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Tuesday 25 July 2023

Bright Nights at Four Mile Historic Park

Denver nights will be looking a little brighter than usual over the next ten weeks thanks to a special new exhibition that has popped up in Four Mile Historic Park.

Bright Nights is a colorful display of illuminated sculptures and interactive fun that is sure to delight the whole family. Based on the Chinese tradition of lantern festivals, Bright Nights brings larger than life sculptures of animals and Chinese folklore to life through millions of twinkling lights. 

Spread over Four Mile Historic Park's twelve acres, the exhibition features colorful whales, penguins, axolotls, fish, butterflies, peacocks, pandas, farm animals, sea horses and so many more creatures that twinkle in the dark and, in some cases, even move. You'll also find terracotta warriors, the animals of the Chinese zodiac and a giant steam breathing dragon on display.

An interactive children's area features lights to jump on, lighted swings, interactive displays, a mirrored room with dazzling lights, a glowing rain cloud, a glowing see saw and so much more.

We were lucky enough to be invited to a VIP night last weekend and it was such a fun night out. Read on to see all my favorite pics from the night and all the info you need to know about visiting Bright Nights, including some handy tips.

Bright Nights runs from 7pm through 10pm (11pm on Fridays and Saturdays) so if you arrive earlier on it's still pretty light outside. I definitely recommend arriving early in the evening as it's fun to see how the exhibits change as it gets darker. Plus, you really will need all that time to see and experience everything. While the installations really shine when it's dark, they're pretty cool to see while the sun is still up too. This is also the best time to snap some great pics of your kids with the installations. Once the sun goes down, getting decent pics of fast moving kids is not always so easy!

Bright Nights is created by Tianyu Arts & Culture Inc, the largest Chinese lantern festival producer in the US, and as I mentioned earlier, many of the installations pay homage to Chinese culture and tradition. The giant fire breathing dragon (or rather, steam breathing dragon) was definitely a highlight for me. The terracotta warriors were also a highlight. My kids loved checking out the cutesy sculptures of the animals that make up the Chinese zodiac. They enjoyed finding their animals as well as mine (tiger, horse and snake) and reading all about the character traits that each animal represents. Keeping with the Chinese theme, you'll also find lots of panda sculptures on display throughout Bright Nights.

The interactive kids area was definitely a highlight for the kids. Here we found all sorts of fun installations to play with. The kids jumped on glowing lights, relaxed on glowing swings, drew pictures on a giant sequin board, danced in a mirrored room, played under a rain cloud, rode a lighted see saw, posed for photos with fun props, checked out their reflections in funhouse mirrors, and so much more.

No light display is complete without a twinkling tunnel or two to walk through, and Bright Nights has got you covered there with three tunnels perfect for snapping pictures. There's a tunnel shaped like a giant shark, a tunnel covered in wisteria and a tunnel with glowing vines and giant geometric flowers.  

The animal sculptures are sure to be a hit with visitors of all ages. Many of the sculptures are based on seas creatures with axolotls, puffer fish, penguins, seagulls, jelly fish, sharks, octopus, crabs and squids on larger than life display. 

Now for all the info you need to know to visit Bright Nights...

Bright Nights is on display at Four Mile Historic Park, 715 St Forest St, Denver.

The season runs for ten weeks from July 26th through October 1st 2023.

Bright Nights is open from 7pm to 10pm on Wednesday, Thursdays and Sunday, and from 7pm to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Tickets can be purchased online in advance at https://www.fourmilepark.org/brightnights/

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 3 - 12. Children under 3 are admitted free of charge.

The small parking lot at Four Mile Historic Park is reserved for drop off and disabled parking. On street parking is available along Exposition Avenue. Paid parking ($10 flat rate) is also available in a parking lot of the corner of S Forest Street and E Custer Place.  

The terrain in Four Mile Historic Park can be a little bumpy in places so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Wagons are a great alternative to strollers if you're visiting with little ones.

Make sure to bring bug spray! With all of the rain we've had lately there are plenty of hungry mosquitos around.

Outside food and drink is allowed (with the exception of alcohol) so feel free to bring snacks and water bottles for the kids. 

Bathrooms are located on site in the Grant Family Education Center (where you'll also find the gift shop and exit) and the Gate House. 

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