Rocky Mountain Winter Holiday Activities

Estes Park, Grand Lake, and Denver, Colorado glow with Christmas and New Year cheer.

Estes Park Catch the Glow Christmas Parade & Celebration, Late November

The annual “Catch the Glow” parade caps a day of full activity in downtown Estes Park. With holiday music broadcast outdoors throughout the town helping set the scene, visitors can interact with strolling animal characters, enjoy free hayrides and visit with Santa Claus throughout the day. All activities are free. More Information:

Estes Park Winter Festival, Mid-January

Take a turn on a toboggan run, ice skate downtown, demo snowshoes, taste award-winning chili, sample mac ‘n cheese and sip a variety of beers and wines at the Estes Park Winter Festival. This family festival partners with the Annual Winter Trails Day in Rocky Mountain National Park, offering a weekend jam-packed with events. More information:

More Winter Fun in Estes Park

Spend a day tromping through Rocky Mountain National Park–hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, etc.–this December, and you’ll be wandering through your very own winter wonderland.

Warm up and grab a cup of joe at local favorite Kind Coffee (552 West Elkhorn Ave., Estes Park; 970-577-1220) and then spend a little time meandering around the small town as it sparkles with Christmas cheer. The lights blinking from the treetops above are sure to put you in a festive spirit. Or wander up to the iconic Stanley Hotel and imagine Christmas as it was in the early 1900s.

Denver Botanic Gardens Lights, December

Denver Botanic Gardens during Christmas Holiday
KB Photo/Flickr

Embrace the holiday season at Blossoms of Light. Over one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs highlight the Gardens’ winter beauty. Enjoy sparkling passages and brand new displays, as well as the always anticipated HoloSpex glasses.

Denver Zoo Lights, December

Come and experience a holiday light safari with more than 38 brilliantly-illuminated acres of lights, featuring more than 150 animated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they’re least expected.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks over Grand Lake

Watch the midnight celebration of the new year with fireworks over a Rocky Mountain lake.