Are your kids getting antsy? Overloaded with sugar? Christmas is over, but there's still plenty you can do with little ones who are hyped up and home over winter break. Get into the spirit of the season by exploring these five family-friendly events that run through the year.
Denver Pavilions Holiday Carousel
Now through January 2
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Denver Pavilions, where the Holiday Carousel will start spinning for the fifth year at 11 a.m. on December 14. A ride on the '30s attraction is just $3, or free with a voucher from merchants at the Denver Pavilions; December 27 is a free day. Partial proceeds from the cost of the rides will be donated to the Food Bank of the Rockies. The ride will be running from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and until 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve.
Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Now through January 1
Every year, the Denver Botanic Gardens (1007 York Street) dresses the trees, bushes and lawns up with a spectacular light display, and this year's is bigger and better than ever. Guests can also purchase special HoloSpex glasses, which allow you to witness the show in a totally different way (think: tens of thousands of Santas). Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and don't miss the interactive, sound-based light field that's the grand finale. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance; they're timed to help with the flow and tend to sell out. Blossoms of Light is open from 5 to 9 p.m. daily; admission is $13 for children ages 3 to 15; $16 for ages 16 to 64; $14 for 65 and up and the military; and little ones 2 and under get in free. Get tickets at botanicgardens.org.
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Santa's North Pole Adventure at the Georgetown Loop Railroad
Now through January 5
Two things most kids love: Santa and trains. The Georgetown Loop brings them together during this sixty-minute adventure. The train arrives at Devil's Gate Station (646 Loop Drive, Georgetown) completely decked out in holiday finery. Guests can book the fancy presidential car, mid-range parlor car, or laid-back coach car, all heated and enclosed. Once seated, the train takes off along the Georgetown Loop through fantastic scenery; Santa will pass through with his bag of goodies, treats and holiday magic. After the ride, wander through Georgetown, which has been decorated for the season. Tickets start at $28; call 1-888-456-6777 for reservations and a complete schedule.
Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo
Now through January 6
Roar into the holiday season with live and lighted lions at the Denver Zoo. For 28 years, the zoo has celebrated the holidays by decking out the place with thousands of twinkling lights in fun animal shapes dangling from trees, molded into tunnels and "walking" on the grass. Ride the train and carousel or pay a little extra for the special nighttime giraffe-feeding experience; it's all a fun family adventure. As you tour at your own pace, stop at one of the food kiosks for popcorn, hot cocoa, beer and cider. Zoo Lights runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; book online for an extra $2 off and secure your date and time. Admission for children under 2 is free, $14 for ages 3 to 11, $20 for ages 12 to 64, and $17 for 65-plus.
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