Thanksgiving in Denver 2017 includes activities such as 5K turkey trot races, festive German-style shopping at Christkindl Market, and, of course, dining at restaurants serving all your favorite holiday dishes so you don't have to cook.
Weekend events include ballet and symphony performances, pro sports games, and holiday lighting ceremonies. You can also catch a comedy performance, enjoy a concert, or do some shopping.
Check out the list below for all the fun events happening on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23) as well as Thanksgiving weekend.
Here are some recommendations to grab lunch or dinner on Thanksgiving Day in Denver from 2016. The 2017 menus will be available soon and I'll update this section with more details.
Location: Downtown Aquarium, 700 Water St.
Don't want to cook or wash dishes on Thanksgiving Day? Then head to the Downtown Aquarium for a Thanksgiving feast among the sea animals.
You'll find all the traditional Thanksgiving favorites, plus kids will love the special buffet created just for them. Guests get discounts on exhibits and rides, so stick around after your meal.
Reservations are required, so call 303-561-4450 to save your spot.
One of the best family-friendly events this Thanksgiving in Denver is the Ice Skating Rink at Skyline Park. The rink is open to the public from 11am to 7pm on Thanksgiving Day. It's also open all weekend, throughout the holidays and beyond (November 21 - February 16).
The skating rink is free to use. You can either bring your own skates or rent them for just $2 a pair.
You will find a handful of tours running on Thanksgiving in Denver. These are three that offer tours on November 23.
Get some exercise in before feasting on all the Thanksgiving Day goodies. Several Denver-area races will give you a healthy start to the holiday, plus you'll help out some great local charities.
Harvesting Hope 5K
Time: 8 a.m. - noon
Location: Central Park, 8801 Martin Luther King Junior Blvd.
Burn off some calories before the Thanksgiving meal at Harvesting Hope, a 5K run/walk that helps fight childhood obesity. You'll enjoy the gorgeous surroundings at Central Park in Stapleton all for a good cause. Plus kids will have a blast on the fun run, which is free for kids younger than 10.
Mile High United Way Turkey Trot
Time: 8 a.m. - noon
Location: Washington Park, 1700 E. Louisiana Ave.
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving in Denver without the annual Turkey Trot. More than 20,000 are expected to participate in this four-mile run/walk that benefits children's education. Food, drinks, schwag, vendors, and a beer garden hosted by Great Divide Brewing Co. will be on hand.
Turkey Rock Trot 5K
Time: 8 - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Douglas County Event Center, 500 Fairgrounds Dr., Castle Rock, CO 80104
Not everyone has the means to have a bountiful Thanksgiving meal. With that in mind, head to Castle Rock for the annual Turkey Rock Trot 5K. All proceeds for this family-friendly run/walk benefit the Douglas/Elbert Task Force Food Bank. Start your holiday off knowing that you're helping those in need.
Time: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Skyline Park, 16th St.
Come to Skyline Park downtown for Christkindl Market, a traditional Old-World German shopping experience. Find handmade Christmas gifts such as glasswork, metal, photography, holiday decor, clothing, and more from local vendors.
Enjoy authentic German foods, dancing, German Christmas carols, and festive decorations to get you into the holiday spirit.
If you can't make it on Thanksgiving Day, you can also visit daily beginning at 11 a.m. through December 23.
Three holiday events kick off the weekend of Thanksgiving in Denver. The first is the Downtown Denver Grand Illumination. You can also check out Mile High Holidays and Blossoms of Light. All three begin Nov. 24.
Downtown Denver Grand Illumination: The day after Thanksgiving, downtown Denver gets lit up with twinkling Christmas lights. Get to the City & County Building by 6 p.m. when the flip gets switched, then admire the lights on a leisurely walk to Union Station to see its beautiful Christmas tree in front.
Mile High Holidays: This holiday season, take advantage of all the big discounts offered by Mile High Holidays. You'll find great savings at hotels, restaurants, and attractions to make your trip to Denver more affordable.
Blossoms of Light: Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens' location at York Street to see the gardens illuminated in colorful holiday lights. You'll be awed by displays such as the Romantic Gardens and O'Fallon Perennial Walk.
If you're coming to Denver during Thanksgiving weekend, you will find both the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche at home.
The Denver Nuggets take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, November 24 at 7pm at the Pepsi Center.
On Saturday night, the Colorado Avalanche take the ice against the Calgary Flames. The game starts at 8pm. Both teams play at the Pepsi Center.
Dates: Nov. 24 - Dec. 24
Location: The Jones Theatre, Denver Center for Performing Arts
Ever wonder what it's like to be a department store Christmas elf? You'll find out in excruciating but hilarious detail in Joe Mantello's adaptation of humorist David Sedaris' time as an elf at Macy's in New York City. You'll never look at store elves the same way again!
Dates: Nov. 24 - Dec. 24
Location: Stage Theatre, Denver Center for Performing Arts
Charles Dickens' holiday tale gets the musical treatment in Denver's unique adaptation of A Christmas Carol. This must-see annual tradition will warm your heart as Ebenezer Scrooge finds redemption from his miserly deeds after spirits take him on a life-changing journey through the past, present, and future.
Dates: November 11 - April 22
Location: Garner Galleria
This Thanksgiving in Denver, you can also catch one of several performances of First Date. Take a peek inside what it's like on the dating scene in New York.
Meet two romantics looking for love on a blind date. See what happens when the two meet up for a casual drink at a local restaurant. Will this blind date turn into love?
This hilarious show offers twists, turns, and a good laugh all night long.
Dates: Nov. 25 - Dec. 24
Location: Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1385 Curtis St.
Be sure not to miss the Colorado Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" during your Thanksgiving in Denver holiday. The popular tradition kicks off with a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 25 (there's also an evening performance, as well as a Sunday matinee).
Kids will love the hundreds of gorgeous costumes, dancers, and sets in this Christmas-time classic about young Clara and her prince.
Dates: Nov. 26
Location: Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St
The Colorado Symphony will offer one performance this Thanksgiving in Denver. On Sunday, catch a performance of Drums of the World.
Colorado Symphony percussionists take you on a trip around the world in this performance that showcases new and old percussive instruments. This is the perfect family-friendly event and features pre-concert activities your kids will love.
Here are a few of the top concerts this Thanksgiving in Denver.
If you've never been to Denver (or even if you have), get to know the city better on one of the dozens of fun tours available.
If you enjoy hearing about the past, book a walking tour of the city that visits historic areas.
Denver is a big beer town, so you'll have the chance to tour major beer-making operations as well as small-batch breweries. Find a list of my recommendations here.
If you're a wine lover, take a tour that visits some of the dozens of tasting rooms in the area. Discover my favorite guided and self-guided tours.
All of these will make your Thanksgiving in Denver vacation a real treat!
Date: Nov. 25 & 26 at 6 p.m.
Location: Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec St.
If you're burned out from all the Thanksgiving Day meal preparations, let "Men Who Cook" take over the cooking duties. For this black tie fundraiser, gentlemen put on their chef hats and prepare delicious dishes. You'll also enjoy a silent auction, dancing, and live entertainment at the elegant Renaissance Hotel in the Stapleton neighborhood.