The magic of festive traditions in Golden, Colorado returns in 2023 to offer the warmth and joy of a small Colorado town during the holiday season.
Shopping along Washington Avenue, Golden’s festively decorated main street, offers a true Colorado experience with mostly locally owned stores, including shops specializing in fly fishing, rock climbing, biking, skiing & snowboarding, as well as art galleries, jewelry stores, and fashion boutiques. The extremely popular Holiday Art Market at Foothills Art Center will return with a variety of holiday art gifts, all created by 100 local Colorado artisans.
Golden’s Holiday Happenings Include:
HOLIDAY ART MARKET AT FOOTHILLS ART CENTER - Open Dec. 1 - Dec. 29, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Mon.-Sat., noon-5 on Sundays at 809 15th Street, Golden. HART (The Holiday Art Market) is a fantastic shopping destination for one-of-a-kind artisan gifts. The entire historic Gothic Church and manse is filled with works from more than 100 local Colorado artists, offering the highest craftsmanship in fine ceramics, fiber, glasswork jewelry, paintings, woodworking, photography and special holiday items. HART is open seven days a week, Nov. 17 to Dec. 29, 2023 (closed Dec. 25 and 26) with free admission.
MIRACLE AT THE EDDY - Nov. 22 - Dec. 30 - Making its return this year, Miracle, the holiday pop-up bar, is coming to Golden at The Eddy Taproom & Hotel and will offer a holiday oasis with over-the-top kitschy, festive décor and a themed cocktail menu. The venue is also offering tasty treats from the Taproom menu as well as outdoor igloo dining experiences. Reservations for Miracle at The Eddy are required.
A CHRISTMAS STORY AT MINERS ALLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER - Nov. 21 - Dec. 31, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays - All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family’s temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boys’ experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie’s father winning a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg in a net stocking; Ralphie’s fantasy scenarios and more. A Christmas Story is destined to become a theatrical holiday perennial. Come enjoy this holiday favorite, live!
THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS MUSICAL AT MINERS ALLEY - Dec. 2 - Dec. 31, Wednesday - Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Sunday Matinee at 2 p.m. - The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical is a festively humorous show set in Armadillo Acres (North Florida’s premier mobile-living community). When the trailer park Scrooge gets struck by a freak bout of amnesia, neighborly love is put to the test. This companion to the original Great American Trailer Park Musical is just as much of a cat-fightin’, sun-worshippin’, chair-throwin’ good time – but with tinsel and Keg Nog.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY - Nov. 25 - Kick-off the holiday season in Golden on Small Business Saturday! Shop and dine in Golden to support local small businesses while also finding great gifts for your friends and family. Be sure to stop by Visit Golden’s Shop Small Welcome Station from 10:00 a.m. to noon to pick up a tote bag before experiencing all of Golden’s five shopping areas. The welcome station will be located at the Golden Visitors & Information Center.
OLDE GOLDEN CANDLELIGHT WALK - Dec. 1, 6 p.m. - Grab a candle and experience the beauty of the holiday season with a walk down historic Washington Ave. Sing carols with neighbors and friends and marvel as the street is luminated by thousands of glowing candles. A free holiday show at the stage in Parfet Park starts at 5 p.m. and the walk starts from Foothills Art Center on 15th at 6:30 p.m. Many of the shops along Washington Ave. stay open with hot cider, cocoa and outdoor cafes to enjoy along the way. Bring a candle or purchase a 2023 Commemorative LED Candle beforehand at a local vendor.
HOLIDAY LIGHT DISPLAY - Dec. 2, 2023 through the holiday season. It transforms the charming town into a winter wonderland with 45,000 glowing bulbs decorating downtown, the pretty walking path and bridges along Clear Creek, Golden History Park, Parfet Park and the Visitors Center. Bundle up, pick up a hot cocoa at a Golden coffee shop, and enjoy an evening walk along the creek under a cascade of twinkling lights. It’s so romantic, by popular demand, the lights stay up until Valentine’s Day.
DENVER KICKERS CHRISTKINDL MARKET - Dec. 2, 2023, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. - The Denver Kickers Sports Club presents a free one-day holiday market celebrating all things local. Local vendors will be on-site selling unique arts and crafts, handmade goods, and food. Santa himself will be making an appearance from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kids will be able to share their Christmas wishes with the jolly old elf as well as enjoy crafts and coloring activities. A new addition to this year’s market is a donation drive. Consider bringing a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to The Miracle Shop; OR new, unwrapped pajamas or slippers which will be donated to a local senior living facility.
