(credit: Denver Center Theatre Company)

(credit: Denver Center Theatre Company)

Thanksgiving weekend in Denver is filled with holiday festivities, from the Grand Illusion lighting ceremony to favorite Broadway musicals. For out-of-staters visiting Colorado relatives for the holidays or those just flocking to the Mile High City from other parts of the state, there’s plenty to do and see during Thanksgiving weekend.

Denver Grand Illumination
Union Station to the City and County Building
Denver Union Station
1600 Wewatta St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 534-2803

Date: Nov. 29, 2013

Denver is known for one of the most brilliant holiday light displays in the Downtown and Capitol Hill areas. The “Grand Illumination” lights up on November 29 with 600,000 lights from Union Station on 17th and Wynkoop to the City and County Building on Bannock Street. Union Station will host carolers, food, drink and family activities beginning at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

A Christmas Carol
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Speer St. and Arapahoe St.
Denver, CO 80204
(800) 641-1222
Dates: Nov. 29 through Dec. 29, 2013

“A Christmas Carol” is a holiday tradition for many and it is returning to the Denver Performing Arts Center on November 29. First published by Charles Dickens in 1843, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey from misery to goodwill is helped along the way by “Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.” Directed by Bruce K. Sevy and music by David de Berry, the performance runs nightly on The Stage Theatre through December 29.

Blossoms Of Light
Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York St.
Denver, CO 80206
(720) 865-3500

Dates: Nov. 29, 2013 through Jan. 1, 2014

Denver Botanic Gardens is one of the most beautiful places to stroll, reflect and enjoy color all year long. The holiday season is particularly magical with the Gardens’ annual “Blossoms of Light.” Design experts drape more than one million colorful lights throughout the gardens with lighting displays synchronized to music. Favorites will return such as the popular kissing spots and the HoloSpex glasses. Warm drinks and tasty treats are available nightly. Tickets are free to $12.

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Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Buell Theatre
950 13th St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 893-4100

Dates: Nov. 30 through Dec. 1, 2013

A compilation of “synthpop” by Grammy award-winning producer Chip Davis arrives to Denver on November 30 at the Buell Theatre. For two nights only, “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” weaves holiday traditional songs with stunning multi-media effects. One of the best-selling holiday albums, the performance will include “Deck the Halls,” “We Three Kings,” “I Saw Three Ships” and “Silent Night” by Gruber.

Cherry Creek North Holiday Celebration
299 Milwaukee St.
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 394-2904

Date: Nov. 29, 2013

Black Friday becomes Red Friday at Cherry Creek North beginning November 29. Get a jump start on the holiday gift list with more than 16 blocks of boutiques, home décor, great dining and festive holiday lights. Cherry Creek houses one of the region’s largest collections of independent stores and galleries. Directly across the street, Cherry Creek Shopping Center is one of the premier indoor malls in the country with countless name brands.

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Ellen Marchman Larkey has a savvy knowledge of culture and events and maintains trusted partnerships around the country. She has substantial expertise with food, wine and lifestyle including Aspen Food & Wine Festival, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Cochon, Top Chef and numerous destination restaurants and master mixologists. She has beeen Examiner.com‘s Denver’s Fine Dining writer since 2009.