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Denver’s top baby names for 2022

Do your kids have the top baby names in Denver? 

Nameberry, the world’s largest website devoted to baby names, calculated which names were viewed most often by visitors from 12 leading US cities, including Denver. Denver’s top baby names for 2022 so far are Genevieve for girls and Everett for boys. 

Denver shares the most top names with Chicago, with three names appearing on the popularity lists for both cities. Both cities include Alice and Nora on their Top 10 lists for girls. Theodore ranks for boys in both Denver and Chicago.

The city’s favorite names have something of a split personality. Traditional choices like Emily and Josiah are among the names uniquely popular here, but so too are more modern, informal choices like Birdie and Lennon for girls, Parker and Zero for boys.

Top Denver Girl Names 

  1. Genevieve
  2. Clementine*
  3. Mariah*
  4. Alice
  5. Emily*
  6. Birdie*
  7. Luna
  8. Lennon*
  9. Mae*
  10. Nora

Top Denver Boy Names

  1. Everett*
  2. Lincoln*
  3. Blake*
  4. Leo*
  5. Bodhi
  6. Josiah*
  7. Levi*
  8. Parker*
  9. Theodore
  10. Zero*

*Names unique to Denver’s Top 10

Visit Nameberry.com to see the top city baby names in all 12 US cities.

Family Fun in Denver for New Year’s Eve 2022

With Christmas behind us, it’s now time to look forward to New Year’s Eve in Denver! We’ve rounded up Denver’s top events for New Year’s Eve with your entire family.

Plan Ahead: Don’t wait until the last minute for all your New Year’s Eve party favors. Check out these goofy 2023 New Year’s Eve glasses, plastic disposable champagne flutes for your kids’ Martinelli,  and this fun New Year’s Eve party kit for kids. 

New Year’s Eve in Denver: 15 Family-friendly Events 

Other Denver Holiday Ideas

Ultimate Colorado Family Ski Vacation Guide

Ultimate guide to outdoor skating in Colorado

 30 places to go sledding in Colorado

Guide to the best snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails for families in Colorado

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

Denver Free Days for 2023

Welcome to Denver Free Days in 2023! Enjoy free admission to some Denver’s most family-friendly attractions and museums including the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Botanic Gardens and more. 

If you are new to Colorado you may not be aware that we have a special tax for Scientific Cultural and Facilities (SCFD). Because every Coloradoan that pays taxes helps fund these institutions, we are all given free access to them on specific free days during the year. And some are even free all the time!

Love Denver? Keep exploring with the Essential Denver: Discovery and Exploration Guide (many attractions are free!)  Also, scroll down to see our top picks for Denver’s best playgrounds, how to rent a Go-Pro and Colorado State Parks Pass for free and Denver’s best museums for kids. 

Free All the Time:

  • Aurora History Museum
  • Broomfield Veterans Museum
  • Children’s Museum of Denver  (free the first Tuesday of every month from 4 – 8 p.m.
  • Colorado Music Hall of Fame
  • Denver Art Museum (free general admission to all youth age 18 and under every day)
  • Foothills Art Center
  • Four Mile Historic Park (every third Sunday)

Denver Free Days 2023

January

·         January 3 – Denver Museum of Nature & Science

·         January 4 – Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

·         January 6 – Denver Zoo

·         January 10 – Denver Art Museum

·         January 13 – Clyfford Still Museum

·         January 15 – Four Mile Historic Park

·         January 16 – Free Admission to National Parks

·         January 16 – Denver Botanic Gardens (York St and Chatfield Farms)

·         January 19 – City of Aurora Open Space & Natural Resources

·         January 19 – Plains Conservation Center

·         January 22 – Denver Zoo

·         January 23 – Denver Museum of Nature & Science

·         January 28 – Denver Art Museum

·         January 28 – Historic Molly Brown House Museum (must live in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas or Jefferson Counties)

February

·         February 1 – Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

·         February 5 –  Denver Zoo

·         February 7 – Denver Museum of Nature & Science

·         February 11 – Longmont Museum

·         February 14 – Denver Art Museum

·         February 16 – Denver Botanic Gardens (York St and Chatfield Farms)

·         February 19 – Four Mile Historic Park

·         February 23 – City of Aurora Open Space & Natural Resources

·         February 23 – Clyfford Still Museum

·         February 23 – Plains Conservation Center

·         February 27 – Denver Museum of Nature & Science

March

·         March 1 – Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

·         March 11 – Longmont Museum

·         March 11 – City of Aurora Open Space & Natural Resources

·         March 11 – Plains Conservation Center

·         March 14 – Denver Art Museum

·         March 15 – Denver Botanic Gardens (York St and Chatfield Farms)

·         March 19 – Four Mile Historic Park

·         March 26 – Clyfford Still Museum

Denver Art Museum Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April

·         April 5 – Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

·         April 8 – Longmont Museum

·         April 9 –  Denver Zoo

·         April 11 – Denver Art Museum

·       April 16 – Four Mile Historic Park

·         April 18 – Historic Molly Brown House Museum

·         April 22 – Free Admission to National Parks (National Park Week)

·         April 22 – Denver Botanic Gardens (York St and Chatfield Farms) for Earth Day

·         April 30 – Clyfford Still Museum

·         April 30 – Denver Art Museum

May

·         May 1 – Denver Museum of Nature & Science

·        May 9- Denver Art Museum

·         May 13 – Longmont Museum

·         May 14 – Denver Art Museum

·       May 21 – Four Mile Historic Park

·         May 23 – Denver Museum of Nature & Science

·         May 31 – Clyfford Still Museum

June

·         June 1 – Historic Molly Brown House Museum

·        June 6 – Denver Botanic Gardens (York St and Chatfield Farms)

·         June 10 – Longmont Museum

·         June 13 – Denver Art Museum

·         June 15 – City of Aurora Open Space & Natural Resources

·         June 15 – Plains Conservation Center

·        June 18 – Four Mile Historic Park

·         June 25 – Clyfford Still Museum

We update the list two times per year, but we also suggest that you double-check before bundling the kids and getting them all excited before heading out.

FREE Library Adventure Pass. Use your Jefferson County, Douglas County, Denver County or Araphoe County library card to reserve a FREE Adventure Pass to one of our local participating cultural institutions. Reserve free passes up to 14 days in advance. Participating cultural institutions include the Butterfly Pavilion, the Denver Trolley, Denver Zoo, History Colorado Center, the Colorado Railroad Museum, DMNS and more. 

Other Denver Museums and Attractions

Denver CurlingDenver’s best museums for kids.

‘Snow Days’ debuts at the Denver Children’s Museum: 8 must-see attractions.

Check out a sewing machine, Colorado State Park pass, Go-Pro and more for FREE from the Denver Public Library.

Denver’s best new playgrounds and this guide to Denver Playgrounds & Parks. 

15 Quirky Roadside Attractions in Colorado and Secret Denver: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure.

Photo: DAM,  Eric Stephenson Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy.

Denver’s online pandemic-era elementary school to close

Denver will shut down its pandemic-era online elementary school at the end of this school year, district officials announced at a school board meeting Monday.

Parents and teachers pleaded to save the school, describing the range of students who have benefitted, including neurodiverse students who find in-person classes overstimulating, students with high anxiety, those whose families are unhoused and highly mobile, and students who are immunocompromised or who live with someone who is.

“I will not be sending my children to in-person school,” parent Christin Finch told the school board. “The stakes could not be higher. The stakes are life and death.”

Denver Online Elementary, known as DOLE, opened in fall 2021 as an alternative to in-person learning. Several Colorado school districts set up similar programs. 

Enrollment in online schools remains higher across the state than before the pandemic.

But DOLE is shrinking. Last year, the school enrolled about 550 students, said Cesar Cedillo, the district’s chief of schools. This year, DOLE has a little more than 200 students, he said. Principal Jesse Tang has said that 85% of DOLE students are students of color. 

CLICK TO KEEP READING

-Chalkbeat Colorado, Melanie Asmar

Ditch Gifts and Give Experiences–Just Not the Gift of Death

This year, money is tight for many family members. This caused me to reflect upon Christmas 2008. Instead of giving each other gifts we didn’t really need that we would then exchange for gifts we really wanted, my sister-in-law Jane came up with a plan.

“This year, we will give each other experiences!” she announced. She then expounded this would entail spending time doing some kind of memorable activity together.

