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21 Things To Do Over Winter Break

Cool and festive happenings for out-of-school fun.

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Don’t get caught up in dark-by-dinner doldrums. Find exciting programs and community events throughout winter break to keep your kids’ spirits light. Of course, be sure to follow health and safety guidelines and double check details with organizers.


Camps

Winter STEM Classes @ WOW!

Dec. 20 to 22, 8:30 to 11 a.m.

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Get kids away from computer screens and into hands-on exploration this winter break at WOW! Sign up for one or all three days, each focusing on a different topic. Grades K-3. Register online. $50 nonmember each day, $40 member each day. All three classes: $135 nonmember, $105 member. WOW! Children’s Museum, Lafayette.

Hands-On History: Winter WonderWORLD!

Dec. 20 to 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The winter season is host to a diverse range of celebrations and community practices. Through inclusive hands-on activities, crafts, and exhibit tours, campers will explore winter celebrations including Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and beyond. Ages six to 12. Register online. $200 (tuition assistance available). History Colorado Center, Denver.

Day at the DAM

Dec. 21 and 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This new program invites kids to spend school days off at the museum exploring galleries, discussing, and creating art in the new Creative Hub classroom spaces. Ages 6-11. Register online. Included with admission: $10 to $13 adult, free age 18 and under. Denver Art Museum, Denver.

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artSPARK School Break Camp

Dec. 20 to 23, 27 to 30; Jan. 3; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Problem-solve, use critical thinking skills, and experiment using different artistic materials and processes. Express yourself through 2-D and 3-D creation. Campers do cooperative and collaborative activities to broaden their perspectives. Grades 1 to 5. $95 per day. artSPARK Creative Studio, Littleton.

Red Hen Createry Winter Break Camp

Dec. 20 to 23, 27 to 31; Jan. 3 and 4; 9 a.m. to noon. or 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This art camp is all about Dr. Seuss; campers will create canvas art, creative cardboards, watercolors, and clay sculptures. Grades K to 5. $40 per half day class, $68 per full day. Red Hen Createry, Littleton.

Hands-On History: Winter WonderYOU!

Dec. 27 to 30, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Campers will explore what empathy means through reflecting on the past year and setting goals for brining positive change to 2022. Tour museum exhibits, make mindfulness jars, build future cities, create an exhibit about yourself, and join a special service project. Ages six to 12. Register online. $200 (tuition assistance available). History Colorado Center, Denver.


Special Events

Granny Dances To A Holiday Drum

Dec. 11 and 18, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 12 and 19, 2 p.m.; Dec. 16 and 17, 7 p.m.

The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance team presents the story of Granny, who remembers her time dancing in winter festivals for Christmas, the West African Harvest, Native American Winter Solstice, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and more. Each year highlights new stories from her rich life dancing around the world, making way for new twists and scenes for an artistically fresh production every time. Find tickets online. $45 adult, $35 youth. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, Denver.

Holiday Teas at Hotel Boulderado

Dec. 12 to 20, 11 am. to 2 p.m.

Have a seat for a fancy, festive tea party in the historic Mezzanine overlooking the decorated Hotel Boulderado lobby. Enjoy live music and various flavors of pastry and sandwiches with black, herbal, or green teas. $37 adult (includes pastries and two pieces of each sandwich), $25 child (includes scone, cupcake, and one piece of each sandwich). Hotel Boulderado, Boulder.

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Denver Christkindl Market

Through Dec. 23, Thu to Sat, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun to Wed, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Special hours close to Christmas.

Sip warm Glühwein (mulled spiced wine) or hot chocolate, shop artisan gifts, and savor holiday treats this season with the German American Chamber of Commerce Colorado Chapter’s market. They’re setting up in Civic Center Park this year to allow for more social distance. Free entry, vendor prices vary. Civic Center Park, Denver.

Merry & Bright Lights Show at Denver Union Station

Through Dec. 27, 5 to 10 p.m.

