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52 best family events in Denver this week

Don’t miss Freezie Fest at Pearl Street Mall, Breakfast with Santa, Winterfest and more! See our event calendar for more information.

Also, don’t miss Family Travel: 40+ Holiday Vacation Ideas in Colorado and Denver guide to the holidays: Santa Arrivals & Christmas events!

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.

ONGOING EVENTS

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
Dec. 5-21
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

  Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits at Denver Museum of Nature and Science
September 13, 2019 – April 12, 2020
“Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits” takes guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes to explore the psychology, physiology and physicality of some of the most extreme activities in the world. In this high-energy exhibition, guests experience the thrill of extreme sports in exciting, interactive exhibits and immersive environments. Meet passionate athletes, hear their incredible stories and take in the artistry, motivation and thoughtfulness that goes into everything they do. dmns.org
 
Tiger Encounter at the Denver Zoo
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
 
Christmas at Gaylord Rockies
Nov 22, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
The season-long experience will include ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a larger-than-life ice sculpture adventure; exclusive Cirque Dreams Holidaze theatrical performances; ice skating, tubing and bumper cars; a Naughty or Nice Escape Room; character breakfast; family-friendly activities; and themed décor with an impressive holiday light display. marriott.com
 
Images from the Tracks at the Colorado Railroad Museum
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.

62 family events in Denver this week

Fun events this week include Lights of December Parade, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas and the Oxford Hotel Dolls’ Tea!  See our event calendar for more information.

Also, don’t miss Family Travel: 40+ Holiday Vacation Ideas in Colorado and Denver guide to the holidays: Santa Arrivals & Christmas events!

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.

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.

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Buell Theatre 
Dec 3  – Dec 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.

The Polar Express at Colorado Railroad Museum 
Dec 4 –  8 
The story of The Polar Express is being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the holiday season!

A Very Vintage Holiday Show at Denver Arts & Venues
Dec 5  –  21 
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!

Disney on Ice: Mickey’s Search Party at Pepsi Center 
Dec 5  –  8 
Join Mickey Mouse and his friends at Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party, a brand-new adventure filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics and unexpected stunts! Make memories with your whole family during Aladdin, Toy Story and The Little Mermaid as the search party becomes an all-out magical celebration on the ice, in the air, and all around! *Note: Costumes not permitted for guests 14 years & older.

A Broadway Christmas Carol at CU Presents, University Theatre 
Dec 5 –  8 
What the Dickens happened to Scrooge? He sings (show tunes), he dances (time steps and classic Fosse), he turns into a ham (and we’re not talking spiral-cut). In an event that’s perfect for both the young and young at heart, Charles Dickens’ famous festive tale is whipped into a holidaze confection, peppered with hilarious parodies of dozens of your favorite Broadway songs.

SKEA Sample Sale at SKEA Limited 
Dec 5 –  7
Join us at our warehouse in Golden for our semi-annual sample sale and knock out some Holiday shopping! Our three-day sample sale will have tons of ski and outerwear styles, both brand new and vintage! Shop parkas, jackets, ski pants, sweaters, vests, accessories, and more! Limited availability of kids and men’s ski pants and parkas.

Free Day at Museo de las Americas
Dec 6, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Located in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, Museo de las Americas is the premier Latin American art museum in the Rocky Mountain region. Museo de las Americas is dedicated to educate our community through collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the diverse arts and cultures of the Americas from ancient to contemporary, through innovative exhibitions and programs.

Holiday Fair & Artisan Market at The Denver Waldorf School 
Dec 6  –  7
Ring in a heart-warming holiday season at our 45th annual Holiday Fair at The Denver Waldorf School- join us during two days of festivities and shopping! On Friday, December 6, come enjoy our UnWined Artisan Market and Toy & Book Sale, an adults-only evening with live music, beer & wine, and shopping among more than 50 hand-selected artisans featuring unique, holistic, hand-made treasures and food.

A Candlelight Christmas at First United Methodist Church 
Dec 6  – 7 
Join the Larimer Chorale and guest artists in a unique surround-sound presentation of holiday pageantry and wonder, featuring season music for accompanied and unaccompanied voices and the Chorale’s signature candle-lighting vignette.

Englewood Holiday Express at Englewood Farm and Train at Belleview Park
Dec 6  –  7 
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. Visit Santa in his workshop and drop off your wish list, but only if you’ve been nice this year! Then sit down by our open fire, enjoy a hot drink, and roast some s’mores. Be sure to enjoy unlimited train rides and the beautiful lights all evening.

Christmas Lights of Denver at History Colorado Center 
Dec 6 @ 4:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Come enjoy the history and beauty of Denver’s holiday lights with History Colorado! It’s all aboard a comfortable, heated bus as we drive through some of the Denver area’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Your host will delight and entertain you with stories of Denver’s holiday lore. We design a new route for this annual event every year, so join us for some unexpected lighting surprises! Includes cookies, hot chocolate and bus transportation.

Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and Tour Center 
Dec 6  – Dec 8 
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.

Colorado Christmas Adventure at Mission H620 Southpark Dr., Littleton, CO 80120
Dec 6  –  7 
The Colorado Christmas Adventure, presented by Mission Hills Church, is a free, family-friendly event featuring Christmas stories and characters, a gingerbread house display and competition, live musical performances, kids crafts, cookie decorating, and much more. Kids of all ages will be surprised and delighted to find exciting activities around every corner.

