Fresh Air Outdoor Events for the Holidays

December 17, 2020

Lucky for us, the Mile High City has lots of outdoor holiday events to enjoy! In addition to all the festivities downtown, you can take a short drive to Federal Heights to enjoy an extravaganza of sights and sounds at the spectacular Christmas in Color drive-through holiday light display! There are also outdoor Christmas markets and fresh-air holiday shopping opportunities from the 16th Street Mall to LoDo to Civic Center Park to Cherry Creek North!

Thursday-Saturday, December 17-19

As you make your way through the hustle and bustle of last-minute holiday shopping, don’t forget to visit downtown Denver’s dazzling new holiday display—the Mile High Tree! ’Tis a spectacle for the ears and eyes, with millions of lights dancing in time to holiday music! 

16th Street Mall at Welton Street, Denver
5:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Information: FREE

Thursday-Sunday, December 17-20

You don’t have to venture out into crowds to get your child’s picture taken with Santa—you can do it online! The virtual Santa experience includes options to upload your child’s photo and have them magically appear in a picture beside Santa!

For those who want to visit in person, Santa’s Workshop is set up in the Center Court of Aurora’s Town Center. Reservations are highly encouraged for all guests to help minimize wait times.

Town Center, 14200 E. Alameda Ave., Aurora
Thurs./Fri./Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sun., 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Starting at $9.99 (online experience; $39.99 – $49.99 (in-person photo packages)

Fa-la-la-la-la! Enjoy a special dose of holiday spirit at this authentic German Christmas Market! There are all kinds of delicious treats to enjoy as you wander through the open-air market, filled with handmade artisan gifts and imported European products. Live entertainment, including choirs, bands, and German dancers, will put a smile on your face!

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

The Pond at Southlands, that is! Treat the family to a much-needed exercise break and let the kids skate off some of that pent-up excitement. Lessons and rentals are available for novices, and don’t forget to reserve tickets in advance! 

The Pond at 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

There’s not a more festive place to be than Union Station at Christmastime! This year, enjoy the first-ever outdoor light show, Merry & Bright Lights! Local artists and animation experts teamed up to create a show with exciting animations and brand-new visual creations—it’s an art show in lights!

Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop, Denver 
5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

The kids are not the only ones who will be oohing and ahhing when you drive through the completely-over-the-top display of holiday lights that is Christmas in Color!

Well worth the trip up to Federal Heights, this technicolor lighting extravaganza is a drive-through tunnel of all things festive—giant candy canes, snowmen, and more, synchronized to holiday music that’s streamed through your car radio! 

Water World Colorado, 8800 N. Pecos St., Federal Heights
Thurs./Sun., 5:30 – 10:00 p.m. 
Tickets: $30-$35 per vehicle

For a more meditative holiday light experience, meander among the colorful reflections of giant prisms. Prismatica is an outdoor art exhibit and modern day ice palace. Walk among these prisms set up on the sidewalks of Cherry Creek North and watch as the colors of the city are reflected through the series of kaleidoscopes!

Cherry Creek North, 2401 E. 2nd Ave., Denver
Information: FREE

Just beyond the giant prism display is a charming outdoor holiday market, filled with unique gifts and seasonal decorations! The Winter Wanderland light display goes on for sixteen blocks—and is choreographed to holiday music!

Cherry Creek North, 2401 E. 2nd Ave., Denver
Information: FREE

This upbeat family favorite showcases holiday traditions from around the world— Africa, the Americas, Mexico, Asia, and the Caribbean—for a diverse celebration of the African Harvest, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and Junkanoo.

Cleo Parker Robinson is Shakti, Chloe Abel is Cantadora, Cedric Hall is the Griot, and Margarita Taylor is Granny in this incredible blend of dance, music, and spoken word—all online and available to watch from the comfort and safety of your home!

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Online
Tickets: $25-$75 per household 

This year you don’t have to drive to Boulder to enjoy CU’s College of Music’s holiday program!

This classical concert featuring both orchestra and vocals is streaming in a special virtual concert, with holiday favorites from The Twelve Days of Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Winter Wonderland to Vivaldi’s Winter movement of The Four Seasons to the deeply moving Christmas hymn, O Holy Night.

CU College of Music Online
Tickets: $20-$40

Friday-Saturday, December 18-19

Take a break from stress with some comic relief as Santa’s Big Red Sack livestreams into your home! You’ll want to make sure the kiddos are asleep or occupied in another room since these comedy sketches are for adult eyes and ears only! You’ll also hear stories from the cast about the past fourteen years of performing the show, and you can even interact with the actors by using the live chat feature! 

Rattlebrain Productions and People’s Building Online
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10

For families who have a tradition of attending Colorado Ballet’s magical performance of The Nutcracker, you’ll still get a chance to see it this year! 

Tune in to view a special presentation of The Nutcracker on Rocky Mountain PBS and you can share your holiday with Clara and her army of toy soldiers as they battle the Mouse King and journey to the legendary land of Sweets.

Rocky Mountain PBS
Fri., 9:00 p.m.; Sat., 1:00 a.m.
Information: FREE

Friday-Sunday, December 18-20

You’ll feel like you’re in the heart of a ski village in Switzerland when you stroll through this European holiday market in LoDo!  The AF Holiday Market at Dairy Block features 12 vendors offering a wide variety of clothing, home goods, sports gear and more, representing both local Colorado businesses and top national retailers, along with food and drink specials. 

Dairy Block Outdoor Alleyway, 1800 Wazee St., Denver
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tickets: FREE

Denver’s classic holiday festival event is located on the always enchanting 16th Street Mall so you can fully immerse yourself in the holiday spirit! There will be a stunning selection of one of-a-kind seasonal items, high quality handcrafted goods, fabulous holiday gift ideas, delicious specialty foods, home décor, and unique holiday gifts, and more!

16th Street at Welton & Glenarm, Denver
11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Saturday, December 19

Another chance to see this year’s Parade of Lights, Denver’s beloved holiday tradition! The re-broadcast of this one-hour special will give you a glimpse into parades past while celebrating the very unique present holiday season. 

You can also check out this year’s “parade” in person in downtown Denver! The floats are lined up on the streets of the Mile High City for you to parade past whenever you are out and about. The broadcast special will also include holiday musical performances, special guests—and of course, Santa! 

KUSA Channel 9
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

Events In and Around Southshore EVERY Weekend!

There’s no shortage of things to do 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, and coming soon — Century Communities – it’s easy to picture yourself in your own new home, priced from the upper $400s to the $700s.