December is a magical holiday here in Colorado. As winter begins to take hold and the holiday spirit starts to arise, we begin to see many great seasonal activites return. Check out our 25 favorite family-friendly & FREE activities to take part in this December!

Where: Civic Area – Boulder
When: Nov 24th – Jan 26th

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

For the entire month of December and beyond, you can explore Boulder’s Civic Area and see it come alive with the Holiday spirit. Here you can see a dazzling array of over 275,000 LED lights along with various special activities all season long!

Where: Pearl Street Mall – Boulder
When: Saturdays from Nov 30th – December 21st | 11 AM – 2 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Every Saturday in December you can visit Pearl Street Mall in Boulder to meet Mr. & Mrs. Clause themselves for free! Children 10 and under (along with accompanying adults) can also take a free ride on the Snowflake Express, an electric train that will chug along downtown Pearl Street in a special holiday experience. 

Where: Pearl Street Mall – Boulder
When: Saturday, Dec 14th | 11 AM – 3 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Freezie Fest is a celebration of winter, the holidays, and of course all things Snowman! There’s lots to do at the fun & free event, including Santa visits, free games and crafts, train rides, carolers, and so much more!

Where: Pearl Street Mall – Boulder
When: Saturday, Dec 7th | 6 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

The Lights of December Parade is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season! Taking place on the first Saturday in December, spectators can enjoy an array of winter-themed floats from a variety of businesses, churches, schools and civic groups from Boulder and beyond. You won’t want to miss the grand finally, an appearance from Santa Clause himself!

Where: Lakewood Public Library
When: December 3rd | 3:00 – 5:00 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

The Lakewood Public Library hosts a different after-school program every Tuesday, and the Lego Challenge is one you don’t want to miss! This winter-themed event encourages young architects to get creative and festive with their Lego creations. Kids can design by themselves or with a team and have the chance to win fun prizes!

Where: Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
When: December 3rd | 4:00 – 8:00 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Spend the evening exploring one the best Children’s Museums in the country for free! The Children’s Museum of Denver doesn’t offer too many free days, so definitely take advantage of them when you can. Kids will love exploring, playing and learning at the many exhibits that this museum has to offer.

Where: Denver Art Museum
When: December 7th | 10:00 AM- 8:00 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Kids and adults alike will love exploring the amazing collections that the Denver Art Museum has to offer. On the first Saturday of every month, they offer free admission for all who want to come and appreciate their exhibits. This is a great way to introduce your kids to art, or to reassure those little Picasso’s who already have a strong love for it.

Where: Town of Lyons
When: December 7th | 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

The town of Lyons is once again hosting their annual holiday parade and fireworks display this year! Join them on the first Saturday in December for a wonderful celebration of winter & the holidays. Their parade of lights begins shortly after the sun goes down at 6:30 PM and will illuminate the city with holiday cheer. After the parade, the fireworks begin at 7:40!

Where: Clyfford Still Museum – Denver
When: December 7th | 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

The Clyfford Still Museum is home to the world’s largest public collection of any American artist. While children under 17 are always free at this museum, parents and adults can also gain free entry on Saturday, December 7th. The whole family will love exploring the works of this abstract & highly-influential artist.

Where: Skyline Park – Downtown Denver
When: Nov 26th – Feb 16th

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

One of the funnest winter traditions for the city of Denver, the Downtown Denver Ice Rink returns for its 10th year in 2019! Here you can enjoy ice skating for free 7 days a week. If you don’t own any skates, you can always rent a pair for cheap, only $7 for kids and $9 for adults. Make sure to check their hours before arriving as they do vary, but generally the rink is open between 11 AM – 7 PM on weekdays and 10 AM – 10 PM on weekends.

Where: Skyline Park – Downtown Denver
When: Friday, Dec 6th | 5:30 – 9:30 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

The art walks that take place in downtown Denver’s Art District on the first Friday of every month is a staple event for our city. Rain (or snow!) or shine, this event takes place every first Friday from 5:30 – 9:30 PM. Here you can view hundreds of artists and vendors in galleries, studios, alleys, upstairs, downstairs and of course on the street!

Where: Downtown Golden
When: Month of December

See historic downtown Golden come alive with Christmas cheer during the entire month of December! Step back in time to a simpler age of family tradition and small-town celebration as you stroll downtown and take in the lights and sounds of the town. There’s a variety of events in December that include holiday art markets, parades, candlelight walks, Santa visits, and so much more. Make sure to check their calendar for what’s to come!

Where: Larimer Square – Denver
When: 2019 Dates TBD

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Every year historic Larimer Square in Denver celebrates the holiday season with Santa on the Square, where you have the opportunity to meet with Santa for free on Saturdays & Sundays in December. The fun doesn’t stop there, you can also find entertainment that features live holiday music, festive window shopping, and much more!

