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Winter Wonderland Found

I couldn’t wait to take our whole family to the Denver Botanic Garden’s Blossoms of Light this year. A few of us went last year. We had so much fun, we talked about it in March, in June, in September. The beauty, enchantment, and whimsy stuck with us long after winter sailed away. Everyone was thrilled to go based on our starry-eyed recounting of our memorable night. Sadly, sickness hit last week and this week, so I was only able to whisk away a few of the kiddos to experience this year’s rendition. The rest of the gang hope to go later this week.

Color and texture

2013 at the Gardens did not disappoint. I was pleased to note they changed some of the displays and the colors in the various gardens. It wasn’t that last years wasn’t amazing. It was! It was nice the lighting and design geniuses are dedicated to keeping it fresh.

Aidan, Joel, and Tommy

There are several familiar areas under construction right now—notably the new Science Pyramid. Many of the water features are being improved, so this year it seemed there weren’t as many water-related displays. The kids were slightly disappointed because kids + water = good times. However, they thought the Enchanted Forest was better this year. I did, too. Thousands of tiny points of light dance around on the ground, bouncing over coats and faces as you walk. Look closely at bushes lining the walkway because many are bathed in this magical effect.

Bright lights everywhere

It was beautiful. Photos can’t fully convey the experience. Part of the fun is being a bit cold, walking along in the dark, oohing and aahing. Don’t forget to stop for cocoa and cider. We did. This year, nobody spilled her entire cocoa all over my pants!


The kids called this The Cherry Blossom Tree

One of the loveliest things about Blossoms of Light is how they use light to enhance the natural beauty of the winter night gardens. After all, they are experts in plants, trees, and flowers, so seeing them illuminated is a huge treat. For example, prickly pear cacti with a twist:

Scrappy dead branches find new life.

I bought a pair of snowflake HoloSpex glasses for the kids to share. They’re $2 and sold at a cart near the entrance to the marked path. I took a photo through one of the lenses.

through snowflake lenses

The Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light runs now through January 1, 2014. Please don’t think of this gorgeous tradition as simply a Christmas thing to do. I can’t think of a better way to battle the dark and cold of winter than setting it ablaze with shimmering color. It would be a fun post-Christmas blah buster. It would be a highly romantic way to ring in the new year, too.

You can buy tickets online. Members receive a discount, kids 2 and younger are free. The paths are stroller friendly and bathrooms are open so don’t worry about taking small kiddos.

(The Denver Botanic Gardens gave tickets to our family so we could check it out and share our thoughts and experiences. The opinions are mine and my kids’.)

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