There are plenty of things to do in Denver in November, including significant holiday events for Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas season. This month’s annual traditions are popular Broadway shows and the Colorado Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
Another annual Thanksgiving weekend tradition is the lighting of Denver’s City and County Building and the start of other holiday activities.
Denver Arts Week is a city-wide, week-long schedule of events ranging from dance and film to opera and comedy. You won’t want to miss it, and even economically priced.
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Mark your calendars — for the much-anticipated Thanksgiving holiday. If you’re in town then but don’t have local family or friends to eat with, you can still get a traditional Thanksgiving meal at some restaurants.
Be sure to make reservations as soon as possible!
Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season. Some more festive events are the downtown holiday lighting celebrations at Denver Grand Illumination and Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens (York Street location).
Thanksgiving Day Activities
You will find several things to do in Denver in November for Thanksgiving Day and Weekend. Several local restaurants are open and feature traditional and non-traditional holiday meals.
This weekend is when several areas light up for the holiday season, including Union Station, the City and County Building, and the Denver Botanic Gardens. Mile High Holidays also starts this weekend and features discounts and deals all around town.
Denver loves its homegrown beer, so it’s the perfect city to get a behind-the-scenes look at how area breweries produce their unique versions of brew.
You can take tours on your own to individual breweries or book a guided group tour that lets you try samples at several breweries. Visits to some smaller breweries are free or economical, whereas group tours are pricier.
Breweries that let you in on their secrets include Great Divide Brewing Company, Epic Brewing, and of course, Wynkoop, the state’s first craft brewpub. Popular group tours include Denver Brews Cruise, Denver Craft Brew Tour, and Mile High Tap Tours.
Other Tours in Denver
Consider booking a tour to better get to know the city when planning your trip. There are various special tours to match your interest, whether it’s city history, drinks, or sports.
A favorite city tour is the Denver City Sightseeing Tour, which hits some of the area’s best highlights — the State Capitol, U.S. Mint, Denver Art Museum, and the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood.
If you like to sample different social beverages, take the Best of Denver bus tour. It stops at distilleries where you can sample spirits, cocktails, and mead.
Basketball, hockey, or lacrosse fans want to check out the Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Mammoth. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at this 20,000-seat arena and learn how the venue puts on events.
Click the links below for some additional popular tours this time of year.
Theater Opera, & Ballet
Denver is a playground for performing arts fans, home to Opera Colorado, Colorado Ballet, and first-class theater productions. That playground is the Denver Performing Arts Complex for many of these events.
Theater and musical patrons have many chances to see popular Broadway productions throughout the year. Past performances have included shows such as “Phantom of the Opera.” Some more intimate venues feature superb actors if you prefer plays. Click here for this month’s calendar.
Opera Colorado, founded in 1983, has staged classic operas such as Puccini’s “La Bohème,” which starred internationally known tenor Placido Domingo.
Colorado Ballet puts on productions that appeal to all ages, for example, the annual performances of “The Nutcracker.”
Where to Stay in November
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.
Free Activities & Attractions
Check out some Denver attractions that waive admission if you’re watching your pocketbook. It’s a great way to stretch your dollar while traveling.
One of Denver’s top tourist destinations is the historic State Capitol building. You can take a free self-guided or group tour that takes you up to the golden dome. On your way into the building, look on the capitol steps for the markers that indicate precisely where the city measures a mile high.
You could spend time in the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, located in Sports at Mile High Stadium. There are paid tours of the stadium, but if you’re short on time (and cash), duck into the Hall of Fame. It provides a free comprehensive look at Colorado sports and legendary players.
Want to know how coins are made? Then be sure to visit the Denver Mint. You’ll learn some fascinating U.S. history and can buy coins minted right there at the facility. Reservations are required for the free guided tour. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Denver in November.
Things to Do in Denver in November with Kids
Denver has many fun things to do in Denver in November with kids, so don’t hesitate to bring them along on your trip. You’ll create some wonderful memories for them and have fun in the process, too.
The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is an excellent place to visit. Your kiddos will be in awe of the aviation museum housed in the huge 40,000-square-foot airplane hangar on the grounds of the former Lowry Air Force Base.
The Museum of Nature & Science features an IMAX theater; health, space, and wildlife exhibits; and a planetarium.
Treat your sweet tooth with a tour of Hammond’s Candy, a Denver tradition since 1920. You’ll get to watch candy being made in its factory, and you can try some samples! The kids will love you for taking them here.
Best Attractions & Museums
There are so many things to do in Denver in November, so we’re here to help you narrow down the field.
A must-see is the Denver Art Museum, which is a work of art itself. It’s one of the larger art museums in the country and has a nice array of Native American artwork.
The Colorado History Center features permanent exhibits on the state’s natural environment, a diorama that shows what Denver looked like in 1860, and time machines.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1996, has five galleries featuring respected local, national, and international artists. It features only rotating exhibits, so there will always be something fresh to discover.
Fun Activities After Dark
If you’re not too tired from all of the things to do in Denver in November during the day, head out for some nighttime entertainment.
Comedy shows are always fun, and you’ll find some fantastic clubs in Denver. Check out Backstage at Beryl’s, where you can also see a variety and live music shows. Voodoo Comedy Playhouse features improv and sketch comedy — it’s always fun to see what performers can come up with on the fly. Click here for this month’s calendar.
If you like live music, Denver has many options. The historic Bluebird Theater is always a good choice, as is the country music venue, Grizzly Rose. Check out the list of shows this month.
Also, be sure to get some drinks at some of the many craft breweries — it’s what Denver is famous for!
Denver pro and college sports seasons are in full swing in November.
The Super Bowl champion Broncos play one to two games at home this month.
You have several chances this month to enjoy a fast-paced game of hockey by the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. The Denver Nuggets also play at the Pepsi Center — the team has just over a half dozen November games scheduled.
If you follow college sports, the University of Colorado has a few home games for both the men’s basketball and football teams. The Colorado State Rams men’s basketball team has several Boulder and Fort Collins games. Its football team plays a couple of home games this month too.
Other Day Trips
One of the fun things to do in Denver in November is to head out on a day trip. You will find so many fun places to see that are only an hour or two away.
My recommendations for this month include a trip south to visit Colorado Springs. Here you can spend the day enjoying Pikes Peak or visiting the Air Force Academy.
You can also head north to check out what’s happening in Boulder. In this fun town, you can do a little shopping on Pearl Street or catch a show at a local theater.
Golden is the closest. You can either drive or take the light rail train here. Set in the foothills, this gorgeous town features free tours of the Coors Brewery, a few small museums, and plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop.
One of the things to do in Denver in November is a little holiday shopping. Don’t wait until December when the stores are extra crowded.
You’ll find well-known stores at shopping centers such as Flatiron Crossing, Park Meadows, and Denver Pavilions.
If you’re looking for something more unique, go to historic Larimer Square in downtown. It has independent boutiques featuring vintage items, Colorado designers, and one-of-a-kind finds.
Weather in November
Denver can be downright cold in November as temperatures dip into the 20s. Highs tend to be in the lower to mid-50s. Rainfall averages just over an inch in November.
You could even encounter some snow, so be sure to pack a winter coat and several options to layer with so you won’t get cold while out-hitting all of these fun things to do in Denver in November!