Where: Civic Center Park – Downtown Denver
When: Dec 6-7th | 8:00 PM on Friday, 6:00 PM on Saturday

The annual 9News Parade of Lights in Downtown Denver is one of the top holiday events in all of Colorado! This holiday extravaganza takes over the entire city and features a multitude of floats, balloons, marching bands and of course holiday lights! Don’t miss special appearances from Santa Clause and Major Waddles the Penguin!

Where: 16th Street Mall – Downtown Denver
When: Dec 31 | 9:00 PM and 12:00 AM (Jan 1)

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

New Years Eve tradition continues downtown this year as Denver once again lights up the skies during the New Years Eve Firework Show! Head on down to the 16th Street Mall and find a good spot to ring in the New Year. The first firework display will begin at 9:00 PM, and of course there will be round two that begins as the clock strikes midnight!

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art – Denver
When: Saturday, Dec 7th | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Alright, while this one isn’t technically free, we think you should be able to find the admission cost on the ground on your way to the museum. The first Saturday of every month is Penny Saturday at MCA Denver, where you can enter the museum for the price of just one cent. Check out the awesome art exhibits with your entire family for pennies!

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art – Denver
When: Friday, Dec 13th | 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Take a step back in time to the year 1859 and enjoy taking a tour of the Denver landmark, Four Mile Historic Park! Meet farm animals, listen to stories, and enjoy historic demonstrations all for free on Friday, Dec. 13th. This historic and fun location is a great way to teach the whole family about our history as a city!

Where: 16th Street Mall – Downtown Denver
When: Nov 22nd – Dec 23rd | Hours Vary

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

This fun & cultural annual event that takes place in Downtown Denver is returning once again! All people are welcomed to experience authentic German holiday traditions at the Christkindl Market. Holiday treats and gifts can be found for sale here, as well as live entertainment including music, performers, and more.

Where: Aurora Municipal Center
When: Tuesday, Dec 3rd | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season as the city of Aurora prepares to ring in December and the holiday spirit it entails. Gather at the Aurora Municipal Center to see the building and their holiday tree come alive with light. You might even see a special guest appearance from Santa Clause!

Where: Downtown Georgetown
When: Dec 7th, 8th, 14th & 15th | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

For a wonderful holiday day trip, consider heading into the mountains for the 60th annual Georgetown Christmas Market. This traditional holiday experience hasn’t changed much in this town in the past 100 years, and is truly like stepping back in time. Here you can find wonderful activities and goods  like roasted chestnuts, holiday shopping, horse-drawn wagon rides, dancers, carolers and much more.

Where: Breckenridge
When: Dec 7th | 3:00pm

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Bring your family out for a full day of fun in Breckenridge. The day will offer something for everyone from a Snowman Building Competition to a free concert. Everyone in your crew will have the chance to move with the Holiday Dog Parade, Kids Moose March and the Race of the Santas. Santa will light up the Town Tree at 5:00pm before heading to the Barney Ford Museum to visit with children and snap adorable photos. End the night with live music feature Hazel Miller.

Where: Lakewood Heritage Center
When: Dec 6 | 5:30pm

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Lakewood Lights at the Lakewood Heritage Center is an annual holiday event sure to please everyone in the family. You can stroll through magical light displays or catch a ride on the hay wagon. Your kids can enjoy crafts and learning about holiday traditions from around the world. Stop by Santa’s workshop for your free photo with Santa. The Mayor will be lighting the Tree at 5:45pm so be sure not to miss it!

Where: Thornton Carpenter Park Fields
When: Dec 13, 14, 15 | Hours Vary

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Thornton WinterFest is a weekend packed with activities to celebrate the holidays. Starting with the Mayor and City Council turning on the Tree and the Village holiday lights at 6:30pm on Friday, December 13 and the fun lasts through Sunday, December 15. Enjoy visits with Santa, ice carving, live performances and more. Don’t forget to come back Saturday morning for Breakfast with Santa, the Holiday Marketplace and the WinterFest 5K!

Where: Highlands Ranch Town Center South
When: Dec 6 | 4:30pm

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Highlands Ranch is your destination for old fashioned holiday fun this year. The Big Tree lights up at 5:00pm and there will be caroling throughout the night. Get some names checked off your shopping list with unique and locally made gift items at the Winter Market. Children will have a chance to talk to Santa and take a photo.

Where: City Park Denver
When: Dec 8 | 9:00am-5:00pm

Top 25 Family-Friendly & FREE Events in Denver this December

Museum admission will be FREE on Sunday, December 8 at Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Enjoy exploring all of the awesome exhibits like Prehistoric Journey, Space Odyssey and Gems and Minerals. Be sure to take your kids to the Discovery Zone – a special hands-on area just for little ones.

If you’re looking for more great activities this winter, check out some of our other guides below!