Things to Do

Winter 2022: Dozens of Holiday Events in and Around Denver

Everyone's a happy camper at Camp Christmas!
Everyone's a happy camper at Camp Christmas! Camp Christmas
The holidays are here, with seasonal events both simple and sensational. You can stroll decorated streets for free, or sit back in a comfortable theater seat and be entertained by a Christmas classic.

See our list of holiday markets here, check our calendar for concerts, and keep reading for dozens of things to do in and around Denver this year.

Open and ongoing:

Zoo Lights:
Through January 15; Sundays through Thursdays, 5:30 to 8 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30 to 9 p.m., $10 to $25. Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele Street, 720-337-1400, denverzoo.org.

Downtown Denver Rink: Open daily and on holidays through February 14; free admission, $9 to $11 skate rental (or bring your own), $5 skate walker. Downtown Denver Rink, Skyline Park, 1601 Arapahoe Street, rink hotline: 303-825-6787, winterindenver.com.

Snow Much Fun: Self-Guided virtual AR Tour:
Through January 31, after dusk, free. Downtown Boulder (map at website), boulderdowntown.com.

Holiday Lights Mini Golf: Now through January 8, 5 to 9 p.m. nightly except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; free to $12.75 at the gate; Adventure Golf and Raceway, 9650 Sheridan Boulevard, Westminster, 303-650-7587, adventuregolfandraceway.com

Santa’s Rocky Mountain Adventure: Daily through December 31 (closed on Christmas); $25.95 to $35 and up (lap riders under age 3 free); Georgetown Loop Railroad, Devil’s Gate Depot, 888-456-6777, georgetownlooprr.com/winter-holiday-trains.
Blossoms of Light has returned to the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Linnea Covington
Camp Christmas: Explore a six-acre winter wonderland and rekindle your sense of yuletide cheer when Denver’s campiest, quirkiest holiday adventure returns to Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park in 2022. Through January 2, selected dates and times; $10 to $64; Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park, 801 South Yarrow Street, Lakewood, denvercenter.org.

Cherry Creek North Holidays: Winter Wanderland Light Walk: Through December 24, Steele Street to Columbine Street between First and Third avenues. Cherry Creek Holiday Market: Through December 24, open daily, hours vary, Fillmore Plaza, Fillmore Street between First and Second avenues. Saturday Night Lights: Through December 17, 5 to 7 p.m., Fillmore Plaza, Fillmore Street between Second and Third avenues. Celebration and Menorah Lighting With Chabad Cherry Creek: Sunday, December 18, 5 p.m., Gart Plaza, 2987 East Third Avenue. Cherry Creek North, cherrycreeknorth.com.

Mile High Tree: America’s tallest digital tree, a seven-story, 39-foot-diameter conical structure with 60,000 programmed LED lights joins the Christkindlmarket in Civic Center Park in 2022. Through December 31, 5 to 10 p.m. nightly, Civic Center Park, 101 West 14th Avenue, denver.org/milehighholidays.

Blossoms of Light: Through January 8, 4:30 to 9 p.m. nightly, closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas; $17 to $24 (free for children ages 2 and under); Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.

Christmas in Color Drive-Through Animated Light Show: Through January 1, 5:30 to 10 p.m. nightly; $35 to $55 per carload; Bandimere Speedway, 3051 South Rooney Road, Morrison; Water World, 8800 Pecos Street, Federal Heights; Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 East Quincy Avenue, Aurora; 
christmasincolor.net.

Zotto: An Immersive Japanese Adventure: Come on a journey to find a grandmother who is lost in a supernatural realm of Japanese spirits and demons. Through December 11, Thursdays through Sundays, selected dates with timed-entry starts, $45, [email protected] Sakura Square, 1905 Lawrence Street, zottofolk.com.

Dot: Regional premiere of a holiday comedy by Colman Domingo. Through December 18, dates and times vary, $20 to $35. Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton Street, Aurora, vintagetheatre.org.

Downtown Festival of Lights and Winter Wonderlights, Downtown Edition: Holiday lighting continues through January 1. Fourth Street, downtown Loveland, downtownloveland.org.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride: Through December 23, selected dates, shows at 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. (arrive a half-hour before showtime); $80 to $100 (lap riders under age 2 free); Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 West 44th Avenue, Golden, 720- 779-1209, coloradorailroadmuseum.org.

