55 family-friendly events in Denver this week
posted by: Amber Johnson
The holidays are in full swing with Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, the Grand Illumination, Zoo Lights and more. See our event calendar for more information. Don’t miss our Denver Guide to the Holidays and 40+ Holiday Vacation Ideas in Colorado.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers at the Pepsi Center
Nov 27, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers live at the Pepsi Center!
Arvada Fair for the Band at the Arvada High School
Nov 29 – 30
Join us for the 3rd Annual Arvada Fair for the Band, handmade arts and craft fair at Arvada High School. Fine art, quality crafts, seasonal gifts, food, student musical performances, children’s’ craft area, and much more.
Jefferson Park Farm & Flea at Jefferson Park Neighborhood
The Jefferson Park Farm & Flea is an urban marketplace dedicated to bringing the community the best food, handmade items, vintage finds, quality produce and urban homesteading goods and information. See website for times.
Clyfford Still Museum Family Tour at Clyfford Still Museum
Nov 29, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Play, create, and explore on these interactive tours with trained Clyfford Still Museum gallery teachers. During the Still: Elemental, exhibition, Family Tours explore four of the five elements (earth, air, water, and fire) using all our senses. Bring the whole family and join us for these special art adventures.
Stapleton Holiday Bazaar at Northfield Stapleton
Nov 29 – Dec 1
Get your Holiday Shopping lists ready because the Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR is returning to The Shops at Northfield Stapleton for a full weekend this year!
The Nutcracker with Boulder Ballet at Macky Auditorium
Nov 29 – Dec 1
Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Gary Lewis, conductor. A Boulder tradition for 30 years. A feast for the senses with professional dancers, beautiful sets, and your Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra.
Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
Nov 29 – Dec 15
Santa and his friends transform Chatfield Farms into a magical village! Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s Cinema or walk under the magical light displays. Stop at Elf Boulevard to drop off your letters to Santa. Let the kids play in a real elf house and see the elves hard at work. Enter a life-size snow globe.
A Hudson Christmas
Nov 29 kick-off 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Light up the holidays at A Hudson Christmas—an extravaganza of dazzling, colorful Christmas lights. A Hudson Christmas has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families and friends from across the Denver area! Walk arm-in-arm with loved ones at this winter wonderland decorated with thousands of outdoor lights. Explore the trails where bursts of light and color wrap around trees, shimmer on bodies of water, illuminate happy faces, and bring a twinkle to your eye. Share your holiday wish list with Santa Claus, watch Christmas trees dance to holiday music, sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and stop for photo opportunities along the way.
Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens
Nov 29 – Jan 3
The Gardens’ signature event for over three decades, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. With fresh and exciting new features, along with some fan favorites, this year’s display is brighter and more expansive than ever before. Join us for this family-friendly event that has become a holiday tradition for thousands of Front Range families.
Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and Tour Center
Nov 29 – Dec 1
The holiday lights are lit, the cocoa is hot, and the 30-foot inflatable snowman is back – it’s beginning to look a lot like Brewery Lights at the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and Tour Center in Fort Collins! The fifth annual Brewery Lights celebration begins Nov. 15, with guests of all ages invited to spread holiday cheer at a variety of festive activities during the wonderful holiday experience.
The Grand Illumination at Denver Union Station
Nov 29, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
An iconic holiday tradition returns! Join Denver Union Station for the ceremonious lighting of the building and our 40 foot-tall Plaza Christmas tree on Friday, November 29. Featuring a vintage holiday performance by the Denver Dolls, holiday jingles by the Denver Bronze, and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Clause! Entertainment will take place from 5 pm – 8 pm. The lighting will take place at approximately 6:15 pm. This event is FREE and open to the public!
Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo
Nov 29 – Dec 30
Zoo Lights celebrates its 29th year as one of Denver’s most beloved and popular holiday traditions. To protect the magic of the season tickets are limited by date and issued for a one-hour entry time window. Most evenings sell out in advance and tickets will not be available at the door for evenings that sell out.
