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Wednesday 23 December 2020

Downtown Denver Holiday Lights

Christmas is almost here! 

Things may be looking a little different this year for many families, but one thing that remains the same is the holiday cheer in the city. There may be no holiday parade or ice skating rink this year, but the city of Denver has gone all out with the light displays just as they would any other year. 

Earlier this week Lola, Mathilde and I headed into the city to check out the light displays in Downtown. We saw parade floats, streets filled with twinkling lights, listened to a band play festive music, marveled at the light displays on Union Station, and laid down inside the Mile High Tree to watch the lights above. 

Here's a look...

We started off on 16th Street Mall near Denver Pavilions where we checked out a few of the floats from the annual Parade of Light. Most years the Parade of Lights delights thousands of people as it makes its way along the street. This year there was no parade, however the parade floats have been displayed in various locations along 16th Street Mall to add a little festive cheer. 

We made our way down 16th Street Mall toward Union Station stopping to check out the sights along the way. Our first stop was the Mile High Tree, although as it was still early it wasn't open to visitors just yet. Not to worry, as we planned to stop by on our way back to the car later.

We continued a little further down 16th Street Mall until we reached Skyline Park. We had expected to visit the Christkindl Market here however it had moved to Civic Center Park this year. Instead we found a few more floats from the Parade of Lights, a band playing Christmas music, the iconic clock tower lit up in festive colors, and a Christmas tree overlooking where the annual ice skating rink would normally be located. 

We made our way to 15th Street and continued on with the view of Union Station ahead of us. By now it was starting to get a little darker and the lights glowed more vibrantly than they had just a short time earlier. When we made it to Union Station we went inside for a quick dinner before taking in more of the lights. 

Then we started our walk back up 16th Street Mall, with a quick detour to Larimer Square to check out the lights in the pedestrian area. 

Then it was back onto 16th Street Mall. By now the clock tower was lit up with projections on one side so we stopped to watch them for a while. My favorite was a ski scene with ski lifts moving up the tower and tiny skiers moving down the tower. 

Our last stop for the night was the highlight and one of our favorites from last Christmas. The Mile High Tree is located on 16th Street Mall (at Welton Street) this year, and while I much preferred its location in Sculpture Park last year, the new location is quite handy. No need to make a separate trip while visiting 16th Street Mall as it's right there! We lined up for about 30 minutes before it was our turn to go inside the tree. This year there are four circles marked inside the tree and each family/group entering is allocated one circle to sit, stand or lay down in. Like last year, we spent most of our time inside the tree laying down looking up as the lights danced around us in time to the music. 

If you're in the Denver area make sure to take a trip to Downtown to check out the holiday lights for a dose of festive cheer!

The Parade of Lights floats will be on display through December 31st and the Mile High Tree will be on display through January 2nd.

Have you been to Downtown Denver during the holidays? 

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