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9Things to do in Colorado this New Year's weekend

Soak in the magic of the season with New Year's festivities and fireworks this weekend.

COLORADO, USA — It's been a long, full year of amazing events, concerts, festivals, art fairs, county fairs and sporting events in the Centennial State.

As we jump into 2023, this weekend offers fireworks, concerts and New Year's celebrations and parties. Before fireworks light up the sky over downtown Denver Saturday night, the sights, sounds and excitement of Times Square will come to Children’s Museum of Denver — all before bedtime.

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New Year's Eve fireworks

DENVER — The sky will light up once again over downtown Denver on New Year's Eve. Denver will launch two firework shows on Saturday, Dec. 31, over the 16th Street Mall in the heart of downtown. The firework shows will begin at 9 p.m. and midnight to help ring in 2023.

The identical firework displays will be synched to a music playlist from live DJs along the mall running from 8 p.m. to midnight. Each firework show will run for about eight minutes and can be viewed anywhere along the mall.

Credit: Children's Museum of Denver

Noon Year's Eve

DENVER — Families can enjoy the sights, sounds and excitement of Times Square, at the Children's Museum, all before bedtime. The Children Museum's Noon Year's Eve event on Saturday, Dec. 31, features countdowns with ball drops on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., plus music, tasty treats and more. Reservations are required at MyChildsMuseum.org.

Credit: Lars Leber

AdAmAn Club Fireworks

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Pikes Peak tradition since 1922, hearty climbers traverse the icy slopes of Pikes Peak to provide a spectacular show for spectators in the Colorado Springs region. At midnight on New Year's Eve the climbers set off a huge fireworks display for the delight of everyone below. On a clear night, the AdAmAn Club Fireworks can be seen for hundreds of miles along the Front Range and eastern plains. This is truly a Colorado tradition you need to experience at least once.

Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Denver Nuggets

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets play two games at home at Ball Arena this New Year's weekend. The Nuggets host the Miami Heat on Friday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. and the Boston Celtics on Sunday, Jan. 1, at 6 p.m.

Colorado Avalanche

DENVER — Before the ball drops in downtown Denver, the Colorado Avalanche will face the Toronto Maple Leafs at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31. For tickets, check out Ticketmaster.com.

Credit: nat2851terry - stock.adobe.com

A Night in Vienna

DENVER — The Colorado Symphony's popular annual tradition "A Night in Vienna" returns on New Year's Eve. The rousing selection of polkas, waltzes and marches begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, at Boettcher Concert Hall, ensuring attendees won't miss the 16th Street Mall fireworks. Reserve your seats at ColoradoSymphony.org.

Credit: Steve Lovegrove - stock.adobe.com

Extreme Rodeo Challenge

LOVELAND — The annual New Year's Eve Extreme Rodeo Challenge returns to the Budweiser Events Center this Saturday, Dec. 31. The event features rodeo favorites including saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, bullfighting and mutton bustin’. TREventsComplex.com is the place for tickets.

Credit: Live Nation


DENVER — Many of the biggest artists in electronic and dance music are at the Colorado Convention Center on Friday, Dec. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 31, for "Decadence." Artists include Boogie T, Big Wild, Chris Lake, CloZee, Destructo, Kompany, GRiZ, Jai Wolf and more. Single and two-day passes are sold at AXS.com.

Credit: Jenny Anderson

Mean Girls

DENVER — "Mean Girls" has arrived in Denver fresh from Broadway. The hilarious musical from Tina Fey plays the Buell Theatre through Sunday, Jan. 1. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Forbidden Broadway

DENVER — The Tony Award winning "Forbidden Broadway" is your one-stop ticket to non-stop laughs. The all-new satirical roast of over 30 Broadway hits features hilarious costumes and silly spoofs of the songs you know by heart. "Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation" spoofs "Frozen," "Wicked," "Phantom," "Dear Evan Hanson," "Moulin Rouge," "Hamilton" and more. The musical plays the Garner Galleria Theatre through Jan. 1. For tickets, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: 9NEWS

Mile High Tree

DENVER — America's tallest digital tree is the Mile High Tree, a seven-story tall, 39-foot diameter conical structure in Denver. The tree features light shows choreographed to multi-cultural holiday music on the tallest pixel LED technology tree in the country. This holiday season, the giant tree is set up next to Denver Christkindlmarket near the City and County Building. The Mile High Tree will be lit up nightly through Saturday, Dec. 31, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

RELATED: America’s tallest digital tree returning to Denver

Credit: Denver Zoo

Zoo Lights

DENVER — Denver Zoo is illuminated for its annual season Zoo Lights. The beloved Colorado tradition features over one million lights over the zoo's 80 acres. There will be ice carving artisans, seasonal cocktails and holiday treats. Zoo Lights will be lit through Jan. 15. Most evenings sell out in advance and tickets will not be available at the door. Reserve your tickets at DenverZoo.org.

PHOTOS: Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo

Electric Safari

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Electric Safari opens this weekend with 85 light sculptures illuminating the zoo's 50 acres. Along with the warming fires throughout the zoo, displays will fill you with warmth and holiday spirit as you gaze out at the sparkling lights of Colorado Springs. Electric Safari is open this Friday through Sunday and select nights through Jan. 1. Reserve your passes at CMZoo.org.

PHOTOSCheyenne Mountain Zoo's Electric Safari

Credit: Visit Loveland Colorado

Winter Wonderlights

LOVELAND — Winter Wonderlights, a walkable holiday lighting attraction at Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, features 150,000 holiday lights including LED mappable snowflakes and illuminated African stone sculptures. There are 30-minute music and light shows every night. The light and music show features eight songs and moving lights on a 23-foot-tall LED Christmas tree. Winter Wonderlights is open through Sunday, Jan. 1.

Credit: Gaylord Rockies Resort

ICE! at Gaylord Rockies

AURORA — Gaylord Rockies Resort has brought back a crowd-pleasing arctic holiday tradition for the first time since 2019. The Aurora hotel's ICE! exhibition uses more than two million pounds of ice to celebrate the classic animated special "A Charlie Brown Christmas." ICE! features more than 10 scenes from the holiday special with ice carvings more than 30 feet tall. The exhibition also has two-story-tall ice slides, ice tunnels and arches. "ICE!" is open through Sunday, Jan. 1.

Credit: Gaylord Hotels

Cirque: Spirit of Christmas

AURORA — "Cirque: Spirit of Christmas" is an all-new show at the Bubly Theater at Gaylord Rockies Resort. Performances feature a contortion group act, female Mongolian speed jugglers, trapeze artists, aerialists, wire walking, acrobatics, singing, dancing and theatrical storytelling, accompanied by an original Broadway-style score. Guests can book at tickets.gaylordrockies.com and use the code BUY2GET2 for a buy two, get two ticket promotion through the end of the season. Blackout dates apply. "Cirque: Spirit of Christmas" plays through Sunday, Jan. 1.

Credit: Denver Botanic Gardens

Trail of Lights

LITTLETON — Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms' Trail of Lights holiday experience offers singing Christmas trees, synchronized music in a children's play area, light tunnels, model tractor displays, hot beverages, nuts, kettle corn and more. Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms will be open various evenings through Sunday, Jan. 1. Tickets are sold at BotanicGardens.org.

Blossoms of Light

DENVER — Blossoms of Light, the signature event at Denver Botanic Gardens is back this holiday season, transforms the York Street gardens into a twinkling wonderland. More than one million lights are used to highlight the Gardens' winter beauty. Ticket reservation windows can be purchased at BotanicGarden.org through Jan. 7.

Credit: Christmas in Color

Christmas in Color

FEDERAL HEIGHTS — Christmas in Color has drive-through light displays at Water World in Federal Heights, Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, and at Aurora's Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. The displays each feature more than one million LED lights arranged into tunnels, trees, giant candy canes, snowflakes and more, all synchronized to festive holiday music on the FM radio dial. Christmas in Color will be open through Sunday, Jan. 1. Tickets are on sale at ChristmasinColor.net.

Credit: Hudson Gardens & Event Center

A Hudson Christmas

LITTLETON — A Hudson Christmas is an outdoor festival of Christmas lights at Hudson Gardens through Saturday, Dec. 31. The garden's woods are transformed into a winter wonderland of brightly lit trees set against the night sky, reflecting off bodies of water. With friends and family, hot chocolate, tasty treats and photo opportunities, A Hudson Christmas is a popular Colorado tradition. Tickets can be found at HudsonGardens.org.

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Credit: 20th Century Studios via AP
This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Britain Dalton, as Lo'ak, in a scene from "Avatar: The Way of Water."

Movies this weekend

James Cameron’s big budget spectacle “Avatar: The Way of Water” is on top of the Hollywood box office, but there are several new releases for families, adults, kids and teenagers. "Babylon," "Whitney Houston: I Want to Dance With Somebody," and "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" are some of the newest releases in theaters.

> Would you like to see your favorite Colorado festival, fair, expo, concert, drama, musical, ballet, run or event listed in 9Things? Send it to alexander.kirk@9news.com.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Holiday season in Colorado 


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