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Denver Zoo begins timed entry at new elephant exhibit to ease crowds

At high noon, while legions of strollers are rattling along Denver Zoo pathways, patrons might wish they had heeded the experts’ advice on how to cope with the record visitation predicted for the Toyota Elephant Passage — opening Friday.

The anticipated popularity of the innovative Asian-tropics-themed exhibit requires a whole new set of logistics, said Amber Christopher, vice president of guest services.

In the zoo’s high season — Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend — visitor numbers average 7,400 a day, Christopher said. Her teams expect it to jump to 8,800 to 10,000 if elephant fever takes hold.

Sizzling Summer Science Activities to Keep Your Kids Learning

I saw a report that said the average child sits in front of a monitor for over seven hours a day. No one wants to spend the summer with the kids in front of the television. Get out, enjoy the sunshine and do a little science. Here are some science activities to do outdoors this summer.

Water Conservation in the Garden
Backyard and container gardens are popular activities for families who want to save a little money and grow their own food. Garden centers now sell polymers called Water Jelly Crystals. The crystals start out as a small pebble and when soaked in water, absorb the water and grow. Place a handful of Water Jelly Crystals in the dirt under the roots of your plant in gardens or containers. To make a raised garden, we placed cinder blocks over turned up dirt in the garden. Mix a handful of Water Jelly Crystals into the dirt and place the roots halfway down. Then fill to the top with dirt. As the Water Jelly Crystals dehydrate, they will keep the soil moist. The roots won’t dry out and excess water will run off. The best part is you won’t have to water the plants as often.

Growing Plants in Test Tubes
Have you taken the time to show your kids

Coleman Great American Backyard Campout: Win a Camping Trip & Supplies (valued at $2,495)

**CONTEST CLOSED. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE HEART-FELT, WONDERFUL ENTRIES. WE WISH WE COULD HAVE CHOSEN EVERYONE BUT ULTIMATELY CHOSE THE FOLLOWING THREE WINNERS: KATE FELDMAN, CONNIE DACHTLER AND CARLOS SANTISTEVAN JR. CONGRATULATIONS!**

As a lover of all-things outdoors, I am over-the-moon excited about Coleman’s Great American Backyard Campout, an exclusive camping opportunity for YOU!

I mean, who wouldn’t like to attend an overnight, family-friendly campout with a celebrity chef cooking your meals, live entertainment, fun outdoor activities and all the Coleman gear you need that you get to keep?

What is it?
The Coleman Company, Inc. is hosting a private camping event for several families on June 23, 2012 and Mile High Mamas will be choosing THREE families as winners.

Why are they hosting this event? Coleman has partnered with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to sponsor this year’s Great American Backyard Campout. Coleman and NWF want to inspire parents to get their families outside, even if they’ve never camped before.

If I am one of the three families chosen, what do I get? The winners will receive a family ticket (for a family of up to five) to attend the Coleman Great American Backyard Campout event. There will be a full campsite worth of Coleman gear for you to use at the event, and take home with you. That includes:

An 8-person Instant Tent, two Queen-size airbeds, one Adjustable Comfort Sleeping Bag per family member, a

Qdoba’s Fajita Bar Being Tested in Denver (and their famous mango salsa recipe)

On of the great things about living in Denver is it is home to the corporate headquarters of so many great restaurants.

Restaurants that use our great city as test markets for their tasty products.

So, here’s the scoop. Whether you have an office party, graduation or summer bash, the Qdoba Fajita Bar is being tested in Denver metro and Boulder locations through June.

The Qdoba Fajita Bar is approximately

Events: Toyota Elephant Passage, Baby Loves Disco & People’s Fair!

