The Holidays in Denver are filled with festive events and activities. Family-friendly parades, light shows, markets, and more can be found virtually every weekend from Thanksgiving to early January. The following are some of my personal favorites as well as a brand new event at Elitch Gardens that is sure to be great fun.
Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens
A Denver tradition for over thirty years, the Blossoms of Light celebration at Denver Botanic Gardens is a charming, family-friendly event. The gardens are transformed with incredible LED light displays, including several animated and sound-reactive areas.
Sip a Loaded Hot Chocolate (with whipped cream, peppermint, and chocolate drizzle) or snack on cinnamon-roasted nuts as you enjoy the Gardens’ all-new attraction: a 200-foot-long tunnel of animated lights in the O’Fallon Perennial Walk.
Blossom of Light runs until January 8. Masks are required. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are selling out quickly. Go online to reserve your spot.
Denver Christkindl Market
This cozy, German-style market features vendors in traditional wooden huts decorated with greenery and lights. Enjoy live music while you admire a variety of handcrafted gifts and food items from local and international artisans. Warm up in the biergarten where you can enjoy a hot cup of gluhwein (German mulled wine) and a plate of hearty German fare (bratwurst and soft pretzels are especially good on a cold day).
Colorado vendors this year include:
- Bjorn’s Honey
- Keystone Inspired Co.
- Sauce Leopard
- Taspen’s Organics and Botanicals
- The Spice Guy
- Travel Posters
- Treasure Box Tours
Shoppers will also be able to find traditional German gifts like Nutcrackers, smokers, and hand-carved wooden Christmas pyramids.
The market is open daily through December 23 and it is completely free to attend. Hours are M-F from 11 am to 7 pm, and Saturday-Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm.
Cherry Creek North Winter Wanderland
This time of year the Cherry Creek North neighborhood is bedazzled with over one million lights and plays host to a variety of free, family-friendly events:
Now-December 31: Domino Effect Art Installation
This year will include the Domino Effect Art Installation, an interactive light art exhibit with 120 giant dominos. The dominos are meant to be played with, and guests can build and coordinate together to create and knock down their section.
Dec 11 & 14: Saturday Night Lights
Prepare to be amazed as a variety of acrobats perform incredible feats of strength and skill. Entertainers will include jugglers, stilt-walkers, and fire artists demonstrating their unique talents up and down the light-strewn neighborhood.
Now-December 24: Cherry Creek Holiday Market
This marks the second year for the Cherry Creek Holiday Market, which includes thirty local vendors selling a variety of artesanal products, from handmade clothing to botanicals to spice mixtures. The market will feature live music and a full bar with whisky by the Family Jones and craft brews by Crooked Steve.
This year the market will be located on Fillmore Plaza. The market is free to attend and open Sunday-Wednesday from 11 am-7pm, and Thursday-Saturday from 11am-9pm. The market will close early at 2 pm on Christmas eve.
Denver Zoo will be hosting its annual Zoo Lights event, featuring a night walk of two million LED lights. Guests will be able to see many of the animal exhibits, including the nocturnal fishing cats and otters in the El Palomar Village Hall. The Tropical Discovery Building will also be open, offering a warm respite from the cold night air.
Festivities include nightly ice carving demonstrations and special displays located throughout the venue, like the Champagne Toast and the Blue Lagoon in front of the brand new penguin exhibit.
Tickets may not be available to purchase onsite, so it is recommended you reserve your spot online.
This is the first annual Luminova Holidays event in Colorado. Elitch Gardens will host the festivities, which include a 65 ft Christmas tree, 3 million twinkle lights, enormous ornaments and gift boxes, a 200-foot-long Candy Cane Tunnel, rides, and a giant snowman that magically never melts.
Old Saint Nick will make an appearance with his elves at the Trocadero Theatre, where there will be plenty of opportunities for a photo.
Reserve your tickets for Luminova Holidays ahead of time. This event runs through January 2, 2022.
The holidays are a magical time in Denver. Let me know in the comments what your favorite traditions are!