Holiday Festivities and Events

Make this year’s holidays merry and bright without having to hop on a plane. There is plenty to do without going far from your own backyard. Take a step back in history, enjoy some local culture, meet Santa at his house or hop on a train for a quaint visit to a Christmas village.

Denver Christkindlmarket: Nov. 18 – Dec. 23

The Denver Christkindlmarket transforms Civic Center Park into a magical European-style Christmas village. Featuring dazzling lights, festive tunes, dancing, wooden vendor huts, and an authentic German Bier Hall. It’s similar to what’s hosted in so many German public squares, with all sorts of craft artisans, gifts, bakers, and chefs from around the world serving up holiday treats and of course, plenty of beer and mulled wine.

Polar Express Train Ride, Durango: Nov. 18-Jan. 1

The famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in the southwestern town of Durango hosts its Polar Express train ride. It is inspired by the award-winning book authored by Chris Van Allsburg. The ride brings this holiday classic to life in a magical Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, while Santa’s helpers tell the  Polar Express tale. The story ends just as the train pulls into the “North Pole,” when the lights dim and Santa arrives to greet the children. He also brings a special gift to each and every one and leads the group in Christmas Carols as the train makes its way back to the depot in Durango.

Lighting of Breckenridge & Race of the Santas, Breckenridge: Dec. 3

One of the state’s most popular events! You can participate or just watch as the hundreds of jolly attendees decked out in Santa outfits run down Mainstreet. You can even bring your four-legged best friend to help lead Santa Claus down Main Street as he heads to Blue River Plaza. This is where he’ll greet everyone for the Lighting of Breckenridge. He’ll hit a “magical switch” that lights up Breckenridge for this wondrous season, turning it into the quintessential picture-perfect “Christmas town.

The Santa Express at the Royal Gorge, Canon City: Nov. 19 – Dec. 24 & Dec. 26-30

If you love the idea of a Christmas train, but Durango is too far of a drive, consider the Santa Express Train at the Royal Gorge in Canon City. It offers the chance to travel on a train to the North Pole and meet Santa Claus too. Everyone can wear comfy pajamas, and on the way, sing holiday classics, munch on delicious cookies, sip hot cocoa and enjoy plenty of entertainment brought by Santa’s talented elves.

A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol, Cripple Creek: Opens the Day after Thanksgiving and Runs through Dec. 31

A popular destination for those who want to test their luck at the casinos or get a taste of history and the Old West, during the holiday season, Cripple Creek offers the chance to experience all of that with a Christmas twist. The historic Butte Theater features a melodrama with a holiday theme, which includes the Dickens’ favorite “A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol”. The town hosts a range of other Christmas activities too, including the nightly Gold Camp Christmas Holiday Headframe Lighting and the Winter Wonderland at the Cripple Creek District Museum.

Old Colorado City Christmas Stroll, Colorado Springs: November 27, 2022

Old Colorado City Christmas Stroll is hosted in Old Colorado City, located on the west side of Colorado Springs and filled with history. This is your opportunity to dress in Victorian costume and join in the fun. There are Victorian dances, original Dickens carolers, sing-a-longs, parades and the opportunity to get the kids’ pictures taken with Santa Claus. A variety of shops offer all sorts of delicious treats, and it’s also a good time to pick up unique holiday gifts, too.