November 13  |  Local Events

2015 Holiday Events in the Northern Colorado Area

To find 2019 holiday events, check out our updated event guide here.

The holiday season can be busy and hectic. But who could possibly complain about overindulging in candy canes and apple cider while surrounded by twinkling lights and gingerbread houses? So we find ourselves commuting from one holiday party to the next, baking numerous casseroles and desserts, and scheduling community events into our already busy calendars, in order to make the most of the festivities this time of year.

We are looking forward to several holiday events in the NoCo area and wanted to make sure you knew about them as well. There’s already a magical feeling in the air that comes along with the holiday season, and it will be made all the better with these festivities!


Friday, November 13:  Foothills Holiday Opening Festivities

6 p.m. | Foothills Mall | FREE


We have all anxiously awaited the unveiling of the transformation of Foothills Mall, which added several new stores to its retail repertoire complete with upgraded architecture. Since February 2014, the mall has undergone a “Renaissance on the Front Range”, and the results rightfully reflect its progressive and innovative outdoor-centric community. The renovations at Foothills Mall added Bar Louie, Cinemark, Grimaldi’s Brick Oven Pizza, Gymboree, H&M, Longhorn Steakhouse, Nordstrom Rack, Ross, Smashburger, Sports Authority, The Melt, Vans, Verizon and White House / Black Market to the layout.

To celebrate the completion of this enormous project, Foothills Mall is hosting a holiday tree-lighting event and the guest of honor is none other than St. Nick himself. These holiday opening festivities will take place in the Foothills Center Court on November 13 at 6 p.m. Santa Claus will arrive by firetruck to light the tree and will stick around for visits and photos. While you wait to have your moment with Santa, you can enjoy strolling carolers, facepainters and balloon artists, hot chocolate, cookie decorating, a visit with Cam the Ram, and of course all the holiday shopping you can imagine. This evening is a wonderful opportunity to kick-start the holiday season and celebrate the impressive improvements to this community staple!

Foothills Mall Opening Festivities


Friday, November 13: A Tuna Christmas

7:30 p.m. | Varying Costs


Head over to Bas Bleu Theatre Company for a highly unique performance experience this holiday season. “A Tuna Christmas” is in fact not about eating stinky fish products on Christmas; it is a holiday play that takes place in fictitious Tuna, Texas, played by a cast lineup consisting of two people. That’s right — two actors play 17 different male and female roles ranging from radio announcers to pre-teens to elderly aunts to a middle-aged business owner. In all of these roles, they are sure to make fun of the state of Texas in one form or another.

The curtains first open on Friday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m. and the ticket price is up to you! In other words, for this night only, the entrance fee is on a “Pay-What-You-Will” basis. On future showtime dates starting on November 14, tickets cost $26 for adults, $20 for seniors, $18 on Thursday evenings and Sunday matinees, $13 for students and $6 for low-income individuals.

The show will run until December 27, so you have plenty of opportunities to support the local arts by seeing “A Tuna Christmas” with your friends or family members. You may purchase tickets online or in-person at the Bas Bleu Theatre Company box office, but take a look at their hours before you go! Tuna and Christmas are an unlikely pair, but we think you’ll like them together in this context.

A Tuna Christmas

Can’t imagine what this show might entail? This might give you a better idea:


Monday, November 16, 23, 30: Up-cycle Books Into Holiday Crafts

6 p.m. | $15


Get crafty at Old Firehouse Books by learning how to Recycle Books Into Holiday Crafts during their three remaining classes throughout the month of November. They will be held on November 16, 23 and 30 at 6 p.m. and will focus on the repurposing of old books into holiday gifts or decorations. Attendees at the November 16th class will make book tree centerpieces by folding pages of an old book. The November 23rd class will teach the designs of three different snowflakes formed out of old book pages. At the November 30th class, the project consists of creating four types of ornaments out of — you guessed it! — old book pages.

Each class costs $15 and the fee includes all the supplies needed to create your masterpiece(s). So you’ll be able to take home several handmade products that you’ll be proud of and be able to display in your home throughout the season or gift to a loved one. This is a fun opportunity to do something relaxing and creative as you prepare for the more hectic days of December!

Visit the Old Firehouse Books website for more information and be sure to reserve your tickets by calling 970-484-7898.

Recycle Old Books Into Holiday Crafts


November 27-December 13: Santa Shopping Quest


Chances are you’ll be shopping quite a bit in preparation for the holidays, so why not enhance your experience and turn it into a game? This particular game gives you a chance to win big.

Participate in Downtown Fort Collins’ Santa Quest between the dates of November 27 and December 13. The game is simple and so much fun! First, pick up a Santa Quest Card at any of the 20-30 participating local businesses. Each of those businesses will have a personalized named Santa in their store with a gold star on it that you must record on your Santa Quest Card.

Once you locate and record the name of 15 different Santas, you can submit your card at any of the locations to be entered for a chance to win one of two prizes — either a $200 or $300 Downtown Fort Collins gift card! But it gets better! If you find all existing Santas, you will be entered into an additional contest to win a $500 gift card.

