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Events: Treasure Trove, Free First Saturday and More

Free First Saturdays, sponsored by Target. The Denver Art Museum offers free general admission on the first Saturday of the month. Visitors can enjoy all of the museum’s regular offerings for free, including the many galleries and exhibitions on view throughout the complex. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; distribution of free tickets begins at 10 a.m. Tickets are available on-site only and while supplies last. Free First Saturdays are sponsored by Target and made possible by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

AMC Theatres Bring Your Baby Matinee, First Tuesday of Every Month. Crying babies? Breastfeeding? Stroller parking? All of the above is allowed at these special showings for parents like you.  On TuesdayApril 2 at noon see the movie The Host in a baby-friendly zone. That means the lights are brighter, the volume is lowered, and poopy diapers are not frowned upon. Plus, you can feel good about having some fun! Part of your ticket purchase will go to the Will Rogers Institute, a nonprofit that provides much-needed equipment to neonatal intensive care units and promotes research, treatment and education on cardio-pulmonary diseases. See the movie matinee at AMC Arapahoe Crossings 16, AMC Highlands Ranch 24, AMC Southlands Stadium 16, AMC Westminster 24.

Rodeo All-Star Weekend. Yeehaw! The nation’s top-ranked cowboys and cowgirls ride into Denver to compete in the first ever Rodeo All-Star Weekend at the National Western Stock Show Complex. The three-day event April 4-6 features seven top-level competitions and offers visitors a chance to meet rodeo stars and enjoy a weekend of fan activities. rodeoallstar.com

Cinco de Mayo Festival. The largest Cinco de Mayo festival in the U.S. fills Civic Center Park May 4-5 with more than 400,000 visitors for food, drink and music. Enjoy mariachi bands and hit international bands from Mexico on three stages, browse through hundreds of exhibitor booths, and fill up on great food and drink, children’s activities, a parade – and the hotly contested green chili cook off! cincodemayodenver.com

Disney on Ice Treasure Trove. On April 4-7 at the Denver Coliseum, get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn and enter the worlds of your other favorite Disney princesses –Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan and of course, the one who started it all, Snow White. Set sail with Peter Pan, the always sassy Tinker Bell and the cantankerous Captain Hook and his pirate pals on an adventure beyond Never Land. Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon as they discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’  Tick-Tock!  Tick-Tock!  Don’t be late to a very important date with Alice and the Mad Hatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army Of Cards.  Be sure to see this show full of memories guaranteed to last a lifetime. http://www.Ticketmaster.com/Treasure

Roller Derby Moms. The Roller Derby Moms Beth and Mona are not only popular on CBS’s The Amazing Race but they are also local moms from Arvada and Castle Pines. If you want to watch them in action (and we’re not talking TV), check them out at the Fillmore Auditorium in
Denver on April 6th. Beth’s team the Sugar Kill Gang will battle it out with the United States Pummeling Service.  Door open at 6 p.m., and the bout starts at 7 p.m. Kids 12 & under are free, and tickets can be purchased online by visiting their website www.rockymountainrollergirls.com.

Slush Huck at Crested Butte Mountain Resort will once again feature its Annual Slush Huck pond skimming event. On Saturday, April 6 cold water, costumes, skis, snowboards and good times come together for an entertaining show, as contestants attempt to make their way down the snow and across a 50 foot pond of water. Spectators will line the slopes and judges are on the edge of their seats for this once-a-year event. www.skicb.com/roost

 Schneetag at Snowmass. This hilarious event on April 14 makes Snowmass Mountain closing day an attendance must. The 6th Annual Schneetag event (pronounced Sch-knee Tog) invites teams of four to create a craft that they will pilot down a slope and attempt to float across a 75×20 ft. pond. Each team has a theme and will perform a skit before descending. Past prizes included a trip to the ESPN Summer X Games in Los Angeles, tickets to a professional sporting event in Denver and skis and snowboards. This year’s prizes are still to be determined.  www.aspensnowmass.com/events-and-activities.

Copper Man Winter Adventure Race. On Sunday, April 14, thrill-seeking snow lovers will embark on the 2nd Annual CopperMan Winter Adventure Race. A part of the Sunsation festival, this 3k foot race strides throughout Copper’s Village areas and includes frozen obstacles like a Hot Chocolate Pit and Human Luge and many more. Costumes are highly encouraged; pre-registration online is $25 and $30 the day-of. The celebration will finish with a free concert by Ozomotli at 3 p.m. in Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village.

Through April 28. A spunky little mouse learns some important life lessons in the Denver Children’s Theatre production of “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.” Based on the books by Caldecott Honor-winning author Kevin Henkes, the show tells the story of little Lilly and the trouble she encounters when she gets a bit too excited about her snazzy purse. In addition to the Sunday public performances, shows for school groups are available on weekdays, too. 1 p.m. Sundays, except March 31 and April 14. Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St.; 303-316-6360. Tickets are $10 general admission; $9 for children, students and seniors. To buy tickets in advance, call or visit maccjcc.org.

