The Town of Parker is transforming into holiday headquarters with a charming array of amenities and festive events to celebrate the fall and winter holiday seasons that the entire family can enjoy. From pumpkin patches to peppermint-flavored treats, the Western-Victorian community known for its hometown charm has everything needed for festive fun-seekers looking to escape for the day.
AUTUMN + HOLIDAY EVENTS
Enjoy the fall fresh air and colorful foliage at any of Parker’s outdoor events, or get in the holiday spirit with events that show the passion of Parker:
•MOUNTAIN PINE YULETIDE BAZAAR: Get a head start on your holiday shopping the 12th annual Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar. More than 100 vendors will gathering at the Parker Fieldhouse, 18700 E. Plaza Drive, on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. where visitors will have their pick of the best handmade gifts in the Rocky Mountain Region. This event is sponsored by the Mountain Pine Woman’s Club. Proceeds will be used to provide educational scholarships for local high school seniors, athletic scholarships for the Fieldhouse, and to support various charities.
•THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: Parker officially kicks off this festive time of year with a slew of events that will get the entire family in the holiday spirit. Start the festivities with taking on the Colorado tradition of working up a sweat before savoring Thanksgiving dinner at the Town of Parker’s annual Turkey Day 5K FUN Run/Walk. The following day, gather ‘round the Town Tree in O’Brien Park on Friday, Nov. 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for an evening of classic holiday cheer at the Mayor’s Holiday Lighting. Take in the sights of the fun holiday ice sculpture displays, interact with holiday characters, enjoy tasty treats from local food vendors, holiday caroling and a Nutcracker performance by the Colorado School of Dance.
•THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: This evening is sure to be filled with wonderful holiday memories. Throughout the entire Thanksgiving weekend, visitors can enjoy free Holiday Carriage Rides through downtown Parker. Each 25-minute ride will travel through the twinkling lights of Mainstreet. And, of course, visitors can knock some items off their Christmas lists by stopping in to the many unique and fun Parker boutiques. These small, independent businesses offer items that are truly unique at affordable prices. Stop by on Small Business Saturday this Nov. 25 to show support.
•A CLASSIC PARKER HOLIDAY: Don’t miss the sounds of the season at A Classic Parker Holiday, Parker’s annual salute to yuletide song. From Dec. 1 – 3, the Parker Symphony Orchestra and Parker Chorale are teaming up to entertain and inspire with Christmas classics and a few fun surprises. The performances will take place at the PACE Center and tickets are $24 and $29, based on seat.
•PARKER CHRISTMAS CARRIAGE PARADE: No one does holiday cheer quite like the Town of Parker. Visitors will make their way to Mainstreet on Saturday, Dec. 9 at noon for the annual Christmas Carriage Parade—the only place near metro Denver where dozens of horses will strut their stuff in their finest winter wear. Attendees will also enjoy a holiday farmer's market, a petting zoo and pony rides, ice sculpting and visiting time and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
•THE NUTCRACKER OF PARKER: From Dec. 14 – 17, the Colorado School of Dance takes to the PACE Center stage to perform Douglas County’s best-loved Nutcracker. This year marks the 14th annual production of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic, which features local talent combined with professional dancers and professional backdrops and sets. Ticket prices are $24 and $29, based on seat.
INDOOR + OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Parker has a variety of activities to make any day trip feel complete. Visitors can skate along the Ice Trail, appreciate local art, sample wine, indulge in retail therapy, and more:
•ICE TRAIL/DISCOVERY PARK: Visitors can slip on their skates and glide along the new Parker Ice Trail at Discovery Park – one of the only Ice Trails in the country! The 450-foot long Ice Trail is designed to loop through the landscape like a frozen river. Stay warm by taking a seat next to any of three nearby fire pits, or by purchasing hot chocolate at the on-site concession stand. Cost is $6-10, excluding skate rental.
•EATS: Visitors can savor their way through a selection of cozy, internationally inspired cuisine. And with more than 60 local restaurants, Parker has something to satisfy any craving. For those looking to order holiday pies, or indulge in pastries and gluten-free baked goods, the award-winning Posh Pastries serves up special treats with a French twist. Under the leadership of Chef Michael Dupont, certified master baker, chef and chocolatier, Le Baugette de Normandy is a little piece of Paris in Colorado. Stop by for breads, pastries, handmade chocolates and more. Take a break from holiday shopping with delicious Swedish-American drinks from Fika Coffeehouse. Feeling slightly fancy? Co-owned by Chef Richard Esper and Executive Chef Alec Erickson from the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, elev. 5900 seeks to “elevate your palate” with a modern interpretation of classic American comfort food. Or for those feeling like a taste of Asia, visit Indochine, which is a local’s favorite and offers a variety of delicious gluten-free, soy-free and vegan-friendly options. And of course, Portofino Pizza and Pasta is a perfect spot that will leave every family member feeling satisfied.
•DRINK: Despite its name, guests won’t mind lingering around Purgatory Cellars for a while. This hidden gem of a winery offers first class red, whites and more made on-site with grapes from Colorado and New Mexico. On top of a tasty selection of carefully curated wines and tapas, Vines Wine Bar & Bistro offers a full service daily dinner and lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
•SHOPPING: Find one-of-a-kind items, gifts and stylish apparel in Parker, which features designer boutiques, galleries and shops. Visit Parker Panache or Pinkberry Lane for women’s designer clothing, or for those who love a stylish mix of cowboy and cosmo, check out Cinderella Ranch Boutique. For those who can’t walk by a consignment shop without walking in, Bonne Bella Boutique and Consignment offers luxury brand women’s clothing and rustic-chic accessories, home décor and gifts at low prices. Wrought’N Apples Boutique and Gifts is a nearly 3,000-square foot store filled with home décor, handbags, jewelry, clothing, candles, toys, beauty products and Colorado pride items and more.
•ARTS + CULTURE: Take a self-guided tour through the Town of Parker’s celebrated pieces of public art at any time with Otocast, the mobile audio app. The Parker Artists Guild has taken advantage of the platform to help visitors hear from the artists themselves and learn more about their works. Simply download the app from Google Play or the Apple App Store and select “Parker Arts” to get started. Or, watch a performance at PACE, the Town’s hub for artistic, cultural and creative activity. View the calendar for a list of upcoming shows (in addition to those listed above).
ABOUT THE TOWN OF PARKER
Located 20 miles south of Denver and home to more than 52,000 residents, the Town of Parker offers the perfect balance of a full-service community with a hometown feel. A community that is highly rated for safety, Parker provides an unmatched quality of life, spectacular parks and recreation amenities, a great business mix, world-class cultural facilities and a wide variety of community events. To find out more about our community, visit www.ParkerOnline.org.