A million Christmas lights fill the 16 blocks Cherry Creek North Winter Hiking Country after a plug-in event, Thursday 4:30-7 p.m. The Christmas market at Fillmore Plaza is also located here. Forty rotating vendors and a pop-up meeting point in the Mistletoe Lounge with a bar, live music and interactive Christmas crafts and activities. Innovative Giving Machines are vending machines for donations to five Denver-area charities and two international charities. 300 dealers. Special themed Saturdays in December. Cherrycreekholidaymarket.com
Opening weekend for thousands of Christmas lights displays in Loveland. Downtown on Thursday Festival of Lights at 5 p.m. tree lighting, Christmas market, carriage rides and more. Also on Thursday, Loveland Light Trail The self-guided tour takes in all of the city’s light displays, including a new 12 Days of Christmas festival at Veteran’s Memorial Park, visible from State Highway 34 daily from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets available at the Loveland Visitor’s Center and visitloveland.com. Loveland Winter Wonderlights, With 200,000 choreographed lights amidst the stone sculptures at Chapungu Sculpture Park in Centerra, its LIVE! Celebrations on Friday at 5 p.m., continuing on December 2nd and 16th. Varied entertainment including a big band orchestra, dance groups, food trucks and singers. Schedule at WinterWonderlightsLoveland.com. Nighttime miracle lights until January 1st.
The lighting ceremony for Mile-high tree is Friday at 5:15 p.m. at Civic Center Park. Then it can be seen every evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., while on New Year’s Eve there is a ball drop at 9 p.m. The cone-shaped tree is made of 60,000 LED lights, is seven stories high and is programmed with music shows every 15 minutes. denver.org/milehighholidays/mile-high-tree
Additionally, the 23rd annual event opens Friday at Civic Center Park Christmas market German-style market with decorated wooden huts full of Bavarian and European gifts, food and drinks, accompanied by festive entertainment. Local and German providers. Visit to Saint Nicholas, Krampus and the Christ Child. Until December 22nd. christkindlmarketdenver.com
A rare opportunity to view five historic homes in Park Hill during the event The Spirit of Christmas Holiday Home Tour, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Home decoration from well-known floral and table designers. Organized by the Central City Opera Guild to benefit Central City Opera. Tickets (from $50) and information at lespritdenoel.org, centralcityopera.org/tickets-events
fun for the family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker a combination of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic and hip-hop dance and music. A dozen dancers, a DJ, a violinist and hip-hop legend MC Kurtis Blow. Buell Theater, DCPA, $30-$85. denvercenter.org
Blossoms of Light, a unique event at the Denver Botanic Gardens, opens in grand style at 1007 York St. Lights, all LED, throughout the garden, every evening from 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Advance timed tickets, $21-$25. botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/blossoms-light
Two million drive-thru lights mark the holiday Magic of lights at Pikes Peak International Raceway, 16650 Midway Ranch Road, Fountain. See everything from Barbie to the Bigfoot Monster Truck, the light tunnel and a walk-through village. Prices per vehicle are $22-27 online and $30-40 at the gate. Every evening at 5:30 p.m. Tickets.magicoflights.com
The spectacular Royal Gorge Bridge becomes a passage Bridge of Lights for the first time. A rare opportunity to drive over the suspension bridge and enjoy breathtaking views. 5:30 p.m.: $45/car at gate; $40/car online. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hot chocolate and cookies available for purchase. royalgorgebridge.com/bridge-of-lights
FRIDAY – JANUARY 1ST
ICE! – “A Christmas Story” The Christmas spectacular created by 40 ice sculptors from Harbin, China at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Aurora. Tickets start at $29.99, children $19.99. Christmasatgaylordrockies.marriott.com.
Illumination has a long tradition Castle Rockstar. Fun all afternoon starting at 2:00 p.m. downtown with caroling, ice skating, a children’s activity area, food, a chili dinner at the Firehouse and then the star lighting ceremony at 5:00 p.m. followed by fireworks. The star on Castle Rock was first lit for the holidays in 1936. castlerock.org/castle-rock-starlighting
Go for a run and it’s all about the food. The Mac & Cheese 5K goes through Hudson Gardens, mac and cheese attire is recommended. Costume competition and cash prizes. 10 a.m. to noon, $40. macnnoodles.com/macncheese5k In City Park it is Pumpkin Pie 5K and 10K and a piece of pumpkin pie awaits you at the finish line. 9-11 a.m., $30-35, coloradorunnerevents.com/pumpkin