Ever wish you could revisit your childhood and share some old-fashioned Yuletide fun with your family and friends? Here are six great places along the Front Range to do just that.
Sleigh Ride and Campfire, Estes Park
Make your spirits bright by dashing through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh at Estes Park’s Aspen Lodge Resort. If there’s not enough snow, the jingle-bell-toting horses will pull a wagon o’er the fields and through the towering evergreens to a campfire, where you can warm your hands, roast marshmallows, and sip steaming hot chocolate.
Visit: 6120 Highway 7, Estes Park; 970-586-4094
Outdoor Ice Skating, Louisville
Lace up your skates and glide across Colorado’s original outdoor ice-skating rink in downtown Louisville’s Steinbaugh Pavilion. Other Front Range venues include Acacia Park in Colorado Springs, Southwest Rink at Skyline Park in Denver, and The Rink at Belmar in Lakewood.
Visit: 824 Front St., Louisville; 303-449-3137
Olde Golden Holiday Parade, Golden
Get in the spirit with Golden’s classic parades on December 12 and 19. On December 12 from noon to 1 p.m., you can also learn about the history of the buildings that line the streets of the downtown area at Golden’s Christmas Past Tour ($15 for adults; $5 for children). Then, come back at night to visit Clear Creek History Park, which features the original 19th century buildings from the old Pearce Ranch in Golden Gate Canyon and has been illuminated with sparkling holiday lights for the first time.
Visit: Golden Visitors Center, 1010 Washington Ave., Golden; 303-279-3113
Christkindl Market, Denver
Step back in time at Denver’s Christkindl Market, which transforms Denver’s Skyline Park into a miniature European-style holiday market. Here, you can shop for imported gifts, hear Bavarian musicians play traditional tunes, taste mouthwatering market fare like grilled bratwürst, gingerbread biscuits, sweet marzipan, and glühwein, a hot spiced wine that will warm you from the inside out.
Visit: Through December 23; Skyline Park at 16th Street Mall and Arapahoe St.
North Pole Amusement Park, Cascade
Ride in Santa’s sleigh at Colorado’s very own North Pole, where kids of all ages can enjoy enchanted entertainment like a vintage carousel, a 60-foot-high Ferris wheel, a candy cane coaster, and peppermint slide. You can also visit Santa in his workshop and have your photo taken with the jolly old elf.
Visit: Through December 24; 5050 Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade, 719-684-9432
Trail of Lights, Littleton
Jump aboard a hayride or walk along a glittering trail of lights through the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms. Branch off to see illuminated antique and model tractors, explore an historic 1880s homestead and barn, and enjoy a children’s play area, fire pit, and a selection of hot drinks.
Visit: Through January 2; 1007 York St., Littleton, 720-865-3500