Fun things to do in Denver in December

Hope everything had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Now we are only a few days away from December (hard to believe with these 70-degree days we are still having, what is this Colorado?) but the holiday seasons are upon us and with that there are tons of amazing things to do around the city with your friends and your family.


Denver Parade of Lights – Dec 1 – Dec 2

Join the Downtown Denver Partnership along with 9News for the annual parade of lights through downtown Denver. This free parade will feature marching bands, ornate floats and an appearance by Santa himself. You might not need to dress as warm this year as previous years but having some hot chocolate along for the ride never hurt anyone.


Denver Zoo Lights – Dec 1 – Dec 31

Spanning over 60 acres, the Denver Zoo lights is a different way to experience the zoo. Every night the zoo will close at 5:00pm and reopen at 5:30pm and will include a meet and greet with Santa, illuminated animal sculptures, nightly entertainment and of course encounters with some of the zoo animals.


Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms – Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays starting Nov. 24 – Dec. 24

Head to the Botanic Garden’s other property Chatfield Farms to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus while they lead their reindeer throughout the colorful holiday lights that illuminate the farm.


Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens – Now – Jan 1

Every night until January 1st, you can head over to the Botanic Gardens for the Blossom of Lights which transforms the gardens into a twinkling winter wonderland complete with an interactive LED light and sound display as well as warm drinks and tasty treats for purchase.


The Nutcracker Ballet at Ellie Caulkins Opera House – Nov 25 – Dec 24

This has been a tradition with many families for years, taking everyone to see the Nutcracker ballet. These performances sell out quickly so make sure to get tickets sooner then later or you will miss out! The Colorado Ballet has been performing this experience for over 60 years now, selling out almost every performance they have.


Denver Pavilions Holiday Carousel – Dec 15 – Jan 2

For just $3/ride, you can enjoy the lights and sounds of this stunning carousel while enjoying the views of downtown Denver. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Food Bank of the Rockies so you are helping to give back this holiday season to those in need.


Ice Skate at DIA – Nov 25 – Jan 1

That’s right, as soon as you deplane at DIA you can head to the skating ring to have a few laps before you get picked up (or have a little skate before you take off). Open from 9:00am – 9:00pm daily is located between the airport’s main terminal and the Westin Hotel.


Denver Christkindl Market – Nov 17 – Dec 23

Located on 16th Street Mall at Skyline Park, this market changes the space into an “old world” European Christmas village with wooden vendor huts, twinkling lights music and an authentic German Bier Hall.


Denver Ice Rink at Skyline Park – Nov 22 – Feb 14th

Right across the street from the market you can find the ice rink set up right by the clocktower downtown. Take friends or the whole family, it’s only $6-$8 for skate rentals except on Sunday, rentals are free!


A Christmas Carol at Stage Theatre – Nov 24 – Dec 24

Presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, this classic Charles Dickens’ novel is brought to life over the holidays. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge is a classic story of his journey to redemption, finding the true meaning of the holiday season.


There are plenty of other great activities to do this December in Denver and the surrounding areas. Check out the links below to find more fun things to do: