroll through the Colorado countryside along a winding path glistening with lights. Features this year include singing Christmas trees, two three-sided light tunnels, illuminated antique and model tractors, a children's play area with synchronized music, and warm holiday food and drink for purchase.

Luminova Holidays

WHEN: Thru Jan. 1, 2023
WHERE: Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park​
Making its Colorado debut, this family-friend event brings larger-than-life holiday displays and immersive experiences for all to enjoy. It features more than 3 million dazzling lights, a 65-foot-tall Christmas tree, a 25-foot-tall snowman that never melts, a 200-foot-long candy cane tunnel, giant ornaments, a wall of lights, rides on limited Elitch Gardens attractions, train rides for the kids (and the kids at heart), interactive activities like a light-up hopscotch, strolling holiday entertainers, Old Saint Nick and his elves, and more. 

Christmas in Color (North)

WHEN: Thru Jan. 2, 2023
WHERE: Water World, Federal Heights
Load up your friends and family into the van (or car, or truck) and experience the holiday season like never before. Drive through acres of more than 1.5 million lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you'll hear right through your radio. You'll drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. It's like being immersed in another world. (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)

Christmas in Color (West)

WHEN: Thru Jan. 2, 2023
WHERE: Bandimere Speedway, Morrison
Load up your friends and family into the van (or car, or truck) and experience the holiday season like never before. Drive through acres of more than 1.5 million lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you'll hear right through your radio. You'll drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. It's like being immersed in another world. (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)

Christmas in Color (East)

WHEN: Thru Jan. 2, 2023
WHERE: Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, Aurora
Load up your friends and family into the van (or car, or truck) and experience the holiday season like never before. Drive through acres of more than 1.5 million lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you'll hear right through your radio. You'll drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. It's like being immersed in another world. (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)

Blossoms of Light 

WHEN: Thru Jan. 7, 2023
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens
This annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms Denver Botanic Gardens into a twinkling winter wonderland. Sip warm drinks and nibble on tasty treats as you stroll.

Holiday Lights Mini Golf

WHEN: Thru Jan. 8, 2023
WHERE: Adventure Golf & Raceway, Westminster
During the holiday season, Buccaneer Bay, Adventure Cove and The Lost Continent transform into beautiful holiday-themed light displays with more than 100,000 interactive lights on all three courses!

Light the Lights

WHEN: Thru Jan. 22, 2023
WHERE: City & County of Denver​ Building in Civic Center Park
Each night, at 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., an eight-minute choreographed light and music holiday show will light up the night. It then goes to a festive, static holiday display until 10:45 p.m. The light and music shows will not play on Mondays because of City Council meetings, but the static light display will still shine. There will be a special light schedule on December 3 to highlight activities as the 9 News Parade of Lights begins in front of the City and County Building. Note: The building will remain completely dark for an annual memorial vigil from 5 to 7 p.m. on December 21, honoring persons experiencing homelessness. The lights will be turned back on after the event is over. 

Downtown Denver Rink

WHEN: Thru Feb. 14, 2023
WHERE: Skyline Park
Bundle up for some free ice skating in the heart of downtown and enjoy special events.

Bridge of Lights

WHEN: Dec. 1–4, Dec. 8–11 and Dec. 15–31, 2022 (excluding Christmas)
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.

Olde Golden Candlelight Walk

WHEN: Dec. 2, 2022; 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: City of Golden
Experience the beauty of the holiday season with a candlelit walk down Washington Avenue in historic Golden. Sing carols with neighbors and friends and marvel as the street is illuminated by thousands of glowing candles and the warmth of the festive, small-town holiday atmosphere. Many of the shops along Washington Avenue will be open and there will hot cider, cocoa and outdoor cafes to enjoy along the way. At the conclusion of the walk, the “switch” for Golden’s 50,000 holiday lights along Clear Creek and throughout downtown will be flipped, marking the official start to Golden’s holiday season. Pre-walk festivities and entertainment, including holiday dancers and music, will be on stage near the Golden Visitors Center at 10th and Washington Avenue starting at 5 p.m., and the walk begins in front of Foothills Art Center at 15th Street and Washington Avenue at 6:30 p.m. 

McGregor Skate 

WHEN: Dec. 2–31, 2022; 12–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Friday–Saturday, 12–6 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: McGregor Square plaza
The magic of winter has made its way to LoDo with McGregor Skate, an ice skating rink for all ages. Skates are available to rent at an on-site skate shop. Enjoy hot beverages from the upcoming holiday pop-up bar: Sleigh Bar at Milepost Zero. Note: The rink is closed on Dec. 24 and 25 and closes early at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31 for The Drop New Year's Eve event. There are special themed dates on Fridays from 6–8 p.m. with a live DJ. Dress up and head out on the ice:

Dec. 2: Santa Theme
Dec. 9: Ugly Sweater Theme
Dec. 16: Santa Theme
Dec. 23: Ugly Sweater Theme
Dec. 30: 80's Apres Ski Theme

Parade of Lights 

WHEN: Dec. 3, 2022; 6 p.m.
WHERE: Throughout downtown
This free holiday spectacular features extravagantly illuminated floats, giant helium-filled character balloons, magnificent marching bands, traditional equestrian units, and vibrant cultural displays. And of course, special appearances by Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa! The parade begins at 14th and Bannock Streets where you can purchase grandstand seating in front of the City and County Building. Spectators can view the parade for free along the two-mile route on Tremont Street between 14th and 17th Streets, on 17th Street from Tremont to Arapahoe Street, on Arapahoe between 17th and 15th Streets, and on 15th Street from Arapahoe to Glenarm. For more information, see the 9NEWS Parade of Lights web page. 

Saturday Night Lights at Cherry Creek North

WHEN: Dec. 3–17, 2022; Saturdays
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the season and enjoy complimentary treats as you wander beneath 600 illuminated and musically choreographed trees throughout Cherry Creek North. Watch as stilt walkers, acrobats, jugglers and other performers add to the festive atmosphere, creating an evening to remember for the whole family.

Zoo Lights

WHEN: Dec. 3, 2022–Jan. 15, 2023; 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Denver Zoo
It's official: Zoo Lights has been making magic, memories and even marriages for more than 30 amazing years! This illuminating annual event transforms Denver Zoo into Colorado's WILDEST winter wonderland. Don't miss this year's historic celebration, with more than a million lights sparkling over 60 acres — animated animal sculptures, Santa and Mrs. Claus visits, animal encounters, exciting entertainment and treats for kids of all ages. 

Snow Days

WHEN: Dec. 3, 2022–Feb. 17, 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.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

WHEN: Dec. 6, 2022
WHERE: Aurora Municipal Center, Aurora

Witness the illumination of thousands of strands of lights. This event will have holiday-themed activities, treats, live entertainment and a visit from a special guest in a jolly red suit...

16th Street Mall Holiday Festival

WHEN: Dec. 10, 2022
WHERE: 16th Street Mall - Pedestrian Mall
This highly attended annual curated marketplace features an awesome selection of one of-a-kind seasonal items, high-quality handcrafted goods, fabulous holiday gift ideas, delicious specialty foods, home décor and unique holiday gifts. While you shop, enjoy Christmas carolers, live entertainers and appearances by Santa!

Chanukah Celebration

WHEN: Dec. 18, 2022
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
Celebrate the first night of Chanukah with Chabad of Cherry Creek. Families and guests of all ages will enjoy what is truly a festival of lights with face painting, fire juggling, festive treats and crafts.

Winter Day Trips

Red Rocks & Golden

The concert season at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre may be over, but you can still enjoy this natural wonder year-round. The Red Rocks Visitor Center's winter hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m., seven days a week. Check out the Red Rocks Hall of Fame, featuring photos and memorabilia from more than 40 years of incredible concerts. Learn about the massive rock formations in the Geologic Niche and explore the Trading Post Loop Hiking Trail, a 1.4-mile adventure through spectacular rock formations, valleys and a natural meadow. After you've enjoyed Red Rocks, spend some time in nearby Golden's Old West-themed downtown, with a charming selection of shops, restaurants and attractions. 

Central City & Black Hawk

I-70 West and Exit 243 onto Central City Pkwy.
Head for the hills and check out all the fun Central City and Black Hawk have to offer. Located 34 miles (55km) west of Denver, the two towns offer more than 30 casinos with blackjack tables, craps, roulette, poker games and more than 10,000 slot machines. In 2009, gambling stakes were raised to $100, to the delight of high rollers. The two cities are also known for having some of the best-preserved Victorian architecture in the West. Other attractions include the Teller House Hotel, where President Grant once stayed and the Central City Opera House, which still features an outstanding summer season of opera after more than 100 years. There are mine tours, mining museums and several places offering instruction in the fine art of in-stream gold panning where a half-billion dollars of the coveted, shiny metal was once found.

Rocky Mountain National Park

I-25 North to Exit 217, US Hwy. 36 west to Estes Park
The legendary Rocky Mountain National Park, located just an hour from The Mile High City, offers spectacular snowshoeing and cross country skiing options that will take you to some of the most scenic and serene spots in all of Colorado. Rent cross-country skis and/or snowshoes in Denver and take the short drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park - you won't regret it. Check with rangers at visitor centers for info on the right trail for you.

Winter Fun at Nearby Ski Slopes

Located two hours or less from most Front Range ski areas, Denver has always been the gateway to Colorado skiing and boarding.