Lakewood Lights at Lakewood Heritage Center 
Dec 6  –  7
Gather your friends, family and neighbors for this annual celebration! Join us for a tree lighting ceremony, then enjoy a stroll among the light displays or hop on a wagon ride, listen to festive live music and warm up with roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate. Spin the dreidel to get coin-shaped chocolate gelt. Snap a photo with jolly old Santa Claus or craft an ornament to commemorate this happy holiday.

9News Parade of Lights at Downtown Denver 
Dec 6  –  7 
The 9NEWS Parade of Lights is a magical nighttime event, which features more than 40 units including extravagantly illuminated floats, giant helium-filled character balloons, magnificent marching bands, traditional equestrian units and vibrant cultural entries. Join us at Civic Center Park!

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians at Bug Company Theater 
Dec 6 – 7 
Martians’ ruler is upset that the children of Mars are lazy and under the influence of too much pop culture from Earth – they are obsessed with the planet’s television programs and don’t want to do much of anything. In an attempt to pep the kids up again, he orders the kidnapping of Santa Claus, hoping the jolly old toymaker will know how to cheer Martian children up again.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians at Bug Theatre Company 
Dec 6  – 7 
Martians’ ruler is upset that the children of Mars are lazy and under the influence of too much pop culture from Earth – they are obsessed with the planet’s television programs and don’t want to do much of anything. In an attempt to pep the kids up again, he orders the kidnapping of Santa Claus, hoping the jolly old toymaker will know how to cheer Martian children up again. After two Earth children are also nabbed, complicating things for the Martian Ruler, chaos ensues! Part film, part live stage production, you won’t want to miss this hilarious new adaptation of the classic 1964 cult holiday hit!

Sensory Santa at Southlands Shopping Center
Dec 7,  8:00 am – 6:30 pm
A specially trained Santa who works with those with sensory-processing disorders, autism and those with sensory sensitivities will be at the Southlands Shopping Center to talk with those kids who can benefit from lower lights, quieter music and less activity. It is the only location in the state to offer this service.

Breakfast with Santa at Downtown Aquarium 
Dec 7 –  8 
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!

Inside the Orchestra’s Christmas Tiny Tots Concerts at Cielo at Castle Pines 
Dec 7, 9:30 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.

Free Day at Denver Art Museum 
Dec 7, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
General admission to the Denver Art Museum is FREE to all youth age 18 and under every day, granting more kids access to art than ever before. General admission is free on the first Saturday of the month thanks to Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

Thornton Arts and Culture Division (ArtsThornton) at Margaret W. Carpenter Recreation Center – Multipurpose Room
Dec 7. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
ArtsThornton presents its annual Art For Less Than $100 (Art4<$100) winter show to support local artists and to encourage Thornton residents to shop locally for holiday gifts. Two dozen artists are expected to exhibit and sell their artwork in various sizes, styles and materials. Cash and credit cards accepted for art purchases. Refreshments will also be provided at this family-friendly event. All are welcome to dress in holiday attire and share the spirit of the season. Admission and parking is free.

Swedish Christmas Market at Calvary Baptist Church 
Dec 7, 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Swedish Christmas Market – An Authentic Holiday Celebration. Come celebrate the holiday season with Swedish foods, unique gifts and crafts, Swedish candy, musical entertainment and activities for the children: Enjoy glögg and gingerbread cookies (included with entrance fee) in a for the season beautifully decorated room. Visit the café that offers open-face sandwiches, waffles, and other traditional foods, and bring home delicacies like lussekatter, cinnamon buns and limpa-bread.

The Gentle Nutcracker at Vance Brand Civic Auditorium 
Dec 7, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The Longmont Symphony Orchestra and the Boulder Ballet present a sensory-friendly abridged version of Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker Ballet for individuals with special needs and their families.

Holly Jolly Lowry Holiday at Eisenhower Chapel 
Dec 7, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Lowry Foundation is hosting a free family holiday open house in the historic Eisenhower Chapel, celebrating many cultures and religious denominations. Visit with Santa from 2:30-4:30 p.m.; photos will be available. Enjoy local choirs, kids’ crafts, refreshments, and a giving tree.

The Nutcracker with Ballet Ariel at Lakewood Cultural Center 
Dec 7 – Dec 15
Ballet Ariel’s imaginative and winsome interpretation of The Nutcracker returns at the height of the holiday season to the Lakewood Cultural Center. Tickets are on sale now.
Ballet Ariel’s professional company and 30 students from the Ballet Ariel School and Lakewood Dance Academy brilliantly perform this eternal classic. Directed by Ilena Norton and Oleg Dedogryuk, Ballet Ariel’s The Nutcracker once again defines the season.

Holiday Family Sing-along, A Time of Wonder at Augustana Lutheran Church
Dec 7, 2:30 – 5:00 pm
It’s the time of year for cookies, cocoa, and the best holiday deal for families! The Colorado Women’s and Men’s Chorales, joined again this year by Kent Jones and the Colorado Saints Chorale, will be performing one of our most fantastic shows of the year for a bargain price. Our annual Family Holiday Sing-Along offers a beautiful choral concert followed by a holiday festival with games, cookie decorating, and photos with Santa Claus himself.

Lights of December Parade at  Downtown Boulder 
Dec 7, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Spectators are invited to enjoy floats created and decorated by local businesses, churches, schools, and civic groups. The grand finale includes an appearance by the jolly old man himself – Santa Claus!

Lone Tree Symphony Presents a Very Cherry Christmas at Lone Tree Arts Center 
Dec 7 –  8
The symphony will perform your favorite holiday music with a cherry on top! In December, the LTSO and Cherry Creek Chorale join together to put you in the holiday spirit with Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from The Messiah, plus lovely choral tunes such as “Ocho Kandelikas,” “Jingle Bells,” and more. Join them for a Very Cherry Christmas!

