Things to Do

The 21 Best Events in Denver, December 26 Through January 1, 2018

Ken Hamblin III
Whether you simply want to get out and explore the city or you're planning for a big New Year's Eve bash, there's plenty to do this week in Denver, which is capped off with two free fireworks shows on December 31.

Tuesday, December 26

You’ve oohed and aahed at Blossoms of Light; you’ve roared over Zoo Lights. What’s left? Time to drink in Brewery Lights at the Anheuser-Busch Tour Center and Biergarden, which has Christmas in the can with a thirty-foot inflatable snowman, a holiday tree maze, fire pits where you can enjoy s’mores, and a light show synchronized to holiday music. The Family Zone offers arts and crafts for kids, and adults get a wristband good for four six-ounce beverages. Admission is free, though a buck will also get you a ride on a miniature train. Enjoy the holiday spectacle even after Christmas, from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 26, Wednesday, December 27, and the Friday and Saturday before New Year's. Brewery Lights will illuminate the compound at 2351 Busch Drive in Fort Collins; find out more at Cheers!

Wednesday, December 27

If you really need a car but your significant other didn’t wake you on Christmas morning to find a brand-new luxury vehicle in the driveway with a ribbon on top, head to the Denver Sheriff Vehicle Impound Facility, 5226 Brighton Boulevard, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, December 27 (and every other Wednesday, rain or shine), for the recurring Abandoned and Confiscated Vehicle Auction. You might find a post-holiday bargain to improve your bitter, carless reality. All vehicles sold as is. Find out more information by searching "Abandoned and Confiscated Vehicle Auction" at
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Kool Bubba Ice is coming to town.
After two sold-out showcases, Jason Delancy is bringing a third installment of the Mile High Comedy Wrap Up to the Denver Improv at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 27. Delancy will be on the bill (as J-Earl Delancy), along with local talent Shed G; actor/writer Kool Bubba Ice of the Apollo Comedy Hour will headline. “I’m excited to bring this high-energy event back to the Mile High City and showcase some of Denver’s local talent,” says Delancy, who got his start telling jokes at Denver clubs. “It’s an honor to work with such incredibly talented’s guaranteed to be an evening of laughs.” The Improv is at 8246 East 49th Avenue; get tickets, $12, at

The second night of Kwanzaa, which celebrates the principle of Kujichagulia, or self-determination, brings out the best in people, something local promoter Mela-Nation E. hopes to echo at the second annual Kwanzaa Music Fest, a night of live entertainment and educational activities, including the pouring of libations and a kinara lighting, all proffered with families in mind. Bring the kids and a sense of community to the Kasbah, 15373 East Sixth Avenue in Aurora, on Wednesday, December 27, from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; admission ranges from $5 to $15 at (or $20 at the door after 10 p.m.). Learn more at Mela-Nation E.’s Facebook page.

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Arts Caravan at Syntax
Courtesy of Arts Caravan
Thursday, December 28
The red-velvet backdrop at Syntax Physic Opera was made for nights like these: Arts Caravan’s Glimmer and Glitz New Year, the year-end edition of a recurring circus-arts variety show, will kiss off 2017 with a twist, including cello stylings by Adam Stauthamer, freaky feats by Slim the Living Cyborg (you know, the kind of guy who sticks a hemostat down his throat for fun), tarot readings by Adrianne Tamar Arachne, and song and hot dance stylings from Natalie Franciose, Pyro Pixie and Cybele de Blondloch. Celebrate with the vaudevillian sideshow extravaganza from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 28, at Syntax, 554 South Broadway; tickets are $10 at Learn more on the Syntax Physic Opera Facebook page.

How would you like to shape your world in 2018? That’s what vision boards are all about, but you have to take the endeavor seriously and proactively. If that sounds like a lot to take on all by yourself, a pre-new year Vision of 2018 Party invites you to join a circle of Denver doers as they go through the ritual of planning ahead, taking steps beyond making resolutions to map a more concrete pathway into the future. It’s simple: Compile a list of specific goals, collect images representing them, and bring along poster board, scissors and glue — then have at it, sharing as much or as little as you prefer. Wine and light nibbles will be served. Start looking ahead on Thursday, December 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Denver Bookbinding Company, 1401 West 47th Avenue. Admission is $10, and an RSVP is requested in advance.

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What Now conference
Courtesy of Integral Life
Friday, December 29

Denver-based integral-theory poobah Ken Wilber thinks the time is right to get a good head start on 2018, inviting like-minded thinkers onto his holistic bandwagon for a weekend conference designed to combat the psychic wear and tear of a politically tough 2017. What Now: The Momentous Leap starts Friday, December 29, and runs through January 1 at the Omni Interlocken Resort, 500 Interlocken Boulevard in Broomfield, bringing with it a noteworthy stable of speakers, from zen masters to neuroscientists. Participation in the four-day conference is $895, with meal plan and discounted room options available at an additional cost, or opt for a $125 home webcast of all major presentations. Register for either option and learn more at

In September, Seventh Circle Music Collective celebrated its fifth year as a Denver DIY venue at 2935 West Seventh Avenue. The anniversary felt more like a triumph than just another milestone, since DIY venues across town have closed in recent months. Still thrashing, still partying and still accepting of all, Seventh Circle will throw its final concert of the year from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday, December 29, showcasing the talents of Meet the Giants, Kill Vargas, Sweet Nothin’, Maddie’s Changed and Weinercat. The punk and grunge show is free; find out more at Seventh Circle's Facebook events page. 

For music lovers who appreciate a touch of drama, Spiral Cell, which bills itself as “an immersive, theatrical, multi-level experience of music, storytelling, visuals and art,” will host a music-video release show for the song “Prologue” at 7 p.m. Friday, December 29, in the Moon Room at Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake Street. Spiral Cell’s music, which is decidedly creepy and driven by story, is a mashup of “movie and video game scores, layered vocals, dynamic guitar playing and multi-instrumental looping," according to the band. While all that sounds like it would lead to sonic excess, the result is stripped down and brooding. Also on the bill: State of Babel, David Other and Low Riders. For more information, go to or call 303-487-0111.

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