‘Tis the season! It’s time for Santa visits, tree lightings, holiday gift shopping, and all things festive and merry. To help you maximize the season this year, we’ve compiled some of the best and most-anticipated holiday events in Northern Colorado, including light displays in Loveland, holiday concerts in Fort Collins and plenty more holiday-themed fun throughout the region.
Add these community events to your to-do list — and be sure to check it twice….
November 15–December 29 from 5–9 p.m. at Anheuser-Busch
The Anheuser-Busch Brewery comes to life during the holiday season with Brewery Lights, featuring thousands of magical twinkling lights and a variety activities — even things for kids to do! Take your experience to the next level with the Brewery Lights Frosty Tour, the Brewery Lights VIP Package or the Brewery Lights VIP Igloo Package.
November 15–January 1 from 5–9 p.m. at Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra
Every year, Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra transforms into Winter Wonderlights. From mid-November through early January, the 26-acre park is illuminated by holiday string lights, twinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, illuminated stone sculptures as well as a music and light show every single night. And the best part is it’s all free and open to the public! For complete information on this year’s event, including the live performance schedule, check out the event page.
November 22 from 4:40–6 p.m. at Foote Lagoon Amphitheater
Loveland is expanding its holiday offerings with Light the Lagoon, featuring holiday-themed vignettes that will illuminate the Civic Center’s circular pathway around City Hall, the Public Library, the Chilson Recreation and Senior Center, and the Senior Housing Complex. Don’t miss the grand lighting on November 22, starting with an artist meet-and-greet at 4:40 and the grand lighting at 5 p.m. But if you miss the lighting, you can see the display all the way through January 3!
November 22 from 6–9 p.m. in Downtown Loveland
The Downtown Festival of Lights is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Don’t miss the grand entrance of Santa Claus then count down for the lighting of the 25-foot tree in front of the historic Rialto Theater. Plus, the event will include live music, street performers, carriage rides, s’mores and hot cocoa, crafts for kids, a holiday market, food vendors, a beer garden and more!
November 27–December 24 at Varying Times at Old Town Square
Photo Courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins
Share your hopes and dreams with Santa in Old Town all season long! He’s arriving by horse-drawn carriage at noon on November 27 and will be stationed in his workshop on varying days and hours all the way through Christmas Eve. Visitors are encouraged to visit early in the season when there are virtually no lines — especially on weekdays during the first three weeks.
November 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Center
Face is returning to the The Lincoln Center for their special holiday concert on Black Friday. Enjoy their special brand of all-vocal rock, featuring rock holiday tunes with absolutely no instruments! Get your tickets for this unique holiday concert here.
November 29 at 5:30 p.m. in Downtown Estes Park
Kick off the season with as many as 20,000 people lining Elkhorn Avenue in Estes Park to “catch the glow” of the 31st Annual Catch the Glow Parade. The parade will feature more than 40 units, including handcrafted floats from the Town of Estes Park and nonprofits, marching bands, fire trucks and other specialty vehicles. And don’t miss a visit with Santa!
November 29–30 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at Fort Collins Senior Center
The Fort Collins Senior Center will be teeming with holiday festivities at the annual Holiday Artisan Market, featuring more than 100 local artisans and crafters. This two-day event is free to attend!
November 29–30, December 2, 4, 5 + 7 at Varying Hours at Union Colony Civic Center
Presented by the City of Greeley and the Greeley Philharmonic Guild, the 31st Annual Festival Trees is a beloved tradition for Greeley residents and Northern Colorado as a whole. Each year, the Union Colony Civic Center’s lobbies are transformed into a winter wonderland, lined with beautifully decorated trees and holiday displays. Don’t miss the many special events, including Sip & Shop Ladies Night Out, the Silver Bells Social for Seniors and the Teddy Bear Bash, plus a silent auction, choirs and musicians, and of course — visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
November 30 from 5:30–7 p.m. in Downtown Greeley
Join the Greeley Chamber of Commerce and Visit Greeley as they join forces for the town’s official holiday kick-off celebration. After more than 70 lighted parade entries make their way through downtown Greeley, Lincoln Park will be illuminated with spectacular twinkling lights!
November 30 + December 1 at Varying Times at the Rialto Theater Center
The Rialto Theater Center is showing three performances of the beloved Nutcracker, presented by Berthoud Dance. Purchase your tickets for the 1 p.m. show or the 7:30 p.m. show on November 30 or the 2 p.m. show on December 1.
December 1 from 8–11 a.m. at The Ranch Events Complex
Get decked out in holiday gear and participate in the most fun and festive holiday fun-run around — all while battling the number one cause of disability: arthritis. 100 percent of your registration fee and fundraising will go to support the Arthritis Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to boldly pursue a cure for arthritis, while championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections.
December 1 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. at Northside Aztlan Community Center
The Fort Collins Holiday Gift Festival is a curated marketplace with more than 120 exhibitors selling an enormous array of fine arts, handmade crafts, delectable food, home decor and unique holiday gifts. The event goes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but don’t miss the special holiday concert at noon. Admission is free!
December 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rialto Theater Center
Santa is making a special stop at the Rialto Theater this year! Enjoy hot cocoa, cooking and storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Limited tickets are available.
December 6 from 5–7 p.m. at Old Town Timnath
Celebrate the season with the Timnath Holiday Lighting Festival, a free event taking place in Old Town Timnath. Mayor Grossman-Belisle, accompanied by Santa Claus, will begin the event by illuminating Main Street, and the festivities continue with carriage rides, ornament making, face painting, food and holiday desserts, hot beverages, and much more. Plus, take professional photos with Santa and enjoy holiday performances by local schools and musical groups. All proceeds will benefit Santa Cops of Larimer County.
