Experience the Magic of Colorado This Holiday Season

DENVER, Colo. (Nov. 9, 2023) — Colorado has long been renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and year-round outdoor adventures, and during the holidays, it transforms into a winter wonderland. Colorado's allure during this special season lies in its ability to seamlessly combine timeless traditions with thrilling new adventures. From annual events to celebrate the season and memorable winter activities to festive lodging packages and dining experiences, Colorado is the place to celebrate the most magical time of the year. 

Sparkling Holiday Lights:

  • Denver's Union Station sets the stage for holiday magic with the Grand Illumination (Nov. 24), a community celebration featuring a visit from Santa, festive food and drink specials and the lighting of a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree.
  • The Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms (Nov. 24–Jan. 1) in Littleton is a 1-mile path that is illuminated with thousands of Christmas lights and epic lighting displays synchronized to music, creating a magical atmosphere on the 1880s Hildebrand Ranch homestead.
  • The Garden of Lights (Dec. 8–23) in Fort Collins presents one of Northern Colorado's favorite holiday traditions featuring a half-mile loop of perennial flower beds, sculptures, a holiday village and other garden creatures—all crafted entirely from holiday lights.
  • The Lighting of Breckenridge & Race of The Santas (Dec. 2) captures the charm of a snowy mountain town straight out of a holiday movie. Hundreds of Santa look-alikes run down Main Street in a race followed by Santa’s early visit to Breckenridge to light the town tree and illuminate the town.
  • Loveland's Winter Wonderlights (Nov. 18–Jan. 1) is a captivating free light show that enchants visitors with over 200,000 lights, live reindeer, ice sculpting, music and dance performances.
  • The Denver Botanic Gardens hosts Blossoms of Light (Nov. 17–Jan. 7), an annual holiday light extravaganza that transforms the gardens into a shimmering wonderland with a 360-degree immersive light experience.
  • Pick from a variety of holiday lights parades across the state including Grand Junction’s Parade of Lights (Dec. 2) with a Jurassic theme this year, Alamosa's Christmas Lights Parade (Dec. 23) that lights up the San Luis Valley, Pueblo's Parade of Lights (Nov. 25) is one the largest in the state,  and the Catch the Glow Parade (Nov. 24) in Estes Park. 
  • The Cherry Creek Chanukah Celebration (Dec. 10) in Denver is a can’t-miss event. An outdoor menorah is lit and attendees can enjoy festive treats, face painting and crafts.

Charming & Cherished Traditions:

  • The North Pole-Santa's Workshop, located at the picturesque foot of Pikes Peak, is a cherished tradition in Colorado Springs, offering a vintage amusement park experience with rides, festive shops and the chance to meet Santa year-round, creating a timeless family tradition. 
  • For a touch of nostalgia, Colorado's historic trains take travelers on a journey through winter wonderlands. The Leadville Railroad Holiday Express offers a magical ride through snowy mountains with scenic views. The Santa Express Train with the Royal Gorge Route Railroad leads passengers to the North Pole and back, complete with a visit from Santa. The Polar Express Train Rides at the Colorado Railroad Museum and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, both offer unparalleled holiday experiences. 
  • The Colorado Ballet's production of The Nutcracker (Nov. 25–Dec. 24) is a cherished holiday tradition offering joy and merriment to visitors as they kick off the season.
  • Frisco's Wassail Days (Nov. 25–Dec. 3) presents a weeklong celebration serving more than 5,000 complimentary samples of wassail, a spiced apple cider, with Main Street adorned in lights and pop-up Santa sightings. 
  • The Jewish Community Center Denver will put on a festive Hanukkah celebration at their second annual Latkes and Lights event (Dec. 3) where attendees can enjoy themed games, live music, delicious latkes and a chance to vote for their favorite menorah. 
  • In Telluride, the Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade (Dec. 24) showcases ski resort employees gliding down the mountain with torches, making it a unique and unforgettable spectacle.
  • The 34th Annual Colorado Springs Citywide Kwanzaa Celebration is a weeklong event (Dec. 26–31) that honors the values, culture and achievements of African people worldwide and promotes family, community and the celebration of core values known as the Nguzo Saba. The celebration will feature various events each evening, including the Umoja (Unity) Opening Ceremony on Dec. 26, highlighting the importance of togetherness and community in African culture.

