Holiday Happenings in Douglas County

holidayhappsSome people say it’s the most wonderful time of the year. They’re probably not talking about shopping in crowded malls, standing in long lines, or maneuvering through packed parking lots. There’s a better way to get into the holiday spirit! Gather the family and take in some local festivities, like these. Bundle up and enjoy.




Castle Rock

Storytellers & S’mores
Saturday, December 10
Festival Park (300 2nd St.); free

Gather around the campfire listening to stories and making s’mores from a gourmet s’mores bar. The event includes vendors and other food and beverages.

The Castle Rock Winter Express
Saturday, December 17
Festival Park (300 2nd St.); free

You know the beloved story, now enjoy it Castle Rock style. Festival Park transforms into a North Pole celebration for the whole family, with Santa and train rides — plus food, carriage rides and vendors.

Highlands Ranch

Holiday Hay/Sleigh Rides
Details, cost info and availability: Contact Carla Baca at (303) 471-7078 or

Enjoy a custom sleigh or hay ride into the Backcountry Wilderness Area with draft horses Bella and Buster at the helm. Rides include a campfire and marshmallow roast.

Breakfast With Santa
Saturday, December 17
Eastridge Recreation Center (9568 University Blvd.); $11 advance, or $15 day of (if not sold out)

Enjoy the best pancakes and sausage this side of the North Pole with jolly old St. Nick himself. Bring your list for Santa, and enjoy crafts, holiday music, and stories from Mrs. Claus. Great for all ages!

Kids’ Zone – Seasonal Cards
Thursday, December 22
Douglas County Libraries (DCL) in Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue; free
No registration required

Kids in grades 2-6 drop in for a merry time making seasonal cards for loved ones.


Christmas Carriage Parade
Saturday, December 10
Downtown Parker (Parker Road and Mainstreet); free

This all-equestrian parade is made up of dozens of horse-drawn carriages, wagons, surreys and stagecoaches from across Colorado, dressed in the holiday spirit. The event also includes a holiday farmer’s market, petting zoo, pony rides and ice sculpting in O’Brien Park. After the parade, join Santa and Mrs. Claus at DCL in Parker from 1-3 p.m. for pictures! Photos are $5, cash only.

Holiday Carriage Rides
Saturday, December 10, & Saturday, December 17
Downtown Parker (Ride stations at DCL in Parker & O’Brien Park)
Free; reserve your ticket

Take in the sights and sounds of the holidays on a 15- to 20-minute round-trip carriage ride through downtown Parker from one of two ride stations.


Old-Fashioned Holiday Celebration
Saturday, December 10
Roxborough State Park (4751 N. Roxborough Dr., Littleton)
Free (but $7 State Parks entrance fee is required; ask DCL staff about free Check Out Colorado park passes)
Register: (303) 973-3959

Stroll down the Fountain Valley Trail and then warm up with hot cocoa, warm cider, and holiday treats at the Visitor Center. Do some holiday shopping while there, purchase books signed by local authors, join in holiday songs, and enjoy 10 percent off merchandise. Perfect for all ages!

happy-new-year-hat-picture1New Year’s Fun!

Kids’ Zone – Make & Take New Year’s Fun
Thursday, December 29
DCL in Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue; free
No registration required

Kids in grades 2-6, get ready for a rockin’ New Year! Drop in and have fun making festive New Year’s party supplies with fun, noisy and explosive New Year’s crafts.

New Year’s Eve Noon Countdown & Celebration – Castle Pines, Parker & Roxborough
Saturday, December 31
Registration is required – Castle Pines, Parker & Roxborough

A fun-filled early New Year’s celebration for all ages. Activities include hat decorating, special Storytimes, fun with balloons, and a balloon drop as we count down to Noon Year’s Eve!


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