Month: August 2011

Cheers to Oktoberfest

With a name like Gretchen Yoder, I’m pretty sure it is no surprise that I have gone to more than my fair share of Oktoberfest celebrations. While most people believe that these parties are for beer swelling adults, I must say that the mountain towns are doing a fantastic job of making the parties family friendly. If you are looking for something to do on your way to oooh and aaahhh over the fall foliage – check out one of these Oktoberfest celebrations. Prost! Beaver Creek: September 3-4, 2011 Beaver Creek gives you the first “taste” of Oktoberfest beer and fun. Feel free to dance along with the oom-pah-pah band, indulge in beer and brats. Join in the fun. Breckenridge: Breckenridge transforms into Mini-Munich September 16-18, 2011. The festivities include a main-st...

Grandparents as Daycare – How to Maintain Your Relationship While Sharing the Care of Your Kids

Are you a mom who has a job outside the home? What do you do when you are a professional with outside responsibilities as well as a mother? If you are considering asking your parents or in-laws to help with the childcare, make sure you think it through and discuss it before taking the leap. I made the decision to work part time and mother full time when my first was born. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I wanted to stay active in my career while also taking care of my baby. You could say I was trying to have it all. While I was pregnant, I visited several daycare centers. One was beautiful, clean and staffed with grandmothers. Problem – it cost more than my mortgage, more than I made a month working part time. Another had a “baby room” which had cribs lined in rows. One end of the crib was...

It’s Fall Festival Time! WIN 6 TICKETS TO MILE HIGH FARMS!

**CONTEST CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER EMILY MOOTZ!** Surprise! Tomorrow is September! Where did the summer go? Here comes a new season and a whole lot of new fun to be had! There’s a new Fall Festival destination in town, a new place to create new traditions with all the fun of pumpkins and corn mazes and a haunted hay ride! Oh My! And you can win 6 passes! Mile High Farms in Bennett is gearing up for its Grand Opening Saturday, September 10! Here’s your chance to win 6 free passes for your family to enjoy all the fun!

Event Round-Up: A Taste of Colorado, Mount Evans & More!

This Friday through Monday. Bring an appetite—for everything—to the 27th annual A Taste of Colorado. The summer-ending smorgasbord features dozens of styles of cuisine from nearly 60 restaurants, all peddling their wares in Civic Center Park. There’s something for every taste, from high-end treats by the Ritz-Carlton to good, old-fashioned barbecue. Choose your own culinary adventure: Do a “tasting menu” of sorts and try sample-size bites, or fill your belly with full-sized portions. Budding gourmands can pick up tips from top local chefs, too, in the Culinary Showcase tent. Food isn’t the only attraction at the Taste, of course. Four stages of live music will keep the park rockin’ all day long—just like the food, there’s a little something for everyone. Mainstage acts include Asia featuri...

8 Quirks of the New Kindergartner

It doesn’t matter if your kindergartner goes to school half-days or full days. It doesn’t matter if they went to preschool for 2 years or it’s their first school experience. The transition can be difficult, baffling, but fun. Our sixth child, Beatrix, just started kindergarten two weeks ago. Thankfully, I know some of the issues that are cropping up are normal and not surprising. 1. Extreme Talkativeness: Your kindy kiddo might come home bursting with the news of the day. From the moment he enters the classroom to when he exits the building for the day, amazing things are happening. Letting him talk it out is the best way to help them process everything new. And it will lead to… 2. Serious Fatigue: Beatrix hasn’t been this tired since she was a toddler. Kinder...