The exterior of Denver’s landmark train station spreads holiday cheer each night with a light show featuring interactive projected imagery by local artists. Free. Union Station, Denver.

Holidays at the Movies

Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.

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Hear the scores from holiday movies live from the Arapahoe Philharmonic. Feel the love of family with music from “Home Alone,” the excitement of the holidays with “Nightmare Before Christmas,” or the bittersweet memories of “Meet Me in St. Louis.” $30 adult, $5 youth age 12 and under; $15 per household livestream. Denver First Church, Englewood.

Homestead for the Holidays

Dec. 18, 5 to 8 p.m.

Experience holidays the pioneer way. This family event allows you to stroll through the Golden History Park, take in colorful lights, and try a craft. $5 members age 5 and up, $10 nonmembers, free age 4 and under. Golden History Park, Golden.

Disney’s A Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert

Dec. 22 and 23, 7 p.m.

While the Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale (on screen), the Colorado Symphony will perform every note from the original full film score. $15 to $89. Boettcher Concert Hall at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver.

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Las Posadas

Dec. 24, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Celebrated in Mexico and throughout the United States, the Las Posadas celebration commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter on the night of baby Jesus’ birth. Tesoro partners with The Fraternas to present this traditional event. Enjoy Mexican hot chocolate, hot cider, and biscochitos. Dress warmly for the outdoor event. Free. The Fort Restaurant, Morrison. 

New Year’s Eve @ WOW!

10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. parties

Ring in the New Year before bedtime; join WOW! for crafts, live entertainment, and the countdown to 2022. Ages 5-11. Register online. $11 youth, $7 member youth, $6 adult. WOW! Children’s Museum, Lafayette.


Activities & Exhibits

Snow Days at Joy Park

Dec. 8 to Feb. 27, Wed to Sun, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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A new, multi-faceted winter experience is taking over the Children’s Museum’s Joy Park. Take a slide down the Snow Hill, go ice skating, cozy up by fire pits with hot cocoa, take a photo in life-size snow globes, and try your hand at curling. Included with admission: $15 ages two to59, $13 ages 1 and 60+, $1 Explorer Pass, free under age 1 and members. Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, Denver.

Yoga for Kids

Dec. 21, 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Children will playfully move their bodies as they learn traditional yoga poses through their favorite stories and music. Taught by a certified children’s yoga instructor. Ages 5-12. Register online. Free. Online.

Zoologist for a Day

Dec. 21 and 29 (grades 5 to 8), Dec. 23 and 30 (grades 1 to 4), Dec. 28 (grades 9 to 12); 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Learn how to handle and train creatures that live outside of the ocean. Help prepare food, participate in positive reinforcement training, and learn how animals are cared for at the aquarium. Registration is required 2 weeks in advance. $65 per day. Downtown Aquarium, Denver.

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Marine Biologist for a Day

Dec. 21 (grades 1 to 4), Dec. 22 and 29 (grades 9 to 12), Dec. 23 and 30 (grades 5 to 8); 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Help prepare food, feed some exhibits, and learn how marine biologists take care of animals. Registration is required 2 weeks in advance. $65 per day. Downtown Aquarium, Denver.

B.E.A.T. | Boulder Experiments in Art and Technology

Through Jan. 30. Sun to Mon, Thu to Sat, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wed, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A gathering of artists, biologists, and technologists collaborated to create this exhibit showing the benefits and negative impacts of technology. Visitors will collaborate with each other and connect with person-made and natural tools. Included with admission: $10 adult, free children under 5 and members. Museum of Boulder, Boulder.

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World

Through April 17. Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., open until 9 p.m. Fri

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Explore the science, sound, history, and pop culture behind one of the world’s most popular instruments. This exhibition features more than 70 instruments, plus hands-on experiences (get the chance to strum the world’s largest playable guitar). All ages. Included with admission: $18.95-$19.95 adult, $13.95-$14.95 ages 3-18, free age 2 and under and members. Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver.

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