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Rocky Mountain Food Tours

UPDATED FOR 2019! We’re helping you choose the best events, attractions, concerts, and shopping markets to attend this holiday season!

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photos Courtesy of the German American Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Now that the crisp chill of winter has finally started to descend on our beautiful state, we’re getting into the holiday spirit by making a list of our favorite holiday events in Colorado.

From Santa sightings to sleigh rides, there are literally hundreds of ways to make the 2019 Christmas season merry and bright. These are things we personally like attending every year and feel are worth your time during a season that’s historically very busy. Enjoy!


Holiday Events & Activities | Colorado Springs

The Broadmoor

Stay, dine, or simply relax at The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs’ own five-diamond resort. There are plenty of things to enjoy this holiday season including a brisk walk around the lake to see the Christmas lights.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photo Courtesy of The Broadmoor

1. The Broadmoor Holiday Show

December 13-28

Enjoy fine dining at the Broadmoor while being entertained by a rotating list of talented artists, musicians, and even ventriloquists. And of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without a visit from the jolly man himself, Santa Claus. This is a great event for a large group or corporate holiday party.


Glen Eyrie

Built in 1903 by our founder, William Jackson Palmer, Glen Erie is an English Tutor style castle nestled in a wooded canyon. The property is privately owned by The Navigators but opens to the public throughout the year for several festive and regal events. 

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photos Courtesy of Meg McIlvaine, Spencer Moore and Mark Golub

2. Yule Tea

November 30-January 1, 2020 (11:00am | 2:30pm)

Experience the beauty of the castle grounds during wintertime by attending one of only a few Yule Tea events. Taking place in the castle’s bright and sophisticated Music Room, the Yule Tea is a rare opportunity to travel back in time to the early 1900s and to leisurely sip and savor hot tea in the company of your closest friends.

3. Madrigal Banquet

December 5-7 | 12-14 | 19-22 (5:45pm event begins)

The Madrigal is Glen Eyrie’s signature event and is very popular. This night of revelry is not just a four-course plated dinner, but it’s also an all-night live performance featuring musicians, dancers, singers, actors, and orators. This magnificent evening is set in the Great Hall, and guests are encouraged to dress in their finest attire in celebration of the Christmas season.

4. Acoustic Eidolon Concerts

December 8 | 29 (4:00pm | 7:00pm)

Another event set in the impressive Great Hall, this whimsical night of music performance by Joe and Hannah Scott, a married couple, is a great way to spend a leisured and relaxed time in the company of friends, family, or out-of-town guests. Their music is a blend of Celtic, folk, and Latin.


Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was named the 6th best zoo in the nation in 2015 and is the only zoo in America to be nestled on a mountainside. Spectacular views of the city and one of the largest reticulated giraffe herds make this a top destination for many visiting Colorado Springs.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photo Courtesy of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

5. Electric Safari

December 6-8 | 13-23 | December 25-January 1, 2020 (5:30-8:30pm | last admission sold at 7:30pm)

Experience the zoo like you’ve never seen it! All 50 acres will be ablaze with thousands of twinkle lights. Meander through the grounds and stop to warm yourself by the outdoor fire pits or inside select animal exhibits. View Colorado Springs from the clouds on the Mountaineer Sky Ride and don’t forget to visit Santa!


Pikes Peak Center

The Pikes Peak Center is host to a showcase of large events throughout the year and is conveniently located in walking distance to hotels and restaurants in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs.

Photo Courtesy of Colorado Springs Philharmonic

6. The Nutcracker with Oklahoma City Ballet

November 29-December 1

Experience the magic of the ballet and a live orchestra during this 75-minute ballet production of the Nutcracker. Under the direction of Conductor Thomas Wilson, the elegant and classic Tchaikovsky score will whisk you off your feet.

7. Christmas Symphony

December 22 (2:30pm)

For one night only, enjoy the beautiful sounds of Christmas at this concert featuring choruses from Archangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto and Handel’s Messiah.

8. Cirque Musica Presents Holiday Wishes

December 26 (7:30pm)

This exciting and magical show will combine the grandeur of a symphony orchestra with talented acrobatics and aerialists. Bring the whole family to enjoy this incredible show that celebrates the holidays while leaving you on the edge of your chair.


