Holiday time means lights, music, entertainment, shopping and a whole lot of kids that have time off from school. Whether you're looking to make this season magical or just want to find festive things to do to pass the days, these Denver events should be on the top of your list. Not only are they fun for the younger set, but adults will enjoy the glitz and red-and-green glam as well.
Holiday in the Highlands at Nostalgic Homes
3737 West 32nd Avenue Saturday
December 7, noon to 2 p.m.
Get into the spirit of the season during this annual event in Highland. Enjoy a horse-drawn-wagon ride and treats by Happy Cakes, visit with Santa and have a professional picture taken by Bloom Portraits, and sip on plenty of hot chocolate. The event is free for anyone to attend, though you're encouraged to donate to the new toy and clothing drive that benefits children and teens in need through Mercy Housing. Head here Saturday, December 7, from 12 to 2 p.m.
Lights of December Parade in Boulder
Starts at 15th and Walnut Streets
Saturday, December 7, 6 p.m.
Watch Santa and his wife parade along in their sleigh during this joy-filled gathering. But, before the man in red makes an appearance, enjoy the festive floats decorated and led by Boulder churches, businesses, civic groups and schools. Get there before the parade start time of 6 p.m. to secure a spot along the route, which starts at 15th and Walnut Streets and goes west toward Broadway, then north on Broadway, and east on Spruce to the finale at 15th and Spruce streets.
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at the Buell Theatre
1350 Curtis Street
Now until December 8
You can watch the old, new and live version of this Dr. Seuss classic on television...or you can go out and see the musical for an extra special holiday adventure. Hear classic songs such as "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas" while Max the dog narrates the tale of this furry green grump. Tickets start at $30 and go up to $115; times vary.
Freezie Fest at the Pearl Street Mall
11th through 15th streets along Pearl Street in Boulder
Saturday, December 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Chill out snowman-style on Saturday, December 14, during this 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. fete featuring all things winter, snow and fun. Join the Find Freezie contest, which starts at 11 a.m. and then happens again at the top of every hour in different shops along the mall. To win, head to one of the stores listed on the website and look for a plush snowman. If you find it, you can exchange it with the staff for a bell that can be traded in for a $25 gift card for downtown Boulder shops. Also expect to see Santa, hear carolers, make crafts, ride a little train and enjoy more holiday-themed activities.
Holiday Cheer! at the Antonia Brico Stage in the Central Presbyterian Church
1660 Sherman Street
Saturday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 21 at 3 p.m.
Add some music to your holiday this year that doesn't involve shopping at the mall or listening to off-tune carolers by heading to the Central Presbyterian Church on December 20 and 21. Directed by conductor Lawrence Golan, there will be Christmas-song favorites thanks to the Arvada Chorale, but also bits from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, paired with ballet by Cherry Creek Dance. Tickets run $25 for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for students; kids twelve and under get in free.
Santa's Lighted Forest
Leave from Devil's Gate Depot at 646 Loop Drive, Georgetown
Now until Tuesday, December 24
For a truly memorable holiday outing, head to Georgetown and board the train. Each year, the Georgetown Loop welcomes Santa as a special passenger, and from now until December 24 you can catch him as he wanders the aisles. But it's not just this jolly figure little ones will delight in; as the train weaves through the mountains, you'll see lights decking out trees and little houses. The lighted forest runs every day from 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. There are other cheery Christmas train rides, too, such as the daytime Santa's North Pole Adventure and Victorian Holiday Celebration.
Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo
Now until December 30
Get wild this holiday season with a romp through the zoo to see the stunning annual light show. We're talking a giant hippo you can walk through, glowing monkeys "swinging" in the trees, an outdoor aquarium, "hopping" kangaroos and more. It's a great way to get outside in the cool fresh air and walk around while feeling festive. Be on the lookout for a hula hoop dance party and holiday shopping bazaar, too. While you're there, enjoy a cup of hot cider and a bag of popcorn. Prices range from $15 to $20; book tickets in advance.
Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York Street
Now until January 3
Each year, Denver's most beautiful gardens puts on a spectacular light show, illuminating trees, bushes and structures. Yes, the flowers might be dormant now, but the space lives on in this expansive winter wonderland. Bundle up and peruse the paths of shining colors, play with the interactive field of lights, and warm up in the conservatory. This year there's a new 360-degree immersive light experience to check out and a pair of HoloSpex glasses that will make the event even more festive. You can purchase food and drink there, too, so grab some dinner and make a night of it. Tickets run $16 to $21, with children two and under free. Each ticket is timed, so order yours as soon as possible to save a spot.
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Camp Christmas at the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace
2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Now through Saturday, January 5
Now until January 5, the whole family can go and enjoy this new extravaganza. We're talking Camp Christmas, a 10,000-square-foot wonderland put on by Denver artist Lonnie Hanzon, who created the exterior of the Wizard's Chest and has worked on Zoo Lights, among other things. Expect plenty of Santas and glitter, but also a room of pink, a baroque sleigh and endless surprises. It's a light show, immersive installation, Instagram paradise and much more. The best way to believe in the magic is to see it. Tickets run from $8 to $21, depending on the date and time. Kids two and under get in free.
Holiday Lights Mini Golf at Hyland Hills Adventure Golf and Raceway
9650 North Sheridan Boulevard, Westminster
Now though January 5
Imagine thousands upon thousands of lights twinkling as you play a round of mini golf with your little ones. If you head to this venue Friday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., that's exactly what you'll get, and it only costs $10 for adults, $8 for kids and seniors, and free for kids three and under. Starting December 20, the park will be open daily except Christmas Eve and Day. All the spots are decked out for the holidays, and it's a fun family outing to get you moving and working off that plate of cookies.
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