Alternative Holiday Events Begin This Weekend

November 26, 2020

There will be no shortage of your favorite holiday traditions since Denver area artists and performers are coming up with creative alternative ways to enjoy them! Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker will be performed in a special broadcast on Rocky Mountain PBS, and DCPA’s popular Camp Christmas has moved online—so there’s no need to miss out on either event this year!

TODAY/TONIGHT, November 26

This local annual Turkey Trot has been raising money for the past five years to fight Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) and childhood obesity. You’ll run (or walk) through the beautiful paths surrounding Westerly Creek and the Central Park Community on this Thanksgiving 5K!

Event registration includes your choice of t-shirt, commemorative coaster/bottle opener, free race photos, and a neck gaiter (for in-person attendees). You can also opt for a virtual run. 100% of proceeds from the race will go to benefit the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. 

2020 Stanley Harvesting Hope Thanksgiving Day Run, Northeast Denver Central Park, 8801 MLK Jr. Blvd, Denver
Registration: $30-$40

Thursday-Friday, November 26-27

Just because COVID-19 has cancelled this year’s live performances of the beloved family holiday event doesn’t mean you have to miss out on seeing The Nutcracker! This special presentation of Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker will air on Rocky Mountain PBS tonight with an encore tomorrow afternoon! 

The Nutcracker is Colorado Ballet’s longest running production, and the loss of ticket revenue from this single production is substantial. With the spirit of holiday giving in mind, please consider making a contribution to Colorado Ballet’s Relief & Recovery Fund this holiday season.

Colorado Ballet via Rocky Mountain PBS
Thurs., 7:00 p.m.; Fri., 3:00 p.m.
Watch: FREE

Thursday-Sunday, November 26-29

Become a part of all of your favorite family holiday movies—literally! This special interactive exhibit gives you the chance to step inside iconic Christmas movies, including The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and The Year Without a Santa Claus! Advanced time-entry ticket required.

Gaylord Rockies, 6700 N. Gaylord Rockies Blvd., Aurora
10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tickets: $13.99 – $24.99

Did you know the tradition of decorating Christmas trees originated in Germany? Find out how many of our contemporary holiday festivities came from old-time German customs when you visit the popular German Christmas Market in Civic Center Park. The Christkindl is an authentic cultural festival featuring craftspeople and artisans offering imported European products. 

Enjoy a Brat and a Glühwein (spiced mulled wine) as you stroll by the booths filled with unique gift items for sale. There will be plenty of live entertainment, including bands, choirs, dancing, and more!

Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave., Denver
Thurs., 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Fri./Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Sun., 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

It’s official—everyone is ready to start decorating as early as possible this year to drive away the thoughts of 2020! Don’t wait to get your Christmas tree—head out to the neighborhood Christmas tree lot and pick out the perfect tree for your home. There will be a variety of sizes and types, including Noble, Fraser, Nordman, and Grand firs—even Charlie Brown-inspired mini-trees!

Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora
Thurs./Fri., 12:00-8:00 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 10 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Get in the holiday spirit while enjoying some outdoor exercise—it’s all possible on The Pond, Southlands’ own community ice rink! Make it a family event and you’ll also reap the benefits of spending some quality time with the kids. If you are new to the sport, there are rentals and lessons available.

Southlands, 6155 S. Main St., Aurora
Thurs., 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.; Fri., 4:00 – 10:00 p.m.; Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Sun., 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $12
Phone: 303-627-5000

It’s called the Mile High Tree, but it’s really a dazzling light show with holiday music! Next time you’re shopping in downtown Denver, be sure to stop by and check out the program—it runs approximately every 15 minutes. 

16th Street Mall at Welton Street, Denver
Thurs./Fri./Sat., 5:00 – 9:30 p.m.; Sun., 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

If you and your kids loved participating in DCPA’s Camp Christmas last year, you can still enjoy the popular immersive Christmas experience—online this year! Everyone in the family can enjoy all kinds of handcrafted holiday activities at home! 

The new digital platform features an imaginary world to explore online, while there is still a physical experience that provides the materials you’ll need to complete the activities in the digital world. Choose either or both of the platforms!

Register: Starting at $10

This timely and relevant dramatic event has been in the making ever since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Dael Orlandersmith conducted extensive interviews in Ferguson to create eight fictional characters that represent the broad spectrum of perspectives that continue to define and divide our country today.

Through a mesmerizing one-person show, Orlandersmith plays all the characters to embody people from all sides of the controversy. The play was set to open right before the pandemic descended on us in March—and now a creative coalition of theatres has found a way to make this important work available for FREE online.

DCPA Online
Watch: FREE

During this holiday of enjoying a bountiful feast, don’t forget there are those who don’t have enough to eat. The local non-profit We Don’t Waste serves over 170 hunger-relief agencies and provides food directly to individuals at their Mobile Food Markets. 

You can make a donation of shelf-stable foods at Stanley Marketplace to help We Don’t Waste continue to meet the need in the community for nutritious foods. Since the onset of COVID-19, hunger has been rising exponentially around the country––and the Denver Metro area is no exception.

Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora

Friday, November 27

The day after Thanksgiving may be best known as Black Friday, but it’s also the day that Santa arrives in town! Head out to the celebration at the Town Center in Aurora where you can welcome the Jolly Old Elf to our neighborhood!

Town Center at Aurora, 14200 E. Alameda Ave., Aurora
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

Friday – Sunday, November 27-29

Denver’s beloved community tradition, the Parade of Lights, will look a little different this year! Instead of a one-night parade that gathers too big a crowd, this year you will be able to stroll by all the floats in a multi-week, socially safe extravaganza of activities across downtown. Starting tonight, the floats will be displayed throughout downtown from Denver Pavilions to Denver Union Station.

If you can’t make it downtown, stay tuned for a special broadcast of the display of floats on December 4, in an hour-long special that will also highlight parades past and feature holiday music and Santa!

16th Street Mall between Union Station and Denver Pavilions, Denver
Information: FREE

Limited times are available—book now for next week if your preferred time is sold out! Everyone looks forward to the dazzling holiday light display at the Denver Botanic Gardens! Treat the family to this twinkling winter wonderland and you are guaranteed to get into the holiday spirit! Treats and warm drinks will be available for purchase at the Hive Garden Bistro.

Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., Denver
Limited availability
Tickets: $16-$21
Phone: 720-865-3500

Saturday, November 28

Dance off that turkey dinner in this fun, calorie-burning Latin dance class in the park! You’ll learn Zumba-inspired moves and have a blast while exercising in the safety of an outdoor exercise class.

Cheluna Brewing Company, 2501 Dallas St., Suite 148, Aurora
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Register: $6

Things to Do in/around Southshore

There’s no shortage of things to do both online and near the master-planned community of Southshore! You get the tranquility of lakeside living with easy access to your favorite urban activities. Stop by and see for yourself how great Life at the Lake can be! With beautiful model homes from Toll Brothers, Taylor Morrison, and Richmond American Homes, it’s easy to picture yourself in your own new home, priced from the upper $400s to the $700s.