Every holiday season, Denver puts on a show with its many light displays, and this year is no exception. Each year more lights are added, so there’s always something new to see- whether it be fun additions to an old favorite or an entirely new discovery! Check out this year’s list of the best places to see holiday lights in Denver, featuring upcoming events this December that you don’t want to miss.
Christmas In Color
Where: Waterworld, 8800 N Pecos St Federal Heights, CO 80260
Bandimere Speedway, 3051 S Rooney Rd Morrison, CO 80465
Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 E Quincy Ave Aurora, CO 80016
When: November 17th- December 30th, 5:30-10 pm daily
Cost: $35 / car
The Lowdown: With three locations this season, including one added last year in Aurora, Christmas in Color has officially become Denver’s largest drive-through lights display. If you’ve driven on I-25 past the Thornton Parkway exit, you’ve likely seen the Morrison display from the interstate, with over one million lights at each location and impressive larger-than-life holiday displays. The lights are synchronized with music via a radio station you can tune into as you drive through the immersive light display and festive props. The shows last from 5:30-10 p.m. nightly, running 30 to 45 minutes in length.
Where: Cherry Creek North, 105 Fillmore St, Denver, CO 80206
When: November 16th- December 24th
The Lowdown: Cherry Creek North has returned with its annual Winter Wanderland, with an exciting lineup of free events this holiday season featuring over one million twinkling lights that illuminate the Cherry Creek neighborhood. In late November, Cherry Creek North hosted the “million light plug-in,” where the yearly light display was unveiled, covering over 600 trees that embody the holiday season in the mile-high city. Through December 24th, you can shop the array of vendors in downtown Cherry Creek under the dazzling lights at the fourth annual Holiday Market.
On December 2, 9 and 16, from 5-7 p.m. Cherry Creek North comes alive with “the sounds and smells of the holidays,” as part of their Saturday Night Lights series- with synchronized music and light displays, DJs, street performers and ballerinas.
Where: Elitch Gardens, 2000 Elitch Cir, Denver, CO 80204
When: Weekends, November 24- December 31
Cost: $25-$35 or free with Elitch Gardens Pass
The Lowdown: For the third consecutive year, Elitch Gardens is hosting the lights and entertainment holiday event Luminova Holidays. Featuring a 65-foot tall Christmas tree, a 300-foot long candy cane tunnel, and over 400,000 square feet of lights, Downtown Denver’s own Elitch Garden is transformed into a winter wonderland for the whole family- and this year, it’s free for pass holders! With over 4 million holiday lights, be sure to explore the grounds, including a 25-foot snowman that never melts, or hop on your favorite rides, including the Ferris wheel- which might be the best place to see all the magic of this holiday park.
Blossoms of Lights
Where: Denver Botanic Gardens – York Street location
When: November 17th- January 7th, 4:30-9pm daily
Cost: $25 for Adults, $23 for Seniors (65+), $21 for Children (ages 3-15), reduced price for members
The Lowdown: Denver Botanic Gardens holiday programs have become a staple of the Denver holiday season, with renowned holiday lights shows that have dazzled Colorado since its conception over three decades ago. Blossom of Lights is Denver’s premier light show, named by Conde Nast’s Traveler Magazine as one of “The World’s Most Spectacular Holiday Lights Displays” in 2023.
An “oasis” in the heart of Denver, 1007 York Street feels like a true winter wonderland, with over 24 acres of lights and scenic walkways, including the notable O’Fallon Perennial Walk and the UMB Amphitheater. The loop takes anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour, depending on your stops along the way, and the Gardens recommend visiting after a fresh snow for the full “wonderland” experience. All lights are LED, aligned with the Garden’s core value of sustainability.
Trail of Lights
Where: Denver Botanic Gardens- Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road Littleton, CO 80128
When: November 24th- January 1st (Closed December 10-15) 5-8:30 pm daily
Cost: $16 for Adults, $14 for Seniors (65+), and $12 for Children (ages 3-15), with a reduced price for members
The Lowdown: Another “can’t-miss” Denver Botanic Gardens event of the season is the Trail of Lights, a breathtaking lights display nestled in the foothills outside Denver at the historic Chatfield Farms. Trail of Lights is the perfect sequel to Blossoms of Lights with light tunnels, synchronized music and lights and endless exploration under the lights beneath the backdrop of the Rockies.
In 2022, Chatfield debuted the amphitheater light show with 76,000 lights, with props including 17-foot tall snowflakes, that dance to the festive holiday music. New this year is a second display in the Green Farm Barn, with two 9-foot tall ornament arches that Jamie Heldt, Public Events Manager at Chatfield Farms, says is “The perfect spot to stop and take a photo with the quintessential barn scene in the background.”
Mile High Tree
Where: Civic Center Park, 101 W 14th Ave
When: November 17th-December 23rd, light shows from 5 -10 p.m. daily
The Lowdown: Civic Center Park in downtown Denver is home to perhaps the most famous tree in the city. “The Mile High Tree” stands at 110 feet tall, a notable 10 feet taller than the record Rockefeller Center Tree in New York City, according to the City of Denver. Composed of over 60,000 LED lights, this immersive tree is created by ILMEX Illumination technology to light up the downtown and even invites visitors beneath its digitized branches to experience the lights from within its 9-foot diameter conical structure. Every 15 minutes from 5 -10 p.m., the tree will perform a synchronized lights display to holiday classics. Across the way, the McNichols Civic Center Building brings extra holiday cheer with holiday light projections during the evening to light up the whole park.
On December 2nd, 9NEWS will be hosting the annual Parade of Lights, with 40 floats, balloons, cultural displays and guest appearances, culminating in Civic Center Park.
Night Lights Denver
Where: Daniels & Fisher Tower, Kittredge Building, “SPARK” projections on 16th Street Mall
When: Year-round (Holiday Programming November – January) 5 p.m. – midnight daily
The Lowdown: Night Lights Denver, an initiative of the Denver Theatre District started in 2019, is a collection of light and art installations expertly projected onto some of the most recognizable and historic buildings in downtown Denver, including the Daniels and Fisher Tower, numerous window fronts along the 16th street mall, and a brand new addition of the Kittredge building– with projections scheduled to appear on two sides of the building.
At the junction of striking light projection and installation art, Night Lights Denver offers both a cultural and fun-for-the-whole-family experience, perfect for this holiday season. Starting in December, Night Lights Denver will be featuring several installations of seasonal artwork from artists Chelsea Romaniello, Joel Rekiel, and Evan McCandless, along with presentations of student artwork from the University of Colorado- Denver, and East High School. Also on view this holiday season will be previously commissioned holiday artworks. Shows begin approximately 30 minutes after sunset, with looping projections through midnight. To see the full list of locations and artists, visit Night Lights Denver.