I loved the idea. I never know what to get most members of my family and building memories seemed like a much better alternative.

Unless they are bad memories.

When Jane made her proclamation, I had visions of being treated to a night out without the children (with free babysitting included, of course). It could be a play, a movie, a fancy dinner or even a walk down by the river. We would laugh, we would bond and we would well, build memories.

But then she dropped the bomb: “Your brother Pat and I thought it would be fun for you and [my husband] Jamie to go to Ripped with us.”

I hesitated. Anything with the word “ripped” could not be good. I figured it was either a seedy hangout or a killer workout, both of which might ultimately lead me to R.I.P.

I hesitatingly followed up: “Just what exactly is Ripped?” She confirmed it was her town’s most kick-butt workout at the local gym. A workout that had her seeing stars within the first 15 minutes.

A rather appropriate symbol for this Christmas season, wouldn’t you agree?

Now, I’m not some kind of a wimp. It’s just that I’m not quite Ripped yet. And I really want to have enough energy to lift my fork from my plate to my mouth during Christmas dinner.

I have my priorities, you know.

I knew Jamie would be even less thrilled about the prospect. Our Wii Fit had recently accused him of being a Couch Potato. Instead of persevering, he indifferently shrugged his shoulders and went back to his computer.

And so this holiday season, I encourage you to relish in the materialistic world. Give presents, eat food, show love. But be careful when you give experiences. 

Then again, nothing says Merry Christmas like the gift of death.

The Holidays in Denver

Guide to the holidays in Denver

Ultimate guide to outdoor skating in Colorado 

Ultimate guide to outdoor skating in Colorado 

Colorado Holiday Gift Guide with 50+ ideas

 Denver’s best holiday markets and craft fairs

15 holiday toy drives in Denver. 

Contest: Holiday Giveaway for Baby ($250 value)

I can’t go a year without putting a little special something together for the Mile High Mamas. It’s been over a decade since I have delivered my favorite goodies to local moms. Many are women-owned small businesses, Colorado companies, or new, trending products. Here’s to all the mothers in Colorado who make the world happen. Scroll down to enter to win all of these great prizes!

Also, don’t miss our Holiday Guide Guide with 50+ unique Colorado gift ideas.  

FOR THE NEW MOM + BABY

GRAND PRIZE $250+ Value

FAVORITE CAR BAG

ROVE DIAPER BAG – NOT JUST FOR BABIES!

(keababies.com) Retail: $50

I saw this diaper bag and actually thought of more use for it now with kids 13, 11 and 6, that are shuttled between school, sports and doctors. I got in contact with the brand on behalf of Mile High Mamas and explained how awesome this bag could be, not just for mothers of babies and toddlers. The representative emailed me back, “That’s so funny but it’s true! I feel like a petting zoo with how many snacks I have to carry around for my kiddos, lol! We both agreed this is the perfect neutral-colored, easy-to-clean bag that we would love to bring to any sporting event, dinky dunkers to NCAA football. It holds oodles, cleans well, and is non-intrusive to carry along with the crew.

FAVORITE BABY DISHES

ABIIE ECO DISHES

(abiie.com) Retail: $15 – $21

Abiie, LLC  (pronounced like Abbie) has clever baby dishware that is both stylish and functional; i.e. helps produce less mess to clean up! Their brand-new Octopod plates/bowls feature an innovative suction-cup base for a no-slip grip and the highest quality easy-clean, eco-friendly materials. And, they are made with options like bamboo and silicone. Personally, I hang on to these divided dishes and reuse them for art projects and tween snacks as the children outgrow them. Never a need to waste! PS. They have an adjustable, eco-conscious ‘Beyond Junior Y Chair’ that reminds me of our Stokee Trip Trapp chair that I still have from our first child. Good stuff lasts.

FAVORITE CAR COMPANION (besides the dogs)

RIDERZ

(myriderz.com) Retail: $14.95-$19.95

Traveling can be tough for children, and according to The Vacationer, about 161 million Americans are planning to travel this holiday season. While the excitement of seeing family and friends or the destination can be exhilarating beforehand, the emotional anxiety and uneasiness settles in once it’s time to officially leave the house and go away from their familiar bed and toys. Thus, the typical road trip meltdown ensues. Problem solved. Riderz stuffed animals are the toys that don’t get left at home because they are the perfect travel buddies that can fit in cup holders anywhere. 