Christmas at Gaylord 2021: ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas™, $19.99 to $35.99. Cirque Spirit of Christmas, $35 to $45. Merry Snoopy Christmas Scavenger Hunt, $11.99. Breakfast With Charlie Brown and Friends™, $19.99 to $32.99. Discounted ticket bundles available, Through January 1. Gaylord Rockies, 6700 North Gaylord Rockies Boulevard, Aurora, 720-452-6900, christmasatgaylordrockies.marriott.com.

POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride: Through January 1, selected dates, shows usually at 5:15, 6:50 and 8:25; $29 to $93; Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, 877-872-4607, 479 Main Avenue, Durango, durangotrain.com.

Longmont Ice Pavilion: Public recreational skating, drop-in hockey, youth hockey program and classes,  through March 9 (daily, times vary), $6 to $8 ($4 skate rental, $11 skate sharpening), 725 8th Avenue, Longmont, 303-774-4777, longmontcolorado.gov.

Olde Town Arvada Skating in the Square: Through January 29, hours vary, $7 to $10 (includes skate rental). Olde Town Square, 5700 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada, facebook.com.

DCPA Theatre Company, A Christmas Carol: Through December 24, daily except Mondays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, $10 to $125; Wolf Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-893-4100, denvercenter.org.

Loveland Winter Wonderlights: Through January 2, 5 to 9 p.m.; Winter Wonderlights LIVE! Celebrations: December 10, admission free. Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, Sky Pond Drive, Loveland, visitlovelandco.org.

Forest of Stories: Holiday exhibit of more than 120 decorated trees all dressed up in stories and spread out at all Douglas County Library locations, through January 7, during library operating hours, free. Douglas County Libraries, locations and itinerary listed at dcl.org/forest-of-stories.

Green Mountain Falls Skyspace: Artist James Turrell’s one-of-a-kind experiential art experience, which begins and concludes with an exhilarating hike through the Red Butte Recreational Area in Green Mountain Falls. Open to the public Thursdays through Sundays year-round, weather permitting. Currently taking reservations through January, 2023: tickets $5; Skyspace is also available to visit without a ticket in its natural state, after sunrise and before sunset on days the Skyspace is open, unless the trail system is closed for weather or maintenance. Access: Joyland/Pittman Trailhead: 10605 Ute Pass Avenue, Green Mountain Falls, or Lower Turrell Trailhead: 10392 El Paso Avenue, Green Mountain Falls, greenboxarts.org/skyspace.

Light the Lights: An eight-minute choreographed light and music holiday show, through January 23, 5:45 and 6:45 p.m. nightly, free. Light the Lights Celebration: Mayor Hancock switches on the holiday lights at the Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, denver.org.

Trail of Lights: Fridays through Sundays, through December 12, various evenings, 5 to 8:30 p.m., $12 to $16. Visits with Santa add-on, Friday, December 16, through December 24, $5. Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.

Grand Illumination:
 Merry & Bright Lights Show: through December 27, 5 to 10 p.m. nightly; free. Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street, 303-592-6712, unionstationindenver.com.

Luminova Holidays: Larger-than-life holiday displays and immersive experiences, through Sunday, January 1, 5 to 10 p.m.; $24.99 to $34.99. Elitch Gardens, 2000 Elitch Circle, luminovaholidays.com.

A Hudson Christmas: Through December 31, twelve select nights, 5 to 9 p.m.; $17 to $20 (children three and under free). Hudson Gardens, 6115 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, 303-797-8565, hudsongardens.org.

Audacious Theatre, Drunk Christmas: Everybody’s favorite Christmas tale with a boozy twist: Join a drunken cast for a beer as they teach Scrooge a lesson about Christmas. Friday and Saturday, December 9-10, Epic Brewing, 3001 Walnut Street. Friday and Saturday, December 16-17, Left Hand Brewing Company, 4180 Wynkoop Street, Suite 140. All shows at 8 p.m., $15. audacioustheatre.wellattended.com.

Lighting of the Headframes: Through January 1, open weekends (and nightly between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day), free. Cripple Creek, stcfg.com; find a map here.

Colorado Ballet, The Nutcracker: Through December 24, select dates and times; $40 to $175. Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-837-8888, tickets.coloradoballet.org.

Santa and Mrs. Claus Visit Union Station:
Sunday, December 12, and Saturday, December 18; free. Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street, 303-592-6712, unionstationindenver.com.