Saturday-Sunday. Bust out the sunscreen: The 41st annual People’s Fair puts down stakes for the weekend. Presented by the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods organization, the Fair is a showcase for Denver’s city-center communities. Local artists and crafters set up shop in a huge vendor market while six stages of music and performance run all day long. Grownups can relax with a beverage in the Wine Pavilion or grab a beer; the Kids’ Carnival keeps youngsters busy with craft activities, bounce houses and other energy-expenders. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue. Admission is free. chundenver.org

Sunday. Kids stage a dance floor takeover when “Baby Loves Disco” visits Boulder. The family-friendly dance party features a real DJ spinning kid-appropriate tunes, plus games, dance contests, crafts and other kiddie fun. The idea is to recreate a funky nightclub atmosphere, minus the alcohol and other bad behavior. This year’s theme is “We Are Family”—bring along the siblings, cousins, grandparents and anyone else who loves to get down. Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. Playdates at the Loft, 1710 29th Street, Boulder; 720-404-4412. Tickets are $15 each, or four for $50. Buy advance tickets and learn more at babylovesdisco.com

Friday. The Denver Zoo’s brand-new Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit makes its official debut. The 10-acre park is the largest bull elephant habitat in the world, with room for up to 12 of the huge beasts. Three distinct areas offer different perspectives on Asian elephants and other animals of the continent, including their part in Asian cultures and issues with human co-existence. In addition to the pachyderms, visitors can observe rhinos, otters, cranes, leopards and gibbons—who swing freely from the branches overhead. Elephant Passage is also all about sustainability: The zoo is working on a biomass gasification system that will transform the exhibit’s human and animal waste products into power for the Passage. Zoo hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. (Admissions end at 5 p.m.) Important note: You MUST pre-register on the zoo’s website to see the exhibit. Reservations are free but timed entries are required to prevent overcrowding. The Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St.; 303-376-4800. Admission is $15 for guests ages 12 to 64; $12 for seniors age 65 and older; $10 for kids ages 3 to 11. denverzoo.org

Kathleen St. John

Denver Deal: People’s Fair, Barnes & Noble, and Rapids Soccer

Have you ever really been fitted for a bra?  I can’t say that I ever have. For me it has always been about trying on a few and whatever “felt right” was good enough. I can’t say that it is something that I have ever thought about. I was recently invited to a bra fitting from Wacoal. My daughter (who is 10) wanted a teen bra – but didn’t really need it as a Christmas present in December, came with me. I was a little uncertain how they were going to do a “wine and fitting” event at the Ritz Carlton in Denver. I certain was not going to lift up my shirt in public so I can try on bras among strangers. But it was not like that at all. It was well done in a suite on the 14th floor. It was so well done that rather than being somewhat embarrassed I was absolutely at ease – so was my daughter (she is typically SUPER shy).  They told me that they would come to area businesses if they could fit 20 or more women. So if you work in an office of a bunch of women you might consider calling Wacoal and doing it right there!

People’s Fair

The annual People’s Fair is this coming weekend – June 2 & 3 at  Civic Center Park.  Once again the park will be full of booths, festival food fair, family and kids activities, six stages of programming from concerts to events all weekend long. For a Colorado Native, I know this to mean the beginning of the  concert season. Let the fun begin!

Barnes & Noble Free Book

Barnes & Noble are once again giving elementary age kids the opportunity to get a free book when they read this summer. When kids track that they have read eight books on their reading journal (available online) and bring it to Barnes & Noble they can get a FREE book.

Store Deals

Sally Beauty -My friend called me the other day and got really mad at me. She said, “I didn’t know about Sally Beauty. I’m mad you have not written about them!”  I guess I kind of forgot and assumed everyone knew that Sally Beauty is a great place to get beauty supplies for less than you would pay at a salon or other store like Ulta or Sephora. She said she got a generic of her favorite shampoo and conditioner for less than half what she normally pays.

Great Indoors – The giant indoor decorating store in Lone Tree (by Park Meadows Mall) is closing it’s doors and is having a giant sale. Some items are as much as 50% off and there are still some good items available.

