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Photo courtesy of Jewish in the City Chabad

7 Free Things to Do on the Front Range This December

From glowing art to meeting Kris Kringle himself—there are plenty of ways to do the winter season on the cheap.

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KNOCKOUT art show | December 1–January 3 
Denver-based neon artist Scott Young is back with another curated art show at the Dairy Block—this time, to explore the undefinable realm of pop-art and its place in the modern world. The show, which can be viewed in the Alley, will bring together over 35 international artists and feature a mix of styles and materials that expand on pop culture and what Young sees as the future of the art genre that attempts captures it. Dairy Block, 1800 Wazee St; 11 a.m.–7 p.m. daily; find more information on the opening celebration of the art show and other special KNOCKOUT events throughout the month online 

Adaptive Ascents with Timmy O’Neill | December 5
If you didn’t get your fix at Reel Rocks, stop by Patagonia’s new Boulder store to hear from Timmy O’Neill, a world-record climber and co-founder of the nonprofit Paradox Sports—a group set on inspiring and providing adaptive climbing opportunities for people with disabilities. The evening will feature short films and first-hand stories from O’Neill and adaptive climbers, complimentary treats, and plenty of window shopping opportunities (swing by their first-ever Worn Wear pop-up store down the street to scope some unique, upcycled gear). 1630 Pearl St., Boulder; 7 p.m.; find more information online 

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Photo by Conor Cahill

Governor’s Mansion holiday tours | December 5–8 & December 12–15
Get a peek inside the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion, which has been decked out into a local winter wonderland. For Jared Polis’ first holiday season as governor, the chosen theme of Colorado Through the Seasons brings together a collection of upcycled and donated decorations to tell a story of the Centennial state’s natural beauty throughout the year—from the hand-made dried orange garland in the Fall Room to the cranberry-covered tree glistening in the Palm Room. 400 E. 8th Ave.; open-house tours from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; find more information online

Courtesy of the Dairy Block

Santa’s Workshop at the Dairy Block | December 7, 14, & 21
Head to Santa’s Dairy Block Workshop to get a photo with the big man himself, enjoy live entertainment from elves and carolers, and even meet Santa’s live reindeer. With winter treats for kiddos of all ages, you can choose to indulge in the hot chocolate bar at Huckleberry Roasters or plenty of other complimentary cheer like candy canes, face painting, balloon art, and more. Dairy Block, 1800 Wazee St; noon–4 p.m.; find more information online

Annual Cider & Eggnog Competition | December 9
Channel that hometown holiday feeling at Olde Town Arvada’s cider and eggnog competition and winter celebration in the Square. Enjoy free carriage rides, festive entertainment, a gingerbread house competition, and more. Spend the extra $5 per person to get a souvenir mug and have your own say in the warm beverage tastings. 5726 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada; 5–8 p.m.; find more information online

Cherry Creek North Winter Fest. Photo by Joyce Keum

Cherry Creek Winter Fest | December 14
Cherry Creek North is bringing the merry spirit to the streets and transforming Fillmore Plaza with live ice carving and plenty of family-friendly activities (and you might even spot a couple of your favorite ice princesses). Get some holiday shopping inspiration from dozens of local vendors, or simply cozy up to the fire pits and sip some complimentary warm drinks to the sounds of yuletide carolers. Fillmore Plaza, between 1st and 2nd Avenues on Fillmore Street; 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; find more details and information on participating vendors and deals online

Chanukah at the State Capitol | December 23
Celebrate the holiday of light with the illumination of the giant Menorah on the West Steps of the Colorado State Capitol. Hear from some of your state government officials, and round out the festivities with a fire show, live DJ, and tasty traditional treats like donuts with Dinger. Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax Ave.; 5–7 p.m.; find more information and RSVP online

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