Pop the Holidays: Music and laughs with ’Shells Hoffman. Regular Run: Thursdays, December 8 and 15; Friday, December 9; and Saturday, December 17, $35 to $55. All shows at 7:30 p.m., Savoy Denver, 2700 Arapahoe Street, localtheaterco.org.

Starting in December:


A Christmas Story: Through December 30, select dates, 7 p.m.; $25 to $40. Breckenridge Theater, 121 South Ridge Street, Breckenridge, 970-547-3100, backstagetheatre.org.

Ullr Fest: Breckenridge invites locals and visitors of all ages to praise Ullr, the Norse god of snow, in hopes of a powder-filled ski season. Thursday, December 8, through December 11. Main Street and East Sawmill Parking Lot, Breckenridge, gobreck.com.

Electric Moonlight: A 21-and-up evening event with samplings of food, beer, wine and spirits; live local musicians; a chance to visit Santa Claus; and more than 85 light sculptures. Thursday, December 8, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., $69.75; Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, Colorado Springs, 719-633-9925, cmzoo.org.

Sanitas Brewing Winter Events: Open Mic Nights: December 8 and 29, January 12 and 26, February 9 and 23, March 30; 6-9 p.m., participating artists get a free pint. Retro Video Game Nights: December 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Trivia Night With Trevonious Monk: last Monday of every month, 7-9 p.m. Sanitas Brewing, 3550 Frontier Avenue, Boulder, 303-442-4130, facebook.com/sanitasbrewing/events.

WinterFest 2022: Jeff And Paige's Holiday Concert: Friday, December 9, 4:30 p.m., $17 to $20, Community House. WinterFest: Two days of family activities, Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11, noon to 5 p.m., daily WinterFest pass, $25 to $95 (free for kids 2 and under). Colorado Chautauqua, 900 Baseline Rd. Boulder, 303-952-1611, chautauqua.com.

Colorado Symphony Orchestra, A Colorado Christmas: Friday, December 9, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 10, 2:30 and 6 p.m.; Sunday, December 12, 1 p.m.; $15 to $98. Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-623-7876, tickets.coloradosymphony.org.

Longmont Lights: Friday Festival: With Santa, costumed characters, hot cocoa, holiday music and fireworks, Friday, December 9, 5 to 8 p.m., Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Avenue, Longmont. Saturday Lights Parade: Saturday, December 10, 5 to 8 p.m., beginning and ending at Longs Peak Avenue and Coffman Street, via Coffman and Main streets, free, longmontcolorado.gov.

Freezie Fest: A snowman extravaganza with free train rides, visits with Santa and reindeer, games, crafts and other activities. Saturday, December 10, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., free. Pearl Street Mall, Boulder, boulderdowntown.com.

December Delights: Explore Victorian holiday traditions at an immersive experience at Four Mile House. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 10-18, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., $19 to $32. Four Mile House Historic Park, 715 South Forest Street, 720-865-0800, fourmilepark.org.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas: Saturday, December 10, 4 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, December 11, 3 p.m., $45 to $100. Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, denvercenter.org.

Olde Golden Holiday Parade: Saturday, December 10, 10:30 a.m., free. Washington Avenue from 10th Street to 13th Street, Downtown Golden, 303-279-3113, visitgolden.com.

Ballet Ariel, The Nutcracker Ballet: Saturday, December 10, through December 23; Saturdays and Sundays, December 10 through December 18, 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, December 16-17, 7 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, December 22-23, 2 p.m.; $25 to $40. Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 South Allison Parkway, Lakewood, 303-987-7845, balletariel.org.

Parker Hometown Christmas Parade: A parade on Mainstreet, from Victorian Drive to Parker Station, and then east on Mainstreet. Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m. (viewers can arrive beginning at 9 a.m.), free, downtown Parker, parkerchristmasparade.com.

Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum: Matinees: December 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2 p.m.; evenings: December 11, 16, 17 and 18, 7:30 p.m.; $30 to $45. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, 119 Park Avenue West, cleoparkerdance.org.

Holiday's Evening 2022: Costumed interpreters will bring the past to life by demonstrating or teaching about what life was like in Littleton in the 1800s. Sunday, December 11, 5:30 to 8 p.m., $3 to $10 in advance. Littleton Museum, 6028 South Gallup Street, Littleton, littletongov.org.

