Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Denver

Lights, music, presents, delicious food, family – December is upon us, and the holiday spirit is in the air! There is a plethora of activities to celebrate the holidays this year and take full advantage of the winter wonderland Denver becomes.

Downtown Denver Fireworks

The sky will be lit once again this year above the 16th Street Mall with two free fireworks shows at 9 p.m. and midnight on December 31st. Between shows, there will be magicians, balloon artists, stilt walkers, comedians, and more – what better way to bring in the new year?

Southwest Rink

Ice skating: one of winter’s favorite pastimes, and a great way to get active for the holidays. Southwest Rink is a free outdoor ice rink that will be open daily from November 25th-February 16th. For just $2 you can rent a pair of skates (or bring your own), and enjoy spending a little time outdoors this winter. Hours vary and can be found at southwestrink.com.

Denver Zoo

If you are a fan of light shows, the Denver Zoo puts on a truly amazing show with more than 150 animated animal sculptures and over forty acres of lights. From December 5th-January 4th you and your family can enjoy the spectacular light show, called “Zoo Lights.” Go to denverzoo.org for more information.

Colorado Ballet

A holiday tradition for many, “The Nutcracker” will be presented by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra November 29th-December 27th at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Times and tickets vary and information can be found at coloradoballet.org. The Colorado Conservatory of Dance, Ballet Ariel, and Sangre de Cristo Ballet are also putting on the holiday classic.

Denver Pavilions Holiday Carousel

Denver’s 16th Street Mall will be hosting its first holiday carousel daily from December 12th-21st. Rides on the carousel will be $3 a person or free with a nonperishable food donation to Food Bank of the Rockies, a purchase from a Denver Pavilions retailer, or a blood donation during the Bonfils Blood Drive. Check out denverpavilions.com for information about activities being held around the carousel, including a visit from the mayor, a performance by the a cappella group The Mistletoes, and Santa himself.

Hammond’s Candy Cane Festival

This is a fantastic kid-friendly activity perfect for the holidays, and admission is free! On December 12th and 13th, see Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, a bounce house, cookie decorating, face painting, crafts, mini tours, and holiday shopping. For more details regarding time and location, visit hammondscandies.com.

“A Christmas Carol”

A Christmas classic and great event for the whole family, the musical “A Christmas Carol,” based on a novel by Charles Dickens about Ebenezer Scrooge, will be presented by The Stage Theater November 28th-December 28th. Tickets start at $49; further information about dates and times can be found at denvercenter.org.

Colorado Hebrew Chorale

On the third night of Chanukah, the Colorado Hebrew Chorale will be presenting “Downtown Festival of Lights!” at 5:30 p.m. The free event will include holiday tales and refreshments. To make a reservation, visit coloradohebrewchorale.org/festival-of-lights.

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