With holidays coming up, that means there’s bound to be a whole lot of holiday festivities in Denver. One of our favorite ways to spend the holiday season is to go on a light tour and look at all the amazing light shows around the city. Some of these dazzling light installations have been on a two year hiatus, while some were forced to be drive-thru experiences only, but this year, things are back to their original formats and we’re so incredibly excited to share them with you. Here are 7 magical, must-see light shows in or around Denver.
Starting Thursday November 17th, enjoy this walking tour through a winter wonderland right in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood. Wander 16 blocks of twinkling lights twirled around trees and lampposts that, all together, add up to more than half a million lights. Among them are eight interactive, twinkling displays choreographed to music in different areas of the neighborhood, which we recommend you try to find because the winner could have a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree (and this year, that’s looking like a pretty amazing gift). On Saturdays, during the Saturday Night Lights shows, you can also enjoy free festive treats from 5pm to 7pm.
When: Nov 17th – Dec 24th.
Where: 2401 E 2nd Ave #150, Denver, CO 80206
Enjoy Denver’s wildest winter wonderland again this year the Denver Zoo. They’ve been putting on their beloved light display for the past 30 years, and the whole family can enjoy! Enjoy over a million twinkling lights over 80 acres alongside wild animals (the ones who thrive in colder weather at least). This year, they’re even added a few new art installations like their Aurora Borealis as well as nightly ice carvings, and more! Don’t forget to try one of their seasonal craft cocktails and if you’re really in the mood for some wild fun, head over to the Giraffes, where you can purchase a spot to get the chance to get up close and personal and feed them.
When: December 3rd to January 15th
Where: 2300 Steele St., Denver, CO 80205
The Denver Botanic Gardens will be hosting their family-favorite annual event, Blossoms of Lights, one of the city’s most spectacular light shows. Don’t miss the 200-foot long, 17-foot-tall tunnel of animated lights, perfect for photo opps, as you make your way across the site (a map is available here). Dress warm, garb a warm drink from their Hive Garden Bistro, and enjoy this holiday tradition that’s been lighting up the season for more than 3 decades.
When: Nov 18th – Jan 7th (closed Nov. 25 and Dec. 25)
Where: 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206
Elitch Gardens and Luminova Holidays are partnering up this year to transform the theme park into a spectacular light show. Over 3 million dazzling lights will be set up into amazing light displays and art installations, including a 65-foot-tall Christmas tree, a 25-foot-tall snowman, and a 200-foot-long candy cane tunnel of lights. Aside from that, there will be hot cocoa, train rides for the kids, and of course, Elitch’s many rides to enjoy.
When: Nov 25th – Jan 1st
Where: 2000 Elitch Cir, Denver, CO 80204
Touted as “Denver’s living room,” you know it, you love it, the Denver Union Station. As always, the station will be hosting Santa visits, projected light shows, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and more. The Grand Illumination show will take place on November 25th from 5 – 8pm with a live performance by the Denver Dolls singing classic holiday hits. The Merry & Bright Light Shows decorating the front of the station will take place November 25th through Dec 26th from 5-10pm with a myriad of different projections spreading holiday cheer.
When: Nov 25th – Dec 26th 5-10pm
Where: 1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
The Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms, sponsored by Denver Botanic Gardens, is taking place again this year if you’re looking for something more in the wilderness, but just as magical. Wander through the Coloradan countryside through a dazzling trail of lights just under a mile. Experience synchronized music in the children’s playgrounds, singing trees, two three-sided tunnels, and of course, hot cocoa and kettle corn to keep you fueled.
When: Nov 26th – Jan 2nd
Where: 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Rd, Littleton, CO 80128, United States
The Hudson Gardens will be holding their illuminated Extravaganza of Lights again after a two-year-long hiatus. Now for their triumphant return, they’ll be amping up the “dazzlemeter” with more lights, more installations, and just overall more festive cheer. There’ll be snowmen, colorful trees, glowing reindeer, and a holiday light tunnel, but remember, the tickets are available exclusively online.
When: Nov 25 – Dec 31
Where: 6115 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, CO 80120