Happy Holidays from all of us at BWBacon to you & yours! We love writing this annual post on everything you can do in Denver to get the most out of your holiday season. Want to stay in the car and see the lights? We’ve got a tour for you. Love the cold on your face and getting outside? Check out one of many outdoor celebrations happening around town this year.
This season, we hope you take extra time to destress and spend time with loved ones. We’re applauding the creativity of Coloradans who have made these events possible so we can all celebrate safely together. Let us know in the comments below if we left out any festive fun…
12 Holly Jolly Happenings Around Denver!
(Images from the Parade of Lights 2021 courtesy of Colin Llyod)
Whether you like exploring outdoor winter wonderlands or finding the perfect gift, there is something for everyone. Did you know that while lights have been used to decorate Christmas trees since 1882, it wasn’t until President Grover Cleveland used lights on the White House Christmas Tree in 1895 that they became a national sensation? One of the most magical parts of this time of year is seeing the glorious displays of lights all over the city from traditions both new and old…
In 2019, Camp Christmas took over the Stanley Marketplace to bring a fully immersive, vintage-decorated labyrinth of rooms, holiday cocktail bars, and Christmas activities to Denverites. 2020 went virtual, but Camp Christmas is back in person this year in Lakewood! Described as the most “extra” Christmas event in the metro area and a “must-see for all ages,” come grab a hot drink (or a spiked one).
Last year, Miracle Bars made their debut in the Denver area, and they were a sensation. Dressed to the nines with Christmas décor, these pop-up bars are hard to get into, but worth the wait for the unbeatable atmosphere and festive cocktails. This year, there’s one in Boulder’s new Avanti location, Denver Avanti, and Union Station.
9News Driving Tour
If driving around the neighborhood admiring people’s lights reminds you of childhood, you’re not alone. That’s why 9News created this interactive map and tour of the best lights depending on where you live in Denver! Or, visit every house on this grand tour of dazzling Christmas décor and imagine your making the pilgrimage to Bethlehem as you cover the distance of the US’s largest non-coastal city. Need more lights? Here’s another tour from 5280.
Have you tried this driving tour yet? Happening at two locations in Colorado this year, the Bandimere Speedway and Water World, you can bring hot chocolate and never leave the comfort of your car while enjoying more than a million lights on display. Synced to holiday music you can tune into via your car, it’s perfect for the whole family or a low-key night.
Created by a globally renowned Spanish lighting production company, this 110-foot installation is the largest of its kind in North America. Besides its impressive size, it naturally comes with a music and lights show. One of the best parts? It’s free, and open to the public through January 1, 2022, 5 PM- 10 PM, on the 16th Street Mall at Welton St.
Zoo Lights is a classic Denver Christmas activity. Kids or no kids, there’s something nostalgic about the crafted neon animal shapes, then trying to spot their real counterparts in the dark. With more than two million lights sparkling over 80 acres, the Denver Zoo Lights is the perfect way to make memories with friends and family. Keep in mind masks are required this year, and tickets sell out fast- Find yours here!
A truly unique show, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms the garden’s York Street location into a sparkling winter wonderland. This popular holiday outing has sold all of its tickets for December, but has a few days open in January! If you’re looking for a pick-me-up after the holidays have past, get your tickets here (members can get tickets at a discounted price.) Another option for light viewing is to check out DBG’s other location at Chatfield Farms which also has a walking lights tour and a few more open tickets before the new year, the Trail of Lights.
Now through Dec 23rd, the Christkindl Market has free admission for anyone who wants to walk around, find gifts for their friends and family, and grab a snack…or two. Enjoy an authentic German holiday experience with Bavarian-style pretzels, Goulash, authentic Glühwein, Bavarian-style Biers, and hot chocolate. You can even download their new app to get the latest on vendors and events! Open this month on Sundays through Wednesdays, 11 AM to 7 PM, and Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 AM to 9 PM (with a few exceptions.)
Head down to Cherry Creek and the Filmore Plaza for the 2nd annual Cherry Creek Holiday Market. Hosting over 30 local vendors, find a great gift or local food and drink, now through December 24th, Sunday-Wednesday from 10 AM – 6 PM, and Thursday-Saturday from 10 AM – 8 PM. No tickets are required for entry.
Catch the last weekend of this free market happening Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th from 11-5PM. Admission is free, but you can save on drinks when you purchase tokens in advance! Tickets/reservations includes 5 Drink Tokens, which can be used for Holiday Cocktails, Craft Beer or Wine at any 2021 Holiday BAZAAR location (it also includes a commemorative cup AND eco-friendly Tote Bag.)
A Colorado staple of Christmas entertainment, the Colorado Ballet has been putting on the Nutcracker for over 60 years. Once again in-person, come see the elegance of this classic story at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, now through December 24th. Find ticket availability here.
Whether it’s sledding with the family or taking a day trip away from the city to explore Rocky Mountain National Park, December is still a beautiful time of year to get outside. Try the annual Christmas Sweater 5k in Denver on December 19th, or get your skate on at the Denver Ice Rink! And if the i-70 gods bless your travel, it’s always worth it to visit one of Colorado’s many winter resorts for skiing, tubing, and other winter activities in the mountains.
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