by Krystal Covington
Winter in Denver is never a dull season. When you're not out on a mountain adventure these free activities will give you tons to smile about. (Note: while some activities are free they may tempt you to purchase holiday goodies or food.)
Denver Christkindl Market, November 16 – December 23
The Christkindl Market at Skyline Park includes vendors from Germany, Ukraine, Ireland and other countries, as well as local artisans, offering high-quality, handcrafted gifts such as traditional hand-carved wooden figurines, handmade candles and ornaments. Traditional German food, warm Glühwein (hot spiced wine), and traditional Christmas carols and live German music make the market a full holiday experience.
Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park, November 20, 2018 – February 3, 2019
One of the most popular holiday events in Denver, the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park returns in 2018 with ice skating and family fun. The rink is FREE and open to the public with the option to bring your own skates or rent a pair at a minimal cost.
Grand Illumination, November 23
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Downtown Denver's major landmarks will light up for the holidays during the Grand Illumination. The event features entertainment and lighting ceremonies at Denver Union Station and the City & County Building. Hundreds of thousands of lights will also illuminate the 16th Street Mall, Skyline Park, the D&F Clock Tower, 14th Street, Larimer Square and more.
Light the Lights: City & County Building Holiday Lights, November 23 – December 31
The largest lighting display in Denver comes on nightly at 6 p.m. at the City & County Building, where 600,000 lights deck the neo-classical building. The bell tower plays carols nightly as well.
Denver Holiday Flea, Fridays - Sundays, November 23-December 16
The Denver Holiday Flea is a contemporary marketplace showcasing makers and retailers who cultivate the Colorado lifestyle. This year's biggest and best ever Denver Flea will be the 10th annual; and it will take place on the Plaza at Denver Union Station.
Ice Skating Rink at DEN, November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Back for a second year, Denver International Airport's (DEN) free ice skating rink will be on the DEN Plaza for everyone to enjoy daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This year's rink will be bigger and will be accompanied by a variety of entertainment and family-friendly music playing in the background.
9NEWS Parade of Lights, Nov. 30 (8 p.m.) and Dec 1 (6 p.m.)
The 9NEWS Parade of Lights is a signature event of the Denver holiday season. The countless sparkling lights, marching bands, majestic floats and delightful characters will once again wow hundreds of thousands. Viewing along the parade route is free, and grandstand tickets are sold for seating in front of the beautifully illuminated City & County Building.
Denver Jackalope Holiday Market, December 8-12
Celebrate the holiday season with Jackalope, an indie artisan market on December 9th and 10th from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the newly renovated McNichols Civic Center Building downtown. Shop more than 150 handmade vendors from art and photography, fashion and accessory design, home decor, housewares and more. Enjoy local food, full bar, and DIY workshops at this free and family friendly event.
New Year's Eve Fireworks
The sky will once again sparkle over downtown Denver at the close of 2018 with the New Year's Eve Fireworks Downtown. The two spectacular fireworks shows will occur at the family-friendly hour of 9 p.m. and the traditional midnight. For the best viewpoints, stand along the 16th Street Mall, where there will also be costumed entertainers including magicians, mascots, balloon artists, stilt walkers and comedians.
You'll find more activities like these at VISITDENVER.