Enjoy some music, dance, light shows and ice skating

The holiday season is hectic enough with cards to send, cookies to bake and gifts to wrap; throw in a calendar full of craft fairs, Santa sightings and sleigh rides and it can quickly become more stressful than festive. The trick to turning holiday season chaos into quality time with loved ones is to narrow the multitude of events down to a few that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you prefer to try out something new each year, or find that one favorite new family tradition, these extra special events taking place across northern Colorado this season are sure to fit the bill.

The Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, just east of the Promenade Shops in Loveland is home to a brand new holiday light spectacular for the first time this year. “Winter Wonderlights,” taking place nightly from 5-9pm through Jan. 7, features a park-wide choreographed light show in 30-minute intervals. On weekends the light show will be accompanied by live performances by special guests including Chappelow Orchestra and Jazz Band and Zimbabwean Marimba dance troupe The Kutandara, along with on-site vendors, and the largest inflatable igloo and L.E.D. mappable Christmas tree in Colorado. The event is free, however canned food donations are being accepted nightly to benefit the Larimer County Food Bank. For a complete schedule of performances visit www.visitlovelandco.org/winterwonderlights/.

The Greeley Ice Haus, located at 900 8th Ave, will host a holiday figure skating show on  Saturday, Dec. 9 from 5:30-7pm. This USFSA-sanctioned event will feature nearly 30 skaters ages 4 to 15 from the Mountain View Skating Club and the Ice Haus skating club. This year’s theme is the The Nightmare Before Christmas, and will feature characters and a script loosely based on the movie, along with an assortment of traditional Christmas music. Tickets cost $7, with children two and under free. For more information visit www.greeleyrec.com.

No holiday season would be complete without a viewing of the classic ballet, “The Nutcracker.” The Lincoln Center at 417 W. Magnolia St. in Fort Collins offers the perfect opportunity to catch a showing of this holiday favorite, with local dance companies performing “Nutcracker with a Twist” on Dec. 1-3, and Canyon Concert Ballet with the Fort Collins Symphony performing “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 8-10. “Nutcracker with a Twist” will tell the well-loved story through a variety of dance genres from ballet to hip-hop, while Canyon Concert Ballet will perform the traditional version of the ballet. To purchase tickets visit www.lctix.com.

Berthoud Snowfest will return for a 2nd season from Dec. 13-16. The sanctioned Colorado snow sculpting competition will take place throughout Berthoud and will feature a variety of events for the whole family, including snow stomping on Dec. 11 and 12, a Snowfest launch party on Dec. 13, the sanctioned sculpting competition Dec. 13-16, a kids’ snow sculpting event on Dec. 14, and an artisan market and lighted parade on Dec. 16th. For times and locations of various events visit www.berthoudsnowfest.com.