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Where to See Holiday Lights in Denver
Local Events

Where to See Holiday Lights in Denver

Many families cherish the annual tradition of enjoying the many public light displays around The Mile High City during the holidays. Denver hosts multiple light shows and exciting holiday events with extravagant LED displays. Of course, if you want to skip the crowds, you can hop into your car and drive around some of Denver’s festive neighborhoods to enjoy personal displays as well.

Cherry Creek North Winter Wanderland 

Where? 2401 East 2nd Avenue

Head over to Cherry Creek this holiday season to take in the dazzling display of a million lights. Cherry Creek North is hosting a range of free outdoor events to get into the Christmas spirit, including the sight of over 600 trees wrapped in lights. The entire neighborhood is illuminated between November 16th and December 24th, so make sure you plan an evening out before Christmas to see this Denver tradition. The event lineup includes the fourth annual Cherry Creek Holiday Market, featuring live music and 40+ local vendors, and the Mistletoe Lounge where you can order holiday cocktails and gather with friends and family.

On select Saturday nights, including December 2nd, 9th, and 15th — the lights will be musically choreographed and visitors will be entranced by stilt walkers, jugglers, and various acrobats and performers that further add to the holiday festivities. December 10th is dedicated to the Chanukah celebration, where neighbors are invited to enjoy the festival of lights with treats, crafts, and even face painting!

PRO Tip: Keep an eye out for one of the giving machines. These vending machines aren’t full of traditional snacks and sugary drinks. Instead, they provide an opportunity to make a positive impact on the surrounding community.

The Mile High Tree 

Where? 101 14th Avenue

The Mile High Tree is presented by Xfinity and is located in Denver’s Civic Center Park. While not technically a mile high, the tree is a whopping seven stories (110 feet) tall and features a 39-foot diameter conical structure. The tree contains over 60,000 luminous LED lights. Each night, the tree will put on free public light shows that have been programmed to be choreographed in unison with your favorite holiday music. Up to 140 guests can be accommodated at one time to enjoy the immersive experience from within the tree. Programs begin every 15 minutes, allowing everyone the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular sight.

If you want to opt out of the immersive experience, you can still get a Christmas photo in front of the tree, surrounded by the huge holiday ornaments. Check out the nearby vendors selling holiday treats and hot chocolate. There will be areas to purchase alcoholic drinks, as well, for those who want to imbibe. Between light performances, guests will enjoy the sounds of recordings by the Colorado Symphony.

PRO Tip: The hours of the light shows run between 5 PM and 10 PM each day until December 31st. There will be a New Year’s Eve “ball drop” at 9 PM on December 31st, so head over to Civic Center Park before enjoying the rest of your planned holiday festivities to ring in the new year and say goodbye to 2023.

Zoo Lights

Where? 2900 East 23rd Avenue

For over three decades, Zoo Lights has been a beloved Denver holiday tradition. With over 80 acres to explore and 3 million lights, the zoo is brightly illuminated and guests can enjoy a unique opportunity to hang out with the animals after dark. The animated light sculptures and nightly ice carving exhibitions are only a couple of the exciting events taking place. Snag a seasonal treat and enjoy the memories that are sure to be made. Adults can order one of the seasonal craft cocktails and kiddos will have their choice of a range of sweet treats, like hot cocoa!

Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo run from December 2nd through January 7th. Sundays through Thursdays, the first ticket entries begin at 5:00 PM and the last ticket entry is at 7:30 PM. The grounds close at 9:00 PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, the grounds close at 10:00 PM. All ages are welcome and members get first dibs on tickets and benefit from select members-only dates. Standard ticket prices begin at $18 for kids and $25 for adults. There will be peak pricing on in-demand dates, so mark your calendars ahead of time.

PRO Tip: Want to enjoy the zoo lights but don’t want to experience sensory overload? On December 31st, 2023 — the Denver Zoo will be hosting a special sensory-friendly night.

Blossoms of Light

Where? 1007 York Street

Head on over to the Denver Botanic Gardens this holiday season for a truly spectacular show of color and ever-changing light displays. The event takes place between November 17th and January 7th, so you have plenty of time to carve out an evening to wander the property and take in the twinkling LED lights. Tickets must be purchased in advance for a specific time slot, with the light display operating between 4:30 PM and 9:00 PM. The gardens will be closed on Christmas Day.

Warm your hands with a cup of hot chocolate and order your favorite treat from Offshoots Café or the Hive Garden Bistro. Menu options range from sandwiches such as a classic BLT, a roast beef Philly, or a tuna melt and flatbreads like the sweet potato bacon. A full espresso bar will be available, as well as a “loaded” hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream sprinkles, and a chocolate drizzle. Add on a Bavarian cream-stuffed churro for an extra jolt of sugar, spice and everything nice.