Colorado Mammoth vs. Saskatchewan Rush at Pepsi Center
Nov 29, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
The 2019-20 Colorado Mammoth season is going to kick off the NLL season on Faceoff Weekend 2019 with the third annual Teddy Bear Toss! Over the last two seasons, the Mammoth have collected and donated thousands of teddy bears that were donated to kids who may otherwise go without a gift during the holiday season. After the Mammoth’s first goal in the second quarter, fans will throw teddy bears onto the turf. Bears thrown will be gathered and donated to A Precious Child, just in time for the holidays. New this season, fans can bring their own new teddy bears into the arena to throw for the toss.
Home Alone in Concert at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Nov 29, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Celebrate modern holiday classic, Home Alone, with your Colorado Symphony! The event features renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed live as the film is screened for your enjoyment! Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy who’s accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation, and who must defend his home against two bungling thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Hilarious and heartwarming, Home Alone is holiday fun for the entire family.
Santa Breakfast at Evergreen Lake House
Nov 30, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Evergreen Chamber will once again host the Breakfast with Santa event at the Evergreen Lake House. The morning brings visitors and residents to town for a signature holiday occasion and local holiday shopping for Small Business Saturday. Four seatings of a fabulous pancake breakfast with live Chamber Music await families that would like to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus in an intimate setting, letting them know their wish list desires. The draw is that the Claus couple strolls among the guests, pose for multiple pictures and speak to children individually. Tickets are sold online and at Seasonally Yours in downtown Evergreen. This event always sells out.
The Rocky Mountain Train Show at The Ranch Complex
Nov 30, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
All Aboard! The Rocky Mountain Train Show will be steaming into Loveland on Saturday, November 30th and Dec 1st ,2019. For the hobbyist, it is an all scales show. There will be more than 50 vendors including Choo Choo are US and Rock House Toy Train Station. They will be selling trains in scales ranging from N to G. For the family, it is fun for everyone. The show is appropriate for all ages. There will be Story Time, Trains that kids can run, *Face Painting, and more than 12 operating layouts.
Fetch Holiday Markets at Denver Sports Castle
Nov 30 – Dec 15
‘Tis the Season to be Shopping…at the Fetch Holiday Markets! Remember The Denver Flea? What about last year’s Union Station Holiday Market? Both us! We’re still here — just rebranded and ready for another unforgettable holiday season at The Denver Sports Castle.
Pup Pix with Santa at GoodTurn Cycles at Aspen Grove
Nov 30, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Bring your furry friend for a visit with Santa at Good Turn Cycles at Aspen Grove. Photos available with donation to Humane Society of the South Platte Valley or feel free to bring your own camera. Pets must be sociable with other animals and on a leash, please
Shop Small and Local: Small Business Saturday on the Square at Larimer Square
Nov 30 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
While every day on the square provides an opportunity to shop local, Small Business Saturday marks the official kick-off of the 2019 holiday season on the block, with Larimer Square, serving as a Neighborhood Champion and retailers and restaurants participating in the annual event.
StoryTime with Mrs. Claus at Panera Bread at Aspen Grove
Nov 30, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Kick-off the season with a holiday story from Mrs. Claus, cocoa and cookies at Panera Bread at Aspen Grove. Share a story with someone in need by bringing a book to donate to Reach Out and Read Colorado. The event is open to kids 10 and under.
Break the Ice-Holiday Kick-off Event at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton
Nov 30, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Come celebrate the holiday season with a street party, aerial performances, character meet & greets, ice skating performances and ice skating with Santa.
Mile High Tree at Sculpture Park Denver Performing Arts Complex
Nov 30, 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Denver’s holiday season just got bigger and brighter with the spectacular new Mile High Tree! Experience the Mile High Tree by stepping inside this brilliantly lit, 110-foot tall immersive holiday tree, opening November 30 in Sculpture Park at Denver Performing Arts Complex – free every evening for the whole family! Amazing lights and music shows take place every 30 minutes along with holiday treats, drinks and photo ops.
