55+ events in Denver this week!
posted by: Amber Johnson
The Horseshoe Holiday Markets are kicking off this weekend at their new home at BelMar. Also, don’t miss Disney on Ice, Olde Golden Christmas Parade and more. See our event calendar for full listings.
Horseshoe Holiday Markets next to Rink at Belmar in Lakewood
Dec 8 – 9; Dec 15-16, Dec 22-23; Saturdays, 10 am-8 pm, Sundays, 11 am-6 pm
Voted Denver’s Best Flea Market, the Horseshoe Market will be hosting ‘pop up’ markets with over 70 new vendors each market, every weekend through December 23rd. Shop local and support small businesses. Indoors & cozy, free admission, free covered parking at Belmar and right next to ice rink at Belmar. Plus artisanal food, baked goods, coffee, hot cocoa and cocktails. The first 25 customers each day of the market receive a shopping tote and first few lucky customers each day get free ice skating passes to the Rink at Belmar. Dog and family-friendly!
Signing Santa at Cherry Creek Shopping Center
Dec 5 –6
Deaf and hard-of-hearing children are invited to visit and sign with Santa on December 5 and 6 .
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Dec 5 – 15
Start this holiday season with a timeless tale of joy and good will, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs, top it off with glorious dancing and lots of snow and head on over to The Buell Theatre to see Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. It tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written.
4th Annual Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins Brewery and Tour Center at Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Tour Center
Dec 6 – 8
Witness the magic of twinkling lights during the fourth annual Brewery Lights at the Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins Brewery! Now through Dec. 30, guests are invited to marvel as the brewery is turned into a remarkable holiday experience with something for everyone, including new family-friendly activities and theme nights, beer samples for guests 21+, delicious food and festive entertainment.
Grand Menorah Lighting in Loveland at Loveland Museum
Dec 6, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
This celebration will include a giant Menorah lighting along with music, latkes, donuts, dreidels and more. There will also be a special appearance by Mayor Jacki Marsh.
Disney On Ice “Dare To Dream” at Pepsi Center
Dec 6 – 9
Celebrate what’s possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! In her Disney On Ice debut, see how far Moana goes on a quest with demigod Maui to save her island and find her own identity.
Holiday Festival: 40th Anniversary Season
Dec 7 – 9
Delight in the twinkling lights, seasonal greenery and beautiful music at CU Boulder’s Holiday Festival, an annual tradition that’s enchanting for all ages. The decades-old celebration brings together student choirs, bands and orchestras—along with world-class faculty performers—for a concert of holiday favorites.
Rino Holiday Bazaar
Dec 7 – 9
A festive weekend-long party in the streets of RiNo Art District featuring a curated mix of Denver’s makers and artists, music, cocktails & food. FREE for the first two hours of each day, $5 thereafter at the door and valid for the whole weekend; Kids Under 12 and Dogs Free Admission.
Christmas Lights in Denver at History Colorado Center
Dec 7, 4:30 – 9:00 pm
Come enjoy the history and beauty of Denver’s holiday lights with History Colorado! The festive evening begins with an informal program exploring our state’s historic holiday traditions. Then it’s all aboard a comfortable, heated bus as we drive through some of the Denver area’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Your host will delight and entertain you with stories of Denver’s holiday lore. We design a new route for this annual event every time, so join us for some unexpected lighting surprises! This is sure to get even a Scrooge into the holiday spirit.
Colorado Christmas Adventure
Dec 7 – Dec 8
The Colorado Christmas Adventure, presented by Mission Hills Church, is a free, family-friendly event featuring Christmas stories and characters, a gingerbread house display and competition, live musical performances, ornament making, cookie decorating, food trucks and much more.
Star Wars Holiday Variety Show
Dec 7, 7:00– 8:30 pm
The Star Wars Variety Show featuring live performances, trivia, costume contest and excerpts from the Star Wars Holiday Special! Toy and Food Drive, a portion of the proceeds to go to charity. Come early for the “Darth Santa” photo booth and “Wookie-ookies.”
