Northern Colorado is a beautiful winter wonderland during the holidays. The landscape is blanketed in snow, the Colorado sun makes everything glow, and when night falls, the lights illuminate our neighborhoods. To help you get in the holiday spirit, we rounded up a few of our go-to spots for light displays — with a few events, beer tastings and family activities thrown in!
Bundle up your family and drive, bike or walk to these festive spots in Fort Collins (and one in Greeley!). Enjoy!
Photo courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins Business Association
Downtown Fort Collins is the go-to destination for hundreds of locals and visitors in NoCo during the holiday season. Beginning with the Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony in early November and through Valentine’s Day next year, seven blocks of Old Town are illuminated. Using thousands of strands of brilliant white lights, the Downtown Business Association lights up the alleyways, Old Town Square, the trees lining the streets and more.
While you’re exploring during the winter months, you can take part in Downtown Santas Shopping Quest November 24 – December 17, the Fort Collins Foodie Walk, First Friday Gallery Walk and First Night Fort Collins on New Year’s Eve!
The Gardens are a popular family destination year-round, especially during the holiday season when they’re celebrating Garden of Lights. Open every night December 1 – January 7 from 5 – 9 p.m., you can see your favorite flower beds, sculptures and ponds lit up with thousands of twinkling lights.
This year, due to construction on the Drake Campus, Woodward, Inc. will be moving their famed holiday display into the Gardens of Lights! With their help, the classic holiday village structures and Santa’s workshop we’ve come to love from Woodward will become part of the Garden.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can also visit with Santa, listen to holiday music, make seasonal crafts and enjoy warm drinks. Though admission is free, they recommend a $5 donation per adult and $2 donation per child.
Photo courtesy of Front Range Village
Front Range Village is a lively location during every season, and during the holidays they take it up a notch with walkways illuminated by festive lights. The season kicks off with Front Range Village Holiday Lights, a celebration complete with carolers, Santa Claus, horse-drawn carriage rides and more. Then you can continue the fun with the Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt from November 18 to December 18!
At Fort Collins’ Anheuser Busch Brewery, they know how to celebrate the holidays. Anheuser Busch Brewery Lights includes S’mores Square with open fires, hot chocolate and family-size s’more kits to share. They also offer a Holiday Tree Maze of over 100 trees, complimentary beer samples for guests over 21, food (and dessert) in the Biergarten, and a family zone with a 30-foot inflatable snowman and $1 train rides.
With the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the lights and events are available every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 16 – December 30 between 5 and 9 p.m.
As the home of the annual NightLights party and fundraiser, First Presbyterian Church has a famous 50-foot tree with over 30,000 blue lights each holiday season. Sponsored by The Light Center and other local businesses, the event raises over $100,000 every year for local youth who have been abused, neglected or are at-risk. The festive tree and lights that continue throughout the season are a reminder and celebration of those efforts.
Located at 321 and 325 Albion Way in Fort Collins, Lights for Habitat is an annual display of around 50,000 lights hosted by the Blenkers, a Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity family. In an effort to show their gratitude to our local Habitat for Humanity, they dedicate their display to the organization and work to raise money throughout the season. To date, they’ve raised almost $12,000! Stop by in 2017 to see the display for yourself and to make a donation if you’d like.
Over the years, the homes at Horsetooth and Ziegler have become famous for their festive displays. Most notably, two homes at 3220 and 3226 Michelle Lane light up their yards with twinkling strands and inflatable characters from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Swing through the neighborhood after the sun goes down to bask in giant frolicking snowmen and reindeer this season.
Photo courtesy of The Greeley Grizwalds
Just a few minutes east, in Greeley, the self-proclaimed Greeley Grizwalds go all out every Christmas. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through New Year’s Day, the lights turn on every night and are synchronized with music. Tune in to 92.9 FM on your car radio and take in the glory of over 180,000 lights!
In the comments below, share your go-to residential neighborhoods to see light displays so our readers can have even more holiday fun!