Seven Places to See Holiday Lights in Denver
The Brown Palace is decked out for the holidays.
It never quite feels like the holidays until Christmas lights start twinkling around Denver. Many of the biggest light displays in town have already kicked off, including downtown Denver's Grand Illumination and Blossoms of Light at the Botanic Gardens. But there are other, less-visited hidden gems. Keep reading for where you can get lit through Christmas.
Union Station is all aglow.
Parade of Lights
December 2 and 3
Starting 8 p.m. on Friday, December 2, and 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, the Parade of Lights will stretch through two miles of downtown Denver. The parade will feature marching bands, floats and Santa Claus himself, and it's free if you can snag a spot along the route. Or buy tickets for the grandstand in front of the City and County Building. Tickets are $19 for adults and children thirteen and older, and $16 for children ages two to twelve; children younger than two can sit for free on a ticket holder's lap. New this year is an auction, during which bidders can choose from a family ride-along with Santa, a TV shout-out (it is a 9News-sponsored event, after all) from Santa and a chance to be the parade grand marshal. Find out road-closure information here and buy grandstand tickets here.
Luminarias de Santa Fe Drive
A longstanding west Denver tradition, Luminarias will light up Santa Fe Drive between Sixth and 13th avenues on Friday, December 9, from 5 to 10 p.m. Bryant Webster Youth Mariachis and Santa Claus will be roaming among the crowd starting at 7 p.m., and several paper luminaria stations will pop up along Santa Fe.
Chatfield Farms is a wonderful display of lights.
Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms
Now through January 1
For a more rustic vibe, head to the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms for animal and insect light sculptures, a magical enchanted forest, craft nights (during select evenings), lighted tunnels, hayrides and tasty treats. And don't miss the sixty-foot cottonwood tree with more than 35,000 lights. Tickets are available online or at the ticket booth in the Chatfield Farms parking lot; the holiday spectacle runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. daily through January 1. For more information, visit the event's website.
Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens is a chilly visual wonderland.
Blossoms of Light
Denver Botanic Gardens
Now through January 1
Through January 1, the Denver Botanic Gardens invites everyone to its York Street location from 5:30 to 9 p.m. daily to embrace the holiday season at Blossoms of Light. This annual display features over a million colorful lights draped in designs throughout the site. Enjoy sparkling passages and new displays — all enhanced through HoloSpex glasses; warm drinks and tasty treats will be available for purchase. For more information, visit the Denver Botanic Gardens website. Buy tickets online or at the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center; members receive two complimentary tickets to both Blossoms of Light at York Street and Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms.
Get in the holiday spirit at Zoo Lights.
The Brown Palace Hotel is ready for the holidays.
Lights in the Lobby
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa
Skip Black Friday lines and steer your family to the Brown Palace's iconic lobby, which is decorated with more than 130 poinsettias, 100,000 LED lights and 4,800 ornaments. This longstanding and heartfelt holiday tradition is a fantastic way for families to segue into December. Don’t miss the massive chandelier suspended from the stained-glass ceiling of the hotel’s eight-story lobby; it's covered in more than 10,000 beads. Visitors can enjoy holiday decorations over cocktails and small plates in the atrium from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and Saturdays from 5 to 8 p.m.; seating is available on a first-come basis. For more information, visit the Brown Palace website.
Holiday Lights Mini Golf
During the holidays, more than 100,000 lights adorn the Adventure Golf & Raceway, which offers seasonal treats like s'mores, hot chocolate and snack items — and 54 holes of miniature golf. Head to the park between 5:30 and 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday to catch the lights. (Note: The park is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas.) For more information, visit the Adventure Golf & Raceway website.
Know of more good places to see lights? Send details to email@example.com.
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