Everything You Have to Do in Denver This Holiday Season

Updated On 12/14/2017 at 11:46AM EST Updated On 12/14/2017 at 11:46AM EST
denver holiday season
Christkindl Market | Flickr/Paul Iwancio
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens | Ariana P Habich/
Friday - Thursday
Nov 17-23
Skyline Park
Browse folk crafts made from around the world, artisan jewelry, beautiful ornaments and more. Plus you can listen to live German musical performances and sample a variety of seasonal German and Austrian food and drink.  
Cost: Free to attend, but save your cash for plenty of gluehwein and other goodies
Tuesday - Tuesday
Nov 21-Feb 14
Skyline Park
Taking a lap around the ice rink is a required activity to rein in the holiday… as is falling over almost immediately. So get ready to pull out that leotard (OK, that's not actually required) and show off your spinning skills. The rink's open from 11am-7pm, and all ages are welcome.
Cost: Your skating sesh is free but skate rentals are $2
Nov 24
Denver Rock Drill, 1717 East 39th Avenue
Because holiday shopping is so much better when it includes great gifts and goods from over 60 local artisans, a Colorado Bottle Shop and Tasting Room, and live jazz. The Night Bazaar is also happening on December 1 and 8 if you can't make this one.
Cost: General admission tickets start at $5
Friday - Sunday
Nov 24-Dec 24
Denver Center for Performing Arts
The annual stage run of David Sedaris' The Santaland Diaries is back with stories from the author's time as a Macy’s elf in New York City. The show lasts 90 minutes and, in case you’re wondering, the bar opens 30 minutes before curtain call.
Cost: Tickets start at $25
Friday - Sunday
Nov 24-Dec 24
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
If you prefer more traditional holiday theatrics, the classic A Christmas Carol will also be hitting the stage this year. This is, of course, an all ages affair, and the run time will be close to two hours (with a 15 minute intermission).
Cost: Tickets start at $35
Wednesday - Thursday
Nov 22-30
The Miracle on Little Raven won’t be around for long, so stop by to enjoy nostalgic holiday decor while sipping on specialty cocktails like the Snowball Old Fashioned and How the Gimlet Stole Christmas.
Cost: As many drinks as you can get. Holiday mugs will also be available for purchase, and 10% of all sales will be donated to Action Against Hunger
Friday - Sunday
Nov 24-Jan 1
Denver Botanic Gardens
Blossoms of Light is back with acres of interactive light displays to explore along with holiday treats and warm winter drinks. The show begins at 5pm and runs until 9pm. There will also be select nights of seasonal entertainment -- so keep checking the website for that info.
Cost: Non-member adult tickets start at $15
Saturday - Sunday
Nov 25-Dec 24
A Denver holiday tradition (it’s in its 57th year running), enjoy the grace, beauty, and music of this beloved tale of the Mouse King, the Land of Sweets, and Christmas magic. Run time is close to two hours and tickets are selling out quickly.
Cost: Tickets start at $30
cocktail tasting
Making Spirits Bright | Leslie Catherine
Dec 1
Foothills Art Center
If you're craving some old school holiday cheers, the Golden Candlelight Walk is your answer; here, the community gathers to kick off the season with caroling and a fireworks show.
Cost: Zilch
Friday - Saturday
Dec 1-2
South Pearl Street
This event will also feature a holiday market, photos with Santa (naturally), a Christmas tree sale, and beverages for all (the boozy kind for the adults, and the hot cocoa and cider kind for the kids).
Cost: Free to attend
Friday - Saturday
Dec 1-2
Downtown Denver
The 43rd annual edition of this wintertime parade of illuminated floats, marching bands, and Santa himself is on the way. It's typically chilly for this one, so don’t forget gloves, hat, and hot cocoa (or whatever beverage you prefer on a cold winter night -- we won’t judge).
Cost: Free, but grandstand seating is available and starts at $19 for adults
Dec 2
EXDO Event Center
Can we offer you a drink to combat the holiday stress? How about over 100 drinks? That's what you'll find at this ultimate holiday cocktail party that will also feature a DJ, dancing, and bottle giveaways so you can keep the party going at home.
Cost: You’ll want the Grand Tasting, which is $50 for a tasting glass and three hours of free drinking
Friday - Sunday
Dec 1-3
Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway
At the winter edition of the Denver Flea, you can browse goods from over 190 local craftsmen and craftswomen. There will also be food trucks, bars, and a photo booth on hand for festive holiday pics.
Cost: Single day tickets start at $5
Dec 6
Oskar Blues Boulder Taproom
No experience is necessary to help the CAN'd Aid Foundation put together 100 bikes for kids in need. The bikes will be given to low income families in the Boulder area.
Cost: Nada… plus, you'll be doing something good and getting a free beer and lunch too. Just be sure to register ahead of time
Dec 9
McNichols Building
This event is all about connecting the community with indie artists and artisans for an event filled with one-of-a-kind creations ready to become the best holiday gift you’ve ever gotten… for yourself.
Cost: Admission is free, but you’ll want to bring some spending money
Friday - Sunday
Dec 1-31
The Denver Zoo
The annual favorite Denver Zoo Lights is back, complete with Santa visits and illuminated animal sculptures that swing from the trees and jump across lawns.
Cost: Admission for adults starts at $13 and goes up as the holidays get closer
Dec 14
If you need a break from the traditional holiday activities, head for the hills for this Olympic qualifying competition where you’ll catch some of the world's best extreme sports athletes competing in snowboard and ski qualifiers (along with some pretty epic after-parties).
Cost: Events are free to watch but be sure to book your lodging early
Friday - Sunday
Dec 15-24
Grace Gamm Theater, Dairy Arts Center, Boulder
If you can’t stand another holiday song or movie, opt for some satirical Christmas spirit instead at this rambunctious reimagining of the classics you can no longer stand.
Cost: Tickets start at $20
Dec 16
Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
The Denver [only] Beer Festivus is back with over 50 breweries this year showing off the best brews made in the Mile High. It's the perfect chance to mingle with other beer lovers and try samples from Denver's most admirable brewers.
Cost: General admission tickets start at $40
Dec 17
This annual event brings together over 300 local tuba players for a truly unique holiday concert experience. Musicians have ranged from 7 to 86 years old, and their instruments have been tubas, sousaphones, baritones, euphoniums, antique tubas from the Civil War era, decorated tubas, and more.
Cost: Free
Dec 22
Ratio Beerworks
As part of their 12 Days of Giving, Ratio's hosting their 3rd annual edition of this event featuring a long list of performers that includes MaryJane Champagne and Frenchie QS Bardot.
Cost: The event is free to attend and #1 from each beer sold at the event will go to One Colorado 
Friday - Sunday
Dec 29-31
Summit Music Hall
This group features over 50 members who put on a show that's part marching band, part performance art, part...well, wildness. You've just got to see it in person. This year, they’re creating a three-sided geographical portal that provides a rite of passage into 2018.
Cost: One night pre-sale tickets are available for $30
Dec 31
Downtown Denver
As usual, Downtown will be putting on two fireworks shows to ring in the new year: one family-friendly show at 9pm and another at midnight for the late night partiers.
Cost: This event is free and best viewed from the 16th Street Mall