Bunk with the Beasts: Wild Lights, Wild Winter at Denver Zoo
Nov 30 – Dec 1
Kick-off the holiday season with a special Zoo Lights “Bunk with the Beasts” overnight! Together, you and your family will enjoy dinner, hot cocoa and crafts and a variety of activities that explore how animals survive even the coldest of winters. Stroll through our lights display and wake up to a warm breakfast and a before-hours private tour of the Zoo.
The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Nov 30 – Dec 29
Audiences simply can’t get enough of Colorado Ballet’s acclaimed production of The Nutcracker. Returning for its 59th season, this beloved holiday favorite sells out every year. Experience this whimsical trip to the sugar plum kingdom where magical dances come alive. Secure your seats early for this holiday tradition as most performances fill up prior to opening night.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center
Nov 3 7:00, 7 pm – 9:00 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks live at the Pepsi Center!
Sensory-friendly Playtime at WOW! Children’s Museum
Dec 1, 8:00 – 10:00 am
For some children with autism spectrum or sensory processing disorders, a visit to a museum-like WOW! is difficult or overstimulating. In 2015, we launched Sensory Friendly Playtime, a low sensory event where children with autism spectrum or sensory processing disorders can explore the Museum without the noise, crowds, and stimulation of a typical day. We limit the number of families who can attend, turn down sounds and lights, and provide adaptive equipment such as noise-reducing headphones and weighted vests.
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High
Dec 1, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
Scotty Wiese Mile High Magic at Bovine Metropolis Theater
Dec 1, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Mile High Magic is an unforgettable theater experience presented by world-renowned magician Scotty Wiese. What makes Mile High Magic so unique is the tremendous way Scotty blends magic and his life experiences to tell stories, form a community, and motivate others to chase their own dreams. Prepare to witness astonishing, hilarious, and surprising moments inches from your face
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Buell Theatre
Dec 3 – 7
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical returns to Denver to steal Christmas after a blockbuster debut in 2014. More than 2.5 million theatre-goers across America have been delighted by this heart-warming holiday musical, featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the original animated TV special. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the holiday loving Whos.
Free First Tuesday Nights at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Dec 3, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Families can play for FREE the first Tuesday of every month from 4 – 8 pm. Create in The Art Studio, power a hot air balloon or make giant bubbles. There is always something new to explore!
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers at Pepsi Center
Dec 3, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers at Pepsi Center.
Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens
Nov. 29, 2019 – Jan. 3, 2020
IThe Gardens’ signature event for over three decades, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. With fresh and exciting new features, along with some fan favorites, this year’s display is brighter and more expansive than ever before. Join us for this family-friendly event that has become a holiday tradition for thousands of Front Range families. botanicgardens.org
Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms
Nov. 29 – Dec. 15
Santa and his friends transform Chatfield Farms into a magical village! Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s Cinema or walk under the magical light displays. Stop at Elf Boulevard to drop off your letters to Santa. Let the kids play in a real elf house and see the elves hard at work. Enter a life-size snow globe.www.botanicgardens.org
Fetch Holiday Markets at Denver Sports Castle
Nov. 30 – Dec. 15
For three weekends this winter, that gigantic, historic building on Broadway will be your home for all things holly-jolly. This is so much more than shopping, though. We’re filling it with festive drinks, activities, and gifts for everyone on your list! It’s going to be the kind of Christmas party you wish your company could throw — with hundreds of makers, artists, creators and YOU. thisisfetch.com/holiday-markets
A Christmas Carol at Simpich Showcase
Nov. 8 – Dec. 4
A CHRISTMAS CAROL’s timeless narrative is brought to life with sparkling vitality on the Simpich stage with over twenty handmade marionette actors animated by Dickens himself. In this original adaptation by puppeteer David Simpich, Ebenezer Scrooge is launched into and transformed by a night of delightful and poignant Christmas remembrances and foreboding forecasts. The outcome is both a continuing inspiration and celebration of the Promise of the Season. tickets.vendini.com
