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Where to find Denver’s best holiday light displays

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I am not sure if anything says Christmas more than lights. We string lights on the tree, we put them atop our homes and we make an outing of going to look at the public displays of them. There are several public holiday displays of lights in Denver that will certainly wow every person in the family.  Most of the ones we found run through the season, so go any time that works in your schedule. I highly recommend the hot chocolate at any of these fun events. If you would like to take the kids for a drive, check out this Holiday Lights Map of Denver’s best neighborhood holiday lights (and be sure to add your own spectacular display). 

Denver Holiday Ideas for FamiliesImmersive Nutcracker

LIGHT IT UP! 

Do you want to light up your activities even more? Don’t waste your money at the events on glow sticks. This 6-pack holiday Christmas LED light-up bulb necklace is the perfect accessory or get a laugh with these 5 piece Christmas hats and headbands that include Santa Pants, an elf and more. 

Denver’s Best Holiday Light Displays 2022

 Parade of Lights. The streets of downtown Denver light up for the annual Parade of Lights 6: p.m. on December 3. The free parade features more than 40 illuminated floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, equestrian units, and SANTA! The parade begins at 14 & Bannock (by the City and County Building) and goes along 17th Street to Arapahoe, across to 15th street and down to Glenarm.

 Denver Zoo’s Zoo Lights. The first time I saw lights that were not just strung on a tree or on a person’s house was at the Denver Zoo. The zoo is not short on loads of lights illuminating all the trees in the zoo, but there are also lights that look like animals, and lights that are animated. Plus you can wander through while enjoying holiday food and drink! Tickets are $20 adults/$10 kids as a zoo member or $25 adults/$15 kids for non-members.

 Blossoms of Light. Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street becomes Blossoms of Light for the holiday season. Dazzling and sparkling don’t even come close to explaining the beauty of thousands of [led] lights that light up and delight families at the Blossoms of light. Every corner brings another light display. Tickets are timed (and not sold on-site). Tickets are $24 for a non-member adult/ $20child age 3-15/ or $22 for a student. There are also military and senior discounts.

 Trail of Lights. Trail of Lights is at Denver Botanic Garden’s Chatfield Farm. If a winding path and more of a country feel is what you’re looking for head out to Trail of Lights. The mile-long winding path (there is also a shorter path to take) – is illuminated with thousands of lights. There is even a singing Christmas tree, lighted tunnels, and Santa is on hand. Tickets are timed and have to be purchased in advance. Non-member Adult $14/child age 3-15 $10/student $14.

 A Hudson Christmas. A Hudson Christmas at Hudson’s Garden The lighted forest of towering trees will enchant guests of all ages. Sing and dance to your favorite holiday songs in the grove of dancing Christmas Trees. Stroll through a winter wonderland, say ‘hello’ to some of the giant snowmen and glowing reindeer or enjoy a walk through the holiday light tunnel. Dated tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for children aged 4-12 and kids 3 and under are free. Flex Tickets (not sure of the date you want to go) Adults $20; Child age 4-13 $17; child 3 and under is free.  

Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle. Your family will be enchanted by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sweeping music, including iconic selections like “The March of the Toys” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” as they are immersed in 500,000 cubic feet of holiday wonder at the Lighthouse ArtSpace Denver. From $30. 

 Luminova at Elitch’s. This is the second year for Luminova at Elitch Gardens including 4 million lights, a 65’ Christmas Tree, a 25 ft snowman (that never melts), a 300 ft candy cane tunnel, ornaments and presents over 16 feet tall, light swings, a giant wall of lights and rides on limited Elitch Gardens attractions, Santa visit and other interactive activities.  

 Christmas in Color. Drive through acres of lights synchronized to holiday music that is heard on your radio. You can see these lights at either Water World, Bandimere Speedway or Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. One price is for the whole car – no matter how many people are in the car. One car is $35 or you can buy the Party Pack which includes light-up wands, glasses, lightbulb necklaces, Rudolph noses and a car air freshener for $55.

 City & County Building. Light the Lights Celebration takes place on November 23 at 4:30 p.m. but the lights stay up through the Stock Show. An 8-minute choreographed light and music show will occur every night at 5:45 and 6:45 p.m.

Mile High Tree. Stand under/inside the Mile High Tree enjoying music and a lights show. The tree and Christkindl market will be in Civic Center Park. (Featured image; Visit Denver)

 Union Station. The Grand Illumination will take place on November 25. The event will feature live entertainment, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and of course the tree-lighting. Plus, if it is a date night for you, you might consider attending the Miracle at Union Station pop-up cocktail bar that promises to immerse you into a non-negotiable state of Christmas Spirit(s).

 Cherry Creek North Winter Wanderland. Stroll the streets of Cherry Creek North –  notice the musical light walk under a million twinkling lights. There are eight sparkling streets choreographed with winter tunes. While you are there scan the QR code at each tree for your chance to win a $1000 Cherry Creek North shopping spree.

 Camp Christmas. Camp Christmas is a production partnership with Denver Center for Performing arts with lights, over-the-top decorations, music and memorabilia as you explore yuletide scenes across six acres. Camp Christmas is at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park.

 Gaylord Rockies. Gaylord Rockies has a LOT of Christmas happening from an ice-skating rink and tubing hill to story time with Mrs. Claus and a Cirque show. Christmas kicks off Friday, November 18. 

Olde Golden Candlelight Walk. While not specifically about lights that stay up all season long, this is honestly one of my favorite events of the season! Join me on December 2 starting at 5 p.m. Sing carols and join in as carolers walk down Washington Avenue as the street becomes illuminated by the addition of more people as the crowd makes its way to the “switch” to turn on all the holiday lights along downtown and Clear Creek. Stores will be open and there will be hot cider, cocoa and cafes to enjoy along the way.

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