The Absolute Best Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve in Denver

Toast to the end of 2020.

We’ve finally reached the end of the longest, weirdest year ever, so it seems fitting that saying goodbye to 2020 will also be a bit weird. The annual downtown NYE fireworks have been canceled, and your best bet is to keep your celebrations at home and low key. Bonus: no huge bar bill when you wake up on January 1. But even though the traditional decadent parties aren’t happening, you can still get out for some less traditional ways to celebrate. From a staycation in a suite to ice skating and mini golf, here are the best ways to welcome 2021 in the Mile High.

Play a round of Holiday Lights Mini Golf

Now through Sunday, January 10
Adventure Golf and Raceway, Westminster
Kick off your NYE celebrations with 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. On NYE, they’ll be open 5 - 9 pm.
Cost: $10 per adult for 18 holes

Take a staycation and enjoy the immersive I Love Christmas Movies experience

Now through Sunday, January 3
Gaylord Rockies, Aurora
Near DIA, Gaylord Rockies is the ideal close-to-town getaway with tons of amenities including the I Love Christmas Movies experience where you can check out 13 interactive scenes from holiday faves like Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Right now, they’ve also got holiday packages available so you can spend New Year’s enjoy the festivities complete with overnight accommodations, tickets to I Love Christmas Movies, snow tubing, and more.
Cost: Varies by date and package

Stay in a suite and enjoy a three-course tasting menu

Thursday, December 31
The Source
Over in RiNo, The Source Hotel is offering another staycation option ideal for foodies. Available online on New Year’s Eve, this one night only experience includes overnight accommodations in one of the hotel’s suites plus a three-course meal from The Woods and champagne for your midnight toast delivered right to your room.
Cost: Packages start at $389 and must be booked by December 27; reserve your package online 

Have an epic at home feast with a take-home party platter

Thursday, December 31
Local Jones
Opting for an at home celebration? Spend the last night of 2020 relaxing, not cooking, with a party platter from Cherry Creek’s Local Jones. Loaded with cheese, charcuterie, shrimp cocktail, crudites with an assortment of dips, and an olive and salad bar, these take party snacks to a new level. Plus the package also includes a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne for your midnight toast.
Cost: $250; serves 6

Check out the Mile High Tree music and light show

Now - 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 is scheduled to make a grand return this weekend. Masks and social distancing are required as you watch the light show coordinated with holiday tunes. The five minute show runs every 15 minutes from 5 - 9:30 pm most Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and from 5-8pm on select Sundays.
Cost: Free

See the Parade of Lights in a whole new way

Now - Thursday, December 31
Downtown Denver
Instead of one (typically super cold) night watching the parade, this annual tradition has gotten a COVID-era makeover that you can experience on NYE. The illuminated floats are displayed throughout downtown so you can take a festive stroll as you say goodbye to 2020.
Cost: Free to attend or watch

Drive through an animated holiday light show

Now through Sunday, January 3
Water World
If you just want to say bye to 2020 in a haze of holiday lights, this is the place to go. Immerse yourself in seasonal cheer as, 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 on NYE and tickets must be reserved in advance.
Cost: $30 per vehicle

Go ice skating at an outdoor rink

Now through Sunday, February 28
The Shops at Northfield
Ice skating is an essential winter activity and if you’ve been binging Netflix instead of getting outside to enjoy the Mile High winter, then make sure your NYE plans include a skating sesh. The Shops at Northfield have an old-fashioned outdoor rink that’ll be open from 11 am - 7 pm on New Year’s Eve. Walk up tickets may be available but it’s best to book your time slot in advance online.
Cost: $10 (includes skate rental)

Winter Wanderland
Winter Wanderland | Cherry Creek North

Take a stroll through a Winter Wanderland

Now through Sunday, January 3
Cherry Creek North
Cherry Creek’s created the perfect spot for NYE photo opps with their 16 blocks of holiday lights. The display includes more than a half million lights with eight displays choreographed to music. Plus, over in Gart Plaza on 3rd & Milwaukee, you can also check out Prismatica, a unique light art installation with 25 colorful pivoting prisms.
Cost: Free

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Molly Martin is a freelance writer in Denver who loves a good balloon drop. Follow her Mile High adventures in the new decade @mollydbu on Twitter and Instagram.