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Event Round-up: Veteran’s Day 5K, Free National Parks and More!

Saturday. Salute Veteran’s Day with a full morning of fun at the Denver Veteran’s Day 5K Fun Run/Walk and the Veteran’s Day Parade. The celebration begins early with the 5K Fun Run — the starting line is on the Auraria Campus. Registration fees benefit the Metro State Army ROTC Running Club. After the run, head toward the state capitol for the Veteran’s Day Parade as it winds around downtown. This year’s parade marks the 150th anniversary of the National Guard — expect cannon and gun salutes, a fly-over and plenty of marchers from civilian and military groups. 5K: Starting gun at 8 a.m. Auraria Campus, 1000 Larimer St. Registration is $30, or $20 for veterans. Children age 16 and younger are free. Visit dvd5k.com for more details. Parade 10 a.m. Downtown Denver, between Broadway and Welton Street and 14th and 17th Streets. Admission is free. Learn more at denvergov.org/veterans.

Thursday. In celebration of Veteran’s Day, national parks throughout the United States will admit visitors free of charge. Anyone can take advantage of the deal at any National Park Service site. In Colorado, that means free entrance to more than 10 monuments, parks and historic sites, from Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez to Bent’s Old Fort in La Junta. Rocky Mountain National Park is included in the offer, too. Take advantage if you can — Thursday will be the NPS’s last free-entrance day in 2010. All day Thursday at national parks nationwide. For more information, including a full list of NPS sites in Colorado, visit www.nps.gov.

Saturday. Learn about the wide world of science at the University of Colorado’s “CU Wizards” program. The free monthly series is designed for kids in grades 5 to 9, and uses entertaining lectures to teach kids about different areas of scientific study. This month’s topic is “The Magic of Chemistry, featuring a demonstration and talk by CU professor Veronica Bierbaum. The series runs through June; upcoming lectures include “Climate Change in a Bottle” (December) and “The Chemistry of Cooking” (January). 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Cristol Chemistry Building, room 140, on the University of Colorado campus, Boulder. Admission is free. For more information, visit colorado.edu/physics.

Wednesdays through November. Pick up a new instrument at the Wednesday Ukulele Sing and Strum-A-Long at the Children’s Museum of Denver. Presented by local folk-music organization Swallow Hill, the weekly lesson invites kids and their grownups to give the mighty ukulele a try. Swallow Hill brings along plenty of ukuleles for students to use. The 30-minute group lessons are included in museum admission, and are best for kids age 5 and older. Get there early; the classes are first-come, first-served. 6-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through November. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. Admission is $8 for guests ages 2-59, $6 for 1-year-olds and seniors ages 60 and older. Visit mychildsmuseum.org for more information.

Friday-Sunday. Snowhounds, this one’s for you: Just in time for ski season, the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo takes over the Colorado Convention Center. For three days, the Convention Center will be awash in snowsports vendors, from gear retailers to ski resorts. There’s plenty to do besides shop, though. Test your strength at the ELITEAM Fitness Challenge, watch trampoline demonstrations of sick tricks and see the latest slopeside fashions at the WSI Sports Fashion Show. Kids have their own place to play, too, at the Breckenridge Kids Snowpark. Noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St.; 303-228-8000. Tickets are $12 for adults, free for children ages 12 and younger with a paid adult. Learn more at bewisports.com.

-Kathleen St. John. Photo: Run Georgia

How to ease your children into the time change and how much sleep they really need

Winter is coming! If you’re anything like me you may not be thrilled about the chilly months that lie ahead, but those cold short days do have a few
advantages – especially longer nights!

We are about to change the clock back an hour and while some of us are a little saddened by the thought of eating dinner at 5:30 in the dark, this can be a great opportunity to help our kids start getting the kind of sleep they really need!

Studies show that the amount of sleep children get has a profound affect on their learning, attention, risk of obesity, and risk of depression. Most children in our country do not come close to getting the amount of sleep they need to process all of the information they are learning everyday.

When the clocks fall back we have an opportunity to bump their bedtimes up a little bit. Start on Sunday night by having them go to bed with respect to the time change. That is, if they usually go to bed at 9:00, have them go to bed at 8:00 (on the newly changed clock). Their body will feel like they are going to bed at the same time and they can potentially get an hour more sleep. From then on out, try to stick to that new, earlier bed time.

Of course this will take a little preparation on your part. It is going to

Denver Deal: Denver Arts Week, Ski & Snowboard Expo, and Candy Swaps

Did you know that it is Denver Arts Week?  For the fourth year, Denver will celebrate Denver Arts Week.  The event goes from November 5 to 13 with a TON of events throughout the week most of them free or at a great discount. 

