The Denver Zoo hosted Singles Safari on the evening of July 27th. The night was cool and the smell of rain was in the air. Singles from around the Denver metro area hovered near the entrance waiting for the event to open and experience a new and exciting dating venue. Certainly, this was not your typical bar or sports scene, but a unique, wild adventure where people could mix and mingle.
When the doors opened, singles were greeted by zoo staff with furry and feathery creatures. One had the opportunity to pet an opossum, view a falcon and a gorgeous blue macaw. Parts of the zoo were kept open to meander with friends and explore the new Elephant Passage. Music filled the air and a covered haven kept finger foods and cocktails from evening sprinkles. Singles signed up for mini-dates by age group and a scavenger hunt.
This event definitely had an adventurous feel, but got lost as the men and women quickly formed packs of the same sex under the covered picnic area. It looked more like a middle school dance with guys on one side and girls gathered at tables schmoozing among themselves. Personally, I was on the hunt and sat down next to a cute guy named Ryan who recently moved to Colorado from Wisconsin. I certainly did not want an attractive, eligible bachelor to sit all by his lonesome. As soon as others joined our table though, I quickly noticed that although people may have been technically single at this event, there were a number of couples. This made for a more difficult time to actually network with potentially available singles. It made me wonder why they came to a singles event if they were already dating. I had hoped that this event would have an equal ratio of single men to single women, but as typical in Denver, there was an overwhelming amount of females in the herd.
Trying to keep my dating spirits up, I walked through the zoo and new Elephant Passage exhibit. It’s a must for any visitor to Denver or a native. Upon my return to the main party site, I reconnected with a gentleman named Bob, whom I met at the beginning of the evening waiting to enter the event. We both happened to be blues and swing dancers, so we immediately hit it off talking about lessons and venues for dancing. Turns out we knew a number of people in the local dance scene in Denver. Bob and I, as well as two other women, teamed up for the scavenger hunt. Although the hunt was challenging, our secret weapon was having a veterinarian technician from the Denver Zoo on our team. She was incredibly helpful and informative. All in all, I think we did quite well on the scavenger hunt.
Despite, having signed up for the mini-date, I missed out on it because of the scavenger hunt. The event was fun, but it lacked leadership and structure for actually meeting new potential dates. It would have been better to start off with the mini-dates earlier in the evening and then have the scavenger hunt. As the night progressed and cocktails took effect, the DJ started playing more dance worthy music. With my newfound team, we danced to Michael Jackson, Usher, and Lynard Skynard. I was able to strike up a conversation with a nice looking real estate attorney from Boston named, Adam. We talked about Boston, law, family and he invited me to the after-party at the Tavern Uptown.
The event at the Denver Zoo concluded around ten and some zoo-goers headed to the Tavern Uptown. As far as I saw, the event lost more structure at the after-party, with no host from the zoo to enable connections. Despite this, I was still able to make new acquaintances.
In my opinion, the Singles Safari at the Denver Zoo had a lot of potential, but fell short of meeting its goal of really connecting more people to one another. Still, I would recommend the event because of the diversity in the attendees. There were people of all ages from 21 to 50s and people of all shapes and sizes, so one can appreciate that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I thoroughly enjoyed dancing to every hit song that the DJ played and meeting new people. It had been years since my last tour of the zoo and it has made many wonderful improvements. It was a delight to see the animals and pet them too. Although I didn’t quite make the connection I was hoping to, an adventure is sometimes good too.
www.oskarblues.com : for blues and blues dancing
www.mercurycafe.com : for tango, blues, and swing dancing