Free Day at Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
Dec 8, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Museum Admission is free on the dates listed below. To add a temporary exhibit, IMAX or Planetarium show, purchase tickets at the Museum on the Free Day; upgrade rates apply. Reservations and amenities (lunchroom, coat and lunch storage, bus drop off, etc.) for school groups are not available on SCFD Community Free Days.

Low-sensory Morning at Downtown Aquarium 
Dec 8, 8:30 am – 9:45 am
For our guests that prefer a calmer and more sensory-friendly environment join us for a special morning. We will open early at 8:30am, turn up the lights and turn down the ambient sounds in the exhibits. Stay as long as you would like.

Oxford Hotel Dolls’ Tea 
Dec 8, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Experience one of Denver’s favorite family traditions this holiday season with The Oxford Hotel Dolls’ Tea Party on Sunday, Dec. 8th. Held for more than 50 years at LoDo’s most historic boutique hotel, The Oxford Dolls’ Tea is a classic tea party featuring tea, sandwiches, hot cocoa and treats. Children are encouraged to bring their favorite doll along to enjoy the festivities.

Celtic Woman: The Best of Christmas Tour at  Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex 
Dec 8, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Celebrate this holiday season with the celestial voices of multi-platinum Irish singing sensation Celtic Woman with your Colorado Symphony. Featuring music from the all-female ensemble’s most favorite Yuletide songs performed by them over the years. Prepare for an enchanting and festive evening filled with mesmerizing music, performance, and holiday cheer.

Scotty Wiese Mile High Magic at  Bovine Metropolis Theater 
Dec 8, 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.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames @ Pepsi Center 
Dec 9, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames live at the Pepsi Center!

ONGOING EVENTS

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
Dec. 5-21
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

  Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits at Denver Museum of Nature and Science
September 13, 2019 – April 12, 2020
“Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits” takes guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes to explore the psychology, physiology and physicality of some of the most extreme activities in the world. In this high-energy exhibition, guests experience the thrill of extreme sports in exciting, interactive exhibits and immersive environments. Meet passionate athletes, hear their incredible stories and take in the artistry, motivation and thoughtfulness that goes into everything they do. dmns.org
 
Tiger Encounter at the Denver Zoo
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
 
Christmas at Gaylord Rockies
Nov 22, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
The season-long experience will include ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a larger-than-life ice sculpture adventure; exclusive Cirque Dreams Holidaze theatrical performances; ice skating, tubing and bumper cars; a Naughty or Nice Escape Room; character breakfast; family-friendly activities; and themed décor with an impressive holiday light display. marriott.com
 
Images from the Tracks at the Colorado Railroad Museum
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.

Colorado’s Top Holiday Markets

All the delights of the winter season can be experienced at Colorado’s specialty markets, where Santa makes regular appearances, handcrafted gifts overshadow items bought at the mall and sweet treats abound. We have several versions of the holiday bazaar, including ones modeled after old-fashioned markets in Europe and others that offer modern twists on the tradition. 

EUROPEAN-STYLE MARKETS

Enter a wonderland where vendors sell gifts in rustic wooden stalls, choirs croon joyful tunes and be-scarfed patrons sip mulled cider.

Denver Christkindl Market, Nov. 22–Dec. 23, 2019

Skyline Park is transformed into a miniature German village during this favorite Denver event, where Bavarian musicians play classic carols and dance-worthy melodies, and vendors dish up specialties served at traditional German Christmas markets, including baked apples, gingerbread biscuits, charcoal-grilled sausages and, of course, spicy mulled wine (gluehwein).

Pick up cuckoo clocks, beer steins and other imported gifts for your loved ones, and sip gluehwein (something that might result in you picking up even more clocks and steins than you originally planned) as you get lost in the twinkling landscape. For more festive fun, stroll to Skyline Park’s Southwest Rink for some ice skating.

Georgetown Christmas Market, Dec. 7–8 and 15–16, 2019

Historic Georgetown’s old-school charm is enhanced at one of the state’s most cherished wintertime traditions. At the market, horse-drawn wagon rides take patrons through snow-blanketed streets past decorated storefronts; a Victorian-robed St. Nicholas greets rosy-cheeked tots who never whine or cry, and stalls feature handicrafts by local artisans.

A giant lit-up tree, the harmonic voices of choirs and views of the snow-dusted mountains above add to the dreamy scene. For the ultimate experience, take a Christmas museum tour of the Hamill House or Hotel de Paris, or book a special holiday-themed ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

OTHER HOLIDAY-SHOPPING EVENTS IN COLORADO

From winter produce to works by respected Colorado artists, these less-traditional markets boast local treasures and merry entertainment. 

Colorado Springs Sugar Plum Food & Gift Mart, Oct. 19–20, 2019

At the largest gift show of its kind in Colorado Springs, adults can peruse booths selling gourmet food, artwork, jewelry, seasonal décor and more, while little ones visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and walk through a “Winter Wonderland” display.

Winter Market & Holiday Fair in Eagle, Nov. 16, 2019

You’ll find everything from handmade crafts to culinary delights and beauty products at this Eagle gift fair. Bring your kids (and your dogs) to pose for Santa photos. Face-painting and adult beverages make this event fun for all. 

Holiday Art Market at Olde Golden Christmas, Nov. 18–Dec. 29, 2019

More than 100 Colorado artists show off their prized works at Golden’s Foothills Art Center, where you can browse for jewelry, ceramics, glass, photography, paintings and more. Other notable festivities include a parade with Newfoundland dog-cart rides for kids (as if they were the only ones to appreciate a dog parade!), candlelight walk and more.

