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Mama’s Weekly Picks for Colorado’s Best Family-friendly Events!

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Given that it’s the week before Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer. . .woo hoo!), there is still a bunch of stuff to do. Apparently nobody’s waiting to bring out the white shoes and start partying. You should definitely check out Denverpalooza at the Mercury Café—it is going to be amazing. This is one of those events that I get to talk about, just because I might kind of know someone whose kid might go to one of the schools involved. Theoretically. But I wouldn’t steer you wrong on a fun event, so just go, m’kay?

Also, a special note: Sunday, May 17, is the Colorado Colfax Marathon. There’s an expo on Saturday, and a kids’ fun run on Sunday. Go cheer on those runners. They could use it. But also know this: Westbound Colfax will be closed, at least until 1:00. Don’t even think about getting through at Speer. I’m just sayin’. For other road closures, or if you’re in the mood to run 26.2 miles on Sunday, go to www.coloradocolfaxmarathon.org.

Happenings and Other Fun Things to Do

Friday, May 15, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 2nd Annual Tattered Cover Spelling Bee, Skyline Park, 16th and Arapahoe Streets, (16th Street Mall) Denver. www.coloradoliteracy.org. Hosted by Greg Maas, teams of 3 adults apiece face off, showing off their spelling skills, all to benefit The Learning Source. I am vertiginous just thinking about it. You may have to look that up.

Saturday, May 16, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Crazy Hair Day at the Children’s Museum, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver. www.mychildsmuseum.org. I would think this is self-explanatory: Just haul out every styling product you’ve bought in the last year, and use it on your kid’s hair. Crazy Halloween hair spray is an absolute must. Regular admission prices apply.

Saturday, May 16, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Wings of Spring at Crown Hill Park, West of Kipling, off of 20th Avenue, www.co.jefferson.co.us Learn about birds! Discover why they sing, how to identify them, and how to protect them and their habitat. Several stations will be set up around the lake, with binoculars (!), and naturalists will be on hand with plenty of educational information. Beautiful way to spend the morning at a truly great open space area.

Saturday, May 16, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 3rd Annual International Bash Spring Carnival and Street Fair, on the Denver Montclair International School Campus, 206 Red Cross Way, Denver (Just south of 6th Avenue, East of Quebec). www.internationalbash.com Sponsored by the Denver Montclair International School, this multicultural extravaganza features live music and dance, children’s activities, and vendors.

Saturday, May 16, 11:00 a.m. 6th Annual 5 Points Jazz Festival, 5 Points, Denver (Intersection of Washington Street, 27th Street, 26th Avenue, and Welton). www.denver.org/events Several stages, lectures on the history of jazz, and, of course, smokin’ tunes by great jazz artists. Entertainment starts at 11:00 a.m. See the website for the full schedule.

Saturday, May 16, 3:00 p.m. Kids Saturday Nickelodeon: Dragon Hunters at the Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Parkway, Denver www.denverfilm.org A family-friendly animated film about Zoe, a little girl who loves stories about dragons, and ends up hunting one herself. Great for kids 5 and up. And ready for this: It’s FREE! And it’s every Saturday!

Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (both days) 9th Annual Indian Market and Powow, The Fort Restaurant, 19192 Highway 8, Morrison, www.tesororfoundation.org Family activities, educational programs, raptors, and Native American art in a juried show.

Saturday, May 16, 3:30 p.m. 6th Annual Denverpalooza at the Mercury Café, 2199 California Street, Denver. www.denverpalooza.com Benefitting Teller Elementary and Morey Middle School, Denverpalooza is a fantastic musical festival, featuring the schools’ student bands, along with local and national acts. Karaoke, guest DJs, silent auction, “Wall of Wine” (which is right up my alley. . .), food, fun. . . and it’s for a good cause: Education! We loooove a good cause. Tickets are $60 for a family 4-pack, $18 individual, $20 at the door (so buy ahead!). Tickets can be purchased through the website listed above. Do not miss this event!

Wednesday, May 20, 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Superhero Wednesday Nights at the Children’s Museum, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver. www.mychildsmuseum.org Crafts, stories, and other fun activities with a superhero theme. Regular admission prices apply. But if you wear your superhero costume, you get $2 off. That’s a deal even Elastigirl could appreciate.

