Denver’s Mile High Tree, augmented reality at Denver Botanic Gardens and more to do this weekend

Note: All events are subject to last-minute cancellation or postponement due to changing COVID mandates and conditions. Visit each event’s website for health and safety protocols, as well as ticketing schedules, before attending, and stay up-to-date on city rules by visiting denvergov.org/government/covid-19-information.

Denver’s Mile High Tree shines on

Through Jan. 1. The twinkling Mile High Tree was a sudden icon of downtown’s holiday festivities after its 2019 debut. And why not? The 110-foot-tall structure, which bills itself as North America’s tallest “digital tree” (lit by LEDs, of course), caters to immersive selfies and slack-jawed families in equal measure.

Undulating waves of color ripple over the 39-foot wide structure, which sports a whopping 60,000 strands of lights that sync with music. It’s open from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1, near Welton and 16th streets along the 16th Street Mall. Free. More at denver.org/milehighholidays/tree, including getting there, parking, nearby deals and COVID-19 protocols.

Flying high in Lowry

Through June 2022. Indoor events feel dicey at the moment due to the omicron variant, but Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum has a literal airplane hangar full of space to showcase its unique vehicles and exhibits. Located on the former Lowry Air Force Base, the state’s official air and space museum last week opened its latest offering, “Skyward: Breakthroughs In Flight.”

Visitors can learn about aerospace milestones and the stories behind them while checking out priceless historical artifacts — such as scraps of fabric and mission patches that traveled to the moon and back, or items from the first trans-Atlantic and sound barrier-breaking flights.

Now open, the exhibition runs through June 2022 at 7711 E. Academy Blvd. (look for the giant airplane outside). 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Timed tickets are $10-$17, and kids under 3 are free. Seniors also receive free admission on Sunday, Dec. 26. 303-360-5360 or wingsmuseum.org

“Seeing the Invisible” at Denver Botanic Gardens

Through August 2022. AR, or augmented reality technology, lays digital images over the top of actual ones in real-time, adding to or changing the viewing experience in three dimensions. The concept continues to evolve at Denver Botanic Gardens, where Denver-favorite and global artists such as Aie WeiWei, El Anatsui, Mohammed Kazem, Sarah Meyohas, Pamela Rosenkranz and Timur Si-Qin have assembled contemporary AR works.

Having debuted in September of this year and running through August 2022, the Gardens’ exhibition is one of 12 locations across six countries hosting the “Seeing the Invisible” collaborative. Viewers can point their smartphones at various, specific locations to unlock the hidden digital artworks — the same ones that can be seen at the 12 other worldwide, participating gardens.

It’s painless, novel virtual engagement if you’re already visiting, and included with the price of admission. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. through Dec. 31 (after that, hours will change). 1007 York St. Timed tickets: $11-$15; kids 2 and under are free. 720-865-3500 or botanicgardens.org/exhibits/seeing-invisible to download the free app.

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