7 Best Neighborhoods to See Christmas Lights in Denver
K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
Read full bio
There are many Christmas light displays throughout the Denver area during the holiday season, making it a top Christmas town in Colorado. Head to Denver Botanic Gardens for the Blossoms of Lights and the Denver Zoo’s annual ZooLights, one of the most popular with a 60-acre display that includes opportunities to meet with Santa, animal sightings, live entertainment and illuminated animated sculptures throughout. There are also some great private homes that get completely decked out – these are the best neighborhoods to find them.
Christmas tends to draw even those from some of the most remote suburban areas to enjoy the opulent light displays downtown. The City and County Building at Civic Center Park is lit from the ground floor to the dome, a tradition for more than eight decades, and twinkling lights illuminate historic Union Station in LoDo. As you shop along the 1.25-mile-long 16th Street Mall, you’ll be able to gaze up at the trees covered with more than 100,000 lights.
Between West 46th Avenue and West 48th Avenue, and from Carr to Everett Street in Arvada, you’ll find multiple enticing, bright displays, including some pretty quirky ones. There’s no central theme, so you’ll find it all here with everything from the Abominable Snowman to Big Bird, penguins, and even a massive wiener dog. Close to Olde Town Arvada at 6611 Quay Street, this private home usually offers plenty of holiday cheer and lights for the holidays, which has even included giving away free “Kandy Kanes” and hosting Santa Claus for children to visit.
The Windsor Gardens neighborhood, from Alton Way near The Breakers Resort to Clinton Street in the city of Denver itself is a community one could spend quite a bit of time in checking out the many countless with lots of unique individuality. It has the feel as if you’re walking through “The Christmas Story,” minus the leg lamp in the window. Every year this huge community holds a holiday decorating contest, which is what makes it so appealing. Drive through slowly so you don’t miss anything. If you arrive close to Christmas Day, you’ll be able to find out who the winners are with signs out in front. If it’s not too cold out, you might want to grab a cup of hot cocoa and walk around the mile-long circle.
One of the oldest and swankiest neighborhoods in Denver, Cheesman Park is tucked away east of Capitol Hill, around 8th Avenue and Franklin Street, and does it right for the holiday season. You won’t miss the most impressive, retro-holiday house filled with countless LED color-changing lights that are so mesmerizing you could stand there for hours watching them change color. It also has all sorts of plastic light-up decorations from the 1950s through today, making a visit like a trip back in time through the holidays. Cheesman Park is also home to the Denver Botanic Gardens with its impressive light displays.
In Lakewood, around South Cole Court and West Dakota Avenue, you can see thousands of dazzling lights set to music. Tune your car radio to 97.7 FM to enjoy the tunes that are timed perfectly for an impressive show. One house is incredibly elaborate, taking things to the next level with 25,000 lights and 192 channels set to a variety of holiday music. It also has a 20-foot-tree decked out with 5,000 lights, angels and more. Lights on LaSalle at 9114 W. La Salle Avenue will have a display with over 12,000+ lights, most synchronized to music broadcasting on 97.1 FM. The Lakewood Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lakewood Lights features wagon rides, live music, hot chocolate, and roasted chestnuts, Santa Claus visits, and the opportunity to make an ornament.
There are a number of standout homes offering elaborate displays in Aurora, including one at 2023 S. Rifle Street. It has a 64-channel LOR Christmas display expertly choreographed to holiday tunes like Little Drummer Boy, as sung by rocker Joan Jett, Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) Christmas Eve Sarajevo, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Joy to the World and TSO Wizards in Winter, Jewel – Hark the Herald Angels sing. Its 100 percent LED lights are complemented with a 2D and 3D mega tree along with many other holiday pieces, radio broadcast on 96.7. At 2496 S. Vaughn Way, you’ll find a unique twist on neighborhood light themes – it’s interactive, allowing visitors to play guitars or drums to make music and change light patterns, send text messages to change the colors, and even send music from a mobile device to the tree.
In Centennial’s Knolls neighborhood, many homes will be brightly lit, but 3871 E. Geddes Avenue is one worth heading here from a distance. It features 30,000 synchronized LED and incandescent lights across three homes along with blow molds from the 1980s, trees, Santa in the window, traditional elements, and arches. Another worth visiting in the area is the Severson Holiday House at 3855 E. Mineral Place with its thousands of lights, Santa, elves, the Grinch, and more.