My littlest received one of these months ago, and it’s still on the cup holder. He loves to talk to the elephant and I love how it doesn’t need to lay on the bottom of the car floor with all the grime.

FAVORITE CONNECT FROM THE DISCONNECT

ROAR BABY MONITORS

(roaroutside.com) Retail: $149.99

“I’m a father of three and after numerous failed attempts to find a baby monitor to be used during our family camping trips, I decided to build my own. Roar Baby Monitors are fully wireless with a 20+ hour battery life and are rugged enough to survive any camping trip. Our baby monitors do not use Wifi or Bluetooth so they are built to thrive in the remotest of locations. Simply put, our baby monitors allow parents to enjoy the late-night bonfire while knowing their children are sleeping safely in their tents.” — Dad and Owner, Austin De La Cruz

CONTEST

 

Tips to Keep Everyone in Your Home Connected This Holiday Season

If you’re hosting guests this holiday season, you know how important it is to keep everyone connected. From the dinner table to each guest room and beyond, it’s important to keep the family connected all season long. With the Xfinity xFi Gateway and Xfinity Voice Remote voice commands, your family and friends can stay in-touch all season long, enjoy WiFi from anywhere in your home with xFi pods, and more.

“What’s my WiFi Password?” and other voice commands for your holiday guests

When your holiday guests arrive, they’ll likely have one question— “what’s your WiFi password?” If you’re not home to provide the answer or you aren’t entirely sure yourself, your guests can simply say “What’s my WiFi password?” into the Xfinity Voice Remote and the info they need to get connected will appear right on your television screen. What’s more, the info appears on the bottom of your screen, which means it won’t interrupt the holiday movies you’re watching.

Bonus tip: Get festive with your WiFi password! Beat the most commonly asked question from your guests (besides “when are we eating?”) and refresh your Gateway’s password to something holiday-themed and easy to remember through xfinity.com/myxfi or the Xfinity app. Identify your network and select “Edit WiFi” to change your password. Just be sure to change it after everyone leaves.

Keeping guests connected all throughout your home

If you have a larger home and are looking to keep all your guests connected (from the kitchen, to each guest bedroom and beyond), you can use xFi Pods to extend your WiFi area. xFi pods act as WiFi extenders and help guests gain access to your network across your home, even on other floors of the home that are distant from your xFi Gateway.

Pause WiFi at dinner time, set up “bedtime mode”, and more with the Xfinity app

Xfinity customers with the xFi Gateway can also download the Xfinity app, which gives you access to admin tools that allow you to pause your WiFi anytime, set up bedtime mode, create a PIN to activate PIN-protected Parental Controls on xFi, and more. That means you can pause WiFi access during family meals or pause WiFi at a designated bedtime for younger guests.

All of this and more are available with the xFi Gateway and Xfinity Voice Remote, working together to make your holiday season simple, easy, and jolly!

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

 

Denver’s best gift card bonus deals, music lessons and more

My friend and I had a long conversation about giving gift cards. Neither of us liked the idea of giving a gift card because there is so little thought in it – but we agreed that we both like getting gift cards! Go figure. My kids are at an age where their style/tastes are so different from mine that I can’t possibly try to guess what they want. So, we agreed it may be the time of the gift carding. Good thing there are some bonus deals when you purchase some gift cards.

Also, don’t miss the Ultimate Guide to the Holidays in Denver, Colorado Holiday Gift Guide with 50+ ideasDenver’s best holiday markets and craft fairs and the 7 Best Christmas tree farms in Denver. Be sure to give back with these 15 holiday toy drives in Denver. 

Gift Card Deals. Most of the deals we found for gift card bonus’ were for restaurants but there are a few that are not.

·         Applebee’s – buy a $50 gift card get a bonus $10 card

·         BJ’s Restaurants – buy a $50 gift card get a bonus $10 card

·         California Pizza Kitchen – buy a $100 gift card get a bonus $20 card

·         Cole Stone Creamery – buy a $50 gift card get a bonus $15 card

·         DSW Shoes – buy a $50 gift card get a bonus $10 card

·         Firehouse Subs – buy a $25 gift card get a free sub

·         Fuzzy’s Taco Shop  – buy a $25 gift card get a $5 bonus card

·         Gymboree – buy a $50 gift card get a bonus $10 card

·         Jamba – buy a $25 gift card get a bonus $5 card

·         Melting Pot – Make a $10 donation to St. Jude’s Childrens’ Hospital get a $20 gift card.

