Colorado, Destinations, North America

Why You Should Visit Denver Botanic Gardens In The Winter

Each year, Denver Botanic Gardens hosts Blossoms of Light during the evenings in winter. I’ve gone three of the last 5 years and it’s always a beautiful experience. As you would expect, very few plants are in full bloom during the cold, winter months in Colorado, making the Denver Botanic Gardens an unlikely tourist stop. However, with the Blossoms of Light getting better and better every year, the Denver Botanic Gardens is often sold out on chilly nights, especially around Christmas and New Years.

Christmas lights Denver

When to go

Blossoms of light takes place later November through the first of the year, typically. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and I advise getting there before 5:00 to get in line.

Where to see Christmas lights in DenverDenver Botanic Gardens sculpture

What to wear

Bundle up! Even if the forecast says it’ll be a mild night, I highly recommend a large winter coat, gloves, a warm hat and thick socks. Standing in line is always miserable, it’s hard to stand outside in the cold because everything just seems colder! Walking through the Botanic Gardens is a little more bearable, but I still feel like putting my butt right up to the car heat vents when we leave.

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Christmas light photographyDenver Botanic Gardens in the winter

What to expect

Expect large crowds. Expect little opportunities for photos due to the crowd of people always in front of and behind you. There is a trail assigned to Blossoms of Light that you will follow. The trail is lined with gorgeous lights and displays. For the past few years, they’ve also had an interactive exhibit at the end of the trail with a voice activated light display. This allows you to sing into a microphone and see the lights dance to the beat of your song. Pretty neat, and a huge hit with the kids!

Interactive exhibit at Denver Blossoms of Light

Kid friendly activity

Blossoms of Light is great for the kids – as long as their properly bundled up! Children love to see the colorful lights and bright displays. There is also a “short route” that allows people with children to exit the trail early, should the children become restless. The regular route takes approximately an hour to walk through.

Winter photography Denvertaking photos at night

Photography tips

Taking low light photos is difficult. As is taking photos with crowds of people passing, and taking pictures of people against a brightly colored background. Be sure to bring a camera that takes good low light photos and also consider bringing a tripod. A tripod will help you keep your camera still, which will avoid the blurry light effect you often get with Christmas lights.

Popping the question

This past Christmas Eve, I helped my friend plan his proposal to his girlfriend at the Denver Botanic Gardens. She loves Christmas, and he wanted the big moment to take place in a Christmas wonderland. Planning the big moment was fairly easy, in theory. We wanted to catch the moment in a brightly lit spot. In reality, this was harder to achieve because our camera wasn’t handling the low light well. Thankfully, the bride-to-be had a new smart phone that was able to capture the moment perfectly. We had to do a little crowd control to ensure that no one would get in the shot. If you’re going to get down on one knee during Blossoms of light, I recommend at least two friends be with you to take photos and manage the line forming behind you.

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Getting engaged at Botanic Gardens

Blossoms of Light is becoming a tradition for our family. It’s a beautiful outdoor activity during the winter in Denver, and those types of activities are few and far between! What is your winter family tradition? Comment below.

Thanks for reading,




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