Denver Botanic Gardens Winter Gift Market, Nov. 21–23, 2019

Wander Denver Botanic Gardens‘ peaceful grounds before browsing speciality vendors at this holiday extravaganza. Shop for frangrant herbal vinegars and seasonings (made from hand-picked herbs grown right at the Gardens), specialty foods, bath and body products, as well as antiques. 

Grand Junction Holiday Art and Craft Fair, Nov. 22–24, 2019

Head to Grand Junction for holiday goodies at The Art Center‘s annual fundraiser. Stock up on delicious jams and jellies, hand-knit socks, paitings and ornaments for under the tree. Then amble through The Art Center’s exhibits gallery for more Western Colorado artists.

Telluride Arts Holiday Bazaar, Nov. 29–Dec. 1, 2019

Join this lively holiday tradition at Telluride‘s Elk’s Lodge, with three days of celebratory cheer, fine crafts, artisan jewelry, gourmet food, clothing, ceramics and more. All gifts are handmade. Always happening the first weekend in December, the bazaar kicks off Telluride’s rambunctious holiday season for visitors and locals alike. 

Fetch Holiday Market, Nov. 30–Dec. 1, Dec. 6–8 and Dec. 13–15, 2019

Walk through Denver’s historic Sports Castle while sampling crafts from hundreds of Colorado’s best makers and artisans this holiday season. With four weekends of fun, the Fetch Holiday Market has something for everyone on your list. Enjoy live music and plenty of eats and drinks at this shopping wonderland hosted by the oh-so-hip Fetch

Boulder County Farmers Markets Winter Market, Dec. 7–8, 2019

Some of the best farmers and artisans on the Front Range bring their coolest goods to this bustling market at Longmont’s Boulder County Fairgrounds. Nibble on freshly baked cookies and other treats while you visit booths featuring works by more than 50 artists and tons of vendors selling organic veggies, honey, wine, coffee and more. Enjoy free giftwrapping, live music and kids’ activities. 

Holiday Market at Durango Farmers Market, Dec. 14, 2019

Groove to live music at La Plata County Fairgrounds as you shop for locally farmed meats, produce and cheeses to spice up your upcoming holiday gorging. Then, grab some coffee and have your photo taken with performers in Victorian-era garb.

Christmas Craft Fair at Cripple Creek’s Gold Camp Christmas, Dec. 13–14, 2019

Craft-rusty individuals seeking handmade gifts will hit the jackpot at this unique Cripple Creek celebration, where shopping opportunities include the bazaar, Sugar Plum Gift Shop and Elf Emporium. Don’t miss the Gold Camp Holiday Headframe Lighting, when the headframes (towers above underground mine shafts) at area mines are illuminated.

Minturn Winter Market, Dec. 7 and 14, 2019

Crackling bonfires, s’mores and carolers add pizzazz to the Minturn Market, a summer farmers’ market that becomes a winter delight for two Saturdays in December. From woodwork to homemade fudge, shoppers won’t be disappointed with the vendors, most of which are dedicated to using local ingredients and materials. 

Want More?

Read more about cold-weather celebrations in Colorado, including winter festivals, carnivals and competitions and holiday-lighting fun for additional ways to herald the season.

Colorado.com. Photo Credit: Denver Christkindl Market 

55 family-friendly events in Denver this week

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 
Nov 29
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.

ONGOING EVENTS

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
Dec. 5-21
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

  Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits at Denver Museum of Nature and Science
September 13, 2019 – April 12, 2020
“Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits” takes guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes to explore the psychology, physiology and physicality of some of the most extreme activities in the world. In this high-energy exhibition, guests experience the thrill of extreme sports in exciting, interactive exhibits and immersive environments. Meet passionate athletes, hear their incredible stories and take in the artistry, motivation and thoughtfulness that goes into everything they do. dmns.org
 
Tiger Encounter at the Denver Zoo
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
 
Christmas at Gaylord Rockies
Nov 22, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
The season-long experience will include ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a larger-than-life ice sculpture adventure; exclusive Cirque Dreams Holidaze theatrical performances; ice skating, tubing and bumper cars; a Naughty or Nice Escape Room; character breakfast; family-friendly activities; and themed décor with an impressive holiday light display. marriott.com
 
Images from the Tracks at the Colorado Railroad Museum
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.

​​​Celebrate Fresh Air Friday on Black Friday with FREE Colorado State Parks Pass

Colorado Parks & Wildlife encourages you to take some time this Thanksgiving weekend to explore the outdoors and make new memories with the people you love. Turn Black Friday into a blue skies Friday, a green trees Friday, a white snow Friday… a Fresh Air Friday!

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is pleased to partner again this year with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to offer free access to all 41 Colorado state parks on Fresh Air Friday. Throughout the year, CPW offers family-friendly activities, fun-filled adventures and opportunities to learn and try new things at all of our state parks. 

 Every outdoor activity is the right way to celebrate Fresh Air Friday, whether exploring a state park, skiing in the high country, or playing a game of freeze tag in the backyard. Studies show that spending time outdoors – no matter the activity – can improve one’s ability to focus, decrease fatigue and even help improve short-term memory! So whatever activity you choose, get out and give thanks.​​​

Events

Fresh Air Friday at Ridgway State Park
Friday, November 29

Two hikes will be offered to get outside for Fresh Air Friday at Ridgway State Park: Dallas Creek Nature Trail at 11 am- Meet at Confluence Parking Lot in Dallas Creek for a 1-mile hike in a great riparian ecosystem. Enchanted Mesa Hike at 1 pm- meet at Enchanted Mesa Trail Head in Pa Co Chu Puk. It will be a 2-mile hike, but you are free to go further on your own. There are great views in all directions from the top of Enchanted Mesa.

