10 Things You Should Know...

Terry Shapiro for Colorado Ballet
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1. Visions of Sugarplums No holiday is complete without making the annual pilgrimage to Denver’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House to delight in the Colorado Ballet’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s classic, The Nutcracker, which takes the stage from November 24 through December 24. coloradoballet.org

2. All Aboard! The popular Durango &  Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers a magical journey from Durango to...the North Pole. From November 16 through December 28, both young and young at heart will enjoy a reading of The Polar Express while a personal chef serves up hot chocolate and cookies. Visit from Santa on board the train included. durangotrain.com

3. Eternal Lights Nightly from November 30 until January 1, 2013, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Night and New Year’s Eve, witness more than a million twinkling lights as they magically illuminate the foliage at Denver Botanic Gardens during the annual Blossoms of Light display. botanicgardens.org

4. Christmas Shopping Time-travel back to the Victorian age during the Georgetown Christmas Market, held the first two weekends of December. Join visitors in waving hello to a dapper St. Nick and shopping for goodies among the market stalls that line the sidewalks. Roasted chestnuts, anyone? georgetown-colorado.org

5. First Home Gets Festive Each year the governor opens the historic Boettcher mansion for the public to enjoy the sparkly decorations and impeccable décor. And for the fourth year, the mansion will offer a new ornament for sale. Tours available from December 8 to 14, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. colorado.gov

6. Holiday on Parade The 9News Parade of Lights has become a holiday must-do for thousands of festive Denverites who line the 16th Street Mall to watch the joyful procession pass by. November 30 at 8:00 pm and December 1 at 6:00 pm. denverparadeoflights.com

7. Sculptures Alight More than 150 illuminated sculptures of animals seem to come to life as the sun sets over the Denver Zoo’s annual Zoo Lights, November 30 to January 2, 2013, 5:30 to 9:00 pm. denverzoo.org

8. Old-fashioned Festivities On December 1, in the spirit of the Wild West, the 28th Annual Colorado Springs Festival of Lights rounds up stagecoaches, riding clubs and a military color guard, which then parade through town. Catch the march at 5:50 pm at Tejon and St. Vrain streets. coloradospringsfestivaloflights.org

9. Rocky Mountain Revelry At noon on November 23, Estes Park’s Elkhorn Avenue is transformed into a winter playground with murals, lights, costumed characters and carolers for the annual Catch the Glow Holiday Celebration—just the beginning of an entire month of festive events throughout the town. estesparkcvb.com

10. All in the Family During Vail Family Holidaze, December 17 to 31, you’ll find Mr. Claus encamped at various workshops around the city, along with carolers each night and an ice-skating show that features Olympic stars. vail.com





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