Christmas is almost here, and it's time to buy a tree — or several of them. Whether you're a spruce man or fir gal, want to make a quick trip or a major excursion, you'll find just the tree you want (and maybe even get to cut it down yourself).
Next year, the U.S. Capitol will display a Colorado tree; get in on the action early by visiting one of these spots and grabbing some Christmas cheer.
Griswold Family Christmas Tree Lot
Through December 24
3674 West 38th Avenue
Every day until Christmas, you can head to this Highland lot for a towering tree. It has eight-foot wonders for sale, as well as more moderately sized Fraser, Canaan and Concolor firs. The lot is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays. There are also wreaths for sale.
Historic Elitch Carousel Dome in Berkeley
Through December 24
3755 Tennyson Street
Once upon a time, this spot was part of Elitch Gardens and featured a carousel; now it caters to holiday revelers. Although it's been decades since the amusement park bedazzled the area, each season the space is again filled with bright lights, happy faces and pure joy, as beautiful firs from the Neighborhood Christmas Tree Company adorn the plaza. Not only do shoppers get to pick from freshly cut trees that include Noble, Fraser, Nordman and Grands, but they can enjoy free hot cocoa, carols and the refreshing smell of pine permeating the cool air. The lot also sells wreaths, garlands, wooden reindeer and snowmen, bows and classic candies by Hammond’s. Visit the shop until December 24: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bonus: Workers will tie the tree onto your car for you.
Through December 22
7355 Valmont Road, Boulder
On a quiet corner in Boulder County is Chris Munson's farm, which is famous for its corn in the late summer. But during the holidays, this is a prime spot to buy a Christmas tree, whether it's a Colorado Native, Oregon Noble, North Carolina Fraser or a Nova Scotia Balsam straight from Canada. Munson has been in the business for over 25 years, helping locals find the perfect tree for their home, which he does by keeping the boughs open and inviting, so that shoppers can see just what they are getting. There are also wreaths for sale, as well as winter squash grown right on the farm that you can pick up for soups, stews and curry. Visit through Sunday, December 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 720-971-8847 for more information.
Putter's Pride Mini Golf
Through December 23
3604 South Kipling Street
In late fall, this two-acre miniature golf course hosts Tree Town Wonderland, with a selection of Douglas, Fraser and Nobel firs, Scotch pines, white pines and more, ranging from two to fifteen feet in height. If you bring a new or gently used book to Mrs. Claus, it will be donated to Reach Out and Read Colorado. There's a light show with over 500,000 twinkling bulbs every evening, and live reindeer will be on the lot on Saturday, December 7, from 3 to 5 p.m. With all this, as well as mini golf when the weather is nice, you just might forget the thing you came for: the Christmas tree. The lot is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 303-985-3860.
Colorado Native Christmas Trees
Through December 21
777 Ute Lane, Gunnison
Ready for a road trip? Head to Gunnison for a tree, a visit with reindeer and a good cause. Started over three decades ago by Tony Smith and his late brother Bryan, this operation launched when the brothers would go into the forest after the loggers and clean up the trees. Since then, the business has grown to include wooded areas all around Gunnison, wherever someone asks Smith to help cull the evergreen population to keep the trees healthy and cut down on fire danger. Visit this spot to get a large, sustainable tree or purchase a small Douglas fir or lodgepole pine (the Charlie Brown Christmas tree) for $15. If you wait until December 14 to visit and arrive between 6 and 8 p.m., your tree will come with caroling, hot chocolate and a festive bonfire. After December 21, Smith gets what he calls "tree lot fever," and he simply leaves unsold stock in the lot by a sign that says, "Merry Christmas, leave donations," encouraging people to just grab what they want. Otherwise, you pay $8 to $15 a foot for the native Colorado trees, and if you get a really big one, Smith can even deliver it to Denver. For more information, call 970-275-4852.
