What shall we call this? A “mini vacation”? A Colorado “stay-ca-tion”? A “break from COVID?” Since Lyons will not have a parade this year, the Christmas Bazaar is cancelled, and the fireworks is still being discussed by the Town Board, we wanted to feature a TRIP TO DENVER, where the entire downtown area will be lit up with beautiful lights… including a new “metal and lights” sparkling tree! — The list below also includes facts about the special Holiday outdoor displays at the ZOO, the BOTANIC GARDENS, and the PARADE OF LIGHTS changes. Since there will be no Stock Show this year, the lights downtown will stay on until January 24, which is the normal ending day for the Stock Show. For more activities taking place downtown (like the carriage rides and the German Christmas Market), go to: Downtowndenver‘s Winter in the City page.
THE MILE HIGH TREE: Denver has a new Mile High Tree on the 16th Street Mall, at Welton Street It is a brilliantly lit, 110-foot-tall immersive art installation. It’s the largest installation of its kind in North America. The tree was created by ILMEX Illumination, a globally renowned decorative lighting production company in Spain. While you can enjoy the lights any time, there are 5-minute programs every 15 minutes, from 5 – 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Friday, Saturdays, and the following Sundays: Nov. 22, Nov. 29, Dec. 27. Safety protocols are in effect, like wearing a mask, social distancing, and not touching the tree. The last day to see it is January 2.
BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT
WHEN: Nov. 20, 2020–Jan. 16, 2021 (closed Nov. 26 and Dec. 25)
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens is proud to host Blossoms of Light, an annual family-friendly event that has become a tradition for people across Colorado. Come interact with incredible light displays — a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights — plus sip warm drinks and nibble on tasty treats as you stroll. Pre-purchased timed tickets and masks covering the face and nose are required.
WHEN: Dec. 4–Dec. 31, 2020
WHERE: Denver Zoo
It’s official: Zoo Lights has been making magic, memories, and even marriages for 30 amazing years! Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, this illuminating annual event transforms Denver Zoo into Colorado’s WILDEST winter wonderland. Don’t miss this year’s historic celebration, with more than a million lights sparkling over 80 acres—plus a host of special measures to keep your family safe and healthy.
WHEN: Nov. 20, 2020
WHERE: Throughout downtown Denver
As part of Downtown Denver’s Winter in the City program, Downtown Denver’s Grand Illumination event will light up downtown, from Denver Union Station to the City & County Building in Civic Center Park . The lights stay on through the end of December. On Friday, November 20, Downtown Denver’s major landmarks were lit up for the holidays during the Grand Illumination, with Mayor Hancock throwing the switch. Hundreds of thousands of lights will illuminate Denver Union Station, the City and County Building, the 16th Street Mall, Skyline Park, the D&F Clock Tower, 14th Street, Larimer Square, the Mile High Tree, and more. The lights on the County building are choreographed to the music at 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. The town is red and white in recognition of the First Responders and Medical Workers. Since there will be no Stock Show this year, the lights downtown will stay on until January 24, which is the normal ending day for the Stock Show.
DENVER LIGHTS & SIGHTS WALKING TOUR
WHEN: Nov. 29–Dec. 28, Fridays and Saturdays (no tours Dec. 24–25)
WHERE: Denver City & County Building; starts at 5:30 p.m.; order tickets online
There’s nothing quite like an evening stroll under twinkling holiday lights to celebrate the season! Embark on a fun-filled 1.5-hour tour of Holiday Lights & Sights walking experience as you take in all of the magic and cheer of this festive time of year in The Mile High City. Along the way, you’ll learn about the unique history, architecture and holiday traditions of Denver and Colorado. Besides getting the inside scoop on the famous and incredibly lit-up sights we’ll visit, you’ll hear about holiday traditions that got their start right here in Denver and in Colorado, plus other fun Christmas stories that will surprise you and put a smile on your face. Also, learn about popular places to eat. (https://www.denverfreewalkingtours.com/ Remember to tip your guide)
PARADE OF LIGHTS
WHEN: Nov. 27–Dec. 31, 2020
WHERE: Throughout downtown Denver
The Downtown Denver Partnership is transforming the community tradition, 9News Parade of Lights, in 2020! We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Parade will be a multi-week, socially safe extravaganza of activities across downtown. The floats you know and love will be displayed throughout downtown, from Denver Pavilions to Denver Union Station, offering multiple chances for our community to relish in the charm and excitement of the holiday season again and again.
NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER
WHEN: Permanent installation = starts 30 minutes after sunset
WHERE: Daniels & Fisher Tower = 16th Street and Arapahoe
Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Tuesday through Sunday evening.