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Holiday fun in the Fort

December 12, 2012

Over the holidays, Fort Collins offers many activities to choose from, including the 'Garden of Lights' at the Garden at Spring Creek. Old Town offers the popular 'First Night' on New Year's Eve.

During the holiday season, many amenities lure visitors to the Fort Collins area, including the Garden of Lights, downtown horse and carriage rides, and Santa Claus and his workshop.The Sugar Plum Furries are a favorite at the Garden at Spring Creek's Garden of Lights event.

Garden of Lights
Now through December 31
5-9 p.m.

Have you ever met a Sugar Plum Furry? You can if you visit the Garden of Lights this season, one of many "wow" holiday events taking place in Fort Collins. Stroll through a whimsically decorated garden lit by thousands of LED lights.

Each strand was hand-placed by volunteers and staff to create illuminated scenes that celebrate the magic of our botanical garden and the holiday season.

Experience our flower beds in a new way and say hello to your favorite koi, Kobe, in his blue LED pond—all created entirely from holiday lights!

Weekends will offer visits with Santa, a variety of holiday music from local carolers and musicians, tricks from the Sugar Plum Furries (canines dressed up as fairies), cookie decorating for kids, and the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of the holidays.

The event is held at the Garden at Spring Creek, a short distance from CSU's main campus on Centre Avenue.

LED holiday lights

Thousands of strands of holiday lights illuminate historic Downtown Fort Collins this season. The LED lights set the holiday spirit and also lead to power savings of about 90% over standard lights. The lights are twinkling in historic downtown now through February 14, 2013 (approximately).

Colorado State University has joined other official holiday lights sponsors in ensuring that the downtown is being lighted this year.

Santa Claus and his workshop

Visit Santa in Old Town Square this holiday!  You can visit Santa now through Monday, December 24 starting at 6 p.m. Santa speaks English, Spanish and sign language.

Please note, Downtown's Santa Claus is very popular and during busy days near the holiday waiting time could be up to 2 hours visitors must be in line 1/2 hour prior to closing in order to get in to see Santa.

The Downtown Business Association will be offering holiday activities for kids to do with Santa this year, including “Story Time with Santa” where Santa reads stories each Thursdays and Fridays at 11:30 a.m. at Downtown’s Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys Store (111 N. College). 

Horse and carriage rides

Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides in historic Downtown Fort Collins this holiday season, whether it's a romanThe theme of First Night 2013 is 'Enchanted Voyage.'tic ride after dinner or take visiting relatives on a memorable tour of downtown. All rides and times on schedule are weather permitting; it could be too windy or cold.

  • Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays  - 5-9 p.m.
  • Saturdays and Sundays - noon-9 p.m.

For prices, information, or hiring the carriage(s) for special dates/occasions call (970) 490-1958 or visit

First Night Fort Collins 2013

First Night Fort Collins occurs on Monday Night, December 31. First Night is an annual family friendly celebration of the New Year with live entertainment in many venues throughout downtown. A fireworks display ushers in the New Year.

Seasonal parking discounts

Your first hour of downtown parking is free, all year.

During the holidays, however, weekends are also free in garages now through Sunday, December 30. Several merchants offer parking discounts, too. Check out our maps or call (970) 221-6617 for assistance.

Contact: Fort Collins Downtown Business Association
Phone: (970) 484-6500