No Dogs Allowed at the Arvada Center.  From Feb. 7 – April 13. Leaving the Bronx for a day at the lake is a rare treat for Iris and her close-knit extended family. Despite Papi’s instructions to pack light, Mami brings enough food for a week and Iris sneaks in the family dog – after all El Exigente is part of the family! The drive to the lake is filled with all sorts of misadventure, but the family finally arrives at their destination, only to discover there are … No Dogs Allowed! Good humor prevails as everyone comes together to save the day in this warm and cheery family venture. Tickets $8 and $10. Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. http://arvadacenter.org/on-stage/no-dogs-allowed

 Denver Day of Rock.

Two dozen bands on five stages along a mile-long pedestrian path – and it’s all free!  This day long rock ‘n roll festival on May 25 attracts top groups like Fishbone for a free day of music and sunshine.  Beer gardens and food trucks help move the crowds from stage to stage at this family-friendly event that traditionally kicks of Memorial Day Weekend in Denver. It’s just the beginning of Denver’s Memorial Day Weekend fun – get more ideas at visitdenver.com/memorialdayweekend.

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Ongoing Fun for the Whole Family

Everything from roller coasters to rhinos.

Daily. After a popular run in 2012, the Children’s Museum of Denver relaunches its “3, 2, 1 … Blast Off!” exhibit. Created in conjunction with United Launch Alliance, “Blast Off!” teaches kids about the basics of rocket science by letting them build and launch their own rockets. The new version of “Blast Off!” includes two giant-size models of real-life rockets, plus a vaulted ceiling for vertical rocket launches — the previous space allowed only for horizontal flights. Museum members are invited to arrive at 9 a.m. Saturday for a special members-only hour before the museum opens. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. $9 for guests ages 2 to 59; $7 for 1-year-olds and seniors age 60 and older. mychildsmuseum.org.

NEW! Flight of the Butterflies 3D at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Opens February 15. A scientific adventure. A compelling detective story. A stunning sight to see. Flight of the Butterflies 3D is all this and more. Dr. Fred Urquhart spent nearly 40 years working to discover the monarch butterflies’ secret hideaway and solve the mystery of their unique migration path. In this dazzling 3D film, you will experience the inspiring story of this scientist’s passion and see up close the lifecycle of these beautiful creatures. Get a butterfly’s-view of the world as you fly over North America and into the isolated mountaintops in Mexico where you will encounter hundreds of millions of fluttering monarchs. www.dmns.org

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park

May – October

The nation’s ONLY downtown theme and water park opens for the season on May 4. With more than 45 thrilling rides, plus a splash-filled, 10-acre Water Park, musical stages, stunt shows, arcades and the StarToon Studios (a kiddie area with pint-sized fun), there’s something at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park for just about everyone. elitchgardens.com

Denver B-cycle

Through November

Explore the city on two wheels! Denver B-cycle is an automated bike sharing system designed for short trips around The Mile High City. It’s easy and fun. You can check out one of more than 500 bikes from any one of 50-plus stations (conveniently located near major attractions and neighborhoods) and return it to any other station. denver.bcycle.com

Colorado Rockies

April 5-September 25

Major league baseball returns to downtown Denver’s Coors Field on April 5, as the Rockies square off against the San Diego Padres. The fun continues all spring and summer long. For an affordable option, buy tickets in the Rockpile, where seats are just $4 for adults and $1 for kids under 12. coloradorockies.com

Toyota Elephant Passage

Year-round

Say hello to Denver’s new, five-ton locals. At 10 acres, this landmark $50 million exhibit at Denver Zoo is North America’s largest bull elephant habitat. You’ll see majestic Asian elephants cooling off in a shallow stream, Malaysian tapirs care for their young, acrobatic gibbons swinging overhead from tree to tree, fishing cats diving for their next meal and the piercing stare of a black leopard, all from the center of an Asian village. denverzoo.org

Titans of the Ice Age 3D at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Opens February 15.  Titans of the Ice Age 3D transports you back 10,000 years before modern civilization to the beautiful and otherworldly landscapes of North America, Europe, and Asia. Peer through the 3D canvas as dazzling computer-generated imagery brings this mysterious era and its giant animals to life. You will  come face to face with saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and woolly mammoths as they share the land with early humans who both feared and relied upon these majestic beasts. Experience this dynamic chapter in the age-old story of human ingenuity, a “trial by ice” that compelled our ancestors to seek understanding and meaning in nature. www.dmns.org

GPS Adventures at the Wildlife Museum. The Wildlife Experience recently opened its newest exhibit, which sets you on a course for hidden treasure… all you need is a GPS unit and a sense of adventure. This life-sized maze exhibition introduces visitors to cutting-edge Global Positioning Systems (GPS) through Geocaching – a family friendly treasure hunting game.  More than four million people around the world are on the hunt for over a million hidden treasures.  In addition to hidden booty, these geocachers are finding the real treasure: reconnecting with family, community and nature in a meaningful way.

