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City Attractions

Friday, December 7 – Sunday, December 9, 2018

Located Closest to the MSU Campus

LARIMER SQUARE Denver’s urban shopping and dining district is also the city’s oldest and most historic block. Complete with glittering lights strung over the entire block, Larimer Square is charming and elegant with a nightlife that defines hip urban renewal. Victorian buildings house specialty boutiques and unique chef-driven restaurants. Shop one-of-a-kind stores with distinctive fashion and exclusive offerings, and enjoy special events and a vibrant atmosphere year-round. Located on Larimer Street between 14th and 15th streets. 

CAROLERS ON LARIMER SQUARE Saturdays on Larimer Square, 1450 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202. Carolers will be singing the holiday classics on Larimer Square this December! What better way to spend your shopping afternoon than to be sung to by some of the best carolers in Denver.

SOUTHWEST SKATE RINK Located at 16th and Arapahoe Streets in Downtown Denver, the rink will be open daily to the public for free skating from through Feb. 2019. Skates Available for rent.

16TH STREET MALL Built in 1982, the 16th Street Mall is a mile-long pedestrian promenade that runs through the center of downtown and is lined with outdoor cafes and retail shops. Free Mall Ride shuttle buses cruise the mile-long mall about 90 seconds apart and stop at every intersection so it’s easy to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. Stop by the official Denver Tourist Information Center located off 16th Street Mall at 1575 California St.  https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/denver-attractions/16th-street-mall/ 

At the south east end of the 16th Street Mall is Civic Center Park, from there you can walk a few blocks west to view the Holiday Lights on The City and County Building, a favorite of visitors and locals. The lights will be lit daily November 23rd  – January 22, 2019 from 6-11pm. More than 1,000 LED spotlights, 585 LED fixtures, and 2,000 LED rope lights helped light up the Denver City & County Building.

DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET Skyline Park, 16th St Mall, Denver CO 80202. Time: Sunday – Thursday 11am – 7pm; Friday & Saturday 11am – 9pm Free. Denver Christkindl Market transforms Skyline Park into a magical “old world” European Christmas village, with wooden vendor huts, twinkling lights, festival music, and an authentic German Bier Hall. Patrons will be transported to an authentic holiday market like the ones found in German public squares, to shop from thirty featured gift and craft artisans, bakers and chefs, many of whom have come to Denver from around the world.

BLUE BEAR “I See What You Mean,” or better known as “The Big Blue Bear,” on 14th and California streets, was created by Denver-based artist Lawrence Argent. This delightful 40-foot sculpture peers curiously into the building, injecting a sense of fun and playfulness into the Colorado Convention Center. Take a photo or two of this only-in-Denver icon — he looks good from all angles.

DENVER PERFORMING ARTS COMPLEX The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the cultural hub of The Mile High City, encompassing opera, theater, stage, dance and music. A variety of cultural enrichment awaits you — symphony and orchestral arrangements, jazz and musicals, performances by dance companies, theatrical extravaganzas, one-person shows, plays, stand-up comics and more.  

COLORADO BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1385 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80204 Time: Varies Cost: $30 – $120. Colorado Ballet‘s 57th annual production of The Nutcracker returns to Denver this holiday season. The Nutcracker will feature more than 300 costumes, 30 Company dancers, 20 Studio Company dancers, 65 Academy dancers, scenery by José Varona and timeless choreography paired with Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Stage Theatre, 1101 Speer Blvd, Denver, CO 80204. Time: 1:30pm; 6:30pm; 7:30pm *Date dependent. Cost: Starting at $35. A Christmas Carol, presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, is a  joyous and opulent musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel. The story traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations.

SHOPPING AT THE DENVER PAVILIONS An outdoor entertainment and shopping destination, this shopping destination is located on the 16th Street pedestrian mall between Welton and Tremont streets. Hard Rock Café, Lucky Strike and UA Movie Theatres. Also offers convenient underground parking. Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday–Saturday and noon–6 p.m. Sundays.

