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Your Guide to Holiday Fun in Denver 2020 (50+ ideas!)

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Holiday fun abounds in Colorado. Don’t miss our guide to celebrating the holidays in Denver and beyond in 2020. Also, be sure to check-out 12 Denver Holiday Markets You Don’t Want to Miss.  
 
COVID disclaimer: Always touch base with the venue to ensure the event has not been canceled. 

BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT 

WHEN: Nov. 20, 2020–Jan. 16, 2021 (closed Nov. 26 and Dec. 25)
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens is proud to host Blossoms of Light, an annual family-friendly event that has become a tradition for people across Colorado. Come interact with incredible light displays — a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights — plus sip warm drinks and nibble on tasty treats as you stroll. Pre-purchased timed tickets and masks covering the face and nose are required.

CASTLE ROCK STARLIGHTING 

WHEN: Nov. 21, 2020
WHERE: Various locations in Castle Rock and online
The Castle Rock “Lighting of the Star” is a beloved community event dating back to 1936, and the same spirit of volunteerism, generosity and love of tradition exists today. This year, register to watch in person for free at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, Douglas County Fairgrounds or the Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park. The ceremony will also be live-streamed on the Town’s Facebook page.

CHRISTMAS AT GAYLORD ROCKIES

WHEN: Nov. 20, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021
WHERE: Gaylord Rockies
There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season in the Denver, CO area than gathering your family for holiday fun during Christmas at Gaylord Rockies. Explore acres of twinkling lights & decorations and exciting holiday activities, shows, and events, from snow tubing and ice skating to our all-new I Love Christmas Movies™ pop-up experience!

CHRISTMAS IN COLOR

WHEN: November 20- December 30
WHERE: Bandimere Speedway and Water World
Drive through millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. Drive-by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. Take your time enjoying this lighting extravaganza – we won’t judge you if you join the kids with your face pressed against the window!

DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET 

WHEN: Nov. 20–Dec. 23, 2020
WHERE: Civic Center Park

This outdoor event brings the most beloved elements of an authentic German holiday experience to The Mile High City. Stroll through a European village decorated for the holiday season as you shop for finely crafted artisan gifts and treats at charming wooden huts. Fuel your shopping with authentic Glühwein (mulled spiced wine), German Biers and hot chocolate, and nosh on Bavarian-style pretzels, fresh smoked salmon, Knödel, Goulasch, Nürnberger Sausages, pastries, caramels and European chocolates. This year, the Denver Christkindl Market is moving to a spacious, open-air location in Civic Center Park.

DENVER LIGHTS & SIGHTS WALKING TOUR   

WHEN: Nov. 28–Jan. 2, 2021, Thursdays–Saturdays (no tours Dec. 24–25)
WHERE: Denver City & County Building

There’s nothing quite like an evening stroll under twinkling holiday lights to celebrate the season! Embark on a fun-filled 1.5-hour Holiday Lights & Sights walking experience as you take in all of the magic and cheer of this festive time of year in The Mile High City. Along the way, you’ll learn about the unique history, architecture and holiday traditions of Denver and Colorado.

ELECTRIC SAFARI

WHEN: December 4-January 1
WHERE: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only place in Colorado Springs where you can see over 85 one-of-a-kind light sculptures, take a picture with Santa and visit your favorite animals! Electric Safari tickets are temporarily not available for purchase by non-members or reservations by members.

GRAND ILLUMINATION 

WHEN: Nov. 27, 2020
WHERE: Throughout downtown Denver
As part of Downtown Denver’s Winter in the City program, Downtown Denver’s Grand Illumination event will light up downtown, from Denver Union Station to the City & County Building in Civic Center Park. There will not be an official lighting event due to COVID but the lights stay on through the end of December.

GRANNY DANCES TO A HOLIDAY DRUM

WHEN: Dec. 5, 2020–Jan. 2, 2021
WHERE: Online
A Denver family tradition for 29 years, this incredible blend of dance, music, and spoken word lifts the spirit and fills the heart with joy, love, and peace! Even in challenging times, the magic of Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum, presented by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, continues. Guided by the Three Angels of the Rainbow, Granny visits Africa, the Americas, Mexico, Asia, and the Caribbean to celebrate the joy of Holiday Times! From the African Harvest to Kwanzaa, from the Chinese New Year to Junkanoo…. a celebration of both diversity and oneness!

HOLIDAY LANE AT ISLAND GROVE

WHEN: November 27-28
WHERE: 501 N. 14th Avenue, Greeley
Brand new event for 2020 – Holiday Lane at Island Grove on the evenings of Friday, November 27th and Saturday, November 28th, so mark your calendars! Both nights will be 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. This will be a “one-stop shop” for families out enjoying the holiday lights!

LYONS PARADE OF LIGHTS

WHEN: December 5
WHERE: Main Street, Lyons
Revel in old-style community spirit that makes Lyons a magical place during the holidays. The Parade of Lights festivities kickoff on Main St. followed by a great fireworks show!

