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Contest: Festive Fun at Denver’s 2016 Zoo Lights  

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There’s no place like The Zoo for the holidays. Wait, that’s not how the song goes? Well, perhaps it should. Because Denver’s 26th Annual Zoo Lights is officially illuminating the Mile High city this holiday season.
With sixty (yes, 6-0) acres of ridiculously festive lights, you’ll be hard-pressed to leave this event without feeling oh-so-holly-and-jolly. The fun starts immediately upon entering the zoo, where you’ll embark upon a self-guided journey through a wild safari a-glow with magic. Treetops will shimmer against the sky as 150+ glistening animal sculptures leap across lawns and peer out of bushes laced with sparkle. Your path will be dotted with flickering candy-canes, over-sized wreaths, and glittering animal-themed tunnels beckoning you to explore
. And just in case strolling through a wonderful world of twinkling goodness doesn’t seem to put a jingle in your step (who ARE you?!), you’ll also have the opportunity to gaze upon the Zoo’s traveling exhibit “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea,” ride a caroling ‘choo choo’ train, visit Santa’s workshop, nosh on Kettle corn and cinnamon churros and even sip on some (spiked) hot cocoa in the process. Be honest, that last one sold you, didn’t it? 🙂
Jokes aside, Denver’s Zoo Lights offers a one-of-a-kind, stunning visual display with seasonal entertainment for humans of all ages. I wholly recommend it to my Denver-area mama tribe.
If you decide to check it out, here are a few quick reminders + tips to ensure nothing but holiday magic ensues for you and your ‘Zoo crew’:
  • The event runs nightly from 5:30-9 p.m. until January 1, 2017.

  • Tickets do cost money, but not a lot. Cost-savings tip: If you attend between now and Dec, 15, you can take advantage of ‘Value Night’ discounts. Anything after 12/16 is considered a ‘Peak Night’ and admission will be slightly more expensive. Early bird gets the savings, y’all.

    • Adults 12-64: $13 (Value), $17 (Peak)

    • Children 3-11: $9 (Value), $12 (Peak)

    • Senior Citizens: $11 (Value), $14 (Peak)

    • Note: Kids under 2 are free. Additional discounts apply for Zoo Members.

  • A bit of planning goes a long way. Arrive early (for ease-of-parking purposes) and buy your tickets ahead of time (for line-avoiding purposes).denverzoolights1

  • Parents of wee ones will appreciate a stroller. It’s not super easy to make a quick exit, so you’ll want to have a wheeled option if (er, when) their little legs wear out. Added perk: it’s a lot easier to keep tabs on toddlers when they’re strapped in vs. wandering the zoo in a holiday-infused daze.

  • Animals sleep at night. Set expectations with your kiddo(s) that there won’t be any real animals on display. That being said, you may be able to blow those expectations out of the water if any of the animal’s indoor holding areas happen to be open for viewing. My family and I got lucky enough to see the rhino and hippo in their respective sleeping quarters. Super cool and unexpected bonus!

  • Last, but not least: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Layer up with blankets, mittens and hats to maximize body temps (and therefore enjoyment) for all parties.

Happy zooing… and holidays… to you and yours!
sam(antha) cronin is a former-google-employee-turned-writer, #boymom of two and proud wifey to a professional soccer player… also named sam(uel). she blogs about parenting, dream-chasing and her misadventures trying to balance the two at she’s also good for an occasional 140-characters of quasi-wisdom on the twitter


Mile High Mamas is giving away four tickets to Zoo Lights. You may enter as many as five times below.

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