October 31, 2018

Categories Community Guides, Local Events

Your Guide to the Best Holiday Events in Colorado 2018

November and December are filled with tons of festive events to kick off your holiday season! We’ve created this holiday event guide for you to find the best holiday events in Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, Golden, and Denver so you can pick which ones complete your holiday schedule. From parades to visits with Santa to gift making and holiday dinners, you can be sure to find a way to celebrate the holidays in whichever way best suits you and your family.


Holidays Markets & Gift Festivals – Boulder, Longmont, & Denver

Dates vary, see below
Here you’ll find five unique and special holiday shopping experiences! Admission is free to these extraordinary holiday festivals, including lots of vendors, live music, and more, sponsored by Colorado Events.
November 3rd-4th, 11m-6pm: The Urban Holiday Market is an open air holiday market in downtown Denver.
November 10th-11th, 10am-5pm: Deck the Mall is Pearl Street Mall’s holiday market, showcasing specialty shops in downtown Boulder.
November 24th, 10am-5pm: The Boulder Holiday Market is held in Central Park in Boulder, and happens in conjunction with the Snow Much Fun Festival.
December 9th, 11am-5pm: The Boulder Holiday Gift Festival will be held at the Boulder YMCA at Mapleton and 28th.
December 15th, 5pm-8:30pm & December 16th, 10am-5pm: The Last Chance Gift Fest will be held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont.


Switch on the Holidays – Boulder

November 18th, 5pm-7pm
Boulder kicks off the holiday season with the lighting of the Boulder Courthouse and Pearl Street Mall. A festive sing-along led by the Boulder Children’s Chorale and members of the Boulder Chorale builds anticipation before the street is illuminated, and Santa makes a special appearance afterwards! Visiting Santa is free until he leaves for the North Pole at 7pm.


St. Nick on the Bricks – Boulder

November 23rd 11am-2pm, & Saturdays November 24th – December 22nd, 11am-2pm
Be sure to have your wishlist and camera ready because Santa is at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center every Saturday between November 24th and December 22nd! After this free event, don’t forget to stick around in the evening to see the lights on Pearl Street Mall.



The Nutcracker Ballet – Longmont & Denver

Dates vary, see Boulder Ballet here and Colorado Ballet here
The Boulder Ballet is presenting the classic Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker. In collaboration with live music from the Longmont Symphony, enjoy the cast of over 80 dancers and exquisite scenery to kick off your holiday season. The performances are at the Vance Brand Civic Auditorium in Longmont. Or, if you’re located closer to Denver, the Colorado Ballet is presenting The Nutcracker at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on various days and times in November and December.


Gift of Home Christmas Tour – Longmont

November 29th, 5pm-9pm, November 30th, 10am-7pm, & December 1st, 9am-3pm
Want to give to a cause and ring in the Christmas festivities at the same time? With over 1,500 attendees last year, this Christmas tour of decorated homes decked out for the holidays includes a luncheon at the Gift of Home Cafe at the Longmont senior center or dinner at one of four Longmont Restaurants (VIP preview night on November 29th only), all benefiting Longmont Meals on Wheels. Tickets are available on the Gift of Home website, along with the opportunity to volunteer for this event.


Snow Much Fun Winter Festival – Boulder

Lights on display daily starting at 4:30pm during the holiday season; see here for specific camps and activities times.
Another fantastic event is Boulder’s Snow Much Fun Winter Festival. In the Civic Area outside the Dushanbe Teahouse, the evenings are lit by 225,000 LED lights. Enjoy seasonal bites and drinks from the Dushanbe Teahouse or Seeds Cafe (inside the Boulder Public Library). All ages can participate in seasonal events at the Boulder Public Library, or the kids can learn at Holiday Art Day Camps hosted by the Boulder Musuem of Contemporary Art.



Home for the Holidays – Lafayette

December 1st, 12pm-4:30pm
Home for the Holidays is a fun-filled, annual holiday event right in Old Town Lafayette’s Festival Plaza. Be sure to check the times on the website here to make sure that you don’t miss a performance by the High Peaks Twirlers, visits with Santa, caroling, holiday sweets, hot drinks, and the lighting of the holiday tree. Enjoy this family event with festivities for all!

Charlie Brown Goes To The Nutcracker – Boulder

Saturday evenings beginning December 1st, 6:30-9:30pm
The St. Julien Hotel is hosting Charlie Brown Goes To The Nutcracker, a musical performance by Ron LeGualt Jazz. With all of the music from the Charlie Brown Christmas movie in addition to jazz versions of the music from the Nutcracker Ballet, ring in the holiday season with classic tunes for the whole family.

