Going to Denver this holiday season? Walk inside the digital tree


Travelers visiting Denver this holiday season won’t find any pine or fir needles on the city’s signature Mile High tree. Instead, they’ll find LED lights — 60,000, to be specific — on a 110-foot-tall sculptured tree at one of the entrances to the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

“We have never actually done anything like this before,” says Ashley Geisheker, associate director of communications at the city’s tourism office, Visit Denver. The tree will feature programmed lighting using pixel-mapping technology and choreographed to music that changes every 30 minutes throughout the evening.

Technically, even though the sculpture is shaped like a Christmas tree, it strives to be more inclusive. During some shows, the dazzling lights will flicker to multicultural musical numbers linked to Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Interior of the digital tree in Denver.
(Nikki Rae/Visit Denver)

Also, for those who want to check out the inside, the installation can hold 140 people for what tourism officials call an “immersive interior viewing experience.” It’s open to the public, and admission is free.

You can visit between 5 and 10:30 p.m. through Jan.1 and between 5:30 and 9 p.m. Jan. 2-31.

“There was an opportunity to create a new holiday attraction in Denver,” says Richard Scharf, president and chief executive of Visit Denver. “Given the other notable lighting displays throughout the city — including at the Denver Zoo, Denver Botanic Gardens and both Union Station and the City & County Building downtown — a spectacular lighted art installation was a great fit.”