Denver Events in December 2019

Christmas, NYE, Concerts, Shows & More

Denver events in December 2019 include many holiday celebrations such as parades, SantaCon, Christmas light displays, and New Year’s Eve fireworks. 

If you’re a fan of the performing arts, you can attend a couple major Broadway musicals, the Colorado Ballet's performances of "The Nutcracker," or a special fundraiser for the Colorado Symphony.

Pro-sports lovers can check out the Broncos, Avalanche, and Nuggets in action. If you're sporty yourself, register for the Ugly Sweater Run, Rudolph Ramble, or Santa Stampede — all popular 5K runs.

Read on for more things to add to your December calendar. 

For some of the links on this page, I receive a small commission when you purchase. You don't pay more when you buy through me and it gives me the chance to offer you all this great content for free!

Theater Performances in December

Grench Christmas

If you love musicals, December is a great time to visit Denver. Two Broadway hits are on stage this month including "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and Jimmy Buffet's "Escape to Margaritaville." 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas only plays for 5 days starting on 12/3 and ending on 12/8 and is suitable for anyone 5 years and older. Escape to Margaritaville plays from 12/23 through to 1/5/2020 but not on Christmas Day.

The Broadway shows are always some of the most popular Denver events in December and you will not want to miss out.

>> Get more details about December productions

Broncos Football

Broncos Football

Football fans visiting Denver in December should be sure to check out the 2016 Super Bowl champion Broncos. Unlike most years, they play three games at home this month. They play against the Los Angeles Chargers on 12/1, the Detroit Lions on 12/21, and the Oakland Raiders on 12/29.

If you can't make it to one of their Denver events in December, you can still see where the team plays its home games. Empower Field at Mile High offers tours Thursdays through Saturdays at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. These sell out, so get tickets early.

>> Read more about the Broncos including ticketing information

Christmas Events & Activities

Christmas in Denver

Are you planning to spend Christmas in Denver this year? If so, you will find a lot of fun things to do during the holiday. 

On Christmas Eve, enjoy performances at the theater, a concert at one of Denver's top venues, or see a showing of "The Nutcracker." On Christmas day, you can find a great place to enjoy dinner with your family and stroll around town admiring the Christmas lights displays.

>> More information on Christmas Eve & Day events and activities

Christmas Lights

City & County Building

Denver lights up around Thanksgiving when the city flips the switch on its holiday lighting displays. Get out during the evening to see displays at places such as Union Station and Civic Center Park in downtown, both locations of Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Denver Zoo. 

One of the can't-miss evening Denver events in December is the annual 9NEWS Parade of Lights on Friday, 12/6 at 8 pm and Saturday, 12/7 at 6 pm. The parade begins at the City & County building downtown. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled as you may even see Santa! 

>> Find out about more light displays in Denver

>> See Santa's schedule for this year

Other Special Holiday Events

Beer Festivus

The Mile High City goes all out during the holiday season and offers many fun Denver events in December. One especially fun event is the Ugly Sweater Run, so be sure to pack an awful holiday sweater.

Brunch with Father Christmas (Sunday, 12/8 at 10 am): Celebrate the holidays with Father Christmas at Four Mile Park, enjoy holiday fare and fun family-friendly activities from 9am to Noon

Rudolph Ramble (Sunday, 12/1 at 10 am): Rudolph the Reindeer is lost and you must find him on this search-and-rescue 5K using clues. The run starts at City Park.

J is for Just Ugly Run (Saturday, 12/16 at 10 am): Ugly sweaters take over downtown Denver during this 5K run/walk featuring fun post-run activities.

Santa Stampede (Saturday, 12/7 at 9 am): Come to Hudson Gardens in Littleton for this family-friendly 5K/10K that takes place along the scenic South Platte River.

Denver Beer Festivus (TBD): Sample about 50 of the region's craft brews and ciders at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. It's a beer festival for the rest of us!

WinterFest (TBD): South Pearl Street hosts local merchants, food vendors, musicians, and Santa. You can even go on a horse and wagon ride. 

