Santa Clause is Coming to Town!

December 24, 2020

It’s all about Santa and his monumental journey this weekend! Kids can still see Santa today, but you’d better hurry—he’s got a sleigh to pack! Later, when you are settling in with your family on Christmas Eve, you can enjoy re-broadcasts of a Kantorei Christmas, Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and The Parade of Lights. We’ve even got an official website for you to track Santa’s progress!

TODAY/TONIGHT, December 24

Santa Claus and a little boyIn just a few hours, Santa will be loading his sleigh for his big night, so if you want to get your child’s picture taken, this is your last chance! He’s close by at the Town Center in Aurora but only for a while! Don’t forget to make a reservation so you don’t miss out.

Town Center, 14200 E. Alameda Ave., Aurora
10:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Cost: Starting at $9.99 (online experience; $39.99 – $49.99 (in-person photo packages)

If you are doing some last-minute shopping at Southlands and haven’t had a chance to get a Santa photo with your kids, it’s not too late! Sign up for a five-minute session with the Jolly Old Elf himself, safely distanced with plexiglass.

Southlands at the Clock Tower, 6155 S. Main St., Aurora
12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Reservations: FREE
Phone: 303-627-5000

All the magic of the visually- and acoustically-stunning performance from last year, recorded in St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, will fill your home when you tune in to this magical Christmas concert!

The concert features A Star in the East by Malcolm Dalglish, with a beautiful performance by the choir accompanied by Lucille O’Reilly on hammered dulcimer, and the regional premiere of Sarah Quartel’s A Winter Day for choir, piano and cello.

Rocky Mountain PBS
9:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

What a great way to spend a festive Christmas Eve at home—by watching Denver’s favorite holiday tradition, the Parade of Lights! You’ll get a glimpse of past parades and learn all about this year’s unique way of spreading the parade over the entire season.

If you’re looking for something to do outside on Christmas Day and beyond, you can also check out this year’s “parade” in person in downtown Denver! The floats are lined up on the streets for you to parade past whenever you are out and about.

KUSA Channel 9
10:35 – 11:35 p.m.
Information: FREE

It’s official! With the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracking system, you can receive real-time tracking of Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve! It all starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. 

This powerful radar system has 47 installations strung across Canada’s North and Alaska. NORAD makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole every holiday season. There are also fun games to play and other activities linked from the North Pole’s official website!

NORAD Online
Information: FREE

Thursday-Friday, December 24-25

What a wonderful Christmas present! You and your family can enjoy the magic of Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker when Rocky Mountain PBS shares a special re-broadcast of this year’s performance on Christmas Eve. 

Rocky Mountain PBS
Thurs., 7:00 p.m.; Fri., 12:00 a.m.
Information: FREE

Thursday-Sunday, December 24-27

From stepping into your favorite family holiday movies to tubing down a hill of snow, this is the way Christmas was meant to be! The 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

After indulging in your Christmas feast, wouldn’t it be a great idea to get out and get some exercise? Ice skating is the perfect way to enjoy time with family while whirling around the ice in a sport that everyone loves! Lessons and rentals are available, and don’t forget to reserve tickets in advance! 

The Pond at Southlands, 6155 S. Main St., Aurora
Thurs., 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Fri., 1:00- 9:00 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tickets: $12
Phone: 303-627-5000

It’s the holiday attraction everyone’s talking about! Take some time to head downtown and watch the beautiful holiday display that’s a treat for the eyes and ears! 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.
Information: FREE

If you are taking a walk to see the lights in downtown Denver, do yourself a favor and start at the wonderful new light show at Union Station! Entirely outdoors, 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.
Information: FREE

A great way to get out and enjoy some holiday lights is to stroll the sixteen blocks of lighting displays at Cherry Creek North! There’s plenty of festive music and you will get a chance to enjoy the interactive outdoor art exhibit, Prismatica! It’s a 21st Century ice palace! 

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

Christmas outdoor Christmas decorations - Snowman lights up house in Brooklyn, New YorkSometimes the most beautiful experiences are the simplest. There’s nothing quite like loading the family in the car and driving around to see the Christmas lights of your friends and neighbors. Check out this FREE map that shows displays worth driving by.

Aurora and Stapleton neighborhoods

For a humorous take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, you won’t want to miss this FREE online stream of a comedy troupe’s rendition of the traditional play! 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
Tickets: FREE

There’s nothing like the power of music to make everything seem whole again. With this stream of a classical concert from CU’s College of Music, you’ll feel the holiday spirit the way it is meant to be.

You’ll enjoy holiday favorites from The 12 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

Holly, Jolly, Holidays in Southshore!

Lights, plus snow, plus Santa makes for holly, jolly holidays in Southshore. Away from it all, but close to everything, the lakeside community of Southshore offers access to plenty of things to do every weekend! If you’re new to Life at the Lake, drive around and check out the beautiful model homes from Taylor Morrison, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers. Available in ranch and two-story designs, Southshore homes are priced between the upper $400s to the $700s.