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Also, don’t miss this event from Jeffco parks. LMNC programs are FREE and registration is required unless otherwise noted. Register online or by calling 720-497-7600. Looking for a program for your class, scout troop, or other group? Visit their website or call to learn about group programs.

Toddler Times: Hawks

10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Saturday, April 6 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Look up for hawks on Lookout Mountain. Discover the awesome adaptations of these amazing birds. (Ages 2-5, with an adult.)

 Observatory Open House

8:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13 (Pine Valley Ranch Park)

Join Astronomy Team members for an engaging look at the night sky and a tour of the historic William Baehr Observatory. Along the hike up Star View trail, stop at stations to view constellations, Saturn, nebula and more. Weather permitting, view through historic and modern telescopes. (Ages 10+.)

Should toys get a gender-neutral makeover?

Two months ago, Jorge Meija, of Martinez, spotted the perfect bicycle for his 4-year-old son, Julian, at a garage sale. It was gently used with sturdy wheels and a clean chain. It was also pink.

There was a time when Meija, an immigrant from a “traditional home where men went to work and women cooked and cleaned” would’ve left the bike behind because of its color.

But the $5 price spoke to him, as did the message it would send to Julian, who plays with his kitchen set with the same enthusiasm he brings to his trucks.

“I want my kids to understand gender without discriminating or thinking it is the only thing that defines them,” Meija says. “Dad cooks, and mom rode dirt bikes as a girl. Why should it matter?”

It is a common debate among parents and child development experts. Should gender be stripped from the $22 billion toy industry, or is a wave of new toys deliberately designed with gender in mind — like GoldieBlox, a construction kit pegged to girls, or an Easy-Bake Oven for boys — the answer to equal opportunity play? Perhaps a little bit of both.

From Model to Mom: What Fashions Are Hot for Spring 2013

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you could be front row at one of the spectacular fashion shows that take place during fashion weeks across the globe, you’re not alone. I often wonder if I could even contain myself if I got to sit amongst the fashion industry giants and be within feet of such beautiful couture clothes.

As unattainable as a front row seat feels, the clothing can sometimes feel just as far away from reality here in Denver. We have a few high-end boutiques and for them, I’m so grateful for the inspiration and fashions they offer. But for the most part, we are left with department stores and huge retail chains like Target.

As I poured over the runway photos filtering in from the Spring 2013 collections, I was inspired to pick six of my favorite looks and present a “Model to Mom” collection of outfits that ARE attainable to the fashionable Colorado moms.

The Housewife: A Hilarious Glimpse at American History

1955: Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
2013: Planning and doing are two very different concepts. In my mind I’ve planned millions of four-star meals. In reality, we eat a lot of take-out.

1955: Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
2013: The kids took the ribbon out of my hair and the dog ate it. I had intentions of taking a 15 minute rest but I sat in a puddle of pee someone left on the chair and my mascara ran when I started crying right before you came in the door.

1955: Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Potty Training Tips from a Mom of Nine

I have helped seven children graduate out of diapers and into undies. My first few kids were subjected to all kinds of nonsense, fueled by advice found in parenting manuals. Barrels of tears were cried as accidents mounted. Frustration and angst hung in the air as my main focus in life seemed to be the state of my little one’s innards. It took a long time to learn that bladders don’t know how to read anything, especially parenting manuals. Bladders don’t blow out birthday candles, either, so they aren’t aware they just turned two.

When I began thinking about potty training our fourth child, a thought occurred to me. My three oldest kids had terrible times mastering the numerous skills that need to come together. Kids need physical self-awareness, the ability to anticipate, savvy timing, communication skills, and muscle control. It’s a lot to piece together. If one or more of those elements are missing, all the candy and gold star stickers in the world won’t help. The kindest solution is one thing:

Denver Deal: Free Day at Botanic Gardens, March Madness Spa

Trial tuneup at the spa

Denver’s Oxford Club, Spa & Salon is getting into the March Madness frenzy with a March Madness Spa, Style & Sport package. For $65, guests receive a two-month trial membership to the Club’s Fitness Center, a classic manicure and pedicure and the choice of a 50-minute Swedish massage or Oxford facial. The Fitness Center offers daily group exercise classes along with strength training and cardio equipment. The package must be purchased by April 1 and redeemed by June 30. 1616 17th St., 303-628-5435, oxfordclubspa.com

