‘Twas the Weekend Before Christmas…
There are plenty of fun events for kids and families to enjoy this weekend before Christmas! Little ones who want to see Santa will have a number of opportunities to visit with him live, virtually, or drive-through! Younger kids will enjoy a morning out in the backcountry at the Elves’ Workshop while older kids will have fun at a holiday-themed art and pizza party!
TODAY/TONIGHT, December 17
HOLIDAY COCKTAILS VIRTUAL HAPPY HOUR
’Tis the season! Join your virtual friends and neighbors for this festive online happy hour and learn how to craft some impressive holiday cocktails! Don’t forget to go shopping first so you’ll have all the ingredients to make delicious holiday-inspired cocktails!
HRCA on Zoom
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
ZOOM WITH SANTA
Let your little ones visit with Santa from the safety of your home. Douglas County Libraries is hosting a FREE virtual visit with Santa, live from the North Pole! Kids will sing songs and chat with Santa.
When you register your child, you’ll also receive a Santa Kit to be picked up at your local library branch. The Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to Santa’s visit.
Douglas County Libraries Online
Thursday-Friday, December 17-18
VIRTUAL NUTCRACKER SUITE
There’s no need to miss this favorite family holiday tradition—you can enjoy Ballet Ariel’s virtual performance of The Nutcracker Suite from home. To make the performance more special, you may also purchase a package that includes tree ornaments and holiday crafts to be shipped to your home. Make a batch of Christmas cookies and snuggle up with your family as you enjoy the magic of the Nutcracker from home!
Lone Tree Arts Center Online
Thurs., 7:00 p.m.; Fri., 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday, December 17-19
CASTLE ROCK’S LIGHT SHOW
Check out the Holiday Light Show and get an instant dose of holiday spirit! Philip S. Miller Park has been transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland, complete with holiday tunes and food trucks filled with holiday treats.
Take a walk or drive through the festive display!
Philip S. Miller Park, 1375 W. Plum Creek Pkwy., Castle Rock
5:00 – 11:00 p.m.
HOLIDAY SPECIAL WITH LIZ CALLAWAY
These are the final days to catch an old-time Christmas special as it streams directly to your home! Liz Callaway is an award-winning Broadway and TV star and the original voice of Frozen’s Anastasia. Enjoy a performance of holiday favorites and beloved Broadway show tunes AND a preview of music from her upcoming holiday album, Comfort and Joy—An Acoustic Christmas.
Thursday-Sunday, December 17-20
LIVE OR VIRTUAL SANTA PHOTOS
It’s not too late to take the kids to a socially-distanced visit with Santa! For everyone’s safety, children will sit in their own chair beside Santa, with a plexiglass shield between them. But don’t worry—the plexiglass won’t show up in the professional photos!
There’s also an option to book a private virtual visit.
Outlets at Castle Rock, 5050 Factory Shops Blvd., Castle Rock
Thurs./Fri., 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Register: Photo packages start at $29.99; Virtual visits $49.99
CHRISTMAS CRAFTS FOR KIDS
Every day between now and Christmas Eve, there’s a fun new craft your kids can learn for FREE online! Don’t forget to shop for supplies in advance so they can participate along with the online class. Thursday, learn how to make beautiful bead ornaments; Friday is crafty science day; Saturday’s craft is snowflake art; and Sunday, kids will make cool Christmas elf slime!
FAMILY TIME AT THE RINK
All ages and abilities will love ice skating at the Rink at the Rock! When we’ve spent time indoors, it’s SO nice to get out and do something that doesn’t involve a computer or TV screen! The Rink at the Rock is a great place to meet up with friends, get some exercise, enjoy the crisp winter air, and glide around the rink on a pair of skinny blades!
Rink at the Rock, 414 Perry St., Castle Rock
Thurs., 4:00-8:00 p.m.; Fri., 4:00-9:00 p.m.; Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Sun., 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $8 – $10
DRIVE-BY HOUSE DECORATIONS
You don’t need to venture far to see the best holiday lights in the area! Check out the maps at Denver Post to plan your route. And if you’re the type of person who decorates and lights the front of YOUR house, you could enter to win a $100 Visa gift card! Don’t let the next 10 days go by and NOT take a drive by to appreciate these festive homes! Residents ask that you do your driving before 8:00 p.m., please!