Covered Bridge Ranch
Through December 20
17249 6250 (Dave Wood) Road, Montrose
For another holiday adventure, head to Montrose and the Covered Bridge Ranch. Once you choose your tree, the staff will carry it out of the woods for you on a tractor-drawn wagon (you can ride along as well), then shake it free of any forest debris and drill a hole in the trunk (if you need one for your stand), net the tree and pack it onto your car. Also available are freshly made wreaths and local handicrafts. Kids will love the chance to get hot cocoa, sit around the fire pits, sample from the s'mores station, visit farm animals and climb on giant haystacks while you finish your purchase. Stop by any time between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; for more information, call 970-249-8333.
CreekSide Tree Nursery's Niwot Lot
Through December 23
6932 North 95th Street, Niwot
You get to cut your own tree at CreekSide, but you don't need to tromp through the hills to do it. You do get to don a head lamp, though, grab some complimentary cocoa, and walk across the level lot until you find the tree you want, replanted from areas all over. So you can choose from a vast collection of firs such as Noble, Balsam, Grand and Canaan, as well as pines. On the living tree side, you'll find local trees such as Concolor and Douglas firs, Scotch and white pines and spruce varieties. Trees start at $50 and can run all the way up to $650. Head there on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. for a special Santa sighting. Open Monday through Friday, 1 to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Find out more at 303-668-7647.
U.S. Forest Service South Platte Ranger District
Through December 15
Visitor's Center at 30403 Kings Valley Drive Suite 2-115, Conifer
Hunting down the perfect tree in the forest is a holiday fantasy. But you can make it reality if you get a $20 permit, then bundle up and head to the Buffalo Creek, Camp Fickes or Sugar Creek locations overseen by the South Platte Ranger District. Leave the pets at home, but do bring your own hand saw, because no other cutting device is allowed. Fair warning: By now, the permits may be sold out. For real-time updates, call the South Platte Ranger District at 303-275-5610.
Snow Mountain Ranch
Through December 15
1101 County Road 53, Granby
Go for the full Christmas tree adventure at this YMCA location past Winter Park. On weekends through December 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Sundays, you can cut down your own tree (lodgepole pine) as well as decorate cookies, make ornaments or take a Christmas-card class. Stay at the ranch or purchase a day pass, which includes access to the craft cabin and, for an extra $25, the tree, too. The venue provides hand saws and twine to tie the tree on the car; while you can bring your own tools, chainsaws and other electric devices aren’t allowed. Find out more by calling 970-887-2152.
Through December 24
2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Given that you can already get beer, go shopping, have lunch and entertain kids at the arcade all under one roof at Stanley Marketplace, it's not surprising that this spot also hosts a tree lot managed by the Neighborhood Christmas Tree Company. All the firs, be they Fraser, Nordman, Noble or Grand, come from Colorado. This family-run company also makes wooden reindeer and snowmen, which you can pick up as well. Open every day though Christmas Eve from 10 a.m to 9 p.m.
Tree Lot at Little Man Ice Cream
Through December 24
2620 16th Street
One of the best places in town to buy a tree comes with a side of ice cream. While you have to pay extra for a scoop, combining a hot fudge sundae with tree shopping makes for a great new holiday tradition. Surrounding the giant milk can are Douglas, Fraser and white firs; there are even some little Charlie Brown trees. Prices start at $35 and go up to $135 depending on size and type. The lot is open whenever Little Man Ice Cream is: Monday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Christmas Tree Project
While this company doesn’t sell trees in the traditional sense, it does help needy families get a beautiful Christmas tree complete with all the fixings. “Be an Elf, Sponsor a Tree," the program urges, asking donors to sponsor a tree or two or ten that will be given out to people who've requested them. This project started ten years ago with a Craigslist ad, and so far around 3,500 trees have been given out around the world, though the Christmas Tree Project primarily serves Denver and Colorado Springs, where the organization was founded.
What are your favorite places to buy a tree? Let us know at email@example.com.
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