Holiday Craft Markets, Performances and Reindeer Games!

December 9, 2021

This is the weekend to get in the holiday spirit, and with plenty of FREE and low-cost festivities in the Denver and Aurora area, you’ll be able to celebrate every day of the week! For a traditional Christmas setting, you can’t beat the Christkindl Market in Civic Center Park. On the 16th Street Mall, you can visit the Holiday Market or walk inside the Mile High Tree. You can even venture a bit out of town and see what Christmas is like on a farm!


The most convenient holiday celebration you’ll find—FREE live music and art at the Town Center in Aurora! The Canvas Project brings fresh art and serious culture to the neighborhood. For the best in local art and music, this is the holiday masterpiece you’ve been waiting for!

Center Court at Town Center at Aurora, 14200 E. Alameda Ave., Aurora
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

Thursday-Sunday, December 9-12

No snow is needed for this Winter Wanderland—rather, it’s an opportunity to roam throughout the Cherry Creek North neighborhood and absorb all the wonderful holiday decorations and lights! The 16-block district will be adorned with more than a half million twinkling lights wrapping over 600 trees from trunk to tip. Check out the eight musical trees elaborately decorated with long hanging strands of lights in motion! You’ll also get to enjoy the Cherry Creek North Holiday Market on Fillmore Plaza, where you can peruse the booths of over 30 local artisan vendors and enjoy some FREE live music!

Cherry Creek North and Fillmore Plaza, E. 2nd Ave. and Fillmore St., Denver
10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Information: FREE
Phone: 303-394-2904

Bringing a taste of Central Europe to Denver, the Christkindl Market transports you to the land that invented the Christmas Tree! Inspired by traditional holiday celebrations in Germany, Austria and the German-speaking part of Switzerland, Christkindl Market vendors offer charming gift items and all manner of holiday goodies for sale. Civic Park is transformed into a magical “Old World” European village with wooden vendor huts, lights, festive music and an authentic German bier hall.

If you’re shopping, you’ll find a variety of gifts, such as glass-blown ornaments, hand-carved wooden figurines, children’s toys, lanterns, Alpaca scarves, and culinary delights ranging from European pastries and chocolate to pretzels, brats and cured hams. Or you may choose to simply enjoy the festivities by sipping on authentic glühwein (mulled spiced wine) or Bavarian-style bier as you enjoy live entertainment such as polka music, holiday hymns, rock music, aerialists, and much more. Check the entertainment schedule for information on performances.

Civic Center Park, Speer Blvd. and Broadway, Denver
Thurs./Fri./Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Sun., 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: FREE

The country’s tallest digital Christmas tree is certainly a sight to behold from the outside, but imagine how it looks from inside! The Mile High Tree in downtown Denver is open for viewing from the inside out during select evening hours!

This seven-story tall, 39-foot diameter conical structure will be lit throughout the season, and when you visit, you’ll enjoy a selection of festive and diverse holiday songs timed to the tree’s exciting light displays. The program lasts approximately five minutes and will run approximately every 15 minutes. And yes, it’s true, you can also go inside!

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

Denver’s favorite frontier attraction, Four Mile Historical Park, has transformed into a spectacular, sparkling winter wonderland—for an evening of activities, art installations, video installation games, seasonal snacks, and even ice skating!

With your general admission ticket, you’ll get to take part in a winter scavenger hunt, crafts for kids, captivating art installations, and the chance to play cool outdoor video games. These immersive activities will provide families with plenty to do across the park’s 12-acre site. Ice skating is available for an additional $5.

Four Mile Historic Park, 715 S. Forest St., Denver
Thurs./Sun., 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.; Fri./Sat., 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10 – $16

Even if you’ve seen it before, this year’s Zoo Lights is a toast to the 125th anniversary of the zoo—so it’s sure to be brighter than ever! You’ll see a brand-new crop of colorful installations, plus your old favorites, including nightly ice-carving demonstrations. New offerings include the Champagne Toast (Hospital Plaza), the Watering Hole (Giraffe Meadows), the Blue Lagoon (in front of the new penguin exhibit), and more!

Denver Zoo, 2900 E 23rd Ave., Denver
Thurs./Sun., 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.; Fri./Sat.; 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. 
Tickets: $10 – $15

Start a new tradition with Camp Christmas! The entire family will love the magical holiday adventure that includes dazzling light displays and over-the-top decorations. There are plenty of activities for kids, as well as a chance to see Santa! Santa tickets are an additional $10 and must be reserved in advance, so plan ahead!

Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park, 801 S. Yarrow St., Lakewood
Thurs., 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.; Fri./Sat./Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$30 (not including Santa tickets)

Treat your family to the best Christmas present ever with tickets to this splendid theatrical event! It’s been one of the most popular Broadway productions since its opening more than 20 years ago for a good reason: the magical gigantic puppets are sheer artistry, while the music will have you singing the memorable tunes for days. Don’t miss out on the musical you’ve always wanted to see!

Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St., Denver
Thurs./Fri./Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2:00 p.m.; Sun., 1:00 and 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35-$120
Phone: 720-865-4220

It’s not exactly what you’d consider to be a typical holiday show—but that’s part of its charm! A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant stars ten angelic children solemnly telling the story of their outrageous Scientology leader in this satirical musical. Please note that while kids comprise the cast, the show is not intended for kids. The story is geared toward adult humor and adult audiences.

Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
Thurs./Fri./Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$40
Phone: 303-739-1970

Charles Dickens wrote this classic Christmas story, originally entitled: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. Bah! Humbug! Reconnect with the Christmas play that made this phrase part of the holiday vocabulary. In an exquisite period production, you’ll see what made the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge utter such a phrase and how he was transformed overnight by the visions, scenes and predictions the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future allowed him to see.

DCPA, Marvin & Judi Wolf Theatre, Speer Blvd. &, Arapahoe St., Denver
Thurs./Fri./Sat./Sun., 7:30 p.m.; Sat./Sun. 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $30-$85

Friday, December 10

What kid wouldn’t cherish sharing a meal with Santa and hearing his stories? There are a limited number of spots for kids to have dinner with Santa, served by Aurora Eatery. Parents are welcome to sit with their kids during the meal but must purchase their own meal from one of the food vendors within the mall.

Center Court, 14200 E. Alameda Ave., Aurora
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Register: FREE

Friday-Sunday, December 10-12

Kids can watch their favorite holiday books come to life with this interactive theatre experience. Four short plays, based on The Chanukkah Guest, L’il Rabbit’s Kwanzaa, The Legend of the Poinsettia, and The Shortest Day will give kids a chance to take part in these exciting holiday stories.

Factory Five Five, 10255 E. 25th Ave., Suite A5, Aurora
Fri., 6:00 p.m.; Sat., 10:00 a.m.; Sun., 1:00 p.m.
Tickets: $8 – $12

One of Colorado Symphony’s most popular concerts combines tradition and artistry along with two guest choirs! This family-friendly event will fill you with the holiday spirit as beloved Denver vocalist Devin DeSantis narrates ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. You’ll hear traditional Christmas carols, your favorite contemporary winter tunes, and even some newly arranged surprises—all with a chance to sing along. Helping you out will be the Colorado Symphony Chorus and the Colorado Children’s Chorale. It’s rumored that Santa and Mrs. Clause may even be on hand to join in.

Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th Street, #15, Denver
Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 6:00 p.m.; Sun., 1:00 p.m.
Tickets: $15-$89
Phone: 303-623-7876

What if you see your fiancée kissing another woman—on TV, at the televised Thanksgiving Day Parade? When this happens to Mary, she embarks on a new (and nightmarish) year of dating. There is no end in sight until the following Christmas, when the innocence of a child brings Mary a new outlook on life and love.

Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora
Fri./Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$34
Phone: 303-856-7830

You’ll love this modern update of the classic story of Cinderella—all the magic of the fairy tale about the deserving young woman who achieves her dreams is present in this stage version. Music by Rodgers & Hammerstein includes beloved songs such as In My Own Little Corner, Impossible/It’s Possible and Ten Minutes Ago, while the updated playbook features a contemporary take on the story, with plenty of warmth and humor.

Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora
Fri./Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 2:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$38
Phone: 303-856-7830

Saturday, December 11

There’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit than Downtown Denver, where the Mile High City shimmers with lights. Right in its midst is the fabulous 16th Street Holiday Market, where vendors with unique gifts have set up along the pedestrian mall.

There will also be Christmas carolers, live entertainers, the 100-foot LED Christmas tree, and of course, appearances by Santa Claus! 

16th Street Mall at Welton and Glenarm, Denver
11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: FREE

And he’ll be at Stanley Marketplace every Saturday until Christmas! Strike a pose with the man in red as he makes his list and checks it twice. Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can take a selfie with the Jolly Old Elf and tell him everything that’s on your wish list! 

Stanley Marketplace, 2501 N. Dallas St., Aurora
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Information: FREE

Everyone in the family will be entertained by this FREE holiday performance of stilt walkers, acrobats, jugglers, and fire performers.

Out in the decorated streets of Cherry Creek and Fillmore Plaza, you are sure to get inspired by the festivities of the season! 

Fillmore Plaza, E. 2nd Ave. at Fillmore St., Denver
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Information: FREE
Phone: 303-394-2904

Saturday-Sunday, December 11-12

If you have a kid who would rather meet one of the reindeer than Santa, you need to come out to the country. Mile High Farms is everyone’s favorite corn maze destination, but did you know they also take care of Santa’s reindeer? 

When you come out to visit, you’ll enjoy a hay ride, a petting zoo, crafts, games, and other activities. Santa will also be around, and you can get a picture with him and his reindeer for an additional fee.

Mile High Farms, 11 Cavanaugh Rd., Bennett
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Register: $7

No matter how many times you’ve seen the holiday classic, you’ll feel like you are experiencing it anew with the brand-new sets and costumes in this Colorado Ballet production. 

You’ll be swept away by the beloved story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they journey to the magical world of the Sugar Plum Fairy and an international array of characters. Tchaikovsky’s beloved score is performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

DCPA, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1385 Curtis St., Denver 
Thurs./Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $40-$175

The Aurora Symphony gives a rousing Christmas concert comprised of classic and contemporary seasonal favorites, including From the Realms of Glory, The Christmas Waltz, Silent Night, Roses de Noel Waltz, Sheep May Safely Graze, Champagne Polka, Strauss’s Op. 21, A Mad Russian’s Christmas, and Rock the Bells.

Cherokee Trail High School Auditorium, 25901 E. Arapahoe Rd., Aurora
Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 3:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10 – $25

Holiday Happenings so close to Southshore!

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! Tour the beautiful model homes from Richmond American Homes, Toll Brothers, and Taylor Morrison. Available in ranch and two-story designs, Southshore homes are priced between the upper $400s and the $700s.