Camp Christmas at the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace
Nov. 21, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
Not for the faint of festivity, this over-the-top indoor immersive installation turns the holiday spirit all the way up with mesmerizing displays of decorations that shift time and reality. Camp Christmas is Denver’s newest holiday experience, where yuletide traditions of the past and present get merrily mashed together in a massive 10,000-square-foot wonderland. It’s not just pretty lights and mistletoe. denvercenter.org
A Christmas Carol – The Musical at Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
Nov. 22, 2019 – Dec 22, 2019
Bring the whole family to enjoy this holiday classic, Charles Dickens’ classic tale takes us on a journey to the past, present and future this holiday season! With music by Alan Menken ( Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid ) and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical ), this musical version of curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge’s life and ultimate redemption is the perfect holiday tradition for the entire family. christkindlmarketdenver.com
A Hudson Christmas
Nov. 29 – Dec. 31
A Hudson Christmas has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families and friends from across the Denver area! Walk arm-in-arm with loved ones at this winter wonderland decorated with thousands of outdoor lights. Explore the trails where bursts of light and color wrap around trees, shimmer on bodies of water, illuminate happy faces, and bring a twinkle to your eye. Share your holiday wish list with Santa Claus, watch Christmas trees dance to holiday music, sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and stop for photo opportunities along the way. www.altitudetickets.com
The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Nov. 30 -Dec. 29
Audiences simply can’t get enough of Colorado Ballet’s acclaimed production of The Nutcracker. Returning for its 59th season, this beloved holiday favorite sells out every year. Experience this whimsical trip to the sugar plum kingdom where magical dances come alive. Secure your seats early for this holiday tradition as most performances fill up prior to opening night. tickets.coloradoballet.org
Christkindl Market at Skyline Park
Nov 22, 2019 – Dec 23, 2019
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!
Ella Enchanted at the Arvada Center
October 11-December 29, 2019
Join Ella as we journey to the fairytale land of Frell on a path to self-discovery! The stage musical of Ella Enchanted has recently been adapted from the beloved Newbery Honor book by Gail Carson Levine. Ella must navigate her world with the “gift” of complete obedience given by her misguided fairy godmother. Adventures will ensue with ogres, giants, elves, wicked stepsisters, and true friends that help Ella find her voice! These whimsical characters make this a captivating tale for children and adults of all ages. arvadacenter.org/ella-enchanted
Christmas in Color at Water World
Nov. 22 – Jan. 4
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. www.showclix.com
Night Light Denver at the Daniels & Fisher Tower
Nov. 7 – Jan. 31, 2020
The Denver Theatre District’s ongoing, year-round projection mapping installation will be projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening. Night Lights Denver will include rotating content, designed by artists and the community, featuring a wide range of art. nightlightsdenver.com
Mile High Tree
Nov. 30 – Jan. 31
Denver’s holiday season just got bigger and brighter with the spectacular new Mile High Tree! Experience the Mile High Tree by stepping inside this brilliantly lit, 110-foot tall immersive holiday tree, opening November 30 in Sculpture Park at Denver Performing Arts Complex – free every evening for the whole family! Amazing lights and music shows take place every 30 minutes along with holiday treats, drinks and photo ops. www.denver.org/milehighholidays/tree
Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
Nov. 26, 2019 – Feb 16, 2020
The Downtown Denver Partnership proudly invites you and your family to join us at the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park – Downtown’s destination for fun this winter. Winter of 2019 celebrates one decade of the Downtown Denver Rink which offers free ice skating seven days a week from November to February. Entry is free! Skate rentals are $7 for kids 12 & under and $9 for adults 13 & older. Purchase your season pass at the Rink for $35 for kids 12 and under and $50 for adults. Skaters are welcome to bring their own skates.
