Sleigh Bells Jingling: A Guide to Denver’s Musical Experiences This Holiday Season

For many, the music of the holidays lives deep within the recesses of the heart. Sleigh bells jingle softly throughout the corridors of the mind as snow falls silently on the roofs of the houses they grew up in. They are songs that we carry within us like heirlooms passed down from those who came before. The holiday season can be a time of magic and wonder, childlike innocence given life once again through music and the memories it elicits. It’s the time for warm fireplaces surrounded by loved ones and the laughter of family echoing through the snow-capped city streets. But it’s also a time for spectacle, for stages lit in waves of green and red as passionate performers sing and dance as much as their spirits will allow.

During the holiday season, Denver’s vibrant arts scene comes alive with festive melodies, timeless tales, and unique spectacles. From the classic elegance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to the many heartwarming renditions of Dickens’ timeless A Christmas Carol to some much weirder, off-the-beaten-path offerings, each performance promises a unique journey into the spirit of the season. Whether you seek symphonic celebrations or out-of-the-ordinary experiences, Denver’s holiday lineup offers an array of captivating musical experiences to make this season truly magical.

READ: 20 Merry and Bright Holiday Pop-ups in Denver

The Nutcracker 

There are many beautiful takes on Tchaikovky’s classic ballet, The Nutcracker, happening all over Denver and the greater Front Range. Experience the grandeur of Ellie Caulkins Opera House with the Colorado Ballet, the Paramount Theatre’s Magical Christmas Ballet, the artistic flair of the Colorado Conservatory of Dance, and the traditional Ballet Melange at the Lakewood Cultural Center. These performances promise to transport you to the captivating realm of Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Rat King and the iconic Nutcracker Prince, making them a must for your holiday itinerary.

The Nutcracker: The Colorado Ballet at Ellie Caulkins Opera House — Every night for the rest of the month

The Nutcracker: Ballet Melange at Lakewood Cultural Center — December 15th, 16th and 17th

The Nutcracker: Colorado Conservatory of Dance — December 16th and 17th

Nutcracker Magical Christmas Ballet at Paramount Theatre — December 23rd and 24th

A Christmas Carol

People standing on stage, building, holiday theater Denver

Photo by Jamie Kraus Photography.

Enjoy a melodic journey through Dickens’ timeless tale with DCPA Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol at Wolf Theater. This musical adaptation promises enchanting melodies and captivating performances, breathing new life into Dickens’ classic. Join the Broomfield Community Players at Broomfield Auditorium to appreciate a loving rendition performed by members of your community and watch as they bring the vibrant story to life.

DCPA Theatre Company at Wolf Theater — Every day for the rest of the month 

Broomfield Community Players at Broomfield Auditorium — December 14th – 17th

Holiday Favorites with the Colorado Symphony

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with the Colorado Symphony as they reimagine Christmas pop-cultural icons. Begin with the Elvis Christmas Spectacular, featuring reimagined Elvis-sung holiday classics. Join Buddy, Santa and your silliest date for a night of festive fun with the lively Elf: The Broadway Musical. Lastly, explore the John Denver Holiday Celebration, a musical journey through Denver’s timeless holiday hits, enhanced by the Colorado Symphony. Find tickets to the Colorado Symphony here

Elvis Christmas Spectacular — December 19th

John Denver Holiday Celebration — December 21st

Elf: The Broadway Musical — December 22nd and 23rd

Out of The Ordinary Christmas Performances

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Indulge in the extraordinary with shows like Cirque: Spirits of Christmas at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center. Embrace an unconventional festive spirit with Curse of Christmas Carol-oke at Honor Farm for a holiday karaoke twist. Venture to Miner’s Arts Performing Arts Center for The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical, a peculiar holiday spectacle. Lastly, don’t miss the eclectic Sheeshmas show at Globe Hall, featuring 10 beloved Denver local artists such as Los Mocochetes and The Mañanas, each delivering their rendition of a Christmas song.

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical at Miner’s Arts Performing Arts Center — Every day for the rest of the month

Curse of Christmas Carol-oke at Honor Farms — December 14th

Sheeshmas at Globe Hall  — December 15th

Cirque: Spirits of Christmas at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center — December 14th – 17th; 20th – 27th; 30th

As you navigate the festive landscape of Denver’s holiday performances, let the melodies and unconventional spectacles guide you through a season of joy and wonder. Embrace the spirit of the season and don’t forget to stay up-to-date with 303 Magazine.