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12 Unique Colorado Christmas Celebrations

There’s truly nothing quite like Christmas in Colorado. The snow-blanketed peaks, crisp air, quaint mountain towns, and friendly locals all make for the perfect winter wonderland experience.

 

Whatever your family traditions may be, from sampling local pies to cutting down your own tree, the holiday season simply isn’t the same without at least a few festive outings. To help you make the most of every minute this season, here are 12 of the best Colorado Christmas celebrations.

Uniquely Colorado Christmas Celebrations

Whether you’re looking for something low-key or more adventurous, you’ll find several fun Colorado Christmas celebrations across the state.

Colorado Springs Christmas Celebrations

1. North Pole

How could we not start our list of the best Colorado Christmas celebrations with the North Pole?! You can visit this beloved Colorado theme park year-round, but it’s far more magical during the holidays.

Open year-round Thursday through Monday; closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Advance reservations are required for the holiday season (November through January). 

Santa outside his house at The North Pole in Colorado Springs
Photo courtesy of the North Pole

2. Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Come see why USA Today voted Electric Safari the third best zoo lights in the whole country — two years in a row! View select animal exhibits and explore dozens of light sculptures and life-sized inflatable animals. And be sure to check the zoo’s wish list to play Secret Santa!

Open nightly through January 1; closed on Christmas Eve. Advance ticket purchase required. 

3. Gingerbread Display at the Broadmoor

The Broadmoor is known as an incredibly luxurious hotel; one of the most iconic landmarks in Colorado Springs. Another signature of the hotel, however, is its holiday gingerbread house tradition, which spans over 50 years. This year’s display towers over 10 feet tall and used a whopping 2,000 pounds of ingredients!

On display through January 1. Make a night of it and visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in the same outing!

 

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Denver Christmas Celebrations

4. Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo

One of the most beloved Colorado Christmas celebrations is Zoo Lights. This year, the event is bigger than ever, with new light displays and special add-ons including giraffe feeding and a souvenir glow package.

Open nightly November 22 through January 8; advance ticket purchase required.

Illuminated animals at Denver Zoo Lights, a long-running Colorado Christmas celebration
Photo courtesy of Denver Zoo

5. Luminova Holidays at Elitch Gardens

Elitch Gardens is hosting its first-ever holiday event in 2021, Luminova Holidays. The theme park transforms into a winter wonderland with over 3 million lights, a 200-foot candy cane tunnel, visits with Santa, and rides on select attractions.

Open November 26 through January 2; timed-entry reservations required. 

 

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6. Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens

This long-running Colorado holiday celebration features a 360-degree interactive light experience. Walk among 3-D light fixtures decked out in thousands of LED lights and treat yourselves to cocoa and holiday goodies.

Runs November 19-January 8th and closed Christmas Day. Advance ticket purchase required. 

A couple walking through one of the most popular Colorado Christmas celebrations, Denver Botanic Gardens
Photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens

7. Camp Christmas, Lakewood

If you’re a fanatic for the holidays, Camp Christmas is for you. 303 Magazine called it “The most ‘extra’ Christmas event in town…magical,” and for good reason. Celebrated Colorado artist Lonnie Hanzon created a whimsical wonderland of lights, rides, and fun, including cheekily-named cocktails and special pun trees.

Open November 18 through January 2; timed-entry ticket purchase required.

 

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Other Colorado Christmas Celebrations

8. Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms, Littleton

At the Denver Botanic Gardens’ second location, the entire family can enjoy the one-mile walking path at the Trail of Lights. The path is decked out in thousands of lights synchronized to music, and features include a walk-through tunnel and antique tractors.

Open nightly through January 2; closed on Christmas Day. Advance ticket purchase required. 

9. Extravaganza of Lights at Hudson Gardens, Littleton

After a two-year hiatus, the Extravaganza of Lights is back and better than ever. Enjoy hundreds of lighted trees (some of them dancing!), a walk-through tunnel, giant snowmen, reindeer, and much more.

Open November 26 through December 31; advance ticket purchase required.

Lit trees and a water feature at Hudson Gardens, home to a favorite Colorado Christmas celebration
Photo courtesy of @hudsongardens

10. Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs

One of the Centennial State’s hot springs destinations is also home to one of the best Colorado Christmas celebrations. Stay at historic Hotel Colorado for an unforgettable holiday. Staff spends several weeks solely decorating, putting up half a million lights and trimming over 60 trees.

The Hotel Colorado illuminated at night
Photo courtesy of Hotel Colorado

11. Santa Express Train at the Royal Gorge

Of all the Colorado Christmas celebrations, few are as magical as the Santa Express. On your journey, enjoy festive holiday music, hot cocoa, and cookies. Plus, meet Santa and his elves! If you’re looking for a slightly more laid-back experience, the Holiday Train is very similar, but without Santa.

Runs November 19 through December 30 up to four trips daily; no trains on Christmas. Purchase tickets in advance.

12. Polar Express Train, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

In the southwest corner of the state (not far from some of the best Colorado ghost towns and the Million Dollar Highway), you’ll find another beloved holiday train experience: the Polar Express. Wear festive PJs and come ready for a treat- and song-filled journey!

Runs November 19 through January 1 with multiple departures daily; no trains on Christmas. Purchase tickets in advance.

The Polar Express train in the snow, one of the best Colorado Christmas celebrations
Photo courtesy of Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

There you have it, 12 fun and festive Colorado Christmas celebrations. Which ones are you planning to visit this year? Connect with us on social media and tag us in your posts! Happy holidays, from the River Beats fam to yours!

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