With winter fast approaching it’s time to start enjoying all the amazing seasonal activities that Denver has to offer! From sledding to holiday lights and everything in between, there’s no shortage of fun things activities to explore. Enjoy the mile-high holiday season with your loved ones this year with our favorite free & family-friendly activities!
Downtown Denver Ice Skating
A winter pastime that goes back centuries, Ice Skating is synonymous with winter and holiday fun! The Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park is celebrating a decade of fun this season and offers free ice skating 7 days a week! Although entry is free, rentals can be obtained for a reasonable cost.
Bonus! Traveling through Denver International Airport this season? They host their annual pop-up ice skating rink in the open-air plaza outside of the Westin Hotel from the day after thanksgiving to January 6th. Free admission and rentals for everyone!
16th Street Mall at Arapahoe St.
Nov 26th 2019 – Feb 16th 2020
First Friday Downtown
Come see Denver’s Downtown Arts District come alive on the first Friday of every month! Rain (or snow) or shine, First Friday showcases hundreds of artists at booths, in studios, in alleys, and pretty much everywhere in between. Lots of food options and activities will be sure to keep the entire family entertained!
Denver Art District on Santa Fe Drive
Every First Friday of the Month from 5:30 – 9:30 PM
Olde Golden Christmas
Just a short drive away from Denver in neighboring Golden, you can see the historic town take a step back in time and come alive with Christmas spirit. This month-long celebration is a city-wide event that hosts an array of activities that include a holiday art market, candlelight walk, parades, live theater, santa encounters, shopping, dining, and of course an incredible display of lights!
Nov 30th – Dec 31st
Santa on the Square
For those of us who celebrate Christmas, no holiday season would be complete without a visit to Mr. Clause himself. Historic Larimer Square is Denver’s very first block, and comes alive with holiday spirit every winter. Enjoy a free visit with Santa and experience festive window shopping, carolers, carriage rides and more!
Bonus! Have a furry, four-legged family member in your life that wants to meet Santa too? Make sure you check out Paws + Claus at Larimer Square and snap a picture of your dog and Santa! This is also a free experience, but donations are accepted and encouraged with all proceeds going to the Denver Animal Shelter.
2019 dates TBA (generally weekends in December)
9NEWS Parade of Lights
2019 marks the 44th year of the annual Parade of LIghts in Downtown Denver! Quite possibly the biggest Colorado Holiday tradition, this impressive holiday celebration features extravagant floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and much more. Beyond the parade, you can take in the lights and festive decorations that take over the city!
Downtown Denver – Click to View Parade Route
Friday Dec 6th at 8 PM & Saturday, Dec 7th at 6 PM
Denver Story Trek
This unique and fun way to explore our city is a perfect way to learn more about our history and culture. Denver Story Trek is a website that has dozens of self guided audio tours of famous locations in our city. You and the family can walk, bike or drive to different locations of your choosing for an educational and adventurous day!
All Over Denver! Visit at www.denverstorytrek.org
New Years Eve Fireworks
The annual NYE Firework presentation spares no expense to ring in the new year the right way! Viewing can be done from anywhere along the 16th Street Mall, and will feature DJ’s playing music from 8pm to midnight. There are two identical showings, one at 8pm and one at midnight that both last for about eight minutes. This is the place to be if you want to experience the best NYE spectacle in all of Denver!
16th Street Mall
Dec 31st @ 8 PM & Midnight
Free Museum Days
Denver is host to some of the best museums in the West, and we are fortunate to have many days where you and your family can experience them for free! Check out when and where you can have an educational museum day for free below:
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205
Nov 17 & Dec 8
Botanic Gardens: York Street Location
1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206
Botanic Garden: Chatfield Location
Location: 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Rd, Littleton, CO 80128
Free Day: Nov 5
Denver Art Museum
Location: 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204
Free Days: Nov 2, Dec 7, Jan 4, Feb 1, Mar 7
Museum of Contemporary Arts (MCA) Denver (1 penny admission day)
Location: 1485 Delgany St, Denver, CO 80202
Free Days: Nov 2, Dec 7, Jan 4, Feb 1, Mar 7
Children’s Museum (First Tuesdays of every month free)
Location: 2121 Children’s Museum Dr, Denver, CO 80211
Free Days: Nov 5, Dec 3, Jan 7, Feb 4, Mar 3
Four Mile Historic Park
Location: 715 S Forest St, Denver, CO 80246
Free Days: Nov 8, Dec 13, Jan 10, Feb 13 and Mar 13
The annual Denver Christkindl Market is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit through through European and German tradition. This cultural experience is a great time for everyone and provides diverse options in entertainment, food and beverage, vendors, crafts and more. A great place to find a unique holiday gift for loved ones!
1515 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO 80202(16th Street Mall – across from the Clock Tower)
Nov 22nd – Dec 23rd
What would a good winter be without trips to the local sledding hill? Denver may be a relatively flat city, but there are a couple great sledding hills right here in Denver, and even more if you’re willing to drive a little further towards the mountains. Check out some of our local favorites below:
Whenever there’s snow!
Sledding Hill Park (Littleton)
S. Kipling Pkwy & W. Ken Caryl Ave., Littleton, CO 80128
Chautauqua Meadow (Boulder)
Baseline Rd & 9th St, Boulder, CO 80302
Ruby Hill Park (Denver)
1200 W Florida Ave, Denver, CO 80223
Robinson Park (Denver)
200 Fairfax St, Denver, CO 80220
If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other blogs on family-friendly winter activities in the Denver area!