The 21 Best Events in Denver, December 19-25

Heebonism (shown here in 2015) has evolved into the Dreidel Dance.
Heebonism (shown here in 2015) has evolved into the Dreidel Dance. Brandon Marshall
After Monday, your ugly Christmas sweater will retire to a bin to fight moths for another year. Christmas music will finally stop playing on the radio. (Or does it ever really stop? We can't tell.) Come January 2, we'll return to regular life, sans all the joy and glad tidings that arrive with the holidays. But they're not over yet! Celebrate the peak of the season at one of the many fabulous events happening around town. It's all here, in our 21 best events of the week. 

Tuesday, December 19

Take a break from the holiday merry-go-round for a perfect little stage reverie: The Broadway tour of Waitress, a sweetie of a show with music and lyrics by Grammy-nominated pop star Sara Bareilles and developed by an all-female team, will drop into Denver just when most local stages (including those in the Denver Performing Arts Complex) are on a Christmas binge. The story of a waitress with a penchant for pie-baking and the hint of romance on her horizon, Waitress premieres at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 19, and runs through New Year’s Eve at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Learn more and buy tickets, starting at $25, at

Feeling left out, Jewish brethren and sistren? December can be a lonely time for Jews, who creep through malls bombarded by Christmas carols and whose personal holiday of Chanukah has often already ended by the time Christmas hits its stride. Relax. Now you have The MeshugaNutcracker!, a new, fully klezmerized take on The Nutcracker, complete with dancing dreidels, a retelling of the Judah Maccabee story and loads of special guests, including Broadway star Bruce Vilanch. Fathom Events presents the feature-length film across the nation and in metro Denver for one night only, on Tuesday, December 19, at 7 p.m.; tickets are still available for showings at the Denver Pavilions 15 (500 16th Street), Aurora 16 (14300 East Alameda Avenue in Aurora), and River Point 14 (3565 South Platte River Drive in Sheridan). Get tickets, $12 to $14, at

Wednesday, December 20

Just five days before Christmas, the Colorado Symphony is keeping the holiday season alive and well with its annual Holiday Brass concert, which returns to Boettcher Hall, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, on Wednesday, December 20, at 7:30 p.m. With brassy renditions of advent hymns like "O Come, All Ye Faithful," traditional carols from all over world, including "Good King Wenceslas" and "Fum, Fum, Fum," along with sing-along standbys such as "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," "Jingle Bells" and many more, the evening has plenty of gifts in store for everyone. Call 303-623-7876 or visit to get tickets, $20 to $94, and more information.

For folks getting in some slope time as Christmas approaches, there are many ski-town options for celebrating the season, too. But for a contemporary stab at re-creating a homey sense of community, Vail’s Art in Public Places winter holiday events, which begin Wednesday, December 20, and run through Friday, December 22, have our vote, simply for mixing culture into the fun. Pre-Christmas events include adult and family lantern-making workshops, followed by the town’s early-evening Holiday Lantern Walk (led by Santa and the World’s Tallest Elf) on December 22; also on the slate that night is a kickoff for Vail Winterfest Ice Theater on the Gore Creek Promenade, a season of family-friendly film screenings in a sculpted-ice theater that ends when the ice melts. Learn more about these events and more at

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Courtesy of Fancy Tiger
Thursday, December 21

If the holiday season is moving too fast, slow it down at a knitting circle that will calm your heart rate and provide an opportunity to give back in some small, mindful way. In cahoots with the Healthy Knitter blog’s national World Wide Knit-In for Peace Day, Fancy Tiger (with herbalist Tonja Reichley and the local Do Good Craft Club) invites knitters to bring a project to work on and a donation of unexpired and non-perishable foods to its shop at 59 Broadway for a drive benefiting the Gathering Place, a women's shelter. Reichley will be brewing Dandelion Wild Apothecary organic teas for knitters free of charge. Knit one, purl one between noon and 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 21; for information, visit

On the other hand, if you're so sick of the holidays you could wring a reindeer's neck, don't miss the Comedy Works Holiday Roast, which pins the most recognizable holiday figures, played by some of Denver's most beloved comics, against each other in a showdown you'll remember for Christmases to come. Watch Santa kick  Rudolph's ass at 7:30 p.m on Thursday, December 21, and Tuesday, December 26, at the Comedy Works South location, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village. Get tickets, $14, and more information at

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