Arts and Culture

Season's Greetings: All the Holiday Events in Denver

The Denver City and County Building Lights the Lights on November 26; see them through January 23.
The Denver City and County Building Lights the Lights on November 26; see them through January 23. Downtown Denver Partnership
The holiday season is here, brightening the town with twinkling lights, seasonal theater and entertainment, winter adventure films, Nutcrackers galore,and everything else that makes the Yuletide bright.

We've rounded up the seasonal entertainment options in metro Denver and listed them in chronological order below (if you've got shopping to do, don't miss our list of holiday markets). Alert: the recent increase in COVID cases has led to changes in safety precautions and cancellations, in some cases. Always check before you go!
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We're all happy campers here!
Camp Christmas
OPEN NOW:
Living Lights
: Through January 2, nightly by timed entry, 5:40 to 9 p.m., (last entry 8:15 p.m.); tickets: $10 to $20; Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 West 104th Avenue, Westminster, 303-469-5441, butterflies.org/event/living-lights.
Zoo Lights
: Through January 2, 5 to 10 p.m.; $15 to $25; Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele Street, 720-337-1400, denverzoo.org.
Vintage Theatre
: Who’s Holiday!: Through December 31, and The Twelve Dates of Christmas: Through December 26, select dates and times for both; $20 to $38 both; Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton Street, Aurora, 303-856-7830, vintagetheatre.org.
The Shops at Northfield
: WinterSkate Outdoor Ice Skating: Through February 27, Mondays through Thursdays: 4 to 9 p.m., Fridays: 4 to 10 p.m., Saturdays and All School Holidays: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., admission and skate rental, $12 here; The Shops at Northfield, 8340 Northfield Boulevard, 303-375-5475, shopsatnorthfield.com.
December Delights: Through January 2, Wednesdays through Sundays, 5 to 8 p.m. weeknights, 5 to 9 p.m. weekends; $8 to $16; Four Mile House Historic Park, 715 South Forest Street, 720-865-0800, fourmilepark.org.
Christmas in Color Drive-Through Animated Light Show: Through January 2, 5:30 to 10 p.m. nightly; $35 per carload ($60 VIP); Bandimere Speedway, 3051 South Rooney Road, Morrison; or Water World, 8800 Pecos Street, Federal Heights; christmasincolor.net.
Holiday Lights Mini Golf: Through January 9, 6 to 9 p.m. nightly except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; free to $10 at the gate; Adventure Golf and Raceway, 9650 North Sheridan Boulevard, Westminster, 303-650-7587, adventuregolfandraceway.com.
Santa’s North Pole Adventure: Daily through December 31;  $23.95 to $33.95 (lap riders under age 3 free); Georgetown Loop Railroad, Devil’s Gate Depot, 888-456-6777, georgetownlooprr.com/winter-holiday-trains.
Loveland Winter Wonderlights: Nightly, now through January 2, 5 to 9 p.m.; admission free; Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, Sky Pond Drive, Loveland, visitlovelandco.org/winterwonderlights.
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play: Now through December 31, select dates, 7 p.m.; $15 to $42; Breckenridge Theater, 121 South Ridge Street, Breckenridge, 970-547-3100, breckcreate.org.
Town Hall Arts Center Holiday Main Stage Shows: Winter Wonderettes, now through January 2, select dates and times; Plaid Tidings, through January 2, select dates and times; tickets for either show: $37 to $54; Town Hall Arts Center, 2450 West Main Street, Littleton, 303-794-2787, ext. 5, townhallartscenter.org.
Camp Christmas: Now through January 2, select dates and times; $8 to $25; Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park, 801 South Yarrow Street, Lakewood, denvercenter.org
A Christmas Carol: Now through December 26, daily except Mondays and Christmas Day; tickets start at $30; Wolf Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-893-4100, denvercenter.org.
Blossoms of Light: Now through January 8, 4:30 to 9 p.m. nightly, closed on Christmas Day; $16 to $21 (free for children ages 2 and under); Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.
Christmas at Gaylord 2021: Now through January 2; Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf™, $19.99 to $31.99; Cirque Dreams Holidaze, $19; Merry Snoopy Christmas Scavenger Hunt, $9.99; Snow Merry Go Round, $6.99; Secret Santa Scavenger Hunt, $9.99; Brunch With Charlie Brown, $19.99 to $32.99; and much more; discounted ticket bundles available; Gaylord Rockies, 6700 North Gaylord Rockies Boulevard, Aurora, 720-452-6900, christmasatgaylordrockies.marriott.com.
POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride: Now through January 1, select dates, shows usually at 5:15, 6:50 and 8:25; $39 to $89; Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, 877-872-4607, 479 Main Avenue, Durango, durangotrain.com.
Downtown Denver Rink: Through February 20, open daily and on holidays; free admission, $7 to $9 skate rental (or bring your own); Downtown Denver Rink, Skyline Park, 1611 Arapahoe Street, rink hotline: 303-825-6787, winterindenver.com.
Trail of Lights: Nightly, through January 2 (closed on Christmas), 5 to 8:30 p.m.; Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.
A Hudson Christmas: Through December 31, select nights, 5 to 9 p.m.; $12 to $20 (children 3 and under get in free); Hudson Gardens, 6115 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, 303-797-8565, hudsongardens.org.
A Story Book Christmas Ice Sculptures: Through December 31, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; Evergreen, evergreenchamber.org.
Lighting of the Headframes: Through January 1, open weekends (and nightly between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day); free; Cripple Creek, stcfg.com.
City and County Building Holiday Lights: Nightly through January 23; free; City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, denver.org.
Union Station Holiday Lights: 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: Holiday event with Santa, lights, rides and more, through January 2, 5 to 10 p.m.; $24.99 to $34.99; Elitch Gardens, 2000 Elitch Circle, elitchgardens.com.
South Pole: The Cave of Yuletide Villains: Sunday, December 26; $50 table of 2; HQ, 60 South Broadway, 720-381-6159, facebook.com/events/423388805901597.

