Wish I’d been able to get my Denver visit on the blog before Christmas, as now it feels wrong to post something holiday-related! But my friend Molly and I had so much fun at the Denver Zoo Lights that I’m eager to share it now with the rest of my Denver coverage.
As far as I know, at least two major Denver tourism attractions have holiday light displays — the zoo, and the botanical gardens. Molly works for a tourism company in Denver and invited me as her guest to the zoo lights. It was such a fun night.
There was an exhibit called Washed Ashore running throughout the zoo, featuring animal sculptures made from collected trash and plastic that have been recovered from the ocean. This artwork is scattered all over the zoo so it was fun to keep stumbling upon these creatures. As I type this, the exhibit is currently in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
Here is the first one we encounter — a jellyfish!
Have I mentioned that I love jellyfish? If you also share an affinity for these creatures, check out my post on swimming in Jellyfish Lake in Palau and visiting a jellyfish exhibit at the Osaka Aquarium.
Here is another part of the recycled materials sculpture display:
A close-up look reveals the materials that were recovered from ocean trash — we see items like toothbrushes and toilet seats. All discarded into the ocean.
Natasha the Turtle:
An ice sculpture artist:
Walking through the lights…
An illuminated outline of a silverback gorilla:
Love the cozy winter feel of these holiday lights over a frozen stream:
Thanks for inviting me, Molly!
Will stop for s’mores! We picked up a s’mores kit at one of the food huts and then roast marshmallows over an open fire.
A few more Washed Ashore animal sculptures:
Only a few of the big animal enclosures were open, and I got a glimpse of this rhino just before he/she disappeared from view:
The entire aquarium / underwater life building was open — I love sea creatures and found this part fascinating. I’m glad the zoo decided to open this section during the holiday lights display.
Here’s the polar bear section — no bear sightings, but I love how these colorful lights reflect on the “ice” (really rock) to mimic the Northern Lights:
I’ve saved my favorite Washed Ashore recycled animal sculpture for last — love this colorful seal.
I’m not one to actively seek out holiday lights, but I’m so glad we went to this one. It was great to combine a tourism activity (the zoo) with a holiday one (the lights). Consider adding it to your Denver itinerary if you’re visiting in November / December!