·         Noodles – buy a $25 gift card get a bonus $5 card

·         Outback Steakhouse – buy a $50 gift card get a bonus $10 card

·         Red Robin – buy a $25 gift card get a $5 bonus card

·         REI – buy a $100 gift card get a $20 bonus card

·         Smashburger – buy a $25 gift card get a bonus $5 card

·         Spafinder – take 20% off $150+ Spafinder cards with promo code XMASBOOST (25% off $200)

·         The Children’s Place – buy a $50 gift card get a bonus $10 card

·         Torchy’s Tacos – buy a $25 gift card get a bonus $5 card

 ConceiveAbilities Surrogacy and Egg Donor Agency is offering any lactating woman who donates to a milk bank a one-time $250 gift card to help with pumping expenses (or whatever she needs). Their #MilkBankChallenge will help them achieve their 2022 goal of 500,000 ounces to help families feed their infants. https://www.conceiveabilities.com/about/blog/baby-formula-shortage-and-how-to-help

Littleton School of Music. Do you want to gift your kids with something they’ll actually remember and benefit from for years to come? Check out Littleton School of Music’s pre-stocked stuffing! For just $99, their Stuff the Stocking Christmas Extravangza includes music lessons, candy, instrument-specific goodies, a gift card and more (a $174 value).  https://www.littletonmusiclessons.com/

Hansel and Gretel at the Boulder Opera Company. Based on the Brothers Grimm classic fairytale, Engelbert Humperdinck’s adaptation follows Hansel and Gretel on a journey of self-discovery during which they meet the Sandman, the Dew Fairy, and of course, the malevolent Witch. Children will cheer when Hansel and Gretel use their cunning, wits, and most importantly, their brave hearts to defeat evil and live happily ever after. Saturday, December 17th, at 2 pm and 4 pm; Sunday, December 18th, at 2 pm. Discount: BOCMU. 

McDonalds SZN of Sharing. Mcdonald’s is celebrating the season from December 5-25, there will be daily deals on the app. Plus, you have a chance to in win a Gold Card for you and friends (which means Free McDonalds for life). This week’s deals include: Monday – Wednesday Buy one Get one free Big Mac, Thursday & Friday get a Double Cheeseburger for just 50 cents! Saturday and Sunday pick 4 for $4 (McDouble or McChicken and get 4 piece McNuggets, medium drink + small fries).

Burger King Perks Wonderland. Through December 17, Burger King is offering a deal each day to their loyalty members. The deals include: Free Whopper Jr. (with $1 purchase), $3 Whopper, Free Single Croissan’wich (with $1 purchase), $5 Whopper Meal, $0 Delivery Fee, $3 off $20 or more purchase, Free cheeseburger (with $1 purchase), Free Chicken Sandwich (with $1 purchase), $5 Double Whopper and small fries, Free Hershey’s Sundae Pie (with $1 purchase), 3x crowns. Check the app offers tab for deals.

Wendy’s Frosty Key Tag. For just $2, you can get a key fob at Wendy’s that will get you a small frosty every day of 2023 (with any purchase)! This sweet little treat is something that is in stockings every year at our house.

JustBE Kitchen. Are you or is someone in your family gluten-free? Head over to JustBE’s second location in DTC for their 100% gluten free menu made of healthy and anti-inflammatory ingredients that is just yummy craveable comfort foods.

Gap. Get an extra 50% off at gap.com when you use promo GOSHOP. Some Tees and tanks for as little as $3.99  and jeas as low as $15.99 is a great deal!

Old Navy. Does your family usually get matching pajamas for the family? Now is the time at Old Navy – get items for as low as $4, items are up to 60% off. Plus use promo code FREESHIP to get free shipping on orders over $25.

 Tuba Christmas. The annual tradition of hundreds of tubas is happening again on Sunday, December 18 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. It is a free concert for all!

SantaPaws at Magnolia Hotel. The Magnolia Hotel Denver in partnership with Freedom Service Dogs invites people to  bring their pets, kids, friends and loved ones to Photos With “Santa Paws” in the lounge area of the hotel in an effort to raise money and awareness for the organization this holiday season. There will be a veteran and their Freedom Service Dog in attendance along with a festive holiday backdrop, dog and human treats and of course Santa himself. Pets and their people are encouraged to wear ugly Christmas sweaters, Santa hats or another holiday flare for their free photos.

Noon Year’s Eve. The annual tradition of counting down to noon on December 31 is back on again this year at the Children’s Museum of Denver! Be part of the fun ringing in the new year Times’ Square style – with a ball drop, music, special crafts, treats and more.  They are taking reservations starting December 16.  

New Year’s Eve in Denver: 15 Family-friendly Events

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Denver with family fun in Denver with these New Year’s Eve events. Fireworks, skate parties, a replica of Times Square for Kids and so much more! 

Plan Ahead: Don’t wait until the last minute for all your New Year’s Eve party favors. Check out these goofy 2023 New Year’s Eve glasses, plastic disposable champagne flutes for your kids’ Martinelli,  and this fun New Year’s Eve party kit for kids. 

Scroll down for our Denver guides to the holidays! 

NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS IN DENVER

WHEN: Dec. 31, 2022; 9 p.m. and midnight​
WHERE: 16th Street Mall 

The sky will once again sparkle over downtown at the close of 2021 with the New Year’s Eve Fireworks. The two spectacular fireworks shows will occur at 9 p.m. and midnight. For the best viewpoints, stand along the 16th Street Mall. The identical fireworks shows will be synched to a music playlist from live DJs along the mall. Each show will run for about eight minutes and can be viewed from anywhere along the mall. The DJs will play tunes from 8 p.m. to midnight.

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2022
WHERE: Skyline Park
Bundle up for some free ice skating in the heart of downtown and enjoy special events. 

NOON YEAR’S EVE

WHEN: Dec. 31, 2022; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
WHERE: Children’s Museum of Denver

The museum is bringing in the sights, sounds and excitement of Times Square to the Children’s Museum – all before bedtime! Their celebration is filled with countdowns and ball drops each hour from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., rainbow confetti, bubble wrap fireworks, crafts, music and more. This year’s celebrations will take place in their winter experience, SNOW DAYS. Prepare for a celebration unlike any other year with sock skating, sledding and fun surprises! Reservations required.Noon Year's Eve Denver

CHRISTMAS IN COLOR

WHEN: Nov. 19, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022
WHERE: Water World, Aurora and Bandimere Speedway (Morrison)
Load up your friends and family into the van (or car, or truck) and experience the holiday season 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. You can experience the attraction at two locations. (Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.)

A HUDSON CHRISTMAS: EXTRAVAGANZA OF LIGHTS  

WHEN: Nov. 25–Dec. 31, 2022 (on select days)
WHERE: Hudson Gardens & Events Center
Hudson Christmas is back after two long years. You’ll be enchanted by even more towering trees draped in thousands of colorful lights. A grove of dancing Christmas trees, a multi-colored forest inhabited by giant snowmen, the holiday light tunnel and glowing reindeer will light up Hudson Gardens into an extravaganza of holiday cheer. hudsongardens.org

SKATE THE LAKE NEW YEAR’S EVE

WHEN: Dec. 31, 2022
WHERE: Evergreen

Join the Evergreen Chamber and our local mountain community for the family-friendly, alcohol-free 25th annual New Year’s Eve Skate the Lake event at Evergreen Lake, on December 31 from 6 to 10 pm. Fireworks at 8:00 pm then open skate under the lights until 10, skate rentals while supplies last. Food trucks on site with snacks and dinner available. Hot chocolate, fire pits, and fun. Free parking and free shuttles from various locations. members.evergreenchamber.org/ 

HOLIDAY LIGHTS MINI GOLF

WHEN: December 2022
WHERE: Adventure Golf & Raceway, Westminster
During the holiday season, Buccaneer Bay, Adventure Cove and The Lost Continent transform into beautiful holiday-themed light displays with more than 100,000 interactive lights on all three courses!  adventuregolfandraceway.com/attractions/holiday-lights-mini-golf/Denver Holiday Golf

