The idea of avoiding lengthy lines and bad moods during a holiday shopping excursion may sound more like a Christmas miracle than reality. But you can boost local businesses, steer clear of crowds and stress masked as holiday cheer, all while purchasing quality presents for your loved ones. Last year, Coloradans spent $12.6 billion on their holiday shopping. Spread the wealth and support your local economy by shopping at small business around town. Days, times vary.
Vintage meets contemporary as Denver's top artists and designers share their eclectic mix of work from screenprints to house-made soaps and custom hats. Visitors can purchase a variety of unique collectables or simply browse in the fusion artist's studio meets gallery setting for the exhibition and trunk show. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
During the four weeks of Advent, the German tradition is to welcome the Christmas month with a Christkindl Market. Dating back to Munich Germany, the oldest known market was in 1310 and the custom continues today all around the world. Find vendors filled with German and other European foods and gifts, traditional hand-carved wooden figurines, and house-made candles by local artist all in an outdoor market. Days, times vary.
Southwest Airlines and Downtown Denver Partnership invite you to embrace the cold and skate at Skyline Park. Look out for regularly scheduled entertainment and activities each weekend that include Friday night DJs and Saturday morning skate lessons and sessions. Skate rentals are $2 or bring your own pair. Mon-Thu noon-7 p.m., Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
For the average, healthy person, climbing Mt. Everest is an almost insurmountable challenge. In this film from Academy Award-winning director Michael Brown, 11 wounded veterans—one blind, some with lost limbs, and all suffering from the mental and emotional damage of war—climb Everest on their road to recovery. Together, they take on an uphill battle in the name of celebrating the safe return of our nation's heroes. Days, times vary.
Knuckleballers are few and far between in Major League Baseball—just two played in the pros in 2011, Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey. Knuckeball! follows the pair as Wakefield, a veteran Red Sox pitcher, approaches his 200-win career milestone, and newbie Mets player Dickey fights to make a name for himself outside of the minor leagues. The film alternates between archival footage, interviews with sports reporters, and former knuckleballers who serve as mentors.
Not all is well on America's favorite street. Super Grover has fallen into a funk and five of his friends—led by Elmo—undertake a mission to get his powers back. As they sing and dance, they discover that exercise, rest, nutritious food, and good hygiene are all it takes to get Super Grover back to his old self. Fri-Sun, times vary.
James Balong is a man on a mission: to document the environmental changes occurring as a result of global climate change. In his dogged quest to silence the storm of denial, this "powerful piece of history unfolding" attempts to sum up the severity of the issue. The National Geographic photographer and his team set up shop to show, in detail, glacial depletion in Iceland, Greenland, Montana, and Alaska. Bonus: Read our Q&A with Balog before seeing the film.
Everyone wishes for a white Christmas, especially if they have a ski pass. In this classic song-turned-movie-turned Broadway musical, two performers and their beautiful female stage partners save Christmas for a small Vermont ski resort that's struggling to stay afloat in a snow-less winter. Tue-Sun, times vary.
Kickoff the holiday season with this classic ballet. Experience the magic of music and toy soldiers with students from the Boulder Ballet School and the Boulder Children's Chorale as they join the professional company dancers on stage. Fri 6 p.m., Sat 2 p.m., 7 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Get into the Christmas spirit with this classic tale of giving and forgiving. The ghosts of past, present, and future show miserly Ebenezer Scrooge how to embrace the yuletide attitude. Join in his journey through his memories with laughter and holiday warmth—with original songs written specifically for this production. Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
When Santa shows up at the local police station bearing gifts, no one is suspicious. After all, even the police chief has been known to dress up as Kris Kringle for the holidays. But this Santa seems to know a little too much about the town's residents. When a state investigator shows up, he discovers Saint Nick's bag of presents is filled with old wallets. Is Santa a thief or the real deal? Days, times vary.
—Image courtesy of Festival Playhouse
When you buy tickets to a music festival, you typically don’t assume you'll be onstage playing, too. At the Trance Blues Jam Festival, everyone is encouraged to participate. The three-day event kicks off with an opening night jam session, followed by a day of workshops and a meet-the-artists lunch before closing with two more jam sessions and a brunch. Mingle with artists like Otis Taylor, Cassie Taylor, and Mato Nanji. Fri-Sun, times vary.
One great thing about living in Colorado: The start of the holiday season means the start of the ski season. Celebrate both with the whole family at Beaver Creek's annual Tree Lighting Festival. For 32 years, the resort has offered ice skating, a kid's poetry contest, a gingerbread house competition, and fireworks. Santa might even show up on a zamboni to light the Christmas tree. Fri 7 p.m.
Suspend your disbelief at this genuinely funny Christmas show from Denver’s masters of improv. This original, seasonal production features local actors, live piano accompaniment, and possibly a Christmas miracle. Thu-Sat 8 p.m.
When a band member from Salmon Heads asked members of Left Hand String Band to fill in, the result was Leftover Salmon. The Boulder band calls their sound "polyethnic Cajun slamgrass," or, in simpler terms, a blend of bluegrass, rock, country, and Cajun. Their unique style was showcased on this year's release, Aquatic Hitchhiker. Fri-Sat 9 p.m.
Since starting to write lyrics as a freshman at Cherry Creek High School, the guitar-playing Denver native has built quite the resume: He's played alongside the John Butler Trio, Matt Kearney, and Bare Naked Ladies. Hear Heckendorf's relaxed acoustic style on his second album, The Cool Down. Fri 9 p.m.