Thursday, May 21 Third Thursday at Highland Square, 32nd and Lowell, Denver. Go say “Hi!” to my old ‘hood and tell it I miss it. If you haven’t been to Highland Square, you are missing out! Great restaurants, nice coffee shop, sushi, shopping. . . there’s something for everyone. Including an awesome little baby boutique where you can drop some serious cash. Go ahead. Ask me how I know.

Theater and Music

Saturday, May 16, 3:30 p.m. 6th Annual Denverpalooza at the Mercury Café, 2199 California Street, Denver. www.denverpalooza.com Oh, wait, did I already mention the ‘Palooza? That’s because it’s the most awesome time you could possibly have this Saturday night. With your kids. At the Mercury Café. So buy your tickets already.

Saturday, May 16, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, 12:00 – 9:00 p.m. Highlands Ranch Music Arts Festival, Civic Green Park, 9370 Ridgeline Blvd, Highlands Ranch (Behind the Tattered Cover/Home Depot, next to the Highlands Ranch Library). Live music of all varieties, including sousa bands, concert bands, and solo performers, along with yummy food and arts and crafts vendors.

Through May 17: The Emperor’s New Clothes at the Denver Puppet Theater, 3156 West 38th Avenue, Denver. www.denverpuppettheater.com or 303-458-6446

Show Times: Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior to show time. Tickets are $6.00. Group discounts and discounted ticket packs available.

May 21 – June 28: Mouse Tales at the Denver Puppet Theater, 3156 West 38th Avenue, Denver. www.denverpuppettheater.com or 303-458-6446

Show Times: Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior to show time. Tickets are $6.00. Group discounts and discounted ticket packs available.

Shows at the Denver Puppet Theater are appropriate for children ages 3 and older.

*Please note: Times change during the summer months. Check before you go!

The Denver Puppet Theater is a funky little hidden gem in North Denver. Puppets truly are art, and take on a life of their own (but not in a creepy, Poltergeisty way). Definitely worth a visit.

Thursday, May 21, 6:30 p.m. Quilters at the Denver Center Theatre Company in the Denver Performing Arts Complex at Speer and Arapahoe, Downtown Denver. www.denvercenter.org The Denver Center Theatre Company is offering this showing of their acclaimed musical for free, and here’s how: Show up at the box office at least 2 hours early (I’ve been told that lines are long and form early. . .). You are allowed one free ticket per person in line, and tickets are distributed on first-come-first-served basis. No one under the age of 6 is permitted. This is a great way to see a DCPA performance for free, but they only offer it on occasion, and tickets are limited.

Farmers’ Markets

Opening This weekend

Saturday, May 16, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Northfield Stapelton, Northfield Stapleton Shopping Center, I-70 and Quebec. www.laughingdogfarms.net

Sunday, May 17, 10:00 am.m. – 3:00 p.m. Orchards Farmers’ Market, 144th Avenue and I-25. www.laughingdogfarms.net

Continuing:

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Cherry Creek Fresh Market, 1st Avenue and University (in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond parking lot), Denver. This market will be open on Saturdays through May, then in June adds Wednesdays along with the Saturdays. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Metro Denver Farmers’ Market, Southwest Plaza SE Parking Lot, Wadsworth and Bowles, Littleton. www.denverfarmersmarket.com

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Highlands Ranch Farmers’ Market, Highlands Ranch Town Center, 9288 Dorchester Street, Highlands Ranch. www.denverfarmersmarket.com

Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Parker Farmer’s Market, Northwest corner of Parker and Main Street, in the Crossroads Shopping Center. www.laughingdogfarms.net. Runs through October.

Saturday, May 9, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Southlands, E-470 and Smoky Hill Road, in the Southlands Shopping Center, Aurora. www.laughingdogfarms.net. This market opens this weekend, and will then be open Saturdays, 9:00 – 1:00 and Thursdays, 10:00 – 1:00.

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Boulder Farmer’s Market, Downtown Boulder on 13th Street between Canyon and Arapahoe 303-910-2236.

Sunday, May 10, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. City Park Esplanade Fresh Market, East Colfax Avenue and Columbine Street, Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.

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