A Classical Christmas at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Dec 7 – 8
A new tradition begins as your Colorado Symphony debuts A Classical Christmas, blending traditional and classical holiday arrangements in an unforgettable performance. Featuring vocal soloists Anna Christy and Andrew Garland, and the Colorado Symphony Chorus, this new program includes holiday-themed music from Handel arranged by Mozart, Holst, Barber, Berlioz, and more. Finzi’s In Terra Pax: Christmas Scene is a magnificent retelling of the nativity story while Bass’ Gloria offers an electrifying conclusion to this holiday kick-off spectacular.
Ho Ho Hoedown to Hollywood
Dec 7, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
The Denver Gay Men’s Chorus is excited to announce the official title for our holiday show! HO HO Hoedown to Hollywood: DGMC’s 2018 Holiday Show.
Breakfast with Santa at Downtown Aquarium
Dec 8 – 9
Breakfast with Santa! Enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet at Downtown Aquarium with Santa Claus and Sharkey. Keep a close eye out – you may see Santa swimming with the fish and the Mystic Mermaids swimming with the turtles.
Free day at Longmont Museum
Dec 8, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Longmont Museum, housed in a distinctive contemporary building, features changing exhibits in history, art, and science, as well as the award-winning Front Range Rising, a long-term exhibit on the history and culture of this region. The Museum recently opened an expansion, featuring the 250-seat Stewart Auditorium and Cone-Shortall stage, the Swan Atrium, and the Kaiser Permanente Education Center.
Jackalope Holiday Indie Artisan Fair at McNichols Building
Dec 8 – 9
This event is FREE, but donations are encouraged to the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies, our event beneficiary. The event is all ages and open to the public with handicap accessibility. Please no dogs other then service dogs.
Yes, Please Maker’s Market
Dec 8– 9
We’re keeping it real this holiday season with a free, maker-hosted, vendor-friendly market starring 100(ish) of our favorite makers. After being part of the local Denver market circuit, Yes Please founders Kiwi Schloffel (of Craft Boner) and Taylor Barkin (of Moore Collection) wanted to create something with the vendor experience in mind: accessible, affordable booth pricing, attention to locals-only goods, and a friendly, supportive community.
Olde Golden Christmas Parade at the City of Golden
Dec 8, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
On Saturdays in December, authentic and historic downtown Golden becomes a festive holiday center with traditional decorations and fun family events. The free Olde Golden Christmas Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. with cowboys on horses, floats, marching bands, old cars, elves on unicycles, the Grinch in his Corvette, and of course, Santa Claus. The parade winds down Washington Avenue with lots of activities before and after including snappy barbershop quartets, hot cider, Victorian carolers, and antique fire trucks.
Hands on History Family Fun Days at History Colorado Center
Dec 8 at 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Join us for our Hands on History Family Fun Days! On the second Saturday of each month, families have the opportunity to explore and create their own history, art, and culture through hands-on, immersive activities like adobe brick making, building log cabins, live performances, and role playing in our exhibits.
Snowcats Cats Convention at EXDO Event Center
Dec 8– 9
The wait is over for cat lovers all over Denver. SnowCats is the only cat convention to bring together pop culture, music, art, and of course, feline lovers to the Rocky Meowntain region. The event is also set to include iconic industry celebrities and celebricats alike, such as: • Baloo: Adventure Cat, and Henry the Colorado Dog’s famous partner in crime, Kitten Lady: Kitten rescuer, humane educator, and unwavering animal advocate and MoShow: Cat rapper and Meow-sicia.
Winter Fest on Fillmore at Cherry Creek North Shopping District
Dec 8, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
On Saturday, December 8th, you’re invited to experience the true joy of the holiday season, including winter itself at Winter Fest on Fillmore Plaza and at participating businesses throughout the Cherry Creek North area. This festive celebration will culminate on Fillmore Plaza, transforming the street into a winter wonderland with live ice carving, fire pits with outdoor seating and more.
Dec 8 – 9
A Christmas tradition, Saint John’s Cathedral presents its annual performances of Handel’s most famous work, Messiah, Part I. Handel Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and Bach Air from the Orchestral Suite No. 3 opens the program.
Low Sensory Morning at Downtown Aquarium
Dec 9, 8:30 am – 10:00 am
For our guests that prefer a calmer and more sensory-friendly environment join us for a special morning. We will open early at 8:30am, turn up the lights and turn down the ambient sounds in the exhibits. Stay as long as you would like.