Toyota U.S. Grand Prix 2022: This annual snowboard and freeski halfpipe competition brings the best athletes in the world to debut their latest tricks, Monday, December 12, through December 17, spectating free. Superpipe, Center Village, Copper Mountain, coppercolorado.com.

VISA Big Air 2022: Monday, December 12, through December 17, spectating free. Eagle’s Landing, Center Village, Copper Mountain, coppercolorado.com.

Paws & Claus: Pet photos with Santa, Thursday, December 15, 4 to 6 p.m., free. Main Street Plaza, The Shops at Northfield, 8340 Northfield Boulevard, 303-375-5475, shopsatnorthfield.com.

Vail Holidays Tree Lighting: Hot chocolate, live caroling, pop-up Santa appearances and more, Thursday, discovervail.com. Thursday, December 15, 6 to 7 p.m. Slifer Square, Vail Village, discovervail.com.

Vail’s Sixtieth Anniversary Birthday Bash: Celebrate with unique offerings of events both on the mountain and in town, Thursday, December 15, through December 17, details TBD, discovervail.com.

DCPA Broadway, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical: Friday, December 16, 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 17, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, December 18, 2 p.m.; $20 to $80. Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, denvercenter.org.

Jingle on the Avenue: Spend a day in downtown Golden meeting and mingling with family-favorite holiday characters, Saturday, December 17, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1010 Washington Avenue, Golden, 303-279-2282, visitgolden.com.

Gift Wrapping Party With Figure Skating Performances: Saturday, December 17, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Number Thirty Eight, 3560 Chestnut Place, 303-493-6651, nmbr38.com.

Judaism Your Way: Spark Your Inner Light: Celebrate the light of Hanukkah by nourishing your inner creative spark with mystical Hanukkah texts, making art, lighting the menorah and savoring sufganiyot. Sunday, December 18, 4 to 5:30 p.m., free (suggested donation per family: $18). JCC Denver, 350 South Dahlia Street, judaismyourway.org.

Chanukah on Pearl and Gelt Drop: Menorah lighting and holiday treats, Monday, December 19, 5:30 to 7 p.m.; 1300 Block Pearl Street Mall, boulderjcc.org.

Vilar Performing Arts Center: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical: Monday and Tuesday, December 19-20, 6:30 p.m., $45 to $75. Canadian Brass with Kantorei: Friday, December 23, 7 p.m., $40 to $85. 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, 970-845-8497, vvf.org/arts.

Songs & Sights Holiday Experience: Live music by the Dickens Carolers and projection mapping from Deep Space Drive-In. Tuesday, December 20, and Friday, December 23, 6 to 8 p.m., free. Larimer Square, 1430 Larimer Street, larimersquare.com.

Winter Solstice Celebration: Guided night hike with a marshmallow roast and yule log. Wednesday, December 21, 6 to 8 p.m., $5 registration fee. Bear Creek Lake Park, 15600 West Morrison Road, Lakewood, 303-697-6159, lakewood.org

Copper Mountain Holiday Celebration: Celebrate with a torchlight parade followed by fireworks over the halfpipe, Saturday, December 24, 4 to 7 p.m. Eagle's Landing, Center Village, Copper Mountain, coppercolorado.com.

10th Mountain Legacy Parade: Skiers dressed in traditional 10th Mountain Division Ski Trooper uniforms perform a Torchlight Ski Down to the base of Gondola One, followed by a parade of military veterans. 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 30; Friday, January 13; and Sunday, February 26. Base of Gondola One, Vail Village, discovervail.com.

New Year’s Eve at Copper Mountain: Celebrate the New Year with a DJ set, torchlight parade, fireworks, and dinner and drinks. Saturday, December 31, 5 to 10:30 p.m., Eagle's Landing, Center Village, Copper Mountain, coppercolorado.com.

Sixteenth Annual Vail Winterfest: Sunday, January 1, through January 31, details TBD, International Bridge, Willow Bridge Road, Vail Village, discovervail.com.

Winter X Games 2023: 100 of the world’s best action sports athletes return to Buttermilk Mountain to compete in fourteen disciplines (live event coverage will be broadcast on ESPN and ABC. Follow @Xgames across digital and social media platforms for up-to-date information); Friday, January 27, through Sunday, January 29, full schedule TBD, live spectating free. Buttermilk Mountain, Aspen, aspenchamber.org.

These listings appeared in our annual Winter Guide inserted in the November 17 issue of
Westword; see the digital version here.
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