Arts, Culture & Humanities
Every summer, Hudson Gardens transforms into one of the Denver area's favorite outdoor concert venues. Since the first show (twenty years ago), the Summer Concert Series has attracted international artists and over half a million of their biggest fans. Past performers include Sheryl Crow, Foreigner, Kenny Loggins, Joe Walsh, Boz Scaggs, The Temptations, Lynryd Skynyrd, Heart, Gladys Knight, Donny & Marie, YES, Styx, and Chris Isaak, among others.
Since its inception, the Summer Concert Series has entertained over 675,000 patrons. Its popularity is owed in large part to the increased caliber of the bands that perform at Hudson Gardens each summer, in addition to value-based ticket pricing, affordable food and beverages, a beautiful and pristine park-like setting, family-friendly entertainment, quality production, and a commitment to excellence.
The success of concert programming is also reflected in the following guest feedback:
Perfect outdoor venue for a million outdoor concerts throughout the summer? CHECK. Super Diamond anyone? CHECK! Food on event nights? CHECK.10 + food trucks for a wide variety to choose from? CHECK! Beer/wine served? CHECK! All in all, Hudson Gardens was the perfect location to kick off a 4th of July weekend with my parents! Nothing could beat the warm summer air, perfect yard seating, yummy food [picnics are encouraged!], booze and fireworks to top it off!
Great place. Good entertainment. Reasonable price. What's not to like about a picnic on a summer evening, in the gardens, with music?
What a great fireworks show! The concert was good, the fireworks display the best I have ever seen, and the staff did an amazing job of moving the large crowds quickly and pleasantly in and out of the venue. Thanks, Hudson Gardens!
It was a beautiful evening and two great bands! Hudson Gardens is a beautiful park with a stream and a lake and lots of wildlife. They set the stage in an open area. The venue is small and they only allow a certain amount of people general admission. One of my favorite concert venues.
Arts, Culture & Humanities
Children ages 5 to 21
Community programs and outreach efforts are intended to serve and engage community members with Hudson Gardens and its mission. Below are descriptions of the major activities included within this area:
Programs. Hudson Gardens' programs are aimed at fostering appreciation, understanding, and connection with the natural world. Programs include:
• Field trip offerings that primarily serve preschool and lower-elementary aged students as well as older students with intellectual, cognitive, and/or physical disabilities.
• Community beekeeping programs which provide outreach and educational opportunities that promote interest in honeybees and beekeeping.
• Adult programs including nature appreciation classes, gardening classes, and recreation and wellness programs.
• Children's and family programming that offer nature-based program opportunities for the general public including adults, children, families, scouts, and other small groups.
Outreach and partnerships. A variety of diverse community groups and partners are engaged to build Hudson Gardens' capacity and bolster mutually-beneficial relationships. Notably among these:
• Volunteers. The volunteer program currently engages nearly 200 regular volunteers within various departments throughout the organization, contributing approximately 4,000 hours of service per year.
• Horticultural groups. The Colorado Water Garden Society, the Denver Rose Society, the Herb Society of America, and the Colorado State Extension Service are involved as partners in garden exhibit design, maintenance, and the delivery of associated educational programming.
• Local businesses. Hudson Gardens has forged strong relationships with local businesses and neighboring properties to build capacity through shared resources.
• Cultural organizations. Hudson Gardens partners with fellow nonprofit organizations for exhibit development and the presentation of cultural events and programs.
On average, Hudson Gardens serves approximately 10,000 people through community programs, 70% of which are school-aged children who participate in field trip programs. In addition, over 4,000 hours of volunteer service is contributed by volunteers on an annual basis, and current partnerships include over 50 nonprofits, businesses, and organizations. The success of community programs and outreach is also reflected in the following guest feedback:
We loved getting outdoors and seeing real beehives instead of only books and YouTube clips!
-Elementary school teacher
I've really enjoyed and am learning through the Hudson Gardens [bird] walks I've attended… I really look forward to attending more. Your terrific follow-up emails immediately prompt me to get my books out again, to dig, explore and continue to learn.
I would like to say, thank you, for having the drum circle as part of your class list! The experience was so comfortable and fun. For me, this was healing...the amount of stress I left behind was beyond belief and it literally pulled me out of some very fast encompassing quicksand! Thank you so very much for this opportunity!!!
I love being part of Hudson Gardens and the Beekeeping Program. I continue to learn from other beekeepers but my favorite part is teaching the school classes that come through. Sharing my love of beekeeping and the importance of community hives continues to grow.
