Denver is filled with family-friendly holiday activities through to the New Year. Here are the ten best for 2012.
Irving Berlin’s classic holiday musical about two couples staging a show to save a snowless Vermont Inn is filled with 17 production numbers including the most recorded song in history “White Christmas.” This heartwarming story is the perfect one to share with families during the holiday season.
November 23-December 24 (visit website for schedule and ticket prices)
The Buell Theatre , 1101 13th Street, Denver, CO 80204, 303-893-4100, denvercenter.org
Ice Skating at Skyline Park
Families twirl around the ice right in the middle of downtown Denver off the 16th Street Mall at Arapahoe Street. The Southwest Rink at Skyline Park is free if you bring your own skates. Rentals are available for a small fee.
November 23, 2012-February 14, 2013
Skyline Park, 1825 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO 80202
Colorado’s favorite family holiday tradition continues with Colorado Ballet’s 52nd season of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet.
November 24-December 24 (visit website for complete schedule and ticket prices)
Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1101 13th Street, Denver, CO 80204, 303-837-8888 ext. 2 , coloradoballet.org
Parade of Lights
For two nights in a row, downtown Denver is aglow with thousands of twinkling lights, giant balloons, huge holiday floats and characters—including Santa himself—and marching bands, all ushering in the holiday spirit. This sparkling event is free, unless you want grandstand tickets ($18/adults and $16/children 12 and younger; kids 2 and younger are free on your lap)
Friday, November 30 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 1 at 6 p.m. For the parade route and other information, visit denver.org/milehighholidays/ParadeOfLights
The Denver Zoo lights up with a colorful animated display of more than 150 lighted animal sculptures that move under the night sky. Walk through more than 38 acres on a splendid holiday safari.
November 30, 2012-January 2, 2013; 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Admission: non-members—$10/adults, $6/children 3-11, $8/seniors; members—$8/adults, $4/children 3-11, $6/seniors
The Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele Street, Denver, CO 80200, 720-337-1400, denverzoo.org/zoolights/
Blossoms of Light
The Denver Botanic Gardens is aglow with a gorgeous display of colored lights highlighting its foliage, trees, water features and walkways. When viewed through HoloSpex glasses, the lights shimmer in 3D shapes. For admission fees and other information, visit the website.
November 30, 2012-January 1, 2013
Denver Botanic Gardens, 909 York Street, Denver, CO 80206, 720-865-3500
Trail of Lights
In a peaceful country setting, a million twinkling lights illuminate winding paths at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield that lead to the children’s play area with synchronized music and the 1880s homestead decorated for the holidays. Hot drinks, hay rides and skating available. For fees, visit the website.
November 30, 2012-January 1, 2013
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, CO 80128, 720-865-4336, botanicgardens.org/events-exhibits/special-events/trail-of-lights
Celebrate Christmas the way your ancestors did at the oldest building in Denver at Four Mile Historic Park. Play Victorian games, roasts chestnuts, string popcorn and cranberries and take a sleigh ride with Father Christmas.
Sunday, December 2, noon-4 p.m.
Adults $5, Military w/ID & Seniors (65+) $4, Youth 7-17 $3
Governor’s Residence at the Holidays
Learn about Colorado’s governors’ home and its former residents at the Beottcher Mansion while it’s decorated for the season. Daily tours are free.
December 8-14, 2012, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion, 400 E. 8th Ave., Denver, CO 80202, 303-790-9285, coloradoshome.org
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Simultaneous fireworks displays go off in two different places along the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. Two free shows at 9 p.m. and at midnight will light up the night sky in spectacular fashion on December 31.
For all events, activities and lodging during the holidays in Denver, visit denver.org/milehighholidays.