1437 BANNOCK ST, DENVER
When: 8 p.m. on Dec. 1, 6 p.m. on Dec. 2
Where: Begins at Denver City and County Building
Price: Free along the route. Grandstand tickets are $19 for adults (people over 12) and $16 for kids aged 2-12 in advance, and $25 on-site
1007 YORK ST., DENVER
Walk in, around and through the lights at this massive, central-Denver display, which advertises “a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights” in addition to treats, warm drinks and live entertainment on select nights.2017:
When: 5:30-9 p.m. through Jan. 1 (includes Dec. 24, 25 and 31)
Where: Denver Botanic Gardens
Price: $15 for adults; $13 for adult members, seniors (65 and up), military; $12 for children aged 3-15
Contact: 720-865-3500 or botanicgardens.org
102 S TEJON ST. COLORADO SPRINGS
The 33rd annual parade, this year themed “Through the Eyes of a Child,” winds through the city with floats, marching bands, Santa Claus and more.
When: 5:50 p.m., Dec. 2
Where: Tejon Street, downtown Colorado Springs
Price: Free, with donations accepted online
2300 STEELE ST., DENVER
Denver Zoo lights November 25, 2016. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)
The Zoo’s annual display is one of the region’s most popular — which means preparing for crowds during busy times, such as “peak nights” (Dec. 15-30) when admission is roughly $4 more per person. It shouldn’t be too hard to relax once you’re inside, given the eye-popping, 60-acre display that also includes live entertainment, select animal sightings, food and drink, Santa meet-and-greets and the Zoo’s signature “illuminated animated sculptures” throughout.
When: 5:30-9 p.m., Dec. 1-31
Price: For peak nights, $17 for adults; $12 for children aged 3-11; $14 for seniors (65 and up).
Contact: 720-337-1400 or denverzoo.org
9650 N. SHERIDAN BLVD., WESTMINSTER
What’s more cold-weather appropriate than miniature golf? (OK, so lots of things.) Regardless, this Westminster display boasts 54 holes of mini-golf, more than 100,000 lights and decorations ranging from “Woody, the giant talking tree,” to an erupting volcano and “a booming fireball from our very own temple god.” Seasonal snacks, hot chocolate and adult beverages cost extra.
When: Friday-Sunday, 5:30-9 p.m. through Dec. 10. Then, 5:30-9 p.m. daily Dec. 15-31 (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas)
Where: Adventure Golf & Raceway
Price: $8 per child (4-12); $10 per adult (13-59); $8 per senior (60+); kids under 3 free
Contact: 303-650-7587 or adventuregolfandraceway.com
801 S. YARROW ST., LAKEWOOD
Bundle up for live music and carols, a tree-lighting ceremony with Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul, hot cocoa and cookies, photos with Santa, hayrides, crafts and more.
When: 5:30-8:30 p.m., Dec. 1-2
Where: Lakewood Heritage Center
Contact: 303-987-7850 or lakewood.org/holidaylights
I.O.O.F. PARK 124 E VIRGINIA AVE., GUNNISON
If you find yourself in Gunnison on Dec. 1, check out this free event that includes the annual lighting of the Gunnison Christmas tree, the arrival of Santa Claus and other activities, libations and live entertainment.
When: 4:30-7 p.m., Dec. 1
Where: Main Street in Gunnison
809 15TH ST, GOLDEN, CO 80401
The annual Olde Golden Christmas Candlelight Walk parades downhill on Washington Street through downtown to Clear Creek. (Denver Post file)
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Golden’s free Candlelight Walk is a tradition for many families in part because it remains so straightforward: All you need to do is hold a candle, sing and walk with your neighbors. At the conclusion, Santa and Golden’s mayor help light the lights of the town. The event is followed by the daylight (as in, starting at 10:30 a.m.) Christmas parades with cowboys, live music, seasonal surprises and more Dec. 2, 9 and 16 (also free).
When: 6 p.m., Dec. 1
Where: Washington Avenue from 15th Street in front of Foothills Art Center to 10th Street
Contact: 303-279-3113 or goldenchamber.org
8500 DEER CREEK CANYON ROAD, LITTLETON
Guests to the former Trail of Lights enjoy the old school house on the property all lit up. The Chatfield display will now be called Santa’s Village. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)
Formerly called Trail of Lights, the Chatfield location of Denver Botanic Gardens has rebranded its holiday display as Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms. Admission includes a meet-and-greet with Santa’s live reindeer, pictures with Santa, Snow Man and the reindeer, crafts with Mrs. Claus, a hayride, Santa’s Cinema on Elf Boulevard, vendors and, of course, holiday lights galore.
When: 4:30-8:30 p.m. Fridays-Sundays, Nov. 24-Dec. 24
Where: Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
Price: $20 for adults and kids; $15 for members
Contact: 720-865-3500 or botanicgardens.org