Friday. Denver Union Station ushers in the holiday season as it does each year with the Grand Illumination, which comes complete with family entertainment and activities. Things kick off at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, with musical performances in the Great Hall. That will be followed at 4 p.m. by holiday songs from the Denver Dolls and Dickens Carolers, along with horse-drawn carriage rides, children’s activities and, of course, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. In addition, there will be a holiday market with local artisans.
For the adults, seasonal beverage offerings from Terminal Bar and the Cooper Lounge will be served on an extended patio with views of the station. The evening culminates at 6 p.m. with the lighting of Denver Union Station’s 40-foot-tall outdoor Christmas tree featuring more than 7,000 holiday lights. Each evening after through Dec. 31, visitors will also be able to see the Merry & Bright Lights show, which transforms “the train station’s exterior façade into a spectacular canvas” that displays “interactive imagery created by local Denver artists.”
Black Friday stouts
Friday. Station 26 Brewing will drop four different kinds of big bold beers at its annual Imperial Event + Black Friday Outdoor Lovers Market. It has become a tradition for craft breweries to release imperial or barrel-aged stouts on the day after Thanksgiving every year, and Station 26 has been doing it longer than almost anyone in Colorado.
The brewery, at 7045 E. 38th Ave. in Denver, will be pouring its beers from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and there will be live music from noon to 3 p.m., a food truck and six to eight vendors, including Meier Skis, which will have a Build Your Own Ski Pole booth. The other vendors (noon to 3 p.m.) include Mountainsmith Gear, Akinz Apparel, Rowdy Trails Posters and more. And if that’s not enough, dozens of other metro Denver breweries will be releasing stouts as well, so go to the social media pages of your favorites to find out when and where.
Friday-Saturday. Irreverent local comedian Sam Tallent headlines Comedy Works Denver, 1226 15th St., with two shows on Friday (7:30 and 9:45 p.m.) and two more on Saturday (7:30 and 9:45 p.m.). Tickets to the 21+ shows are $26 and available at comedyworks.com.
Tallent, who is also an author, has been joking around for a decade in Denver, but also tours the country and typically performs up to 40 weekends per year nationwide. His self-published novel, “Running the Light,” about a comedian, came out in 2020.
Ice cream dreams
Friday-Dec. 31. Little Man Ice Cream is transforming its flagship factory and storefront, at 4411 W. Colfax Ave., into Santa’s Factory for the holidays. Not only will there be “an exuberant explosion of twinkly lights” and “ornaments run-amok, but visitors will also find a series of recurring events, including photos with Santa, bingo with Mrs. Claus, private ice cream-making sessions, holiday cookie decorating, gingerbread house building, a tree farm, holiday music and much more.
Oh, and there’s also ice cream: This year’s holiday lineup includes Egg Nog, Gingersnap, Candy Cane and Vegan Hot Cocoa. Santa’s Factory will be open daily. Most events require tickets or reservations, which you make at littlemanicecreamfactory.com.
Holidays on ice
Saturday-March 2024. Pindustry, the Greenwood Village bowling alley, entertainment complex and restaurant, debuts an expansive outdoor rooftop ice skating rink, Pindustry on Ice, starting Friday, but with a grand opening party on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. The event, which is free to attend, features a silent disco, snow machine, 360-degree photo booth, hot chocolate bar, ice luge, and a ski pass giveaway. Attendees are encouraged to wear ’80s-themed winter wear.
The menu features tomato soup shooters with grilled cheese fingers, along with s’mores, which guests can make on outdoor fire pits. Beverages include toasted marshmallow martinis and peppermint white Russians, plus hot cocoa and hot apple cider. Pindustry on Ice, at 7939 E. Arapahoe Road, will be open every day (except Christmas) through March 2024; Monday-Friday, from 4 p.m. to close, and Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to close. Skate rentals are $5, and skating costs $15 per hour. thepindustry.com
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