*Please note: As of this publishing, the Denver city government has increased restrictions. Hopefully we’ll see positive change soon. The Mile High City has so much to offer this November and December. Please know that community safety is the impetus behind the creativity on this list.

Not too long ago multiple friends asked my husband and me about where we planned to go when we’re “older”! LOL. The thought of leaving our beloved Denver has never crossed our minds. After travel to far away destinations, returning to the Front Range, with big skies, stunning mountains and an energetic Mile High City always makes us happy.  

Despite Covid’s recent resurgence there’s never been a better time to “Travel Local”. Only some of us are making airport runs or hurrying out of town. Small businesses, retail stores, local attractions and neighborhoods have created lots of options to not only “bring you back” but also safely celebrate the holiday season together.  

So let’s talk LOCAL, Denver Peeps!
Local includes your town, nearby neighborhoods and “drive” locations. Day trips or driving a few hours or more broadens the possible destinations on your list. This article focuses on Denver, an urban setting.  Denver offers:

  1. Socially distanced activities organized by our tourist bureau, Visit Denver, and shopping districts, such as Cherry Creek North;
  2. Immaculate places to stay;
  3. Volunteer opportunities;
  4. Restaurants with outdoor dining options, rooftop bars, and Take Out

You do need to plan. Make a reservation. At reduced capacity, in person activities and events will fill.

Book ahead for a Staycation. Hotel offers will go quickly. Hotels have never been so clean and focused on client comfort and safety.

The Mile High City is a Gem!  Please find delectable offers and information for Local Denver. Decide what feels comfortable to you and then Go Out In Your Local World!

PS. In case you are traveling in the near future, here’s an entertaining and informative interview with CBS Denver anchor, Dominic Garcia and me, Amy Quinn, Founder of Spirit Road Travel. Feel informed HERE

Volunteer Opportunities – Give Back as a Local Tourist 

Regenerative Travel is about paying attention to your impact on a destination when visiting. How might you give to a place that through your travels has given so much to you?  Since Denver is our current “Go To” city let’s explore options for Giving Back when we visit! 

Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 8th.  Easy to Give Back with a donation to your favorite local charities. It’s also possible to schedule your donations in advance.  https://www.communityfirstfoundation.org

Many Options for Volunteering with Mile High United Way: In response to COVID-19, Mile High United Way is addressing the Denver community’s most critical needs. Virtual, Donate In-Kind Supplies or In Person Volunteer Opportunities are available. There’s an amazing list of In-Kind Opportunities and a variety of non-profits to support.https://unitedwaydenver.org/covid-relief/ Virtual volunteering:
Sign-up for the Virtual Turkey Trothttps://unitedwaydenver.org/turkey-trot/

Outside Activities in Downtown Denver

Mile High Tree – (November 20, 2020 – January 2, 2021)  The Mile High Tree, will light up the heart of downtown Denver on the 16th Street Mall at Welton St. From Thursday – Saturday (and some Sundays), visitors can step inside the 110-ft tall immersive art installation – the largest of its kind in North America – to enjoy the dazzling light displays and holiday music. From Sunday – Wednesday, visitors can still enjoy the tree’s programmed light shows and music, safely from a distance

Zoo Lights – (December 4-31, 2020) Zoo Lights span 80 acres of Denver Zoo’s campus, with nightly entertainment, animal encounters and, of course, illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they are least expected. This year, Zoo Lights will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with more than one million lights sparkling throughout Denver Zoo.

NEW Winter Wanderland Light Walk & Prismatica (See Cherry Creek information below)

Blossoms of Light, Denver Botanic Gardens (November 20, 2020 – January 16, 2021)  The interactive displays feature a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights, sparkling passages, new displays and romantic spots under the mistletoe, all made even more beautiful through HoloSpex glasses. Warm drinks and tasty treats will also be available. Pre-purchased, timed tickets and masks are required.

