About Light Up the Holidays in Downtown Boulder


While things have started to get back to normal, this year's holidays may still look a little different for some of us.  Here in Downtown Boulder, the health, safety and well-being of community is our highest priority.  Our focus remains on ways that you can enjoy the season with us safely while bringing back the holiday traditions you cherish.  Before you head downtown, check out our Visit Safe page for tips and updates on staying safe while visiting downtown Boulder.

Downtown Boulder's holiday season kicks off on Sunday, November 21 when we gather to flip the switch that illuminates lights along the Pearl Street Mall, around the Boulder County Courthouse and in the Civic Area during Switch on the Holidays. This year, the Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District will decorate trees along the pedestrian mall with over 700,000 LED bulbs, 300 colorful lighted ornaments and interactive displays! The lights will shine bright until just after the new year.  You can enjoy a self-guided tour of the holiday lighting throughout downtown - plus enjoy some treats and entertainment in the Civic Area near the Boulder Bandshell Fridays, December 3, 10 and 17 with Snow Much Fun.

While Santa's elves are busy at the North Pole, he and Mrs. Claus carve out time each Saturday from 11 am - 2 pm (this year between November 26 and December 18) to visit kids of all ages during St. Nick on the Bricks. This year, Santa will be ready to greet you outside (and is happy to wear a mask if requested).  Cameras are strongly encouraged for holiday photo ops! When the weather's dry, our 100% Electric Tebo Train will be transformed into the Snowflake Express for the season and offer free rides (leaving from in front of the Capital One Cafe).

Keeping the small town charm of holidays gone by, the Lights of December Parade (December 4) features no big balloons floating high in the sky, but instead dozens of adorable kids (and adults) dressed in costumes, middle and high school marching bands and homemade floats celebrating community. This is Boulder, so the parade wouldn't be complete without cyclists, puppies and more!  

On Saturday, December 11, join us for Freezie Fest, a celebration of winter and all things snowmen. Free train rides, visits with Santa and holiday crafts. Starting  November 26 and running through December 11, you can play Find Freezie Bingo, by finding small plush snowmen at participating businesses for a chance to win gift cards!

Friday - Sunday, November 26 - 28, downtown will join small businesses across the country to celebrate, Small Business Saturday®(Weekend). Celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it’s a day dedicated to helping support the small businesses that help to create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Please show your support for our over 75% locally owned small businesses by pledging to shop and dine in downtown the entire weekend (and throughout the holiday season).

In addition to our amazing small businesses, downtown is also home to many specialty retailers that you just don't find everywhere else. From the largest selection of cookware and gifts at Peppercorn to specialty retailers like Volcom, Fjallraven, Todd Reed, Free People and prAna and not to mention Boulder favorites including Into the Wind and Boulder Book Store, Downtown Boulder is your one stop holiday shop.

Too many choices? How about a Downtown Boulder Gift Card? Available in amounts from $10 - $500 and accepted at over 120 downtown businesses - one size truly fits all!

Remember, year round, park in City of Boulder garages on Saturdays and Sundays for FREE! To learn more about all that Downtown Boulder has to offer, click here to view the electronic guide book.

Happy Holidays from Downtown Boulder!