Winter Market Wonderland:

  • The Eagle Winter Market & Holiday Fair (Nov. 11) offers a diverse array of holiday essentials, handmade crafts and culinary delights. The event also offers family activities such as Santa photos and face painting and encourages donating non-perishable food items to the local food pantry. 
  • The Denver Christkindl Market (Nov. 17–Dec. 23) transforms Civic Center Park into a miniature German village with live music, holiday shopping and food vendors serving traditional German Christmas market specialties such as gingerbread biscuits, grilled sausages and the beloved gluehwein.
  • The annual Mancos Art Market (Nov. 26) showcases regional artists, while the Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration features carolers and a holiday pop-up.
  • The Colorado Makers Market (Nov. 25) showcases the creative diversity of the local Fort Collins community offering a space for makers to share their unique wares from handmade jewelry and clothing to wellness products and home goods. 
  • Telluride's Arts Holiday Bazaar (Dec. 1–3) kicks off the holiday season with three days of celebratory cheer featuring fine crafts, artisan goods, gourmet food and more. 
  • Dairy Block's "Holiday on the Block" is a delightful celebration in Denver featuring the Mistletoe Market (Dec. 2) with local makers, live carol performances, custom wrapping and captivating art installations. 
  • The Ramble Hotel’s holiday bazaar (Dec. 2) will serve as a one-stop-shop with a variety of local Denver food and gifts along with a wrapping and shipping station, and a selection of holiday cocktails to sip on while shopping.
  • The Boulder County Farmers Market Winter Market (Dec. 2–3) will host 150 local farmers, ranchers, food producers and artisans at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont. 
  • The Georgetown Christmas Market (Dec. 2–3) offers a truly magical journey back in time where visitors can enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, roasted chestnuts and explore one-of-a-kind wares for unique gift giving. 
  • The Fort Collins Holiday Gift Festival (Dec. 3) is the largest annual holiday craft fair in Northern Colorado, offering over 120 vendors showcasing a wide range of locally made gifts, fine arts, delectable food and home décor, complete with a free holiday concert starting too.

Immersive Holiday Experiences:

  • At Camp Christmas (Nov. 16–Dec. 24) in Stanley Marketplace, created by local artist Lonnie Hanzon, visitors can immerse in a holiday wonderland and explore bonus experiences like visiting Santa at his Glampsite and enjoying a campy Drag Queen Experience. 
  • Adrift Tiki Bar's SnowDrift (Nov. 24–Dec. 30) is back again this year where the bar is converted into a winter wonderland pop-up bar complete with snow-capped palms, Santa-hatted blowfish, an icicle bar and a special holiday food and drink menu. 
  • The Gaylord Rockies invites visitors to experience “ICE! featuring A Christmas Story” (Nov. 17–Jan. 1). This unique attraction showcases hand-carved ice sculptures depicting scenes from the beloved movie, “A Christmas Story” and provides snuggly parkas to keep visitors warm as they explore the frosty scene.
  • For the second time, America’s highest suspension bridge will become a winter wonderland. Opening in December, the Royal Gorge Bridge will transform into an interactive drive-thru holiday lights experience, The Bridge of Lights (Nov. 17–Dec. 31). 

Merriment on the Menu:

  • Indulge in a unique Snowcat Dinner at Aspen's Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, where a picturesque cabin in the Rockies serves exquisite dishes with breathtaking views. 
  • Arapahoe Basin's New Year's Eve Moonlight Dinner Series (Dec. 31) combines chairlift rides, chef-prepared global cuisine and mountain vistas for an unforgettable celebration.
  • For a cozy and rustic adventure, 2 Below Zero in Frisco offers mule-team-driven sleigh rides with chuckwagon dinners and live music, while Steamboat Springs provides a Wild West touch with its Haymaker Sleigh Ride Dinner.
  • The historic Fort Restaurant in Morrison, designed to resemble an 1800s fur trading post, offers a unique holiday dining experience serving traditional dishes like bison and game meats.
  • The Brown Palace is an iconic Denver hotel renowned for its holiday offerings including a traditional holiday afternoon tea (Nov. 13–Jan. 21), the Champagne Cascade ceremony (Nov. 12), and special Christmas and New Year's Eve dining events.
  • In Crested Butte, those seeking outdoor adventures can embark on a cross-country ski or snowshoe trip into the serene backcountry. The Magic Meadows Yurt, heated by a wood-burning stove, is accessible only on skis or snowshoes through a 1-mile groomed trail. Visitors can warm up with cocktails or enjoy local brews while savoring a Colorado-inspired meal and live music.
  • The Hotel Maverick’s restaurant, Devil’s Kitchen in Grand Junction will transform its rooftop terrace into an amazing snow globe dining experience against panoramic views of the Grand Mesa and Colorado National Monument. Cozy up and enjoy a festive meal of regionally inspired dishes and specialty craft cocktails in private illuminated igloos and gondolas. 
  • The Ramble Hotel in Denver will transform Death & Co’s intimate Suite 6A into an elegant holiday bar with floor-to-ceiling décor and a festive selection of specialty cocktails and bites only available in the suite. 
  • Miracle on 7, Estes Park's own Christmas-inspired pop-up cocktail bar, transforms Cousin Pat's Pub & Grill into a festive atmosphere with kitschy holiday decorations, expertly crafted cocktails and more.

