9Things to do in Denver & Colorado this weekend: Nov. 18-20



With holiday lightings, fairs, Christmas shows, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Pentatonix, there’s so much to do in Colorado this weekend.

COLORADO, USA — The holiday season begins across Colorado this weekend.

Lighting ceremonies are scheduled in Castle Rock, Loveland, Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins, plus Gaylord Rockies brings back a popular ice exhibition for the first time since 2019.

Christmas-rock legends Tran-Siberian Orchestra and a cappella icons Pentatonix both are in the Centennial State this weekend. Holiday fairs and festivals are in full swing and Santa is making his arrival at Colorado malls.

No matter where you live in Colorado, there’s a unique and festive fall event near you this weekend.

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ICE! at Gaylord Rockies

AURORA — Gaylord Rockies Resort is bringing back a crowd-pleasing arctic holiday tradition for the first time since 2019. The Aurora hotel’s ICE! exhibition will return Friday, Nov. 18. The exhibition will use more than two million pounds of ice to celebrate the classic animated special “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” 

ICE! will feature more than 10 scenes from the holiday special with ice carvings more than 30 feet tall. The exhibition will also have two-story-tall ice slides, ice tunnels and arches and a separate area dedicated to a Nativity scene.

Festival of Lights

LOVELAND — Festival of Lights is the official Loveland kickoff to the holiday season with a hometown festival and lighting of a 25-foot Christmas tree in front of the historic Rialto Theater. The celebration also marks the debut of holiday lighting that will illuminate several blocks of downtown Loveland through February 2023. Festival of Lights begins Friday, Nov. 18 starting at 5 p.m. along 4th Street from Railroad Avenue to Lincoln Avenue with the lighting at 7:30 p.m.

Winter Wonderlights

LOVELAND — Winter Wonderlights — a walkable holiday lighting attraction at Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra — will be lit Saturday, Nov. 19. Each night, visitors can walk through 150,000 holiday lights including LED mappable snowflakes and illuminated African stone sculptures. There are 30-minute music and light shows every night. The light and music show features eight songs and moving lights on a 23-foot-tall LED Christmas Tree.

Castle Rock Starlighting

CASTLE ROCK — The Lighting of the Star has been a Castle Rock tradition since 1936. The annual event is Saturday, Nov. 19 in downtown Castle Rock. This year’s Starlighting offers hot chocolate, non-profit booths, strolling entertainers, caroling, live entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus. The celebration takes place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., with the Castle Rock Starlighting ceremony at 5 p.m. at Wilcox Square. A symbol of Castle Rock for over 80 years, the Castle Rock Star will remain lit until the end of the National Western Stock Show in January.

Switch on the Holidays

BOULDER — The holiday season in downtown Boulder’s begins with Santa flipping the switch that illuminates lights along the Pearl Street Mall and around the Boulder County Courthouse. Boulder will “Switch on the Holidays” this Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. with the Boulder Ballet, Santa, Mrs. Claus and Freezie the Snowman.

Downtown Tree Lighting

GRAND JUNCTION — Downtown Grand Junction will transform for the holiday season with a tree lighting celebration on Saturday, Nov. 19. With a wave of his hand and a sprinkling of magic dust, Santa Claus will light the lights of Main Street from the 4th and Main Plaza. Mr. Claus will visit with kids afterwards before returning to the North Pole.

Tree Lighting Ceremony 

COLORADO SPRINGS — The City of Colorado Springs’ annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Acacia Park is Tuesday, Nov. 22. The celebration offers ice skating, games, live music, a visit from Santa Claus and the lighting of the tree. The ceremony is free to attend, but there is a fee for ice skating.

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A Christmas Carol

DENVER — Colorado’s largest production of “A Christmas Carol” begins previews at the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Friday, Nov. 18. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, the Denver musical adaptation traces curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. The joyous “A Christmas Carol” will play the newly-renovated Wolf Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex through Saturday, Dec. 24.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

DENVER — Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) are on the road for a 60-city holiday-season tour called “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve – the Best of TSO & More.” TSO will play two concerts at Denver’s Ball Arena on Saturday, Nov. 19 and two at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs on Sunday, Nov. 20. For ticket information, visit Trans-Siberian.com.

TSO said its tour will feature crowd-pleasers such as “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,” “O’ Come All Ye Faithful,” “Good King Joy,” “Christmas Canon,” “Music Box Blues,” “Promises To Keep,” and “This Christmas Day.”

Pentatonix

DENVER — A cappella fans, rejoice! Three-time Grammy Award-winning a cappella group Pentatonix bring the “Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular! 2022 Tour” to Ball Arena in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 20. Girl Named Tom, Season 21 winners of “The Voice,” will open as the tour’s special guests. For tickets, check out Ticketmaster.com.

Bridge of Lights

CAÑON CITY — The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is preparing for its biggest and brightest holiday event ever. Starting Friday, Nov. 18, guests will be able to drive across the Royal Gorge Bridge — 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River — amidst thousands of twinkling lights. “Bridge of Lights” is a drive-through event and all guests must stay in their vehicles. Driving across the Royal Gorge Bridge is not regularly offered outside of pre-arranged car club groups. The park will also be playing holiday music throughout the drive on the park-wide sound system. “Bright of Lights” will run select dates through Dec. 31.

My Fair Lady

DENVER — The iconic “My Fair Lady” is the newest musical theater production to play the Buell Theatre in Denver. Featuring classic songs like “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” the Lincoln Center Theater production tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” “My Fair Lady” plays the Buell Theatre through Sunday, Nov. 27. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Christmas in Color

FEDERAL HEIGHTS — Denver’s biggest drive-through Christmas light displays open for the season on Friday, Nov. 18. Christmas in Color will have displays at Water World in Federal Heights, Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, and at Aurora’s Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. The displays each feature more than one million LED lights arranged into tunnels, trees, giant candy canes, snowflakes and more, all synchronized to festive holiday music on the FM radio dial. Tickets are on sale at ChristmasinColor.net.

Cirque: Spirit of Christmas

AURORA — Gaylord Hotels is ready for the holiday season with a new cirque production at its Aurora resort. “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas” is an all-new show at the Bubly Theater at Gaylord Rockies, opening Friday, Nov. 18. The 75-minute show centers on Noel, a young child who recaptures her love of the holiday season in a dreamlike adventure that rekindles the spirit of Christmas. 

Performances feature a contortion group act, female Mongolian speed jugglers, trapeze artists, aerialists, wire walking, acrobatics, singing, dancing and theatrical storytelling, accompanied by an original Broadway-style score.

RELATED: New cirque show opening at Gaylord Rockies

Mile High Tree

DENVER — America’s tallest digital tree is back in downtown Denver. The Mile High Tree — a seven-story tall, 39-foot diameter conical structure — will feature light shows choreographed to multi-cultural holiday music on the tallest pixel LED technology tree in the country.

This holiday season, the giant tree has moved to Denver’s Civic Center Park. The tree will be set up next to Denver Christkindlmarket, the city’s German holiday market, near the City and County Building. The Mile High Tree will be lit up nightly from Friday, Nov. 18 through Saturday, Dec. 31 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., said Visit Denver. Entry to see the tree is free and open to the public.

RELATED: America’s tallest digital tree returning to Denver

Camp Christmas

LAKEWOOD — Beginning this weekend, guests can journey “Camp Christmas” at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park. The quirky, six-acre holiday experience is organized by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and artist Lonnie Hanzon. A wonderland of lights, dazzling decorations, music and memorabilia in various yuletide scenes, “Camp Christmas” also has a classic carousel, hot cocoa, sweet treats and Santa Claus. “Camp Christmas” opens Thursday, Nov. 17 and runs through Dec. 24. Get your tickets at DenverCenter.org.

Unseen Oceans

DENVER — The Denver Museum of Nature & Science opens its newest exhibition, “Unseen Oceans,” on Friday, Nov. 18. The traveling exhibition showcases the biodiversity from the ocean’s surface to its greatest depths. “Unseen Oceans” highlights the latest ocean science, revealing our blue planet as never before. This special exhibition will be on display through April 9, 2023.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

DENVER — The Denver Broncos’ playoff dreams are on the line this Sunday, Nov. 20. The desperate Broncos (3-6) host the last-place Las Vegas Raiders (2-7) at 2:05 p.m. at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos need their lowly offense to come alive if they hope to save the 2022 season. Some tickets are available for resale at Ticketmaster.com.