PRO Tip: The Denver Botanic Gardens allows guests to book one of their unique event spaces during Blossoms of Light. This is perfect for end-of-year celebrations put on by companies. If you are planning an engagement, the Merry & Bright engagement package has everything you could need to make the moment as special as possible (ring not included)!

Luminova Holidays

Where? 2000 Elitch Circle

Boasting as being the biggest, brightest, and boldest holiday event in the state of Colorado — this is one you won’t want to miss. Luminova Holidays runs from November 24th through December 31st, so you have over a month to snag your tickets and join in on the fun. On weekdays, the event runs from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, with select Saturdays opening an hour early at 4:00 PM. If you have a 2023 or 2024 season pass, admission to the holiday event is free and no reservations are required! On non-peak days, tickets run for $24.99 and any-day tickets go for $29.99 and are valid any day of the week. The price of admission includes over four million lights, Elitch Garden attraction rides, a visit with Santa Claus himself, and various photo ops.

Children and adults alike will experience the joy of running through the light tunnels and admiring the 65-foot Christmas tree and the larger-than-life snowmen. Dig into yummy treats, warm up with hot chocolate, and take plenty of photos of the immersive light displays. This is the third annual Luminova Holidays and it’s slated to be bigger and better than ever!

PRO Tip: Parking is available at Elitch Gardens for $25 by card or $30 with cash per vehicle. There is RV parking available and buses and large passenger vans can park for free. Free parking is also available for season pass holders.

Denver Holiday Lights & Sights Tour

Where? 1555 California Street

This holiday season, take a two hour walk around Denver and experience the magical cheer that is rampant around the Mile High City during the holidays. Guests will learn unique historical facts, as well as take advantage of the opportunity to view the city’s architecture and holiday lights up close and personal. The tour will kick off at the City & County Building, which has an extravagant display of lights. This walking tour has been thoughtfully designed to provide guests with the best photo opportunities of Denver’s landmarks and the Christmas light displays.

Other stops along the tour include Larimer Square, The Mile High Tree, Christkindl Market, and Union Station in Lower Downtown. Once the tour is wrapped up, you’ll have the inside scoop on where to grab a bite to eat so you can continue the evening’s fun. Tours depart around 5:40 PM and the bus tour leaves at 6:00 PM for those who want to enjoy the tour from the comfort of a vehicle. The average length of the walking tour spans 1.5 miles and follows a flat path with plenty of stops. Guests as young as five are welcome to join the tour, as it’s suitable for all ages and guides are trained to work with younger guests to make the stops memorable and exciting.

PRO Tip: Guests are encouraged to arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of their scheduled tour, which allows them time to check in and become acquainted with their guide and fellow group members.

Hudson Holidays

Where? 6115 South Santa Fe Drive

Hudson Gardens in nearby Littleton is putting on their Hudson Holidays lighting event, with two brand new light shows that are sure to blow your mind. These never-before-seen displays consist of thousands of LEDs, with an exhibit that will soon be transformed into the Light Up the New Year show featuring a laser garden, exciting music, and vibrantly colorful displays. The event runs between November 24th and December 31st, 2023. Pair your walk through the lights with a piping hot cup of hot chocolate or even an adult beverage if you’re of age. There will also be a free family photo op with Santa for those who want to remember their newest favorite holiday tradition.

On January 1st, the gardens will be revamped into an entirely new exhibit for the new year. If you missed the opportunity to visit before Christmas, you’ll be able to enjoy the colorful forest, a mesmerizing sphere and so much more in January! On January 20th, Hudson Gardens is hosting the New Year Date Night. Enjoy dinner for two by Rocky Mountain Catering, champagne, and a romantic evening in the garden.

PRO Tip: When purchasing tickets, you can opt for a Flex Pass that allows you to choose your date later. Reserved tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for children between 3-12, and a discounted offer of $18 for senior citizens. The flex pass is $30 for adults.

Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms

Where? 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road

If you’re looking to get outdoors and experience the festivities while staying bundled up and warm, head over to Chatfield Farms in nearby Littleton, Colorado. Guests will explore the walking path, which is just under a mile, and admire the illuminated trees and the 1880s homestead. Kids will enjoy the Discovery Children’s Play Area where they can get any excess energy out after they’ve enjoyed a cup or two of hot chocolate and a bag of kettle corn. On select days, the Holiday Market will be open so you can purchase any last-minute holiday gifts.

Features of the Trail of Lights include lit props, an amphitheater where you can jam out to holiday hits, synchronized lights, singing Christmas trees, light tunnels, illuminated model tractors, and of course — all of your favorite holiday drinks and snacks. The warming hut halfway through the trail sells fudge and caramels, so make sure to bring cash or a card. If you’d prefer to opt for a shorter path, one is available directly through the children’s play area.

PRO Tip: Tickets must be purchased in advance for the Trail of Lights. No tickets are sold onsite. Parking lots open just before 5:00 PM and the last entry is at 8:30 PM. There are limited tickets available each night, so grab yours before they’re gone!