We've rounded up the seasonal entertainment options in metro Denver and listed them in chronological order below. And if you've got shopping to do, don't miss our list of holiday markets.
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.
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.
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 Thanksgiving, 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.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride: Now through December 23, selected dates, shows at 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. (arrive one 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/polar-express.
Santa’s North Pole Adventure: Now through December 31, select dates and times, and daily December 8-31; $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.; Winter Wonderlights LIVE! Celebrations, December 4 and 11; admission free; Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, Sky Pond Drive, Loveland, visitlovelandco.org/winterwonderlights.
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.
Cherry Creek North Holidays: Now through Friday, December 31: Winter Wanderland Light Walk, Steele Street to Columbine Street, between First and Third avenues; Saturdays, December 4 through December 18, 5 to 7 p.m.: Saturday Night Lights, Fillmore Plaza, Fillmore Street between Second and Third avenues; Cherry Creek North, cherrycreeknorth.com.
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.
Elf—The Musical: Now through December 23, selected dates and times; $59 to $77; Main Stage Theatre, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada, 720-898-7200, arvadacenter.org.
Blossoms of Light: Now through January 8, 4:30 to 9 p.m. nightly, closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas; $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: Fridays through Sundays, through December 12, and nightly, December 17 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, 24 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.
Santa and Mrs. Claus Visit Union Station: Sundays, December 6, 15 and 19; free (St. Nick Express skip-the-line tickets available for $50 per family); 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.
Film on the Rocks: Holiday Drive-In: Through December 12; $59.50 per carload; Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Lower South Lot 2 parking area, redrocksonline.com.
South Pole: The Cave of Yuletide Villains: Through December 26: select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, times vary; $50 table of 2; HQ, 60 South Broadway, 720-381-6159, facebook.com/events/423388805901597.
AfterHours Christmas Shindig ’21: Monday, December 6, 7 p.m.; free, $20 drink tickets, RSVP online; Irish Rover Pub, 54 South Broadway, afterhoursdenver.networkforgood.com
Electric Moonlight: Thursday, December 9, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; for ages 21 and up, $65.75; Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, Colorado Springs, 719-633-9925, cmzoo.org.
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play: December 10 through December 31, select dates, 7 p.m.; $15 to $42; Breckenridge Theater, 121 South Ridge Street, Breckenridge, 970-547-3100, breckcreate.org.
30th Annual Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum: Matinees: December Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2 p.m.; evenings: 11, 16, 17 and 18, 7:30 p.m.; $35 to $45; Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, 119 Park Avenue West, cleoparkerdance.org.
A Hard Candy X-Mas: Thursday, December 9, 8 to 10 p.m.; $25 to $200; Mirus Gallery & Art Bar Denver, 1144 Broadway, eventbrite.com/e/a-hard-candy-x-mas-tickets-209498735357.
Colorado Symphony Orchestra, A Colorado Christmas: Friday, December 10, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 11, 2:30 and 6 p.m.; Sunday, December 12, 1 p.m.; $15 to $89; Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-623-7876, tickets.coloradosymphony.org.
WinterFest 2021: A celebration of the holiday season, Saturday, December 11, and Sunday, December 12, noon to 5 p.m., both free and ticketed à la carte events, or buy a WinterFest pass, $17 to $70; Colorado Chautauqua, 900 Baseline Rd. Boulder, 303-952-1611, chautauqua.com.
Dickens: A Family Holiday Experience: Saturday, December 11, 4 to 8 p.m.; $25 to $50 (children 3 and under get in free); Four Mile House Historic Park, 715 South Forest Street, eventbrite.com.
Olde Golden Holiday Parade: Saturday, December 11, 10:30 a.m.; Washington Avenue from 10th Street to 13th Street, Downtown Golden, 303-279-3113, visitgolden.com/event.
Hālau Kalama Holiday Show: A celebration with the Polynesian cultural group. Saturday, December 11, 5 to 6 p.m.; $10; The Salvation Army, Centennial Corps, 3900 East Arapahoe Road, Centennial, halau-kalama.square.site.
LATER IN DECEMBER:
The Return of Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show: Tuesday, December 14, 8 p.m.; $30 to $100; Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, ticketmaster.com.
Vilar Performing Arts Center: December 17: Dallas String Quartet’s Electric Christmas; December 20: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; December 21: Christmas With The 5 Browns; 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.
Colorado Conservatory of Dance: A Sensory-Friendly Nutcracker: Friday, December 17, 6:30 p.m.; guest of honor, free/family members, $10 each; Pinnacle Performing Arts Center, 1001 West 84th Avenue, Federal Heights, ccdance.org/performances.
Shops at Northfield: Skate with Santa and Mrs. Claus: December 18, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., RSVP here; 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.
Winter Solstice Celebration: Tuesday, December 21, 6 to 8 p.m.; $5 registration fee; Bear Creek Lake Park, 15600 West Morrison Road, Lakewood, 303-697-6159, lakewood.org.
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