1. Local

12 Days of Christmas in Denver

Celebrations for 2013

By

Although the 12 days of Christmas are technically between Christmas (Dec. 25) and Epiphany (Jan. 6), Denver gets an early start on celebrating. Enjoy the top 12 Christmas activities in the Mile High City as a reason to celebrate the season.

1. The Denver 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. Dec. 6, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sat. Dec. 7, 2013 at 6 p.m. Free admission along the parade route. Paid limited grandstand seating is also available.

2. "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. 30 – Dec 28, 2013. Tickets range from $25 - $155.

3. Zoo Lights

Photo © Nina Snyder, licensed to About.com

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 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. every day from Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 – Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for children. Zoo members receive a $2 discount on tickets.

4. High Tea at the Brown Palace

Delicate finger sandwiches, scones and miniature pastries accompany your choice of gourmet tea served in a silver teapot. Denver's oldest hotel opens its grand atrium for high tea during the afternoons from noon - 4 p.m. every day. Make reservations now by calling 303-297-3111 as times fill up fast, especially for the weekends.

5. Olde Golden Christmas on Parade

During the holidays, the cobblestone streets of Golden come alive with Santa on a unicycle, Victorian carolers and more. The Olde Golden Christmas on Parade wends its way along Washington Avenue at 11 a.m on Saturdays from Nov. 30 - Dec. 21, 2013. Free horse-drawn carriage rides are also offered. Free admission and free parking.

6. Molly Brown House

Photo courtesy of Molly Brown House Museum

Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas at the Molly Brown house with their A Brown Family Christmas Tour. The evening tour takes place on Fri. Dec. 13, 2013, at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sat. Dec. 14, 2013, at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children.

7. "A Christmas Carol" Musical

The classic tale by Charles Dickens is revived for the stage in this musical adaptation. "A Christmas Carol" is showing from Nov. 29 - Dec. 29, 2013 at the Stage Theatre. Tickets range from $43 - $53. No children under the age of four admitted to the performance.

8. Handel's Messiah

The Colorado Symphony Orchestra presents Handel's Messiah at Boettcher Concert Hall on Dec. 12 - 14, 2013. George Frideric Handel composed the chorale piece in 1741, and it remains one of the most popular Christmas performances. Tickets are $20 - $83. Make sure to buy tickets early as the performances usually sell out.

9. Ice Skate in Evergreen

Ice skate in the great outdoors on the frozen lake located about 20 minutes from Denver. Weather permitting, the 40-acre Evergreen lake opens for the holidays from Dec. 23, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014 for ice skating. Call the skating hotline at 720-880-1391 to check if the lake is frozen enough for skating.

10. Blossoms of Light & Trail of Lights

Photo © Nina Snyder, licensed to About.com

The Blossoms of Light returns to the Denver Botanic Gardens on York Street this year from Nov. 29, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014. The Blossoms of Light is open from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. nightly. The Trail of Lights will also transform the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. during the same time period. Tickets are $10 - $12 for adults and $7 - $9 for children at both venues, but each event requires separate admission.

11. Georgetown Christmas Market

A Victorian Christmas awaits in the historic mountain town west of Denver. During the weekends of Dec. 7 - 8, 2013, and Dec. 14 - 15, 2013, Georgetown's 6th Street transforms into a Christmas vision from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.. Free admission. This year, the Christmas Market Crawl for adults 21 and up will tour establishments to sample traditional alcoholic beverages of Wassail and Glögg starting at 2 p.m.

12. "The SantaLand Diaries"

Whether you've been naughty or nice this year, leave the children at home and enjoy the black comedy of "The SantaLand Diaries." The production is based on an essay by David Sedaris where he details his experiences working as an elf at Macy's in New York. "The SantaLand Diaries" will play at the Garner Galleria Theatre from Nov. 29 - Dec. 24, 2013. Tickets are $25. Recommended for adult audiences only.

  1. About.com
  2. Local
  3. Denver
  4. Family Activities
  5. Celebrate Christmas in Denver - Twelve Days of Christmas Events 2013

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.