Turn on the Holidays

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 @ 12:00 am - Sunday, November 25, 2018 @ 12:00 am

Thanksgiving weekend marks the official beginning of the holiday season and all the hustle and bustle that comes with it! Jump right in with a weekend full of holiday lights and wonder in downtown Denver.

In addition to lights, visitors can meet Santa, enjoy outdoor ice skating, specialty food and drink, live music, art, unique holiday shopping and the first ever Yellow Snow Dog Race.

Light the Lights

Friday, Nov. 23, 3 – 7:30 p.m.

City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St.

This heart-warming tradition is nearly 100 years old and is the perfect kick-off to the holiday season. Don’t miss the ceremonial flipping of the light switch between 6:30 and 7 p.m., in person or live on 9News. Bring hats, gloves and scarfs for the Giving Tree to benefit Denver families in need.


Lights and Ice Festival

Friday, Nov. 23, 3 – 9 p.m.

Civic Center Park, 101 14th Ave.

Holiday cheer will abound at this family-friendly winter festival. There’ll be hot chocolate, cold adult beverages, food trucks and the Sugar Plum Bazaar at the McNichols Building. Dress your four-legged friends in their fanciest holiday outfits to compete in the first ever Yellow Snow Dog Race! Denver Public Library’s Wheelie the Book Bike will also be there with free books and holiday crafts.


Holiday Lights Along the 16th Street Mall

Every night throughout the holiday season!

16th Street Mall from Civic Center to Union Station

Hundreds of thousands of lights will illuminate the 16th Street Mall, the D&F Clock Tower, Skyline Park, 14th Street and Larimer Square. What a beautiful sight! The Denver Pavillions will be offering free parking on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday in the underground garage.


Small Business Saturday on Larimer Square

Saturday, Nov. 24, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Larimer Square, 1430 Larimer St.

It’s never too early to start (or finish!) your holiday shopping. Show your support for Larimer Square’s authentic and independently owned boutiques. Some shops will be offering holiday discounts.


Santa on the Square

Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 24 – Dec. 23

Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Larimer Square, 1430 Larimer St.

Santa and Mrs. Claus are taking up residence on Larimer Square for the holidays. Bring your camera and your Christmas wish list and cross your fingers that you’re on the “nice” list!


Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park Presented by Capital One

Nov. 20 – Feb. 3 (including Thanksgiving and Christmas Days), hours vary

Skyline Park, Arapahoe St. Between 16th and 17th Streets

Free ice skating is available all weekend (and seven days a week through Feb. 3) at this outdoor ice skating rink. Shine your skates (or rent a pair) and get your twirl on! Other fun activities include Snoga (the opposite of hot yoga!) and Broomball.


Christkindl Market

Nov. 16 – Dec. 23 (including Thanksgiving Day), hours vary

Skyline Park, 1515 Arapahoe St.

Would you like some holiday polka music, European confections and schnapps with your holiday shopping? Of course you would! You can have it all at the unique Christkindl Market.


Grand Illumination

Friday, Nov. 23, 4 – 9 p.m. (lighting at 6:15)

Denver Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop

View the annual lighting of the historic Union Station and a 40’ tall tree! Visit with Santa and other special guests and enjoy live musical performances and other fun activities.


Holiday Market at Union Station by Denver Flea

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 23 – Dec. 16, hours vary

Denver Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop

Celebrate local makers and artisans presenting one-of-a-kind gifts served up with seasonal cocktails, food trucks and groovy background tunes. Free visits with Santa are available on Sundays, Nov. 25 – Dec. 23, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


The Art of the Board

Nov. 17 – Jan. 6, (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days), 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

History Colorado Center, 1200 N Broadway

Snowboarders and non-boarders alike will find inspiration in this look at the artistic side of snowboard design. Colorado artisans will fill the atrium with 26 Colorado-themed snowboards.


LEGO Building Workshop

Saturday, Nov. 24, 9 – 10 a.m.

History Colorado Center, 1200 N Broadway

Build (and keep!) your own Colorado-style LEGO set and then take a special guided museum tour based on your creation.


DIOR: From Paris to the World

Nov. 19 – March 3 (excluding Thanksgiving Day), hours vary

Denver Art Museum, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy

More than 200 couture dresses will be on display, in addition to a collection of accessories, jewelry, photographs, drawings and runway videos that document the history of the iconic haute fashion house.