Downtown Colorado Springs

Always a bustling place, Downtown Colorado Springs is a rich epicenter of shopping, dining, and culture. Two special events make this holiday season even brighter.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photo Courtesy of the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs

9. Ice Skating in Acacia Park

November 8-February 23, 2020

Take part in one of wintertime’s most fun outdoor activities – ice-skating! This pop-up rink in the center of Downtown is only available for a limited time. The cost of admission includes skates, and children four years of age and younger are free.

10. 35th Annual Festival of Lights Parade

December 7 (5:50pm)

A local favorite for over three decades, the Parade of Lights is once again creating memories for children and adults alike. Stake out your spot along Tejon Avenue and watch the vibrant and festive floats pass by. Don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate from a local coffee shop to keep warm!


Holiday Events & Activities | Castle Rock

Castle Rock

Sandwiched between Denver and Colorado Springs, Castle Rock offers a small town feel with big city amenities. Every year around the holidays, the large star set high atop the rock shines down on all residents and those passing through, bringing hope and good cheer.

11. Annual Castle Rock Starlighting

Saturday, November 23 (2:00pm-7:00pm) 

Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the town of Castle Rock gathers together in joyous celebration to light the star overlooking downtown. The outdoor festival preceding the lighting features a visit with Santa, food trucks, artisan vendors, and live music and entertainment. Just make sure not to leave too soon – there will be a magical fireworks display following the lighting.

12. Reindeer Games

Friday, December 13 (3:00pm-6:00pm)

Reindeer Games is an event for the whole family that will leave your little ones bright-eyed and excited for the holiday season! Enjoy a winter-wonderland theme complete with sleigh rides, hot cocoa, an obstacle course, a train ride through the park, and even a visit from Santa. This event is free and held outdoors!


Holiday Events & Activities | Denver

Skyline Park

Located at 16th Street and Arapahoe, this three-block urban green space is a great venue for community functions throughout the year.

Photo Courtesy of the German American Chamber of Commerce

13. 19th Annual Denver Christkindl Market

November 22-December 23

This traditional German market right in the heart of downtown Denver is the perfect place to find unique Christmas gifts, decorations, toys, and homemade goods. Enjoy live music and entertainment as you stroll through the market. And don’t forget to buy a German pastry!

14. Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park

November 26-February 16, 2020

Skate in the shadows of Denver’s skyscrapers at this outdoor ice-skating rink. Let the wonder of winter come alive as you free your inhibitions and breath in the crisp winter air. It’s free if you bring your own skates!


Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Laying claim as the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has an ever-rotating menagerie of Broadway musicals, plays, and educational programs.

Photos Courtesy of Tim Norris, the National Tour of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical and Matt Christine Photography

15. Hip Hop Nutcracker

November 23 and 24

Experience a contemporary version of the class Nutcracker interpreted through hip hop dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow. This action-packed and lively production will include innovative technology including digital graffiti and unexpected transformations.

16. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

December 3-8

Be reunited with your inner child as you watch this magical and lighthearted tale unfold on stage. Dr. Seuss’ silly and mischievous story of how the Grinch Stole Christmas includes humor, classic songs, and a fantastical set that will make you feel like you hopped right into the book!

17. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

December 14 and 15 

Come and behold the powerful music of Mannheim Steamroller, now celebrating 35 years. Lauded as creating the #1 most recognizable Christmas music in history, you and your whole family will sit back and enjoy getting into the holiday spirit at the Buell Theatre.


Downtown Denver

Sure to be abuzz with holiday happenings, Downtown Denver is full of cutting edge restaurants, shopping, and abundant nightlife.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photo Courtesy of the Downtown Denver Partnership

18. 45th Annual TubaChristmas Concert

December 22 (11:30am)

300 Tuba players will coalesce from around the region for a spirited and fun concert featuring classic holiday tunes. This concert, provided by CU Denver, is a long-time tradition and one that will revive your holiday spirit.