As a field inquiry-based class, having a close to campus sampling site makes the field portion of [my class] "do-able". It is beneficial to have real-world experiences that fulfill my vision for the field aspect of our labs. I am grateful for the opportunity for [my] students to utilize the Gardens to enhance our student's educational experience.
-Rosann, professor/community partner
It is my honor and pleasure to serve our community. Thank you for my opportunity to do that through Hudson Gardens. I am thankful I am part of the extended Hudson Gardens family.
Arts, Culture & Humanities
Hudson Gardens' 30 acres are comprised of horticultural displays and attractions, open space, and public art. Highlights include the Rose Garden (with 200+ unique Rose varieties), Victoria Water Lily Pond, a G-scale garden railroad, fourteen permanent art sculptures, a tree collection featuring over 1000 trees, flourishing aquatic displays, a working Honey Bee apiary, and more. These exhibits are available to guests free of charge, 365 days a year.
A variety of recent achievements reflect the successes of the gardens and exhibits:
• Since eliminating Garden admission fees in 2012, daily Garden attendance has increased by over 200%.
• Hudson Gardens was recently voted "Best Park in Littleton" by Colorado Community Media.
The success of the gardens and exhibits is also reflected in the following guest feedback:
We came here on a whim last weekend to take a walk. The gardens are beautifully maintained and it's a great place to come to enjoy and explore with friends and family or alone if you just want a bit of solitude.
There is always something different anytime you visit. Chances are you will likely have to go at least a handful of times to experience the different gardens they have in all their glory. This place is deceivingly small from the outside but has many beautiful picturesque spots throughout…as if it couldn't get any better, except for the concerts admission is FREE. I'm so excited that after eight years of living in Colorado I finally found my "happy place"!
Kudos to the gardeners for maintaining such a wonderful haven for flora and fauna. The herb garden was really interesting. I have never seen so many varieties of sage, thyme, and other herbs. The Rose Garden was stunning. So many varieties, with every color of the rainbow. The smells were fantastic. Best of all, this little treasure of a garden is absolutely FREE!
Arts, Culture & Humanities
On an annual basis, Hudson Gardens produces four special events, two that provide a fun and entertaining experience for guests and two free events that are dedicated to serving the community. They are:
• A Hudson Christmas: This family event is a a premier outdoor walk-through holiday light show held during November and December of each year. It features over one million Christmas lights, visits with Santa, and festive music synchronized with holiday lights.
• AirLife Memorial: Held in honor of the everyday heroes in EMS as well as those who have passed away in the line of duty. Donations and proceeds from this event are used to support scholarship funds and provide charitable assistance for the families of EMS professionals who have passed away in the line of duty. This event is offered free of charge to the public and has been held at Hudson Gardens for twenty-one consecutive years.
• Brews & Views Beer Fest: A community event co-presented with the City of Littleton and Hudson Gardens. Elements include craft beer tasting of over 30 local craft beers, live music, and lawn games.
• Veteran's Fair: The largest free event for veterans in Colorado, the Veteran's Fair has been held at Hudson Gardens for five consecutive years. This event connects approximately 800 veteran servicemen and servicewomen with organizations and services that serve the military community.
The success of special events is reflected in the following guest feedback:
Hudson Gardens will always have a special place in my heart. Last year my son who is profoundly handicapped [and] not doing so well at the time, loves Christmas lights and music. I brought my son down just to see the lights and your staff asked if he wanted to see Santa. I gave up on that years ago because he can't wait in lines. Your staff then took us in the back door [to see Santa]. That was one of the best moments in my life. Thank you guys for everything you do!
We went last night to Hudson Gardens holiday lights and were VERY impressed. One of the more beautiful experiences we've had. A chill in the air, hot chocolate to sip, all while meandering through a gorgeous array of various colored lights. Thanks again.
-Mark and Jan
We visited last night and had a great time! Every single employee/volunteer we encountered was extremely polite & friendly. Even though it was below freezing outside, they all seemed happy to be there. It was also nice to hear "MERRY CHRISTMAS" over and over. We also visited Santa, my husband and I were extremely impressed! Santa and his helper were fantastic! They both took their time to make sure our reluctant toddler was comfortable. They both spoke to us and really made an effort to get us several fantastic pictures. Santa even shook both our hands! This experience was much more enjoyable & positive than a recent trip to a nearby shopping districts 'North pole'. We appreciate the efforts of everyone from the parking directors to Mr. Clause! This was our first visit to this venue and it has earned a permanent spot in our new little families Christmas traditions!