Sometimes an experience is the best gift to give, so why not change it up this holiday season? Instead of toiling over wrapping pricey gifts, last minute shopping, and crowded malls, consider taking the family on a new outdoor adventure! There are so many wonderful things to do and activities to participate in outside in Colorado this winter. Here, we have come up with our suggested "Top 5" family outdoor experiences for this holiday season! 1. A Holiday Hike: Holiday hikes are free (most of the time) and can provide an opportunity to spend valuable time with family and friends. Hot cocoa compliments any holiday hike and you may also want to consider birding, bringing along a native plant book or animal tracks activity on your adventure. There are plenty of places in Colorado to go hiking – some can be as far as a couple hours away, or as close as your local state park. 2. Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light: Check out over one million colorful lights draped in beautiful designs in the gardens at Chatfield and Downtown Denver. See sparkling passages and accompanied by holiday tunes and treats! 3. Find your Christmas Tree with the U.S. Forest Service: Christmas Tree cutting permits are $10 at any local ranger station. Find a near by ranger district and tree cutting permit area near you. Make sure you know the basic safety procedures for cutting trees and you have the proper safety equipment like warm clothes, closed toed shoes, hard hat or helmet, eye protection, gloves and a sharp saw or ax. 4. Explore Winter Wildlife: Explore the Winter Wildlife Wonderland children’s and family education program brought to you by the Wildlife Experience. The day includes winter wildlife art (campers will create a piece of winter wildlife art to take home and offer as a holiday gift), geocaching, and snowshoeing! 5. Winter Sport Activities: There are so many ways to be healthy outside in the winter! You can take the family on a snowshoe adventure, cross country ski through national and state parks, or downhill alpine ski at a local resort! We have a lot of great partners that can provide these opportunities all around the state – check out more options on our main page.

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