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A Holiday Day Out in Denver

7 Things to Do and Places to Go

With winter’s arrival comes an array of activities to ensure your season is merry and bright. When you’re not at home, cozied up by a crackling fire, hot cocoa (or hot toddy) in hand, check out these local events that are perfect for dates, friend gatherings and family adventures.

Market at Cherry Creek North

If millions of twinkling lights woven throughout the tree canopies don’t get you into the holiday spirit, then perhaps the fourth annual Cherry Creek Holiday Market will. Through December 24, dozens of local food, beverage and retail vendors line Fillmore Plaza, offering goods that make great gifts or something special for yourself. New this year is the Mistletoe Lounge, where live music is played and holiday-themed cocktails and zero-proof drinks are served. Visit CherryCreekNorth.com for more details.

Miracle Pop-Up Bar

All Christmas, no kitsch. This year, Miracle brings its holiday pop-up bar back to Union Station. Expect a bustling winter wonderland adorned with colorful string lights and Christmas-y decor (garlands, ornaments, gifts, faux snow-filled tablescapes) and, of course, overflowing with inventive, hot and cold libations served in festive glassware. For reservations and additional information, visit MiracleDenver.com.

Santa Paws Photos at Cherry Creek Mall

On December 4 and 11, bring your pets to Cherry Creek Mall for a fun holiday photo shoot featuring the man himself, Santa Claus. Walk-ups are accepted but reservations are recommended. Santa Paws photos are taken from 5-7 p.m. on the lower level near Neiman Marcus. To save your spot with Spot, go to ShopCherryCreek.com.

Downtown Denver Ice Skating Rink

Every year, skating novices and experts alike lace up their skates to glide across the rink in downtown Denver. Bring your own pair or rent them on-site ($11 for adults, $9 for kids 12 and under; skate walkers are $5 each). Locker rentals are also available to store your stuff while you hit the ice. Insider tip: The rink usually stays open on snowy days, which makes for a magical photo op. Visit WinterInDenver.com/Rink for FAQs and more information.

Ice! at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center

This holiday exhibit features an astonishing two million pounds of ice, beautifully hand-carved in scenes from the film "A Christmas Story", plus an enormous slide also made entirely of ice. (Last year’s theme was Charlie Brown and was truly a sight to see.) The space doesn’t get above 9 degrees, so be sure to bundle up with plenty of layers, a hat and gloves. Complimentary parkas are also provided. Adult entry is $29.99, children are $19.99, and kids under 3 are free. For tickets, go to Tickets.GaylordRockies.com.

9News Parade of Lights

Although it’s one night only, this annual televised event is one of the most beloved in Denver. On December 2, more than 40 floats, sky-high balloons, displays from nonprofits and other local organizations and talented marching bands will follow a route through downtown in celebration of the holiday season. The parade is free, but you can buy grandstand seats on Bannock Street for $25 each. Visit WinterInDenver.com/Parade for everything you need to know.

Blossoms of Light

Denver’s Botanic Gardens is stunning no matter the season, but Christmastime is especially enchanting. Held at the York Street location, Blossoms of Light is the perfect way to end a festive day in Denver. In about an hour, you can stroll the light-filled pathways and admire the changing displays on the grounds. On particularly cold evenings, grab a warm drink at the on-site café. For Blossoms of Light tickets, go to BotanicGardens.org.

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