Christmas in Colorado: 17 Festive Holiday Events & Celebrations

by Ryan Nicholson | Last Updated:  November 10, 2020

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Christmas in Colorado is here which means there are tons of fun and festive holiday events happening.

This time of year is special since the mountains are white and the cities are welcoming. All are aglow with lights and other holiday decorations.

There’s nothing quite like a Colorado winter wonderland during the holiday season!

Many of Colorado’s festive events are outdoors, so be sure to dress warmly and check the weather before you leave.

If family is coming from out of town to explore Christmas in Colorado, be sure to pack snow gear just in case. 

Since there are countless events and celebrations you can attend, we’re just going to mention the must-see holiday events in Colorado this season.

In no particular order, here are the top 17 festive holiday events to enjoy Christmas in Colorado this year!

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1. Camp Christmas in Aurora

camp christmas denver colorado

This over-the-top Christmas extravaganza describes itself as an event “not for the faint of festivity.”

Camp Christmas is Denver’s newest holiday experience and was created by Colorado-based installation artist Lonnie Hanzon of Hanzon Studios. 

In 2019 it was hosted inside an immersive 10,000 square foot building with custom installations.

You could drink, walk, take elfie selfies, make period toasts, meet up at the Santa tiki bar, and take pictures with the man himself on Saturdays. 

Visitors took a historical journey through the ages, from ancient Rome to the modern day in a series of extremely decorated scenes.

For 2020, things look a little different though. The joy, sparkle and magic of Camp Christmas has been packed into a virtual online holiday experience.

Start with the Base Camp package and explore the virtual campgrounds with holiday activities, daily events, and DIY crafts.

Camp Christmas is now open thanks to holiday-themed packages and handcrafted Adventure Bundles. 

This will be a great event for all ages, and tickets are on sale starting at $10.

2. Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms

santas village chatfield farms

Photo credit: Denver Botanic Gardens

All ages will love visiting Santa, Mrs. Claus, and all the reindeer at Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms.

Come for a hayride and a mug of cocoa, watch a movie in Santa’s Cinema, or play in a giant snow globe.

Hosted by the Denver Botanic Gardens, you’ll have a chance to walk under the lights displays and drop off your letter for Santa.

This is a super fun holiday event for everyone, and is a popular annual tradition for many Colorado families!

3. North Pole, Colorado Springs

north pole colorado springs

This amusement park is all Christmas all the time! Come to North Pole, Colorado for some year-round Santa-themed fun.

For more than 60 years, North Pole has played host to Santa’s workshop!

It is also home to the highest altitude ferris wheel in North America with more than 25 rides for kids and grown ups!

While you can come to the North Pole any time of year, there’s something extra magical about a visit near the holidays.

If you’re hosting family from out of town this year, this is a great stop to get in the festive mood.

The North Pole, Colorado is open Thursday through Monday and is closed Tuesday and Wednesdays.

Masks are required when going inside any of the buildings and are encouraged to wear when going outside.

Unlimited Ride Wristbands are available for just $10 each and children under 2 are free!

4. Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens

blossoms of light Denver

Get in the holiday mood at the Blossoms of Light, a dazzling and ever-changing display of lights from the Denver Botanic Gardens!

This 360-degree immersive light experience lights up the gardens and pathways, and it’s a must-see for native Coloradoans and visitors alike.

We enjoy visiting the Blossoms of Light every year and it’s become a tradition for us. But be prepared with cold weather gear because it can be very chilly outside.

Hot chocolate, tea, and coffee are available for purchase throughout the tour.

Blossoms of Light is open from November 20, 2020 through January 16, 2021. Pre-sale tickets are on sale starting November 6, 2020.

Pro tip: Denver Botanic Garden members get 2 free tickets to the Blossoms of Light every year.

5. Parade of Lights and other local parades

denver parade of lights

Photo credit: 9News

The 9News Parade of Lights in Denver is one of the most popular holiday events in Colorado every year!

And for 2020 they are making even better by hosting a multi-week, socially safe event with activities across the downtown area.

This parade will runs for several weeks beginning November 27, 2020 with decorated floats lined from Denver Pavilions to the Denver Union Station.  

This is a fabulous family evening event so bring your earmuffs and a thermos of hot cocoa!

If you can’t make it to the parade in person, 9News will be hosting a special broadcast celebration on December 4, 2020 at 8pm MST.

Be sure to check your local news for parades happening in your town!

6. Denver Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo is the largest lighting event in the Rockies and features 70 acres or illuminated sculptures and a host of activities and attractions.

Bundle up for this outdoor trek through the animal exhibits and be sure to get your tickets early. Zoo Lights tickets sell out every year!

7. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Electric Safari

cheyenne mountain zoo - electric safari

Ever year, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo celebrates the holidays with an Electric Safari.

Tour the animal exhibits and 85 lighted sculptures across 50 acres and keep warm by the many fires lit throughout the zoo.

The zoo is a trek up and down many hills and you will be at higher elevation so be prepared to be extra chilly!

8. Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to Denver and Colorado Springs every November.

This orchestra is a multi-platinum progressive rock group, and their performances are highly anticipated.

For 2020 they are offering a special virtual, lifestream performance called, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.”

We enjoy going to their concert every year! But this year’s concert will be an extra special 90-minute performance.