We fully endorse shopping at, and therefore supporting, local businesses. This is a wonderful opportunity to do just that — and to have some fun and participate in a friendly and interactive competition in the meantime!

Downtown Fort Collins Santa Shopping Quest


Saturday, November 28: Greeley Lights the Night Parade

5:30-7 p.m. | FREE


Journey to downtown Greeley to watch the town come to life as the flip is switched for the glowing lights in Lincoln Park. But before that anticipated moment, you can observe over 50 floats travel through downtown during a lively parade starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m. This is the 20th year for the Greeley Lights the Night Parade, so you won’t want to miss it, especially because admission is free!

The parade starts at the intersection of 9th Avenue and 15th Street and ends at Lincoln Park with a lighting ceremony. And rumor has it that Santa Claus might just make an appearance at the park!

If you’re interested in entering a float for the parade, you must pay $30 and contact Sara Schell for more information. Whether traveling by float or by foot, we hope you’ll be a part of this festive processional tradition!

Greeley Lights the Night Parade


Sunday, December 6: Dickens Dinner 2015

6:30 p.m. | $72


Indulge in an authentic four-course Victorian feast at the Dickens Dinner at Fort Collins Country Club on Sunday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. Not only will your tastebuds step back in time but your ears will as well, as guests will be serenaded with beautiful musical performances by elegantly costumed Dickens Carolers throughout the evening. The events of the dinner include a wassail toast, a parade of the boar’s head, a soup course, a full concert while guests enjoy their main entree of choice, culminating with a flaming figgy pudding. Wondering about that entree we spoke of? You can choose from Chicken Grand Marnier, Roasted Pork Loin or Vegetable Streudel.

Formal attire is not required, but guests are invited to wear their festive Christmas finery, which means it’s time to whip out that green velvet dress! Each table seats 10 people, so send this post to your nine favorite people and ring in the holiday season alongside them in one of the more authentic and classy settings we could imagine. You must buy tickets in advance for this event before November 24 — so hurry! This one-night-only dinner will sell out fast.

A Dickens Dinner 2015


Saturday, December 12: Dasher 5K in Estes Park

11 a.m. | $10-$25


Maybe after all that figgy pudding at the Dickens Dinner, you’ll find yourself wanting to burn off a few calories. Well, perfect! We have just the holiday event for you, and it even allows you a few days of recovery after that huge meal.

Dash to the enchanting town of Estes Park for the Dasher 5K race on Saturday, December 12. You can run or walk on the path of Santa’s reindeer training course in one of the most beautiful mountainous settings. The course starts at the top of MacGregor Avenue, weaves through downtown Estes Park and ends in front of Town Hall.

Kids can participate in a 400-meter dash at 10:30 a.m. and the Dasher 5K begins at 11 a.m. But stick around for the awards at 11:45 a.m., which will include various categories according to age and gender. After you’ve signed up online, show up for registration starting at 10 a.m. in front of Town Hall.

After all is said and done and you have the sweat on your back to prove your hard work, unwind with a day or evening spent perusing the shops at Estes Park to get some last-minute shopping done. You may end up looking like Rudolph with a red nose after your chilly run, so bundle up, grab some coffee or cocoa along the way, and spend some time in this charming and action-packed town.

Mark your calendars for the Dasher 5K on the morning of December 12. If a reindeer can run this course, so can you!

Dasher 5K in Estes Park


Ongoing Avery House Holiday Events


It’s also worth mentioning that Avery House hosts several holiday events throughout the season. Along the lines of the Dickens Dinner, visit this Victorian-style house dressed up in vintage decorations while enjoying live music, and receive tours from costumed hosts. Father Christmas may even make a grand appearance during your stay at Avery House!

You can also pick up some holiday gifts at the Avery Carriage House boutique, where you’ll find craft items, books, baked goods, homemade toffee and various gift items. Most events are free unless otherwise specified, but donations are appreciated.

The Avery House event schedule is as follows:

Tours & Boutique: Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29 from 1-4 p.m.

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”: Friday, December 4 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, December 5 at 4:30 p.m.

  • $3 per child
  • Includes book reading, house tour and refreshments
  • Reservations required (email or call 970-221-0533)

Holiday Open House / Tours & Boutique: Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Holiday Tea at the Avery Carriage House: Varied dates/times available

  • For 10-12 guests
  • Email or call 970-221-0533 for details and pricing

Shop the Avery Carriage House Boutique: 11/28, 11/29, 12/5, 12/6, 12/12 and 12/13 from 1-4 p.m.

  • Crafted items, gifts, candy, baked items, books and more
  • Enjoy complimentary hot cider while shopping!

Avery House Fort Collins

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Foothills Mall, Bas Bleu Theatre Company, Old Firehouse Books, Colorado State University, Greeley Unexpected, K99, Larimer Chorale, Best Events and Wikimedia

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