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Photo courtesy Town of Parker

Experience the Holidays in Parker

Head to Parker for small-town, family events that celebrate the holidays.

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Parker, just 20 miles southeast of Denver, in Douglas County, has a cozy, small-town feel. Known for its pretty Western-Victorian downtown and O”Brien Park, with its old-timey gazebo and many events, Parker and its 50,000+ residents offer a wealth of family-friendly holiday events and activities this year.

Saturday, December 10, the Christmas Carriage Parade on Mainstreet will be held at 12 noon. This all-equestrian parade is made up of dozens of horse-drawn carriages, wagons, surreys, and stagecoaches from across Colorado, all dressed up for the occasion, with a different theme each year. Event-goers also enjoy a holiday farmer’s market, a petting zoo, pony rides, and ice sculpting in O’Brien Park. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Douglas County Library at Parker after the parade from 1 to 3 p.m., happy to take pictures with your children for $5, cash only.

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Visitors can also jump on free holiday wagon and carriage rides, starting at O”Brien Park and leading blanket-bedecked passengers through the twinkling holiday lights of downtown Parker, December 10 and 17, from 4:30 to 8:30. Although the rides are free, participants need to reserve tickets on ride day beginning at 2 p.m. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Joshua Rivero, Parker town councilman and owner of the FIKA Coffeehouse, recommends recommends setting up a Sign Up Genius account ahead of time (on

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Before the parade or the hike, stop in for a hot cocoa or coffee at FIKA Coffeehouse, or enjoy a hot lunch or dinner in town. Parker hosts several popular family-friendly restaurants:

FIKA Coffeehouse (fun children’s play and artwork area)

19559 E. Mainstreet

Parker Garage (creative children’s menu)

19420 E. Mainstreet

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Elev. 5900 (childen’s menu)

19751 Mainstreet

Vines Wine Bar (also non-alcoholic drinks and great burgers and fries)

19501 Mainstreet

Nomélie Cupcakes (who doesn’t love cupcakes?)

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19751 Mainstreet

Irene Middleman Thomas is a mother of three living in Aurora.

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