Temperatures are dropping, Christmas lights are up, hot chocolate tastes better than it did the rest of the year, and a white tapestry blankets Colorado. It’s official: the holiday season is here.
Whether you seek dazzling light displays, outdoor adventures, charming markets, or delightful culinary experiences, our Denver holiday guide has you covered. Let’s explore the best ongoing Denver-area holiday events that make Denver and its surroundings a winter wonderland like no other.
Denver Holiday Lights & Decorations
Every year, Merry & Bright Lights transforms Denver's Union Station into a radiant holiday spectacle. Running every night until December 26, this outdoor light presentation will showcase interactive visual art crafted by local Denver artists, projected onto the historic exterior of the Station. In addition to the outside light show, the inside of the station will feature festive holiday decor galore.
For the last three decades, Denver Botanic Gardens has transformed into a winter wonderland during its annual holiday light extravaganza. Tunnels of lights as well as a multitude of colorful decorations will illuminate the garden. Holiday treats will be available.
Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms takes guests along a winding path glistening with lights that illuminate the Colorado countryside. Experience Chatfield Farms, the more expansive Littleton branch of the Denver Botanic Gardens, in its winter glory. The trail of lights features a one-mile walking trail that winds through various gardens, a historic ranch homestead, an array of trees, and of course, holiday lights.
Another Denver holiday classic: lights at the Denver Zoo! Each year, the zoo is transformed into holiday heaven with the help of three million lights. This is a great go-to for family fun, a new or old tradition, or a date night. This year, the zoo will debut new animated sculptures, beloved classics, ice-carvings, and festive treats.
Cherry Creek’s annual Winter Wanderland features outdoor events for everyone to savor. Embrace the season in Cherry Creek North, Denver's essential holiday destination adorned with a million twinkling lights adorning over 600 trees, casting a radiant glow over the entire neighborhood!
Discover your joyful retreat in the center of Boulder this holiday season. Downtown Boulder offers a variety of festive food, winter fashion, and unique gifts to meet your needs. Whether you're in search of cozy moments alone or a spot to gather with friends and family, explore the enchantment of Pearl Street Mall and beyond during this holiday season.
Experience the ultimate heartwarming holiday charm with a small-town, old-fashioned Christmas, and historic Golden, CO, takes the lead. Adorned with festive decorations along historic Washington Ave., charming holiday shops, and thousands of twinkling lights along the banks of Clear Creek, Golden transforms into a scene straight out of a Christmas movie.
There’s simply no shortage of Holiday Cheer at Gaylord Rockies! The venue will host twinkling light displays, ice shows, gingerbread house-making events, holiday dining, holiday escape rooms, and photos with Santa… just to name a few. There’s something for everyone – Gaylord Rockies always goes all out for the holiday season.
Denver Holiday Outdoor Activities
No, the Rockies won’t be wrapped in lights (just imagine how many bulbs that would take!), but they will be capped with snow. And YES – Rocky Mountain National Park is open year-round. Want to explore this majestic winter wonderland? Join us for a holiday tour! This is the perfect, family-friendly sightseeing tour that can get all generations of the family out to the mountains. We’ll take you there in the comfort of a luxury van.
(Bonus: Learn more about why we love Rocky Mountain National Park in winter.)
Looking for something a little more active? Try a guided hike at RMNP. Experience the park in all its majesty up close and personal. Between proper safety gear, layers, and Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine, a winter hike at the country’s second-most popular national park is sure to make for a memorable day.
Bring your hallmark movie dreams to life in historic (and very cute) Breckenridge, Colorado. Breckenridge is home to a mountain gondola, a famous troll, a multitude of museums, breweries, and tons of shops – just to name a few. Enjoy stunning scenery, full transportation to and from Denver, and an iconic Colorado mountain town to create unforgettable memories.
Bonus: Learn more about our Breckenridge Mountain Explorer!
For adventurers looking to try something new and ambitious, try a guided snowshoeing hike. A snowshoeing tour promises a delightful adventure filled with unique thrills and natural wonders. A knowledgeable guide will offer insights into the surrounding ecosystem. Guided snowshoeing not only provides a refreshing physical activity but also makes for a wonderful bonding experience.
Want a real workout on your Denver holiday adventure? Give cross-country skiing a shot. For those who aren’t experienced cross-country skiers, a guided expedition will offer the perfect introduction to the sport as well as informative lessons in geology, ecology, and all things Colorado.
Want to do it all? And by “it all,” we mean see the city like a local, experience the famous Red Rocks, mountains, and get a full view of all of Denver’s city and holiday lights, then we’ve got you covered. On this four-hour tour, you’ll explore the city's key attractions including historical landmarks and cultural hubs, and the nearby mountain foothills. This tour offers lights, bites, views, and more!