After Gobble Wobble on Fresh Air Friday at Chatfield State Park
Friday, November 29

Avoid the hazardous shopping centers after Thanksgiving and instead enjoy the fresh morning air at Chatfield State Park! Entrance into all Colorado State Parks is FREE on Fresh Air Friday! It’s time to walk off all that turkey you ate! Join a Ranger on a leisurely 2-mile walk through the Plum Creek Nature Area. Look for wildlife while breathing in the fresh, crisp morning air.

Fresh Air Friday Hike – Little Rainbow at AHRA State Park
Friday, November 29

Join us for Fresh Air Friday as we take a walk on the Little Rainbow Trail. Walk off that Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy a free day at State Parks!

Hike Outlook Ridge Loop at Mueller State Park
Friday, November 29

Want to avoid shopping centers today? Join us for Fresh Air Friday! Visit an overlook to view the valleys in the foreground and the Continental Divide in the distance, led by Naturalist Cindi. Loop back by Lost and Geer Ponds for a 3.5-mile moderate hike including a few steep hills. Dress in layers and bring lots of water.

The Great Waddle Walk-off at Barr Lake State Park
Friday, November 29

Thinking you might over-do-it at Thanksgiving? It’s all about family, friends and delicious food, but wouldn’t it be nice to add an adventure in the great outdoors, where you can stretch your legs and fill your lungs with wonderful fresh air?

 

​​​

27 family-friendly events in Denver this week

There are a lot of holiday event kick-offs like the Christkindl Market and Switch on the Holidays and Festival of Trees. See our event calendar for more information.

Also, don’t miss Family Travel: 40+ Holiday Vacation Ideas in Colorado and Denver guide to the holidays: Santa Arrivals & Christmas events!

A Broadway Christmas Carol at CU Presents
Nov 15  – 22 
What the dickens happened to Scrooge? He sings (show tunes), he dances (time steps and classic Fosse), he turns into a ham (and we’re not talking spiral-cut). In an event that’s perfect for both the young and young at heart, Charles Dickens’ famous festive tale is whipped into a holidaze confection, peppered with hilarious parodies of dozens of your favorite Broadway songs.

Signing Santa at Cherry Creek Shopping Center
Nov 20 – 21
Cherry Creek Shopping Center is proud to continue the tradition of providing deaf and hard-of-hearing children with a very special visit with Signing Santa.

The Polar Express at Colorado Railroad Museum 
Nov 20 – 24
The story of The Polar Express is being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the holiday season!

Free Day at Plains Conservation Center 
Nov 21, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
This Aurora-based center helps students and adults grow their knowledge and appreciation of the prairie ecosystem and the cultural history of Colorado through a variety of educational programs managed by Denver Botanic Gardens. In cooperation with the City of Aurora.

Aspen Academy Presents Beauty and the Beast Jr. at Aspen Academy 
Nov 21, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

DEN Free Ice Skating Rink at Denver International Airport, open-air plaza between the terminal and Westin 
Nov 22, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Lace up your skates and start practicing your axels, jumps and spins as the free ice skating rink on the Denver International Airport (DEN) outdoor plaza returns for its fourth season. DEN invites passengers and community members to join in on the winter fun this season.

Christkindl Market at Skyline Park
Nov 22  – 23 
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.

Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and Tour Center 
Nov 22 –24
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 Christmas Carol – The Musical at Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
Nov 22, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
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.

Denver Nuggets vs. Boston Celtics at Pepsi Center 
Nov 22, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Denver Nuggets vs. Boston Celtics at Pepsi Center.

Sugar Plum Bazaar at Denver Mart Drive-In 
Nov 23 – 24
Sugar Plum bazaar is a makers market featuring over 120 vendors from multiple states. About 95% of the items sold are handmade and all are small independent businesses.

Festival of Trees at Evergreen Memorial Barn 
Nov 23, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
The Barn will be open to the public for a free viewing of the trees and will include visits with Santa. Vote for your favorite decorated items and help determine People’s Choice awards for the Festival.

Annual Tree Lighting + After Party at Cherry Creek Shopping Center 
Nov 23, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Join us to kickoff the holiday season with Nick Ferguson at Cherry Creek Shopping Center! Enjoy hot chocolate, sweet treats, and entertainment as we countdown to the lighting of our 60’ Christmas tree! Then, gather inside for an after-party and more festivities!

Colorado Avalanches vs. Toronto Maple Leafs at Pepsi Center 
Nov 23, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Toronto Maple Leafs live at the Pepsi Center!

Switch on the Holidays at Pearl Street Mall 
Nov 24, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Kicking off the Holiday season, Santa counts down the grand illumination of the Boulder County Courthouse and the Pearl Street Mall.

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns at Pepsi Center 
Nov 24, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns at Pepsi Center.

Black Hawk Holiday Lighting at Stroehle Square Gazebo 
Nov 25, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Celebrate the start of the holiday season in Black Hawk. Help us count down and light the holiday lights. The Gilpin School choir will perform holiday favorites! Hot chocolate, cider, and cookies will be served!

ONGOING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

 Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits at Denver Museum of Nature and Science

September 13, 2019 – April 12, 2020
“Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits” takes guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes to explore the psychology, physiology and physicality of some of the most extreme activities in the world. In this high-energy exhibition, guests experience the thrill of extreme sports in exciting, interactive exhibits and immersive environments. Meet passionate athletes, hear their incredible stories and take in the artistry, motivation and thoughtfulness that goes into everything they do. dmns.org
 
Tiger Encounter at the Denver Zoo
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

Christmas in Color at Bandimere Speedway
Nov. 15-Jan. 4, 2020
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. showclix.com/event/christmas-in-color-at-bandimere-speedway-2019 

Images from the Tracks at the Colorado Railroad Museum
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! The program includes a 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.

