Thanksgiving may still be a few weeks away, but now is the time to buy tickets for the Front Range’s fast-selling, Christmas and holiday-themed shows and lighting displays — some of which kick off mere days from now.
Here’s the rundown of what you should jump on before shows inevitably sell out, and how to get tickets. Visit individual venues’ websites for more information on health and safety rules, and stay up to date at denverpost.com/things-to-do.
Blossoms of Light
Denver Botanic Gardens’ annual holiday light shows are massive crowd pleasers, as evidenced by the often-packed strolls through the 23-acre York Street location. Its Blossoms of Lights returns next week for a Nov. 18-Jan. 7 run (and is closed Nov. 24 & Dec. 25), with regular daily hours from 4:30-9 p.m.
Returning this year, according to officials: 100-foot-long light tunnel, glowing orbs, holiday treats, warm drinks and more. “In line with our core value of sustainability, all lights used in the event are LED,” the organization said.
1007 York St. in Denver. Tickets: $24 adult; $22 senior (65+), $21 adult member, $19 senior (65+) member; $20 child (ages 3-15); $17 child member; free for children 2 or younger, via 720-865-3500 or botanicgardens.org
Denver Zoo’s all-ages, outdoor extravaganza evolves slightly from year to year, with dazzling installations joining its animated, animal-shaped displays, carousel rides and hot drinks (some of them just for adults, naturally) at 2300 Steele St.
New this year along with the usual 1 million-or-so twinklers: Aurora Borealis, Savannah Sunset and Electric Jungle-themed installations along with its nightly ice-carving, fire barrels and the aforementioned festive food and drink. Note: Passes will NOT be available on site.
Tickets are on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Nov. 15: $15-$25 via 720-337-1400 or denverzoo.org/events/zoolights
Is there any show more traditional, beloved or (let’s face it) incredibly common than “The Nutcracker” in contemporary U.S. holiday culture? There’s no shortage of versions in the metro area, but the biggest and best is undoubtedly Colorado Ballet’s.
Refreshed last year with new sets and costumes by Thomas Boyd and Holly Hynes, the 62nd run takes over the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at Denver Performing Arts Complex for 26 in-person shows, with five different casts of dancers and live music performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, according to producers. Tchaikovsky in the house!
Shows are Nov. 26-Dec. 24 at 1385 Curtis St. in Denver; see also the sensory-friendly performance on Nov. 27. Tickets: $40-$175 via 303-837-8888 ext. 2 or coloradoballet.org/the-nutcracker
“A Christmas Carol”
“A Christmas Carol” returns Nov. 18-Dec. 24 at Wolf Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The Charles Dickens adaptation about ghosts and time travel is a bit less showy than “The Nutcracker,” with a recommended age of 9-and-up (children aged 4-and-up will still be admitted), but the pageantry is faultlessly eye-catching and heartwarming.
The 2-hour and 15-minute show (with one intermission) runs at the Wolf Theatre, Speer Boulevard and Arapahoe Street in Denver. Tickets: $10-$125 via 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org
Trail of Lights
Not to be outdone by its downtown equivalent, the Chatfield Farms outpost of Denver Botanic Gardens brings back its Trail of Lights display, Nov. 25-Jan. 1, with one mile of foothills walking trails featuring illuminated cottonwoods, boxelders and pine trees.
You’ll pass through Green Farm, Crossroads, Deer Creek Discovery Children’s Play Area and 1880s Hildebrand Ranch homestead, but there’s a shorter path “for those who want to take a shorter stroll,” according to the Gardens.
5-8:30 p.m. nightly, closed Dec. 15, at 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road in Littleton. Note: just like York Street, timed passes will NOT be available on site. Tickets: $12-$16 via 720-865-3500 or botanicgardens.org
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