Looking for entertainment on a budget? Free won’t put a dent in anyone’s wallet. Here are some of our favorite free things to do in Colorado Springs this month.
Music Magic at Lawrence Dryhurst Gallery
6 p.m., Lawrence Dryhurst Gallery
Jigsaw Puzzle Swap
5:30 p.m., Manitou Springs Heritage Center
Got some old jigsaws you want to donate? Looking for a new one to piece together over the holidays? This annual swap is for you.
Small Works Show Opening Reception
5:30 p.m., The Modbo and S.P.Q.R.
The local favorite show of 500 original artworks by 150 local artists kicks off with a bang on First Friday. Each work is less than 18 x 18 inches. The show and sale run through Jan. 3
Holiday Gala at Hunter-Wolff Gallery
5 p.m., Hunter-Wolff Gallery
Join the 40 artists of the gallery for a holiday First Friday celebration with refreshments. You might even spot Kris Kringle.
Fort Carson Winter Wonderland
5:30 p.m., William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center, Fort Carson
Gather around for the official lighting of the Fort Carson Holiday Tree. Voucher holders can pick up their free holiday tree through Troops for Trees. And be sure to grab some cookies and cocoa.
2:30 p.m., Chapel Hills Mall
Play trombone? Bring it to the lower level of the mall in front of Burlington Coat Factory and be part of the Bare Bones Trombone Choir. Or just come listen to this unique concert.
Gingerbread House Decorating
11 a.m., Pikes Peak Library District Ute Pass Library
Head to Woodland Park for all-ages gingerbread house decorating. All supplies are provided. Just register by Dec. 6 to reserve your spot.
Festival of Lights Family Fun Day
10:15 a.m., Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Drop in or stay all day for magic, dance and musical performances. Create historically-inspired ornaments. Marvel at the model train displays. And much more. Don’t miss the free cookies and hot cocoa before the parade.
Festival of Lights Parade
5:50 p.m., Downtown
Celebrate “Home for the Holidays.” Bundle up and drink hot cocoa to cheer the floats and welcome Santa down Tejon Street.
Festival of Lessons and Carols
6 p.m., Shove Chapel, Colorado College,
A candlelight service of readings, carols and musical selections featuring the Colorado Chamber Chorus.
Ski for Free Day
8 a.m., Monarch Mountain
Celebrate Monarch’s 80th anniversary with free skiing and snowboarding. Bring a nonperishable food item or cash donation in exchange for a lift ticket. The food will go to Salida’s Grainery and 1st Presbyterian Church food banks. The cash will be donated to Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee Country.
Holly and Ivy
7 p.m., Pikes Peak Center
A free family-friendly concert by the Air Force Academy Band.
Downtown Holiday Stroll
5 p.m., Downtown
Do some holiday shopping while carolers spreading holiday cheer along the downtown sidewalks, and kids will have an opportunity to visit with Santa.
PikeRide Ugly Sweater Holiday Roll
5 p.m., PikeRide Headquarters
Wear your ugly sweater, decorate your electric-assist PikeRide bike, and take a free group ride around downtown. Many stores will have special offers and refreshements. Keep an eye out for Santa and maybe even the Grinch.
7:30 p.m., Colorado College
This cherished candlelight concert features music from medieval to modern, plus poetry, story and song, in the splendor of Shove Chapel.
Gold Camp Christmas
All weekend, Cripple Creek
Join the Victorian Christmas festivites. Tour the mining tradition of Lighted Headframes by shuttle or on your own. Catch the Friday evening 12 Redneck Days of Christmas Parade in Victor. Or join Santa and the Cripple Creek Christmas Parade at noon on Saturday.
Holiday Vegan Market
11 a.m., Pikes Peak Library 21C
Eat, shop for vegan groceries, candy, baked goods, skin and healthcare products and more from 50 vendors. And join plant-based cooking demonstrations by local cookbook authors, including JL Fields.
Little London Winds Hanukkah Concert
7 p.m., Temple Shalom
Celebrate the Festival of Lights with Hanukkah and Klezmer music by the Little London Winds. All faiths welcome.
Beer and Carols II
7 p.m., Wild Goose Meeting House
Beer. Christmas carols. Singing—loudly. It’s going to be a full house. Come and fa la la la la.
A Christmas Story, Ivywild Movie Night
7 p.m., Ivywild School Gym
Will Ralphie finally convince his parents and Santa that the perfect Christmas gift really is a Red Ryder BB gun? Well, you know the story. Enjoy the classic holiday film hosted by the Independent Film Society of Colorado.
5:30 p.m., Bancroft Park, Old Colorado City
Be a part of the immersive performance and street promenade. Each participant gets one of four musical tracks on cassette, CD or MP3 to amplify on boombox or speaker. The result is unique mobile sound sculpture that melds experimental electronic music and Christmas caroling.