Kicker Monster Truck Show

DENVER — The Kicker Monster Truck Show returns to the Mile High City this weekend. Kamikazee, Trouble Maker, Double Trouble, Zilla and Vendetta will compete in freestyle, wheelie and racing competitions that will put families on the edge of their seats. The kid-friendly, adrenaline-charged entertainment show takes place Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the National Western Events Center. Pit party tickets are also available.

Blossoms of Light

DENVER — Blossoms of Light, the signature event at Denver Botanic Gardens is back this holiday season, transforms the York Street gardens into a twinkling wonderland. More than 1 million lights are used to highlight the Gardens’ winter beauty. Blossoms of Light opens for the season Friday, Nov. 18. Ticket reservation windows can be purchased at BotanicGarden.org through Jan. 7.

RELATED: Denver Botanic Gardens transforms for the holiday season

Christkindlmarket

DENVER — The 22nd annual Denver Christkindlmarket will be set up at Denver’s Civic Center Park for a third-consecutive holiday season. The traditional European market will be located under the lights of the Denver City and County Building and, new in 2022, alongside the Mile High Tree. The Christkindlmarket has merchants selling gifts and food in wooden huts, food vendors and a Kinder Wunderland with attractions for children and families. The market will be open daily from Friday, Nov. 18 through Friday, Dec. 23.

RELATED: Christkindlmarket returns to downtown Denver

Cherry Creek Holiday Market 

DENVER — The Cherry Creek Holiday Market is back for a third year with 80+ rotating vendors, an expanded concert series every Wednesday to Sunday, and a light activation drawing guests onto Fillmore Plaza. Nestled in Cherry Creek North, the event is part of a larger Winter Wanderland. The market opens Thursday, Nov. 17 and is then open through Dec. 24.

Denver Holiday Food & Gift Festival

DENVER — One of the largest holiday celebrations in the West opens Friday, Nov. 18 at the National Western Complex. The 36th annual Holiday Food & Gift Festival features hundreds of exhibitors, vendors, artisans and crafters with one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothing, woodcraft, music, photography, art, crafts, food, toys and Christmas décor that can’t be found anywhere else. Rumor is Santa Claus will also make an appearance at the festival to help create perfect family photos. The Holiday Food & Gift Festival runs Friday to Sunday.

Sugar Plum Bazaar

DENVER — The 12th annual Sugar Plum Bazaar is a makers’ market with more than 60 vendors from multiple states showcasing their unique handmade and local goodies. The holiday show will be open Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Stockyard Event Center at the National Western Center.

Applewood Arts Festival

LOVELAND — More than 130 artisans will be on hand for this weekend’s 45th annual Applewood Arts Festival in Loveland. The festival, held Friday and Saturday at The Ranch Events Complex, will have new artisans, handmades, re-purposed finds, craft food creations and more.

Downtown Lakewood Holiday Bazaar

LAKEWOOD — The Downtown Lakewood Holiday Bazaar is Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19. The 27,000-square-foot indoor marketplace will be next to the Belmar Plaza and its outdoor ice skating rink. There will be 80+ vendors, fashion and food trucks, pop-up bars, live music and outdoor ice skating.

Mollie McGee’s Holiday Market

LONGMONT — The 42nd annual Mollie McGee’s Holiday Market takes place at the Boulder County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building on Saturday and Sunday. The market offers 150 booths with vendors selling crafts, jewelry, clothing, pottery, photography, glass, metal, fiber, art, hand-turned wood and foods.

Firefly Handmade Holiday Market

DENVER — Old South Gaylord Street will be home to the Firefly Handmade Holiday Market with more than 80 artisans in 14 categories of goods, including art, ceramics, artisanal food/beverage, jewelry/accessories, home goods, skincare/wellness and adult/children’s apparel. Live music and local shops, restaurants and bars will be part of this holiday shopping experience on Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20.

Holiday Hometown Parade 

AURORA — Kick off the holiday season at Southlands Shopping Center’s 13th annual Holiday Hometown Parade. On Saturday, Nov. 19, the Holiday Hometown Parade will feature community groups, boy and girl scouts, school marching bands, floats and entertainers, the Denver Broncos drumline and Santa. Santa and Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman will light the Southlands Christmas tree.

Christmas in Windsor Craft Show

WINDSOR — The Windsor Community Center will be home to this weekend’s Christmas in Windsor Craft Show. The event offers more than 100 vendors selling handmade arts, crafts and holiday items on Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20.

