Bright Nights at Four Mile Historic Park
A lantern festival is the perfect activity for cool summer nights.


While browsing around for things to do in Denver for my dad’s birthday, I came across this event which I knew right away both my parents (and hopefully my brother, his girlfriend, and Yem) would love: Bright Nights at Four Mile.

Four Mile is Denver’s oldest park, 12 acres showcasing historically accurate replicas, a working farm, and a museum, to tell the story of Denver’s western heritage. Why, then, should this be the location for a Chinese lantern festival? Your guess is as good as mine. I must say though, that this event has piqued my interest in the park, and I intend to visit during normal operations. Mission accomplished, I suppose.

Aside from any feelings of (in)adequacy I might have harbored towards the nature of the event, it absolutely did not disappoint. It is perfect for families (we all went together once), and just as fun for a date night (Yem and I enjoyed it just as much). 

For 2023, the event is running from July 26th to October 1st, and tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids. The tickets are timed entry, but they don’t seem to be too strict about what time you show up. They are open Wed/Thurs/Sun from 7 to 10pm and Fri/Sat from 7 to 11pm.

They also have a rotating schedule of food trucks on-site, with tons of options including alcoholic drinks.

Now that we have that out of the way, on to the pictures!

(I think, I think, this year’s theme is “Under the sea”)

Some of the sculptures have interactive elements to them. The crab would occasionally blow fog-filled bubbles (which looked so cool but proved hard to capture), and right next to it there’s one of those light-reaction-time-button-press things.

To awaken the man of stone, you need to step onto the platform that’s in front of him. The color freezes, and you can see how the light starts to move from the plate, through the ground, round and around.

If you look at her long enough, you might catch the dragon blowing smoke onto unsuspecting passersby. 

Don’t know which Chinese zodiac animal corresponds to you? Look no further! These adorable creatures have birth years and notable characteristics listed below them.

I’m so happy they put ajolotes in the exhibit! Or as Yem would call them, Acacoaxls 馃槀鉂わ笍

The amount of time you spend here is entirely up to you. You could come from open to close and interact with absolutely everything, grab a bite, play some games, and take tons of pictures. Or you could be here for just an hour and still see pretty much everything. Which is to say, it’s a great experience for anyone all around.

I’m already curious what next year is going to look like.


Four Mile Historic Park is located at 715 S Forest St, Denver, Colorado.


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Based mainly in Colorado. Loves cheese, rain, and starry nights. Can usually be spotted in the wild wearing a Spirit Jersey and balancing two cameras. Often laughs and cries at the same time. Barely survived one Master's program, but wants to do another.

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