Things to Do

Fifteen Things to Do for Free in Denver (and Beyond) Today

The Parade of Lights returns December 3.
The Parade of Lights returns December 3. Scott Lentz
It's December, and the days ahead are full of events both serious and silly, with another big weekend of seasonal celebrations, shopping opportunities and even more light shows.

See our list of more holiday markets here, and keep reading for things to do for free in town today:

Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit
Through Sunday, December 4
University of Colorado Boulder and online

The University of Colorado Boulder is hosting the inaugural Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit, which includes the Watch Globally, Engage Locally series of panels. These programs focus on such topics as the role of the nation’s research universities in advancing climate solutions, bridging the political divide around climate change, and what’s next in youth climate advocacy. While there are many online and some in-person opportunities to join the summit, this track of livestreamed events provides easier access, all free. Get the complete lineup and register here.

Tommyknocker Holidays
Through Sunday, December 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Teller House, Central City

Even thirty years after gambling came to Central City, it's still a mountain town with a long history that’s been preserved in plain sight. That’s the Central City that celebrates Tommyknocker Holidays, a four-day party for all ages that’s named after a gnomish creature from Cornish lore, who lives underground and wears mining gear. Shoppers can browse a bazaar while kids make crafts. Find a complete schedule here.

2022 Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup
Through Sunday, December 4
Beaver Creek Village and Red Tail Stadium, Beaver Creek

Birds of Prey brings an array of World Cup champs and Olympic medalists from around the world to Beaver Creek for two early-season Downhills and a Super G competition, along with a barrage of activities to fill three days and nights. At the top of the list is free spectating...if the weather allows competition. Cross your fingers and see a complete schedule here.

Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar
Sunday, December 4, 8:30 a.m. to noon
First Mennonite Church of Denver, 430 West Ninth Avenue
Last weekend, shopping was all about supporting local makers and communities; this weekend, you can go global to support fair trade artisans, mostly women, from around the world. Ten Thousand Villages in Fort Collins is hosting a Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar in Denver, where you can find beautiful handcrafted gifts, from stocking stuffers to clothing, jewelry, toys and home decor items at reasonable prices from India, Kenya, Peru, Cambodia, Israel’s West Bank and more. It’s free to attend; find info here.
Head for the hills for holiday fun.
Georgetown Market
62nd Annual Georgetown Christmas Market
Sunday, December 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Strousse Park, Sixth and Rose streets, Georgetown
Some things never change, which is just fine for the picturesque mountain outpost of Georgetown, especially when it comes to the way-back, old-school Georgetown Christmas Market, an event that looks and feels like a vintage greeting card. Santa doesn’t visit there, but an old-world, storybook St. Nicholas does; you'll also find Victorian carolers, candle-carrying Santa Lucia processions, roasted chestnuts and horse-drawn carriages. The market traditionally runs on Saturday and Sunday for two weekends, and will repeat on December 11 and 12. Learn more here.

Raíces Holiday Market 2022
Sunday, December 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Raíces Brewing Co., 2060 West Colfax Avenue

Raíces Brewing supports Latinx artisans year-round with Saturday markets in the taproom, but this Sunday's Raíces Holiday Market 2022 is special, with twenty or more vendors selling holiday-oriented handmades and products for gift-giving. Hang out, test the taps and shop the market. ¡Muy bien! Details here.

Belleview Ski Chalet Winter Pop-Up
Sunday, December 4, noon to 9:30 p.m.
6751 East Chenango Avenue

The weather is getting chillier at just the right moment for the Belleview Ski Chalet, a pop-up that's taking the place of a popular market/beer garden in warmer times. The heated party tent will continue to pop up at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and at noon Saturday and Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday) through December 18. Expect warm drinks and hot times; find out more here.
click to enlarge
Downtown Denver Partnership
Ongoing events:

Downtown Denver Rink
Through February 14
Skyline Park, 1601 Arapahoe Street
The Downtown Denver Rink is one of the best winter attractions in the city, a space right off the mall to engage in fun and games and celebrate the city. Admission to the rink is always free; bring your own skates to add to the savings, or rent skates on-site ($11 for adults and $9 for children twelve and under). After opening today, the rink will be open daily Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (6 p.m. on Thanksgiving), Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours will change in January; the rink is slated to stay open through February 14. Get all the details here.

Light the Lights

Through January 23, 5 to 10:45 p.m.
Denver City and County Building
City Hall is now lit every night through the Stock Show, with special eight-minute shows at 5:45 and 6:45 p.m. Find out 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
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. On November 30, the focus is on a Canine Christmas! Admission is free; find out more here.

Merry & Bright Lights Show
Through December 27, 5 to 10 p.m.
Denver Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street

Denver's Union Station is all lit up for the season, with the Merry & Bright Lights Show featuring over 7,000 bulbs and music continuing through December 27. Santa will visit on every Sunday until Christmas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find out more here. Santa will return on December 4, 11, and 18. And stick around for Merry & Bright, the illuminated light show that r

Cherry Creek Holiday Market
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. While the market has limited hours on Thanksgiving, latecomers can still catch 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.

Arvada Center Fine Art Market/Holiday Pottery Sale
Through December 11
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Ninety Colorado artists bring jewelry, fine art, ceramics and ornaments to the art market, including special items donated for an auction that continues through the entire run of the show. Meanwhile, the pottery sale offers work both functional and purely creative by instructors and students of the center’s own ceramics studio program. After opening December 1, the market continues Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m., through December 18. The show continues Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. It’s free to shop; find details here.

Snow Much Fun Virtual (AR) Experiences
Daily through January 31
Pearl Street Mall, Boulder

Boulder has a new holiday attraction: Snow Much Fun Virtual (AR) Experiences, a self-guided tour along the Pearl Street Mall that has you encountering Boulder’s own mascot, Freezie the Snowman, as well as other characters along the way. It's free; find out more here.

Do you know of a great free event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the weekend; send information to [email protected]
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