Botanic Gardens

The Blossoms of Light is a holiday tradition at the Denver Botanic Gardens, and this year, I got to be a part of the lighting of the lights. Even if you have been to the Botanic Gardens during the summer, or even during the day at any time of year, the grounds look completely different when accented by over a million little light bulbs!

Before you even start wandering through the Gardens, you may want to stop in to the café to grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to keep you warm. Or if you need a place to sit down and catch a little break from the cold after your trip, it’s a cozy place to relax and warm up again after exploring the lights. They have snacks and food as well if you plan to stay awhile and boost your blood sugar before heading back out into the winter evening. I went with the large hot chocolate so it would last through the walk, as it can take up to 45 minutes to travel the entire path.

Because of the weather, it’s important to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes so you can take in all the lights that decorate the path through the gardens. That way, you can take your time admiring all the displays and colorful decorations along the way. The path starts off heading south along the garden walls, and heads back west to curve around the pond. The further along you go, you’ll see something new that draws your eye.

Much of the snow was still on the ground in Denver, and it buried some of the lights, creating that lovely glow effect through the layer of snow and ice. I always have loved the look of lights when they are covered in snow. If you’re the same way, you may want to go on a night when there’s been a recent snowfall to appreciate it.

One of my favorite parts of the walk-through was the dancing lights that appear on the ground in certain places on the path. I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from, and at first, I thought they were glow-in-the-dark bits of snowmelt! I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you where they are really coming from, but if you plan to visit the Blossoms of Light with the little ones, this is a fun puzzle for them to figure out.

This year, the Blossoms of Light also includes ice sculptures encasing flowers and other items to make them really stand out. Although the lights are a treat for anyone’s holiday, you can get HoloSpex glasses and watch them add an extra glow to the displays. Unfortunately, 3-D glasses tend to give me a headache, so I skipped that experience this time around.

The Go Colorado crew stopped along the way to take pictures and enjoy the lights, but as the temperatures started dipping lower and lower into the twenties and the wind picked up, we had to step up the pace before our toes froze inside our shoes!

Perhaps one of the most charming features of the walk through the Blossoms of Light is the holiday music drifting from the amphitheater. The theater itself is decorated with lights, but depending on where you are along the path, you can hear the sound of a familiar holiday tune coming from the speakers.

Whether you’re six or sixty, the Blossoms of Light is a beautiful display that is sure to get anyone into the holiday spirit!

If You Go

If you are willing to brave the wintry weather that is typical of Denver on December evenings, be sure to visit the Botanic Gardens between November 30 and January 1. The exhibit will continue through Christmas Eve, December 25th, and New Year’s Eve. The lights are turned on every night at 5:30 and you can stay to enjoy them until 9:30.

The Blossoms of Light at the Botanic Gardens are located at the York Street location at 1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206. Admission is $12 for adults, but discounts are offered for groups, military service members, children, students, Botanic Gardens members, and seniors. To find out more about ticket prices and the Gardens, visit


All content provided by Jessica Lave, photos by Travis Kline.