Free Day at Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Dec 9, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Museum Admission is free. To add a temporary exhibit, IMAX or Planetarium show, purchase tickets at the Museum on the Free Day; upgrade rates apply.
Santa Cares for Kids with Special Needs at Outlets at Castle Rock
Dec 9, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
On Sundays, Dec. 2 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Outlets at Castle Rock will host two “Santa Cares” events, providing children with special needs a warm, quiet environment and sensory activities to help reduce behavioral triggers associated with this bustling time of year for a perfect picture with Santa.
A Happy Holidays Concert
Dec 9, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Jingle Bells and Special Nights come but once a year, let’s get together for some holiday cheer! Join the Golden Eagle Concert Band for an afternoon of merriment with the concert band sounds of new and traditional holiday music.
Grand Menorah Lighting in Fort Collins at Old Town Square, Fort Collins
Dec 9, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
This celebration will include a giant Menorah lighting along with music, latkes, donuts, dreidels and more. There will also be a special appearance by Mayor Wade Troxell.
Ongoing Holiday Events and Exhibits
Horseshow Holiday Markets at Belmar in Lakewood
Dec 8 & 9, Dec 15 & 16, Dec 22 & 23 (Saturdays and Sundays)
Brief description: Voted Denver’s Best Flea Market, the Horseshoe Market will be hosting ‘pop up’ markets with over 70 new vendors each market, every weekend through December 23rd. Shop local and support small businesses. Indoors & cozy, free admission, free covered parking at Belmar and right next to ice rink at Belmar. Plus artisanal food, baked goods, coffee, hot cocoa and cocktails. The first 25 customers each day of the market receive a shopping tote and the first few lucky customers each day get free ice skating passes to the Rink at Belmar. Dog and family-friendly! Saturdays, 10 am-8 pm, Sundays, 11 am-6 pm. horseshoemarket.com
Denver Union Station Holiday Fun
Denver Union Station is officially in business for the holiday season! Don’t miss the landmark train station’s NEW outdoor Christmas tree, a 40 foot tall tree that will feature more than 7,000 holiday lights. Other festive events this holiday season include the Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea (Dec. 2, 9 and 16), free visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus (Dec. 2nd, Dec. 9th, Dec. 16th and Dec. 23rd) and Sundaes with Santa on Sunday afternoons (2-4 p.m.) features a make-your-own-Sundae Bar featuring including a variety of sauces & toppings for $5 per person.www.unionstationindenver.com
November 16-January 1
This walkable lighting attraction situated in the award-winning Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra will mesmerize guests as they stroll through the sculpture park, which has been transformed for this joyful time of year. Each night, visitors will revel in more than 60,000 holiday string lights, twinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, illuminated African stone sculptures, a 20’ LED mappable Christmas tree and a six-song music and light show each evening starting at 5 p.m. In addition to nightly lighting attractions, special weekend programming will run Friday and Saturday evenings from Nov. 16 – Dec. 15 featuring Colorado’s largest inflatable igloo, weekend food and retail vendors, prize giveaways and exceptional performances from dance and musical acts from across northern Colorado. winterwonderlightsloveland.com
Nov 16, 2018 – Dec 23, 2018
This annual event brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to Denver. This market opens every year on the Friday before Thanksgiving, and lasts through the 23rd of December. Guests can find delicious cuisine, festive German drinks, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing, gifts and much more. Live entertainment is featured inside the festival tent every evening, and dancing is highly encouraged! https://www.christkindlmarketdenver.com/
A Hudson Christmas
November 23 – December 31
A Hudson Christmas is an extravaganza of outdoor Christmas lights that will keep the holiday spirit burning bright. Don your warm apparel and get ready to create lifelong memories while you explore this unique display of holiday light artistry. Walk arm-in-arm with loved ones and old friends. See how this woodsy terrain transforms into a winter wonderland where brightly-lit trees weave neon colors into the night sky, reflect off bodies of water, and illuminate happy faces. Share your holiday wishes with Santa Claus, take a family photo on Santa’s sleigh, warm up in the yuletide yurts, sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and stop for priceless photo opportunities along the way. hudsongardens.org/concerts-events/a-hudson-christmas
Blossoms of Light
Nov 23, 2018 – Jan 1, 2019
This annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. Don’t miss: The interactive light display, featuring a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights. Seasonal entertainment available on select evenings.
