Actually Cool Things to Do in Denver This Holiday Season

Fun still exists.

Holidays in Denver are filled with festive good times and even though 2020 made a solid attempt to dampen our Mile High spirits, there’s still plenty of end-of-the-year fun to be found. Including actual spirits. You can get holiday cocktails to go from a Miracle pop-up, stroll through huge, interactive light displays in Cherry Creek, take a trip to the Botanic Gardens for the annual Blossoms of Light, or watch the musical light show at the 110 foot tall Mile High tree art installation. The city’s all aglow and ready for you to explore (safely) in your best ungly holiday sweater. 

Play a round of Holiday Lights mini-golf

Now through Sunday, January 10
Adventure Golf and Raceway, Westminster
Play a festive round of mini golf on one of Adventure Golf’s three courses decorated with over 100,000 holiday lights. They’ve got plenty of safety protocols in place including a limit of four people per hole while playing. Masks are also required during your visit, but reservations are now. Holiday Lights rounds are open most nights, 5 - 9 pm.
Cost: $10 per adult for 18 holes

Drive through an animated holiday light show

Now through Sunday, January 3
Water World
Immerse yourself in seasonal cheer from the socially distant safety of your car. The Christmas in Color drive through features millions of lights synchronized to holiday music. They’ll be open 5:30 - 10 pm nightly and tickets must be reserved in advance.
Cost: $30 per vehicle

Go inside the illuminated, 110 foot tall Mile High Tree art installation

Now through Saturday, January 2
16th & Welton
After a successful debut in 2019, this huge, illuminated tree which is the largest installation of its kind in North American has made a return to the Mile High. Shows run approximately every 15 minutes from 5 - 9:30 pm Thursday-Sunday.
Cost: Free

Get seasonal cocktails to-go at a Miracle pop-up bar

Now through Friday, December 25
Cherry Creek Holiday Market
While you can’t currently sit in a tinsel-covered holiday bar wonderland, you can take those festive spirits home with to-go booze options from this pop-up. Christmapolitans, Jingle Ball Nog, and more are all available in a variety of sizes, along with holiday ready glassware like Santa Pants mugs and Missle-Toe shot glasses.
Cost: Depends how boozy you get



Big cities may have a lot going on for the holidays, but no one does festive cheer like a small town. That’s why Maker’s Mark gave one remarkable small town a holiday to remember this December with a holiday makeover -- complete with plenty of much-needed festiveness. It was all part of the Small Town, Bright Lights contest, and Ripley, TN took home the grand prize.


Shop and sample German cuisine at the Christkindl Market

Now through Wednesday, December 23
Civic Center Park
Every year this outdoor market named for the traditional fairy-like German Christmas gift-bringer is a destination for those looking to get some holiday shopping done early with a healthy side of bratwurst eating. You’ll also find live entertainment and refreshments like schnapps and Glühwein.
Cost: Free to attend

Shop local for gifts at the Cherry Creek Holiday Market

Now through Wednesday, December 23
Fillmore Plaza
The people behind Fetch Markets (formerly the Denver Flea) are throwing an all new holiday market this year. With 30 local makers, designers, and creators this will be your best bet for finding that unique gift that’s just right for all the special people in your life (and that one coworker you drew for Secret Santa). 
Cost: Free to attend

See the gardens at their holiday best during Blossoms of Light

Now through Saturday, January 16
Denver Botanic Gardens
Take a nighttime stroll and explore the light displays that illuminate this Denver landmark during the holidays. Tickets must be purchased in advance this year, so make sure to plan ahead.
Cost: Non-member tickets start at $18

Take a walk through a winter wonderland light display

Now through Sunday, February 28
Cherry Creek North
This shopping district is going big on their decorations this year with a new holiday light art walk. Enjoy 16 blocks of sparkling lights—plus on Thursdays from 5 - 8 pm, shops will be staying open late and you can score free pre-packaged treats and fun giveaways in the area.
Cost: Free

Walk through your favorite Christmas movies at a multi-sensory pop-up

Now through Sunday, January 3
Gaylord Rockies
This new immersive experience will bring scenes from Christmas classics like Elf, A Christmas Story, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to life. Thirteen fully immersive scenes will transport you right into the films for a whole new way to create holiday memories. Tickets are limited to allow for social distancing and must be pre-purchased ahead of time.
Cost: Adult tickets start at $24.99

Explore acres of light displays at the 30th annual Zoo Lights

Now through Saturday, January 9
Denver Zoo
Lions and tigers and sparkling light displays, oh my! The zoo transforms every year for this popular event where light sculptures come to life right alongside the real live animals. Grab a cup of cocoa and spend an evening exploring the zoo in a whole new light.
Cost: Non-member adult tickets are $25

See the Parade of Lights in a whole new way

Now through Thursday, December 31
Downtown Denver
Instead of one (typically super cold) night watching the parade, this annual tradition is getting a COVID-era makeover. The illuminated floats will be displayed throughout downtown for several weeks so you can visit them all season long.
Cost: Free

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Molly Martin is a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado who openly admits to not liking holiday music. Follow her @mollydbu on Twitter and Instagram, just please don’t play “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”