Rangeview Art and Craft Fair

AURORA — Homemade holiday crafters and vendors will converge on Aurora’s Rangeview High School for the 34th annual Holiday Craft and Gift Fair this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vintage Market Days

COLORADO SPRINGS — With original art, antiques, jewelry, clothing, handmade goods, home décor, outdoor furnishings, food, plants and more, Vintage Market Days is a unique indoor/outdoor market. The market will open in Colorado Springs on Friday and run through Sunday. Tickets will be available at the gate of the Norris Penrose Event Center and at VintageMarketDays.com.

16th Street Mall Holiday Festival

DENVER — The 16th Street Mall Holiday Festival features one of-a-kind seasonal items, handcrafted goods, holiday gift ideas, specialty foods, home décor and holiday gifts. The festival takes place Saturdays and Sundays in November and Saturday, Dec. 10 on the 16th Street Mall between Tremont and California in downtown Denver.

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Skating in the Square

ARVADA — Nothing is more fun than a twirl around a skating rink under the twinkling lights. Olde Town Arvada opens its Skating in the Square ice skating rink on Friday, Nov. 18. Tickets with skate rentals are $10 for adults and $7 under 12 years old.

Skate in the Park

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs has opened its ice-skating rink for the season. Tickets are $10 and that includes skate rentals. Located downtown along Tejon Street at Acacia Park, Colorado Springs’ Skate in the Park rink will be open most days through Jan. 31.

Santa at Town Center at Aurora

AURORA — Santa makes his big arrival at Town Center at Aurora this weekend with a parade in the mall at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. Santa will parade throughout Town Center at Aurora. The event will also feature carolers, Christmas cookies, candy canes, holiday photo booth plenty of holiday cheer.

Grand Holiday Parade

CENTENNIAL — The Steets at SouthGlenn holds its 2nd annual Grand Holiday Parade to welcome Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves to SouthGlenn. The free parade and tree lighting with Santa’s arrival begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. There will also be cookies, cocoa, live reindeer, carriage rides, holiday photo booth, ice sculptures, face painting, balloon twisting and holiday characters.

Santa at Cherry Creek

DENVER — Santa’s Flight Academy has landed at Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Guests can join Santa’s flight crew and step inside Santa’s 22-foot tall sleigh and experience magical snowfall, all the way through Dec. 24. Cherry Creek Shopping Center will hold a tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with hot chocolate, sweet treats and entertainment.

Foothills Mall tree lighting

FORT COLLINS — Foothills Mall will hold a tree lighting and holiday concert on Saturday, Nov. 19 starting at 5 p.m.

Pumpkin Pie 5K/10K

DENVER — The race that ends with a huge slice of pie is back this weekend. The Pumpkin Pie 5K and 10K kicks off the holiday season with a family-friendly run/walk at Denver’s City Park. All finishers get a slice of pumpkin pie, as well as a race shirt, finisher’s medal and finish line expo access with vendors and food. The runs take place Saturday, Nov. 19. Registration can be completed online.

Turkey Trot 5K

BRIGHTON — Brighton’s 38th annual Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk is Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Brighton Recreation Center. The event is a Bolder Boulder qualifying race. Registered participants receive a shirt and breakfast and are eligible for prize giveaways. Start time is 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Turkey Trot registration can be completed at BrightonCO.gov.

> Have an event tip? Send it here.

Movies this weekend

The box office roared back to life with the long-awaited release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The Marvel sequel earned $180 million in ticket sales, making it the second biggest opening of the year behind “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” It’s the first film to open over $100 million since “Thor” in July.

New movies this weekend

Last weekend’s box office

  1. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” $180 million.
  2. “Black Adam,” $8.6 million.
  3. “Ticket to Paradise,” $6.1 million.
  4. “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile,” $3.2 million.
  5. “Smile,” $2.3 million.
  6. “Prey for the Devil,” $2 million.
  7. “The Banshees of Inisherin,” $1.7 million.
  8. “One Piece Film Red,” $1.4 million.
  9. “Till,” $618,000.
  10. “Yashoda,” $380,000.

RELATED: ‘Black Panther’ sequel scores 2nd biggest debut of 2022

> Would you like to see your favorite Colorado festival, fair, expo, concert, drama, musical, ballet, run or event listed in 9Things? Send it to alexander.kirk@9news.com.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Holiday season in Colorado

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