Things to Do

Eight Things to Do for Free in Denver Today

Winter Wanderland opens today.
Winter Wanderland opens today. Cherry Creek North
December is just ten days away, and holiday events are filling the calendar. The Mile High Tree has moved to Civic Center Park, conveniently right by the beer hall for Christkindlmarket, which opened on Friday. And Boulder gets in on the action tonight.

Keep reading for ten of the best free events today:

Sugar Plum Bazaar Holiday Market
Sunday, November 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Stockyards Event [email protected] National Western Complex, 5004 National Western Drive

Markets come and markets go, but luckily for holiday shoppers, the Sugar Plum is hanging in there; it's a great old-school vintage and artisan vendor fair. This year, market owner Alissa Bush is trying out the new Stockyards Event Center for size, with 85 vendors. It’s free to attend (the National Western parking lot is $7.50), but donations will be accepted at the door to benefit the Big Dogs Huge Paws nonprofit. Learn more here.
click to enlarge
Find bead-embroidered decorations by Snapdragon at Firefly's Denver holiday market.
Snapdragon, courtesy of Firefly Handmade
Firefly Handmade for the Holidays, Denver
Sunday, November 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1000 Block of South Gaylord Street

Boulder-based Firefly Handmade will land on Old South Gaylord Street, bringing eighty vendors selling quality local items. South Gaylord merchants will add to the festivities with a handy outdoor bar, and there’ll be plenty of live music. The event is even dog-friendly, as long as Rover is well-behaved and on a leash. Learn more here.

click to enlarge
Joellyn T. Duesberry Collection
Joellyn T. Duesberry Collection Open House
Sunday, November 20, noon to 3 p.m.
1 Galapago Street
This could be your last chance to get a work from the Duesberry Collection, which includes oil paintings and monotypes that the self-taught American landscape artist made in Colorado, the Southwest and West, Maine, New York, France and Italy. RSVPs requested; find out more here.

Market Street Art Market
Sunday, November 20, noon to 8 p.m.
Matter Annex, 2114 Market Street
The Shop at Matter, Denver’s letterpress design emporium and shop for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ literature, woke children’s books and other gifts, has invited local artists from underserved communities to bring their art and artisan wares to the Matter Annex, a fully staffed temporary indoor holiday marketplace that opens November 18. At least seventy artists answered the call, including makers of jewelry, stickers, enamel pins, artwork, zines, embroidery, T-shirts and other fun stuff. After opening week, it will be open Wednesday though Sunday through December 23; check Instagram for info and event updates.

Cherry Creek Holiday Market
Sunday, November 20, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m, daily through December 24
Fillmore Plaza, Fillmore Street between First and Second avenues
The third time’s the charm for Cherry Creek North’s outdoor holiday market, celebrating its third year of bringing eighty rotating vendors to sell their wares at Fillmore Plaza. As in years past, the market opens in synchrony with CCN’s romantic Winter Wanderland lighting display and LAPS, a Journey Through Time, a series of six interactive musical hourglass sculptures that viewers can set in motion. And on the first three Saturdays in December, enjoy Saturday Night Lights, which brings lighted trees and choreographed music into play, while street performers create a circus atmosphere at dusk. The market continues through December 24; learn more here.

Switch on the Holidays Boulder
Sunday, November 20, 5 p.m.
1300 Block of Pearl Street, Boulder
When Boulder turns on the downtown holiday lights, it’s a community affair from one end to the other on the Pearl Street Mall, but the main action at this weekend’s Switch on the Holidays Boulder event will happen at the Boulder County Courthouse. To add to the excitement, youth and adult members of the Boulder Ballet will perform, BS Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive on the scene, along with downtown Boulder’s own mascot Freezie the Snowman. This is also your first chance to experience the downtown area’s new Snow Much Fun Virtual (AR) Experiences. Learn more here.

Mile High Tree
Through December 31, 5 to 10 p.m.
Civic Center Park

The Mile High Tree has moved to Civic Center Park, right by the Denver Christkindlmarket. America's tallest digital tree puts on a dazzling show every fifteen minutes, with songs timed to the tree's light display. Admission is free from 5 to 10 p.m. daily. Find out more here.

Denver Christkindlmarket
through December 23, hours vary
Greek Amphitheater, Civic Center Park
The German American Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter has opened the Christkindlmarket for the 33rd year; it's back at Civic Center Park with booths selling holiday wares and snack items. And yes, there's a beer garden! Through December 23, hours will be Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (festival hall open until 10 p.m.) and Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a,m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free; find out more here.


And an ongoing bonus:

click to enlarge
Can-sa Bonita!
Canstruction

Canstruction Colorado
Through December 14
Stanley Marketplace, 2501 North Dallas Street

Canstruction Colorado is a citywide competition in which architects and designers build life-sized structures entirely out of canned food, which will be donated to We Don’t Waste and distributed to local communities at the end of the exhibit a month from now. As you scroll the hallways of Stanley Marketplace, see the sculptures and vote for favorites. Find out more here.

Do you know of a great free event in Denver? Send information to [email protected]
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.

Latest Stories