4 ways to volunteer with your family for the holidays

Volunteers of American is Holiday Giving Central for the holidays. Here are four impactful ways to serve with your family with links to sign-ups.

Santa Shop

On December 23rd  VOA will give away over 5,000 toys to kids ranging in ages 0 -18 years old. We need your help! Donate NEW and unwrapped toys to the Santa Shop and help a family in need have a special Holiday Season! Toys can be dropped off at the VOA Admin Building- 2660 Larimer St., Denver any time in November and December before Friday, December 20th. Please mark them “Santa Shop.”  

 

 

 

Be Santa for a Family in Need!

You can help a family in need for the holidays through our Adopt-a-Family program! You will be able to select the family size you want to adopt, be given their wishlist and then can go buy items for the whole family. This is a great program for families, corporations, groups and indivduals to give back. 
 
 
 
 
 

 Donate to “Home For the Holidays”

Beginning in December 2019, Volunteers of America will be ready to lease up a new affordable housing community in Denver with 103 apartments. Many individuals and families will be exiting homelessness for this new apartment; their first home in a long time. These folks generally have no household items at all. You can help by contributing one or more of the Household start-up kits to helps us say “Welcome Home!”
 
 
 
 
 

 Volunteer for the 2019 Resolution 5K

On December 31, 2019, volunteer at Denver’s oldest New Year’s Eve running event that supports Volunteers of America.  Volunteers will be doing basic race activities like registration, racecourse set up, racecourse monitoring, packet handout and clean up. All ages of volunteers are welcome but activities are most appropriate for 10 years and older. Some duties may be outside and require walking and standing. Location: Washington Park 1700 E Louisiana Denver, CO 80210

23 events for families in Denver this weekend

Events this week include Santa’s grand arrival, A Broadway Christmas Carol, free day at Denver Museum of Nature and Science and more. See our event calendar for more information. 

The Polar Express at the Colorado Railroad Museum 
Nov 13 – 17 
The story of The Polar Express is being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the holiday season!

Denver Nuggets vs. Brooklyn Nets at Pepsi Center 
Nov 14, 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm
Denver Nuggets vs. Brooklyn Nets at Pepsi Center!

The fifth annual Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and Tour Center 
Nov 15 –  17
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 Nutcracker with Denver Academy of Ballet at Lone Tree Arts Center 
Nov 15  –  16 
A holiday tradition that can’t be missed!

A Taste of Carmen at Caffè Sole 
Nov 15  – 16 
Experience the captivating music of bizet’s most beloved opera, Carmen, at Caffè Sole in Boulder. A tragic tale of love, lust, and murder, this is one of the world’s most popular opera! Bizet’s masterpiece about a soldier’s ill-fated obsession with Sevillia’s favorite gypsy is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

A Broadway Christmas Carol at CU Presents 
Nov 15  – 22 
What the dickens happened to Scrooge? He sings (show tunes), he dances (time steps and classic Fosse), he turns into a ham (and we’re not talking spiral-cut). In an event that’s perfect for both the young and young at heart, Charles Dickens’ famous festive tale is whipped into a holidaze confection, peppered with hilarious parodies of dozens of your favorite Broadway songs.

It’s A Wonderful Life: An Opera in Two Acts at  Macky Auditorium, CU Boulder 
Nov 15 – 16 
It may be Christmas, but for George Bailey it is anything but the most wonderful time of the year. Based on the 1946 movie of the same name, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s brand new opera adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” follows a young guardian angel named Clara as she attempts—with heart and just a bit of holiday magic—to prove to George what an incredible impact he’s had on his small town.

The Nutcracker with Ballet Melange at Lakewood Cultural Center 
Nov 15  – 17 
Ballet Melange is a new Colorado nonprofit dance performance company and trainee program with a mission to bring high-quality dance performances to a wide range of audiences, especially those without regular access to the arts. In keeping with this mission, Ballet Melange invites groups of school children and seniors to see The Nutcracker on Friday, November 15, at 11 am for the amazing price of $5 per ticket.

Beech-Nut’s Million Meals at the Movies at The Elaine Wolf Theatre at the JCC 
Nov 16, 10:30 am – 12:15 pm
No Kid Hungry, because all kids should have access to real food. Beech-Nut’s Million Meals at the Movies is a family movie night and storytime at The Elaine Wolf Theatre at the JCC on Saturday, November 16th from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The event is FREE to attend, but tax-deductible donations to No Kid Hungry will be welcomed (every $5 donated can help provide up to 50 meals for a child who is facing hunger!)

Santa’s Grand Arrival at Cherry Creek Shopping Center 
Nov 16, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Santa’s Flight Academy has landed at Cherry Creek Shopping Center! Celebrate Santa’s arrival with holiday entertainment, Spinphony, the Original Dickens Carolers, giveaways, face painting, sweet treats, and more. Plus, check out the dance party and magical snowfall inside Santa’s sleigh!

Free Day at Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
Nov 17, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Museum Admission is free on the dates listed below. To add a temporary exhibit, IMAX or Planetarium show, purchase tickets at the Museum on the Free Day; upgrade rates apply. Reservations and amenities (lunchroom, coat and lunch storage, bus drop off, etc.) for school groups are not available on SCFD Community Free Days.

