Christmas in Colorado is a truly magical time of year with a blanket of snow, cold winter air, quaint and charming mountain towns, and spectacular celebrations that are sure to light up anyone’s holiday! We’ve scoured the state to find the top Christmas events for 2021, so mark your calendars for the most wonderful time of the year.
The Rocky Mountains assure you a snowy December, so plan your holiday vacation without worry. After scoping out the following celebrations, check out our picks for the best Christmas towns in Colorado and get to road tripping.
Gold Camp Christmas in Cripple Creek
Step back in time to when Christmas was more about a feeling with an old-fashion Christmas celebration with the Gold Camp Christmas in Cripple Creek. Festivities kick off with the nightly holiday headframe lighting throughout Cripple Creek and the nearby town of Victor.
In keeping with the area’s mining history, the giant headframes that still stand as remnants of 1890s gold mining days will light up the night sky. These unique mining artifacts, also called gallus frames by local miners, are unique pieces from the gold rush era and are illuminated every holiday season, blending a little bit of the past with the present day.
Visitors can experience the light display by taking a drive on a self-guided tour or sign up for a guided tour. The holiday headframe lighting is on display from November 26 – December 31, 2021.
Discover other events throughout the holiday season such as a parade, visit with Santa, Christmas carols, performances at the Butte Theatre, and a winter wonderland every weekend at the Cripple Creek District Museum.
The North Pole Colorado Springs
While it’s true you can visit the North Pole year-round, it’s particularly fun during the holidays. The North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop is a charming vintage amusement park nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. Home to Santa’s Village and Santa himself – the spirit of Christmas has lived on here for 65 years.
With over two dozen rides for children and parents, a Christmas train ride, gift shops, and dining, it’s a full day of holiday celebrations. Reservations are required during the holiday season.
Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light
Every year as the colorful gardens hibernate for winter the Denver Botanic Gardens takes on a new look for the holiday season. The Blossoms of Light is the garden’s signature event that features an annual holiday lights extravaganza.
A true transformation takes place with thousands of LED lights illuminating the grounds, pathways, and trees, turning the gardens into a twinkling winter wonderland. New in 2021 is the 200-foot-long, 17-foot-tall tunnel of animated lights in the O’Fallon Perennial Walk.
Advance tickets are required. The event runs through January 8, 2022, and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms
The Denver Botanic Gardens hosts another Colorado Christmas celebration at their other location at Chatfield Farms in Littleton. Nestled against the Foothills, the Trail of Lights guides visitors along a winding path illuminated with twinkling lights that light up the Colorado countryside.
The walking path is perfect for the entire family at just under a mile, plus shorter options are available. The event features synchronized music with lights, singing Christmas trees, illuminated light tunnels, decked-out antique and model tractors, plus hot beverages and seasonal snacks to keep you warm.
Advance tickets are required. The event runs through January 2, 2022, and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Santa Express at Royal Gorge
Ride through one of Colorado’s most scenic landscapes while aboard the Santa Express Train. At the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, near Cañon City can hop aboard the locomotive and travel through the Royal Gorge with a holiday display featuring more than 50,000 lights and at night, a festive laser light show dancing against the walls of the canyon.
Fun for the entire family, the kids get to meet with Santa and visit the North Pole. Once aboard, Santa will greet every child with a very special gift. Wear your pajamas, sing along to holiday classics, sip on hot cocoa, all while enjoying a scenic ride through the Royal Gorge.
The train runs from November 19 – December 30, 2021.
Polar Express Train Ride, Durango
Hop aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad as it hosts its annual Polar Express Train Ride. Inspired by the award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, the classic bedtime story comes to life with a magical journey to the North Pole where Santa arrives to greet the children with a unique gift.
The train rides November 19, 2021 – January 1, 2022.
Gingerbread Displays at The Broadmoor
The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is known for many things such as being one of the most luxurious hotels in the country but it’s also known for its impressive display of gingerbread houses during the holiday season.
The Broadmoor gingerbread display has been a holiday tradition since 1964, and this year the display is a classic gingerbread house. It features more than 2,000 pounds of ingredients, 160 chocolate bars, 650 eggs used, 30 pounds of hot tamales, and the list goes on and on.
It is located in the main building’s mezzanine through January 1, 2022. Stay for a night to get the full holiday experience at The Broadmoor.
Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Voted third best zoo lights display in the U.S. two years running, the Electric Safari at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a classic choice for the entire family. The display features more than 60 lighted sculptures, plus new this year take a photo with the larger-than-life illuminated inflatable animals, located throughout the zoo.
Advance tickets are required and the event runs through January 1, 2022, and closed Christmas Eve.
Christmas at Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs
Book a stay at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs for a true classic Colorado Christmas celebration. The historic property has been the center of Colorado Christmases since 1893, earning accolades from Travel & Leisure as one of America’s Best Hotels for Christmas.
Experience ribbons, lights, and ornaments with 60 festive fir trees displayed throughout the lobby, restaurants, and even in a few signature suites. Outside, guests are dazzled by over half a million lights with the scent of gingerbread filling the air and festive, and seasonal touches everywhere you turn.
Find your favorite way to get into the spirit of the season with these Colorado Christmas Celebrations.