COLORADO STATE CAPITOL Modeled after the U.S. Capitol, the magnificent Colorado State Capitol is topped by a dome containing more than 200 ounces of real gold. The 13th step on the west side is exactly one mile (5,280 feet) above sea level. The Colorado State Capitol building is open to the public 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free public tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Decked out for the Holiday season, the Colorado State Capitol is best viewed by foot after dark.

KIRKLAND MUSEUM OF FINE & DECORATIVE ART This museum celebrated its grand reopening at its new location in the Golden Triangle Creative District in March 2018. The museum houses three major collections: paintings by namesake artist Vance Kirkland, fine and decorative art by other Colorado and regional artists and international decorative art.

Lower Downtown (LODO)

UNION STATION Denver Union Station has undergone a massive restoration and re-development that has made it an exciting place in the heart of downtown. The 1914 Beaux-Arts station is now a hub for transportation, dining, shopping and entertainment with 112 hotel rooms, four new Colorado chef-owned restaurants, two quick-service restaurants, local one-of-a-kind shops and a Colorado beer hall. Direct rail service connects Denver International Airport and this historic landmark.

MILK MARKET Located at 18th and Wazee,  Denver Milk Market is an all-local, all-wonderful mix of take-away and dine-in restaurants and bars run by Colorado chef Frank Bonanno. Denver Milk Market, a 16-venue cornerstone of the historic Dairy Block, aims to draw in travelers, visitors, neighbors and fans to shop a little, drink a little, eat a little and celebrate a lot in the very heart of the Ballpark Neighborhood here in Denver. 

TATTERED COVER BOOK STORE An independent community bookstore, Tattered Cover offers lots of nooks and crannies. It has the intimacy of a smaller bookshop and an ample supply of sofas and chairs. Readers are sure to feel at home. The Lower Downtown (LoDo) location is open every day. Tattered Cover also has a location at Denver Union Station. 

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART DENVER (MCA) The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is an innovative forum for contemporary art that inspires and challenges all audiences, creating understanding and dialog about art of our time. As Denver’s first institution devoted entirely to contemporary art, MCA Denver is housed in an environmentally sustainable facility designed by David Adjaye. Open Tuesday–Thursday 12 p.m.–7 p.m.; Friday 12 p.m.–9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Further East – Still Downtown

DENVER ART MUSEUM See the famous collection of Native American art and explore the bold art inside and out of the new Frederic C. Hamilton building, designed by world-famous architect Daniel Libeskind. Denver Art Museum is free for children under 18 and also offers free general admission for all on the first Saturday of every month. The museum is open every day. 

CLYFFORD STILL MUSEUM This museum showcases the work of Clyfford Still, considered one of the most important painters of the 20th century and among the first generation of abstract expressionist artists. The Clyfford Still Museum was founded to promote the late artist’s work and legacy. Still’s estate — 2,400 artworks — has been sealed off from the public since 1980. Free tours (with museum admission) on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. Open Tuesday–Thursday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.–8 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.  

HISTORY COLORADO CENTER Denver’s History Colorado Center includes exhibits and programs that tell the stories of Colorado and engage visitors in the past, present and future of our state. Enjoy interactive exhibits like a virtual ride in a real Model T; testing your skills on a ski jump simulator and setting off dynamite in a 1880s hard-rock mine. Open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Eastern Side of Denver

CITY PARK Denver’s premier regional outdoor space, City Park is home to the Denver Zoo; the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and IMAX; tennis courts; horseshoes; baseball, football and soccer fields; two lakes; historical monuments and statuary; picnic sites and two playgrounds. 

DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE Explore exhibits like Space Odyssey, Exhibition Health, Gems & Minerals, Egyptian Mummies and Prehistoric Journey. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science also features an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Open every day from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. IMAX shows in December are “Oceans: Our Blue Planet 3D”, “The Polar Express 3D”, “The Wizard of Oz 3D”, and “Pandas 3D”.

