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Denver Lights Up

Lighting Ceremonies Around the Mile High City

There’s a special feeling in the air in Downtown Denver during the holidays! Thousands of twinkling lights adorn the city streets during the most wonderful time of the year. There are many local streets and buildings lit up during the month of December, with lighting ceremony traditions that date back to the early 1900s. Take a tour of Downtown Denver in December and visit some of these beautifully lit city landmarks sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

Denver Union Station Grand Illumination 

There is no local historic landmark as iconic as Union Station in Downtown Denver. The station opened in 1881 and continues to serve the transportation needs of locals today.

Stop by the station to see a 40-foot tall tree featuring more than 7,000 holiday lights. 

The building is also decked out with twinkling lights.   

Must-Try: Grab a bite of local cuisine at one of the many bars or restaurants located at the station.  Whether you are in the mood for high-end cuisine or delicious comfort food, there are dining options to satisfy any palette!  

Denver’s City and County Buildings

No tradition is more dear to Denver locals than the lighting of the City and County Building. This tradition dates back to 1922 and continues to impress with a dazzling light show.  The building is decorated until the end of December. 

Must-Try: Take in the view from Civic Center Park! You can see the entire scope of lights from the park.

Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo is one of the most exciting venues to visit in the city. There is no better time to visit with the animals than during Zoo Lights, a celebration of the holiday that will take your breath away!  The 80-acre zoological garden is transformed into a winter wonderland with more than two million LED lights illuminating the site! Visitors can enjoy a ride on the carousel or a train ride around the zoo to catch all the sparkly decorations. Tickets are available at

Blossoms of Light

The Denver Botanic Gardens come to life at night with Blossoms of Light, a dazzling winter wonderland that takes over the garden. Visitors will feel immersed in the 360-degree light experience that transports you to the North Pole. Take in the beauty of the gardens while you are there! Blossoms of Light has been around for more than three decades and continues to excite Front Range families. Tickets are available at  

May Daniels and Fisher Tower

The 16th Street Mall serves as the background for the lighting of the May D and F Tower. Atop the tower sits a clock that is part of Denver’s skyline. This historic building opened in 1911 and features a holiday-themed lit clock that can be seen from afar. The streets of 16th Street Mall are also lined with more than 100,000 LED lights.   

Fun Fact: At 330 feet, the tower was once the tallest building in Denver and one of the tallest buildings in the nation.

Denver Parade of Lights

No matter what the weather, the 44th Annual Nine News Denver Parade of Lights is one you won’t want to miss! Downtown Denver serves as the setting for this spectacular two-mile parade featuring holiday-themed floats, lively marching bands and a special appearance by Santa himself! This holiday extravaganza is free to the public and will be taking place on Dec. 6 and 7. Visit for more info.