Top 21 Things to Do in Denver, Colorado for Christmas

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Kim Chwalek

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I'm a 25-year old girl based in Denver, Colorado. Kim Collective is a space where I share about beauty, faith, food & home, style, travel, well-being, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by!

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There’s no place like Denver, Colorado during Christmas. With blankets of white snow on the streets, colorful Christmas lights strewn in the trees, and dozens of destinations for indoor and outdoor fun, there’s plenty to explore with your family and friends. From Christmas Markets to Light Extravaganzas, here’s a list of 21 fun things for you and your family to enjoy within 100 miles of the city. Enjoy!

 

1. Skate at the Downtown Denver Rink

πŸ“ 1601 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80202 | 🌐 winterindenver.com/rink

πŸ•’ For their hours of operation, click here.

Open from mid-November to mid-February, the Downtown Denver Rink offers plenty of lighthearted family fun. Best of all, admission is free! Feel free to bring your own pair of skates or rent a pair at the rink.

 

2. Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace

πŸ“ 321 17th St, Denver, CO 80202 | 🌐 brownpalace.com

πŸ•’ Mon–Fri 12pm–4pm; Sat–Sun 11am–4pm

No visit to Denver is complete without the Brown Palace’s iconic Afternoon Tea, topped with Devonshire cream. Their tea is shipped directly from England, so you’re bound to enjoy every single sip. Order handmade pastries, scones, and tea sandwiches on the side, and sit back and enjoy the live music entertainment in the atrium, which features piano, harp, and other lounge and cabaret-style music.

 

3. Head Downtown for the Parade of Lights

πŸ“ 14th and Bannock Streets | 🌐 winterindenver.com/parade

The Parade of Lights is beloved in Downtown Denver! FeaturingΒ over 40 floats,Β balloons, marching bands, equestrian units, cultural displays, and special guest appearances, there’s plenty to see in this parade. To watch it for free, stand anywhere along their 2-mile route.

 

4. Stop by the Denver Christkindlmarket

πŸ“ 101 W 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80204 | 🌐 christkindlmarketdenver.com

πŸ•’ Sun–Wed: 11am–7pm; Thur–Sat: 11am–9pm

Located at Denver Civic Center Park, this authentic German-style holiday market features local and European, craft and food vendors, and entertainers. It’s a free-to-visit, must-see holiday experience in Denver!

5. Head to the Mistletoe Market at the Dairy Block

πŸ“ 1800 Wazee St, Denver, CO 80202 | 🌐 www.dairyblock.com

πŸ•’ 12pm–5pm

Discover the Mistletoe Market at the Dairy Block, which hosts a wide variety of local Colorado vendors, live carolers, holiday music, festive cocktails, and photo ops. This event is free to attend and the perfect spot to buy gifts and support Denver’s creative community. Check out their schedule on their website.

 

6. Grab Drinks at the Cooper Lounge in Union Station

πŸ“ 1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202 | 🌐 www.cooperlounge.com

πŸ•’ Mon–Fri 4pm–12am; Sat–Sun 11am–12am

Denver’s most glamorous lounge in Union Station’s Great Hall offers high-end cocktails, an extensive wine list, and an exquisite menu. Reservations may be booked up to two weeks in advance. To make a reservation over the phone, call 720-460-3738.

 

7. Shop at Larimer Square

πŸ“ 1430 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202 | 🌐 larimersquare.com

Soak in the festive ambiance of Larimer Square, known as the “beating heart and creative soul of Downtown Denver.” This square has a variety of boutiques to shop, such as Milly Rose, Cotopaxi, and Dog Savvy.

 

8. Enjoy the Denver Botanical Gardens’ Light Extravaganza

πŸ“ 1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206 | 🌐 botanicgardens.org | πŸ•’ 4:30pm–9pm

Step into the Denver Botanic Gardens, where a mesmerizing, dazzling, and ever-changing display of light and color transforms the garden into a twinkling wonderland. Purchase tickets in advance here.

 

9. Board the Polar Express Ride

πŸ“ 17155 W 44th Avenue, Golden,Β COΒ 80403

🌐 coloradorailroadmuseum.org/polar-express

Embark on a magical journey with Denver’s Polar Express Ride, a family-friendly adventure with a three-part theatrical experience. First, you’ll enjoy holiday caroling and the β€œHot Chocolate” song in the Polar Express Pavilion. Next, you’ll enjoy a ride to the North Pole aboard vintage coaches, pulled by an authentic, coal-fired steam locomotive. Finally, you’ll end your experience with a visit to see Santa!