THE SEASON OF LIGHT STORY STROLL - Throughout the month of December - Stroll through Golden and discover different displays celebrating and highlighting holiday traditions from around the world.
GOLDEN HIGH SCHOOL HOLIDAY BAZAAR - Dec. 2, 2023, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Golden High School PTA hosts this great event with over 70 local vendors offering unique gifts for the holidays. Admission is free.
MOUNTAIN TOAD ANNUAL HOLIDAY MARKET - Dec. 3, 2023, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Discover new treasures for you and your loved ones while enjoying a delightful craft brew at Mountain Toad Brewing. Food from Barbed Wire Reef will be available in the beer garden. With over a dozen vendors, you are sure to find a perfect gift for your loved ones.
GOLDEN ELF ACADEMY - Dec. 3, 2023, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Get sworn in by Santa himself as one of his official Golden Elves at the 2023 Golden Elf Academy! Join in at The Golden Mill for this annual holiday favorite! This event is recommended for kids ages 10 and under.
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION - Dec. 8, 2023, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Golden Hayride Outpost (17695 South Golden Road). Attend this free festive event to visit with Santa, enjoy music, Christmas caroling, and performances from the dancing elves of Virtuosity Dance Centre, in addition to food for purchase from food trucks and refreshments for purchase from the bar.
OLDE GOLDEN HOLIDAY PARADE - Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m. - The parade returns in 2023 for one spectacular day with all the favorites including elves, marching bands, floats, Victorian carolers, antique cars, the Grinch, Buffalo Bill and of course, Santa. The parade route runs down Washington Ave. from 10th St. to 13th St. starting at 10:30 a.m. After the parade, grab lunch at one of the many restaurants lining Washington Ave., catch a ride on the Golden Hayride from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., or shop the galleries, boutiques and stores of colorful historic downtown Golden.
HOWDY HOLIDAY MARKET- Dec. 9 and 10, 2023, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at The Golden Hayride Outpost (17695 South Golden Road). Get your holiday shopping list all checked off at the free Howdy Holiday Market, with various local vendors selling unique items and fun gifts! There will be food for purchase from food trucks and refreshments for purchase from the bar.
BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE WINTER PARTY AT THE GOLDEN MILL - Dec. 9, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Wear your favorite holiday sweater or outfit and come party with the Golden Mill for a good cause and some good holiday fun! DJ Matt Cassidy will be spinning holiday tunes and there will be raffle giveaways from outdoor industry partners. The Golden Mill will be collecting toys starting December 1 - December 9 for the third annual Toy Drive for the Miracle Shop. Bring an unwrapped toy(s) and receive a free drink.
HOLIDAY CARRIAGE RIDES – Dec. 9, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. and Dec. 16, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Clear Creek Carriage Company will be offering free horse-drawn carriage rides this holiday season. Snuggle up for a festive ride through historic Downtown Golden. The rides begin and end on 12th Street, just west of Washington Avenue, across from YoColorado.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA - Dec. 10, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. - The Golden Hotel is hosting a breakfast with Santa with seatings at 9 and 11 a.m. The breakfast will include a buffet featuring eggs, bacon, waffles and more! Each guest will also receive a commemorative gift. Reservations are required and seating will be limited so book your reservation today!
LETTERS TO SANTA - Nov. 25 – Dec. 17, - Drop your letters to Santa in the festive Mailbox at the Golden Visitors Information Center. Leave a return address and the jolly fellow will even write back!
THE POLAR EXPRESS AT THE COLORADO RAILROAD MUSEUM - Mid-Nov. to Dec. 23, The Polar Express is back in 2023 with all the magic of a genuine huffing and puffing steam locomotive pulling up to the station, bells ringing and whistles blowing, to take passengers on an exciting trip to the North Pole. Ticket sales began in October and are already sold out for this year so plan early for next year.
JINGLE ON THE AVENUE, A HOLIDAY CHARACTER MINGLE - Dec. 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Spend a magical day in Golden meeting and mingling with family favorite holiday characters along Washington Avenue: bring your camera for a “Selfie with an Elfie!” There will be plenty of photo opportunities, live music and lots of festive holiday fun for the whole family.
NEWFOUNDLAND DOG PULLED CART RIDES – Dec. 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – During Jingle on the Avenue, there will be FREE rides for kids. Adorable Newfoundland dogs pull these festive carts for a fun and furry ride, sure to delight the kids and make for a perfect holiday photo op.