6 Ways to Make Your Holidays Fun Downtown

It's the festive season, and downtown is the epicenter of so much holiday magic. Here's how you can take advantage of it.

Maybe it’s our Miracle on 34th Street fantasies with bustling sidewalks and layer upon layer of twinkly lights. Or an It’s a Wonderful Life ethos where small business owners welcome you into their stores and serve refreshments. Whatever the exact reason, there’s just something special about downtown during the holidays — and so many ways to celebrate the season. Here are a few of our favorite ways to make your holidays fun in downtown Colorado Springs. 

1. Shop and Win Local.

You want special gifts for the special people in your life. Downtown is filled with specialty shops and boutiques, filled with everything from fashion, home decor and accessories to jewelry, outdoor gear, food, books and gifts. And when you shop between Nov. 11 and Dec. 11, 2022, you can win big prizes for yourself.

The “Shop Local + Win Local” promotion offers prizes valued over $2,000 as a thank-you to shoppers who support local downtown retailers during the holiday season. When customers spend $50 or more at downtown retail shops, they can upload photos of their receipts to be entered into prize drawings. A Grand Prize Drawing for a $1,000 Visa gift card will take place on Dec. 15. Prizes also include weekly drawings for Downtown Gift Baskets, which include items from more than 10 downtown retailers, valued at just over $100, plus a $150 Downtown Gift Card. 

“When you shop local, everyone wins,” said Susan Edmondson, president and CEO of Downtown Partnership. “[The sponsor] Bank of Colorado understands that our Downtown stores offer one-of-a-kind items that you just can’t get anywhere else. And when shoppers support our independent businesses, our city’s economy is stronger.” 

Don’t miss Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26 or the Holiday Stroll on Dec. 7. You can get details and learn how to enter here.

Want some downtown gift ideas? Check out our Downtown Colorado Springs Gift Guide. 

2. Skate in the Park.

Kids and couples ice skate in the park, one of the fun ways to enjoy holidays downtown in Colorado Springs
Skate on a date or bring the whole family. Photo courtesy of Downtown Partnership.

Gliding around the outdoor rink in Acacia Park can be a fun family outing, a romantic date, a perfect outdoor hangout with friends — or all of the above. Combine your ice skating session with dinner or drinks at your favorite local restaurants and bars and you have a whole evening of fun. Plus, there are many special events when you can skate with members of Team USA or the Colorado College and U.S. Air Force hockey teams. 

Don’t know how to ice skate? No problem. Come for a Learn to Skate session. Skate in the Park is open through January. You can get details and entire season’s Skate in the Park schedule here. 

3. Celebrate the Festival of Lights.

It’s a one-night event — this year on Dec. 3 — but it’s a perfect way to get in the holiday spirit and welcome Santa to town. Come early to get your spot along Tejon Street, and make your reservations for dinner before or after the parade. There will be thousands of people at this popular event. 

You can add a special theme to your parade plans this year by joining Olympians and Paralympians at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum Festival of Lights Celebration. Or join the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Festival of Lights festivities earlier in the day for free music, crafts and activities. 

Lots of lights strung across the street make holidays downtown beautiful in Colorado Springs
Downtown glows with holiday lights. Photo by Tartan Trews, courtesy of Downtown Partnership.

4. Make It a Symphonic Season.

There’s so much tradition surrounding the Colorado Springs Philharmonic’s holiday series at the Pikes Peak Center. If it has been a while since you’ve been to the symphony, these three seasonal shows are a perfect reintroduction. 

The Nutcracker is a global holiday favorite, and the Philharmonic partners with the Oklahoma City Ballet and Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale to bring to life the fantastical holiday story. 

Christmas Symphony fills the Pikes Peak Center with good tidings of cheer, blending classical favorites and joyful singalongs. 

And New Year’s Eve delivers a jazzy segue into the new year with jazz master Aaron Diehl at the piano. 

You can bundle all three shows into a discounted Home for the Holidays Pack. Find all the details here. 

5. Host Your Holiday Party.

Looking for a spot to make your office holiday party special? Or wanting to gather your entire crew where you don’t have to make the food and mix all the drinks? Many downtown restaurants and bars are available for private events. A few of our favorites? 

The Well can host 30 to 120 people, and you’ve got multiple food and drink options from Dun Sun, Kumbala, Noble Burger and the Gift Horse Bar.

Host your seasonal soiree at the chic rooftop Lumen8. There’s a prix fixe menu for parties over 12, or you can rent the entire space for a private event. The views of those holiday lights in the city below are going to be epic. Email for details.

Go big and take over the entire Kinship Landing hotel for a weekend. Think of it as your own mega-sleepover — with champagne on the camp deck. 

6. Raise a Glass.

Did you register for your free Crafts and Drafts Passport last summer? Your discounts at local coffee shops, breweries and distilleries are good through the end of the year. And there are lots of downtown options to take advantage of those BOGO beverages and other specials. Cheers to your holiday season! 

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Jeremy Jones
Jeremy Jones is Springs’ co-founder, editorial director and chief outdoor officer. He loves building community by telling stories about all the people, places and culture that make Colorado Springs an amazing place to live. And he’s especially stoked when exploring new places in the Springs, Colorado and beyond. Watch for him hiking, running or mountain biking the local trails with his wife and kids.

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