How To: Planning for Hanukkah in the Mile High City

December 7 2012, 1:15 PM

While many folks are busy dusting off their Santa suits and stuffing stockings, starting Dec. 8 at sundown through Dec. 16, more than 80,000 Jewish households will light menorahs, spin dreidels, and chow down on potato pancakes throughout the Denver Metro area. An eight-day festival of lights may sound daunting to plan if unprepared, so here are eight ideas that will let you have a heck of a Hanukkah in the Mile High.

1. Top Chef: Hanukkah Edition
Ashkenazi Jews—whose ancestors settled in middle to northern Europe—tend toward the potato. As such, Temple Micah hosts the battle for the best potato pancake in its fifth annual Top Latke Cook-off & Hanukkah Party. Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia Street. 5:30 p.m.

2. Adventure Rabbi Takes Spirit to the Slopes
For a traditional holiday with a bit of Colorado flair, join Rabbi Jamie Korngold for a Shabbat service before hitting the powder. Meet the "Adventure Rabbi" at Copper Mountain where a snow-filled (here's hoping) day kicks off at 10 a.m.

3. Community Hanukkah Carnival
Instead of another slow-moving Sunday, let it be all fun and games at Aish Denver's second annual Community Carnival. Festivities will be held from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. $5 per child, $7 per adult.
9550 E. Belleview Ave. in Greenwood Village

4. Listen to the Colorado Hebrew Chorale
To start the week off with a bang, check out this ensemble performance at Four Mile Historic Park for its Festival of Lights Celebration from 5:30-8:30 p.m. If a case of the Mondays makes this a difficult event to attend, not to worry—the group's free encore is at Shalom Park Retirement Home Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3:30 p.m. $5 per child, $10 per adult. 14800 East Belleview Drive  Aurora, CO 80015

5. Watch the Lights Dance with Friends and Family
The menorah in front of the Jewish Community Center illuminates at sundown Tuesday, Dec. 11. The family-friendly event is sponsored by the Allied Jewish Federation350 South Dahlia St, Denver, CO 80246.

6. Visit Golda Meir's House
Dive into Denver's Jewish history and visit the first and only female prime minister of Israel's former home. Meir lived in Denver while attending North High School as a teenager. Though her home was on the verge of demolition, the structure was relocated to the Auraria campus as a museum in 1988. A visit is not exclusive to the holidays—tours are available daily by appointment. 303-556-3220.

7. The Art of Shabbat: Hanukkah Community Dinner
Wrap yourself in the rich tapestry of Jewish songs and history as musician and ethnomusicologist Sheldon Sands serenades members of the Jewish community throughout a festive holiday meal. Mizel Museum, Friday, Dec. 14. 4:15-6:30 p.m.

8. Devour Delicious Donuts
Try a sufganiyot—a deep-fried jelly donut—to wrap up the holiday on a sweet note at locally owned Bagel Store or Donut Maker.

Bonus: If you're still hungry, head to Skyline Park for Denver's Christkindl Market. Among other festive outdoor huts, find Latke Love, a food truck featuring potato pancakes piles nearly a mile high with various toppings throughout the month of December.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock