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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Denver's Best Christmas Activities & Events 2021

The Christmas season is upon us y'all! And what better way to celebrate the season than by checking out all the light displays, watching a beautiful rendition of the Nutcracker or popping by the latest pop-up bar? Below I've got a list of all my favorites (plus more I've been wanting to go to) and a map at the bottom for you to see what's closest to you. Denver is alive with holiday vibes, so get out there!

Lights & Decorations

Winter Wonderlights

Chapungu Sculpture Park in Loveland, Now–Jan. 2, 5pm–9pm, Free
If you live in this part of Colorado, I would recommend this one. It's fairly small but I loved the heart walk-thrus (see above).

Camp Christmas

Belmar Park, Now–Jan.2, hours vary $8–$25
Insane displays that are basically art, plus a bar serving up fanciful cocktails.

Blossoms of Light

Denver Botanic Gardens, Now–Jan. 8, 4:30pm–9pm, $16–$21
The gardens come alive with this incredible display of color. It is one of the more expensive options, but I love going every year. My suggestion is to pick a week day if you don't want a lot of families.

The Mile High Tree

16th Street Mall, Now–Jan. 1, Free
Go stand in the middle of this towering exhibit to see colors splashed in an array of designs.

Christmas in Color

Morrison, Now–Jan. 2, 5:30pm–10pm, $35 per car
This is a drive-thru light show and it is expensive, but if you get a bunch of friends piled into a car, not bad at all. I went with some friends and we had a blast listening to the music as the lights changed.

Denver Zoo Lights

Now–Jan. 2, 5pm–10pm, $15–$22
Explore the zoo at night when the paths are covered in dazzling light displays.

Trail of Lights

Chatfield Farms, Littleton, Now–Jan. 2, 5pm–8:30pm, $13–15
Something for those who live in south Denver!

Franktown Festival of Lights

Now–Jan. 3, 5pm–10pm
This light display looks insane!

Parade of Lights

Downtown Denver, Dec. 4, 6pm
You have to stake out a spot to see the massive penguin balloon make its way down 15th.

An Extravaganza of Lights

Hudson Gardens in Littleton, Now–Dec. 31, $12–20
I like to think of this as the cheaper Blossoms of Light. But it is just as good, in my opinion!

Festivals & Events

A Christmas Carol

Wolf Theatre, Now–Dec. 26, varying hours

Hip Hop Nutcracker

Buell Theatre, Now–Dec. 20, varying hours

The Nutcracker

Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Now–Dec. 24, varing ours

1940s White Christmas Ball

Hyatt Regency Denver Denver, Dec. 3–4, 4pm–12am

Holiday Celebration

Highlands Ranch Mansion, Dec. 4, 10am–3pm

Olde Golden Candlelight Walk

Dec. 3, 6:30pm

A Colorado Christmas

Colorado Symphony, Dec. 10–12, varying hours

Holiday Brass

Colorado Symphony, Dec. 14, 7pm

A Very DeVotchKa Holiday

Colorado Symphony, Dec. 16, 7:30pm

Elf in Concert

Colorado Symphony, Dec. 18–19, varying hours

Disney's A Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert

Colorado Symphony, Dec. 22–Dec. 23, 7pm


Belmar Holiday Bazaar

Lakewood, Dec. 3–Dec. 19, 5pm

Belleview Station Holiday Market

Denver, Dec. 4–Dec. 19, 11am–5pm

Lyons Holiday Artisan Market

Dec. 4–5, 10am–4pm

Cherry Creek Holiday Market

Fillmore Plaza, Now–Dec. 24, 11am–hours vary
This one is cute and ideal if you are already going to Cherry Creek to do some shopping.

Denver Christkindlmarket

Civic Center Park, Now–Dec. 23, 11am–9pm
Collecting each year's unique mulled wine cup is one of my favorite things to do. Plus, the potato pancakes and holiday cookies are a must-eat.

Georgetown Christmas Market

Strousse Park, Weekends: Dec. 4–Dec. 12, 10am–5pm

Boulder Winter Market

Boulder County Fairgrounds, Dec. 4–5, 9am–3pm


Avanti Food & Beverage Boulder, Now–Dec. 30, walk-ins only

Miracle at Union Station 

Denver, Open, accepting reservations

Avanti Food & Beverage, Denver, Open, accepting reservations

Miracle at Pindustry 

Greenwood Village, Open, accepting reservations

Miracle at Por Wine House 

Louisville, Open, accepting reservations 
 The Arvada Tavern, Open, accepting reservations


Denver, Dec. 1–Dec. 31, $17–21


Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Links

One last fall photo before we switch to the holidays!

