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Feb 18th
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Home Things to Do Winter Fun Denver Gears up for Holiday Celebrations with Parades, Lights and Music

Winter Fun, Denver, Christmas

Denver Gears up for Holiday Celebrations with Parades, Lights and Music

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Denver has become one of the West's great destinations for holiday fun, and this year's festivities promise Christmas and New Year's treats with millions of twinkling lights, dazzling parades, outdoor ice skating, horse-drawn carriages, lively concerts and huge holiday theatrical productions.

There are special happenings in Denver every weekend of the holiday season through the end of January. More than 50 different events are listed on the Mile High Holidays website. Here's a sampling of some of the events waiting for residents and visitors to the Mile High City.

denverThe Downtown Denver Grand Illumination which lights up downtown with nearly 600,000 lights, from Denver Union Station to the City and County Building, is now up and running. More than 550,000 energy efficient LED lights adorn the 16th Street Mall (Denver's mile-long pedestrian promenade). Hop on a horse drawn carriage or a pedi-cab for a memorable ride up the Mall under a canopy of outdoor lights.

Free ice skating at the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park . Located on the Mall under the D&F Tower, Denver's historic landmark, the rink is free and open to the public with the option to bring your own skates or rent a pair at a minimal cost, through Feb. 14.

"Becoming Van Gogh" at the Denver Art Museum . Becoming Van Gogh is an in-depth exploration of Vincent van Gogh's unconventional path to becoming one of the world's most recognizable artists through more than 70 paintings and drawings by Van Gogh, along with works that inspired him. See it in style - VIP packages and hotel deals with "skip the line" tickets are available at
www.vangoghdenver.com through Jan. 20.

The 9News Parade of Lights, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, features countless sparkling lights, marching bands, giant balloons, majestic floats and delightful characters traveling through downtown Denver. The event will dazzle hundreds of thousands on Nov. 30 (8 p.m.) and Dec. 1 (6 p.m.). Viewing along the parade route is free, and grandstand tickets are sold for seating in front of the beautifully illuminated City & County building.

The Denver Christkindl Market. Relive a centuries old German tradition at the annual Denver Christkindl Market offering the sights, sounds and flavors of the holiday season with a German flair, across from the D&F Tower, through Dec. 22.

Stage adaptation of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Two World War II vets are determined to rescue their beloved commanding officer's country inn imperiled by a lack of snow. This production of the Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye movie musical delivers gorgeous songs, nostalgia - and a plan to save Christmas, running through Dec. 24.

Denver Zoo Lights. More than 38 acres of lights and 150 animated animal sculptures highlight this holiday extravaganza. Don't miss the month-long Zoo Lights Lantern Festival taking place in the newly opened Toyota Elephant Passage, Nov. 30 to Jan. 2.

The Colorado Ballet's Nutcracker. Whether it's your first time or 20th time, captivating costumes and scenery, unforgettable characters, and Tchaikovsky's treasured music make Colorado Ballet's rendition of The Nutcracker the ultimate holiday event, through Dec. 24.

Denver Botanic Gardens' Blossoms of Light. Embrace the holidays with more than one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs. Romantic and popular kissing spots will return, as well as the always anticipated HoloSpex glasses, which add a whole new layer of wonderment to the experience. Warm drinks and tasty treats and seasonal entertainment will be available, and thousands of lights in the Gardens' amphitheater are synchronized to your favorite holiday tunes, Nov. 30 to Jan. 1.

Colorado Christmas with the Colorado Symphony at Boettcher Concert Hall. Colorado Christmas rings in the holiday spirit in grand orchestral style. Join the Colorado Symphony Chorus, Colorado Children's Chorale, vocalists and dancers in a program of your favorite traditional Christmas carols and songs. Special mood lighting and a few magical guests from the North Pole make this Holiday classic the perfect way to celebrate the season, Dec. 7 to 9.

A Hudson Christmas at Hudson Gardens. Through Jan. 1, hundreds of thousands of lights create a magical display in Hudson Gardens' 30-acre winter wonderland, highlighting the grandeur of this hidden gem attraction in winter.

Toast the New Year with two spectacular fireworks displays. Ring in the New Year with Denver's annual New Year's Eve Fireworks with viewpoints along the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. The two spectacular fireworks shows will occur at 9 p.m. and Midnight.

The Mile High City also offers a wide array of holiday shopping options, from bargains at outlet stores to upscale offerings at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Larimer Square. Denver's hidden gem neighborhoods are home to dozens of unique boutiques, as well.

And in the grand tradition of the holidays, 50 Denver hotels are offering special holiday packages with more than 30 of the hotels offering rates that start at the "mile high" price of $52.80 (Denver is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level - one mile high). Go to
www.milehighholidays.com for more information.

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