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May 2015 • Online Edition

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Denver Botanic Gardens, Zoo Light Up For The Season | Print |  E-mail

by Amy Allen

Families across the metro area will head out on foot, bicycle or in the family chariot to take in the holiday lighting displays that go such a long way to making the season merry and oh-so-bright.

MILLIONS OF COLORFUL LIGHTS, ANIMATED DISPLAYS AND HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT will brighten the season for visitors to the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Denver Zoo beginning early next month. Photo of Denver Botanic Gardens: Scott Dressel-Martin.

If the neighbor’s best imitation of Chevy Chase doesn’t fill the bill, and you’ve tired of those over-the-top efforts that back up traffic on neighborhood streets with brightness-of-the-sun displays making sleep almost impossible, you may do well to set aside a night or two to take in a pair of the metro area’s very finest holiday light shows.

Zoo Lights will brighten the night sky at the Denver Zoo every evening, from Fri., Dec. 10, to Sun., Jan. 2, 5-9p.m. Take your family on a holiday light safari with more than 38 brilliantly illuminated acres of lights featuring upwards of 150 animated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they’re least expected.

While some zoo residents will be bedded down for the evening, visitors will likely catch a glimpse of elephants, rhinos, hippos, bighorn sheep, reindeer, bison, polar bear and other night-owl creatures.

The zoo gives children several special opportunities to get up close and personal with Santa Claus throughout the holiday season.

Bring the kids, your camera and an appetite as Santa takes a break from his hectic holiday schedule to join you for a special breakfast buffet. Breakfast with Santa is offered Sat.-Sun., Dec. 11-12, at 9 and 10:30a.m. each day. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 2 and under are free). Space is limited, so reserve your spot early by calling 303-376-6741, or visiting www.denverzoo.org to claim your seat.

On Wed., Dec. 22, 6-8p.m., kids are welcomed to enjoy Dessert with Santa. As with the breakfast events, tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children and gratis for ages 2 and under. Live animal encounters and special demonstrations are included, and don’t forget to take in Zoo Lights before heading home.

Denver Zoo is located in City Park, on E. 23rd Ave., between Colorado Blvd. and York St. Admission to Zoo Lights costs $8 for adults; $4 for kids under age 12; and $6 for seniors 65 and over. Members receive a $2 discount on all tickets. For information, call 303-376-4800 or visit www.denverzoo.org.

Just a hop, skip and a jump to the south, Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St.,  invites you to Blossoms of Light, Dec. 3-Jan. 2, 5:30-10p.m. each night, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Over one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs highlight the Gardens’ winter beauty. Lovebirds in your group will find well-planned, romantic kissing spots, intricate ice sculptures will be placed throughout the winding pathways, and the adventurous in your family will take to the HoloSpex glasses that add extra twinkle to the nightly displays.

Warm drinks and tasty treats will also be available for purchase, and seasonal entertainment will be presented on select evenings.

Those of you considering popping the question to your beloved this holiday season may want to look into the gardens’ new Engagement Package, available nightly 6-9p.m., during Blossoms of Light.

For $68 per couple ($58 for members) the gardens will provide a private, red-linen draped table for two in a secluded setting, sparkling cider, a personalized sign (“Will you marry me, Bev!”), cupcakes and much more. Each proposal will be allotted one hour.

Only two Engagement Packages are scheduled per evening and reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tickets to Blossoms of Light cost $9.50 for adults, and $6.50 for children. Members receive a $2 discount, as do seniors 65+. Ages 3 and under are free. For information, visit www.botanicgardens.org or call 720-865-3500.
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