If you’re looking for fun things do to over Christmas in Colorado, you’ve come to the right place! This is a compilation of our favorite things to do around the holidays in Colorado. Everything from light shows, to Ice Castles to drive-through experiences, and of course all of these are super kid friendly!
Price: 12-21$ per person
Use discount code sweetlittlejourney for 15% off your tickets!
This is by far my favorite thing to do during Christmas in Colorado every year! There are only four Ice Castle locations in the US, and Colorado has one of them. The Dillon Ice Castles are not to be missed. These castles are built by professional ice artists who place hundreds of thousands of icicles using their bare hands! There are frozen thrones, ice tunnels, and ice slide, and at night the whole thing is lit up using LEDs.
This year tickets are between 12-21$ per person, depending on age and day. Admission is on a timed entry, so you have to enter within the half hour you chose for your ticket. Once you leave, you cannot come back in so make sure you have everything you need with you!
The snow is pretty uneven inside the castles, so boots and snow pants are a must for the kiddos. Strollers will be useless inside, but they do allow bringing in a sled! I used a carrier for our youngest and our oldest just walked around on her own.
The park fills up really fast, so the best time to enter is as early as you can during the first entry time slot of the day. People stick around for quite a while and so the later you come the more crowded it’ll be. It will be tougher to get a photo without others in the picture if you wait too long.
Make sure to try the ice slide! The line gets long really early on so make sure to get a spot in line as soon as you enter.
Price: 27$ per car
Use discount code SWEETLITTLE15 for 15% off your ticket!
Open: Nov 20 – Jan 3
I was excited for going through light tunnels, but I had no idea the lights would also be synchronized to music! Just turn on your radio to the right channel and voila! More than 1.5million LED lights in all shapes and forms – light tunnels, Christmas trees, singing lightbulbs, candy canes, etc.
The only downside (or upside since the kids are strapped in!) is that you must stay inside the car at all times. You also get 3D glasses to fully enhance the experience.
Price: 15$ – 25$ per person
Open: Nov 23 – Dec 31
One of my favorite times to visit the Denver Zoo is during the holidays! Christmas in Colorado is not complete without a trip to the Zoo 🙂 They have a separate night admission for Denver Zoo Light ticket holders and the whole zoo gets lit up with 2 million LED lights.
Make sure to dress warmly as it gets very cold at night and there’s not too much space indoors to warm up. Strollers are welcome and are probably the best way to get around the zoo for families.
Cost: 30$-50$ per person
(note: this attraction is closed for 2020)
What a cool Polar Express Experience! We’ve never done a polar express ride before and this one was definitely one to write home about. It felt like we were in a movie set, riding through the snow-covered Colorado mountains and over trestle bridges.
The ride starts with a Polar Express ticket which you pick up at the North Pole Train station. You can also grab a hot cup of coco and a freshly baked cookie while you wait for your train to arrive.
Once the train is ready for you to board, everyone gets into their assigned coaches and gets seated at a table or bench, depending on your ticket. The train takes you through the forest in the mountains, where holiday lights have been set up to create a magical display for you to watch during the slow ride.
Santa will make a guest appearance at some point during the ride, and snacks and drinks are included in the ticket price.
Open: Nov 20 – Jan 16
This annual holiday light event transforms the Denver Botanic Gardens into a winter wonderland. It takes around 60-75 minutes to walk through the entire display (plus or minus 7 hours if walking with kids). Tickets have a timed entry, so make sure to arrive within 30 minutes of your scheduled time. Once you’re inside, you’re allowed to stay as long as you want. This is done in an effort to increase parking access, reduce entrance lines, and lessen congestion at the park.
Open: Nov – Jan
If you live closer to Chatfield Farms, this is a similar experience to the Blossoms of Light at the Botanic Gardens. Trail of Lights offers multiple paths for visitors to explore and see all the fun LED lights. There’s synchronized music, a three-sided light tunnel and some antique tractors on display. Food such as hot chocolate, nuts and pop corn are available for purchase as well.
Price: $10.75 – $14.75
Open: Dec 4 – Jan 1
What’s better than 85 light sculptures on over 50 acres? Warming fires are set up throughout the Zoo to warm up visitors from the cold, as they walk around the sparkling display of lights! Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of the best zoos in the state, and it becomes even more magical during this special season.
Bonus free ideas:
This is an annual event based in Denver, which brings German and European holiday traditions to life. The Market runs from end of November until December 23rd and offers authentic Germain experiences, such as meeting St. Nikolaus, Krampus and the Christkind. There’s Biers, European coffee, hot chocolate and various wooden huts offering artisan gifts and crafts.
Hiking in Boulder
I love seeing the Flatirons covered in snow – it’s one of the reasons I don’t hate winter in Colorado 🙂 With plenty of beautiful hikes right from town, Boulder offers some incredible views of the Flatirons and a magical winter wonderland to explore.
Head over to Chautauqua for a close up look of the Flatirons, and if conditions allow – do one of the hikes up to the top of the mountain! Another great spot to explore in the winter is the area by NCAR. There are a couple of trails that start from behind the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the all offer great valley and mountain views.
For other things to do in Colorado, check out our favorite mountain towns in Colorado.