Top 10 Christmas Events in Denver

Celebrations for 2015

Enjoy the top 10 Christmas activities in the Mile High City as a reason to celebrate the season. "It's time to get off the couch, and get family and friends out to enjoy the magic of the Mile High Holidays," said Mayor Michael Hancock at a press conference in 2014 promoting holiday events in Denver. For more holiday ideas, including hotel specials, visit MileHighHolidays.com.

  • 01 of 10
    Zoo Lights 2013
    ••• Photo © Nina Snyder

    The Denver Zoo brings a menagerie of animals to life with holiday lights, while the real animals stay inside where it's cozy. Zoo Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. every day from Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 – Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for children. Zoo members receive a discount on tickets.

    See Also: Photos of Zoo Lights

  • 02 of 10
    Gingerbread-House-1.JPG
    ••• Photo by Evan Semon/VISIT DENVER

    The 41st-annual holiday light parade meanders through downtown's streets with floats lit up for the holiday season. The parade will be held on two days this year: Fri. Dec. 4, 2015 at 8 p.m. and Sat. Dec. 5, 2015 at 6 p.m. Free admission along the parade route. Paid limited grandstand seating is also available.

  • 03 of 10
    1-Artists-of-Colorado-Ballet-by-Mike-Watson_web.jpg
    ••• Artists of Colorado Ballet by Mike Watson

    Clara's magical gift of a nutcracker opens up a new world of sugarplum fairies and other delights. The Christmas classic from Tchaikovsky is showing at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with matinee and evening performances from Nov. 28 – Dec. 27, 2015. Tickets range from $30 - $155.

  • 04 of 10
    Afternoon-Tea-Close-up_gallery.jpg
    ••• Photo courtesy of the Brown Palace

    Delicate finger sandwiches, scones and miniature pastries accompany your choice of gourmet tea served in a silver teapot. Denver's oldest hotel opens its grand atrium for high tea during the afternoons from noon - 4 p.m. every day. Make reservations now by calling 303-297-3111 as times fill up fast, especially for the weekends.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    carousel-001.jpg
    ••• Image courtesy of Denver Pavilions

    The Holiday Carousel at the Denver Pavilions allows children to enjoy the magic of the holidays from the perch of a horse on a whimsical carousel. Carousel rides will be offered for $3 per person from Dec. 11 - Dec. 23, 2015. Carousel hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  • 06 of 10

    The Colorado Symphony Orchestra presents Handel's Messiah at Boettcher Concert Hall on Dec. 18 -  20, 2015. George Frideric Handel composed the chorale piece in 1741, and it remains one of the most popular Christmas performances. Tickets are $29 - $89. Make sure to buy tickets early as the performances usually sell out quickly.

  • 07 of 10

    Ice skate in the great outdoors on the frozen lake located about 20 minutes from Denver. Weather permitting, a portion of the Evergreen Lake opens for the holidays in mid-December for ice skating. Call the skating hotline at 720-880-1391 to check if the lake is frozen enough for skating.

  • 08 of 10

    The Blossoms of Light returns to the Denver Botanic Gardens on York Street this year from Nov. 27, 2015 - Jan. 2, 2016. The Blossoms of Light is open from 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. nightly. The Trail of Lights will also transform the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield from 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. during the same time period. Tickets are $11 - $13 for adults and $8 - $10 for children at both venues, but each event requires separate admission.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    A Victorian Christmas awaits in the historic mountain town west of Denver. During the weekends of Dec. 5 - 6, 2015, and Dec. 12 - 13, 2015, Georgetown's 6th Street transforms into a Christmas vision from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.. Free admission.

  • 10 of 10

    "The SantaLand Diaries"

    Whether you've been naughty or nice this year, leave the children at home and enjoy the black comedy of "The SantaLand Diaries." The production is based on an essay by David Sedaris in which he details his experiences working as an elf at Macy's in New York. "The SantaLand Diaries" will play at the Garner Galleria Theatre from Nov. 27 - Dec. 27, 2015. Tickets are $25 - $33. Recommended for adult audiences only.

    Nina Snyder is the author of "Good Day, Broncos," a children's e-book, and "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book. Visit her website at ninasnyder.com.