Clyfford Still Museum Family Tour 
Nov 17, 10:30 am – 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.

Scotty Wiese Mile High Magic at Bovine Metropolis Theater 
Nov 17, 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.

ONGOING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

 Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits at Denver Museum of Nature and Science

September 13, 2019 – April 12, 2020
“Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits” takes guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes to explore the psychology, physiology and physicality of some of the most extreme activities in the world. In this high-energy exhibition, guests experience the thrill of extreme sports in exciting, interactive exhibits and immersive environments. Meet passionate athletes, hear their incredible stories and take in the artistry, motivation and thoughtfulness that goes into everything they do. dmns.org
 
Tiger Encounter at the Denver Zoo
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

Christmas in Color at Bandimere Speedway
Nov. 15-Jan. 4, 2020
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. showclix.com/event/christmas-in-color-at-bandimere-speedway-2019 

Images from the Tracks at the Colorado Railroad Museum
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! The program includes a 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.

Denver guide to the holidays: Santa Arrivals & Christmas events!

KOSI 101 is already playing Christmas music so Santa Claus must be coming to town. With him comes all kinds of spirit-filled fun and a ton of free or inexpensive events that everyone can enjoy on almost any budget. We’ve found some really fantastic places to get in the spirit. 

Also, don’t miss Family Travel: 40+ Holiday Vacation Ideas in Colorado. 

 Outlets of Castle Rock.  Maybe one of my most favorite Santa arrival EVENTS in the city! Saturday, November 16 will be the giant tree-lighting and concert. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with local favorite, Raising Cian starting at 4 p.m. then rising popstar AJ Mitchell will take the stage. The Grand Finale will be at approximately 6 p.m. when Santa will arrive to light the Outlets Tree! Food trucks will be available.

 Bass Pro Shop & Cabela’s. Bass Pro Shop and Cabela’s all welcome Santa on Saturday, November 16 with the arrival parade starting around 5 p.m. There will be a tree-lighting and Santa’s Wonderland will open. While you’re there, enjoy free hot chocolate, cookies, decorating a stocking, lots of fun activities and photos. You will also be able to enter for door prizes and get a free fleece blanket.

 Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Cherry Creek has several events happening from the Grand Opening of Santa’s Flight Academy on November 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the annual Tree Lighting and After Party on November 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Black Friday Giveaways on November 29 (Black Friday) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Holiday Entertainment every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and photos with Santa and your pup on December 1 & 8 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. With so much going on you really don’t want to miss the holidays at Cherry Creek Shopping Center. 

 Southlands. Southlands has an entire season of fun planned. The fun really kicks off November 23 with the Holiday Hometown Parade starting at 6 p.m. and Santa is the special guest! The Pond Returns on November 15 for ice skating. Six Days for Free Santa Photos are November 23 – November 29. Hop on a festive carriage ride starting November 30 and plan to stop by the YMCA Craft corner.

Streets at SouthGlenn. Don’t miss the annual holiday kickoff: Santa’s Arrival & Tree Lighting on Fri., Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. 

BelMar. This is one of the most magical times of the year!  Capture your child’s special visit with a photo with Santa Fridays through Sundays Dec. 6-22.  Pets also welcome Saturdays.

 FlatIron Crossing. Santa may have arrived already at the FlatIron Crossings. But you can get your shopping done, and see where you rank on the Naughty-or-Nice O’Meter and say hi to Santa at  Santa’s HQ! Reservations are available but not required. They have a variety of events including Breakfast with Santa, Ugly Sweater Day and more through the season. 

Town Center of Aurora. Enjoy the annual Cookies With Santa event from 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 13 — which features a storytime and letters to Santa. Also, you can visit with the jolly old man and get free photos daily through the holiday.

Colorado Mills. It’s Time for Photos With Santa! Visit Santa’s Cabin in Neighborhood 3 near Target beginning on November 8th through December 24th.

Santa at Denver Union Station. Don’t miss visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus on Sunday, Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. with free family photos against the beautiful, historic backdrop of the Great Hall.

Dairy Block. Kris Kringle will be spreading holiday cheer – and posing for FREE family photos – at Santa’s Dairy Block Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 7th, 14th & 21st. Santa’s Dairy Block Workshop will feature a complimentary photo booth where families can take adorable pictures with Santa, the chance to meet his reindeer, plus live entertainment by elves & carolers, complimentary candy canes and more.

Park Meadows. True holiday magic will take place throughout Santa’s Winter Wonderland located in the Dillard’s Court. Guests experience wonder and delight as they stroll through the giant Christmas tree and take in the sights and sounds with Santa’s sleigh, woodland snowmen, festive reindeer, custom costumes and interactive elements.

Santa on the Square. On Nov. 30 from 19 a.m.-4 p.m.  Santa and Mrs. Claus kicking off the holiday by visiting Larimer Square on Saturdays throughout the holiday season.

Other Holiday Happenings

 Camp Christmas. The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace is Camp Christmas. The indoor immersive of all things holiday spirit is open most days from November 21 to January 5 between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Your Elfie Selfies are encouraged, visit with Santa (with a timed ticket), sip cocoa or a frosty cocktail from the Santa Bar. Ticket prices vary based on date and time from $8 to $21. Kids 2 & under are free.

 Parade of Lights. The Parade of Lights takes a 2-mile route through Denver’s city streets on Friday, December 6 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m. This free event features marching bands, floats, and Santa!

Denver Christkindl Market. The German-style market with stalls of great gifts from afar and awesome German foods is a free event at 15th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver. 

