10 Best Things To Do At Christmas In Denver, Colorado

things to do at christmas in denver
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Popular as the capital of Colorado, Denver is a fascinating metropolis in the USA that greets numerous travelers every year. It is graced by a scenic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Being home to numerous attractions such as Denver Zoo, Denver Art Museum, ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains, and many beautiful parks like City Park, Civic Center Park, and Cheesman Park, Denver also features splendid Christmas celebrations. From Holiday Carousel, dazzling lights, entertaining concerts, to thrilling ice skating. Enjoy all festivities with your family and friends during your winter holidays in Denver. Don’t worry about your accommodations, the city features plenty of unique hotels and vacation rentals. So, if you have a Christmas vacation in Denver on the cards, enjoying various celebratory activities will help you experience the true holiday spirit of the season. Keep reading to learn about some of the best things to do at Christmas in Denver, Colorado, for a wonderful experience.

From transportation tips to medical essentials and everything in between, the Denver local guides share all the must-know information to help you plan your trip.

1. Watch impressive ballet at The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Source: Photo by Flickr user Kayla Ferguson used under CC0

One of the best holiday activities in Denver is catching a production of The Nutcracker at Elie Caulkins Opera House. The world-class venue is popular for its design, acoustic excellence, enormous capacity of 2,200 seats, cutting-edge technical support, and other features. Watching the outstanding performance here will delight you as you experience the amusing tour of the Sugar Plum Kingdom graced by praiseworthy dances. So, book your tickets to this unique holiday tradition in Denver.

The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Address: 1385 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80204, United States

Website: The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Opening hours: 30th Nov - 29th Dec: 1pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm

Price: 40 - 160 USD

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2. Ride the carousel at Denver Pavilions

Merry Christmas! Here’s to the magic and wonder of the holiday season : @mkvs

Posted by Denver Pavilions on Tuesday, 25 December 2018

While this may be far from a real horse carriage ride experience, one of the things Denver is famous for, you can still create wonderful memories in this fabulous carousel at Denver Pavilions. Experience the fun and magical moments with your family and kids at this exquisite holiday carousel. Perch on the horse of this illuminated and decorated ride and go round and round cheerfully. It costs you just 3 USD per ride. In addition to this, have a great time shopping for your favorite accessories and gifts or enjoy a fine dining experience and have fun playing and exploring fascinating Denver Pavilions.

Carousel at Denver Pavilions

Address: 500 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202, United States

Website: Carousel at Denver Pavilions

Opening hours: 20th Dec - 2nd Jan: 11am - 9pm (open to 1am on New Year’s Eve)

Price: 3 USD per ride

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3. View illuminated animal sculptures in Denver Zoo

Visit fabulous Denver Zoo that’s illuminated by more than a million sparkling lights spanning 80 acres (32.37 hectares). Head to the Zoo Lights during your excursion in Denver this December. Gaze at spectacular views of illuminated sculptures of animals that jump, hide, and swing here. Kids are sure to love exploring this incredible wild winter wonderland. The Festival of Lanterns, a rainforest dance party, animal demos and keeper talks, ice carving activities, a holiday shopping bazaar, Sue the Giant Elm, and a musical tree show are some of the highlights of Zoo Lights.

Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo

Address: 2300 Steele St, Denver, CO 80205

Website: Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo

Opening hours: 29th Nov - 30th Dec: 5:30pm - 8:30pm (closed on 25th December)

Price: 15 - 20 USD

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4. Go ice skating at Skyline Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

This is it – closing day at the #DowntownDenverRink. Come down and join us one last time!

Posted by Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park on Sunday, February 16, 2020

Add excitement to your Christmas holidays in Denver by visiting Skyline Park to hone your ice skating skills. Visit the Downtown Denver Rink to glide across the ice with your family and make memories of this festive season. Entry to this fascinating ice rink is free. Experience the magic of this festive season by enjoying the best ice skating experience here.

Ice skating at Skyline Park

Address: 1515 Arapahoe St tower 3 suite 100, Denver, CO 80202, United States

Website: Ice skating at Skyline Park

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 7pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 10pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm

Price: Free entry

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5. Marvel at the dazzling light display at Blossoms of Light

Marvel at a 360-degree impressive light experience by visiting magnificent Blossoms of Light at the enchanting Denver Botanic Gardens this Christmas. This signature event has been held for more than three decades and it receives numerous visitors who come to this sparkling winter wonderland. Enjoy this holiday tradition with your family and friends and admire the splendid display of lights and colors.

Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens

Address: 1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206

Website: Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens

Opening hours: 29th Nov - 3rd Jan: 5pm - 9pm

Price: 14 - 21 USD

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6. Experience the holiday spirit at Downtown Denver Grand Illumination

things to do at christmas in denver | experience the holiday spirit at downtown denver grand illumination
Source: instagram

Witness the holiday spirit this Christmas and experience Denver’s Christmas events in a whole different light by visiting the jaw-dropping Grand Illumination at Downtown Denver. This lighting festive event features graceful displays of light at the Denver Union Station and in the LoDo District. Enjoy the wonderful festivities such as savory treats, festive caroling, and the countdown to the holiday lighting of this year, at Denver Union Station.

Downtown Denver Grand Illumination

Address: Denver Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO 80202, USA

Website: Downtown Denver Grand Illumination

Opening hours: 29th Nov: 5pm - 8pm

Price: Free

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7. Attend An Irish Christmas performance at Paramount Theatre

things to do at christmas in denver | attend an irish christmas performance at paramount theatre
Source: instagram

If you are longing to listen to the traditional music of Ireland, make sure you attend An Irish Christmas this December at Paramount Theater in Denver. This perfect family event is sure to entertain you and your family. Admire the skilled performances and festive spirit as this event features outstanding singing, traditional Irish music, and Irish dancers’ performances. You could also check out some live music venues in the area for a memorable experience.

An Irish Christmas at Paramount Theatre

Address: 1621 Glenarm Pl, Denver, CO 80202, United States

Website: An Irish Christmas at Paramount Theatre

Opening hours: 18th Dec: 7pm

Price: 39.50 - 69.50 USD

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8. Feast on brunch at Four Mile Historic Park

Do not miss scrumptious brunch with Santa Claus when holidaying in Denver during Christmas. Besides the savory brunch buffet, Four Mile Historic Park has a lot to offer to make this festival memorable for you. Take a merry ride on a wonderful Holiday Wagon, which is pulled by a tractor through this gorgeous park. Enjoy a complimentary refreshing hot cider or hot cocoa, holiday craft supplies, a guided excursion through the worth-visiting Four Mile House, and a traditional yule log hunt.

Brunch with Father Christmas at Four Mile Historic Park

Address: 715 S Forest St, Denver, CO 80246, United States

Website: Brunch with Father Christmas at Four Mile Historic Park

Opening hours: 14th Dec: 10am - 12pm

Price: 15 - 25 USD (free for kids of age 2 and under)

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9. Catch a performance at Denver Performing Arts Complex

Celebrate this Christmas listening to celestial voices and melodious tunes by attending a musical event at Colorado Symphony in Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall at Denver Performing Arts Complex. Celtic Woman, A Colorado Christmas, and Holiday Brass are some of the musical events to be held this December, which you should not miss when vacationing in Denver.

Colorado Symphony at Boettcher Concert Hall

Address: 1000 14th St, Denver, CO 80202, United States

Website: Colorado Symphony at Boettcher Concert Hall

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 12pm - 6pm

Price: 15 - 104 USD

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10. Paint the town red at 9NEWS Parade of Lights

things to do at christmas in denver | paint the town red at 9news parade of lights
Source: instagram

Attend this magnificent night-time event, 9NEWS Parade of Lights, to admire the glitzy and traditional celebrations of Christmas in Denver. This festive event displays over 40 units which include traditional equestrian units, gigantic helium balloons, spectacular bands, exquisitely lighted floats, and praiseworthy cultural performances.

9NEWS Parade of Lights at Downtown Denver

Address: Downtown Denver, Denver, CO 80202, USA

Website: 9NEWS Parade of Lights at Downtown Denver

Opening hours: 6th Dec: 8pm; 7th Dec: 6pm

Price: Free

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Celebrate Christmas in Denver

Denver Christmas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jolly2bjolly used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Denver is a fantastic city brimming with fun-filled activities and festive events during Christmas. Apart from the shopping malls, there are also amazing Christmas markets where you will find cool things to buy. So, plan your Christmas break here with your family and kids and enjoy all these best things to do in Denver this Christmas. There’s such a long list of fun-filled Christmas activities in Denver lined up this holiday season, each one filled with bright lights and lots of cheer. This is just what you’re looking for to have all the Christmas cheer you can possibly imagine. On top of all the yuletide, you’ll be in a city that’s glitzy and fascinating, a perfect vacation destination whatever the season. So, start planning your trip to Denver this festive season and gear up for a memorable period of good cheer!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Manjiri Kochrekar is a travel blogger from India. She loves exploring and learning various destinations, their history, culture, and peculiarities. Writing is her passion, which means she enjoys...Read more

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