THE ANNUAL HOLIDAY SHOW: WEB-A-THON EDITION 

WHEN: Dec. 5, 2020
WHERE: Online
Enjoy some of your favorite local musicians as they perform original tunes and holiday standards to help get us into the mood of the season, presented by Longmont Museum. 

MAKING MERRY – GREATEST HITS 

WHEN: Dec. 13, 2020
WHERE: Online
Stories on Stage performs audience favorites during the 20th Anniversary Holiday Celebration, streaming live from the stage!

MILE HIGH TREE

WHEN: Nov. 20, 2020–Jan. 2, 2021 (5–10 p.m. on most Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and some Sundays)
WHERE: 16th Street Mall at Welton Street

Join in the free festivities at this festive holiday attraction, theMile High Tree. It’s a brilliantly lit, 110-foot-tall immersive art installation that provides a dazzling lights-and-music show. 

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER 

WHEN: Permanent installation 
WHERE
Daniels & Fisher Tower
Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Tuesday through Sunday evening.

THE NUTCRACKER SUITE

WHEN: Dec. 10–11 & 17–18, 2020
WHERE: Lone Tree Arts Center
Ballet Ariel’s The Nutcracker Suite once again defines the season. A stellar cast and a magnificent score, coupled with festive costumes and incomparable choreography and artistry create an enchanted world for Clara’s magical journey.

ANNUAL ORGAN TOUR 

WHEN: Dec. 5, 2020
WHERE: Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Scottish Rite Masonic Center and First Baptist Church
Every year Historic Denver partners with the American Guild of Organists Denver Rocky Mountain Chapter, to present a morning of history, architecture and beautiful organ music. This year we are touring some of Capitol Hill’s largest venues to create a wonderful event, with ample space for safe social distancing. At each site we will hear about the history and architecture of the church, as well as be delighted by live organ music.

PARADE OF LIGHTS 

WHEN: Nov. 27–Dec. 31, 2020
WHERE: Throughout downtown Denver
The Downtown Denver Partnership is transforming the community tradition, 9News Parade of Lights, in 2020! We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Parade will be a multi-week, socially safe extravaganza of activities across downtown. The floats you know and love will be displayed throughout downtown, from Denver Pavilions to Denver Union Station, offering multiple chances for our community to relish in the charm and excitement of the holiday season again and again.

THE POLAR EXPRESS TM TRAIN RIDE 

WHEN: Thru Dec. 23, 2020
WHERE: Colorado Railroad Museum

The story of The Polar ExpressTM is theatrically re-created and combined with a magical train ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Children get to meet Santa and experience all the sights and sounds of this classic tale as if happening all around them. This year, a whole host of carefully crafted updates have been made in order to ensure the health and safety of guests, cast and crew, so put on your pajamas and your most fashionable mask and bring the family to enjoy sharing hot cocoa and cookies together as the “Hot, Hot, Hot—Chocolate” song and dance unfolds before your eyes. 

SNOW MUCH FUN

WHEN: November 22-January 10
WHERE: 1300 Block of the Pearl Street Mall, Boulder
A self-guided holiday lighting tour that’s perfect for the entire family. Take in the sites and lights throughout downtown Boulder and the Civic Area this season with beautiful lighting displays planned throughout the district.

TRAIL OF LIGHTS 

WHEN: Nov. 27, 2020–Jan. 3, 2021 (closed Dec. 25)
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms

Stroll through the Colorado countryside along a winding path glistening with lights. Features this year include a three-sided light tunnel, illuminated antique and model tractors, a children’s play area and warms holiday food and drink. Visitors must purchase a ticket online for a specific day and time.

WINTER WANDERLAND LIGHT WALK 

WHEN: Nov. 19, 2020–Jan. 3, 2021
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
New for 2020, explore 16 sparkling blocks with more than a half-million lights and discover eight twinkling displays choreographed to music. 

WINTER WONDERLIGHTS
WHEN: November 27 – December 31
WHERE: Denver Union Station

Safely celebrate the joy of the holiday season with the new Winter WonderLights holiday show at Denver Union Station starting on Friday, Nov. 27th. Winter WonderLights will transform the exterior of Denver’s landmark train station into a festive canvas spreading holiday cheer. Running from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. each night, this first-ever outdoor light show at Denver Union Station will feature exciting animations, historic Denver photos, new visual creations by Denver artists and more, all synced with classic holiday music. 

ZOO LIGHTS 

WHEN: Dec. 4–Dec. 31, 2020
WHERE: Denver Zoo
It’s official: Zoo Lights has been making magic, memories, and even marriages for 30 amazing years! Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, this illuminating annual event transforms Denver Zoo into Colorado’s WILDEST winter wonderland. Don’t miss this year’s historic celebration, with more than a million lights sparkling over 80 acres—plus a host of special measures to keep your family safe and healthy.

