One element that always adds even more joy and excitement to the holiday season is the bright and colorful display of festive lights. Beyond your neighborhood setups, there are a bunch of places in and around Denver to see some spectacular light installations. Visiting any one (or all) of the following locations is a wonderful, family-friendly activity that kids will love and everyone will enjoy. Plus, some locations have additional special treats like warm drinks or snack options to enhance the experience even more.
Denver Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens’ York St. location hosts its annual Blossoms of Light event from Nov.
20 – Jan. 16 (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Grab the whole family for a Colorado holiday tradition and experience massive, sound-reactive, and animated LEDlights—with warm drinks and snacks available, too. Don’t forget to pre-purchase your tickets! Additionally, the Botanic Gardens’ Chatfield Farms location will offer its Trail of Lights event nightly, from Dec. 18 – Jan. 3 (excluding Christmas Day). Check out both exhibits for double the holiday fun.
More festive light displays await at the Denver Zoo’s annual Zoo Lights event, with this year marking its 30th anniversary. Enjoy the zoo’s best year yet all throughout the month of December and available to festive spirits of all ages. Tickets available online but hurry—they sell out fast!
Cherry Creek North
Reimagined for 2020, Cherry Creek North will celebrate this holiday season with a 16-block holiday light walk featuring a one-of-a-kind, interactive art installation, a new holiday market, and a huge display on Fillmore Plaza. Stroll leisurely and admire the Winter Wanderland Light Walk, comprising eight separate light shows programmed to holiday music, from Nov. 19 – Jan. 3.
Civic Center Park
For an inclusive, guided holiday light tour, check out the Holiday Lights & Sights Walking Tour. Tours are two hours and begin at the Denver City and County Building, hitting all the magnificent, historical, and lit-up landmarks from 16th Street Mall to Union Station. Stop by the Denver Christkindl Market for a warm beverage or a snack, and hear fun stories and Christmas lore from your guide. Book your tour between Nov. 28 – Jan. 2, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Perhaps the most well-known holiday light staple is the spectacle at Denver’s Union Station. Aside from the Grand Illumination, Union Station will host an abundance of outdoor holiday activities all within stunning holiday light displays, including two floats from the 2020 Downtown Denver Partnership Parade of Lights. Plus, there will be plenty of photo opportunities in store for the kids. All this and even more yet to be announced from Nov. 27 – Jan. 3.
While the annual Parade of Lights won’t look the same this year, you can still enjoy a holiday evening out with the family at Dairy Block. This year, Dairy Block will feature a 2020 Downtown Denver Partnership Parade of Lights float in the Alley from Nov. 27 – Dec. 31. Enjoy the Dairy Block Alley lights, holiday carols, and a Santa Claus & Frosty the Snowman chalk art installation that will make for some great family photos!
Edit by Erica Buehler
Photography courtesy: Scott Dressel-Martin