December 6 from 7:30–9 p.m.m at CSU’s Griffin Concert Hall
Don’t miss this special CSU tradition! The school’s choral ensembles will perform a collection of holiday music to get you in the spirit of the season. Tickets are free for CSU students, $4 for youth under 18, $12 for seniors and $14 for adults.
December 6–7 at Varying Times at First United Methodist Church
The Larimer Chorale is filling FoCo’s First United Methodist Church with surround sound cheer for two nights in a row this season. Along with the signature candle lighting vignette, inspirational readings and poetry, enjoy choral music and contemporary songs we’ve come to know and love. Plus, this year’s concert features the incredible GLORIA for choir, brass, and organ by John Rutter along with World War II-era popular songs and carols.
December 6–8 from 7–10 p.m. at the Lincoln Center
Now in their 40th season, Canyon Concert Ballet presents The Nutcracker, featuring 125 dancers, 250 beautiful costumes, special effects, fantastic lighting, and music from the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Wes Kenney. Choose from several performances all weekend long, with both matinee and evening shows.
December 8 from 8–10 a.m. at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Biergarten
Don your ugliest holiday sweaters and participate in the Sweaty Sweater 4-Mile Run Walk, benefiting an Adopt-A-Family program in our local community. Adopt-A-Family is an outreach ministry run by Serve 6.8 that partners with local churches, businesses and the community to help meet the tangible needs of local families at Christmas time. This fun and festive event is for everyone — whether you are casually walking, running for an award, or simply prancing toward the finish line for beer and hot chocolate!
December 8 from 12–5 p.m. at Northside Aztlan Community Center
Connect with local makers at the Colorado Holiday Makers Market, featuring local vendors and creatives selling a diverse array of goods — just in time for holiday gift shopping! This free, indoor event will take place from 12–5 p.m. at the Northside Aztlan Community Center.
December 7 at 12:30 p.m. at Lincoln Center Canyon West
Pair the season’s most iconic story with afternoon tea — plus visits with the Nutcracker dancers, prize drawings, and an assortment of pastries, fruit and cakes. The Nutcracker Tea is taking place just before the Nutcracker performance at 2 p.m., which you can bundle with the tea for a discount!
December 7 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Loveland Public Library
The Loveland Public Library is hosting an all-day holiday party, featuring activities for all ages, including Santa visits, crafts, a gingerbread house workshop and more. The library will be decked out in holiday decorations and lights, complete with a model train display!
December 7, 14 + 21 from 11 a.m.–3 pm. at The Group, Inc. Office
Celebrate the season with The Group — and of course, Santa Claus and his entourage. Santa, Mrs. Claus and his elves will set up their annual workshop at our Loveland Centerra office for three special Saturdays in December. Share your wishes with Santa in his sleigh and settle in for storytime and festive activities with Mrs. Claus. Then head outside for cookies, hot cocoa and a complimentary horse-drawn wagon ride! This event is completely free and open to all — whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year.
December 13–14 at Varying Times at the Lincoln Center
Contemporary Dance Academy is presenting a full-scale production of The Nutcracker, the most well-known ballet adventure of all time! Clara and the Nutcracker has the magic, joy and sweetness the whole family will love — enhanced by talented ballet students, magnificent sets and backdrops, and enchanting music. Tickets for each of the three performances are $22 in advance or $25 at the door — and just $18 for seniors, students and children in advance.
December 13–15 at Varying Times at the Rialto Theater Center
Photo Courtesy of the Loveland Choral Society
Celebrate the holidays with Loveland Choral Society as they present a joyous concert of beloved classics, inspirational carols, and seasonal favorites, all wrapped up in the beautiful voices of the chorus and the festive Christmas Orchestra. Tickets for all four performances are $21 per person.
December 13–29 at Varying Hours at The Gardens on Spring Creek
Open every evening December 13 through December 29 — including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — this local holiday attraction has become a favorite in the NoCo community. The gardens, flower beds, sculptures, ponds and cornfields will be lit by hundreds of thousands of LED lights. And during the weekends, you can visit with Santa, listen to holiday music, make seasonal crafts and enjoy warm drinks. The show is expanding this year, so it will be even bigger and brighter than ever!
December 13–23 + 26–31 from 5–8 p.m. at The Savage Woods
If you loved Creepy Walk in the Woods during the fall, return to The Savage Woods in Loveland for Christmas in the Woods, featuring way less creepiness and way more festiveness. Each night between December 13 and 31 (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), the woods will be open for exploration. Enjoy twinkling lights under the stars — plus a visit from Santa and carolers on select evenings! For tickets and more details (including the schedule!), click here.
December 14 from 2–3 p.m. at Oak Street Plaza
Join 100 tuba and euphonium players at Oak Street Plaza for a spectacular holiday performance of traditional Christmas carols arranged in four-part harmony, under the direction of Cecil Gutierrez. Audience sing-along participation is encouraged!
December 19–22 at Varying Times at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre
A Musical Christmas Carol has become a local tradition — and thankfully, it’s returning to the Lincoln Center for another year of humbugs and happy tidings. Watch the talented La-De-Da Performing Arts team present a show based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, complete with an ensemble of nearly 50 youth and adults. Tickets for all six shows are just $16 each.
December 20 from 6–9 p.m. at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
Photo Courtesy of the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is hosting a SnowDome Holiday Spectacular, featuring holiday crafts, cookies, cocoa and a few surprises (like exploding Christmas trees!). Plus, enjoy holiday tunes and stunning festive imagery with the special Holiday of LaserDome in the OtterBox Digital Dome Theater. Don’t forget to wear your ugly holiday sweater! For non-members, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and for members, tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for children.
What holiday events are you looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments below!