Snow Much Fun, Boulder | Through January 31
Kick off December’s holiday festivities with a stroll through downtown Boulder’s self-guided lights tour. Be sure to stray south from the Pearl Street Mall to the Civic Area (near 11th Street and Canyon Drive) to visit Rainbow Road and the Bifrost (a rainbow bridge), and scan QR codes along the way to meet snowmen, polar bears, and other winter friends. Free

Vail’s Kris Kringle Market | December 8–11
No supply chain issues here. Enjoy a festive afternoon on the iconic streets of Vail and tackle your holiday shopping all at the same time, with this marketplace of handmade toys, houseware, treats, and other artisan gifts. Don’t forget to stop and visit Prancer the reindeer. Free

Winter Wonderlights, Loveland | Through January 1
Wander in a glowing wonderland of holiday lights and illuminated African stone sculptures at the Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. On select nights, including December 10, guests will be treated to a visit from live reindeer. Free

Santa Express at Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Cañon City | Through December 31
The rugged canyon walls towering more than 1,000 feet overhead are made even more spectacular with a dusting of snow, but the real star of this ride is Old St. Nick himself, who makes an appearance on the return trip of this out-and-back journey and gives each child a special holiday bell, à la The Polar Express. Choose an evening departure to see a laser light show against the craggy cliffs. Starting at $79 for adults, $74 for kids

Georgetown Christmas Market | December 3–11
Step into Christmas seasons of yore with horse-drawn wagon rides and chestnuts roasted on an open fire at historic Georgetown’s annual outdoor Christmas Market. Free

Ullr Fest, Breckenridge | December 8–10
Dust off your Viking hat and pay homage to Ullr, the Norse god of snow, at this annual winter gathering. And be sure to party on with Breckenridge Distillery and Breckenridge Mountain Rotary as they vie to continue their reign for the unofficial world record for longest shotski. Ticket prices vary

Ice skating at the Collective Snowmass. Photo by Sam Ferguson

Snowmass Luminescence & Winter Events at the Collective | through December
Warm up with a free, gooey s’mores in Snowmass Village; then, starting December 18, immerse yourself in the Snowmass Luminescence interactive art and light display, featuring the vivid Electric Dandelions, winkling Arches Tunnel, and several other new installations that come alive after sunset. Visit the Collective plaza space in Snowmass Base Village for even more winter fun, including free ice skating, a game hall and ball pit, and Latin-inspired bites from James Beard Award semifinalist Mawa McQueen’s new restaurant, Mawita, which opens December 17. Free

Colorado Springs Citywide Kwanzaa Celebration | December 26–31
The 33rd annual celebration of family, culture, and community values kicks off December 26 with the Umoja Opening Ceremony from 6–7:30 p.m., followed by daily gatherings and the lighting of the kinara (Swahili for “candle holder”): seven candles representing the principles of Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith). Free

Gingerbread Display at the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs | Through January 1
Featuring 160 chocolate bars, 148 challah knots, and 1,000 white meringue kisses, The Broadmoor’s gingerbread display (located in the main building on the mezzanine) is more chateau than house. Book a night to take full advantage of their holiday programming. Free to view

Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs | Through January 1
Voted third best zoo lights display in the U.S. three years running, this wild display of more than 60 light sculptures is sure to be a roaring good time. Feeling generous? Play Secret Santa to the animals by donating old phone books, tennis balls, and other items from their list. Free for members; Non-members starting at $19.75 for adults, $15.75 for kids ages 3–11; $0.75 for kids 2 and under

A Christmas Carol at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver | Through December 24
Go on a journey with everyone’s favorite curmudgeon and his trio of specters from past, present, and future to find the true meaning of Christmas. Starting at $40

December Delights at Four Mile Historic Park, Denver | Through December 18
Channel your inner Nancy Kerrigan (or maybe just try not to look like a goober) on the park’s synthetic ice rink, which is open even in unseasonably warm temps. If the night does have you humming, “Baby, it’s cold outside,” get cozy in one of the dome seating areas (additional cost). $19–$32

Luminova Holidays at Elitch Gardens, Denver | Through January 1
Be dazzled by four million lights and try your hand (or feet?) at the interactive light-up hopscotch. Kids can also get in last-minute Christmas requests: Santa and his elves will be on hand, too. Starting at $30

Photo courtesy of Hotel Colorado

Christmas Tree Display at Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs | Through mid-January
Ribbons, lights, and so many ornaments! With 60 festive fir trees throughout its lobby, restaurants, banquet rooms, and even in a few signature suites, Hotel Colorado’s holiday display may just inspire impromptu solos of “O Tannenbaum.” Free to view

Holiday Follies at Lake Dillon Theatre Co., Dillon | December 9 & 30
There will be trivia. There will be dancing. And there will definitely be laughter. Lake Dillon Theater Co. brings winter cheer to the whole family with this lively comedy show. Starting at $35 for adults, $20 for students

Denver Christkindlmarket, Denver | Through December 23
Experience an authentic German village—no passport required. Grab a glass of Glühwein (a variety of mulled wine), a Bavarian-style beer, or some hot cocoa to sip while you finish up your holiday shopping list at the Civic Center Park fete. Free

Swingin’ Holiday Songbook at Nocturne, Denver | December 20–23
Be carried away by riffs on holiday arrangements from classic crooners like Frank, Perry, and Ella, as well as select songs from Vince Guaraldi’s “Charlie Brown Christmas.” You even get a three-course meal to boot. $115

Las Posadas at Tesoro Cultural Center, Morrison | December 24
Tesoro Cultural Center’s take on Las Posadas—the yearly celebration commemorating the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem—will include a family-friendly procession featuring a donkey, goat, sheep, and a Scottish Highland cow. Complimentary Mexican hot chocolate and traditional biscochitos will be served. Free

Winter Starts Now at the Sheridan Opera House, Telluride | December 26
You’ve spread the Christmas cheer. Now share the snowsports stoke with a viewing of the latest adventure from legendary ski and snowboard filmmaker, Warren Miller. Expect big mountains, back flips, parachutes, and the pursuit of powder nirvana. $20

Photo courtesy of Dairy Block

Dairy Block’s Après Ski Holiday Market, Denver | Weekends through December 18
Transport yourself to a European village—and finish up your Christmas shopping—as you check out the wares from both local Colorado businesses and national retailers, plus listen to carols sung by the Jingle Belles. Free

Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver | Through January 7
A trip to see the countless glowing LED bulbs at the Denver Botanic Gardens is a holiday tradition for Front Range families for a reason. Don’t miss the O’Fallon Perennial Walk, a 200-foot-long, 17-foot-tall tunnel of animated lights. Members: $16-$19, non-members: $18-$21, free for kids 2 and under

Torchlight Parade and Fireworks, Crested Butte | December 31
Say goodbye to 2022 with a stunning display by ski and snowboard instructors from Crested Butte Mountain Resort, who will carve their way down the slopes to create a neon glow, while fireworks burst overhead. Free

Madi Skahill
Madi Skahill
Madi assists with digital strategy as well as writes and edits stories for 5280.com. She also oversees social media strategy for 5280’s and 5280 Home’s accounts.