Ski and Snowshoe Tours

Take a ski, snowboard or snowshoe tour of Colorado's world-class ski resorts or experience the gorgeous backcountry and let someone else do the driving and planning. Adventure Scenic Tours of Colorado offers private custom tours all over Colorado for one to six passengers in luxury SUVs. They can take you on snowshoeing and cross-country skiing adventures in the nearby foothills and get you to the ski resorts for even bigger fun. Skip the ski lifts and go on a cross-country skiing adventure with Aspire Tours. Also, check out Denver Adventures for full- and half-day snowshoe hikes in the Front Range. Looking for something a little longer? Let Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides lead you on full-day snowshoeing excursions to Indian Peaks or Rocky Mountain National Park or multi-day ski tours of Colorado's famed mountain huts. And take an exhilarating heated "sleigh ride" via an all-terrain vehicle thanks to Great Outdoors Adventures. They'll let you play around on snow-covered trails.

Winter Park

Winter Park Resort is nestled at the base of the Continental Divide at the east end of the Fraser Valley. As the closest major destination resort to Denver, Winter Park offers easy access to skiers arriving at Denver International Airport from hundreds of domestic and international points. Just two hours from the airport, the surrounding mountain expanses and breathtaking scenery at Winter Park give visitors the impression that they are far away from the hustle and hassle of city life. If you don't want to drive, hop on the Winter Park Express ski train for a memorable ride through a stunning landscape. (Note: The ski train has suspended operations indefinitely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.) 

Vail

One of the largest ski resorts in the world with more than 5,200 acres of open terrain, Back Bowls spanning seven miles and the most groomed terrain on the planet, Vail has been the ideal winter destination for skiers and snowboarders for more than 50 years. Besides being one of the favorite ski destinations in the world, Vail features everything from Ski & Snowboard School to on-mountain events, shops and spas, numerous dining options and luxurious accommodations. Vail is a mountain resort like nothing on earth.

Loveland Ski Area

Just 53 miles west of Denver on I-70, Loveland Ski Area is super close to Denver and averages 400 inches of snow annually. Loveland's location offers unique skiing possibilities you simply cannot find at other ski areas. There's no glitz here. Loveland has been long known for some of the best skiing and snowboarding conditions in Colorado. At Loveland you get 1,365 diverse acres of terrain and breathtaking views from the second-highest chairlift in the world, high atop the Continental Divide. When you need to escape from the city for a day of riding and a night of good food, Loveland won't disappoint. Daytripper packages are available, including lift ticket, equipment and clothing rental. Ski school lessons are available for all abilities and schedules.

Keystone Resort

Seventy miles west of Denver, in Summit County, Colorado, you'll find Keystone Resort. With 131 trails, 235 inches of snow, more than 3,000 skiable acres and 20 lifts, Keystone delivers a truly world-class mountain experience, all within a short drive from Denver and the Front Range. At 11,640 feet, Dercum Mountain is home to long, open runs and perfect groomers to keep you cruising all day — a great place to start for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. For those who crave big air, Keystone's A51 Terrain Park will not disappoint. Named a top-ranked park by Freeskier and Transworld Magazines, this is the place to be for shredders and jibbers. Looking to explore Denver by day and Keystone at night? The mountain offers not only the largest night skiing operation in Colorado, but the longest ski day as well, operating from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Known for its excellent snow and extended ski season (the longest in Colorado), Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (or "A-Basin" to locals) is 68 miles from Denver, with killer views. A-Basin's acclaimed terrain and laid-back vibe make it a favorite for experts to beginners. Half of the mountain is above timberline, with open-bowl skiing and snowboarding through spring and into early summer. One of its signature runs, Pallavicini, is one of Colorado's longest and steepest trails. Family-friendly features include two learning areas, a full-service Snowsports School, on-site rentals and three dining locations. On sunny days, you might want to lounge on "The Beach," a stretch near the Early Riser parking lot that backs up to three lower-mountain chairlifts.

Copper Mountain Resort

Winter activities at 9,600 ft. available at Copper Mountain include skiing, snowshoeing, overnight back-country hut trips, sleigh rides and more! As the largest resort in Summit County, Copper offers diverse terrain on a well-designed, easy-to-navigate mountain. Veteran skiers prefer the east side, while beginner and intermediate skiers enjoy the moderate terrain farther west. The resort also boasts 16 miles of cross-country trails and first-rate terrain parks. Make sure to catch the Winter Dew Tour (Dec. 16–19, 2021), a free annual winter ski and snowboard competition and festival.

Echo Mountain

Located just 36 miles from Denver in nearby in Idaho Springs, Echo Mountain is the closest ski area to Denver, making it easy to fit into even the shortest weekend trip! Originally opened in 1960 as the Squaw Pass Ski Area, Echo has gone through many iterations over the years, including a terrain park and a private ski race training facility. It reopened as a ski resort in 2016 and has undergone extensive renovations over the past few years, including a brand new tubing hill, an expanded beginner ski area and a new food-and-beverage menu (featuring “life-changing fries”). Night owls can even take part in night skiing throughout the season!

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