While the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed many holiday plans for families all over Fort Collins and the United States, there are still many businesses that have worked hard to provide the people of Northern Colorado with holiday cheer and spirit.
Overall, there are many parts of the light shows that are the same but this year there are some new restrictions. These include a limited number of groups allowed in the area, limited people in each group, timed admissions, and enforced mask mandates.
Downtown Holiday Lights
Fort Collins has decorated 22 blocks of its downtown area in thousands of strands of lights. These low energy and sustainable LED lights cover alleyways, sidewalks, and treetops in dazzling lights that are sure to bring the holiday spirit to Fort Collins.
The lights go one every evening from the first week of November all the way through Feb. 14. They are free and open for the public to enjoy. Visit downtownfortcollins.com for more information.
Garden of Lights
Located in the Gardens of Spring Creek in Fort Collins, the Garden of Lights features thousands of holiday lights shaped and sculpted into amazing flower beds, garden creatures, and even a holiday village. The Garden of Lights is also welcoming back the Color Blossom Show in the Great Lawn that displays 700 lighted blossoms. Their recent expansion of the grounds means that there is room for more magical light sculptures.
The Garden of Lights is open from Dec. 9 to 27 from 5-9 p.m. with a closure on Christmas Day. Member ticket prices are $8 for adults, $4 for kids ages 5-11, and children four and under get in for free. General admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 5-11, and children four and under still get in for free.
Tickets go on sale to members on Thursday, Nov. 12th at noon and they go on sale to the general public on Monday, Nov. 16th at noon. For more information about this event, visit https://www.fcgov.com/gardens/garden-of-lights.
The Greeley Griswolds
Every year, for the past 17 years, the Medhurst family has decorated their house with 180,000-holiday lights to bring holiday cheer for the people of Greeley. To create the Griswolds effect, the family sets up over 20 animated decorations, 26 separate red, green, and clear light sections on their roof, five 11 foot tall trees, and a giant 48-foot tall tree with a star on top.
The lights are synchronized to music every 30 minutes that plays for 15 minutes and can be broadcast over a car radio on 90.3 FM.
The house is located at 354 50th Ave. and is open for guests from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
From Nov. 14 to Jan. 1, guests can visit the Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra for Loveland’s Winter Wonderlights event. The park features over 80,000 lights formed to create LED mappable snowflakes, illuminated African stone sculptures, and twinkling bulbs. There is also a 20 foot tall LED mappable Christmas tree that features moving lights synched up to six songs.
Winter Wonderlights is free and open to the public with a first-come, first-serve policy until the maximum capacity is reached. Visitors are encouraged to donate canned food for the Food Bank for Larimer County.
For more information, visit https://www.visitlovelandco.org/winterwonderlights/.
Festival of Trees
This year, the Festival of Trees in Greeley is back for its 32nd year in the Union Colony Civic Center. Those who visit get to experience displays each with their own unique theme and feature beautifully decorated trees. There are also 30-minute slots of entertainment in the Monfort Concert Hall.
Outside the civic center, there is a Festival of Trees tent where guests can buy live evergreen wreaths and Christmas pies and tamales. People also get the chance to ride in horse-drawn carriages around Lincoln Park to and from the tent. And a coffee trailer is selling specialty coffees, ciders, and hot cocoa to keep everyone warm on the inside.
The Festival of Trees will also have a silent auction online with many holiday items to sell. The auction supports the Union Colony Civic Center and the Greeley Philharmonic Guild.
This event will be open from Nov. 27 to Dec. 11. Daily hours vary and there are no more than 50 timed ticket entries allowed in at any given time. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids 12 and under and seniors 60 years and older.
Feel free to visit http://greeleygov.com/activities/fot/festival-of-trees for more details.