52 best family events in Denver this week
posted by: Amber Johnson
Don’t miss Freezie Fest at Pearl Street Mall, Breakfast with Santa, Winterfest and more! See our event calendar for more information.
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers at Pepsi Center
Dec 12, 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers at Pepsi Center.
WinterFest at Colorado Chautauqua
Dec 13 – 15
The Colorado Chautauqua presents a weekend of holiday festivities in Boulder’s most magical setting! Enjoy kid’s concert with Jeff & Paige, Breakfast with Santa, historic cottage tours and more.
Free Day at Four Mile Historic Park
Dec 13, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Discover this tranquil, 12-acre historic oasis and the site of Denver’s oldest house. Tour the museum, stroll the gardens and grounds, pan for “gold”, and visit our farm animals. Exhibits, demonstrations, and special programming compliment cultural and natural history to enrich your park experience.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at Paramount Theatre
Dec 13 – 14
Moscow Ballet’s Gift of Christmas Tour – This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza.
Englewood Holiday Express at Englewood Farm and Train at Belleview Park
Dec 13 – 14
Join us for the third annual Englewood Holiday Express event this winter. The Englewood Farm and Train will be transformed into the North Pole with festive lights and decorations to create the essential Winter Wonderland experience.
Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and Tour Center
Dec 13 – 15
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.
A Colorado Christmas at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Dec 13 – 15
The warm sounds of the holidays fill the Hall with festive seasonal favorites including ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, narrated from stage by beloved Denver vocalist Devin DeSantis! This family-friendly evening, led by Assistant Conductor Bertie Baigent, features traditional Christmas carols, your favorite new winter tunes, and even some newly arranged surprises – all with a chance to sing along to your heart’s content! And you better not pout because Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to see who’s naughty and who’s nice in preparation for the big night!
Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils at Pepsi Center
Dec 13, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils live at the Pepsi Center!
“The Secret of Christmas” A Cappella Christmas Show @ University of Denver | Newman Center for the Performing Arts
Dec 13 – 15
A favorite Denver tradition, the annual sell-out Christmas a cappella spectacular combines classic Christmas carols, popular holiday songs and the chorus’s much-loved telling of the Christmas Story. In this year’s program, “The Secret of Christmas,” we will transport you to Denver’s 16th Street Mall, where a father discovers the true gifts of the holiday as he scrambles to do his last-minute Christmas shopping.
Arapahoe Philhmarmonic Presents Holiday Movie Night at Denver First Church of the Nazarene
Dec 13, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Enjoy the music from your favorite holiday films! The Arapahoe Philharmonic will perform these works and many others:
Breakfast with Santa at Denver Union Station
Dec 14, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Santa Claus will be making a special stop this holiday season at Denver Union Station for Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 14th from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. Located in Union Station’s lower Gallery level, this one-of-a-kind breakfast buffet will feature an interactive storytime led by St. Nick and the chance to take professional photos. Adults can enjoy complimentary seasonal cocktails and each family will take home a keepsake Denver Union Station holiday ornament.
Breakfast with Santa at Downtown Aquarium
Dec 14 – Dec 15
Santa is stopping by the Aquarium this holiday season! Dine with him and our mascot, Sharkey, and enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet, exhibit discounts and more!
Breakfast with Santa at Recreation Center at Eastridge
Dec 14, 9:00 – 10:30 am
Want to treat your family to a magical morning and make your dreams come true? Come enjoy sleigh loads of fun at the December 14 Event. The ‘Jolly Ole Elf’ himself arrives for a 9:00 a.m. start and will be perched in his Royal Chair accompanied by his merry elves until 10:30 a.m. listening to every good child’s special wish for Christmas.
Inside the Orchestra’s Christmas Tiny Tots Concerts at PPA Event Center
Dec 14, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Tiny Tots gets children truly inside the orchestra by seating the audience on the floor and surrounding them with a 30+ piece orchestra. Designed for children six and under, this 45-minute program gives young ones the chance to interact with the music and learn about the instruments in the process.
