What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to admire a dazzling display of holiday lights? The Mile High City pulls out all the stops when it comes to brightening up the chilly winter season with all sorts of outdoor light shows, hotel decorations, and brilliantly lit Christmas trees.
Bundle up and take a gander at some of Denver’s coolest (pun intended) holiday light displays for some festive fun.
The Best Christmas Lights In Denver, Colorado
Blossoms Of Light At Denver Botanic Gardens
Blossoms of Light is an annual holiday light extravaganza that transforms the Denver Botanic Gardens into a shimmering wonderland with a 360-degree immersive light experience at its York Street location. Or consider Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms, also affiliated with the Denver Botanic Gardens, where you walk along a countryside path illuminated with trees. Tickets for each of these events must be purchased ahead of time; there are no on-site ticket sales.
The Mile High Christmas Tree Presented By Xfinity
The Mile High Christmas Tree in front of Denver’s City & County Building is composed of 60,000 LED lights that twinkle in sync with holiday songs for a choreographed show. It’s a brilliantly lit, seven-story, 110-foot cone of colored lights that’s 10 feet taller than New York City’s Rockefeller Center tree.
The tree towers over downtown’s Civic Center Park and is situated near the annual Denver Christkindl Market — a miniature German village with live music, holiday shopping, and food vendors serving traditional European Christmas market specialties such as gingerbread biscuits, grilled sausages, and belly-warming gluhwein.
Walk through a grove of dancing Christmas trees and a multi-colored forest of giant snowmen during Hudson Holidays at Hudson Gardens & Event Center in Littleton, just south of Denver proper. Santa is also on hand for free family photo ops. This is a fee-based ticketed event.
Luminova Holidays At Elitch Gardens
Head to downtown’s Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park to check out more than 4 million lights, walk through a 300-foot candy cane tunnel, and snap pictures of the 65-foot Christmas tree, 25-foot snowmen, and 16-foot wrapped gifts. Yes, the sights are all huge at Luminova Holidays! Ticket entry includes the park’s thrill rides that are open seasonally.
Denver Zoo Lights
A beloved holiday tradition for more than 30 years, Denver Zoo Lights features more than 3 million lights that sparkle over 80 acres. See animated ice sculptures, live ice carving exhibitions, and of course, the animals that make their home at this popular zoo in Denver’s City Park. This is a timed, ticketed event.
Dubbed the area’s “campiest, quirkiest holiday tradition,” Camp Christmas transforms Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace into a “360-degree kaleidoscope of yuletide cheer.” Head-scratching displays, “punny” trees, kitschy photo ops, visits with Santa, and creative cocktails are all on tap in this 15,000-square-foot venue. This is a ticketed activity.
Denver Neighborhood Holiday Lights
Lights shine bright in commercial neighborhoods throughout Denver. Just put on your walking shoes to stroll along sidewalks lined with lights, giant ornaments, and other festive decorations.
Cherry Creek North
Part of the Winter Wanderland celebration in chic Cherry Creek North, Saturday Night Lights features more than 600 illuminated and musical trees, plus free hot cocoa and entertainment. Dance on a lighted floor while a DJ spins tunes, walk through a tunnel of lights, and pose in an Instagram-worthy photo booth.
Don’t miss the holiday-themed “activated alleyway” in Denver’s LoDo. In this partially covered passageway on the Dairy Block, walk under strung lights and hanging baubles, then dip into Milk Market — a gourmet food hall — to fuel more strolling downtown.
Denver’s venerable train station is stunning all year round, but especially so during the holidays. Festive designs are projected on the facade of the 19th-century building. A 40-foot-tall Christmas tree with 7,000 lights welcomes visitors to Union Station and the surrounding shops, restaurants, and hotels, including The Crawford Hotel, located inside the station.
Denver Hotel Holiday Lights
The Brown Palace
The atrium lobby of The Brown Palace is full of festive cheer, with a 25-foot sparkly chandelier, more than 4,000 holiday ornaments, 250,000 crystal beads, and garlands and bows galore. Tickets go quickly for Holiday Tea; if there are still some available, be sure to snag them for delectable treats amid an ultra-festive backdrop.
Gaylord Rockies showcases dazzling lights outside as well as throughout the indoor public spaces of this sprawling resort. Don’t miss the giant Christmas tree in the multi-story lobby, and for chilly fun, buy tickets to “ICE! Featuring A Christmas Story,” with more than 2 million pounds of colored ice displays, including tunnels and slides.
More Holiday Lights Further Afield In Colorado
If your winter travels take you outside of Denver this festive season, check out these glittering displays in statewide cities:
The pretty lake at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs shimmers with all the white lights that twinkle throughout the resort property. Inside, the themed gingerbread display takes center stage, but the classic “Old World” elegance of the hotel’s public spaces, featuring tons of garland and dozens of Christmas trees, is equally jaw-dropping. Non-overnight guests are invited to visit the grounds on specific days throughout the season.
More than 500,000 lights adorn the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, where the exterior of the historic building and its courtyard are brilliantly lit with plenty of red and green every night through the holiday season. The property has been wowing visitors with festive events since 1893.
Winter Wonderlights is a captivating free light show with over 200,000 lights, live reindeer, ice sculpting, music, and dance performances in Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra in Loveland. For more entertainment in this northern Colorado city, check out holiday lighting along 4th Street downtown, part of Loveland’s Festival of Lights, as well as the Christmas Walk in the Woods.
Old Town Fort Collins sparkles with millions of sustainable LED lights that remain activated nightly through Valentine’s Day. Buy your tickets for the Garden of Lights at The Gardens on Spring Creek — Fort Collins’s community botanic garden — for a holiday light stroll and evening entertainment including carolers and a dressed-up dog troupe.