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Winter makes The Mile High City sparkle. There's plenty of snowy fun this year, from a Winter Brew Fest to a rare winter concert at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. 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. You can even ride a ski train from downtown to Winter Park Resort. 

WINTER EVENTS

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER 

WHEN: Nov. 7, 2019–Jan. 31, 2020
WHERE
Daniels & Fisher Tower
Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening.

4th Annual Ice Rink at Denver International Airport

WHEN: Nov. 22, 2019Jan. 22, 2020, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
WHERE: Denver International Airport (DEN) on the outdoor plaza
Lace up your skates and start practicing your axels, jumps and spins as the free ice skating rink on Denver International Airport's outdoor plaza returns for its fourth season. Attendees can pick up free skate rentals, available in many sizes, then hit the ice before or after a flight, or locals are welcome to come out for a fun winter activity. On Friday afternoons, enjoy hot chocolate, hot cider, winter activities and entertainment.

MILE HIGH TREE

WHEN: Nov. 30, 2019–Jan. 1, 2020, 5 p.m.–10:30 p.m., Jan. 2-31, 2020, 5:30 p.m.–9 p.m.; free shows every evening
WHERE: Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex

Join in the free nightly festivities at Denver’s newest holiday attraction, the Mile High Tree. It’s a brilliantly lit, 110-foot-tall immersive art installation that provides dazzling lights and music shows every 15 minutes throughout the evening. At 39-feet in diameter, the conical structure can host up to 140 guests at a time for an immersive viewing experience within the tree itself. There will be areas to purchase both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well as holiday treats. 

CHRISTMAS IN COLOR 

WHEN: Nov. 22, 2019–Jan. 24, 2020
WHERE: Water World and 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. You can experience the attraction at two locations. (Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.)

ICE SKATING AT DOWNTOWN DENVER RINK AT SKYLINE PARK 

WHEN: Nov. 26, 2019Feb. 16, 2020
WHERE: Corner of 16th and Arapahoe
Take a spin on the ice — for free! Grab your family and friends and head to 16th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver to the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park in downtown Denver! Skate rentals are $7-$9, or bring your own pair and skate 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.

NATIONAL WESTERN STOCK SHOW & RODEO

WHEN: Jan. 11–26, 2020
WHERE: National Western Complex
Held every January, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is the world's largest stock show, involving more than 15,000 animals. Enjoy rodeos featuring top-notch bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions and auctions. 

ULLRGRASS MUSIC & BEER FESTIVAL

WHEN: Jan. 24–26, 2020
WHERE: Parfet Park, Golden
Named for the Norse God of Winter, UllrGrass is a three-day, Viking-themed bluegrass festival. Yes, you read that right. Festival-goers dress in Viking regalia and celebrate winter with live music, performing arts, food and craft beer. 

DENVER WINTER BREW FEST

WHEN: Jan. 25, 2020
WHERE: Mile High Station  
Toast the winter season at Winter Brew Fest. This annual event at Mile High Station celebrates craft beverages from around Colorado and other U.S. microbrews and features live local music, food and other vendors. Cheers! 

ICELANTIC'S WINTER ON THE ROCKS

WHEN: Jan. 31, 2020
WHERE: Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre
Don't miss the annual Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks, a rare winter concert at one of the world's most iconic venues, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE

WHEN: Mar. 14, 2020
WHERE: LoDo
Join one of Colorado’s largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations and enjoy Irish dancers, bagpipes, bands, equestrians, civic clubs and cultural groups. 

Nightlife, Indoor Fun and Museums

While Denver locals love the outdoors, there is plenty of indoor entertainment. Head to dance clubs and places to hear jazz like Nocturne and Dazzle, along with several jazz concert series. Also check out a wide variety of Denver music and nightlife, including dance clubs.

Want to burn off some energy from cabin fever? At DAGAR you can throw axes at wooden targets while enjoying local craft beer, wine and artwork. And at  Archery Games Denver in nearby Arvada, you can shoot foam-tipped arrows at your friends.

Winter is also a great time to take in Denver's art museums. See world-class exhibitions at Denver Art Museum or contemporary art at MCA Denver (Museum of Contemporary Art Denver). Here's how you can experience Denver's art scene in one day

WINTER BEAUTY IN DENVER'S PARKS

The Mile High City boasts more than 4,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, which include 2,500 urban natural acres. In the winter, they take on a wondrous glow, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. Stroll through Washington Park and City Park during this season and take in gorgeous views of the skyline, framed by the Rocky Mountains. Cheesman Park positively glitters in winter, with large snowy expanses stretching out in front of you. Snowball fight, anyone?

WINTER DAY TRIPS

RED ROCKS & GOLDEN

The concert season at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison) 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 Performers 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 AND 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.

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. 

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.

ELDORA MOUNTAIN RESORT

A favorite among locals due to its convenient location — only 21 miles from Boulder and 47 miles from Denver — Eldora Mountain receives 300 inches of snow per year. Eldora boasts Colorado's best snowmaking system. Coverage is 100 percent of groomed terrain, more than any other resort in Colorado. Eldora also holds the distinction of being accessible via public transportation: you can take the bus from Boulder up the mountain for a mere $4.50 one way.

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. Aspire Tours will pick you up from your hotel in Denver and show you an amazing time with experienced guides. Trips usually take 9–10 hours and are perfect for those who have limited days to enjoy the famous ski country.

Outfitting in Denver

Denver is a great place to outfit before you head up into the hills. One of the local supermarket chains, King Soopers, sells lift tickets at a small discount. REI is one of the largest sporting goods stores in the nation, offering a full range of ski, snowboard, cross-country ski, snowshoeing and winter clothing. Denver boasts more winter sports stores per capita (and has the highest number of skiers per capita) of any city in America, and big-city competition makes the prices much cheaper than the mountains.

WINTER SPORTING EVENTS

Colorado Avalanche
 

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Feb. 11, 2020: Ottawa Senators

Feb. 13, 2020: Washington Capitals

Feb. 15, 2020: Los Angeles Kings

Feb. 17, 2020: Tampa Bay Lightning

Feb. 19, 2020: New York Islanders

Feb. 26, 2020: Buffalo Sabres

Mar. 4, 2020: Anaheim Ducks

Mar. 11, 2020: New York Rangers

Mar. 13, 2020: Vancouver Canucks

Mar. 15, 2020: Vegas Golden Knights

Mar. 17, 2020: San Jose Sharks

Mar. 21, 2020: Montreal Canadiens

Mar. 29, 2020: Nashville Predators

Mar. 31, 2020: Arizona Coyotes

Apr. 2, 2020: Winnipeg Jets

Apr. 4, 2020: St. Louis Blues

 

Colorado Mammoth
 

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Jan. 25, 2020: Buffalo Bandits

Feb. 15, 2020: San Diego Seals

Feb. 29, 2020: Philadelphia Wings

Mar. 8, 2020: Rochester Knighthawks

Mar. 20, 2020: Calgary Roughnecks

Apr. 4, 2020: New England Black Wolves

Apr. 17, 2020: Vancouver Warriors

 

Denver Nuggets
 

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Jan. 26, 2020: Houston Rockets

Jan. 30, 2020: Utah Jazz

Feb. 4, 2020: Portland Trail Blazers

Feb. 10, 2020: San Antonio Spurs

Feb. 12, 2020: Los Angeles Lakers

Feb. 23, 2020: Minnesota Timberwolves

Feb. 25, 2020: Detroit Pistons

Mar. 1, 2020: Toronto Raptors

Mar. 3, 2020: Golden State Warriors

Mar. 9, 2020: Milwaukee Bucks

Mar. 18, 2020: Los Angeles Clippers

Mar. 27, 2020: San Antonio Spurs

Mar. 30, 2020: Oklahoma City Thunder

Apr. 3, 2020: Chicago Bulls

Apr. 5, 2020: Utah Jazz

Apr. 7, 2020: Memphis Grizzlies

Apr. 13, 2020: Dallas Mavericks

 

Denver Broncos
 

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Check back for the 2020 schedule. 

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