Brunch with Father Christmas at Four Mile Historic Park
Dec 14, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Father Christmas himself will join you at Four Mile Historic Park for a delicious brunch buffet courtesy of Serendipity Catering! Your ticket also includes a merry ride through the Park on our tractor-pulled Holiday Wagon with complimentary hot cocoa or hot cider, a yule log hunt, supplies for a holiday craft, and a guided tour through the historic Four Mile House.
Firefly Handmade Holiday Market at Balch Fieldhouse at the University of Colorado
Dec 14 – 15
Shop Firefly Handmade for the Holidays at this old school, cozy, and cool venue! Firefly your holidays at our most festive market of the year and the Front Range’s premier marketplace for exclusively handmade artisan goods, including 100+ creatively curated new and returning artisans, live music, and free admission! Discover unique handmade home goods, jewelry & accessories, adult & children’s fashion, skincare, ceramics, art, artisanal food, paper goods, pet goods, and more, and visit with the artisans who make them.
Free Day at Longmont Museum
Dec 14, 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 also features the 250-seat Stewart Auditorium and Cone-Shortall stage, the Swan Atrium, and the Kaiser Permanente Education Center. The Museum hosts hands-on education programs for all ages, indoor and outdoor concerts and performances, film series, lectures and historic tours, and a gift shop featuring local history books, souvenirs, and exhibit-related materials.
Holiday Brassfest at Denver Performing Arts Complex
Dec 14, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
COME ALL YE BRASS PLAYERS!
Join Denver Brass and 100+ other local musicians for a free public concert! All participants will receive their own music book and tips to get you in shape. There will be a morning rehearsal leading up to the concert. Find out more and pre-register online at DENVERBRASS.ORG or call 303-832-HORN(4676).
Winter Fest at Cherry Creek North
Dec 14, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Winter Fest is another FREE event here at Cherry Creek North. Winter Fest is on December 14th (time TBD) and visitors are invited to experience the true joy of the holiday season at Winter Fest on Fillmore Plaza and at participating businesses throughout the Cherry Creek North area.
Tea with Santa at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver
Dec 14, 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Afternoon Tea with a cheerful twist, the whole family will delight in a winter wonderland while savoring assorted sandwiches, hot chocolate, a complimentary glass of bubbly, and more at the Mile High City’s premier luxury hotel. Families will enjoy decorating cookies, sending letters to the North Pole and finding one-of-a-kind gifts at the holiday market. Take home a tangible keepsake with a commemorative photo with Santa. $59 per adult, $35 per child 12 and younger exclusive of tax and gratuity. Advance purchase required.
Freezie Fest at Pearl Street Mall
Dec 14, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
A snowman themed extravaganza including train rides, free face-painting, carolers, and free Reindeer Games (crafts and other activities for all).
Winter Fest at Cherry Creek North
Dec 14, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Launched in 2016, Winter Fest is a free, outdoor event open to people (and dogs) of all ages. The main event takes place on Fillmore Plaza (between 1st & 2nd Avenue) and features live ice sculpting, temporary fire pits with seating areas, exciting performances, complimentary treats & beverages and more!
Grand Opening at Goldfish Swim School of Superior
Dec 14, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Goldfish Swim School will host its grand opening event: a free fun-filled party the whole family will enjoy. Attendees are encouraged to test the waters—literally—and get to know the school’s certified instructors and lifeguards who help teach children a life-saving skill in a fun and positive environment.
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at Pepsi Center
Dec 14, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at Pepsi Center.
3rd Annual Improv for a Claus at Aspen Academy
Dec 14, 8:00 – 9:30 pm
This is an original sketch comedy show & charity fundraiser, written by Colorado talent with holiday & Colorado themes and presented in the style of a Second City Revue. Directed by a former member of The Second City – Chicago. The Parker Players believe in the power that improvisation has to change lives and we are happy to present this show in an effort to support world poverty relief. 100% of all ticket sales from this show will be donated to Feed My Starving Children. Feed My Starving Children provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. FMSC consistently receives the highest awards for accountability and transparency, with more than 90 percent of total donations dedicated directly toward feeding kids in need.
Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks at Pepsi Center
Dec 15, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks 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 s12pecial 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
June 1-Dec. 31, 2019
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 of free for kids under 18 for kids. 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.