December 31, 2020
Even if you aren’t typically a fan of New Year’s Eve, EVERYONE will be celebrating the end of 2020. With fewer in-person options, take advantage of some amazing virtual NYE celebrations—like “traveling” to Times Square or Rio De Janeiro for FREE live streaming events! You can top off the celebration by tuning in to Vienna’s special New Year’s Day concert, broadcast to over 90 countries—and into your home!
TODAY/TONIGHT, December 31
KIDS’ NOON YEAR’S EVE
Here’s a surefire way to throw a successful New Year’s party at home—cater to the chocolate milk and cupcake crowd! It will be a fun-filled musical countdown to Happy NOON Year when you tune into this online celebration, perfect for kids of all ages!
You’ll have front row seats for a special virtual performance by the popular children’s musician Laurie Berkner. As one of the musicians who launched the “kindie rock” movement, Berkner’s so good that even adults love her music! You can tune in live on Anythink’s Facebook page or their YouTube channel for family activities and more. No registration required!
Anythink Online Facebook Link
LAST DAY FOR PARADE OF LIGHTS
What a great way to end the year—outdoors and looking at the beautiful lights in downtown Denver! This year’s Parade of Lights has been spread out over weeks and across the Mile High City, and you can download the mobile app for exact locations of the floats.
Here’s a short list of some of the most popular float locations: Wynkoop Street between 17th and 18th—Home for the Holidays and Toybox; the parking area off Market Street between 18th and 19th—Jewelry Box Float; 16th and Arapahoe Streets—CSU’s Ram Station, the Clocktower Float, and Christmas Story; Glenarm Place between 15th and 16th—the Santa Float, Share the Magic, and the Gingerbread House Float.
GAME NIGHT AT HOME
Make your New Year’s Eve at home an exciting one with plenty of games you can play with members of your household, as well as on Zoom with friends and family. You’ve probably got most of the supplies on hand to create a scavenger hunt, a round of charades, or a variety of drinking games.
To crank things up a notch, you could make a disco-ball inspired pinata or an Instagram Memory game to recall any happy moments you may have had this year—c’mon, there were a few!
Information: Good Housekeeping Online
TIMES SQUARE LIVESTREAM
This is NOT the same old New Year’s Eve Ball Drop! Thanks to COVID-19, the biggest crowd of the year in New York City has been reimagined to include a far larger virtual assembly. There may be no one gathered at the real Times Square, but in virtual Times Square, you’ll be able to create an avatar that can move all around the exciting festivities!
Live webcast coverage allows you to choose from multiple camera feeds to direct your own New Year’s Eve show! The festivities will include backstage access, behind-the-scenes stories, and interviews with performers and other celebrities. Headliners include Andra Day, who will perform her Grammy Award-nominated single Rise Up. Day will continue the New Year’s Eve tradition of singing John Lennon’s Imagine just before the Ball Drop, and especially appropriate for this year, Gloria Gaynor will perform I Will Survive.
Actor and TV personality Jonathan Bennett will return to the celebration as Times Square New Year’s Eve Host. The lineup will feature live performances by Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen, and Machine Gun Kelly, as well as an array of special activities and appearances that will happen throughout the evening.
TRAVEL TO RIO
If your ideal NYE is being somewhere warm with a beach in sight, watch the midnight fireworks show on Copacabana Beach and imagine you’re there! The webcam is live and the fireworks show in Rio is scheduled to happen, so tune in for an exotic way to ring in 2021!
Webcam Link: FREE
7:00 p.m. MST
Thursday-Sunday, December 31 – January 3
STEP INTO A CHRISTMAS MOVIE
Another long weekend of free time with the family gives you the opportunity to go all out! This new Christmas movie event is sure to become a holiday tradition since you get to step inside iconic Christmas movies such as Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, and The Year Without a Santa Claus!
You can also purchase tickets for tubing down a giant hill of snow and make a full day of it! Advanced time-entry ticket required for the Christmas Movie interactive exhibit.
Gaylord Rockies, 6700 N. Gaylord Rockies Blvd., Aurora
10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tickets: $13.99 – $24.99
SKATE INTO THE NEW YEAR
Spend some time with friends and family getting some exercise in the fresh winter air! The Pond is the neighborhood ice skating rink that offers some much needed social time and plenty of physical activity! Whether you’re an old pro or a novice, you can have great time dashing around the ice with skinny blades strapped to your feet!
The Pond at Southlands, 6155 S. Main St., Aurora
Thurs., 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Fri./Sat./Sun., 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
FINAL WEEKEND FOR THE MILE HIGH TREE
If you somehow didn’t find the time to check out Denver’s newest—and biggest—holiday attraction, check out the Mile High Tree before it’s packed away for next year!
Millions of lights dance to the beat of holiday music—all in a FREE installation the entire family will love!
16th Street Mall at Welton Street, Denver
Thurs./Fri./Sat., 5:00 – 9:30 p.m.; Sun., 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
UNION STATION LIGHT SHOW
After checking out the Mile High Tree and Parade of Lights, don’t forget to swing by Union Station for their first-ever outdoor light show! Merry & Bright Lights was dreamed up by local artists and animation experts and is not to be missed!
Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop, Denver
5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
PRISMATICA AT CHERRY CREEK
This is a one-of-a-kind contemplative light display, setting the mood for what we hope will be a calmer new year. Prismatica is a series of large prisms that set the stage for an interactive outdoor art exhibit. As you walk through it, you’ll see the lights of the city in a brand-new way.
Cherry Creek North, 2401 E. 2nd Ave., Denver
A LITTLE COMIC RELIEF
At this point in the holiday season, you could probably use a little comic relief. Check out the FREE online stream of A Christmas Carol, performed by the local comedy company, Miners Alley.
Just five actors play all the parts—from Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. It’s a spare set with simple props, but the actors’ fun physicality and the power of imagination convey this timeless story of redemption.
Miners Alley Online
Friday, January 1, 2021
FREE FIRST DAY HIKE
It’s the first day of the month AND the New Year! Celebrate in an invigorating way by heading outdoors into the beautiful Colorado sunshine for a walk on the trails in Cherry Creek State Park!
Bring the whole family—and the dog, too! This 2.62-mile hike will get you moving and appreciating the beautiful land where we live. Bundle up to stay warm and meet at the West Shades parking lot. Hot beverage and snacks will be provided. Plus, it’s a FREE DAY with no park pass required!
Cherry Creek State Park, 4201 S. Parker Rd., Aurora
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
NEW YEAR’S CONCERT
In a tradition that has been going on for decades, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra once more greets the new year with a program of music that is both lively and nostalgic. Great Performances on PBS will bring it to you live, with host Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and Riccardo Muti as guest conductor for the sixth time.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs favorite waltzes by Strauss, and the celebration features the Vienna State Ballet dancing on location from notable Vienna landmarks. The 2021 New Year’s Concert will be broadcast in over 90 countries and followed by millions of television viewers around the world. The broadcast premieres on PBS on New Year’s Day or streams starting on January 2 on Great Performances.
Rocky Mountain PBS
8:00 – 9:30 p.m. MST
Welcome the New Year at Southshore!
There’s always something to do near the family-friendly community of Southshore! Enjoy Life at the Lake with plenty of cultural and entertainment activities in the surrounding area! Check out the beautiful model homes from Richmond American Homes, Toll Brothers, and Taylor Morrison, and picture yourself in your very own dream house! With ranch and two-story models available, new homes are priced from the upper $400s to the $700s.