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A Driving Tour of Neighborhood Holiday Lights in South Metro Denver: Littleton, Englewood, and Centennial

Updated on June 21, 2018
Adele Jeunette profile image

Adele Jeunette has been a resident of Littleton for 24 years, the same amount of time she's been driving to see lights in the area.

Christmas Holiday Lights in Littleton, Englewood and Centennial

This little drive will take you past a few of south Denver's major light displays. You'll start at Southglenn Mall and then head to far south Englewood at the Kloewer residence (5041 S. Elati), move south and west through downtown Littleton on Littleton Boulevard, and end up at the Hudson Gardens lighting display.

I've included the address of each so that you can enter them into your phone or GPS device.

This site lists the best places to see holiday and Christmas lights in Littleton and south Denver.
This site lists the best places to see holiday and Christmas lights in Littleton and south Denver.

Lights at the Southglenn Mall

6991 S Vine St, Centennial, CO 80122

This shopping area makes a good starting place since it’s easy to find (at the corner of University and Arapahoe) and has quite a few places to grab a bite or a drink before you set off. The center street of this outdoor mall (in front of the theater) has a nice, tasteful display of lighted trees, as well as a fireplace and a skating rink. They also have a Santa inside that you can visit, and lots of other special events and services, such as Clydesdale carriage rides, carolers, and even Santa photos with your pet. Check their website for dates and times.

If you want to grab a bite, or get a hot drink before you go out, there are several restaurants. Local favorites are the Mellow Mushroom pizza joint and the Peet’s Coffee and Tea. You can also get sushi, pizza, soup, stir-fry, salad bar, and all kinds of drinks at Whole Foods Market.

Lights on House at 6636 S. Lafayette

As you head west on Arapahoe Road the cool white lights that decorate the trees and the roofline will catch your eye off to the right. Make a right on Lafayette, and you will see a tree and yard decked out with all manner of things—Cookie Monster and Big Bird with the sleigh, penguins, Minnie Mouse, a reindeer pushing a lawn mower. Make sure you take a look at the windows to catch a glimpse of the Grinch lurking about. If you get out of the car and walk around to see the display, you can also hear the Christmas music that’s piped from the porch.

If you have time, wend your way through the neighborhood for a bit. While the other houses aren’t as elaborate, there are still some feats of engineering (how did they get those red lights so high on that tree?) to admire. This neighborhood seems to have more decorating spirit than most of the ones I’ve seen in Littleton.

Just make sure you head back west on Arapahoe Road so that you can turn left (south) on Broadway.

Lights 6636 S. Lafayette, Centennial, CO

Reindeer mowing lawn--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Reindeer mowing lawn--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Big Bird, polar bear and sleigh--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Big Bird, polar bear and sleigh--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton

Synchronized Lights and Music on 7148 South Grant Street

This display has 35,000 lights which are synchronized to music transmitted on the radio at 98.1 FM on your dial. Thanks to Caleb Schallenmuller who pointed out his display to me. It’s quite the sight.

The lights are bright, with bold colors, and the music is definitely on the energetic side of the spectrum. My little phone camera doesn’t do justice to the depth of the color, but you can see that he has quite a few features to work with for his synchronized lights: roof lines, stars, trees, arches. The photo doesn’t show it, but there is also a big triangular tree shape to the right which has various strands that light up. He gets quite a bit of variety, and quite a bit of the flashing “Wow factor” from this display. I’ve included a brief video excerpt which will give you an idea of the mood of the display. Again, you really have to see it in person to get the full effect of the bright lights.

7148 S. Grant Street The lights on this synchronized show are ever-changing, but this photo does give you an idea of some of the design elements of the presentation.
7148 S. Grant Street The lights on this synchronized show are ever-changing, but this photo does give you an idea of some of the design elements of the presentation.

Excerpt of Light Show at 7148 S. Grant St

The Kloewer's, 5041 S. Elati, Englewood, CO 80110

This home, two blocks west of Broadway and one block north of Belleview, has a postage-stamp yard, but the Kloewers manage to pack just about every inch of it with lights, figurines, and all manner of Christmas décor.

You can see the lights from your car as you drive past, but you're going to want to get the kids and bundle out so that you can walk around and get the full effect. The brightly lit outline of a train, which adorns his driveway fence, is the highlight of this display.

Right across the street is another display that is not as elaborate, but still has quite a bit to see.

Holiday Lights at 5041 S. Elati, Englewood, CO 80110

Kloewer house--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Kloewer house--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Light in trees--Kloewer house--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Light in trees--Kloewer house--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Lighted snowman--Kloewer house--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Lighted snowman--Kloewer house--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton

Detour - Synchronized Light Show at 5136 S. Pennsylvania Street

This pleasant show is just a little east of the Kloewer's house. The modest-sized house is absolutely covered with lights, with a few trees and such for emphasis. If you like more traditional Christmas music, this is the place for you. They've chosen a nice selection of standards with instrumental and vocal selections (in contrast to the shows which are heavy on rock.) It's charming, and I especially like the addition of the brighter twinkle lights. It give the whole thing quite a bit of character. You can see an excerpt from their "Little Drummer Boy" selection below to get an idea of what the show is like.

