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The end of 2021 draws near, but Centennial-area residents can still catch holiday events in their home city and a short drive away.

Here’s a look at some events to enjoy through late December and beyond.

Horse-pulled rides

The Streets at SouthGlenn outdoor mall in west Centennial offers “free Clydesdale carriage rides” on Fridays and Saturdays in December, according to the mall’s website.

No reservations are required, and rides are given on a first-come, first-served basis. The remaining hours for the rides are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 17 and Dec. 31, and noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 18.

SouthGlenn sits at Arapahoe Road and University Boulevard.

Holiday nature walks

South Platte Park naturalists will lead 90-minute small-group hikes for those ages 6 and up on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The walks are “a great way to start a new tradition, learn something new and explore our beautiful environment,” the South Suburban Parks and Recreation district’s website says.

South Platte Park sits in south Littleton at 3000 W. Carson Drive, north of Mineral Avenue and west of Santa Fe Drive.

The registration website says to dress for the weather forecast. The “easy hike” is about 1.5 miles. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a registered adult, and the registration website asks that people not bring their pets.

The fee is $10. The public can register at tinyurl.com/NatureWalkRegister.

Santa Claus history

Ever wondered about the history of Santa Claus? You’re not alone.

“You may know that our modern-day Santa Claus had his start as St. Nicholas, but what happened on the journey to make us think of a ‘jolly old elf,’ rather than a pious Christian bishop?” says an event description on the City of Centennial’s website. “Where, exactly, did Santa Claus come from, and why does his popularity remain so high in modern American popular culture?”

A free online event called “The History and Folklore of Santa Claus” will be hosted by the Arapahoe Libraries district and co-sponsored by the City of Centennial. It runs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 20.

Registration for the event closes 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. Attendees will receive an email with instructions on how to access this event shortly before it begins.

The event will be hosted through the Zoom videoconferencing platform with closed captioning provided. A Zoom account is not required to attend.

If you register fewer than 24 hours before the event, check your confirmation email for the Zoom link. The public can register at tinyurl.com/SantaHistoryEvent.

Skating in east Centennial area

The Streets at SouthGlenn’s events website doesn’t list ice skating this year, but the Southlands outdoor mall just outside of east Centennial offers daily ice skating “all winter long,” its website says.

Admission costs $12 at The Pond Ice Rink at Southlands, located just east of the E-470 toll highway off of Smoky Hill Road.

Hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on all school holidays, the website says.

The public can buy tickets at tinyurl.com/SouthlandsSkating. For group rates and reservations, the public can call 303-928-7536 or email southlands@icerinkevents.com.

Ice skaters need to wear socks, and bringing your own ice skates is allowed, but using personal skates will not be discounted, according to a frequently-asked-questions page.

The skating rink has no storage available; you are responsible for your belongings, the page says.