Denver Zoo Lights
November 30 – January 6, 2019
Always a memory-making sell-out, be sure to get your Zoo Lights tickets early. Zoo Lights, now in its 28th year and presented by your Hometown Toyota Stores, is Denver’s premier light show spread across 60 acres with over a million bright lights, animated animal sculptures, Santa and Mrs. Claus visits, animal encounters, exciting entertainment, and treats for kids of all ages. https://www.denverzoo.org/events
Holiday Flea at Denver Union Station
November 23 – December 16, 2018
Gather your family and friends for the Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea, four weekends of shopping, festivities and winter fun, all at the historic Denver Union Station! Hundreds of Colorado’s best makers and artisan brands will pack the Plaza of Union Station each weekend, starting Friday, Nov. 23, for a holiday shopping wonderland in the heart of the Mile High, paired with music, eats, drinks and more. Tickets are $5 per person, and are good for entry/re-entry for the specific weekend for which they are purchased. Children 12 and under are free. http://www.denverflea.com/
Christmas in Color at Water World
November 23 – December 31
Load up your friends and family into the van (or car, or truck) and experience Christmas 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. In fact, we won’t judge you if you join the kids with your face pressed against the window. https://christmasincolor.net/
Santa’s Flight Academy at Cherry Creek
Nov 10, 2018 – Dec 24, 2018
Santa is looking for cadets to help him prepare his sleigh for the big day! Create memorable moments with a magical snow and light show inside Santa’s sleigh, the Flight Suit Visualizer, and of course, a visit with Santa Claus. Don’t miss this one-of-kind interactive experience! www.shopcherrycreek.com
Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms
Nov 23, 2018 – Dec 23, 2018
Santa and his friends move to Chatfield Farms in November! Chatfield Farms is transformed into a magical village. Join us for an exciting holiday experience for all ages. Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s cinema and find unique holiday gifts in his workshop. Admission includes: Santa’s live reindeer, kids get pictures with Santa, Snow Man and the reindeer, craft with Mrs. Claus, holiday lights, hayrides, Santa’s Cinema on Elf Boulevard, and Santa’s Workshop will include craft vendors.
St. Nick on the Bricks at Pearl Street Mall
November 23-24; December 1, 8, 15, 22
Kids of all ages can visit with Santa at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center for free. Bring your list and a camera to capture priceless holiday memories.
Olde Golden Christmas
Dec 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018
At the closing of each year, Golden celebrates tradition back to a simpler time of strong family traditions and small-town holiday celebrations. The authentic and historic main street of Golden becomes the central festive location for Olde Golden Christmas, a city-wide, December-long celebration, including a traditional candlelight walk, Victorian carolers, holiday art market, live theater, a dazzling light display along Clear Creek, Santa encounters, free Newfoundland dog pulled cart rides, shopping, dining, three parades down Washington Avenue, and so much more! http://goldenchamber.org/olde-golden-christmas/
The Polar Express
November 10- December 23, 2018
2018 Polar Express Train Ride performances run select dates November through December. Show Times: 5:00PM, 6:30PM & 8:00PM. Each performance will last approximately 75 minutes. coloradorailroadmuseum.org
Ice Skating Rink at Denver International Airport
November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Returning in 2018 for it’s 3rd year, the FREE Ice skating on the DEN Plaza. There truly is Snow Place Like DEN for the Holidays!
