Driving or strolling through a fairyland of outdoor light displays is a holiday treat that costs no more than gasoline or shoe leather. And there’s no place prettier than Denver/Boulder, especially when the snowy backdrop is the real deal. Here’s a list of the best Christmas lights in the area for the 2020 season. Our list includes professional and municipal displays and private homes.
New for this year: We’ve put together a Google map for the home lights to make it easier to plot your visits. To see the map, just scroll down past the pictures of the lights.
We’re updating continuously, so send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org (please include the address and a photo, if this is a private home):
Christmas is a time when even those most ardent suburbanites come downtown. The opulent light display decorating the City and County Building (at Civic Center Park) from the ground floor to the dome has been a holiday tradition since 1935 and the lighting is spectacular by any measure.
More than 100,000 lights festoon the trees of the 1.25 mile-long 16th Street Mall. Ride the FREE mall shuttle and gaze at the magical scene.
Strings of white lights strung across Larimer Street between 14th and 15th Streets provide a brilliant and festive setting for great dining and shopping (window or otherwise).
You may also want to check out the Mile High Tree on the 16th Street Mall at Welton Street. The seven-story tall “tree” features more than 60,000 lights with a light and music show every 15 minutes most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from November 20 through January 2. You can even step inside the tree.
Winter WonderLights transforms the exterior of Denver’s landmark train station into a festive canvas spreading holiday cheer. This outdoor light show at Denver Union Station features exciting animations, historic Denver photos, visual creations by Denver artists and more, all synced with classic holiday music. The free show runs from 5 p.m. to 10 pp.m. each night through Thursday, December 31.
Visitors can can also enjoy two floats from the 2020 Downtown Denver Partnership Parade of Lights that will be on display outside Denver Union Station from November 27 through January 3. Find a full schedule of events here.
Cherry Creek North
All new this year, Cherry Creek North has created Winter Wanderland featuring a canopy of more than a half million twinkling lights dressing hundreds of trees across 16 blocks. As you stroll the route, you’ll spot eight of the trees adorned with vibrant hanging strands of lights choreographed to music during timed shows. Download a map here.
Guests can also explore Prismatica, a dynamic lighted art installation with 25 towering prisms that rotate at their base and display a kaleidoscope of color. It is located at Gart Plaza (3rd & Milwaukee).
Golden will be brighter than ever this year, with holiday lights along Washington Avenue, Clear Creek and in Clear Creek History Park. Thousands of holiday lights will illuminate the historic buildings and park – inside and out – for a festive place to make new memories. Enjoy the lights nightly at dusk through January.
“Light” Christmas at Cherry Hills Community Church is a drive-through light display. Driving along the one-mile route (the experience lasts about 25 minutes), you will hear a wonderful Christmas story, drive through the largest pixel tree in Denver and experience a spectacular light show like you’ve never seen.
Open Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays from November 27 through December 24. FREE, but but you must reserve a timed-entry ticket for your vehicle. Go here to reserve your ticket.
You may reserve multiple days and times. Each night there are two different time slots from which you may choose. Group A will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Group B from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. You may arrive anytime during the time windows you choose.
Once you’ve reserved your free ticket, download the Light at Cherry Hills app from the Apple App Store or on Google Play. 3900 Grace Blvd., Highlands Ranch.
Historic Downtown Littleton decks itself out in millions of multi-colored lights that adorn the trees along Main Street. Shop the merchants as you stroll block after block.
Aurora Municipal Center is a bright festival of with sparkling lights on the building exterior and walkways.
Westminster City Hall is adorned in thousands of colorful lights through the end of December. The Westminster Christmas tree is simply breathtaking.
Boulder’s Snow Much Fun festoons downtown Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall and the Civic Area with thousands of lights and illuminated ornaments.
The plaza in front of the Boulder County Courthouse (between 13th and 14th Streets) features lighted trees, an “electric fountain” and a canopy of lights. Don’t miss your chance for some photo ops on the courthouse lawn with a holiday bear and reindeer family.
Experience the Boulder Bandshell illuminated in a classic candy cane theme. Creekside Play Area is lit in frozen-themed colors.
Above the city, a lighted star shines from Flagstaff Mountain, a local tradition since 1947. See the lights from November 22 through January 10.
Also, the tree trunks at Civic Center Park (west of Broadway between Canyon and Arapahoe) are wrapped in holiday lights. Download your 2020 map here.
The Loveland Light Trail is a free city-wide light trail, connecting 10 independent light displays and attractions across Loveland. It runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through January 1.
This self-guided tour connects Winter Wonderlights at I-25 and Centerra and nearby lights to Loveland’s thriving downtown district, the Loveland Holiday Council Display at Foote Lagoon Amphitheater, ending at Christmas Walk in the Woods (starts Dec. 1 and has admission fee) on the west side of town.