Disney Store at Park MeadowsDisney Store will celebrate the grand opening of the newly designed store at Park Meadows Mall in Lone Tree, Colorado on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Park Meadows is the first newly-designed Disney Store location to open in Colorado and one of many newly-designed store to open across North America this year, offering interactive and magical experiences for Disney fans of all ages. Disney Store’s new design concept aims to deliver “the best 30 minutes of a child’s day” through immersive storytelling neighborhoods featuring a Disney Princess with magic mirror, translucent trees, and the Disney Store Theatre featuring the latest Disney entertainment.

 

Get Organized

Want to get organized for the summer? Meighan Meeker of Simply Put is currently offering the first 2 hours of organizing for the price of one, a $150 value for only $75. Additional hours are 20% off, or $60/hour.  Simply Put helps people declutter and optimize any area of their home or office including: organize closets, storage, playrooms (and more …), develop office systems and space solutions, provide corporate and residential moving assistance, senior downsizing and relocation services. To learn more visit, MeighanMeekerOrganizer.com, email meighanm@aim.com, or call, 303-321-2692.
COLORADO RAPIDS MILE HIGH MAMAS NIGHT!
The Colorado Rapids would like to extend this exclusive opportunity to you, your family and friends to purchase tickets to our Colorado Rapids 2012 Night. Come participate with Mile High Mamas and enjoy  an evening of fireworks and soccer! Colorado Rapids v. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 7:30pm at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Exclusive Mile High Mom NPO Pricing: $20 – South Endline (face value $28.00). Click here or call Stefanie Odom at 303-727-3742, or e-mail at stefanieodom@dsgpark.com with any questions or for help ordering tickets.

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 so you can forward these great deals 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.

The New Mom’s Natural Remedy Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Most Gentle Homeopathic Remedies for your Newborn

Bringing home a new baby is one of the most special moments in a new mother’s life, but it can also be overwhelming and even a bit scary. Babies certainly don’t come with an instruction manual and the new mom learning curve is a doozy; feeding them, changing them, comforting them, it’s a full-time job. There are plenty of friends, family members and professionals to offer advice when your new baby throws you a curve ball, but having a few natural, go-to remedies up your sleeve could be a great comfort to both baby and mom if and when a hiccup should occur.

Diaper Rash: During their first months, babies can go through

Education experts disagree on importance of school class size

When Greg Sumlin looks at the incoming kindergarten class at East Elementary School in Littleton, he sees a group of English learners who need immediate, intensive instruction — in small classes where teachers can give them individual attention.

Then he looks at this year’s first-graders, calculates his staffing and crunches the numbers: although these kids also have high needs, three classrooms of 16 or 17 will have to be shoe-horned into two second-grade classes of 23.

It’s a vexing academic sudoku that principals tackle — and teachers must adapt to — as schools try to line up budgets, staff and attendance projections in pursuit of an elusive educational sweet spot: effective class size.

Films in the park and ethnic fests are just a few of Colorado’s affordable events

Summer in Colorado can be a season of sweet savings — especially for those who think ahead.

Free and affordable activities abound, in the cities and in the high country. But the clock is ticking. With about a month left until the official summer solstice (June 20), the time is now to plan to spend the season enjoying music, art, sports and this state’s splendid outdoors — without breaking the bank.

Here are several budget-minded tips to help round out your warm-weather calendar.

Free outdoor films

Denver Parks and Recreation has teamed up with

How to turn your kids’ summer boredom into blossoming brains

Hard to believe it’s almost done. My daughter is headed to fifth grade. But there’s no time for nostalgia – I’m too caught up in the whirlwind that is the end of a school year.

Then there’s the long, looming summer – a vast expanse that sounds great in theory – until it’s here and your kids are bored and they’re on the way to losing a good chunk of what they’ve learned this year.

To help you keep the learning going over the summer months, I’ve collected some great ideas and resources from the awesome cast of experts at EdNews Parent.