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Sunday 15 December 2019

Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens

Last year over the kids' Christmas break we took a trip to Denver from California. It was kind of a scouting trip to see if we'd like living here and also to experience a snowy Christmas. 

While we missed the big day itself (our flight was late Christmas night) there was still plenty of Christmas fun to take part in over our week and a half in Colorado. Unlike other cities where the Christmas light displays and holiday activities end as soon as Christmas rolls around, in Colorado it seems to be pretty standard for the Christmas fun to extend well into January. This was great for us arriving after Christmas as we didn't have to miss out on any of the fun!

One of my favorite Christmas events that we attended last year was Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens. You may remember seeing my recent visit to Glow at the Gardens over Halloween. These two events are favorites with locals and visitors alike in Denver and draw huge crowds. Who doesn't love walking through millions of twinkling lights while sipping hot chocolate?

We can't wait to go see Blossoms of Light again this Winter, but in the meantime, here's a look at last years spectacular light show.

Like the Glow in the Garden event, Blossoms of Light sees the Denver Botanic Gardens transformed into a colorful glowing and twinkling wonderland. Trees that were once bare bloom with tiny lights. Glowing orbs float (or appear to float) on frozen ponds. The smell of hot chocolate fills the chilly Winter air. Colorful lights flash and sparkle in time to holiday music. It's simply a magical experience. 

The kids' favorite thing of all was viewing the lights through the special glasses that we were given upon entry. When viewed through these glasses, each of the lights became a tiny, twinkling gingerbread man as if by magic. It was pretty magical. The kids soon discovered that this effect worked on any light they looked at (they thought it hilarious that the light atop a nearby crane became a gingerbread man too) and that when worn upside down, the glasses made the lights into upside down gingerbread men.       

How cute are all those little glowing gingerbread men?

I found it hard to narrow it down to just one thing as my favorite, but I  was quite fond of the glowing balls of light that were dotted throughout the long grasses. They contrasted nicely with the nearby trees with only their trunks wrapped in lights. I want some of these for our front yard!

I was also quite partial to the Woodland Mosaic Solarium which was set up with a wintry scene inside. Unlike my visit to Glow in the Gardens where I was able to walk through this small glass building for a closer look, it was off limits this time. It was rather pretty to look at though.

The large glowing balls that seemed to float above a pond were rather pretty in their simplicity. They changed color every so often, with some colors emphasizing the frozen surface of the pond more than others. The kids thought they were perfectly round balloons at first and wondered how they hovered so perfectly!

The kids were also quite impressed with the field of flashing lights that blinked in time to music. They were even more impressed when they discovered that they could help program the lights through a touch panel. 

To be honest, every part of Blossoms of Light was my favorite! All those trees covered in twinkling lights; it's really actually quite simple, but the effect of so many glowing trees, bushes and walkways is something else. 

It was a pretty frosty night when we visited Blossoms of Light, and while it didn't snow while we were there, it had snow earlier and the ground was still covered in a layer of white. This added to the magic, but as you can see from the pics, it meant that we had to bundle up. Even with jackets, mittens, gloves and beanies the kids were rather cold. Mathilde rode in the stroller with a warm blanket over her which kept her extra snuggly - but also resulted in her falling asleep and missing most of the exhibits. Having eased ourselves into Colorado Winter this year we're yet to wear scarves, and the kids rarely wear beanies. It's amazing how quickly we've acclimatized! We may not looked quite as rugged up when we visit again this year.

This year Blossoms of Light is on display nightly from 5pm to 9pm (last entry at 8:30pm) through January 3rd. That includes Christmas Eve, Christmas night and New Year's Eve, which is pretty uncommon for events like this.

For more information and to book tickets visit https://www.botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/blossoms-light

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