Dolls Tea Party at the Oxford Hotel (TBD): Kids will be delighted at this tea party featuring ballerinas from the Arvada Dance Company. Bring a doll! 

>> More holiday events this year

Where to Stay ARound DEnver

You will find a lot of great places to stay in Denver. Here are some of my top recommendations.

Downtown Denver | Near the Convention Center | Near the Pepsi Center | Airport Hotels

You will also find a great selection on Booking.com and through TripAdvisor. Click the links to learn more about each one.

Find top hotels and read dozens of recent guest reviews on Booking.com.

Compare prices and find some great deals on TripAdvisor.com.

a charlie brown christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Date: Sunday, 12/22 at 2:30 pm and 6 pm

Location: The Paramount Theatre

Any kid, or anyone who is a kid at heart, will love this live version of the animated classic. See Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and others save a tiny tree, enjoy their day together, and find the true meaning of Christmas. You will also enjoy the classic music by Vince Guaraldi the second you hear his famous tunes played on the piano.

This performance is for all ages and everyone will love this special one day only event. 

'The Nutcracker' Ballet

Nutcracker Ballet

Dates: Saturday, 11/30 - Tuesday, 12/24

Location: Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1385 Curtis St., Denver, CO 80204

The Colorado Ballet presents the largest production of "The Nutcracker" in the state. This beloved Christmas classic features more than 300 costumes and 100 dancers. Tchaikovsky's score is beautifully performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

It's one of the Denver events in December you do not want to miss — get your tickets now! 

>> More about the Colorado Ballet and its "Nutcracker" performances

If you want to see a very special performance of the Nutcracker, the world famous Moscow Ballet is going to be in the Mile High City for four performances only. These shows will be on Friday, 12/ 13 at 7 pm and on Saturday, 12/14 at 12 noon, 4 pm and 8 pm.

Denver Events in December: Concerts

Concerts

Denver is fortunate to have so many great acts perform here throughout the year, and December is no exception. 

Highlights this month include Thievery Corporation at the Fillmore Auditorium, The Brian Setzer Orchestra at The Paramount Theatre, and Umphrey's McGee also at the Fillmore.

Holiday concerts include "Mannheim Steamroller" at the Buell, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra performing numerous shows including Bertie Baigent's "A Colorado Christmas", and Denver Brass playing "Twas the Night Before Christmas" at Boettcher Concert Hall.

>> Find a schedule of additional performances this month

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

mannheim

Dates: 12/14 at 4 pm and 8 pm, 12/15 at 3 pm

Location: The Buell Theatre 

One of the top holiday Denver events in December is three performances by Mannheim Steamroller. They will be playing their popular holiday songs including Deck the Halls, We Three Kings, and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. 

You will be sure to feel the Christmas Spirit when you see this incredible performance at this lovely location.

Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche

Also on ice this month is the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. The team plays seven home games at Pepsi Center.

If a game doesn't fit into your schedule, you can tour Pepsi Center, which is also home to the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Mammoth.

This year's Denver events in December includes match-ups between teams such as the Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, and more.

>> This month's schedule and tips to see a game at the Pepsi Center

Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman

Date: 12/12 at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm

Location: Paramount Theatre

Famous for his hilarious character on The Office, Nick Offerman comes to the Paramount Theatre and is definitely one of the best Denver events in December.

For anyone that loves to laugh, Nick will make sure that happens all night long.

His stand up is as funny as can be and you'll want to see him live and in person!

NYE Fireworks

NYE Fireworks

Date: Tuesday, 12/31

Location: 16th Street Mall, Denver, CO 80265

If you love fireworks but can't stay awake until midnight, you're in luck. The 16th Street Mall downtown has both an early show at 9 p.m and a midnight show (both displays are the same). Djs will also be playing holiday songs from 8 pm until midnight.

The celebration welcoming in the new year features magicians, balloon artists, stilt walkers, comedians, and musicians. It's one of the last Denver events in December that you do not want to miss! 

