There is something magical about mixing fine art glass in beds of lush flowers. It’s not a combination most people think about, but the pairing creates a whimsical world of beauty and light. Colorado families are lucky to get to explore a fantasy world of fine art and flora at The Denver Botanic Gardens. Internationally-respected glass artist Dale Chihuly has dotted dozens of his stunning sculptures throughout the Garden’s 24 acres of already-amazing beauty.
Around every corner, down every path, there is something for your kids to discover. We took a teenager, a third-grader, and a toddler. Each had tons of fun in their own way. Our teen noticed the beauty and artistry and how Chihuly’s work is inspired by swirls, spirals, and spikes found in the natural world. She snapped photos and uploaded them to her social media platforms, which means something: It’s cool. No teenager is going to share something that’s meh or leh or whatever word they use for lame these days.
Our elementary school-aged child thought the sculptures looked like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book and movies like Frozen. The winding trails and paths create a wonderland to explore and she acted like she was on a journey of discovery. She had a blast.
Our busy toddler simply liked trotting around the many paths, squealing about water features, climbing benches, and watching butterflies.
The Denver Botanic Gardens Chihuly exhibit can mean something to people of all ages. As a mom, I was glad to have a chance to expose my kids to fine art in a gorgeous outdoor family-friendly setting.
Here are some tips when taking your kids to see Chihuly at The Denver Botanic Gardens:
~ Learn more about Dale Chihuly before you go.
~ Consider joining one of the Chihuly Family Tours. A guided experience will help teach you and your kids about the art of Dale Chihuly and the gorgeous grounds of the gardens. Click here to find about upcoming tour times.
~ Most of the paths are stroller-accessible, with a few exceptions for some of the out-of-the way places. It was easy to park our stroller and go off-roading for a bit with our toddler.
~ There are two wonderful cafes to stop and have a snack or lunch. Our favorite is The Hive, located near the center of the Gardens. It has covered tables and a big deck that overlooks one of the most iconic water gardens anywhere, The Monet Pool. This is the hottest spot to sculpture/people watch. The mix of glass and floating flowers lilies reflecting on the black water will take your breath away. It’s a must-see.
~ The best bathrooms in the Gardens are located in Marnie’s Pavilion.
~ Chihuly will be at the Botanic Gardens until November 30th. Summer hours are from 9am to 9pm on weekdays and 8am to 9pm on weekends. Consider going early in the day or in the evening when it’s cooler.
~ Don’t forget about visiting the Mordecai Children’s Garden, which is located on the east side of York Street, accessed on the top level of the parking garage. You can easily make a day of your visit.
~ Take along some simple art supplies, like a spiral tablet of paper and some colored pencils. We saw several kids sitting and sketching their impressions of the art and the flowers.
For more information, visit the Denver Botanic Gardens to check out admission prices, parking details, and learn about other upcoming exhibits.