Lights of December Parade – Boulder

December 1st, 6pm
The Lights of December Parade in downtown Boulder is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season. This year, the parade consists of marching bands, lighted floats, decorated fire engines, and more, and will taking place on December 1st at 6pm. This classic Boulder tradition is free and open to the public. The route will begin at 15th and Walnut street heading west, turned north on 11th St, and made a final turn eastward onto Spruce street before ending at Spruce and 15th. Be aware that parking on these streets will be unavailable on the day of the parade.



Polar Express Train Rides – Golden

See website for available dates & times
Ready for a magical holiday experience? The Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden is once again offering the Polar Express Train Rides, a whimsical experience based on the original children’s picture book. This event sells out early every year, and only a couple tickets are left for 2018!


Longmont Lights – Longmont

December 7th & 8th, 5pm-8pm
Illuminate your holidays with the Longmont Lights celebration on December 7th-8th! Bring on the holiday cheer with activities including Santa’s workshop, live reindeer, train rides, hot cocoa carts, fire pits, food trucks, a holiday ice show, ice skating, and concerts. On December 7th, bundle up to watch a spectacular fireworks display starting at 7:45pm (weather permitting). Find more details about this favorite weekend holiday event here.


Inside the atmospheric Hotel Boulderado, enjoy a delicate Holiday Tea to the sounds of holiday piano tunes or a lovely children’s choir. The Holiday Tea Menu features the classic Boulderado Tea, a Royale Tea including a glass of champagne or Kir Royale, a Children’s Tea, and more! There’s even a special Nutcracker Tea, benefiting the Boulder Ballet, and a Children’s Tea, where proceeds are donated to the Children’s Hospital. You can make reservations, check available dates, and find the Holiday Tea Menu here.


Ignite Chanukah – Boulder

December 5th, time TBA
The Boulder JCC is hosting Ignite Chanukah, an evening of TED-talk-style presentations along with latkes, falafel, refreshments and snacks! Don’t miss this fun-filled Chanukah celebration. Check back on the website for more details, including location, pricing, and time to be announced soon.
This annual Erie holiday event is packed with all sorts of fun and cheer! At the corner of Briggs and Moffatt, you can roast s’mores, listen to local choirs, see a living nativity scene, jump on a free hayride, watch the parade of lights, and visit Santa at his workshop. Come out to Historic Downtown Erie from 5-8pm on December 7th. Detailed times and more information can be found here.


Louisville Parade of Lights – Louisville

December 7th, 5:30pm-9pm
Revel in the wonderment of the holiday season with the annual Louisville Parade of Lights, presented by the Louisville Chamber of Commerce. Before the parade, listen to live music and entertainment presented by local churches and schools, in addition to a a petting zoo, living nativity, and even a visit with Santa! The parade will begin at 7pm on Main Street. Note that in the past, Main Street has closed at 5pm.

Family Holiday Gift Make and Take – Boulder

December 9th, 2-4pm
The Boulder Public Library hosts the Family Holiday Gift Make and Take, an all ages event where you can use the provided supplies and gift wrappings to make your heartwarming holiday presents. No registration is required as long as supplies last!


Longmont Museum Holiday Showcase – Longmont

December 15th, 7pm & December 16th, 3pm
The fourth annual Longmont Museum Holiday Festival is back to awaken the Christmas spirit with this favorite Longmont tradition. In the past, seasonal songs and fantastic musicians have included the Health Walton Jazz Quintet, Venezuelan rhythms from Gonzalo Teppa, and Longmont’s Centennial State Ballet in excerpts from the Nutcracker. Before the matinee concert, you can even visit Santa and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. Buy tickets for one of the two shows here.

Winter Market – Louisville

December 23rd, 9am-2pm
Shop for specialty Christmas gifts, handmade items, crafts, and more at Louisville’s Winter Market, presented by Real Farmers Market. Keep an eye out on the Facebook page for more activities and details to be announced soon!


December 24th, 5:30pm
In the past two years, tickets have frequently sold out in advance for “Klezmania: Christmas Eve Party, Klezmer Concert, and (Optional) Chinese Dinner”! This event includes an optional Chinese food buffet, a concert, featuring Sheldon Sands’ Klezmer Consort, Hadgaba, and more. If you’d like to attend the optional buffet, be sure to get your ticket before registration closes on December 15th. Register for your concert and buffet ticket here.

St. Julien Hotel: Christmas Eve/Day Dining – Boulder

December 23rd, 24th, and 25th, times vary
Don’t want to cook for Christmas? Let the St. Julien Hotel serve you one of their popular holiday meals! They offer multiple times for candlelight dinner or holiday brunch on December 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Join the St. Julien Hotel in their holiday traditions and make your reservations here.



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Meet the author

Kayli Westergard

Social Media Specialist Kayli Westergard is the Content Specialist at WK Real Estate. Her lifelong interest and involvement in real estate coupled with her love of social media and writing are a catalyst for her to share the local tips and tricks.
Kayli Westergard

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