17 Festive Holiday Events and Fun Celebrations in Colorado

by Ryan Nicholson | Last Updated:  November 19, 2019

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The festive season is here which means there are lots of fun, holiday events in Colorado.

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 the Colorado Christmas scene, make sure they pack their snow gear. They might need it.

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

In no particular order, let’s dive in!

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1. Camp Christmas in Aurora

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 the immersive 10,000 square foot installation really turns up the holiday spirit.

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

Camp Christmas was created by Colorado-based installation artist Lonnie Hanzon of Hanzon Studios, and will run from November 21st, 2019 through January 5th, 2020.

You can drink, walk, take elfie selfies, make period toasts, meet up at the Santa tiki bar, and take pictures with the man himself on Saturdays. This will be a great event for all ages, and tickets are on sale now.

Holiday events in colorado

2. Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms

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

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, the highest altitude ferris wheel in North America, and 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.

4. Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens

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 lots of cold weather gear because it can be very cold. Hot chocolate, tea, and coffee are available for purchase.

Denver Botanic Garden members get 2 free tickets to the Blossoms of Light every year!

blossoms of light Denver

5. Parade of Lights and other local parades

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

This parade runs over two days and travels through downtown with elaborate floats, balloons, marching bands, and, of course, Santas. This is a fabulous family evening event so bring your earmuffs and a thermos of hot cocoa!

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 sell out every year!

7. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Electric Safari

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!

Electric Safari Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

8. Neighborhood holiday light displays

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 the music while enjoying 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!)

9. The Nutcracker

The Colorado Youth Ballet and Colorado Ballet Society share a 75-minute production of The Nutcracker at the Ent Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs.

Over 150 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!

10. Christmas musicals in Denver

The Colorado Symphony presents A Colorado Christmas at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver December 13th through 15th.

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 — so you better not pout.

On November 29th, the Colorado Symphony presents Home Alone in Concert. Home Alone tells the story of a young boy, forgotten when his family takes a Christmas vacation, is left to defend his house from two bungling burglars.

While the film plays on the big screen, the symphony will perform the iconic soundtrack live!

16th street mall denver

11. Holiday-themed concerts and musicals

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. Transiberian Orchestra

The Trans Siberian Orchestra comes to Denver and Colorado Springs every November. This year’s winter tour theme is “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.”

We enjoy going to their concert every year when we can! The Trans Siberian Orchestra is a multi-platinum progressive rock group, and their performances are highly anticipated.

13. Lindsey Stirling’s Christmas Tour

Lindsey Stirling is bringing her Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour to the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs in 2019!

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!

colorado christmas lights

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!

15. The Santa Express at Royal Gorge Canon City

Bring your PJs and take off on The Santa Express on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad.

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!

16. Polar Express in Durango

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

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!

17. Colorado Railroad Museum

The Colorado Railroad Museum hosts a theatrical production of The Polar Express, but tickets for 2019 train rides are already sold out.

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.