DENVER ZOO The Denver Zoo spans over 75 acres and is home to more than 4,000 animals, including rare Amur leopards, okapi, black rhinoceros, elephants, vampire bats, orangutan, Komodo dragons and more! The Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit is the largest bull elephant habitat in the world. The zoo’s new Amur tiger habitat, The Edge, brings guests closer than ever to these magnificent felines. Open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DENVER ZOO LIGHTS. Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St, Denver, CO 80205. Time: 5:30pm – 9pm Cost: $9 – $17/ Zoo Lights will span through 60 acres of Denver Zoo‘s campus, with nightly entertainment, animal encounters, Santa meet-and-greets and, of course, illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns hide in bushes and appear in places where they’re least expected.

DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS This oasis in the middle of the city has 45 different gardens, some 33,000 plants, and one of the nation’s top 10 conservatories. Relax in the Japanese Garden, climb through the Rock Alpine Garden and explore the Mordecai Children’s Garden. Denver Botanic Gardens is open every day 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS’ BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT/ Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206/ Time: 5pm – 9pm Cost: $15 – $20; Free for Children 2 & Under. Denver Botanic Gardens presents the Blossoms of Light, an annual family-friendly event that has become a tradition. This annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms the York Street location’s Gardens into a twinkling winter wonderland, and includes an interactive light display, featuring a large field of sound-

Further Out of Denver

FRIDAY NIGHT BAZAAR: HOLIDAY EDITION When: December 8, 2017 Where: 1717 E 39th Ave, Denver, CO 80205 Time: 4pm –10pm Cost: Free – $30/ Friday Night Bazaar, Produced by TheBigWonderful, is the only holiday market in Denver this season that offers the Colorado Bottle Shop and Tasting Room — which allows attendees to purchase, and sample, cases and bottles of local Colorado wine, cider and spirits on site. The Bazaar will feature a different band each Friday, with the lineup including: Royal Street Ramblers & Brothers of Brass. Additionally, a selection of the best local Food trucks will be onsite for attendees to enjoy while shopping the best of Colorado’s craft vendors.

SANTA’S VILLAGE AT DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS AT CHATFIELD FARMS. Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms, 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Rd, Littleton, CO 80128. Time: 4:30pm – 8:30pm Cost: $15 – $20; Free for Children 2 & Under. Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms is hosting Santa’s Village this holiday season. Meet Mrs. Claus, Santa and his reindeer while walking through colorful holiday lights that illuminate the night. Chatfield Farms will be transformed into a magical village. Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s cinema and find unique holiday gifts in his workshop.

A HUDSON CHRISTMAS Hudson Gardens Event Center, 6115 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, CO 80120. Time: 5pm – 8pm Cost: $6 – $9. A Hudson Christmas is a premier holiday light show with thousands of twinkling lights in majestic trees, visits with Santa and memories for the whole family. Stroll along a festively decorated outdoor walking path as you sip hot chocolate and experience dazzling displays of color and sound. In addition, Nixon’s Coffee House will be open and selling a variety of hot beverages and snacks to enjoy.

DENVER BUFFALO HERD The city of Denver maintains a herd of buffalo in a natural setting located 20 miles west of Denver at I-70 Exit 254. The Denver Buffalo Herd are direct descendants of the last wild buffalo herd left in America.

BUFFALO BILL MUSEUM & GRAVE Enjoy the temporary and permanent exhibits and displays at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. Exhibits include memorabilia from Buffalo Bill’s life and Wild West shows, Indian artifacts, antique firearms and other Old West artifacts. The historical complex on Lookout Mountain includes the Museum, Buffalo Bill’s grave, the Pahaska Tepee gift shop and a children’s activity area. Open Tuesday–Sunday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 

RED ROCKS PARK & AMPHITHEATRE Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a naturally formed, world-famous outdoor venue just 15 miles west of Denver and is the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. The Visitor Center features interactive educational displays, a short film documentary on the geologic and musical history, a Performer’s Hall of Fame and delicious food at Ship Rock Grille. Red Rocks is recognized for its star-studded concert roster, natural acoustics and ambiance, as well as its awe-inspiring hiking and biking trails. The Visitor Center is open 8 a.m.–4 p.m.