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Holiday fun in the Fort

December 19, 2013

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.

Old Town's LED light display. Image by CSU Photography. Lively, lovely downtown Ft. Collins

In 2013, Fort Collins topped's list of the ten best downtowns in the country. Fort Collins won the distinction for:

  • being the most attractive downtown area;
  • its 80 restaurants, 70 shops, 26 art galleries, seven breweries, and 10 parks and plazas within a half-mile;
  • offering 100 days of free events annually.

LED holiday lights

Colorado State University has joined other official holiday lights sponsors in ensuring that the downtown is being lighted this year. Thousands of strands of holiday lights illuminate historic Downtown Fort Collins this season.

The lights are twinkling in historic downtown now through February 14, 2014 (approximately). 

Garden of Lights

Have you ever met a Sugar Plum Hairy (a dog dressed as a fairy)?

You can if you visit the Garden of Lights this season, one of many "wow" holiday events taking place in Fort Collins. The Garden of Lights is open now through Jan. 1 from 5-9 p.m. 

Stroll through a whimsically decorated garden lit by thousands of LED lights.  

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

Santa Claus and his workshop

Old Town Fort Collins, lit up for the hoidays. Image by CSU Photography.

Visit Santa in Old Town Square this holiday!  You can visit Santa:

  • Now through Monday, Dec. 23 from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Christmas eve, Dec. 24 from noon to 5 p.m.

Santa speaks English, Spanish and sign language.

Horse and carriage rides

Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides in historic Downtown Fort Collins this holiday season, whether it's a romantic ride after dinner or take visiting relatives on a memorable tour of downtown. 

The carriages pickup up at Old Town Square now through Dec. 31.

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

First Night Fort Collins 2014

First Night Fort Collins occurs on Tuesday Night, Dec. 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.

Admission to First Night Fort Collins requires the purchase of a First Night Fort Collins button, with children 5 and under free when accompanied by a paying adult.

The evening will kick off with confetti and song with the kids’ countdown at 5 p.m. in Old Town Square.

All venues open at 6 p.m. and the night concludes with a festive display of fireworks in Old Town Square at 10:30 p.m. 

Fort Collins Gallery Walk

Art galleries and museums flourish in Downtown Fort Collins! And on the first Friday of every month, many of them extend their hours of operation and fling wide their doors during the evening hours.

Experience paintings, sculptures, exhibits, photos, and more, with many of the gallery owners on hand to share their expertise (and sometimes, a snack!) with the crowds that stroll the city streets on self-guided gallery tours.

Free weekend parking

During the holidays, free weekend parking is provided by the City of Fort Collins in downtown parking structures on Saturdays and Sundays, now through Dec. 29.

Structures located at Mountain Avenue just east of Remington and Laporte Avenue just west of College Avenue.

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