The Nutcracker performed by the Colorado Ballet (credit: CBS)
Thanksgiving is over and the turkey coma has finally started to subside. Now it is time to figure out how to entertain the family while you all have a long four-day weekend to enjoy. Of course, a lot of families want to visit the stores for all of the big sales but you’ll want to find something different to fill the rest of the weekend, especially if you have children to entertain. Here are a few suggestions of other activities that are a great way to enjoy the long four-day weekend as a family.
2121 Children’s Museum Drive
Denver, CO 80211
One of the best places in Colorado to entertain and amaze young children is the Children’s Museum of Denver. Plus, during the month of November and December, there are a lot of great activities all geared around the “Wide World of Art.” There will be dance, music and performances featuring the visual arts and a variety of hands-on exhibits to play with. All of that is in addition to all of the other great hands-on exhibits that everyone loves year-round. The Children’s Museum is a great way to spend a holiday weekend together as a family, providing a fun and educational outing.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80205
Speaking of museums, why not make it a full weekend of them and check out one of the best nature and science museums in the country? The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is perfect for families with children of all ages and even adults will have a great time exploring this huge museum. You can check out a film on the IMAX screen or visit the Planetarium for a show while you are there. Or you can just get lost in all of the great exhibits covering everything from dinosaurs to space and everything in between.
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
1101 13th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Date: Nov. 30 – Dec. 28, 2013
No holiday celebration is complete without a trip to the Colorado Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” It opens the weekend after Thanksgiving, making it a perfect way to start off your holiday season right. Your children will love the dazzling snowflakes and stunning costumes as Tchaikovsky’s classic story comes to live courtesy of the Colorado Ballet and the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. The Land of the Sweets is sure to leave your kids wide-eyed and amazed and the beautiful dancing will make this your favorite annual holiday tradition.
Tree Town Wonderland
3604 S. Kipling St.
Denver, CO 80235
Get your whole family into the Christmas spirit with a trip to Tree Town Wonderland. You can take some time selecting a tree as small as two feet or as large as 15, and then there is so much more to enjoy. Your kids can hand their Christmas wish lists off to Santa himself and sit in on Mrs. Claus’s story time. Then you can all grab some clubs and enjoy a family game of mini-golf with 54 holes of windmills, dragons and ponds to navigate. This is sure to be a fun way to ring in the holiday season.
Downtown Denver Grand Illumination
Denver City and County Building
1437 Bannock St.
Denver, CO 80202
Date: Nov. 29, 2013 at 6 p.m.
Every year, the buildings at Denver’s Union Station and the City and County Building get the full holiday treatment. These huge iconic structures get all decked out for the holidays with hundreds of twinkling lights. The Grand Illumination event happens at 6 p.m. making it a wonderful countdown to the holiday season. Bring a thermos full of hot cocoa to share, a few candy canes and make sure to bundle up, then find a corner near the buildings and watch as the sparkling lights turn on for the first time this year.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.