I'm still not done digesting "All Too Well" and I felt all these emotions.

Mocktails for the holiday season — will definitely be using some of these for feminists that don't/can't drink.

Added this book to my read-at-home list.

Indoor hobbies to take up as the SAD of winter takes over.

Denver: Very excited about the new supper club coming to Sunnyside.

The best love songs of 2021 (thus far), Olivia & Taylor have my heart, of course.

I desperately want to read "A Discovery of Witches" after binge-watching the first two seasons... And the rest of these books look amazing.

This sweater looks to be the stuff of dreams.

2021 National Book Awards are here!

Not that I live in the UK, but maybe you do! Mainly I just like the idea of being in London for the holidays...

The new Smithsonian building looks really cool!

Hygge gifts to give this holiday season.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Under $60 Gift Guide

Back, yet again, with a gift guide! These range from $59–$40, so we're slowly getting more affordable. These are some of my favorite items and you'll see why as your scroll. As always, my guides consist of more sustainable items and then items that are readily available as everyone's situation is different. 
Hanging Basket, Apron, "Cooking in Marfa," Navy Henley, Blue Clutch, "Woman Made," Art, Plaid Scarf, Stripe Tote Bag, Recycled Glass, Painted Serving Dish, Colorful Earrings, Yellow Pot, Beanie, Swan Pot, Silver Boots, Gold Half Moon Earrings, Tassel Necklace, Purple Candle, Pink Tassel Earrings, Under Eye Strips

Some Highlights:

I'm obsessed with the Swan Pot! Like how cute would that look on your coffee table or in your kitchen??

This Plaid Scarf reminds me of the infamous Taylor Swift/J*k* G*ll***** scarf.

I've been desperate to get my hands on these Under Eye Strips! They looks so cute and I've heard great things.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Indigenous Charities + Advent Calendar Shopping Guide

As a way to address today's holiday without giving the men on ships any credit, I thought I'd round up some support organizations to make a donation to.

Ute Land Trust — This is for my Coloradans specifically! Your donation will go to land justice, tribal conservation and education.

Indigenous Women Rising — For my feminists out there, this organization honors Indigenous People's right to equitable and culturally safe health options. You can choose which fund to donate to — abortion, midwifery and (coming soon) sex ed.

Indigenous Mutual Aid — All about solidarity, not charity IMA has a directory of specific groups all over the United States that could use your help. Some have links and some are Venmo-able. It's a really fast way to make a difference — no matter how small that is!

National Indigenous Women's Resource Center —Violence against women is everywhere and this org is about ending violence against American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women by lifting up voices of grassroots advocates.

Native American Journalists Association — As a person holding a BJ, I love supporting other journalists. This empowers native journalists through programs and actions. 

- - - - - - - - -

But also, we are rapidly approaching advent calendar season, so I thought I'd round up a few cute options to get for yourself or a loved one! I already got my 99 cent Trader Joe's one but maybe I need another? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Under $80 Gift Guide

We're back again with more gifts! I'm really into everything on this list and yet again, I've tried to include a mix of super ethical brands and some that are readily available, as everyone's situation is different. What are you dying to put on your list? 

Some Highlights:

I finally bought a Dutch Oven and I'm obsessed so I can confirm this would make a great gift.

Julia loves her Rumpl Blanket and I think the concept is super cool. Definitely something your friends/family wouldn't buy themselves.

A Phone Sanitizer just seems necessary at this point.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Under $100 Gift Guide

 It's time y'all. The gift guides are officially launching. We do them every year, and I genuinely enjoy making them. Our first one is the Under $100, meaning everything falls between $99–$80. So, it's definitely for those loved ones that you want to go above and beyond for. As I've gotten older I've tried to find more ethical businesses to shop as well as those that are easy to find — because everyone's situation is different. You'll see that reflected in the various shops used to create these guides. If you have a business you think I should check out, let me know.

Some Highlights:

Chance by Chanel is my favorite perfume. I know, what a basic! But someone gave it to me as a gift a very long time ago and whenever I do a spritz, it takes me back to a very happy time.  

Since I started making the feminist cocktails, I've come to realize that you don't really need a fancy Cocktail Set to make them. However, if someone bought it for you, you'd love it. You can always MacGyver something together but it's nice to have the correct tools. Speaking of which, I'm obsessed with Estelle glassware (Cocktail Glass). It's so beautiful.

