We made a list, we checked it twice… We came up with 21 things to do in Denver this December that are oh-so nice. Whether you’re looking for all of the lights, festive fun, or holiday pop-ups – our list has you covered.
Let’s get holiday!
ALL OF THE (HOLIDAY) LIGHTS
1. PARADE OF LIGHTS
Kicking off our list is a Denver tradition, the 9News Parade of Lights. The Parade of Lights takes place on Saturday December 2nd and is the perfect way to start your holiday season. With over 40 spectacular floats, larger-than-life balloons, marching bands, vivid cultural displays and more; it’s sure to be fun for the whole family.
2. BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT – BOTANIC GARDENS
This annual holiday lights spectacular transforms their York Street location into a winter wonderland. Due to popular demand many dates have limited capacity – be sure to check out their site for addition info on available times and tickets.
3. ZOO LIGHTS
You’re sure to have a de-light-ful time at this next spot!
Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo is back for another incredible holiday run. Running December 2 – January 7, you’ll enjoy their spectacular 80 acres boasting over three million sparkling lights. In addition to some of our favorite furry friends, you’ll also enjoy their new animated light sculptures, nightly ice-carving exhibitions, festive seasonal treats, and much more. Tickets are now available and can be found here.
Psst… don’t forget to ask about their special add-on packages.
4. LUMINOVA HOLIDAYS
‘Tis the season to sparkle!
The award winning Luminova Holidays returns to Elitch Gardens this December for an even bigger, better and BRIGHTER holiday season. With millions of festive lights, entertainment, rides, treats and more, you’ll feel as though you were transported to the North Pole.
5. CAMP CHRISTMAS
It’s giving, Camp… Christmas!
The Denver Center for Performing Arts‘ Camp Christmas, is back for another year of funky fun. This Christmas extravaganza transforms Stanley Marketplace in a campy holiday retreat. Featuring a whimsical wonderland of lights, dazzling decorations, music, visits from Santa and more- we can’t wait to stop by.
6. MERRY & BRIGHT LIGHTS
This outdoor holiday light show transforms Denver’s iconic Union Station into an outdoor holiday light show all December long. Running daily from 5pm to 10pm you’ll have plenty of chances to check this one off your December bucket list.
7. MILE HIGH TREE
This next one is lit!
We’re of course talking about The Mile High Tree, located at the Christkindlmarket. This immersive art installation is open every night (through December 31st) from 5 PM- 10 PM. Not only will you enjoy the tree’s breathtaking light display, you’ll also have the chance to rock around the tree to some of your favorite Holiday jams.
8. CHRISTMAS IN COLOR
While we can think of a million reasons to check out Christmas in Color, we’ll let their incredible lights display do the talking.
This drive-thru animated holiday light show boasts over a million lights, perfectly synchronized to your favorite holiday music – talk about merry and bright. With your choice of either their Bandimere Speedway, Water World, or Arapahoe County Fairgrounds location (or all three), you’ll have plenty of chances to catch some holiday cheer.
9. WINTER WANDERLAND LIGHT WALK
Up next is another Denver Ear holiday tradition.
We’re of course talking about Cherry Creek North’s Winter Wonderland Light Walk. Featuring 16 blocks of twinkling lights, interactive displays, 600 pristinely decorated trees, and more we can’t think of a better way to get into the holiday spirit while you sip, shop, and be merry.
10. CHANUKAH WONDERLAND
Rounding out our list is Chabad of Cherry Creek’s Chanukah Wonderland at the Gart Plaza in Cherry Creek. Taking place on December 10th this event features their Giant Menorah lighting, latkes, donuts, fire juggling and so much more. The event is open to the public, and a great way to celebrate Chanukah – The Festival of Lights.
11. McGREGOR SKATE
Kicking off our list of festive fun is McGregor Skate.
This festive ice rink takes over the plaza at McGregor Square this December and is one that needs to be on your list. With dates running through the end of the year (and into the new year) you’ll have plenty of time to brush up on your figure skating skills.
Psst… be sure to keep an eye out for different events at the rink each week.
12. GOATFLIX & CHILL
It wouldn’t be December without a visit to Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga’s, Goatflix & Chill. Perfect for the goat-lovers in the family, this twist on the classic holiday movie night is sure to be fun for the whole family. Grab a seat + a goat and let’s start the show.
This year’s holiday spectacular is bringing the magic of A Christmas Story to Denver this December. With over two million pounds of larger-than-life colorful ice sculptures, ice slides, holiday decor, Christmas Village, shows and more; the Gaylord is your home away from home for the holidays. Tickets are on sale now through January 1, 2024.
14. THE NUTCRACKER
We go nuts for this next one!
We’re of course talking about the Colorado Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker. Running through December 24th, this festive adaptation of the holiday classic is always a must this time of year. With matinee and evening performances, you’ll want to grab your tickets before they’re all gone.
15. A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Rounding out our list of festive fun is the Denver Center for the Performing Arts production of the timeless classic – A Christmas Carol. Essential to the holiday season, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation is fun for the whole family and tells a dynamic retelling this Charles Dickens’ classic. Tickets are limited, so grab yours while you still can.
16. WHITE ELEPHANT
Kicking off our list is a holiday speakeasy you need to see to believe.
Located in Larimier Square – White Elephant is perfect for those looking for some holiday drinks and vibes. Open 7 days a week and on a first-come first-serve basis, it’s a great way to start or end a festive night out!
17. MIRACLE POP-UP
It’s a Christmas miracle… literally!
Miracle Pop-Up is a Christmas themed pop-up bar that is serving up some holiday cheer. With unbelievable holiday décor, festive cocktails and ALL the holiday feels – Miracle is an absolute must. Their Union Station location is now open and accepting reservations here.
Psst… reservations are sure to fill up fast, so we’d recommend booking sooner rather than later.
18. FELIX NAVIDAD
Up next is another Denver Ear Favorite – My Neighbor Felix’s Felix Navidad pop-up.
This December their LoHi location transforms into a cozy Christmas themed bar that’s a sight to see. Complete with festive cocktails, holiday movies marathons and more; we can’t wait to stop by!
19. FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US
Do we have any Seinfeld fans in the house?
This next one is for you! Burndown’s Festivus For the Rest of Us pop-up bar is the perfect place to escape all the holiday cheer and enjoy some live music + festive drinks. We’ll bring the pole!
If you’re anything like us, we’ve always dreamed about hangin ten with Santa over the holidays. Luckily for us, Avanti transforms into Avantiki – a festive holiday tiki oasis this December. Sip on festive drinks like their maui wowie, spiked eggnog, boozy hot cocoa and more now throughout December 29th.
21. HAPPY CAMPER
Last but certainly not least is Happy Camper’s holiday extravaganza.
This (already) aesthetically pleasing Denver spot is absolutely decked out for the holidays and sure to make it a December to remember. Reservations are sure to fill up fast and can be found here.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, DENVER!
With the holidays in full swing – we hope you make some time to enjoy the magic that is Denver in December. We are incredibly grateful to live in such a great city with so many things to do this holiday season. The Denver Ear would sincerely like to wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday!