The tree in Castle Rock’s Festival Park with the town’s signature star lit in the background. Credit: PHOTO BY COURTNEY BAKOS

The holiday season has arrived and if you are ready to experience the joy of the season, there are many events nearby you won’t want to miss. Create new memories and family traditions with festive fun for the whole family that will radiate the magic of the holidays.

Last year’s Town of Kiowa Christmas trees. Credit: PHOTO BY CHANCY J. GATLIN-ANDERSON

The Town of Parker is hosting their tree lighting at O’Brien Park, located at 10795 Victorian Drive, on Friday, Nov. 24 at 5:30 p.m. Bring the entire family and admire holiday ice sculpture displays situated throughout the park. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance and you can even see a live ice sculpting demonstration. To complete the holiday immersion, various local choirs will also be performing.

The Town of Castle Rock is hosting their annual Reindeer Games on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 1-4 p.m. at the Millhouse and Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park 1381 W. Plum Creek Parkway, Castle Rock. This popular event features family-friendly excitement with Santa, Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, s’mores, sleigh rides, train rides and an obstacle course.

Also on Saturday, Dec. 2, the Town of Elizabeth’s Mayor’s Tree Lighting will take place from 3-6 p.m. Come see Santa, Mrs. Claus and live reindeer, enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, cookie decorating, crafts with elves, face painting and more. The lighting ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Broadway. Food trucks will also be available — and bring some nonperishable goods for the food drive with all donations going to local food banks.

A mom and child visit Santa at the Reindeer Games event in Castle Rock. Credit: PHOTO BY COURTNEY BAKOS

If you’d like to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, perhaps a visit to the Parker PACE Center is in order. The PACE Center, located at 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., hosts a number of holiday performances this season. On Dec. 9 and 10, the Parker Chorale along with the Parker Symphany Orchestra will present Classic Parker Holiday. Showtimes are at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy holidays favorites and traditional carols.

Also at the PACE Center, on Sunday, Dec. 3, sit back, relax and enjoy the classic Christmas movie, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” on the big screen. From Dec. 14-19, Parker Arts, along with the Denver Ballet, will perform the classic story “The Nutcracker” with eight showtimes available. For a complete listing of holiday events as well as ticket prices, visit the PACE Center website at

If you need a little inspiration in transforming your home into a winter wonderland for the holidays, the Carriage Shoppes in Elizabeth has you covered. Attend their free “Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Professional” event to learn tips and tricks to really enhance your tree this year to let that holiday spirit shine. The event is from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 392 Main St. in Elizabeth.

“We love taking everyone to fun events during the holidays, but we also love to just go check out all the Christmas lights,” said Elizabeth resident Andrea Cannella of her holiday traditions with her three children. Both downtown Castle Rock and downtown Parker have an impressive display of holiday lights and trees that will wrap you up in the warmth of the season.

Whether you’re looking for family events with kid-friendly activities, a night out enjoying a movie or ballet, wanting to improve your holiday decorations this year, or you want to experience it all, you don’t need to venture far from home to do so.

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