Strolling through the Denver Zoo after dark during the holidays is something of a tradition for our family. I remember huddling next to the polar bear tank while wolfing down a sub sandwich on a frosty Colorado night when I was no more than 7.
Year after year, we’d return and gaze at millions of lights across dozens of acres — sometimes with a new nephew or two and sometimes with only my parents and sister.
The zoo has drawn massive crowds for this event ever since I was born 25 years ago. For its silver anniversary, the staff nearly doubled the area it adorned with lights — up to 70 acres from the normal 38 — and added an “Electric Jungle” and Northern Lights display west of the polar bear habitat.
It wasn’t as chilly as it was in my youth and without any little ones this year, we were able to keep a brisk pace and remain warm.
From the fields to the east of the zoo, the trees in the parking lot appeared to shimmer with snow. Up close, though, the branches were dry and barren.