Skip to Main Content

About Light Up the Holidays in Downtown Boulder


This holiday season, find your happy place in the heart of Boulder. From festive food and drink to winter fashion and quirky gifts, downtown Boulder has just what you need. Whether you're seeking little pockets of alone time or a space to gather with friends and family, spend this holiday season discovering the magic of Pearl Street Mall and beyond. 

Downtown Boulder's holiday season kicks off on Sunday, November 20 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. 

Explore downtown Boulder through a new lens as you adventure through a self-guided AR tour of the district. Meet a snowman, an orca, polar bears and more as you scan QR codes on each block to access filters via Instagram. Journey from the East End, the Pearl Street Mall and the West End all the way to the Civic Area as you follow along on this winter wonderland trail with Snow Much Fun Virtual (AR) Experiences!

Holiday lights downtown

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 25 and December 24) to visit kids of all ages during St. Nick on the Bricks. This year, Santa will be ready to greet you outside. 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 Café).

Keeping the small town charm of holidays gone by, the Lights of December Parade (December 3) 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 10, join us for Freezie Fest, a celebration of winter and all things snowmen featuring free train rides, visits with Santa and holiday crafts. Starting November 20 and running through December 23, you can participate in Find Freezie by finding small plush snowmen at participating businesses for a chance to win gift cards!

Friday - Sunday, November 25 - 27, 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 80% 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 PatagoniaJohn Atencio, FP Movement, Athleta and Savannah Bee Company - 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 100 downtown businesses - one size truly fits all!

Remember that year round, parking in City of Boulder garages on Saturdays and Sundays is 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!