To get back on the tour, go back to Belleview and head west.

Synchronized Light Show 5136 S. Pennsylvania St.

Lights on Littleton Boulevard

Once you have finished taking in the previous displays,go back to Belleview and turns south on Windermere. It will intersect with Littleton Boulevard, and you will head west/

As you travel west on Littleton Boulevard (which changes its name to Main Street), you will come to a bridge festooned with lights, the entrance into the glittering display of downtown Littleton. Craft shops and trendy restaurants line either side of the street, each with one or two deciduous trees out front. Many cities string lights on trees, but the city of Littleton seems to be in a contest to see how many thousands of lights they can put on each tree. They avoid being overwhelming by sticking to a simple color palette of warm white lights.

When you reach the end of the fourth block, the street curves to the left, and as you come out towards Santa Fe Dr., you'll see the grand finale: several large evergreen trees lit from top to bottom with brightly colored lights. The shops in this little area also make it a point to add to the display with lights outlining roof lines and gables.

Holiday Lights in Littleton: Tree at the End of Littleton Boulevard

Lighted tree--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Lighted tree--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton

Holiday Lights: Shop on Littleton Boulevard

Lighted shops--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Lighted shops--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton

Lights on Home on Caley Ave

As you travel past the lights on Littleton Boulevard, move over to the left lane so that you can turn left when you get to Santa Fe, to Church Ave.and then Prince Street. If you like the Peanuts (R) gang, turn left onto Caley Avenue. After two blocks, look off to your left to see the house at 2240 W. Caley Ave. There are several little scenes of Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy and the whole gang.

Often, these little dioramas go up late, even as late as the 20th of December, so check back later if you don't see them. Also, they don't seem to be set on a timer, which means that they go on and off whenever the homeowner gets to them. Still, it's worth taking a little 2-block detour if the Peanuts characters warm your heart.

Christmas Holiday Lights at 2240 W. Caley Ave.

Charlie Brown and Linus stand in front of lighted trees. You can spot Snoopy playing hockey in the background.
Charlie Brown and Linus stand in front of lighted trees. You can spot Snoopy playing hockey in the background.

Detour: Jazzy Santas on Datura Street

Here's another little detour with lights you don't see every day. It's just 3 or 4 blocks east of the Peanuts Christmas on Caley Ave. Turn north on Datura, and within a block, you'll see these jazzy Santas on the east side of the street. Then, just go back to Caley Ave. and travel west to pick up the next bunch of lights.

Jazzy Santas on Datura St.

These saxophone-playing Santas have been a fixture near Datura Street and Caley Ave. for several years.
These saxophone-playing Santas have been a fixture near Datura Street and Caley Ave. for several years.

Lights on Prince Circle

From Prince Street, turn right on Prince Circle. You are looking for 6872 S Prince Circle. The decorations here are all brightly-colored outlines. You'll see a train set, some playing penguins, a child sledding, a snow globe, and a Nativity set. You'll also see Santa up on the roof, with reindeer's hooves in motion.

One year, this display wasn't set up, but I'm glad to see it's back.

Holiday lights at 6872 S Prince Cir
Holiday lights at 6872 S Prince Cir
Penguins at 6872 S Prince Cir
Penguins at 6872 S Prince Cir

Holiday Lights on Prince Street

Back on Prince Street headed south, keep your eye out for a rather large display on the left. You'll see a lighted Santa and his reindeer on the roof. The fence posts along Prince Street have been turned into red candles with lighted snowflakes for flames.

This house has a nice, integrated look which uses just a few colors and makes for a cheery and tasteful display. Keep heading south on Prince to see the next display.

Display on Prince Street

Santa, his reindeer, and lighted candles are features of this house on Prince Street.
Santa, his reindeer, and lighted candles are features of this house on Prince Street.

Christmas Holiday Lights on Jackass Hill

That's right. It's called Jackass Hill Road, an apparent homage to the mules who were pastured there during WWI.

Despite the name, this street is home to a collection of suburban homes, many with a balcony that faces the road. The people who live in them have started and maintained a charming tradition: they decorate their balconies with words for the season. Look off to the right as you are coming down the hill, and you will see one house with a lighted "JOY," another with "PEACE," "HOPE," and several others. See how many you can spot!

When you get to the light on Mineral Ave., you can turn right. Then in just a few blocks, turn right again, and you will be on Santa Fe Drive.

Off to the left, you will see the Aspen Grove mall which has several tasteful snowflakes decorating the stores.

In about 2.5 miles, you can turn left into Hudson Gardens. This is the only place that charges a fee, but it is worth it to see the amazing light display.

Christmas Holiday Lights at Hudson Gardens Event Center, 6115 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, CO 80120

Hudson Gardens is a crown jewel for Littleton, a botanic garden with beautiful vistas and landscaping. Starting in October, they string lights on the trees, bushes and bridges and turn the place into a lights extravaganza. One thing I especially like about their display is that many of the trees are next to a pond which reflects the lights.