Night at the Museums

As part of Denver Arts Week,on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, the Mile High City will again stage Night at the Museums, an event where 18 participating museums will stay open late from 5 to 10 p.m., all offering free admission.  You can stay at one place or  hop from museum to museum on free shuttle buses that will run a loop circuit.   Visit locations like the Denver Art Museum (there will be a special fee deal for King Tut), Molly Brown House, Forney Museum, Museum of Nature & Science, Botanic Gardens or Coors Brewery (among others).

Denver 2for1

With artwork sales, membership discounts, and free admission at select venues – Denver Arts Week is an incredible time to experience art in every form for a fraction of the price.  Bringing a guest?  Sign up for the special Denver 2 for 1 TIX eblast delivering Denver Arts Week specials via e-mail each week.  To sign up, visit: http://www.denver.org/events/2for1tix.

 Performing Arts

There are several different performing arts options at a discounted rate (or free) for Denver Arts Week.   Discounted tickets at the Denver Center, Ukelele Sing-Along at the Children’s Museum, ballet, and symphony are among the offerings.  The complete list is on the Denver Arts Week Website.

Ski and Snowboard Expo

The Ski and Snowboard Expo is this weekend (November 5-7) at the Colorado Convention Center!  You can get gear for 40-75% off (incase you missed any of the great Ski Rex and Sniagrab sales), all of the resorts will be on site selling lift tickets, or get early booking lodging deals!  The event promises gear, prizes and games (plus, this year there’s beer there)!   This is a ticketed event for adults but kids 12 and  under are FREE! 

Candy Swaps

If your kids have not already eaten all their candy there are a couple things you can do.  Take the candy to Noodles on Sunday, Nov. 7th from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and exchange it for a FREE small bowl of Macaroni and Cheese.  Or there are several dentists in the Denver area who promise to get the candy to troops overseas – and they will pay you $1 per pound!

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter!  Be sure to forward these great deals on to your friends.

You can also follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out!

Nationally honored Colorado mom shares the secrets of parenting

The task of naming one couple out of thousands of wonderful role models as “Colorado Parents of the Year” might seem impossible.

But speak with Jenny Davenport as she prepares for a fundraising event at the Davenport Center in Aurora, and you’ll quickly learn why she and her husband, James, were chosen.

“Oh, look how great that looks,” she says, speaking to her teenage daughter, who is busy practicing her face-painting skills for the event.

“She’s just so artistic,” she says under her breath, before going on to talk about the honor.

The Davenports, who earned the award from the Colorado Parents’ Day Council, were among five couples nationwide who received a national-level parenting award from the council.

The couple, both 44, have seven children, ranging in age from

Horse: a child whisperer

Lynne stood near a pile of horse manure, leaning on a fence post, flies zooming around her in the late-afternoon sun. She squinted her eyes and watched the creatures before her, a lump in her throat and tears threatening to overflow her eye sockets. She sighed away the feeling of being consumed, which had come uncomfortably close to enveloping her.

She hated when that happened. Why couldn’t she just allow the ecstasy to flow on the rare occasions the conditions were right?

Because it didn’t seem appropriate in a horse pasture. And with this woman she barely knew. And, of course, in front of Grace. Grace freaked out at tears, even happy tears.

Lynne never thought she’d find this woman, this creature, this possible solution for her daughter. She’d searched for two years, ever since equine therapy was first suggested as an idea to try for her daughter. And though Lynne had had to be patient, the possible solution had unfolded beautifully.

Colorado Moms: Pitch Your Product for our Holiday Gift Guide

Are you a Colorado-based mompreneur? If so, we want to hear from you. Mile High Mamas is on the lookout for the coolest, most ingenious gifts for moms, dads and kids.

Email your recommendations to Julie (julieb@milehighmamas.com) for consideration. We’re specifically looking for creative products that have been developed by Colorado moms and dads (please, no skincare or bath/soap queries).

Don’t miss this great opportunity for some great exposure in our holiday gift guide!

Battling it Out at Denver’s Marriage Ref Auditions

On Saturday, my husband Jamie and I were invited to audition for the Marriage Ref, Jerry Seinfield’s brainchild on NBC.

No, Mom. We’re not on the brink of divorce but we need a comedic mediator for our ongoing dispute:

Jamie’s all-consuming obsession with growing The Great Pumpkin.

The whole thing unfolded almost by accident. When I was driving to my daughter’s Halloween Party on Friday, the hosts of Alice 105.9 were talking about the Marriage Ref’s auditions in Denver that weekend. Casting directors were looking for humorous squabbles that could be resolved by their celebrity panel.

I listened with moderate interest but then something clicked. The inordinate amount of time Jamie spends nurturing The Great Pumpkin is a kooky dispute, on par with past Marriage Ref episodes that included Fonzie the stuffed dog and a stripper pole in a bedroom.

I am not proud of this.

The show had open-call auditions at a few different locations. I did not want to stand in line for hours so tracked down a few different emails of casting agents who were scheduling auditions. Though they assuredly had a flood of emails, I figured I would hear back if it was meant to be.

And I did. Later that day,