THIS WEEK:

Kwanzaa Celebration 2021: Sunday, December 26; Kwanzaa Parade: 6 p.m., Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton Street, to Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre, 119 Park Avenue West. 6:30 p.m.: First Night Celebration at Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre; facebook.com/Kwanzaa-Committee-of-Denver-Inc-134614666570674.

LATER IN DECEMBER:

Celebrate Kwanzaa with the Denver Public Library: Virtual programs: Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), with R. Alan Brooks, Monday, December 27, 1 to 2 p.m.; Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), with Pamela Jiner, Girltrek Denver Representative, Tuesday, December 28, 1 to 2 p.m.; Ujamaa (Cooperative economics), with Cecilia and Josh Hem Lee (Trini Rician Vegan), Wednesday, December 29, 1 to 2 p.m.; Nia (Purpose), with Educator and Wellness Advocate JaLisa Williams, Soulflower Experiences; denverlibrary.org/celebratekwanzaa.
Vilar Performing Arts Center: December 27: Rhythmic Circus Holiday Shuffle; December 29: The Doo Wop Project – Holidays in Harmony. Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, 970-845-8497, vilarpac.org/events.
Shops at Northfield: Noon Year's Eve DJ/Ice Skate Celebration: December 31, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; The Shops at Northfield, 8340 Northfield Boulevard, 303-375-5475, shopsatnorthfield.com.
Kuumba: The Big Dance: A Masquerade Ball: Friday, December 31, 5 p.m.; Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being, 3401 Eudora Street, brotherjeff.com.
New Year's Eve Fireworks: Friday, December 31, 9 p.m. and midnight; free; 16th Street Mall, downtowndenver.com.
CSO, A Night in Vienna: Friday, December 31, 6:30 p.m.; tickets: $15 to $89; Boettcher Hall, Denver Performing Arts Center, 303-623-7876, coloradosymphony.org/6051.
Resolution Denver: Friday, December 31, 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; $119 to $199 ($35 designated driver); McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, resolutiondenver.com.
Avanti NYE Rooftop Party: Friday, December 31, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.; admission: free, VIP packages from $100; Avanti Boulder, 1401 Pearl Street, Boulder, 720-343-7757, boulder.avantifandb.com.
Studio 54 Soiree: The Happenings: Friday, December 31, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.; tickets: $20 pre-parking, $35 virtual option, $135 to $495; Forney Museum of Transportation, 4303 Brighton Boulevard, forneymuseum.org.

What did we miss? Send information to [email protected]
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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