Santa, Rudolph and The Nutcracker!

December 7, 2022

It’s a holly, jolly season all around Aurora and nearby Denver with theater performances, art and music, light displays as well as comedy, special events and Santa appearances for wish-list whispering! Just take your pick from a variety of programs and performances all happening this weekend and spilling into next week! 

TODAY/TONIGHT, Thursday, December 8

Martina McBride is a multiple Grammy-nominated country singer, whose vocals have kept her at the top of the charts garnering six #1 hits and 20 top 10 singles. Selling more than 18 million albums to date, she has earned 14 Gold, nine Platinum, three Double Platinum and two Triple Platinum certifications. In addition, she has been honored with more than 15 major music awards, including four wins from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. 

When Martina is not working on music in the studio, she focuses her time on her passions for cooking and entertaining. In 2014, she released her first cookbook, Around the Table, featuring her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice and decor inspiration. Her sophomore cookbook, Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life, is set to make its debut in October 2018, along with her new Christmas album “It’s the Holiday Season,” a compilation of her favorite songs with the backing of a symphony orchestra. 

Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm, Denver
8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $55-$125

Gaylord Rockies Resort invites guests to “freeze the day” this Christmas as the hotel’s annual holiday tradition, ICE!, now through New Year’s Day. Using more than two million pounds of ice, the classic holiday story and animated special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” will be brought to life by a team of 40 ice artisans who work for approximately six weeks to create the 17,500-square-foot, frozen attraction. 

ICE! will feature more than 10 scenes from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and classic characters including Charlie Brown, his canine sidekick, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Ice carvings range in size from details as tiny as a coin to soaring scenes more than 30 feet tall.  The environment will be kept frozen by a state-of-the-art chilling system that maintains the attraction’s temperature at a frosty 9 degrees Fahrenheit.

While ICE! is the signature attraction for Christmas at Gaylord Rockies, there are plenty more festive activities, events, live entertainment, hands-on activities, exciting attractions, and dazzling decorations throughout the resort – for all ages.

For example, an original Gaylord Hotels production, “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas” features high-flying stunts, acrobatic feats, elaborate staging, and a dramatic musical score. This Cirque-style show, presented in the bubly™ theater, centers on Noel, a child dismayed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Throughout the 75-minute show, Noel is visited in dreamlike chapters by trapeze artists, acrobats, aerial silk performers and others who help rekindle the Christmas spirit.

Adventurous outdoor fun awaits on Glacier Point. Guests can experience the thrill of zooming around on ice, sliding, spinning, and bumping with friends and family on Ice Bumper Cars. Other activities include Snow Tubing, Ice Skating, and Snowball Build and Blast “where guests build and toss real snowballs to boost the power of the snowmaking machines and earn points. With so much to see and do, if you haven’t visited Gaylord Rockies Resort – this holiday season is the perfect time to sample the fun!

Gaylord of the Rockies, 6700 N. Gaylord Rockies Blvd., Aurora
Various Times
Tickets: $45

Get in the holiday spirit with free festive performance from The Denver Dolls at the Winter Pop-Up Lounge located right at the entrance to the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The Denver Dolls are a sassy, all-female trio of professional performers based in colorful Colorado! Inspired by beloved WWII-era Shows of the past, these darling Dolls root their musical style, beautiful look, and light-hearted performance in the tradition of the beloved female groups of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. 

Enjoy lite bites and drinks, a winter wonderland installation for pictures and two iceless curling lanes that transform the Olympic sport into a fun, competitive game that anyone can play (coming soon). Guests headed to performances in the Buell Theatre, Ellie Caulkins Opera House or Boettcher Concert Hall can skip the long concession lines, as drinks purchased at the pop-up lounge can be carried into these venues.

DCPA COMPLEX ENTRANCE, 1000 14th St., Denver
5:00 p.m.

