Holiday Festivities in Denver

I hope everyone was able to give thanks for all of our blessings around the Thanksgiving dinner table.  I travel internationally a great deal, and that lends some perspective on how very much we have to be thankful for.  To see the way many people live in other regions of the world it makes one realize that so many of our problems are really first world problems and not real ones. 

Now that the last piece of whipped cream-topped pumpkin pie is a happy memory, the Holiday season is now in full bloom and Denver is a great place to experience it. 

Coming right up is the Parade of Lights on December 2nd, starting at 6PM.  Produced by the Downtown Denver Partnership, it’s a beloved family event that celebrates holiday magic downtown.  It will feature over 40 floats, balloons, marching bands, equestrian units, cultural displays, and special guest appearances from Major Waddles the penguin and Santa

Photo attribution: Parade of Lights – Denver Athletic Club
Photo attribution: artscomplex.com

From December 8th through the 10th, A Colorado Christmas brings the warm sounds of the holidays as they fill Boettcher Hall with festive seasonal favorites, hosted by beloved Denver vocalist, Devin DeSantis. This family-friendly concert includes traditional Christmas carols, your new favorite winter tunes, and a chance to sing along to your heart’s content!

A Christmas Carol plays at the Wolf Theater all the way until Christmas Eve.  It’s a joyous and opulent musical adaptation for the whole family that traces money-hoarding curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption.

Photo attribution: onstagecolorado.com
Photo attribution: denvercenter.org

Camp Christmas also runs until Christmas Eve at Stanley Marketplace.  Handcrafted by Camp Director Lonnie Hanzon and his band of Denver-based magic makers, Camp Christmas is a dazzling dreamscape made just for you. It’s an invitation to come in from the cold and wrap yourself up in the ooey-gooey, eclectic rituals that have brought light to the darkness of winter for thousands of years.

Everyone loves Denver’s Christkindlemarket, and you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy it till December 23rd.  This authentic German-style holiday market hosts local and European, craft vendors, German food and bier, Oompa bands and entertainers for everyone to enjoy. The Denver Christkindlmarket is a must-see holiday experience that is free and open to the public.

Photo attribution: christkindlmarketdenver.com
Photo attribution: denver.org

While you’re there in Civic Center Park, it’ll be impossible for you not to notice the Mile High Tree.  This seven-story 110-foot-tall 39-foot diameter immersive art conical structure, is 10 feet higher than the tallest Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in history and contains 60,000 LED lights to create its signature programming. 

Just a few elf-size steps away from the Mile High tree is the City County Building.  The eight-minute, choreographed light and music show will play every Tuesday through Sunday at 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., with a static light display between the two shows and until 10:45 p.m.  Our fair city has lit this building every year since 1932, with no two years’ lights being identical.

Photo attribution: Westworld
Photo attribution: denverzoo.org


If the Parade of Lights didn’t provide enough of a holiday lights experience, try Zoo Lights.  For 33 years, it has been the heart of Denver’s holidays. Now, with 80 acres boasting over three million lights, they are still the place where tradition stands tall, and where their sparkling features spark your brilliant smiles! 

Tinseltown is all about celebrating Christmas so you can expect Santa, elves, presents, tinsel, festive tunes and lots of winter warmer drinks, including a fabulous Christmas cocktail menu! The halls are more than fully decked with baubles, bows, hanging trees, wreaths and just about every festive goodie ever! You’ll be left unable to shake the spirit and joy of our favorite season.  It’s at the Denver Pavillions until December 30th 

Photo attribution: Denver.org

That’s just a few of the many activities that our city has to offer.  Wander around Downtown Denver and you’ll find more things to delight and enchant you during this happy time of the year.

Photo Attribution: Rob Squire

Previous Clean Upper Downtown Committee Report – December, 2023

UpDoNA is a City Registered Neighborhood Organization representing the community of Denver’s Upper Downtown.

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