27 fun things to do in Denver this week
posted by: Amber Johnson
Holiday revelries are in full swing! From the Zoo Lights kick-off to 9News’ Parade of Lights to holiday markets to Christmas productions. Go to our event calendar for full details.
Free Breakfast with Santa at Outlets at Castle Rock
Dec 2 all-day
The Outlets at Castle Rock will be serving up a free, hot pancake breakfast with Santa on Friday, December 2nd! Plus, lots of entertainment for the kids.
Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo
Dec 2, 2016 – Jan 1, 2017
Zoo Lights is the Rocky Mountain Region’s largest lighting event, spanning more than 70 acres of the Zoo’s campus. A great way to spend the holidays and kick off the New Year with friends, family and colleagues. This is the Zoo’s most anticipated annual event. Included are more than 150 animated animal sculptures, Santa Claus meet-and-greets, choirs, ice carvers, live animal demonstrations and more.
Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Nov 26 – Dec 24
Colorado Ballet’s 56th annual production of The Nutcracker will feature more than 300 costumes, 31 Company dancers, 25 Studio Company dancers, 76 Academy dancers, and timeless choreography paired with Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.
Dec 2 – Dec 4
The weekend at Holiday Flea means full access to the vendors, drinks, tunes, and more! Finish up holiday shopping with nearly 200 local makers showcasing their wares, grab a a craft beer or cocktail with an old friend, stoke up your holiday cheer, explore the iconic former Sports Castle, or enjoy a bit of all of the above.
CU Holiday Festival 2016
Dec 2 – 3
A lively program of seasonal music and festive holiday decorations in Macky Auditorium inspire sold-out audiences and make the Holiday Festival a beloved annual tradition. Choirs, orchestra, ensembles and faculty soloists from the CU-Boulder College of Music invite you to share the joy and warmth of the season with your family and friends.
Wassail Days in Frisco, Colorado
Dec 2 – 11
Frisco’s holiday festival, Wassail Days, is a weeklong ode to winter and the holidays headquartered on Frisco’s charming Main Street. From December 2–11, Frisco will host free Santa visits, a luminary and tree lighting, an Ugly Holiday Sweater Challenge, a soup soirée at the tubing hill and free wassail (hot spiced cider) tastings at 65-plus restaurants and shops around town.
Candlelight Walk and Fireworks at the Golden Visitor’s Center
Dec 2, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Experience the beauty of the holiday season while walking down Washington Avenue, candle in hand, singing holiday carols during Golden’s hometown Candlelight Walk, which offers an authentic way to open the season of lights. And this year, we’ll have more lights than ever brightening the sky – the fireworks originally scheduled for the Fourth of July will be fired off after the Candlelight Walk.
9News Parade of Lights at the Denver City & County Building
Dec 2 and 3
Catch Colorado’s Brightest Holiday Tradition on Friday, December 2 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 at 6 p.m. The two-mile parade route in Downtown Denver is the stage for Colorado’s brightest holiday tradition. This free event features marching bands, ornate floats, and special appearances by The Downtown Denver Partnership’s own Major Waddles and, of course, Santa Claus himself.
Red Bull Flying Bach at the Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre
Dec 2 – 4
In a clash of cultures Red Bull Flying Bach turns the international classical music world upside down. World champion b-boy crew Flying Steps visualizes and revives Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier in a creative performance that combines classical music and urban culture. Note by note. Step by step.
Holiday Open House at Barr Lake State Park
Dec 3, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Bring your family and friends to enjoy Barr Lake’s Holiday Open House and savor delicious holiday refreshments. It’s a day filled with something for everyone,
56th Annual Georgetown Christmas Market
Dec 3 – 11
The 2016 Georgetown Christmas Market will be held the first and second weekends of December and admission is FREE. Christmas Market features an outdoor European marketplace with handcrafted gifts in addition to Georgetown’s charming year-round shopping experience. Beautiful and unique shops showcase Christmas ornaments and decorations, Victorian items for the home, art, Colorado wine, rare books, jewelry, exquisite clothing, antiques, and gifts.
Barnum “The Artisian Market” Holiday Marketplace
Dec 3, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Going strong after 15+ years, this marketplace has a variety of handmade products that include but not limited to pottery, jewelry, glass work, paintings, aprons, sport geared items, baby and toddler items, and holiday inspired snacks. Vendors are from newbies and experienced local artist.
Free Day at the Denver Art Museum
Dec 3, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
The museum offers free general admission on the first Saturday of the month, made possible by Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).