They change the colors and design every year, so you will see something different from the pictures I've included. The photos do give you an idea of how big the trees are and how many lights they put on them.

The tickets are a little less than other metro area attractions and you can take a picture with Santa for free. The venue sells hot beverages and has wagon rides available. If the lot is full, there is a large lot across Santa Fe where you can park for free. Just make sure you cross at the light, since Santa Fe is such a busy street.

Holiday Lights at Hudson Gardens, Littleton, CO

Hudson Gardens Entrance--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Hudson Gardens Entrance--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Trees by the pond--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton
Trees by the pond--Holiday and Christmas Lights in Littleton

Best of South Metro Lights

Our family has lived in South Metro Denver for 20 years, and these sites are our picks for best lighting displays in the area. In about two hours and 10 miles, you can see them all.

Keep reading for more about light displays in the Denver area.

If You Want More: Zoo Lights 2900 E 23rd Ave, Denver, CO 80205

Kid-friendly: High

Size: Large (70 acres)

Recommended Amount of Time: 1.5-2 hours

Price: Moderately High

Parking: Medium

Snacks: Yes

I've put the Denver Zoo at the top of the list because it's such a big display, and so many of the lights are recognizable, kid-friendly animals. You can also get some great shots of the lights on your phone.

The zoo is one of the biggest Denver light displays with 70 acres of decorated trees, shrubs, and--of course--lighted displays bent into the shapes of animals. The elephants with the colorfully-decorated elephant on its back is one of my favorites. I also like the Chinese dragon. The zoo also features several "animated" displays of animal movement--which is just really the lights turning off and on on different sections to suggest movement. Some things you can see are a frog "jumping," two bighorn sheep crashing together, and a cougar (I think) turning its head. There are peacocks and flamingos and if you have a kid who likes creepy crawlies, they can keep their eyes out for lighted snakes and other little creatures.

I also like the lanterns strung up by the elephant house and the globe lights that turn colors on the bushes near there. They give off a softer light than the bright LED lights that are so common.

When I've read the online reviews, it seems that most people are unhappy with the parking and the crowds. One a busy night when the show first starts, driving and parking around the area can be a be a nightmare, it's true. The streets around the area are not wide, and even though they've added and underground parking garage, there's not enough parking for a big crowd. I do have a tip for that: go later. My family usually pulls in around 8 pm. We get a great parking spot and have never had to wait in line to get tickets. At that time of night, the zoo isn't crowded, and we can see what ever we want, even on the weekends. Even though they say the event closes at 9 pm, then don't chase you out, and we've been able to see the whole thing in an hour and a half. If you can, plan to go on a weekend night and let the kids stay up a little late.

Another thing that people seemed disappointed about is that they don't see many animals. Well, it's night time and most of the animals are tucked in and asleep. You need to go with the mindset that you are mostly there to see the lights. That being said, you can see a few animals. The giraffe house and the elephant house are usually open, and you can get pretty close to the animals there. We've also been able to catch sight of a mountain goat and some penguins.

If You Want More: Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St Denver, CO 80206

Kid-friendly: Medium

Size: Medium (24 acres)

Recommended Amount of Time: 1 hour

Price: Moderately High

Parking: Difficult at the beginning, Medium a couple of hours in

Snacks: Yes

In 2017 CNN chose Denver Botanic Gardens as one of the 7 best places to see lights in the United States. The Gardens are a bit of a drive from South Denver, but relatively quite close if you consider that the other sites they chose are in places like Las Vegas and Austin. Our family has been going to the Gardens’ Blossoms of Light for about 10 years now, and they manage to be impressive and classy at the same time. We especially like the new field of changing lights. Depending on how they are programmed, they give you the feeling of the ground undulating around you.

The Denver Botanic Gardens are my second-favorite place to go to see lights at the holiday season. You can see a dazzling amount of lights on the trees and shrubs, as well as a big bank of large trees outfitted top to bottom with lights. The Gardens have a few unique features that I haven't seen in other displays. First off, there is the Chihuly glass sculpture, a 14-foot tower that looks like a collection of red, orange, and yellow icicles.

The Gardens has quite a few water features, and they use them to nice effect, illuminating a waterfall, and placing lighted balls on top of their water lily pond.

There are two places to get snacks (which are usually pretty highbrow.) One is and indoor place right near the entrance. The other is an outdoor area towards the back of the Gardens.

Lights on the water at Denver Botanic Gradens
Lights on the water at Denver Botanic Gradens

Blossoms of Light - Denver Botanic Gardens 2016

© 2014 Adele Jeunette

What Did I Miss? Tell Me About Your Favorite Display in Littleton, Englewood, or Centennial

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    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Drive on Windermere beyond the Elementary school heading towards Ridge Road

    • profile image

      Caleb Schallenmuller 

      9 months ago

      You missed a computerized light display that is on 7148 S Grant St Centennial Co. The show has been up for nine years now and has 35,000 LED lights programmed to music that is transmitted over the radio on 98.1FM. Hope to see this on your tour soon!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      3 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I enjoyed these pictures very much.


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