How your children’s stuffed animals can provide comfort to traumatized kids around the world

One day before a 7.0 earthquake laid waste to Haiti last year, a shipment of humanitarian aid, including 450 stuffed animals, cleared customs in Port-au-Prince. Pure coincidence, but the timing couldn’t have been better, says Wendy Clark, the Littleton woman who founded Loving Hugs Inc., the Colorado nonprofit organization that sent the toys. During the earthquake’s aftermath, as adult attention focused on food, shelter and clean water, members of the U.S. military and aid workers handed out the toys to frightened children. As Clark knows, there is some measure of comfort in a

Denver Deal: SkiRex, Sniagrab, Consignment Sales, Taste of Colorado & more

From sales to events this weekend is packed full with fun stuff going on in the Mile High City. Visit the Taste of Colorado, see a concert at Red Rocks (will I see you at Zac Brown Band?), take one last summer trip to the mountains, shop until you drop at the Mile High Marketplace or the many consignment sales. Regardless of what makes you really happy, there are enough deals out there you are sure to find something to enjoy. Ski Sales The annual sales for ski and snowboard equipment at Sniagrab (at Sports Authority) and Ski Rex (at Colorado Ski & Golf) are sure to have enough great deals to get you and the family (maybe even the whole neighborhood) ready for the snow. Not only can you snag a great deal on equipment but you can also get a great deal on passes as well (Echo Mountain is ...

Why I was blamed when my child went missing

On Friday, my 7-year-old daughter did not come home on the bus as expected. In a frenzy, I tore over to her school and was terrified when the staff was unable to locate her. “Haddie’s teacher said she got on a bus but we’re not sure which one,” they assured me. As I was conjuring up every worse-case scenario in the book, they located her on the same bus she rides in the morning, which is different than her afternoon bus. Call me crazy but switching up the route…and bus number…is confusing for young kids. And mortified parents. I posted my angst to my friends on Facebook and while most were sympathetic, some of my closer friends blamed me,

Disney goes Hawaiian at New Beachside Resort

Aloha, Disney! The Walt Disney Co.’s new upscale, beachside Hawaiian resort Aulani opens Monday, thousands of miles from the nearest Disney theme park. And while Mickey Mouse​ and friends can be found on the property, Hawaii’s culture, history and natural beauty are the biggest stars. “The resort is not a replication of any of our theme parks. We know if guests want to go to Disneyland, they’ll go to Disneyland,” said Djuan Rivers, a Disney vice president who oversees the resort. “Our guests are coming here first and foremost for Hawaii and everything Hawaii has to offer.” Joe Rohde, head of Aulani’s creative team, grew up in Honolulu and said “we made a choice early on to really, really focus on Hawaiian culture as a defining element o...

How Homebound Services Could Help Your Child

Life sometimes gets in the way, as I’m sure most of you are aware of. But when it comes to a child’s education, removing roadblocks is a necessity. When my 6-year-old brother Simon was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on June 16, 2011, our family had to adjust to a new “normal.” With countless doses of chemotherapy and a steady stream of medications, Simon’s life, as well our families lives, changed drastically in a short period of time. Due to Simon’s recent medical issues, he was not able to start school as scheduled. For Simon, school was one of his favorite times of day, and this year he was set to start 1st grade.

Finally, some good TV: The 2011 Denver Post fall TV preview

When life gets scary, TV lets us face our fears from a safe distance. A haunted house, rampaging dinosaurs and menacing storybook characters bow as antagonists this fall, stand ins, perhaps for a teetering economy, reigning terrorism and incendiary political climate. Escapist comedies provide relief, too, the best being Zooey Deschanel​’s endearing turn in “New Girl” on Fox. She single-handedly proves it’s still possible to build a bright half-hour around one can’t-miss talent. Deschanel brings the adorableness, alright. But horror, terror, the prefeminist ’60s and recycled confusion about modern manhood are the bigger themes of primetime’s Fall 2011 TV season. No matter where it goes for escapism, TV seems to circle back to current anxieties. Joke...

Chatfield State Park: A great family getaway for fall

If you want a nature experience that doesn’t have to end at sunset but is still close to the city, pack your tent and head to Chatfield State Park. There, you can choose from nearly 200 campsites, all with electrical hookups — all a stone’s throw from the water. “Camping is incredibly popular here,” says manager Scott Roush. That’s because when campers wake up, a full slate of activities beckons. An early riser might start by hiking

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