21 Free Things To Do Around Colorado Springs This Month

There are plenty of unique options for fun on the cheap in the Pikes Peak region. Here are some favorites to put on your calendar, including art shows, movies, jigsaw puzzles, trombones, boomboxes, a vegan market, Christmas carols, a parade and more. And, yes, there’s even free skiing.

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

Dec. 6
6 p.m., Lawrence Dryhurst Gallery
Michael Pfeifer of Motif Music draws on his 50 years of guitar to perform jazz, pop and country blues for the First Friday celebration at the downtown gallery.

Jigsaw Puzzle Swap

Dec. 6
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

Dec. 6
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

Dec. 6
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

Dec. 6-7
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.

Trombone Christmas

Dec. 7
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

Dec. 7
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

Dec. 7
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 Colorado Springs
The Festival of Lights Parade is a 35-year Colorado Springs tradition. Photo by Jessica Rodriguez.

Festival of Lights Parade

Dec. 7
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

Dec. 8
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

Dec. 9
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

Dec. 9-10
7 p.m., Pikes Peak Center
A free family-friendly concert by the Air Force Academy Band.

Free Downtown Holiday Stroll Colorado Springs
Santa strolls downtown Colorado Springs. Photo by Allison Moix, Stellar Propeller Studio.

Downtown Holiday Stroll

Dec. 11

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

Dec. 11
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.


Dec. 13-14

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

Dec. 13-14
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

Dec. 14
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

Dec. 14

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

Dec. 15
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

Dec. 16
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.

Unsilent Night

Dec. 21
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.

Looking for More Holiday Festivities?

Find Holiday Concerts in Colorado Springs and discover shopping events in How to Shop Local for the Holidays.

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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