9News Parade of Lights  (November 27 – December 31, 2020)  A multi-week, socially safe array of activities across downtown Denver. The floats, which usually parade through downtown to kick off the holiday season, will be displayed as stationary objects for people to enjoy around the city all season long, spanning from Denver Pavilions to Denver Union Station.

20th Annual Denver Christkindl Market (November 20 – December 23, 2020)  In a more spacious, open-air location along the center promenade of Civic Center Park this event offers guests an opportunity to stroll through a European village festively decorated for the holiday season – no passport required. The Christkindl Market brings the most beloved elements of an authentic German holiday experience to The Mile High City. Capacity will be limited during open hours, and guests will be asked to queue at the entrances until space becomes available. Masks will be required and contact tracing will be implemented. 

AF Holiday Market at Dairy Block (Weekends, November 27 – December 20, 2020) Enjoy an après ski vibe paired! Inspired by a European ski village, the AF Holiday Market at Dairy Block will feature 12 vendors offering a wide variety of clothing, home goods, sports gear and more, representing both local Colorado businesses and top national retailers, along with food and drink specials. Pre-registration is required to maintain safe capacity levels.

Where To Stay in Downtown Denver

The Ritz-Carlton, “...the city’s first and now longest-running AAA Five Diamond property.” Stay three nights and get the fourth night complimentary!  To include extra amenities with your reservation, please contact us.

Hotel Born, “Alpine modern luxury at Union Station, LoDo Denver” Offer: Stay Longer and Save Up to 30% when you book 3 or more nights (some restrictions apply) Self Parking for $1 (normally $39 per night) Dine at Citizen Rail and receive $50 credit when you’re staying at the property and complimentary parking.

The Crawford Hotel More than a hotel in Denver, The Crawford Hotel is the best place to meet, shop, eat, drink, and sleep — right above the iconic Denver Union Station. Check out the “Behind The Scenes: 100 Years with Hammond Candies”package!

What To Do in Cherry Creek, Denver: (Starting November 19th)

Small Business Weekend– Leave your laptop at home! (Nov. 27th- 29th) Shop favorite local shops with great finds and giveaways.

Winter Wonderland Light Walk: Explore 16 sparkling blocks with more than a half million lights and discover 8 twinkling displays choreographed to music! Through Jan. 3rd.

Holiday Thursdays, 5-8 pm.  Enjoy free pre-packaged treats and giveaways while you stroll under the lights (through Dec. 17th).

Prismatica at Gart Plaza (3rd & Milwaukee) Witness a brilliant light art installation of 25 pivoting prisms!

Cherry Creek Holiday Market at Fillmore Plaza (between 1st and 2nd Ave.) Gifts for everyone, festive drinks and live entertainment (through Dec. 17th).

Where To Stay in Cherry Creek:

2020 Traveler’s choice Award (from Trip Advisor) The Jacquard Hotel, Autograph Collection: a fittingly sophisticated hotel and community gathering place with an intriguing and personalized twist. Perfectly tailored to bring delight to guests and locals alike, The Jacquard weaves together local and regional experiences into beautiful tapestries that are altogether Cherry Creek, speaking the language of sophisticates all over the globe and just around the corner. To include extra amenities with your reservation, please contact us.

HALCYON will transform into a winter wonderland this winter, glittering with winterized cabanas, uniquely designed to bring the essence of Aspen and Vail to the hotel’s rooftop – each equipped with a fireplace, cozy seating and plush blankets. With Après in the Clouds, hotel guests and locals alike can sip warm cocktails like spiked hot cocoa or a hot toddy, as well as a dining experience from signature restaurant, Local Jones, or step outside their cabana and enjoy winter games like curling and table hockey. Reservations required! Book Two nights and receive 15% off Best available rates and $35 dining and drink credit at Local Jones.

Please let us know if Spirit Road Travel can help you with your plans!

*As of this publishing, the Denver city government has increased restrictions. Hopefully we’ll see positive change soon.The Mile High City has so much to offer this November and December. Please know that community safety is the impetus behind the creativity on this list.

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