Top things to do in Denver in December include seeing theater performances, Broncos football, and Christmas lights. Other highlights include “The Nutcracker” at the ballet, New Year’s Eve activities, and free days at local museums.
With my recommendations, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy your stay in the Mile High City this month!
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My events calendar will give you plenty of fun things to do in Denver in December.
Many Christmas-related activities include viewing downtown’s holiday lights, participating in holiday 5K runs, and dressing as Santa during SantaCon.
Denver is known for its beer, and if you’re in town in the middle of the month, be sure to check out Denver Beer Festivus.
You can also go skating at Skyline Park or enjoy one of our many family-friendly events.
Christmas is a magical time in Denver. Great holiday activities include attending Colorado Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” production, which runs until Christmas Eve.
The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum has a special event called Holidays at the Hangar with a special appearance by Santa.
You can also tour the Governor’s Mansion and see this historic home dressed up in its Christmas finest.
Christmas Eve & Day Activities
If you think there’s nothing to do on Christmas Eve and Day, you haven’t read our list of what’s going on these two days.
You can check out the musical “A Christmas Carol” and several other entertaining theater performances on Christmas Eve alone.
You can also check out some of Denver’s major attractions, such as the zoo and Downtown Aquarium, which open on Christmas Day.
New Year’s Eve
Are you looking for the best way to kick off the new year in style? Denver has a large selection of fun things to do.
My top picks include 21-and-older New Year’s Eve parties at local hotels and the grand fireworks display on the 16th Street Mall.
You can also check out a concert, head to the theater, or spend the evening watching the symphony.
Top Places to Stay this Month
You will find a lot of great places to stay in Denver. Here are some of my top recommendations.
You will also find a great selection on Booking.com and 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 fantastic deals on TripAdvisor.com.
Going behind the scenes at a Denver brewery is a must if you’re a beer lover. Many breweries let visitors see their production processes and talk with brewmasters about what makes their beers different.
The Coors Brewery tour shows what happens at the state’s largest brewery, but you can get a more intimate time at the many craft breweries, including Wynkoop, Prost, and more.
Other Fun Tours in December
More fun things to do in Denver in December include checking out some tours. It’s a great way to learn more about the city if you’re a first-time visitor (or even a long-time resident!).
You’ll feel like a VIP while touring the Pepsi Center, home to three of Denver’s pro sports teams and where the biggest names in music have performed.
Either way, you’ll taste why Colorado is becoming known for its wine industry.
Performing Arts: Theater, Symphony & Ballet
Denver has a fantastic performing arts scene, so you’ll never be at a loss for shows to attend.
In December, the Tony-winning musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” comes to town. The Colorado Symphony has many holiday performances, such as Handel’s “Messiah,” and the Colorado Ballet performs the famous “The Nutcracker” for most of the month.
Free Things to Do in Denver in December
The best free things to do in Denver in December include seeing the magnificent gold-domed State Capitol where the governor works and the Boettcher Mansion where the governor lives.
The U.S. Mint is another great free attraction. You’ll get a fascinating look at how our coins are made.
Fun Family-Friendly Activities
If you’re bringing the family on vacation to Denver, you’ll find many fun and educational attractions that kids and parents will both enjoy. Here are some of my favorites:
- Hammond’s Candy Tour: Satisfy your sweet tooth with free samples of fine chocolates and hard candy from this beloved candymaker.
- Colorado Sports Hall of Fame: Kids will enjoy special exhibits made just for them and get to dress up in sports gear.
- The Denver Puppet Theater: See marionettes perform classic folk tales.
- The Children’s Museum: Kids will love all the hands-on exhibits and activities.
- Unser Karting & Events: Drive go-karts and play table tennis, mini-bowling, and pool.
Top Attractions & Museums to Visit in December
Some of Denver’s most popular attractions are the Denver Art Museum, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, and the Molly Brown House.
This month at the art museum, you can see Venetian masterworks from the Renaissance, Japanese fashion, and landscape photography of the American Southwest.
Wings Over the Rockies hosts a meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the Molly Brown House has Victorian Yuletide tea parties.
Concerts, Comedy & Other Fun Things to Do at Night
Be sure to save some energy during the day so you can take in some of Denver’s great nighttime entertainment.
Major musical artists frequently perform at the historic Paramount Theater and the Pepsi Center arena. Find this month’s concert calendar.
Top-notch stand-up comedians perform at several of the city’s best comedy clubs. See who is performing this month in Denver.
You can also enjoy drinks in districts such as LoDo and Larimer Square.
Sports: Football, Hockey & Basketball
Denver has many pro-sports teams, including the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Broncos, and Denver Nuggets. Heading to a game is one of my favorite things in Denver in December.
The Avalanche played several home games this month against teams such as the Calgary Flames, the New Jersey Devils, and the Dallas Stars.
The Broncos usually play one to two home games this month.
In December, you’ll get several chances to see the Nuggets play at Pepsi Center. They’ll take on teams such as the 76ers, Knicks, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Rockets, and Hawks.
Here are some of the top upcoming games.
Skiing, Snowboarding & Other Outdoor Activities
More fun things to do in Denver in December include outdoor activities. Although it will be cool, it’s still fun to head outside for a few days.
Several skiing options are within two hours of Denver. Top picks include Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, and Breckenridge.
In addition to skiing, you can also snowboard or snowshoe. Lessons are available if you want to improve your abilities. When the day is done, return to Denver or spend a night or two enjoying top local restaurants and the fun nightlife.
Other Fun Day Trips
If you’re looking for additional day trips, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Denver in December. Top destinations this month include Golden, Colorado Springs, and Boulder.
Golden is a lovely place to visit all year long. This historic town has several excellent museums and restaurants. Its top draw is the free tour of Coors Brewery. You can get there by car or take the train from Union Station.
Colorado Springs is a fantastic place to visit this time of year. You can do a little hiking or visit Pike’s Peak. You can also stop by the Air Force Academy to check out its superb facilities.
Boulder is also beautiful this time of year. My favorite thing is to check out local museums and shop in the Pearl Street Mall. You can also grab a special lunch or dinner at one of the fabulous high-end restaurants.
Shopping is one of the most popular things to do in Denver in December. There are many shopping centers in the metro area if you’re looking for Christmas presents or souvenirs to remind you of your Denver trip.
Downtown has the 16th Street Mall, Larimer Square, and Denver Pavilions. Further out are the outlet stores at Colorado Mills and the state’s largest enclosed shopping center, Park Meadows.
Weather in Denver in December
December is one of the coldest months in the Mile High City, so pack a coat and clothing you can layer. The average low temperature is 16 degrees, and the average high is 46 degrees.
December is one of the driest months, with less than an inch of average rainfall. It also snows in Denver, so bring a hat, gloves, and scarf to keep warm while checking out the city’s attractions.