Up to 8:00 p.m. daily
SING YOUR HALLELUJAH
Like the old-time Christmas television specials from long ago, Sing Your Hallelujah combines song, dance, and conversation. Shoshana Bean performs from the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, collaborating with special guests.
There will be contemporary interpretations of holiday classics and plenty of authentic holiday cheer.
SOULFUL CHRISTMAS ONLINE
Holidaze Harmony is an evening of soulful interpretations of holiday classics combined with the banter and fun of a variety show, and it’s available to stream into your home. Terron Brooks and Kamilah Marshall are acclaimed Broadway stars and recording artists who star in this concert event filmed at the Garry Marshall Theatre. Don’t miss this energetic and fun holiday special!
Friday, December 18
ARTSY PIZZA PARTY FOR KIDS
Kids love art! Whether they are getting messy with finger paints, drawing with sidewalk chalk, making a collage or coloring in their coloring book, there’s nothing that makes children happier than creating their own art. This fun holiday-themed art party comes with a slice! Kids ages 6-14 will learn some acrylic painting techniques as they work on creating their own masterpiece!
Price includes all supplies, a 12×16 canvas, and pizza and a drink!
Miller Activity Complex, 1375 W. Plum Creek Pkwy., Castle Rock
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, December 18-19
READY, SET, SKATE!
It’s the Blades of Steel Ice Racing tournament for kids in two age divisions! Friday’s competition is for ages 8-13 and Saturday is for ages 14 and up. The race takes place outdoors at the Parker Ice Trail at Discovery Park.
Contestants will race in heats of two in a tournament format for the title of Parker’s Fastest Ice Skater. This unique winter event will be a two-race guarantee and the winner will receive a prize. Full ice hockey gear and pads are required to race. This outdoor activity follows CDPHE guidelines based on Douglas County’s current status on the COVID-19 Dial.
Parker Ice Trail at Discovery Park,
Fri., 3:00-5:00 p.m.; Sat., 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Saturday, December 19
CINNAMON ROLLS AND SANTA!
This drive-through event is a safe way for kids to give a letter to Santa and receive a small craft to take home. The first 150 attendees will also receive a delicious cinnamon roll!
Parker Senior Center, 10675 Longs Way, Parker
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Cost: $5 suggested donation
OUTDOOR ELVES’ WORKSHOP
Your little ones will love spending some time in the forest at the Elves’ Workshop! Kids ages 2-6 will create a craft to give someone in their family and listen to a holiday story. Afterwards, they’ll enjoy roasting apples around the fire! One parent is asked to stay on site to help their child(ren) with their craft and to help them maintain social distances throughout the program.
Backcountry Wilderness Area, 6005 Ron King Trail, Highlands Ranch
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Register: $9 – $10
DRIVE-IN POLAR EXPRESS
Watch the beautifully animated Polar Express from the safety of your car at this drive-in movie screening. Kids will receive a gift from Santa and each car will get a plate of cookies!
Game Train USA, 2690 E. County Line Rd., Suite E, Highlands Ranch
5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Register: $9 per person
Sunday, December 20
VIRTUAL CABARET CHRISTMAS
Support the local actors and performers who would normally be entertaining you in wonderful holiday productions by signing up for this unique virtual show. Talented performers from the Front Range Theatre Company will be bringing some Christmas magic right into your home! All proceeds will go to the Denver Actors Fund to help artists who have found themselves out of work and in need during the holiday season.
Front Range Theatre Company Online
Starting at 9:00 a.m.
Tickets: $10 to benefit the Denver Actors Fund
DRIVE THROUGH CHRISTMAS
Bring the entire family to this one-of-a-kind drive-through Christmas event! Santa will be there and happy to pose beside your car window so you can get a selfie with him!
Kids will receive an activity gift that the whole family can enjoy. And there will be a sweet treat as you exit!
Parker Performing Arts School, 15035 Compark Blvd., Parker
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Week Before Christmas in Crystal Valley!
There’s no shortage of things to do near the master-planned community of Crystal Valley! You can get back to nature and still have easy access to all your favorite activities in the Castle Rock area. With beautiful model homes from D.R. Horton, Century Communities, Kauffman Homes, and Richmond American Homes, it’s easy to picture yourself in your own new home, priced from the $300s.