It is no secret that I LOVE Christmas! And living in a beautiful place like Colorado really helps me get into the spirit of the holidays. Not only do we have some great sweater weather and snow, there are so many fun Colorado Christmas activities to get you in a festive mood – many of which are just a short drive from Denver.
1. Spend a Day in Georgetown
This historic mountain town about an hour outside of Denver is one of my favorite places during the holidays. And its unique Christmas activities are great for kids of all ages! The annual Georgetown Christmas Market takes place during the first two weekends of December, and admission is free.
Visitors can look forward to visits from St. Nicholas, festive performances, holiday shopping, delicious food, Victorian carolers, roasted chestnuts, horse-drawn wagon rides and more! For a fee, Christmas Market museum tours are also available.
If you just can’t wait until December, the city also hosts its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 26 at 5p.m.
BONUS: take one of the Christmas train tours on the Georgetown Loop Railway!
2. Catch a Christmas Parade
There is something extra special about gathering with hundreds or thousands of strangers to watch beautifully decorated floats roll by. Downtown Denver’s parade is pretty spectacular if you are looking for a large parade, but if a smaller-scale show is more your style, there are lots of options in the surrounding cities as well! Just make sure to bundle up and bring a large mug of your favorite hot drink!
Here is a list of some of this year’s options:
- Estes Park – Catch the Glow Christmas Parade (pictured): Friday, Nov. 25 at 5:30p.m.
- Downtown Denver – 9 News Parade of Lights: Friday, Dec. 2 at 8p.m. & Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6p.m. (Grandstand seats are available for $19 if you want an up-close view in front of the colorfully lit City & County Building)
- Boulder – Lights of December Parade: Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6p.m.
- Golden – Olde Golden Christmas Parades: the first three Saturdays in December at 10:30a.m. (The city also hosts a Candlelight Walk on Dec. 2 at 6:30p.m.)
- Colorado Springs – Festival of Lights Parade: Saturday, Dec. 3 at 5:50p.m.
3. Cut Down Your Own Tree
Why buy a tree from a lot when you could experience the excitement of cutting it down on your own! The U.S. forest service has a list of designated places where you are allowed to cut down your own tree and drag it back to your car. Most sites require a permit (usually around $10) and a car with four-wheel drive. However, you could also go to a tree farm if you don’t have the right type of vehicle or miss the window to visit one of these areas.
Just don’t forget to bring work gloves, a saw and some blankets so you don’t get sap all over everything! And, depending on how late in the season you go, you may have slim pickings – but it is still a blast!
4. Visit the Denver Christkindl Market
Have you always dreamt of visiting the German Christmas Markets but haven’t been able to make the trip yet? Well, this small-scale version in the heart of Downtown Denver should help give you a taste of what you’re longing for without the pricey plane ticket!
With lots of adorable shops to buy souvenirs, delicious German food, festive entertainment, and – my favorite – plenty of Gluehwein (hot mulled wine) to go around. This is a can’t-miss Colorado Christmas destination.
The market is open daily from Friday, Nov. 18 to Friday, Dec. 23. Check their website for specific hours.