An Atlanta-based contemporary Christian singer/songwriter known for his wide-ranging fusion of pop, rock, folk, electronic, bluegrass, and hip-hop, David Crowder rose to success in the early 2000s as the leader of an DOVE award-winning praise & worship group. In 2012 he became known simply as Crowder, launching an equally successful, though more stylistically varied, solo career which included the number one hit with “Good God Almighty” from his fourth long-player, 2021’s Milk & Honey. Joining Crowder will be Matt Maher, with nine Grammy nominations and multiple chart-topping radio singles. He’s penned a number of songs recorded by Crowder, Hillsong, Casting Crowns, and Chris Tomlin.

Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre, DCPA Complex, 14th and Stout Streets, Denver
7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $25.25-$80.25

Thursday-Saturday, December 8-10

Joe released his first comedy record, Joe Sib Nowhere Near the Top, in April 2017 which debuted at no. 3 on the Billboard’s Comedy Chart. From a 1980s punkster to millennium parent, Joe’s comedy takes you on a manic, ride from growing up in the era of “safety last”, to the present, as he tries to helicopter parent without a license.

After throwing himself into the punk and skate underground of his California hometown, Joe’s band Wax was signed to a major label as part of the early ’90s breakthrough of punk rock into the mainstream. He co-founded an indie label, SideOneDummy, that signed such now-iconic bands as Flogging Molly and The Gaslight Anthem.

Turning his behind-the-music stories from the road into a one-man show led to touring as a stand-up comic, which led to such highlights as his recent tour with Metallica, in which he and comedian Jim Breuer created a show that re-defined the term “opening act.”

Denver Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street Denver
Thurs., 8:00 p.m., Fri./Sat., 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. 
Tickets: $18-$28

Thursday-Sunday, December 8-11

Theatre for Young Audiences is back! Enter the forest for an adventure with the lovable LITTLE RED. This charming, song-infused retelling of Little Red Riding Hood finds Little Red at the center of new adventures and new ways of seeing familiar characters. With a wandering wolf, a gardening grandma, a forest at risk, and characters from other tales joining in, Little Red discovers her own power as a vital doer in her community. Joyous and inspiring, the musical captures the warmth of Little Red and her family of smart, engaged females while also welcoming a new friendship between Red and Wolf.

Get your tickets to the fun! Bring your children to their first theatre experience and spark a lifetime of wonder.

Randy Weeks Conservatory Theater, 1101 13th St., Denver
Thurs./Fri., 10:00 a.m.; Fri., 12:00 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 1:30 & 3:30 p.m.
Tickets: $16-$30

Every year, from November to December, guests of the Market are invited to explore the magic of Europe during the holidays – no passport required. Experience the warmth and charm of an authentic German Holiday Market right in the heart of Denver. Shop cozy wooden huts and shop for unique, finely crafted artisan gifts and tasty treats brought to you by local and international small businesses.

As cheerful sounds of live holiday music fill the air, savor the season with traditional glühwein, German biers, and traditional holiday fare from across Europe.

Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave., Denver
11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

A not-so-long time ago, in this very galaxy, right here, a certain sci-fi film rocked the world and changed both cinema and schoolyards forever. The Jedi Handbook is a coming-of-age story about a young boy who survives the universal trials of growing up with a little help from a galaxy far, far, away. Join us this holiday season to experience the epic adventures of Star Wars anew, through the eyes of two, young best friends facing something scarier than Darth Vadar and uglier than Jabba the Hut – getting older! Take a trip with us down memory lane to a time when everything was possible. Even the Force.

The Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$40
Info: 303-739-1970

Drive through millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. Drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. Take your time enjoying this lighting extravaganza – we won’t judge you if you join the kids with your face pressed against the window!

AND, Christmas in Color takes pride in giving back to the community by donating proceeds to the Make-a-Wish Foundation to help bring joy to children facing critical illnesses. You can help make the holidays brighter for everyone this year!

Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 E. Quincy Ave., Aurora
Tickets: $35-$55

From Frozen to Phantom to Wicked, this all-new fall-down funny, satirical roast of over 30 Broadway hits features outrageous costumes, silly spoofs of the songs you know by heart and madcap impressions by a stellar cast! Newer spoofs include Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and Moulin Rouge. It’s never been more delicious poking fun at your favorite musicals and stars! A New York sensation for 35 years, a talented quintet of comic chameleons throws out pointed parodies at a dizzying pace. Whether you are a seasoned theatre-goer or new to it all, the Tony Award® winning Forbidden Broadwayis your one-stop ticket to non-stop laughs: a hip and fresh view of theatre’s tried and true that will leave you begging for more! The New York Times has made Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation a “Critics Pick” calling it “The Best Edition of Forbidden Broadway in recent memory!”

Forbidden Broadway is the recipient of a Special Tony Award®, an Obie Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, and a 2013 Drama Desk Award nomination for its edition of Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking!

Garner Galleria Theater, DCPA Complex, 14th and Curtis St., Denver
Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$52

The story of The Nutcracker is loosely based on the E.T.A. Hoffmann fantasy story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, about a girl who befriends a nutcracker that comes to life on Christmas Eve and wages a battle against the evil Mouse King. ​Set at a Christmas Eve party, The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, a young girl given a magical nutcracker doll. The Nutcracker comes to life in her dreams, battles the evil Rat King, and takes Clara on a magical adventure to the Land of the Sweets, a kingdom filled with colorful characters and pure holiday magic. With brilliant choreography and a beloved score by Tchaikovsky, the holiday spirit leaps to life in this treasured family tradition. Featuring breathtaking new sets and costumes for the second year, Colorado Ballet invites you to follow Clara and her Nutcracker prince on the sweet, snow-dusted adventure only Tchaikovsky could score. See where the story you know by heart takes yours this year.

Ellie Caulkins Opera House, DCPA Complex, 14th & Stout Streets, Denver
7:30 p.m.
Limited Availability Tickets: $40-$175

Friday-Sunday, December 9-11

The Hilarious Musical Ripped from The Hilarious Film!
England. 932 AD. The Legendary King Arthur is on a quest to find the Holy Grail and restore peace to the land. With the knights of the round table by his side, he’ll have to grapple with beautiful dancing girls, flatulent Frenchmen and killer rabbits. The smash-hit Broadway comedy comes to life at Vintage this fall! Book by Eric Idle; Music and Lyrics by Eric Idle, John Du Prez, & Neil Innes; Directed by Bernie Cardell.  Playing in the Nickelson Auditorium.

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

The story, suddenly conceived and written in a few weeks, is one of the outstanding Christmas stories of modern literature. Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol is a joyous and opulent musical adaptation for the whole family that traces money-hoarding curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey complete with various ghosts and spectral visions to redemption. God bless us one and all. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, the DCPA Theatre Company’s “blessedly exhilarating!” (Westword) production illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations. Hurry! Tickets are limited.

DCPA, Wolf Theater, 1101 13th St, Denver
Fri./Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10-77

The warm sounds of the holidays fill the Hall with festive seasonal favorites including ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, narrated live from stage by beloved Denver vocalist Devin DeSantis and Christine Mild! This family-friendly evening features traditional Christmas carols, your favorite new winter tunes, like O Holy Night, Mary Did You Know, There’s Snow Place Like Home and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. There will even be some newly arranged surprises to tickle your festive fancies! 

Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th Street, Denver
Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 & 6:00 p.m.; Sun., 1:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10-$98
Phone: 303-623-7876

Saturday-Sunday, December 10-11

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS by Chip Davis has been America’s favorite holiday tradition for over 35 years! Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics in the distinctive Mannheim sound. The program celebrates the group’s recent anniversary of 35 years since the first Christmas album and includes dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. From Carol of the Bells and We Three Kings, to Stille Nacht and Deck the Halls, experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller.

Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St., Denver
Sat., 5:00 & 8:00 p.m.; Sun., 3:00 p.m.
Tickets: $45-$100
Phone: 720-865-4220

Sunday, December 11

Get in the holiday spirit with FREE festive performance from On the Rocks! at the 14th Street Curling Club, a Winter Pop-Up Lounge located right at the entrance to the Denver Performing Arts Complex (1000 14th Street). Enjoy lite bites and drinks, a winter wonderland installation for pictures and two iceless curling lanes that transform the Olympic sport into a fun, competitive game that anyone can play.

On the Rocks is Denver’s very own modern Rat Pack trio! These three handsome gents bring you the best of the Rat Pack sound in a handsomely harmonic and polished package. With vocal stylings spanning decades, including music from Frank Sinatra, The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys and everything in between, On the Rocks delivers sounds as classic as your favorite gin martini… and just as spirited. Guests headed to performances in the Buell Theatre, Ellie Caulkins Opera House or Boettcher Concert Hall can skip the long concession lines, as drinks purchased at the pop-up lounge can be carried into these venues.

DCPA COMPLEX ENTRANCE, 1000 14th St., Denver
5:00 p.m.

Next Week: Wednesday, December 14

He’s baaaaack! That chubby, jolly, generous Mr. Claus and while you can stand in line, making a reservation ahead of time will be given priority and walk-ins will be worked into the queue if time permits. Bring your furry four-legged friends for a family photo (cats and dogs only, please), and enjoy handing over your very own letter to Santa beforehand by printing and passing along to Guest Services.

Southlands, Guest Services at the Clock Tower, Aurora
4:00-7:00 p.m.
Reservations and Pricing: 

The piano guys started out SELLING pianos. They go to great lengths to showcase the piano – from the Great Wall of China, to jungles, beaches, 1,000 foot cliffs, speeding trains, and they have 10 million followers on Youtube, 8 albums, and lots of fans. 

Paul, a Yamaha dealer who dabbled in videography, Jon, a professional pianist, Al, a music producer and studio engineer, and Steve, a cellist with a creative superpower called ADHD, all serendipitously joined forces to create the most successful YouTube instrumental music group in history. The Piano Guys’ mission is to inspire and spread hope through incomparably imaginative piano music videos filmed all over the world.

Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre, DCPA Complex, 14th and Stout Streets, Denver
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $59.95-$99.95

Thursday, December 15

ClassesCaptivating audiences for over a decade, Face Vocal Band is an internationally acclaimed all-vocal rock ensemble from Boulder, CO. In their return to Boettcher Concert Hall, Face will be pulling out all of the stops to bring you a brand-new holiday experience with their infectious energy punctuated by an endearing love of performance.

Join Face and your Colorado Symphony on a musical journey full of fun!

Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th Street, Denver
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10-$98
Phone: 303-623-7876

Friday-Sunday, December 16-18

The beloved TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.

Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St., Denver
Fri./Sat., 11:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.; Sat., 3:00 p.m.; Sun., 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $25-$80
Phone: 720-865-4220

Saturday-Sunday, December 17-18

Celebrate the holiday season at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. Arrive early to see Santa arrive in a helicopter at 10 a.m. sharp! Join in the fun for various holiday-themed activities including:

Holiday Carolers from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., A magic show from Chad Wonder Magic, Games and Holiday Crafts, a Photo Booth
, Select Open Cockpits to visit, Discovery Carts, a Scavenger Hunt, Pedal Planes, And much more!

Wings Over the Rockies, 7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $1-$18.95

This exuberant jazz, gospel, and R&B-infused concert brilliantly reinvents Handel’s Messiah. Featuring audience-favorite guest soloists Cynthia Renée Saffron, Karen Marie Richardson, Rodrick Dixon, and members of the Colorado Symphony Chorus, this exhilarating night of music will have you rejoicing in the aisles.

Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th Street, Denver
Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sun., 2:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15-$98
Phone: 303-623-7876

Sensational Seasonal Happenings Near Southshore!

Enjoy Life at the Lake in the master-planned community of Southshore—and find all sorts of  entertainment within easy reach! You can personalize your living space – just check out the beautiful model homes from Richmond American Homes, and Century Communities. It’s easy to picture yourself in your own new home here, priced from the $600s.