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What to do in Denver (When You’re on Break)

Posted 11/16/2018 by Madeleine Abram

With nine days off over the Thanksgiving holiday, students and families can be thankful for multiple local festivities. photo courtesy of

Beware: as Thanksgiving break commences, boredom will inevitably strike. Here’s your secret weapon.

What does Thanksgiving break mean to you? For some, the answer to this may be an annual trip to a different state or country to visit family, accompanied by a plethora of traditional holiday foods. Perhaps Thanksgiving break means volunteering at a local soup kitchen or camping outside of retail stores to get the best deals for Black Friday. But for most of us, myself included, Thanksgiving break consists of sleeping until noon, binge-watching Netflix, and refusing to retire those pajama pants that have been worn for the better half of a week until reluctantly trading them for a nice dress for Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly content with cozying up in my room with a hot mug of tea and The Office for an entire week, but this year I’m ready for a change; I’m ready to put a pause on Netflix and experience the abundance of unique and enriching opportunities and events offered throughout the Denver area in the upcoming week. If you would like to join me in my quest to cure boredom, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling and explaining the following events:

Pumpkin Pie 5k/10k: On November 17th at 8:45 a.m., the annual Pumpkin Pie 5k/10k, hosted by the Colorado Runner Events LLC, will resurface on Saturday morning at City Park. Runners can participate in either a 5k or 10k, however, regardless of the distance, participants will be rewarded with a giant slice of pumpkin pie upon completion of the race. For more information, click here.

Blossoms of Light: On Friday, November 23rd, Denver’s beloved Botanic Gardens will open the venue to attendees and feature the first presentations of the annual 2018-2019 Blossoms of Light festivities. In addition to its botanic beauty, the garden, teeming with millions of twinkling lights, will be illuminated in new and unique ways, bringing additional awe-inspiring artistry. Tickets can be purchased online here. On a related note, Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo will kick off on November 30th for another chance to stroll around and look at festive lights.

Grand Illumination: From 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 23rd, Colorado inhabitants from near and far will gather in the Downtown Denver area to witness major buildings such as Union Station and the State Capitol being illuminated with festive, colorful lights. For more information, click here.

The Nutcracker: Though this holiday favorite will debut on the 24th and conclude on Christmas Eve, Thomas Jefferson High School’s very own Advanced Orchestra, led by instrumental music teacher Robin Johnson, will be performing in the foyer of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on November 25th, prior to the 1:00 p.m. show as well as during intermission. While tickets can typically be a bit pricey, the Colorado Ballet is offering Thomas Jefferson High School students a 20% discount on tickets in order to help combat this dilemma. Spartans are highly encouraged to support their musical peers if they can.

Christkindl Market: Beginning on November 16th, Denver’s annual German and European inspired Christkindl Market will open to the public. This free event offers a wide variety of activities for adults and children alike, festive European food and beverages, handcrafted jewelry, toys, clothing, and gift items. Furthermore, the event will feature live music and dancing.

While the first semester of the year can inevitably be a stressful and hectic time for high school students, it is important that we remember to take a step back from our day-to-day stresses and dedicate the week off to giving thanks to our family, friends, and loved ones. Although sleeping in and watching Netflix can be great, what better way to commemorate the start of the holidays than by exploring the festivities offered in our very own community?