St. Nick on the Bricks. While Santa’s elves are busy at the North Pole, he and Mrs. Claus carve out time each Saturday from 11 am – 2 pm  (between November 30 – December 21) to visit kids of all ages at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center. Cameras are strongly encouraged for holiday photo ops!

Blossoms of Lights. Walk through Denver Botanic Gardens all lit up for the holidays. For over three decades, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms the York Street location into a winter wonderland. Fresh, exciting and new this year is the 360-degree immersive light experience. More lights, brighter and more expansive than ever. Tickets are can be $16 for non-members (depending on date. Kids 2 and under are free).   

Blossoms of Lights and Santa’s Workshop at Chatfield. My kids went with me last year to explore Santa’s Workshop of Chatfield. They still talk about it. Not only did we get to wander around the Chatfield location of the Denver Botanic Gardens, but there were also live reindeer AND they got to decorate a plate where we could leave out Santa’s cookies. Tickets are different prices are just $20 for adults or child when you not a member. 

Zoo Lights. The Denver Zoo lights up with twinkling and animated lights through the entire 70-acre zoo grounds. You can see neon giraffes, tigers, and monkeys swinging from trees. Zoo Lights sells out every year—please book online or in advance to secure your spot.

Gaylord Rockies. Gaylord Hotels are well known for their holiday fun. With the opening of the Gaylord Rockies, Denver also gets to experience all the great fun. Ice! Featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as the theme – you will see your favorite holiday come to life. You can watch Cirque’s Holidaze, go down the indoor ice slide, play reindeer games, try the naughty or nice escape room, gingerbread decorating, Mrs. Clause traditions, ride the ice bumper cars, and eat a Holly Jolly Breakfast.  Stay for the day or make it an overnight staycation, either way, you are in for a full dose of holiday fun. 

Night Lights Denver. I usually think of lights on the exterior of buildings for the holidays – but the new Night Lights Denver will be a permanent way for the Theater District to show off on an experimental platform while attracting people downtown for the free and unique experience. The lights will project on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night (5:30-8:30 p.m.)

Deals: Free Target events, ski deals & more!

Even though Black Friday is the best shopping day of the year (and Cyber Monday), there are still plenty of deals you can score before then.

Safeway Talks Turkey. Get a free turkey at Safeway when you spend $100 or more in a single transaction.

 Peet’s Coffee. Download the Peetnick App (for Peet’s Coffee) and use the code to ENROLL when you enroll in the program. Get a $5 credit (good for a free drink).

Panera Bread. Panera will give you an additional $10 when you buy $50 in gift certificates.

 Denver Premium Outlets. Text gift287 to 74666 to download an exclusive digital gift guide from Denver Premium Outlets. The gift guide offers a 25% discount on a single in-store item at participating brands, including Under Armour, Old Navy Outlet, Levi’s Outlet Store and more! Exclusions and restrictions may apply. 

 Million Meals at the Movies is a family movie night and story-time at The Elaine Wolf Theatre at the JCC on Saturday, November 16th from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The event is FREE to attend but tax-deductible donations to No Kid Hungry will be welcomed (every $5 donated can help provide up to 50 meals for a child who is facing hunger!) RSVP here. 

 Santa Arrivals. There are several free or inexpensive ways to start the celebration of the season. We compiled a full list.

Walgreens Calendar. I created yearbooks for my kids every year, but I know several of my friends created calendars with the kids’ photos for the grandparents’ gifts. Right now, you can get a 4” x 8” desk calendar at Walgreens for $2.99 when us use the code PRINTCAL when you check out.

Nike Shoes at JC Penney. Right now JC  Penney has Nike Running shoes Buy One Get One Free. In my house that will save me a ton as both kids love their Nike shoes!

 NERF at Target. Now at Target.com there are awesome deals on NERF Guns & Accessories (online only). and through Nov 16 you can get a free NERF N-Strike Elite Series 30-dart refill when you buy any Blaster (add the refill pack to your cart). Plus, add the 25% off Toy, Kid’s Book or Craft Activity – with the mobile coupon you receive when you text TOY to 827438.

 Target L.O.L. Winter Disco Event. News to me, Target has fun, free events for kids. Most of these events feature favorite brands and characters. This Saturday, November 16 Target will host a FREE LOL Winter Disco Event. The event will feature crafts, freebies (key chains and lip balms) and discounts. Put Saturday, November 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on your calendar for the Frozen 2 event!

 Ski Deals. There is only about another week to get your season passes for this year! No matter where you choose to ski/snowboard do it before Thanksgiving weekend is over.

  • 5thand 6thGrade Passport. Colorado Ski Country (including most of the other Colorado Ski Areas – Arapahoe Basin, Copper, Cooper, Granby, Sunlight, Steamboat, Winter Park, Aspen, Snowmass, Monarch, Telluride, Eldora) is available for 5th graders who get three days of skiing at each of the resorts, free beginner lesson, and equipment on the day of that lesson for FREE. Sixth-Graders can take advantage of FOUR days at each of the resorts and lesson for just $110.
  • Junior Trade at Epic Mountain Gear is the place to get the kids’ ski equipment. Here’s how it works: You buy used ski equipment from the store. Use it all season long (and even bring it in for a trade if your kids outgrow it). Bring it back at the end of the season for credit of 50% of your purchase price. It prices out at just two times of rental equipment.

Peach & Lily Sheet Mask. When my daughter and I want to have a fun girl’s night in we do sheet masks. I loaded her stocking with masks last year and she loved it. I will do it again – and here’s a way to get one FREE (I’ve already received mine!) Head to Peach & Lily you will have to fill out a form and follow them on Instagram but you’ll get a FREE Peach & Lily Original Glow Sheet Mask!