Goodnight Moon at the DPAC/The Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre
October 4, 2019 – February 16, 2020
A musical twist on the beloved bedtime story. For the past 72 years, families around the world have made Goodnight Moon a part of their bedtime ritual. Now, the beloved children’s book comes to life on stage for a musical adventure! As the clock strikes seven o’clock, it’s time for Bunny to go to sleep. Say goodnight with magical moments filled with songs, kittens and mittens, bears and chairs, a red balloon, a quiet old lady, and – of course – the moon in this delightful tale. denvercenter.org
Zoo Lights: Illuminated with Life
Nov. 29 – Dec 30
Zoo Lights celebrates its 29th year as one of Denver’s most beloved and popular holiday traditions. To protect the magic of the season tickets are limited by date and issued for a one-hour entry time window. Most evenings sell out in advance and tickets will not be available at the door for evenings that sell out. www.denverzoo.org/events/zoolights/
Denver Pavilions’ Holiday Carousel at 16th Street Mall and Glenarm Place
Dec. 20 – Jan. 2
The Denver Pavilions’ Holiday Carousel returns to Downtown Denver. This year the Blue Knights Brass Ensemble will kick off the season with a free performance in front of the carousel at 2 pm on Sat. December 21. Rides will be offered for a nominal fee of $3 or free with a voucher from any Denver Pavilions’ merchant or community partner. Food Bank of the Rockies has once again been chosen as Denver Pavilions’ designated charity partner for the attraction. Partial proceeds from rides will be donated to this vital charity within the community that helps fight food insecurity in the area. denverpavilions.com
Olde Golden Christmas
Nov. 30 – Dec. 31
Each year during the holiday season, Golden takes a step back in time. Back to a simpler time of strong family traditions and small-town holiday celebrations. The authentic and historic main street of Golden will be the central festive location for Olde Golden Christmas, a city-wide, month-long celebration from November 30th to December 31st including a candlelight walk, holiday art market, live theater, a dazzling light display along Clear Creek, Santa encounters, shopping, dining, and so much more. visitgolden.com/olde-golden-christmas/
A Very Vintage Holiday Show at The Galleria at the Arts Complex
This delightful show is a tribute to Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters, during the nostalgic White Christmas era. A Very Vintage Holiday blends upbeat vocal harmonies and engaging showmanship with a little bit of comedy and plenty of nostalgic holiday tunes to provide festive entertainment for all ages. Featuring The Denver Dolls and special guests, this show will warm any Colorado heart on even the coldest winter day! These are FREE events presented by The Next Stage NOW. www.artscomplex.com
Nov. 8 – Dec. 31, 2019
Experience The EDGE through the eyes of a tiger! This tour will take you behind the scenes at The Edge, Denver Zoo’s Amur tiger exhibit. You will get an up close view of a training session with one of The Edge’s resident tigers and learn from animal care experts about what they do every day to ensure that these cats receive the best care. You’ll be in awe of the amazing relationship animal care staff have with these 400-pound furry felines! Please note that because of safety regulations, guests will not receive direct contact with the tigers, but rather will get a closer look than public perspective allows with exclusive access and interactions. denverzoo.org
Nov 22, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
January 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020
One of the foremost photographers to photograph the great American West, William Henry Jackson’s images had an immense influence on the public’s perception of the American West. A portion of those images were captured here in Colorado as Jackson traveled throughout the west by rail. This exhibit not only showcases the Museum’s collection of Jackson photographs but provides visitors with the opportunity to visit the rail car he traveled and lived in – the Denver & Rio Grande Western business car – the Rico.
Marine Biologist for a Day at the Downtown Aquarium
Jan 1- Dec 31, 2019
See if you have what it takes to become a Marine Biologist! Spend a day behind the scenes where all the scientific action happens. Experience close encounters with exotic species from the deep sea to shallow reef and everywhere in between. You’ll even get to dissect a squid! Program includes guided tour, biologist dive show, squid dissection, animal feedings and much more! T-shirts & lunch included.
First Light Family Space at the Denver Art Museum
Through May 31, 2020
Step into the shining world of the new First Light Family Space and try hands-on activities inspired by the exhibition, The Light Show. Trace a shadow, make a mirror, play with patterns and create a colorful city. The museum offers free general admission to kids 18 and younger. Have fun learning about artwork with gallery games similar to I spy, bingo, and memory matching with Gallery Games. Create Playdate’s artmaking with little ones is on the second Wednesday of the month from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. DenverArtMuseum.org.