The light trail map is viewable online here and a physical copy is available for pickup at the Loveland Visitors Center, 5400 Stone Creek Circle.
Loveland Winter Wonderlights is at Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. Each night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., visitors will revel in holiday string lights, twinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, illuminated African stone sculptures, the only 20’ LED mappable Christmas Tree in the state and 30-minute music and light shows each evening starting at 5:30 p.m. It’s open from November 14 through January 1.
Self-guided driving tours are a terrific (and safe) option this holiday season.
All these displays, often synchronized to Christmas music, are put on by regular people, at their own expense, and it takes an incredible amount of time and creativity. So visit and let them know you appreciate it.
Some are collecting money for charitable causes. If a radio station is listed, tune your car radio to that station to listen to the coordinated music. Please be considerate of these folks’ neighbors.
If a website or Facebook page is listed, make sure to visit and check out the hours, start dates, and any additional information that you need to know.
You’ll find a map for private home displays at the end of the listings.
We’re looking for homes to showcase, so if you know of one please email email@example.com with the address, any details and a photo, if you have one.
It’s A Wonderful Light
4822 S. Picadilly Ct., Aurora, 80015
The award-winning “It’s a Wonderful Light” display sparkles brightly and spreads Christmas cheer with more than 50,000 lights! This display is a tribute to the family’s two children who have autism. It also benefits the Autism Society of Colorado through the #SPREADLIGHT campaign. You will see a variety of colors in the display which represents the incredible variety of the autism spectrum.
Donations collected for Autism Society of Colorado.
5061 Yates Circle, Broomfield (91.3 FM)
Every bulb on the house is individually controllable and can be any color at any time. The result is 10 minutes of awesome Christmas music with dazzling lights and effects. There are both outdoor speakers or listen on your radio. Starts the weekend after Thanksgiving and runs every evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
3510 W. 130th Place, Broomfield, 80020 (89.9 FM)
Now in its 16th year. Dances to music every night from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Castle Rock Homes
Case’s X-Treme Holiday Lights
4028 Ashcroft Ave., Castle Rock, 80104
Over 12,000 lights all programmed to multiple holiday songs. Castle Rock DJ and Sounds way of giving back to the community!
The Stricker’s Winter Wonderland
6636 S. Lafayette, Centennial, 80121
Come see why this display was voted one of the “Denver Post’s Best.” The LED’s, videos and music will take your breath away. Get a glimpse of Santa and his sleigh, along with many other of your favorite characters including The Grinch. Watch Santa’s elves hard at work and listen to Santa tell the story of The Night Before Christmas. And if that wasn’t enough…check out Whoville. Running live every night from 4:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. through New Year’s Day.
Commerce City Homes
Onstott Christmas Extravaganza
10046 Fraser St. (near 104th & Chambers), Commerce City, 80022 (88.9 FM)
Show plays continuously weekdays 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Show syncs to 24 songs (about 1 hour and 45 minutes) with 27,000+ lights and figurines.
Donations collected for Children’s Hospital Colorado.
2780 S. Harrison St., Denver, 80210
More than 8,000 lights, animation and music at times. Santa is stuck upside down on the chimney with kicking legs and his elf has a call-out that says “sorry boss.” If you stop by on weekends, you’ll find an outdoor cardboard cutout Santa photo booth.
Highlands Ranch Homes & Churches
Grace Presbyterian Church Christmas Display
9720 U.S. Hwy 85 N (at Highlands Ranch Pkwy & Santa Fe Dr.), Highlands Ranch, 80125
Christmas light display synchronized to music broadcast over FM radio. Look for a sign showing the station frequency when you pull into the driveway. Food truck on site sells hot cocoa and dessert crepes. Show runs daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Starts Friday, November 27.
2880 Canyon Crest Lane, Highlands Ranch, 80126
Display features lots of snowmen, snowflakes and lighted trees. They also have an across-the-street lighted banner. Please come by and see the lights.
Lone Tree Homes
Lone Tree Light Show
354 Neptune Ct., Lone Tree, 80124
Now in its 10th season offering lights synchronized to holiday favorites. Shows runs Sundays to Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Starts November 28.
Schweiger Ranch Holiday Display
10822 S. Havana St., Lone Tree, 80124
Come and enjoy the display of holiday lights through January 1. Access to the Ranch property is temporarily closed due to COVID restrictions. You can see amazing views from the parking lot and along the trail. Starts November 26.
Westminster Family Light Show
11407 W. 103rd Ave., Westminster, 80021 (93.5 FM)
Traditional and non-traditional music synced to 28,000 lights. Shows operate Sunday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Starts November 27.