The snow-covered streets are lined with multicolored lights that twinkle in the night, and the shops are all decked out in Christmas finery. In Golden, Colorado, the holiday season is the perfect time of year to go for walks at night, bundled up and warm, to admire the beauty of the season.
Golden, Colorado is a small town nestled against the foothills of the Rockies just 25 minutes from Denver. Its scenic setting with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains is worth the trip alone, but the town offers much more than good looks. Many travelers headed to Colorado’s ski resorts from lower altitudes stop here for a few days to acclimate before heading into the high country. Others who come to visit Denver plan a day trip to Golden to enjoy its small-town charm.
Coloradans also love this unique little town, home to the Coors Brewery, especially at Christmas. Golden shines during Christmastime and celebrates the season all month long with winter festivities, parades, and holiday markets.
If you’re looking for a place that brings a little Christmas magic to the holiday season, look no further than Golden, Colorado.
Here Are 7 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Golden, Colorado:
Spend the Night at the Table Mountain Inn
Table Mountain Inn is the perfect base for your stay in Golden. Located in historic downtown, it has been a Golden hotel since 1925. Today, the Santa Fe-style hotel offers luxury with a southwestern flair. Their large guest rooms have stylish furnishings, luxury bedding and great views of Golden.
During the holiday season, the Table Mountain Inn is lit up with holiday charm. Its restaurant, the Table Mountain Cantina & Grill, is popular with locals who come for its daily brunch and excellent southwest cuisine. For guests who prefer a plant-based meal, the Table Mountain Cantina offers several options, such as a chipotle roasted cauliflower dish and an ancient grain salad.
You can park your car in the hotel garage, and walk wherever you want to go in Golden. Just across from the Table Mountain Inn is the charming Higher Grounds Coffee Shop, and Woody’s Restaurant across the street is a Golden institution. You’ll find dozens of other small restaurants and boutique shops nearby.
Shop for Christmas gifts at the Holiday Art Market at Foothills Art Center.
The Holiday Art Market at Foothills Art Center, housed in a Gothic church and manse, is the perfect opportunity to find that special gift for someone you love. Featuring a large selection of fine art and handmade goods, the market offers something for everyone on your list.
Here, over 100 local artists display their crafts from woodworking to clothing, to special holiday items. Stop by and pick out an original creation.
Walk Down Clear Creek and Enjoy the Holiday Lights
The trail along Clear Creek is popular year-round with locals and visitors. During the summer, the river is filled with people floating down on inner tubes, kayakers, fishermen and folks just sitting along the river to enjoy the view.
During the Christmas holidays, Clear Creek is lined with twinkling holiday lights. Grab hot cocoa from one of the many coffee shops that line the main street and enjoy an evening stroll along the river.
Join the Olde Golden Candlelight Walk.
The Olde Golden Candlelight Walk is a time-honored Golden tradition that usually occurs on the first Friday of December. It’s something quite special to see the street light up with thousands of candles. Arrive early and grab some hot cocoa from a local shop.
The night starts at 5 pm with a pre-walk holiday show on the stage at 10th and Washington. Then the crowd heads to the Foothills Art Center at 15th and Washington to start the walk. Bring your own candle or buy one for $2 and join in on the fun.
There is caroling and lots of laughter during this favorite event. Afterward, one lucky Golden child will flip the switch and light up all the twinkling lights along Clear Creek.
See the Golden Holiday Parade
See Newfoundland dogs, Victorian carolers, a myriad of floats, the Grinch, marching bands and even Buffalo Bill himself at the Golden Holiday Parade on the second Saturday morning of the month. This is a great activity for kids. Lots of organizations from the Golden community come together to make this holiday parade special.
Enjoy the Polar Express show at the Colorado Railroad Museum.
The Polar Express arrives at the Colorado Railroad Museum from mid-Nov to December 23rd. The Polar Express Train Ride is a family-friendly show held in the Polar Express Pavilion.
The multi-part show is filled with song and dance. Kids especially love the “Hot Chocolate” song. The Polar Express will arrive and you will hear the conductor call out “All aboard!” A ride to the North Pole aboard vintage coaches, pulled by an authentic, coal-fired steam locomotive, is the night’s favorite experience.
Walk Through the Lit-Up History Park.
Enjoy Golden’s History Park (formerly known as Clear Creek History Park) all lit up for the holidays. The living history park, which offers free entrance year-round, is home to several authentic 1800’s style buildings that were moved here from all over the county. They have been carefully preserved and give a glimpse into what life was like in the Old West.
Peer into a farmhouse kitchen and glimpse the wood stove, or take a trip to the schoolhouse and see how students learned in the past. During the summer, the park offers a Hands-On History Summer Camp for kids. The Golden History Museum just across the river also offers free entrance and has different exhibits throughout the year.
If You Go:
Learn more about Golden at VisitGolden.com
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Do you like learning about holidays in other parts of the world? See our other articles about holiday travel.
Author Bio: Sandy Page is a life-long adventurer. In her free time, she reads and consumes copious amounts of hot beverages. Janna Graber is managing editor at GoWorld Travel Magazine.