Event Round-up: Candlelight Walk, Parade of Lights & More!
Through Saturday. The 36th annual 9News Parade of Lights twinkles its way through downtown, starting tonight. This year’s parade brings a couple of new treats to the lineup: A huge, 42-foot-long tiger balloon and an updated float for Santa and his sleigh. Plenty of familiar favorites will be on-hand, too, including the puppy and Major Waddles balloons and a small army of high-school marching bands. Watch for the Westernaires mounted drill team, Colorado Disc Dogs, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and traditional dancers from a variety of world cultures. Tonight, the Colorado State University marching band will make a special appearance. 8 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday. Downtown Denver, 15th and 17th Streets between Tremont Place and Arapahoe St.; grandstand at the City and County building, Colfax Avenue and Bannock Street. Admission is free. Advance grandstand tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for children ages 2 to 12. denverparadeoflights.com
Friday and Saturday. Golden officially gets in the holiday spirit with an “Olde Golden Christmas.” The celebration starts Friday with a candlelight and caroling walk. Bring a candle—or buy one for 50 cents—and join the parade through downtown Golden, with warm drinks, snacks and entertainment along the way. A reindeer petting zoo greets kids at the end of the walk. On Saturday, the town begins a series of “Olde Fashioned Hometown Parades,” complete with Santa, elves, Christmas music and floats. Afterward, hitch a free ride in a horse-drawn carriage –or kids can hop into a wagon pulled by a Newfoundland dog. The parades continue on Dec. 10 and 17. Candlelight Walk: 6:30 p.m. Friday. Gather at Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St., Golden, beginning at 6 p.m. Parade: 11 a.m. Saturdays. Washington Avenue, downtown Golden. Admission to both events is free. 2hourvacation.com
Through Jan. 1. The Denver Botanic Gardens will be in full, sparkling bloom—in two locations—during “Blossoms of Light” and “Trail of Light.” “Blossoms” invites guests to wander through the Gardens’ main York Street site, decorated with hundreds of thousands of colorful lights. New this year: four ice sculptures and a synchronized light display in the amphitheater. The “Trail of Light,” at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, guides holiday revelers along a glimmering path on the high plains. For younger guests and their grownups, there’s a brand-new children’s play area, too. Both events will have warm drinks available. 5:30-9:30 p.m. daily. Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St.; 720-865-3500. Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton; 303-973-3705. Admission: $9.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and students, $6.50 for children ages 3 to 12. Gardens members receive a discount. botanicgardens.org
Saturday-Sunday. Gather the whole Christmas crew for a “Christmas with the Children’s Chorale” at Boettcher Concert Hall. The yearly holiday extravaganza features all the Chorale’s choirs, from the young beginners of the Prep Choir to the seasoned singers of the Tour Choir. This year’s show features a special commissioned work by local composer Deborah Schmit-Lobis, plus a globally minded selection of holiday carols. 2 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. Boettcher Concert Hall at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis Streets. Saturday tickets are $24-$80 for adults, $19-$75 for kids and students under 18. Sunday seats are $19-$75 for adults, $15-$60 for kids and students. Buy tickets at ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000. childrenschorale.org
Saturday. Get a photo with Santa—and plenty of midday playtime—at “Snack With Santa” at the Children’s Museum of Denver. Instead of waiting in a line, kids pick up a “Santa Pass” with an appointed visit time. Before their appointment with the big man, they can play in the museum, stop in at the hot cocoa bar and take a final look at their list. Grownups, be sure to bring a camera, as there won’t be a professional photographer on-site. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. Activities included with museum admission: $8 for guests ages 2 to 59, $6 for 1-year-olds and seniors age 60 and older. mychildsmuseum.org
Kathleen St. John