When you think about it, there are a fair number of official nighttime festivities in the late fall and winter. Like Trick or Treating! Our kids headed out early in the evening this year - I believe it was still light outside. But you could see their excitement and energy build as it got darker. I remember waiting to Trick or Treat until dark when I was a child. It was part of the fun!
There are also a great number of light festival venues in Denver. The last two years, we've gone to the Botanic Garden with my aunt.
There seemed to be a particularly high percentage of seniors on the night we visited the Botanic Garden. A few were NOT happy to see Noah and Mattias. In general, I make a point to take the boys to all sorts of more adult-like venues (the art museum, the symphony, nature documentaries at the nearby nature preserve) because I think it's an important part of learning to behave AND these events lack the commercialism that events geared towards children often have. Also, crowded venues filled with children are particularly stressful (for me). Most of the time, I get more compliments and encouragement than disparaging remarks. That was not the case on this particular night, but I shall not be too easily dissuaded from abandoning my strategy.
Sometimes, we don't even need to go out to capture the wonder of the darkness and artificial lights. A few candles on the table at dinnertime will lull the boys into at least 10 minutes of quiet eating and drinking before their attention shifts to blowing out the candles from their chairs.