Some people started celebrating the twelve days of Christmas months ago. If you're just getting into the seasonal swing, though, there are plenty of free opportunities to make merry while you make up for lost time, including these five events in and around town:
Larimer Square Holiday Market
Through Sunday, December 15
1400 block of Larimer Street
This eclectic, five-day holiday market kicked off on December 11, but the fun continues through the weekend. More than fifty carefully curated makers will be showing their wares; once your shopping is done (or to inspire another round), head into the Larimer Chalet, a heated pop-up bar, where live entertainment and holiday cocktails will be keeping spirits bright. (RSVP and get $1 off your first drink.) During the day on Saturday, December 14, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to talk to kids (photos are free, but bring your own camera); Reunited Acappella will play a family-friendly concert from noon to 2 p.m., and the Jeremy Mohney Band will play from 7 to 10 p.m. that night. Find out more about this free market here.
Gold Rush Christmas
Saturday, December 14
Victor and Cripple Creek
Head for the hills for a real old-fashioned Christmas. At noon on Saturday, December 14, nearby Cripple Creek will have its own Christmas Parade, followed by plenty of activities for kids (for adults, there are also casinos!). Both of these towns are hosting the nightly Gold Camp Christmas Holiday Headframe Lighting, and you can take a self-guided driving tour through the area where historic mine headframes are decorated with large Christmas light displays. Find out more here.
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GVM Studios Grand Opening
Saturday, December 14, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
4970 East Colfax Avenue
This new yoga/dance studio has packed its grand-opening day with activities: a Buti Yoga class at 10 a.m., the Park Hill Pop Up from noon to 3 p.m., a Cannabinoid Yoga Flow at 4:20, followed by a Cacao Sound Healing at 6. The celebration will be capped off by a fashion show that should start around 8 p.m. Look for local brands like Grassroots California, Velvet Wolf Boutique and Verde Natural. Admission is free for all December 14 events; find out more at gvmstudios.com.
Paul Faris: The Art of Pinball Reception
Sunday, December 15, noon to 3 p.m.
Fort Collins Lincoln Center Art Gallery, 417 West Magnolia Street
Paul Faris is a real pinball wizard, an illustrator with over forty years of experience working with arcade pinball and video games. A selection of his popular pinball games — including Evel Knievel, Lost World, Frankenstein, Centaur and Phantom of the Opera — can be found in the Art of Pinball exhibit, along with examples of the artist’s process from sketch to finished game. Meet the artist and play a game or two on December 15; Faris will speak at 12:30 p.m. and sign autographs after that. Admission is free; the show runs into January.
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Super Special|Santa Pon Pon Record Swap
Sunday, December 15, noon to 6 p.m.
Pon Pon, 2528 Walnut Street
Pon Pon will host its sixth annual record swap, with Bart’s Record Shop, Black and Read, Recollect and Universal Vinyl (just getting started down in Colorado Springs) all jumping in. There will be pizza, drink specials and DJs, and next door, Stowaway will serve pies and offer a gift bazaar.
And a bonus:
Holiday Reading With Jamie Horton
Monday, December 16, 7 p.m.
Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue
For the 21st consecutive year, the Tattered Cover will host acclaimed actor, director and writer Jamie Horton, who will offer seasonal readings. The event is free, but you're encouraged to bring a new or gently used book to donate for the store's annual Children's Book Drive. Find out more here.
For more free events this weekend, see our Art Attack and 21 Best lists.