The livestream performance will air on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 8pm EST. Tickets for the virtual event are on sale now!

9. The Nutcracker

The Colorado Youth Ballet and Colorado Ballet Society share a 60-minute production of The Nutcracker.

The event is hosted at the Colorado Springs Christian School.

Over 50 dancers of all ages will bring this Christmas classic to life, and an evening at the ballet makes the perfect activity for kids and adults.

Very young kids may find some of the scenes a bit scary, especially when the toys come to life and the rats battle the soldiers!

General admission tickets are $20 or $15 for children 11 or younger. Children ages 2 or under are free but do need a voucher.

Show times starts on November 24, 2020 and will run through December 19, 2020.

10. Mile High Holidays in Denver

16th street mall denver

You’re invited to enjoy the holidays in the Mile High city in 2020 with a spectacular Denver event.

See Denver transform into the the Mile High Holidays which is a perfect family outing thanks to gorgeous light displays, the Mile High tree and other winter fun.

Check out awesome holiday hotel deals or go shopping at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

Stop by one of the many museums in downtown Denver or simply enjoy a sparkling night out at the 16th Street Mall.

11. Holiday-themed concerts and musicals

The Colorado Symphony presents A Colorado Christmas at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. Dates for the 2020 winter season have yet to be announced.

This family-friendly evening will feature traditional Christmas carols, your favorite winter tunes, and plenty of singalong opportunities!

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance too!

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts presents Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas the Musical.

This heartwarming story is about the Grinch, with a heart two sizes too small, who learns the true meaning of Christmas.

It’s narrated by Max the Dog, and is perfect for audiences of all ages.

Throughout November and December, head to the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities for A Christmas Carol, the Musical.

This musical depicts Charles Dickens’ classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey through Christmas past, present, and future. And it’s a tradition for all generations to enjoy!

12. Lindsey Stirling’s Christmas Tour

Lindsey Stirling is making her Home for the Holidays Special available to everyone this year thanks to a livestream performance!

She gained notoriety first on YouTube and now she travels the world as a violinist who performs choreographed dance routines while she plays.

Her performances are energetic and exciting, and this performance is a perfect way to get in the holiday spirit!

There are two show times available on Saturday, December 12, 2020 starting at 3pm EST or 8pm EST.

Tickets are on sale via her website for $20 plus a $3.50 fee.

13. Neighborhood holiday light displays

colorado christmas lights

Each year during the holidays, local neighbors throughout Colorado install elaborate Christmas lights that are synced with music.

Using a short-range radio transmitter, homeowners can transmit music to your car’s radio to match light performances for Christmas lights that are displayed on the house and in the yard.

Drive around different neighborhoods within the state for free and tune into the right radio station to listen to music that’s synced with elaborately themed light performances.

They’re quite incredible!

Check your local news because these houses tend to be very popular local attractions.

(And while this may be a free activity for you, I guarantee it’s not free for the homeowner who pays the electric bill!)

14. Georgetown Loop Railroad

Catch the Georgetown Loop Railroad from Devil’s Gate Depot for a trip to Santa’s North Pole Adventure or to tour Santa’s Lighted Forest.

The train adds some serious holiday vibes to their regular routes and rolls out the sweet treats and festive activities at the end of the loop.

It’s perfect for a family adventure!

Sadly, the Georgetown Loop Railroad is closed for the rest of the 2020 season and is expected to return in 2021.

15. The Santa Express at Royal Gorge Canon City

santa express royal gorge colorado

Photo credit: Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Experience the magic of the North Pole on The Santa Express at the Royal Gorge Route Railroad.

Bring your PJs and get ready to meet Santa Clause himself. Children and adults of all ages are welcome, but tickets are selling out fast.

Have breakfast with Santa or grab dinner on the train while enroute to the North Pole.

When you reach his home, Santa and his elves board the train to deliver bells to all the children on the train!

The train departs daily at three different times starting November 19, 2020 through December 30, 2020.

16. Polar Express in Durango

The story of the Polar Express comes alive aboard the Polar Express Durango Train.

Based on the award-winning book, kids and adults will enjoy this magical train ride.

The cast of characters from the popular story of a child’s train trip to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, bring the experience to life on this historic steam train.

Passengers will enjoy hot cocoa and a treat on their way to pick up Santa!

Tickets go on sale starting November 20, 2020 and will continue until December 29, 2020. Costs for tickets range from $22-85 depending on the night you book and the class.

17. Colorado Railroad Museum

The Colorado Railroad Museum hosts a theatrical production of The Polar Express, and tickets are available now! 

Departing dates are available for November and December 2020.

Grab your whole family, put on your pajamas, and enjoy some hot cocoa and cookies as The Polar Express Live takes you on a magical journey.

For anyone ages 3 or older, masks are required to be worn at all times.

Tickets for 2020 go on sale in August, so get your tickets early for this incredible holiday event!

Ryan Nicholson is a homegrown born and raised Colorado native. Being a rare unicorn to have grown up in CO, he has a unique perspective on the changes here and knows all the hidden spots to get outside in this state. Ryan's a classically French trained chef so he LOVES to try new foods and places to eat. When he's not experimenting in the kitchen or working as a personal chef along the Front Range, he loves to get outdoors and away from it all hiking, camping and backpacking.