Holiday Guide 2018: 31 things to do around Denver during the holiday season
DENVER — The holiday season is here and there is a lot to do around Colorado.
From several ice skating options to Santa’s running down a street – Colorado is the best place to spend the holidays.
We have 31 events below – some for the whole family while others are just for the adults. And there’s even ways to give back to the community.
The events are in chronological order.
Denver Christkindl Market
When: Nov. 16 – Dec. 23
Where: Skyline Park, 16th and Arapahoe Streets
The Denver Christkindl Market turns Skyline Park into an “old world” European Christmas village with several different vendors offering a variety of items and food. The market is open Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
When: Nov. 20 – Feb. 3
Where: Skyline Park, 16th and Arapahoe Streets
Cost: Free admission; skate rentals $6-8
The Skyline Park skating rink is once again open for the season. While skating is free, skate rental is available for $6 for kids 12 and under, and $8 for adults. You can also purchase a season pass for unlimited individual skate rentals for $35 for kids 12 and under, and $50 for adults. On Sundays, all kids 12 and under can rent skates for free.
A Christmas Carol at Denver Center
When: Nov. 21 – Dec. 24
Where: Stage Theatre
Cost: Starting at $30
“A Christmas Carol” is a holiday musical tradition for families ” that traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption.” Tickets are still available.
45th annual Turkey Trot
When: Nov. 22, 8 a.m. registration/ 10 a.m. race begins
Where: Washington Park
Cost: Free to watch/ $45 for adults to register, $35 for seniors and military members, $30 for kids 12 and under
FOX31 and Channel 2 are proud sponsors of this year’s Turkey Trot. Money raised will go directly to Mile High United Way and will be reinvested into the community, to fight for the education, health, and financial stability for everyone in metro Denver.
Miracle at Avanti Wolf Bar pop-up bar
When: Nov. 23 – Dec. 23
Where: Avanti Food and Beverage, 3200 N Pecos St.
At Miracle at Avanti Wolf Bar, adults can enjoy holiday cocktails (some that are served in mugs like Santa’s lower half) inside a bar that’s decked out in holiday decorations and Christmas music.
Christmas in Color
When: Nov. 23 – Dec. 31
Where: Water World
Cost: $25-$30 per vehicle
Drive through a Christmas display with more than 1.5 million LED lights while listening to Christmas music that is synchronized with the display. It’s $25 Monday through Thursday and $30 on weekends.
Hot Cocoa Sleigh Rides
When: Thanksgiving – Easter
Where: Sombrero Stables at Snow Mountain Ranch, 1101 Co Rd 53, Granby, CO
Cost: $42 for adults, $36 for children 6-11, $18 for kids 3-5, under 3 are free
Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow covered forest with food and hot chocolate. Blankets are provided and they encourage caroling. The winter sleigh rides are offered every day at noon, 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. You can book your reservation online.
Denver International Airport Ice Rink
When: Nov. 23 – Jan. 7, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Denver International Airport
This is the third year of the popular free ice skating rink at Denver International Airport.
When: Nov. 23
Where: Union Station, City and County Building, and other buildings
Downtown Denver landmarks will light up for the holidays during the Grand Illumination on Nov. 23. In addition to Union Station and the City and County Building, lights will also illuminate the 16th Street Mall, Skyline Park, the D&F Clock Tower, 14th Street, Larimer Square and more.
A Hudson Christmas
When: Select nights Nov. 23 – Dec. 31 from 5 p.m – 9 p.m.
Where: Hudson Gardens, 6115 S Santa Fe Dr. Littleton, CO
Cost: $10.50 for adults, $8 for children 4-12, $9 for military members, free for children 3 and under
Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens
When: Nov. 23 – Jan. 1, 5-9 p.m.
Where: Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St.
Cost: For tickets in advance $16 for adults, $13 for children 3-15, $14 for military members and seniors over 65
The Blossoms of Light transforms the Botanic Gardens into a festive winter wonderland with several interactive LED light displays throughout the park.
Tickets are increased by $5 if you purchase them at the door. Members of the Botanic Gardens also get a $2 discount on admission.
Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms
When: Nov. 23 – Dec. 23
Where: Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Rd. Littleton, CO
Cost: $20 for adults and children ages 3-15, $15 for military members and seniors over 65
Santa and Mrs. Claus work as Chatfield Farms is transformed into a Christmas village. It features hayrides, movies at Santa’s cinema, and unique gifts in Santa’s workshop.
St. Nick on the Bricks
When: Friday and Saturdays Nov. 23 – Dec. 22, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Boulder Visitor Information Center, 1301 Pearl St.
Kids can meet Santa for free every Friday and Saturday throughout December in Boulder. Bring your camera and your wishlist to capture a holiday memory.
Holiday Flea at Denver Union Station
When: Weekends Nov. 23 – Dec. 16
Where: Union Station
Starting on Black Friday, 100s of Colorado makers and brands will be in the plaza of Union Station to help you stock up on gifts for everyone on your list. You can buy your tickets online.
Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker
When: Nov. 24 – Dec. 24
Where: Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Cost: $30 – $155
The 57th annual production of The Nutcracker puts on a show that was named the best-loved Nutcracker in the U.S. in 2016. Tickets are still available for most shows, but are quickly selling out.
FOX31 Problem Solvers Toy Drive
When: Nov. 26 – Dec. 21
Where: 15 Front Range Hand & Stone locations
In part of Serving Those Who Serve, FOX31 Denver and The Salvation Army are proud to put on this year’s Serving Those Who Serve Toy Drive. All you have to do is purchase any variety of toy, visit any participating Hand and Stone location, and place the new, unwrapped toy in the Toy Drive barrel.
Channel 2 Angel Tree
When: Nov. 26 – Dec. 21
Where: 11 Front Range Macy’s locations
Channel 2, Macy’s, and The Salvation Army are proud to team up for Angel Tree. There will be toy barrels and Angel Trees at 11 area Macy’s locations. Meet some of the news team from Channel 2 at the Macy’s locations at Park Meadows, Cherry Creek, and Orchard on Dec. 9 from 1-3 p.m.
Denver Zoo Lights
When: Nov. 30 – Jan. 6, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St. Denver, CO
Cost: $20 for adults, $14 for children ages 3-11, $17 for seniors over 65
The Denver Zoo is lights up for the holiday season during Zoo Lights as illuminated animal sculptures swing through trees and appear in places around the park.
There’s a discount for zoo members and those who buy tickets online.
58th Olde Golden Christmas
When: Nov. 30 – Dec. 31
Where: Downtown Golden
Downtown Golden will feature an elf run, candlelight walks, holiday art market and a light display along Main Street. They will also have free horse-drawn carriage rides on the weekends in early December. Check their website for more.
Parade of Lights
When: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1
Where: Civic Center Park
This holiday tradition has been part of the holiday’s in Denver since 1975. The parade features marching bands, floats, and Santa all lit up and ready to warm you up. The parade starts at 8 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday. The two-mile route begins at Civic Center Park.
Dillon Ice Castles
When: Depends on weather – sometime in December
A favorite pastime from last winter is returning to Colorado. Ice Castles are expected to open in Dillon in late December. Tickets cost between $16 and $25 last year. Pricing for this year has not been announced.
We’ll update when we have an opening date.
Georgetown Christmas Marketplace
When: Dec. 1 & 2, 8 & 9
Where: 6th Street in Georgetown
The 57th annual Christmas market features free holiday entertainment along with horse-drawn wagon rides and appearances by Santa.
9th Annual 1940s White Christmas Ball
When: Dec. 1
Where: Hyatt Regency Downtown Denver Convention Center, 650 15th St.
Step back in time for a 40s and 50s themed Christmas party. This years theme is It’s A Wonderful Life. More information and ticket information is available on their website.
Race of the Santa’s and Lighting of Breckenridge
When: Dec. 8
Where: Main Street, Breckenridge
After a lighting at Blue River Plaza, 100’s of Santa’s run, skip, walk, and jump down Main Street in Breck in the annual Race of the Santa’s.
Denver Pavilions’ Holiday Carousel
When: Dec. 15 – Jan. 2, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street
Cost: $3 or free with voucher from a Denver Pavilions merchant
The carousel is the Denver’s first and only carousel downtown. It is also the same carousel featured in the movie “Selena” starring Jennifer Lopez, according to the pavilions. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Food Bank for the Rockies.
Colorado Symphony: A Colorado Christmas
When: Dec. 15-17
Where: Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St
The Colorado Symphony will perform your favorite holiday songs throughout four shows at Boettcher Concert Hall. There will also be an oppertunity to meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
When: Dec. 16, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Skyline Park
More than 300 tuba and baritone players will put on the 44th annual TubaChristmas concert. It is one of the longest running holiday events in Colorado.
LIGHT! at Gaylord Rockies
When: Dec. 18
Where: Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center
“LIGHT! at Gaylord Rockies,” is a walking experience designed to immerse guests in color, patterns and light as they follow a path of illumination while exploring the resort’s western grounds.
They say this is a preview of the brand’s event called “ICE!” The resort opens on Dec. 18 – but FOX31’s Drew Engelbart got our first look inside.
Denver New Year’s Eve fireworks
When: Dec. 31
Where: 16th Street Mall
You can close out 2018 with fireworks in downtown Denver. Each year the city puts on two shows – one at 9 p.m. for families and another at midnight to officially mark the start of 2019.
First Night Fort Collins
When: Dec. 31, 5:30 – 10 p.m.
Where: Downtown Fort Collins
Celebrate the new year in Fort Collins. It’s a family-friendly event that is non-alcoholic. It’s an art-based celebration with over 30 performances across seven venues throughout downtown Fort Collins. There’s a fireworks show at 10 p.m. from Civic Center Park.
Torchlight Parade and Fireworks in Steamboat
When: Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Base of Steamboat Ski Area in Gondola Square
The torchlight parade is one of three Steamboat Springs does each year – the others on Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. The on-snow parade down the mountain is lit only by torches. Following the parade, a fireworks show will provide a great ending to the evening.AlertMe