OUTSIDE OF DENVER

12 DAYS OF ASPEN

WHEN: December 20-31
WHERE: Downtown Aspen
Downtown Aspen comes alive with a variety of free holiday activities, special treats, and of course a visit from Santa! Come join the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and the entire Aspen community to celebrate the joys of the season.

CATCH THE GLOW PARADE & CELEBRATION

WHEN: November 27
WHERE: Downtown Estes Park
As dusk falls the day after Thanksgiving, the magic begins to unfold! Bands come down the street playing favorite Christmas songs with tiny white twinkly lights reflecting in the bright polished brash. Dancers sway to music. Floats loom from the night, huge and ethereal, with more and more lights that add to the mysteries and magic of Christmas legends and solstice dreams.

ELECTRICRITTERS

WHEN: November 27-December 27
WHERE: 3455 Nuckolls Ave, Pueblo
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a visit to ElectriCritters. See thousands of lights and over a hundred imaginative designs as you walk through the winter wonderland at the Pueblo Zoo. Warm-up with a cup of cocoa (and a cookie) at their Candy Cane Cafe.

GEORGETOWN CHRISTMAS MARKET

WHEN: December 6
WHERE: Georgetown

Georgetown’s Annual Christmas Market is regularly ranked in the Top 20 Best Christmas Markets in the United States. Taking place during the first two weekends of December 2020 will be the town’s 61st year of celebration. European style festivities and traditions have been taking place in this sleepy town since 1960. What started out as a small gathering of locals has transformed to an event that draws enchanted visitors from all over the world.

LIGHTING OF RIVER RUN

WHEN: November 28-January 1
WHERE: 164 Ida Bell Drive, Keystone
Keystone, CO. There will not be one big lighting, but the village will be lit starting at 4 p.m. on November 28th – January 1st. Stroll the village with family and friends and find magical corners throughout the village. Santa will be in the North Pole this year, but kids can drop off their letters to Santa with their Christmas wishes

HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS

WHEN: December 1-5
100 East 11th Street, Rifle
Western Wintery, annual Hometown Holidays! A charming weekend packed with free events throughout Rifle, Silt & Parachute that include Santa, reindeers, horses, theatre, symphony, craft fairs, fireworks, a parade, shopping, eating and being merry. The annual event for everyone that brings you back to yesterday’s past. 

JINGLE BELL RUN

WHEN: December 20
WHERE: Carbondale
Don’t miss out on the best holiday running event in the valley! This fun local race is a great option for the whole family; with an ugly sweater contest, age group awards, and a raffle, this is sure to be a fun time for everyone! The course is an out and back affair, starting behind the store on the Rio Grande Trail. From there, the racecourse weaves through town and eventually crests White Hill, where it turns around and heads back to the store.

PALISADE OLDE FASHIONED CHRISTMAS & GINGERBREAD CONTEST

WHERE: December 5
WHERE: 350 Main Street, Palisade 
The town of Palisade will be decorating and planning for an experience that will take you out of the hustle and bustle to enjoy holiday magic with all the sights, sounds, tastes and easy shopping. Visitors will find holiday shopping a pleasure with the combination of craft vendor booths and the unique and appealing shops in Palisade. Plan on spending the weekend with us shopping, sampling soups, singing carols, sharing a carriage ride, marveling at Gingerbread Creations, taking a walk thru history, spreading good cheer, and savoring the flavor of Palisade!

PARADE OF LIGHTS

WHEN: December 3
WHERE: Downtown Sterling
A parade of lighted vehicles floats and marching bands down Main Street in Sterling with the backdrop of the historic Logan County Courthouse and Square sparkling in a veil of holiday lights.

POLAR EXPRESS TRAIN RIDE

WHEN: Through December 31
WHERE: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum
Yes, the bell still rings!  THE POLAR EXPRESS™  Train Ride is back for 2020! Join us for a truly magical recreation of the classic holiday story aboard a vintage steam train as it departs our station in Durango and sets off for a round-trip excursion to the North Pole—where your entire family will see Santa Claus in his workshop,  meet two of his reindeer,  interact with characters from the story and many of his elves. Meandering through a winter wonderland, the experience is a little over an hour in duration and offers fun for the entire family. THE POLAR EXPRESS™  Train Ride will be operating at reduced capacity this year for enhanced safety so be sure to reserve your seating for your desired dates before they’re gone.

WINTERSKOL

WHEN: January 14-January 17
WHERE: Downtown Aspen
Aspen’s annual toast to winter dates back to a quiet January in 1951 when local Aspenites decided to celebrate Aspen’s unique Nordic lifestyle with an eclectic weekend of festivities. Today the four-day celebration features on-mountain activities, live music, a canine fashion show, WinterFest, fireworks and much more.

Canceled

Festival of Lights, Grand Lake

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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