Although the 12 days of Christmas are technically between Christmas (Dec. 25) and Epiphany (Jan. 6), Denver gets an early start on celebrating. For those who slept through Sunday school, Epiphany is when the three wise men arrived at the nativity scene. Enjoy the top 12 Christmas activities in the Mile High City as a reason to celebrate the season.
- Watch the Parade of Lights
The annual holiday light parade meanders through downtown's streets with floats lit up for the holiday season. The parade will be held on two days this year: Fri. Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. and Sat. Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. Free admission.
- Take the Kids to "The Nutcracker" Ballet
Clara's magical gift of a nutcracker opens up a new world of sugarplum fairies and other delights. The Christmas classic from Tchaikovsky is showing at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with matinee and evening performances from Nov. 24 – Dec 24. Tickets range from $19 - $145 depending on the date of the performance.
- Sip High Tea at the Brown Palace
Delicate finger sandwiches, scones and miniature pastries accompany your choice of gourmet tea served in a silver pitcher. Denver's oldest hotel opens its grand atrium for high tea during the afternoons. Make reservations now as times fill up fast!
- Olde Golden Christmas on Parade
Every Sat. in December, the cobblestone steets of Golden come alive with Santa on a unicycle, Victorian carolers, and more. The parade wends its way along Washington St. from 11 – 11:30 a.m. Free admission and free parking.
- Have "A White Christmas"
Irving Berlin's classic musical of love in the time of snowflakes takes the stage at the Buell Theater. Matinee and evening performances from Nov. 23 - Dec. 30. Tickets range from $10 - $90 depending on the date of the performance.
- Admire the Blossoms of Light
The Botanic Gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland with lights draped over the trees and shrubbery. The gardens even outdo mother nature by handing out 3-D glasses with a holographic effect. The Blossoms of Light opens from 6 - 9 p.m. during Dec. 1, 2007 – Jan. 20, 2008. Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children.
- Visit Santa on the Square
Whether you've been naughty or nice, Santa wants to hear about it at Larimer Square. Jolly Old St. Nick will be holding court beginning Fri. Nov. 23 from from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. From then on, he'll be visiting the square Sat. from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sun. from 12 noon - 6 p.m. every weekend until Christmas Eve. Free admission.
- Go Wild at Zoo Lights
The Denver Zoo brings a menagerie of animals to life with holiday lights, while the real animals stay inside where it's cozy. Zoo Lights is open from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. every day from Dec. 7, 2007 – Jan. 6, 2008. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children.
- Ice Skate in Evergreen
Ice skate in the great outdoors on the frozen lake located about 20 min. from Denver. Weather permitting, the 40-acre Evergreen lake opens on Dec. 15 for ice skating. Call 303-512-9300 to check if the lake is frozen enough for skating.
- Listen to a Christmas Concert
The Colorado Symphony Orchestra presents "A Star to Follow" on Fri. Dec. 14, Sat. Dec. 15 and Sun. Dec. 16 at the Boettcher Concert Hall. The orchestra is joined by the Colorado Children's Chorale in a celebration of Christmas music. Tickets are $15 - $69.50.
- Tour Molly Brown House by Candlelight
A reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by candlelight sets the stage for an old-fashioned Christmas at the Molly Brown house. The Unsinkable Molly Brown survived the Titanic and returned to Denver. The candlelight tour and reading takes place on Fri. Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Sat. Dec. 15. at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for children.
- Travel to Georgetown Christmas Market
A Victorian Christmas awaits in the historic mountain town west of Denver. During the weekends of Dec. 1 - 2 and Dec. 8 – 9, Georgetown transforms into a Christmas vision, complete with roasted chestnuts and horse-drawn carriage rides. Free admission.