9 post-Thanksgiving things to do in Colorado this weekend

KUSA - The season of thanks is officially among us, and that means plenty of holiday celebrations are right around the corner. 

Whether you’re looking to brave the crowds on Black Friday or explore a state park free of charge (it’s going to be really nice this weekend), we hope these nine events will help get you out that turkey-stuffed food coma. 

9NEWS Light the Lights November 24 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Kick-off the start of the holiday season by seeing the City & County building in downtown light up with more than 585 energy-efficient LED lights and 2,000 feet of LED rope.  

On-air personalities Mark Koebrich, Corey Rose and Belen De Leon along with Mayor Michael
Hancock will flip the gigantic switch that turns on the vibrant holiday lights display for the first time.

Attendees can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and cookies courtesy the Salvation Army. 
Can’t make it? 9NEWS will be streaming the event on air and online starting at 6:30 p.m.

Free entry to Colorado state parks: All day on November 24

If you’d rather not fight the hordes on Black Friday, get out into the fresh air on for a healthy post-holiday.

Thanks to Great Outdoors Colorado funding, visitors receive free admission to any of Colorado’s 41 state parks.

During Fresh Air Friday (snow and ice conditions permitting, of course, for some of these activities), try some ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and skating, snowmobiling, hiking and wildlife viewing. 

For more info, or to find a park close to you, click here

Ice skating at Skyline Park: Daily through February 

If you love to ice skate but hate the cold, this weekend offers the perfect chance to get out on the ice without the freezing cold temperatures holding you back. 

The ice rink, which opened for the season on Wednesday, is located at 16th and Arapahoe Streets in downtown Denver. 

It will be open daily to the public for free skating (if you have your own skates) through Feb. 14, 2018.

Those who don’t have their own skates can pay a few bucks to rent them at the ice rink. 

Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens: November 24 through January 1 

It may seem strange to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens at night, but with the addition of colorful lights, it is a dazzling way to celebrate the holiday season.

Blossoms of Light at York Street opens Thanksgiving weekend on November 24 and runs through January 1. Hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Blossoms of Light features a tunnel of twinkling lights, the grand illuminated O’ Fallon Perennial Walk, changing color orbs and an extended pathway that illuminates even more of the Gardens that in previous years.

Read more about this event at Mile High on the Cheap.  

Festival of Trees: November 24 through December 2 

Friday is the start of a week-long winter wonderland celebration in Greeley. 

Now in its 29th year, the Festival of Trees features beautifully decorated trees, holiday entertainment, door prizes and a silent auction. 

All the action takes place at Union Colony Civic Center. Admission is $2.50 for adults and $1.50 for kids 12 and under. 

Friday Night Bazaar: November 24, December 1 and 8 

Holiday shoppers who favor the evening hours to peruse local crafts will be happy to hear the Friday Night Bazaar returns to RiNo this holiday season, with three consecutive Friday night pop-up markets at Denver Rock Drill.

The Friday Night Bazaar hosts more than 80 local craft, fashion, and food vendors, and introduces the Colorado Tasting Room + Bottle Shop — showcasing the largest and most affordable selection of premium Colorado cider, wine, and spirits available for purchase this holiday season.

Read more about this event at Mile High on the Cheap

Holiday Art Market: Daily through December 30

In need of some creative inspiration for this year's holiday shopping? 

The Holiday Art Market in Golden feature local handmade gifts from more than 100 artists.

Admission to the market, which is at the Foothills Art Center, is free. The market runs through Dec. 30 and is open every day.

A Christmas CarolNovember 24 through December 24

Watch this Christmas classic by Charles Dickens come to life this weekend at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. 

The story follows the life of Ebenezer Scrooge, who after being visited by a series of ghosts from his past (and one from the future), finds new meaning in the spirit of the holiday season. 

Don’t worry if you can’t make it for opening weekend, the show will play most nights through Christmas Eve. Tickets start out at $35. 

Denver Christkindl Market: Daily through December 23 

In the cities Germany, Austria and the German-speaking part of Switzerland, vendors set up stalls in the plaza around the cathedral to sell charming gift items and all manner of holiday goodies.

Denver’s 2017 Christkindl Market takes place downtown in Skyline Park (on the 16th Street Mall at Arapahoe St,), from Friday, November 17 through Saturday, December 23.

The park is transformed into a magical “old world” European village with wooden vendor huts, lights, festive music and an authentic German Bier Hall.

Read more about this event at Mile High on the Cheap. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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