 

10. Enjoy Date Night at First Friday Films

πŸ“ 2101 Arapahoe Street, Unit 1, Denver, CO 80205

🌐 denver.org/event/first-friday-films/108111/ | πŸ•’ 6pm–8pm

Join First Friday Films, which displays short films on the big screen at Denver Community Center every first Friday of the month! After the show, they host a 30-minute open forum and Q&A session with the film creators. Snacks included!

11. Marvel at Gaylord Rockies’ ICE! Exhibit in Aurora

πŸ“ N Gaylord Rockies Blvd, Aurora, CO 80019

🌐 christmasatgaylordrockies.marriott.com/ice

Step into a frozen fantasy at Gaylord Rockies Hotel, where dozens of ice sculptures are carved by expert artisans out of 2 million pounds of colorful ice!

12. Check out the Lakewood Lights

πŸ“ Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park, 801 S Yarrow St., Lakewood, CO, 80226

🌐 lakewood.org | πŸ•’ 5pm–9pm

Gather your friends, family, and neighbors for Lakewood’s annual lights celebration! After the lighting ceremony, stroll through the light displays, sip on hot cocoa, and keep an eye out for Santa Claus.

 

13. Shop at the Cherry Creek Holiday Market

πŸ“ 105 Fillmore St, Denver, CO 80206 | 🌐 cherrycreekholidaymarket.com

πŸ•’ 12pm–7pm

Browse the Cherry Creek Holiday Market on Fillmore Plaza in Cherry Creek North for unique gifts, crafts, and treats. This market is open daily through Christmas Eve!

 

14. Attend the Nutcracker

πŸ“ 950 13th Street, Denver, CO 80204 | 🌐 thenutcrackerdenver.com

Attend the festive fan-favorite Nutcracker, a captivating performance by Denver’s acclaimed ballet companies.

 

15. Drive to Christmas in Color

πŸ“ 3051 S Rooney Rd, Morrison, CO 80465 | 🌐 christmasincolor.net

Embark on a magical drive-through experience at Christmas in Color, where millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music.

 

16. Head to the Olde Golden Candlelight Walk

πŸ“ Parfet Park 719 10th Street, Golden, CO 80401 | 🌐 visitgolden.com | πŸ•’ 6:30pm

Experience the Olde Golden Candlelight Walk on Washington Avenue in historic Golden, Colorado, where the street is illuminated by thousands of glowing candles. Stop to shop along Washington Avenue, or grab a hot cider or cocoa.

17. Attend a Concert at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

πŸ“ 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465 | 🌐 redrocksonline.com

Enjoy the magic of live music at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre during Christmas.

 

18. Visit the Georgetown Christmas Market

πŸ“ 6th Street, Georgetown, CO 80444 | 🌐 redrocksonline.com | πŸ•’ 10am–5pm

Visit the annual Georgetown Christmas Market––the perfect destination for Colorado locals and visitors seeking a quintessential Christmas experience. For a breakdown of the market, read my Ultimate Guide to the Georgetown Christmas Market, which dives into the town’s boutiques, live entertainment, and local activities (hint: horse-drawn wagon rides).

19. Book a Dog Sledding Tour in Breckenridge

πŸ“ 6061 Tiger Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424 | 🌐 goodtimesadventures.com

For an exhilarating winter experience, book a dog sledding tour! Good Time Adventures runs an awesome 6-mile tour along the gorgeous winding trails of the Swan River Valley in Breckenridge.

 

20. Try Cross-Country Skiing at Rocky Mountain National Park

πŸ“ 1000 US Hwy 36. Estes Park, CO 80517 | 🌐 nps.gov

Explore the Rockies with cross-country skiing at Rocky Mountain National Park.Β  A quick note: the west side of the park makes for better cross-country skiing, but you can strap on your skis anywhere in the park!

 

21. Go Skiing or Snowboarding

Check out one of Denver’s local ski resorts! You won’t regret it.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Denver for Christmas. Now that you know your options, grab your family or friends, get outside, and have fun!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love, Kim

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