From holiday parties to lights festivals to ugly sweater contests, here's what's happening in Denver this weekend.

Friday, December 7

Christkindl Market

When: Nov. 16 – Dec. 23
Where: 1515 Arapahoe St.

Experience German and European holiday traditions during this annual Denver event. Eat authentic food and festive drinks, enjoy live entertainment, and shop a wide selection of gifts. Admission is free.

The Polar Express

When: Nov. 10 – Dec. 23
Where: Colorado Railroad Museum

Experience a theatrical recreation of the classic children’s story. Dancing waiters serve cookies and hot cocoa as the story unfolds. (Read more about winter train experiences.)

A Hudson Christmas

When: Nov. 23 – Dec. 31
Where: Hudson Gardens and Event Center

See a winter wonderland of outdoor lights at Hudson Gardens. You can even get a photo in Santa’s sleigh while sipping hot cider or cocoa. 

Blossoms of Light

When: Nov. 23 – Jan. 1
Where: Denver Botanic Gardens 

See the extravagant annual holiday light show at Denver Botanic Gardens, which features an interactive light display and entertainment on select evenings. 

A Christmas Carol

When: Nov. 23 – Dec. 24
Where: Stage Theatre

See this musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel come to life on stage. 

The Nutcracker

When: Nov. 24 – Dec. 24
Where: Ellie Caulkins Opera House

See The Colorado Ballet’s 58th performance of the holiday classic The Nutcracker. (Read more about The Nutcracker.)

Courtesy of Facebook

Christmas in Color

When: Nov. 23 – Dec. 31
Where: Water World

Drive through this spectacular lights festival synchronized to holiday music on your radio at Water World. 

Guilty Pleasures

When: Dec. 7, 9 p.m.
Where: Hi-Dive

Hear the hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s at this monthly dance party. Admission is $5. 

Christmas Lights of Denver

When: Dec. 7, 4:30 p.m.
Where: History Colorado Center

Enjoy some cookies, hot cocoa, and a cozy heated bus ride through Denver's neighborhoods, where you can see Christmas lights and hear holiday stories. 

First Friday Art Walk

When: Monthly 
Where: Denver's Art District on Santa Fe

See hundreds of artists along with live entertainment, food, and beverages. 

Holiday Bazaar

When: Dec. 7-9
Where: RiNo Art District

This weekend-long holiday party brings together local artists and makers, food and beverages, and music. There will also be fashion trucks, fire pits, and more. This event is family and dog-friendly. Admission is free for the first two hours and $5 thereafter, or you can submit your email address online to get a free ticket. 

Zoo Lights

When: Nov. 30 – Jan. 6
Where: Denver Zoo

Back for its 28th year, this lights festival typically sells out on most nights. The light show covers 60 acres and features animated animal sculptures, animal encounters, and entertainment. 

Free Ice Skating Rink

When: Nov. 23 – Jan. 6
Where: Denver International Airport

Looking to kill some time before your flight? Go ice skating at the DEN Plaza, completely for free!

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

When: Dec. 7-8
Where: Paramount Theatre

See this spectacular ballet with hand-painted sets and nesting dolls to get into the holiday spirit. 

Saturday, December 8

Courtesy of Facebook

Snowcats Cat Convention

When: Dec. 8-9
Where: EXDO Event Center

This two-day cat celebration brings together music, art, and pop culture and features celebri-cat appearances. Denver Cat Company provides a lounge experience where you can adopt a kitten, you'll be able to shop unique cat brands, and there will even be cat-themed cocktails. (Read more about the Snowcats Cat Convention.)

Ugly Sweater Brew Run

When: Dec. 8, 11 a.m.
Where: 3225 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood

Don your ugliest holiday sweater and participate in this 5k walk/run and fundraising party, which will feature live music, seasonal brews, and a sweater contest. 

Breakfast with Santa

When: Dec. 8-9
Where: Downtown Denver Aquarium 

If you attend this breakfast buffet, you just might catch Santa swimming with the fishes. 

Sunday, December 9

Winter Cocoa Workshop

When: Dec. 9
Where: Denver Botanic Gardens 

Learn about the cacao bean and make your own chocolate from scratch!

Free Day at Denver Museum of Nature & Science

When: Dec. 9
Where: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Explore the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for free all day on December 9!

What special events do you plan to check out this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.