Mrs. Claus: A Holiday Musical at Red Rocks Community College Theatre
Dec 3 – 17
Mrs. Claus: A Holiday Musical is a high-energy, interactive show created specifically for younger audiences. Can Santa’s elves save Christmas from being ruined by the villainous Mr. and Mrs. Fusspot? Will the official Christmas list fall into the wrong hands? Is it up to Mrs. Claus to save Christmas?
The Oxford Hotel Dolls’ Tea
Dec 4, 10:00 am
Enjoy one of Denver’s favorite family holiday traditions this December with The Oxford Hotel Dolls’ Tea Party on Sunday, Dec. 4th at LoDo’s most historic boutique hotel. The Oxford Dolls’ Tea Party is a classic tea party, with hot cocoa for children, tea for adults and a light snack of sandwiches and assorted treats. Children are encouraged to bring their favorite doll along to enjoy the festivities.
Boogie Down! at the McNichols Civic Center Building
Dec 4, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Love great music but staying up till 2 a.m. sounds like torture? Come “Boogie Down” with the whole fam-dam-ily. See live music performances and learn to play with Swallow Hill’s Instrument Petting Zoo while they converse about civic topics of importance.
Christmas with the Children’s Chorale at the Boettcher Concert Hall
Dec 4, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Combine 400 young singers full of holiday spirit, with Christmas traditions and stories and the outcome is a concert brimming with everything needed to kick-off the season.
A Christmas Carol at Stage Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Nov 25 – Dec 24
Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol promises to “warm your heart and renew your holiday spirit” according to the Examiner. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride @ Colorado Railroad Museum
Nov 10 – Dec 23
The story of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ is being theatrically re-created at the Colorado Railroad Museum so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the holiday season!
Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Nov 11 – Dec 31
Take a scenic tram ride to the top of Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs to experience Winter on the Mountain. One of Western Colorado’s largest displays of holiday lights, along with holiday displays, music, fire pits for roasting s’mores, and visits with Santa. Families will enjoy one of the state’s longest Alpine Coasters, a Zip Ride overlooking the Colorado River Valley, laser tag and the states only 4D Motion Theater.
Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume at the Denver Art Museum
Nov 13 2016 – Apr 2 2017
The characters of the Star Wars™ universe are brought to life through the dramatic presentation of more than 70 original costumes in Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume at the Denver Art Museum. The extensive exhibition closely examines the captivating process of costume design for iconic outfits featured in all seven films—from Queen Amidala’s lavish gowns to Darth Vader’s imposing armor.
Denver Christkindl Market at Skyline Park on the 16th Street Mall
Nov 18 – Dec 23
The Denver Christkindl Market transforms Skyline Park into a magical “old world” European Christmas village, with wooden vendor huts, twinkling lights, festival music, and an authentic German Bier Hall. Patrons will be transported to an authentic holiday market like the ones found in German public squares, to shop from thirty featured gift and craft artisans, bakers and chefs, many of whom have come to Denver from around the world.
Santa Express Train at the Royal Gorge Railroad
Nov 18 – Dec 24
We’ve all seen the movie Polar Express. Now you can experience the train that takes you to meet Santa Claus himself. The Santa Express Train is a winter wonderland, where children of all ages are encouraged to wear cozy pajamas and relax with family and friends on a journey you’ll treasure year after year.
Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Nov 25. 2016 – Jan 1, 2017
Denver Botanic Gardens is proud to host this annual family-friendly event that has become a tradition! This holiday lights extravaganza features some new elements and includes the grand illuminated O’Fallon Perennial Walk and the Romantic Gardens. Gaze at twinkling lights through their popular HoloSpex glasses and enjoy warm drinks and tasty treats as you stroll this winter wonderland.
Trail of Lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
Nov 25, 2016 – Jan 1, 2017
Come to Chatfield Farms to see colorful holiday lights illuminate a winding path through the Colorado countryside, set against a stunning foothills backdrop.Trail of Lights offers visitors a path that leads to the warming hut, the children’s area and on to Hildebrand Ranch.
Downtown Denver Grand Illumination
Nov 25 – Dec 31
Downtown Denver’s Grand Illumination event lights up Downtown, from Denver Union Station to the City and County Building. The whole family will marvel at the brightly colored floodlights illuminating the historic structure in the heart of Lower Downtown and its lighted tree in front. Light Exhibition runs through the end of December.
Shrek: The Musical at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Dec 1, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017
Shrek: The Musical follows this beloved unlikely hero and his wisecracking, best friend Donkey on a journey of a lifetime to rescue a feisty, headstrong princess. Throw in a short tempered bad guy, a cookie with attitude and more than a dozen other fairytale misfits, and Shrek must learn to see the true hero within to succeed.