Bundle up and get ready to explore downtown Denver… on ice skates! Entry is free and the rink will remain open through the end of December. The shared experience of laughter, warmth, and the joy of gliding on ice in the heart of downtown Denver makes this a memorable and fun holiday tradition for everyone.
The Georgetown Railroad Loop's winter holiday ride is a nostalgic journey along a historic mining route that transports passengers through a scenic winter wonderland. As the steam locomotive chugs along the tracks, adorned with festive lights and decorations, passengers are treated to breathtaking views of the snow-covered landscapes surrounding Georgetown.
Embark on a magical holiday adventure at the Plains Conservation Center with its enchanting Santa Wagon Rides. This festive experience combines the joy of the season with the rustic charm of the Colorado plains. Families can hop aboard festively adorned wagons, pulled by horses, for a delightful journey through the serene landscapes.
Denver Holiday Markets
Immerse yourself in the festive ambiance of the Denver Christkindlmarket at Civic Center Park. This traditional German Christmas market transforms the heart of the city into a winter wonderland. Stroll through charming stalls, enjoy live performances, and indulge in seasonal treats while shopping for handcrafted gifts and ornaments.
Elevate your holiday shopping experience at the Cherry Creek Holiday Market. Located in the upscale Cherry Creek North neighborhood, this market offers a curated selection of unique gifts, festive decorations, and artisanal goods. Enjoy the seasonal decorations and the vibrant atmosphere while exploring the boutiques and stalls.
Step into a magical holiday world at the Mistletoe Market in the Dairy Block. This urban market blends holiday charm with modern flair, featuring a variety of vendors offering everything from handmade crafts to gourmet treats. Experience the festive spirit as you wander through this stylish market in the heart of Denver.
Explore the artistic side of the holiday season at the Holiday Art Market in Golden. This market showcases the work of local artists, providing a unique opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts, including paintings, sculptures, and other handmade treasures. Immerse yourself in the creative atmosphere of this charming Colorado town.
Join the festive celebration at the Holiday BAZAAR at Belmar in Lakewood. This market brings together a diverse array of vendors offering holiday-themed crafts, decorations, and gourmet treats. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, live music, and the chance to discover distinctive gifts for your loved ones.
Stanley Marketplace in Aurora comes alive with holiday cheer during Holiday Happenings. Explore the market's unique shops and stalls for special holiday gifts, participate in festive activities, and savor seasonal treats. The marketplace's vibrant community adds a dynamic touch to your holiday shopping experience.
This free event offers an outdoor European marketplace, an Alpine Biergarten at Rue de Noël, and the new addition of Christmas Alley. Visitors can enjoy free holiday entertainment, including horse-drawn wagon rides and appearances by St. Nicholas. The market showcases handcrafted gifts, Victorian items, art, Colorado wine, rare books, jewelry, clothing, and antiques. The town, adorned with lights and Christmas greenery, becomes a winter wonderland with snow-covered streets.
Denver Holiday Food and Drinks
Elevate your holiday drink experience with Brews ‘n Views, where craft brews meet stunning vistas. Enjoy a guided tour of three separate mountain towns and the wonderful breweries within them. This experience combines the rich flavors of local brews with breathtaking views of the Colorado landscape, providing a perfect blend of culinary delights and scenic beauty.
Embark on a culinary adventure with Delicious Denver Food Tours. Explore the diverse and delectable food scene of Denver, sampling dishes from local eateries and learning about the city's culinary history. This guided tour is a flavorful journey through Denver's neighborhoods.
Indulge in the timeless tradition of afternoon tea at the historic Brown Palace. Savor exquisite teas, delectable pastries, and finger sandwiches in an elegant setting. The Brown Palace Tea offers a sophisticated and relaxing escape in the heart of downtown Denver.
Immerse yourself in the festive spirit at the Miracle at Avanti Wolf Bar. This pop-up holiday bar transforms the space into a winter wonderland, offering creatively crafted seasonal cocktails in a whimsical setting. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and unique drinks at this holiday-inspired destination.
Denver Holiday Performing Arts
Experience the magic of the holiday season with a timeless classic, "The Nutcracker," performed by the Colorado Ballet. This enchanting production brings Tchaikovsky's iconic score to life, captivating audiences with dazzling choreography and stunning costumes.
Embrace the spirit of Christmas with a theatrical rendition of Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." This timeless tale of redemption and goodwill is brought to life by talented performers, creating a heartwarming and festive experience for audiences of all ages.
Denver's unique blend of cultural richness, natural beauty, and festive flair ensures that your winter memories will be nothing short of magical. May your winter be filled with joy, laughter, and the spirit of adventure in and around Denver.
Happy Holidays from Aspire Tours!