19. 44th Annual 9 News Parade of Lights

December 6 (8:00pm) | December 7 (6:00pm)

Stretching two miles through the heart of downtown, this annual parade is one of Colorado’s brightest holiday traditions. Enjoy the sights and sounds as you watch spectacular floats, local marching bands, and special appearances from Major Waddles the Penguin and of course Santa Claus.


Holiday Events & Activities | Misc. Colorado

M Lazy C Ranch (Lake George)

Travel back to when the west was still wild at this historic homestead. Make a vacation out it by staying in their guesthouse and enjoy easy access to horseback riding, fishing, and hunting.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photo Courtesy of M Lazy C Ranch

20. Sleigh Rides

Available by Reservation all Season

Take in the beauty of the mountains from a cozy seat on a horse drawn sleigh complete with hot cocoa and sweet treats. Hear the crinkle of snow beneath the horses’ hooves and let snowflakes dance around you as you escape from the buzz of the city. Dinner rides also available.


The Butte Theater (Cripple Creek)

Though located in a small mountain town, the Butte Theater packs an unexpected punch when it comes to their professional and world-class productions.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photos Courtesy of Thin Air Theatre Company

21. All I Want for Christmas Is: More Olio! 

November 22-December 29

Head to Cripple Creek to visit the historic Butte Theater for a traditional, full-length Christmas olio. An olio, if you are unfamiliar, is when the actors take the stage with short and hilarious acts, musical numbers, and games that engage the audience. With an intimate theater and a small-town feel, you’ll be amazed at the award-winning talent and entertainment.


Downtown (Cripple Creek)

This old mining town is a blast from the past. Spend a weekend there, press your luck at one of the casinos, and take in beauty of the natural surroundings.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photo Courtesy of the City of Cripple Creek

22. 10th Annual Cripple Creek Ice Festival

February 8-16, 2020

Once the holiday dust has settled, head to Cripple Creek for the annual Ice Festival located in the middle of town. Marvel at massive clear sculptures scattered down Main Street before they melt away. Warm up inside a pop-up pavilion with spiced cider and music from local talent. Each sculptor is asked to keep a theme in mind when crafting their frozen art (such as “Story Time” or “Under the Sea”), and this year’s theme will be announced soon!


Royal Gorge Route Railroad (Canon City)

View the extraordinary scenery of the base of the Royal Gorge from a train. Equipped with a kitchen and bar, this locomotive has all the amenities you’ll need to take in the sites as you pass along the river.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photo Courtesy of the Royal Gorge Route Railroad

23. Santa Express Train

November 14-December 30 (up to 4 departures daily)

Head to the North Pole with your favorite little ones on the special Santa Express Train. Santa will surely make a special appearance to the delight of those who are on the nice list this year. And don’t forget to wear your coziest pajamas!

24. Holiday Train

December 26-January 31, 2020 (12:30pm daily departure)

All aboard this two-hour lunch train featuring a special holiday menu. Be amazed at the winter wonderland surrounding you from the warm of your railcar as you pass through Colorado’s spectacular scenery.


North Pole (Cascade)

Celebrating 60 years of festive fun, the North Pole is located off highway 24 between Manitou Springs and Woodland Park. A perfect opportunity to see Santa, this family theme park offers plenty of exciting things to do including a magic show, arcade, carousel, Sky Ride, and much more.

25 Holiday Events in Colorado
Photo Courtesy of Santa’s Workshop

25. Santa’s Workshop

December 1-2 | 5-9 | 12-16 | 19-24 (10:00am-5:00pm)

After you’ve slid down the Peppermint Slide and taken a ride on the train, visit Santa in his workshop while he takes a break from supervising his elves. Little boys and girls can hop on his lap for a photo op…but only if they’ve been good!


Well, there you have it folks…our list of 25 things to do in Colorado this holiday season!

And of course as always (shameless plug!), we will also have food tours running every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout December and beyond. Even if you’re a local, our Original Colorado Springs Food Tour is a fun way to explore our city from a whole new (and delicious) perspective.

With more than enough to keep you busy, we’re sure this Christmas will be filled with precious memories, sweet treats, and hopefully a Santa sighting or two!

Cheers! The Rocky Mountain Food Tours Team

(So, what’s a food tour, anyway…?)



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