I bought my Le Creuset dutch oven this year and nothing makes me happier than pulling it out to cook something delicious. I think this Tea Kettle gives the same vibes, but you could use it literally every day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Week Re-Cap

Missed Marcus so much & had the best weekend with him!
How is everyone doing after Red (Taylor's Version)? I personally took some time to memorize the entire 10 minute version of "All Too Well." I also visited Marcus in Austin, ate a lot of food in Denver and had a rough cold! But we're better now and planning on getting a lot done this week in the Mile High City. How are y'all? — xoxo darling, Hayden

Waterloo Light Show

Grilled pumpkin bread at Colleen's Kitchen in Austin
Hank's Austin
Meet Padget, the sweetest dog.
St. Edward's Park hike
Homemade breakfast tacos a la Marcus
Big fan of Huckleberry Roasters in Sunnyside.
il porcellino salumi classic sandwich
SecondLove Tennyson
A very pretty day.
Cultura Chocolate's Mexican drinking chocolate & pastry
Kahlo's Birria

Presented at Colorado's Gov Con on TikTok!
Blackbox Provision
Favorite brewery in Pueblo.
Pumpkin spice sundae at Nick's Dairy Creme.
Pueblo's Neon Alley
Had the classic slopper at Gray's Coors Tavern.

Classic popsicle at La Michocana Premium.

Blanco in Denver puts a spicy garlic butter on their tacos and I love it.
The best burger I've had in Denver — Lucy's.
 Already missing fall...
The best cookies are back at Trader Joe's.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Monday, November 15, 2021

Monday Links

Took a week off to work on TikTok and now I'm back! — xoxo darling, Hayden

This chicken soup looks amazing.

A new Pride & Prejudice written by someone in Colorado? Sign me up!

Have y'all tried Dunkin's new drinks?

As a University of Texas at Austin grad, this doesn't make me happy. But this made me laugh.

Loving this November inspo, can y'all believe we're already halfway through?

V excited for the new Micklethwait beer bar!

I laughed way too hard at this video.

A case for football being the most literary sport — I agree.

These might be listed as Thanksgiving outfits (we do not dress up) but I think they are great for fall.

Alexa Chung has always been one of my favorite fashion icons.

This is not a drill! Selling Sunset is coming back!


Is anyone starting to get inspired to decorate? I might have listened to some x-mas music recently...

An epic gift guide for literally anyone in your life.

Public libraries are under attack for censorship. No book should be banned.

Pumpkin chai white chocolate snickerdoodles? Sign me up!

Holiday things to do from now until Jan. 1.

French independent bookstores are fighting back against big box options.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Best Denver Coffee Shops, Sorted by Neighborhood

There are so many coffee shops in Denver and there's a lot of area to cover in the Denver metro area so I thought I'd break them down by neighborhood. Let me know your favorite! Check out the ultimate guide to Denver coffee shops too >>

Best Coffee Shops in City Park, Denver

Queen City Collective Coffee — Multiple locations, but Five Points is the best.

Whittier Cafe — Black owned, creamy latte.

Lula Rose General Store — A pink coffee maker in an old gas station.

Best Coffee Shops in Washington Park, Denver

Devil's Food Bakery — Favorite coffee shop in Denver with incredible ginger cookies.

HOJA — Delicious food, beautiful shop & great orange coffee.

Steam Espresso Bar — Truly my second favorite coffee shop in Denver.

Best Coffee Shops in Cap Hill, Denver

Novo Coffee — Amazing vibe with good Wi-Fi.

Best Coffee Shops in North Denver

Kabod Coffee — Black-owned, with an amazing iced latte.

Best Coffee Shops in South Denver

Ground Up Coffee Cafe — Solid little shop in west Littleton.

Lost Coffee Roastery and Cafe — In an old gas station with excellent outdoor seating.

Kunjani World Coffeehouse — The best chai in south Denver.
Monk & Mongoose Coffee Co. — Great seasonal menus!

Best Coffee Shops in Morrison & Lakewood

Hello Coffee — My favorite chocolate latte is Black Pearl.

Morrison Joe — Fun latte menu like pumpkin pie during fall!

Best Coffee Shops in Wheat Ridge & Edgewater

Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters — Plant city, plus, the baristas know so much about coffee.

The Bardo Coffee House — Feels a bit like The Jetsons and has good lattes.

Best Coffee Shops in Aurora

Jubilee Roasting Co. — The vibe is immaculate and you can get parking on Saturday mornings.

SONDER Coffee & Tea — Each season brings fun things like sunflower lattes.

Best Coffee Shops in Golden

Generous Coffee Shop — Cereal milk lattes for the absolute win!


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