Cuckoo clocks, bratwurst, Bavarian melodies, and free ice skating are exactly what I expect for holiday fun, and that's exactly what I found in Downtown Denver.

The Denver Christkindl Market is going on its sixteenth year (open through December 23), where the 16th St. Mall and Arapahoe St. are transformed into a German wonderland. Vendors serve German specialties like baked apples, gingerbread biscuits, sausages, gluehwein (spicy mulled wine), and of course, beer. You can also get some holiday shopping done with unique German gifts.

Overall, it's just a fun place to walk through and take in the holiday spirit and pretend that you're in Germany. Just kidding, it's super Americanized but still very fun, especially if you have German heritage like I do.

Just on the other side of the clock tower is Skyline Park's Southwest Rink, where people can skate  for free (there's a $2 rental for skates, but if you bring your own then it's truly free). The ice is really choppy and there are a lot of people on the rink at one time, but it's so worth checking out.