Holiday Season-Inspired Lodging:

  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver promises a "suite" Christmas experience with fully decorated suites, hot cocoa bars, Denver-themed stocking stuffers, ornament-making kits from local makers and Apple Blossom's annual Grinch Brunch is back. 
  • In Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor blends timeless tradition with enchanting elegance as guests start their holiday season amid millions of dazzling holiday lights, an extravagant gingerbread display and a wide range of family-friendly holiday programming. 
  • At The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, guests can embark on "16 Days of Wonder" where the resort offers a host of family-friendly activities, special visits from Santa, and an intricate chocolate display that will excite all ages. 
  • The Aspen Meadows Resort will debut a new holiday reindeer village complete with carolers along with snowmen building and s'mores by a cozy firepit. An outdoor bar serves steaming hot cocoa and mulled wine. There are also sleigh rides, gingerbread house and cookie decorating, plus special holiday menus and happy hours. The resort also celebrates all eight nights of Hanukkah with menorah lightings and traditional latkes. 
  • Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs provides an enchanting and classic Colorado Christmas experience, where visitors can immerse in the rich holiday tradition that dates back to 1893 featuring beautifully decorated fir trees, half a million holiday lights, an annual tree lighting ceremony, breakfasts with Santa and festive touches around each corner. 
  • C Lazy U Ranch transforms into a snowy paradise for the holidays offering a delightful combination of Rocky Mountain scenery and festive fun, including gingerbread house making, Christmas karaoke and a special visit from Santa via horse-drawn sleigh. 

Historic Holiday Happenings: 

  • The Georgetown Loop Railroad's Winter Holiday Trains are one of Colorado’s most authentic living history experiences and offer timeless adventures through scenic vistas decorated with more than 300,000 holiday lights. 
  • Celebrate the holiday season with themed tea parties at the Trinidad History Museum, featuring "The Nutcracker" Tea Party with Trinidad Tea Company teas, as well as Victorian Christmas Tea Party events offering traditional and themed tea foods promising a historic holiday experience for all.
  • Tesoro Cultural Center's Las Posadas (Dec. 24) in Morrison is an annual Christmas Eve celebration that reenacts Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, featuring children's participation, traditional music, piñatas and complimentary treats like biscochito cookies and Mexican hot chocolate.
  • On Dec. 3 at Bent's Old Fort, visitors can step back in time to experience the 1830s and 1840s with activities like reading "A Christmas Carol," trading for taffy and playing traditional card games. Scheduled programs include a Yule Log tradition demonstration and learning about the weapons used in the Borderlands that provide a glimpse into the past.
  • Celebrate the holiday season in Victor and Cripple Creek as the Gold Camps come alive with dazzling holiday lights adorning mine headframes (Nov. 24–Dec. 31). Enjoy a festive self-guided tour, complete with holiday music and beautiful light displays in this historic mining region.
  • Experience the unique charm of the holiday season in Denver before 1924 by touring the beautifully decorated Center for Colorado Women's History and enjoying a delightful tea service during their Holiday Tea special events (Nov. 25–Dec. 16). 

Colorado invites all to embrace the holiday spirit and create treasured memories in a snow globe setting. For more details and additional story ideas, please visit www.colorado.com


ABOUT COLORADO: Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine and 28 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 12 national parks and monuments, 26 scenic and historic byways and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet. For more information or a copy of the Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.colorado.com or follow on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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