MCGREGOR SKATE

WHEN: Dec. 2–31, 2022; 12–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Friday–Saturday, 12–6 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: McGregor Square plaza
The magic of winter has made its way to LoDo with McGregor Skate, an ice skating rink for all ages. Skates are available to rent at an on-site skate shop. Enjoy hot beverages from the upcoming holiday pop-up bar: Sleigh Bar at Milepost Zero. Note: The rink is closed on Dec. 24 and 25 and closes early at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31 for the Drop New Year’s Eve event. mcgregorsquare.com

Denver New Year’s Eve Lights

THE MILE HIGH TREE 

WHEN: Nov. 18–Dec. 31, 2022
WHERE: 16th Street Mall at Welton Street

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

BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT

WHEN: Nov. 18, 2022–Jan. 7, 2023 (closed Nov. 25 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 are required. botanicgardens.org

ZOO LIGHTS

WHEN: Dec. 3, 2022–Jan. 15, 2023
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. denverzoo.org

2022 ANNUAL HOLIDAY LIGHTING

WHEN: Nov. 24, 2022–Jan. 22, 2023; 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m each night
WHERE: City & County of Denver​ Building
Each night, at 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., an interactive holiday show will occur for 7-9 minutes, and then goes to a static holiday look until 10:45 p.m.

LUMINOVA HOLIDAYS

WHEN: Nov. 25, 2022–Jan. 1, 2023
WHERE: Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park​
Making its Colorado debut, this family-friend event brings larger-than-life holiday displays and immersive experiences for all to enjoy. It features more than 3 million dazzling lights, a 65-foot-tall Christmas tree, a 25-foot-tall snowman that never melts, a 200-foot-long candy cane tunnel, giant ornaments, a wall of lights, rides on limited Elitch Gardens attractions, train rides for the kids (and the kids at heart), interactive activities like a light-up hopscotch, strolling holiday entertainers, Old Saint Nick and his elves, and more. www.elitchgardens.com

TRAIL OF LIGHTS

WHEN: Nov. 25, 2022–Jan. 1, 2023
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. botanicgardens.org

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.

Guide to the Holidays in Denver

Guide to Denver holiday events and light displays

Colorado Holiday Gift Guide with 50+ ideas

Denver’s best holiday markets and craft fairs

7 Best Christmas tree farms in Denver

15 holiday toy drives in Denver. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

 

Chanukkah in Denver: Family Events, Traditions and Recipes

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates religious freedom. This year Hanukah begins on the evening of  December 18 and ends on December 26, 222. Hanukkah is celebrated in the wintertime, near or around Christmas. Though the proximate occurrence of the two holidays is coincidental, it is interesting in that the story of Hanukkah raises questions about how a religious or ethnic community maintains its identity in relation to a broader culture.

Scroll down for the story of Chanukkah, recipes and traditions!

Hanukkah Events in Denver 2022

Chanukah Concert

When: Dec 11, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Boulder JCC (Boulder Jewish Community Center),  6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO
Join in the fun at Levin Hall for an interactive musical Chanukah celebration with Jeff and Paige! This annual event will get your family excited for the Festival of Lights with elaborate costumes. boulderjcc.org/

Har HaShem’s Annual Chanukah Bazaar

When: Dec. 11, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 
Where: Congregation Har Hashem, 3950 Baseline Rd, Boulder, CO
Chanukah is our Festival of Lights! And we have what you need for your celebrations! You can get your candles, gelt, Chanukah Menorahs, Decorations, and more.

Chanukah on Ice

When: December 18, 2022, 4-6 p.m.
Where: Big Bear Ice Arena, 8580 East Lowry Boulevard, Denver, CO 80230
Kick off the festival of lights on ice with family & friends at the annual Chanukah on Ice. An evening of music & invigorating skating, dinner, glow-in-the-dark grand Menorah lighting, power rangers and glow fun. wcrjcolorado.com

Chanukah Celebration

When: December 18, 2022
Where: Cherry Creek North

Celebrate the first night of Chanukah with Chabad of Cherry Creek. Families and guests of all ages will enjoy what is truly a festival of lights with face painting, fire juggling, festive treats, and crafts. cherrycreeknorth.com

Chanukah Celebration at the Orchard Town Center

When: December 18, 2022, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: The Orchard Town Center,  14697 Delaware St, Westminster, CO
Come and celebrate Chanukah with The Orchard’s Grand Menorah Lighting Celebration. Enjoy live music, latkahs, donuts, hot beverages and a variety of performances. Hosted by The Chabad of NW Metro Denver in loving memory of Jessica Ridgeway. theorchardtowncenter.com/

Latkes and Lights Hanukkah Celebration and Latke Competition 

When: December 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The JCC Denver and Jewish Explorers are excited to welcome you to our first annual Latkes and Lights Hanukkah celebration. This family and community event will feature themed games, a photo booth, arts and crafts, and more. Does your family make the best latkes in Denver? Showcase them at Latkes and Lights by joining the latke-making contest. The community and a panel of judges will enjoy your latkes and then crown category winners with a Golden Latke Trophy! Tickets are available on a sliding scale from $3-$20. jccdenver.org

Community Chanukah Celebration

When: December 19, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Where: 2450 S Wabash St, Denver, CO
Celebrate the first night by Chanukah by unveiling and lighting the world’s largest menorah. joidenver.com/events/lego

Olde Town Arvada Menorah Lighting

When: December 22, 5;30-6:30 p.m.

Where: 7525 W 57th Ave, Arvada, CO
 
Enjoy the holiday of Chanukah with a fun family-themed celebration. Chanukah Music, Comedy Circus Performance, Chanukah Goodie Bags, Latkahs, Donuts & Chocolate coins, Dreidel Mascot. Free event and open to all. visitarvada.org/

The story

In 168 B.C.E., the Jewish holy temple in Jerusalem was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of Zeus. Then, the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus made the observance of Judaism an offense that was punishable by death. He banned circumcision and Sabbath observance and he also ordered all the Jews to worship Greek gods. A group of Jewish rebels called the Maccabees revolted against Antiochus and regained control of the Temple. In order to rededicate it to the singular God of Judaism, they had to light the temple’s Menorah or seven-branched sacred candelabra. To their dismay, the Maccabee soldiers only found one day’s worth of oil remaining in the Temple. Nonetheless, they lit the menorah, and a miracle happened. The small portion of oil burned for the full eight days. Hanukkah celebrates this miracle and is thus also called The Festival of Lights.

Traditions

Lighting the Menorah

jewishA menorah has nine candleholders, eight for the eight nights of Hanukkah plus one for the shamash or helper candle. On the first night of Chanukah, use the shamash to light one candle. One the second night, light two candles, and continue for eight nights, adding another candle each night.

After lighting the candles say the following blessings:

1. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
2. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
3. (First night only) Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

Spinning the dreidel

jewish1A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top. Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: Nun, Gimel, Heh and Shin. Together, these letters form the acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “a great miracle happened there.”

Rules of the game: Each player begins with an equal number of game pieces (usually 10–15). The game pieces can be any small object, such as chocolate kisses or pennies. Each player spins the dreidel once during his/her turn. Depending on which side is facing up when the dreidel stops spinning, the player gives or takes game pieces from the pot:

-Nun = Do nothing.
-Gimel = Take everything.
-Hay = Take half.
-Shin = Put a game piece in the pot.

Eating Fried Foods

It is customary to eat foods that are fried in oil on Chanukah to recall the miracle of the Temple oil that lasted for eight days. Donuts are a popular Hanukkah treat, as is the commonly known and loved potato latke.

An easy latke recipe:

Ingredients:
salt
2 large eggs
2 lbs (1 kg) potatoes
oil for frying

Directions:

Peel and grate the potatoes. Put them straight into cold water, then drain and squeeze them as dry as you can by pressing them with your hands in a colander. This is to remove the starchy liquid, which could make the latkes soggy.
Beat the eggs lightly with salt, add to the potatoes, and stir well. Fill the bottom of a frying pan with oil and heat. Take a large spoonful of the mixture and drop into the hot oil. Flatten a little, and lower the heat so that the latkes cook through evenly. When one side is brown, turn over and brown the other.

Lift out and serve very hot, with applesauce or sugar.

Happy Hanukkah!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy.