‘Tis the season to spread holiday cheer and celebrate with those nearest and dearest to you. We’ve all got our favorite traditions, but if you’re looking for some new fun options, we’ve got you covered. Here are some Colorado Springs classic, winter festivities during the most wonderful time of the year.
Festival of Lights Parade
Tejon Street becomes holiday central as floats, animals, characters and carolers parade through town in glittering lights. And who should appear with eight tiny reindeer at the end of the procession? Let’s just say you’d better not be caught pouting. Combine the parade with ice skating in Acacia Park and a festive meal and seasonal beverages, and downtown will be your perfect launch into full holiday mode.
Winter Lights Opening Celebration
The Fine Arts Center will kick off the holiday season with a magical collection of holiday trees decorated by various artists. Enjoy free entertainment from Ormao Dance Company, The Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, The Colorado Springs Conservatory and the Celtic Steps school of Irish Dance. This celebration opens the ongoing Gallery of Trees (Dec. 3 – Jan. 8).
Festival of Lessons and Carols
For the 55th year, Colorado College will host a free candlelit service in Shove Chapel. The event is open to the public, with readings, carols and the musical repertoire of the Colorado College Chamber chorus.
The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway Santa Claus Train
Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17-24
Allow the elves tell you the story of Santa as you journey to the top of Pikes Peak. This 45-minute, round-trip takes you 2 miles up the track to the historic Minnehaha Siding and includes hot chocolate and cookies. Santa and more of his elves will greet you at the depot. Bring your camera.
Amahl and the Night Visitors and Bending Toward the Light
For 15 years, the Colorado Springs Conservatory has presented this classic one act play for free as a holiday gift to the community. This year it’s a double feature with the jazz nativity “Bending Toward the Light.” Dress in your finest winter whites and buy tickets to the preceding fundraiser Holiday White Party.
Downtown Holiday Stroll
Make your holiday shopping fun. Take a walk through downtown Colorado Springs and enjoy carolers, festive lights and later store hours until 8 p.m. And you’ll find special one-night-only promotions and deals. Hot, warming beverages will be available and lots of holiday cheer!
Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Dec. 9-23, Dec. 25-Jan. 1
Stroll through America’s only mountain zoo with almost 1 million lights to brighten up the night sky. Warm up at one of the fire pits. See the real animals in their nightly habits—ever hear those lions roar? And, of course, meet Santa Claus through Dec. 23.)
Jingle Bell 5K
Come in costume to Fountain Creek Regional Park, and run off some of those extra Christmas calories. Bring the younger ones for the free 1K Kids Fun Run.
Nature Hikes and Wagon Rides with Santa at Fountain Creek Nature Center
Dec. 10 and 17
Hike with Kriss Kringle. Create snowflake crafts. Enjoy the interactive oration of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem. And take a ride with Suffolk Punch draft horses trotting down the regional trail serenaded by jingle bells and seasonal songs.
The Broadmoor Holiday Show
Dec. 16-18, 23-24, 26, 29
Doors open 6 p.m.
This dinner concert series hosts pure holiday fun for the whole family in true Broadmoor fashion. Headliners include Melissa Manchester, the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, Ken Miller and The Broadmoor Pops Orchestra and others. Of course, Santa Claus will be there too.
Holiday Evening at Rock Ledge Ranch
Get historical with a pioneer celebration at Rock Ledge Ranch, where you can take a jingle-bell wagon ride, join a hoedown and meet Kriss Kringle.
Winter Lights Ice
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Watch world-champion Cool Hand Ice Carving live at the Fine Arts Center. Catch a showing of the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie, and browse a collection of hand-drawn Grinch animation cels and related artworks. Food trucks will be on hand, and Ormao Dance Company, The Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, The Colorado Springs Conservatory and the Celtic Steps school of Irish Dance will be performing.
The Colorado Springs Philharmonic features music from the Polar Express and classical favorites like Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and the local premiere of choruses from Mendelssohn’s Christus.
Winter Wonderland With the Wolves
Who needs reindeer when you can hang with wolves? Escape into the beauty of Divide. Breakfast burritos will be offered during the retreat.
The North Pole
Through Dec. 24
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Visit Santa at the icy North Pole when you take a trip to Santa’s magical workshop! The Christmas-themed family amusement park offers something for all ages. More than two dozen rides include the fantastical antique carousel and miniature train. Do some holiday shopping in the village, and feed the resident llamas and goats a treat.
Santa Express Train
Nov. 18 – Dec. 24
All aboard! Ride the rails on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad to see Santa. Wear your warmest pajamas and enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. When you reach the North Pole, Santa will bestow a special gift to all the good boys and girls.
Skate in the Park
Nov. 18 – Jan. 16
Bring on winter, ice and all! Acacia Park is skate central, where you can glide beneath the stars and twinkling festive lights. Perfect for making magical holiday memories. Skate rental is available.
But Wait There’s More
Don’t see your favorite Springs holiday event or tradition on the list? Post your favorites on our Facebook page.