We made a list… we checked it twice!
We put together a list of 20 things to do in Denver this December that are oh-so nice.
Whether you’re looking for some dazzling holiday lights, holiday fun, or festive holiday pop-ups; our list has you covered.
ALL OF THE LIGHTS
1. PARADE OF LIGHTS
Kicking off our list is an iconic Denver tradition, the 9News Parade of Lights. The Parade of Lights takes place on Saturday December 3rd at 6 PM and is always the perfect kickoff to the 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.
Psst… to take your experience to the next level; purchase Grandstand tickets, view the parade route, and sign up for the Jingle Jog Fun Run.
2. 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 spectacular. With millions of festive lights, entertainment, rides, treats and more, you’ll feel as though you were transported into your very own winter wonderland.
Psst… learn more about our visit here.
3. BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT – BOTANIC GARDENS
While our next pick needs no introduction, Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Light is a staple this time of year.
This annual holiday lights spectacular transforms their York Street location into a winter wonderland. Due to popular demand many date have sold out – be sure to check out their site for addition info on available times and tickets.
4. CAMP CHRISTMAS
Are you looking for some funky festive fun this December?
Look no further than the Denver Center for Performing Arts – Camp Christmas. This outdoor extravaganza transforms Belmar Park in a campy winter wonderland. Featuring a whimsical wonderland of lights, dazzling decorations, music, visits from Santa and more- we can’t wait to set up camp at Camp Christmas.
5. MERRY & BRIGHT LIGHTS – UNION STATION
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a visit to Merry & Bright Lights at Union Station.
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.
Psst… Union Station is full of holiday cheer this December – including holiday brunch, their Miracle Pop-Up Bar, visits from Santa and more!
6. WINTER WANDERLAND LIGHT WALK
With nearly half a million holiday lights, we bet you can see our next pick from space!
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.
7. CHRISTMAS IN COLOR
While we can think of a million reasons to check out Christmas in Color, we’ll let their incredible holiday lights do the talking.
This drive-thru animated holiday light show boasts over a million lights, perfectly synchronized to your favorite holiday music – and is one you need to see to believe. With your choice of either their Bandimere Speedway, Water World, or Arapahoe County Fairgrounds location (or all three), it’s sure to be lit.
8. MILE HIGH TREE
Oh Mile High Tree, Oh Mile High Tree, how lovely are your 110-foot-tall branches.
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.
9. GRAND MENORAH
Last but certainly not least is Chabad of Cherry Creek’s Grand Menorah Display at the Gart Plaza in Cherry Creek. Taking place on December 18th the Menorah lighting is open to the public, and a great way to celebrate Chanukah – The Festival of Lights.
10. ICE – GAYLOR ROCKIES
Kicking off our list of holiday fun is the return of a new holiday favorite – ICE! at Gaylord Rockies.
This year’s holiday spectacular is bringing the magic of a Charlie Brown Christmas 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, 2023.
11. ELF YOGA
Tis the season for… goat yoga!
Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga is pulling out all the stops this December with their Elf Yoga series running through December 18th. All of Santas little goat helpers will join you for an indoor, fun for all ages yogas class. We’re told the goats will have cute bells on, funny elf hats and cute little elf suits – we’re crying (happy tears) just thinking about it!
Psst… wear your own elf costume and get a complimentary yoga mat rental!
For those looking to get their adrenaline going this December, this next one is for you!
Krampus – the Fight Before Christmas is back and scarier than ever. Krampus is the newest fright filled attraction brought to you by the masterminds behind the 13th Floor Haunted House. Running December 16-17, the haunted house transforms into a Christmas wonderland, minus all the glitter and snowflakes. Complete with horrifying Christmas characters, twisted treats, fright and delights that will make your holidays scary and a fright! Tickets for both dates are on sale now.
13. McGREGOR SKATE
The holidays wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the ice rink.
McGregor Square welcomes McGregor Skate to their festive plaza this December, and is sure to be fun for the whole family. With dates running through the end of the 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 theme date each week.
14. A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Up next 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 great for the whole family and tells a dynamic retelling this Charles Dickens’ classic novel. Tickets are limited are sure to go quickly.
15. TREE FARM & ORNAMENT DECORATING
Rounding out our list in Denver Beer Co’s pop-up tree farm and ornament decorating party. Taking place on December 4th at noon – For $75, you’ll get to pick out your very own 5-6 ft Christmas tree, receive two specialty holiday beers, and decorate a DBC ornament. Trees are first come, first serve, so plan ahead!
Psst… be sure to keep an eye out for their other holiday events.
16. MIRACLE POP-UP
It’s a Christmas miracle… literally!
Miracle Pop-Up is a Christmas themed holiday pop-up bar that is serving up some holiday cheer this year. With unbelievable holiday décor, festive cocktails and ALL the holiday feels – Miracle is an absolute must. With locations now open in Union Station, The Rouge and The Eddy; it’s time to deck the halls!
Psst… reservations are sure to fill up fast, so we’d highly recommend booking those sooner rather than later.
17. NAUGHTY LIST
Have you been naughty or nice this year?
Up next is the Naughty List pop-up bar? From the team that brought you the Spirits Halloween pop-up, this pop-up located on Larimer Square is open 7 days a week and will be serving up some festive spirits to keep you merry and bright.
If you’re anything like us, we’ve always dreamed about hangin ten with Santa over the holidays. Luckily for us, Adrift Tiki Bar transforms into SNOWdrift – a festive holiday tiki oasis this December. Sip on festive drinks like Piña Colada Eggnog, Mulled Wine and more now throughout the month.
Psst… don’t forget about Tiki Tuesdays!
Twas the nightmare before Christmas…
Tinseltown – Denver’s newest holiday pop-up bar is taking over Zeppelin Station with an incredible Nightmare Before Xmas extravaganza. The pop-up is sure to be overflowing with plenty of Burtonesque Christmas spirit. Reservations are sure to fill up quickly so you’ll want to book yours before it’s too late.
20. FELIX NAVIDAD
Rounding out our list is a Denver Ear Favorite – My Neighbor Felix’s Felix Navidad pop-up.
This December their LoHi and Boulder locations transforms into a very 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!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, DENVER
We hope you take some time to truly 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 a happy and safe holiday season!
As always, we love seeing and hearing from you, be sure to follow us on Instagram @TheDenverEar and tag #TheDenverEar for a chance to be featured.