Free Skating at Skyline Park
November 20-February 3
Now in its 9th season, the Downtown Denver Rink offers free ice skating seven days a week. Plus, check out the amazing programming–from Snoga to Broomball. Entry is free but skate rentals are $6 for kids 12 & under and $8 for adults 13 & older. downtowndenver.com
Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker
November 24-December 23
Just in time for the holidays, Colorado Ballet’s acclaimed production of The Nutcracker returns for its 58th year. In addition to being the largest production of The Nutcracker in the state, Colorado Ballet’s 2016 production was named the best-loved Nutcracker in the U.S. in the 10th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award Contest. Live music will be performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Last season’s performance of The Nutcracker sold out, so be sure to get your tickets early! https://www.coloradoballet.org
Seussical at the Arvada Center
Oct 10 – Dec 29, 2018
Enter the fantastic world of Dr. Seuss in the musical, Seussical! Music and dance bring characters like Horton, the Cat in the Hat, and Gertrude McFuzz together on stage. Don’t miss out on all the fun and all the “thinks you can think.” arvadacenter.org/seussical-2
December 15 – January 2
Conveniently located at Denver Pavilions (500 16th Street), the Holiday Carousel returns to Downtown Denver to enhance your holiday experience and create memories for years to come. Free rides will be given from Denver Pavilions restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues with purchase, and from select Downtown hotel partners. Partial proceeds will benefit Food Bank of the Rockies. denverpavilions.com
ELF Hot Chocolate Bar
The Curtis – a DoubleTree by Hilton invites you to celebrate your festive North Pole spirit this holiday season with a new Elf Hot Chocolate Bar every Friday in December from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Kick off the weekend with a delicious cup Yuletide cheer – adults are welcome to spike their hot cocoa with a splash of Baileys, Bourbon or Kahlua – topped with a bevy of delicious holiday toppings, including candy canes, sprinkles & marshmallows. Free & open to the public, the Curtis will be collecting donations that will go directly to Denver’s Tennyson Center for Children, which is dedicated to helping children who have experienced severe abuse, neglect, and/or trauma so they can bravely, and safely, change their life’s story. Guests are also invited to decorate snowflakes while enjoying a screening Elf – everyone’s favorite feel-good Christmas movie – all surrounded by the bold & bright holiday decorations in the Curtis lobby.
A Christmas Carol
November 21 – December 24, 2018
Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol is a joyous and opulent musical adaptation that traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. denvercenter.org
Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
December 7, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only one place in Colorado Springs where you can see over 85 one-of-a-kind light sculptures and enjoy a full Zoo experience! For all the details, visit: http://www.cmzoo.org/electricsafari
Santa on the Square
November 23 -December 24, 2018
Kicking off the day after Thanksgiving and continuing throughout the weekends in December with extended hours, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting Larimer Square. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus are free but please bring your own camera. https://www.larimersquare.com/event/santa-on-the-square-3/
Ongoing General Events
Play Ball!at the History Colorado Center
Apr 7, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019
Treasured memorabilia and iconic photographs bring the past to life through stories that begin on the ball field and echo through American history. Size up your hand against Babe Ruth’s. Find the nails Ty Cobb used to hold his favorite bat together, and admire the glove flashed by Willie Mays to make some of the game’s most memorable catches. See the uniform Joe DiMaggio wore in his final World Series and a receipt for roses he sent to Marilyn Monroe. And much, much more—these are just a few of the one-of-a-kind items on view in Play Ball!
TreeHouses: Look Who’s Living in the Trees! Hands-on exhibit
Jun 2, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019
Explore the forest canopy – indoors! In the Longmont Museum’s newest hands-on exhibition, visitors roam from tree to tree as they discover the many habitats that trees provide for animals large and small, and people too. Climb through large treehouses, become an animal tracker, get face-to-face with wildlife of all sizes, move your feet on the forest-sound dance floor, and more. This exhibition makes learning fun, as visitors explore responsible forestation, wildlife ecology, and local epidemics such as the ash borer beetle. longmontmuseum.org
July 20 – January 6, 2019
Love brainteasers? Enter “Mindbender Mansion,” a quirky place full of puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges that put minds of all ages to the test. This unique, high-energy experience opened at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on July 20.
Denver Art Museum
There are several family-friendly exhibits at the DAM including Stampede: Animals in Art on view at the museum through May 19, 2019. A Walk in the Woods is still on view, which coincides with Stampede, and includes animal-themed artmaking activities and after their summer break, Foxy & Shmoxy: Art Detectives, are back. Children have been really loving the gallery games and book in the exhibition Ganesha: The Playful Protector. Their Learning & Engagment department created a children’s book specially to be used while visiting this exhibition with children, and don’t miss the fun new interactive installation by local artist Nicole Banowetz, The Incubation Effect. Go to https://denverartmuseum.org/ for more information.