More NYE Events & Activities

NYE Champagne

In addition to fireworks, you will find several Denver events in December on NYE. They include several fun 21+ over parties both downtown and all around the city. 

In addition, you will find great concerts, theater performances, and comedy shows. Make sure to check out my insider's guide with all of the top things to do this New Year's Eve in the Mile High City.

>> Best place to celebrate NYE

SantaCon

SantaCon

Date: TBD

Location: Several bars around town

Get your hands on a Santa suit and take part in SantaCon, a worldwide gathering of people dressed as Santa. At this annual event, Santas take over the streets of Denver visiting bars along the way. 

Just wearing a Santa hat doesn't count — you have to go full-on Santa. However, you'll be welcome if you're dressed as an elf, reindeer, Mrs. Claus, or anything else in the spirit of the holidays. 

Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets

If you're in Denver in December, you'll have nine chances to see the Nuggets play on their home court at the Pepsi Center. It's a great place to see a game, and you'll feel like a local. 

This month they take on teams such as the LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New York Knicks, and others.

Click the links below for ticketing information for all of the Nuggets games this month in Denver.

>> Get their full home schedule and tips to find the best seats

Ice Skating at Skyline Park

Ice Skating

Dates: Wednesday, 11/20 - Monday, 2/3

Ice skating is a great wintertime activity for both kids and adults, so check out the outdoor rink at Skyline Park. This urban park is in the heart of downtown Denver and set among the city's skyscrapers. 

The rink is open daily and rents out either single-blade skates or double-blade skates, which are good for beginners. Free skating lessons are held every Sunday from 9 am to 10 am. 

After a fun day of skating, head to one of the nearby restaurants to warm up. 

Free Museum Days & Exhibits

Denver Art Museum

You can visit some top tourist spots for free during these Denver events in December. We've rounded up the days where admission is waived at area museums. Mark them on your calendar!

Dec. 3: Children's Museum at Marsico Campus (4 - 8 p.m.)

Dec. 7: Denver Art Museum (free for kids 18 and under every day of the year)

Dec. 13: Four Mile Historic Park

Dec. 8: Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Dec. 18: Clyfford Still

Dec. 19: Plains Conservation Center

>> Find a full schedule of free days here

Here are just a few of the top museums in Denver in December.

Denver Art Museum: "Inside Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature." Known for his incredible paintings, this is the most comprehensive US collection in over 20 years. This exhibit explores his interest in how humans disappeared from his paintings and he focused on landscapes.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science: "Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius." Known primarily as a scientist, da Vinci also an artist, sculptor, philosopher and more. Learn more about this amazing man and how he still influences society 500 years after his death.

Beyond Denver

Beyond Denver

Get outside the Mile High City limits and do some exploring. You'll see some amazing mountain scenery and get a better feel for the surrounding area. Here are a couple fun winter holiday events in Golden and Winter Park, Colo.

Olde Golden Christmas Parade (Monday, 11/30 - Tuesday, 12/31): Visit historic downtown Golden for the holiday parade featuring Santa, the Grinch, and elves on unicycles. Barbershop quartets, Victorian-dressed carolers, Newfoundland cart rides, and hayrides are also part of this free celebration about 25 minutes from downtown Denver. Additional events are scheduled all month long.

Ullr Fest (Jan. 10th - 13th): Also in Breckenridge this month is the annual Ullr Fest, a snow lovers' fun paradise named after the Norse God of Winter. You'll see skiers wearing Viking hats, the "Ullympics" featuring a frying-pan toss, ski jumpers, and mobile hot tubs. Events include a parade, bonfire, hangover breakfast, ice plunge, and comedy night.

Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade (Tuesday, 12/24th): Located at a beautiful resort in Winter Park (about 65 miles outside Denver), the free celebration features a parade, Christmas carols, a bonfire, Santa, fireworks, and post-parade worship services. The parade runs from 5:30 pm to 6 pm so make sure give yourself enough time and get a great view of it.

Denver events in December

› Denver Events in December