Sspr says thank you

South Suburban Parks and Recreation is hosting its annual “Customer Appreciation Week” Sunday through April 7 with discounts on passes including punch, monthly and annual at Goodson in Centennial, Buck in Littleton and Lone Tree. Personal training sessions, massages and facials are also reduced during this time. Refreshments, blood pressure checks and other amenities are included. 303-347-5999, sspr.org

A suite deal

The Embassy Suites Denver Downtown is offering a new Denver Family Getaway package. The package is priced at $239 for a family of four (a 20-percent discount) and includes a room, four tickets to History Colorado, a pizza party dinner, a made-to-order breakfast, valet parking and a nightly reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The offer is good through Sept. 1 and is subject to availability. 1420 Stout St., 303-592-1000, denverdowntown. embassysuites.com

Free days this week

Wednesday: Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., botanicgardens.org

-Vickie Heath

Save money when shopping online: Tips from an expert

So the thing you want costs too much. Join the club! Here are a few general tips for online shopping that might help you pay less.

They’re using what they know about you

Before you try anything else, try this: Check the price in a different browser. It’s not a reliable way to find a lower price, but you might be pleasantly surprised.

Michelle Madhok, founder of shefinds.com, has a simple explanation: Some sites will serve up different prices based on the shopper’s location.

Events: Easter Egg Hunts Galore & Star Gazing!

Easter Egg Hunts

March 31 – Easter at Copper Mountain. EGGstreme youngsters 7-11 years old are invited to participate in the annual Center Village Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. featuring a whopping 50,000 eggs. Big “kids” can hunt for special “Copper Eggs” hidden on the mountain, while little bitty peeps have their very own hunt around Copper’s Climbing Wall at 11 a.m. The event also features photo ops with the Easter Bunny at West Lake in Center Village, tons of egg-cellent prizes, and a noon egg decorating party with all of the leftover treasure from the hunts.

Children’s Museum of Denver

March 30: The annual Spring Festival features the “Bunny Trail EggVenture” with indoor and outdoor activities, animals from the Urban Farm, story times with the Big Bunny, arts and craft stations and more, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Activities are included with museum admission, rides on Vern’s Mini-Train are $2 each. 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, 303-433-7444, mychildsmuseum.org

Colorado Journey Mini Golf at Cornerstone Park

March 29: Night Time Egg Hunts for children 5 and younger begin at 6 p.m., ages 6-9 begin at 7 p.m. and ages 10-13 starts at 8 p.m. The fee is $2 each and participants should bring a basket and flashlight to find eggs. 5150 S. Windermere St., Littleton, 303-347-5999, sspr.org

Evergreen Park and Recreation District

March 29: Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Buchanan Pool. Times for ages 1-3 are 5:30-5:45 p.m., ages 4-6 take a turn 5:45-6 p.m. and ages 7 and over go 6-6:15 p.m. Participants should wear a swimsuit and bring goggles if needed. Bring a plastic bag to collect eggs and trade it for a bag of candy. Refreshments available for purchase. 32003 Ellingwood Trail, Evergreen, 720-880-1117

Family Sports Dome

March 30: Hosting a free egg hunt for children 3 and under at 9:30 a.m., ages 4-6 at 10 a.m., ages 7-9 at 10:30 a.m. and ages 10-12 at 11 a.m. Children should bring their own baskets. Inflatable obstacle courses and fitness activities also offered. 6901 S. Peoria St., Centennial, 303-347-5999, sspr.org

Lafayette Recreation Department

Saturday: Annual Easter Egg hunts for ages 3-8 begins at 10 a.m. at Waneka Lake Park, 1600 Caria Drive in Lafayette. A hunt for ages 1-2 begins at 11 a.m. at Festival Plaza, 311 S. Public Road. Both hunts are free and children should bring a basket or bag for eggs. The Easter Bunny will be available for photos following the toddler hunt at Festival Plaza. The rain/snow date is March 30. cityoflafayette.com/recreation

Panorama Park

Saturday: Annual Easter Egg Hunt for ages 2-9 presented by the City of Wheat Ridge and Recreation and the Wheat Ridge/Arvada Kiwanis. Start time is 10 a.m. Free. Children should arrive by 9:45 a.m. and bring their own baskets. The Easter Bunny will greet all the “young egg-hunters.” W. 35th Avenue and Fenton Street, Wheat Ridge, 303-231-1300, in case of inclement weather, call for the rescheduled date

Sheridan Recreation Center

March 30: Children up to age 10 are invited to an egg hunt at 1:30 p.m. Arts and crafts and face painting is also included. Free. Children should bring baskets. 3325 W. Oxford, Ave., Sheridan, 303-347-5999, sspr.org

Arapahoe Basin

March 31 Beach’n Egg Hunt. Arapahoe Basin invites guests to this free event, as the Easter Bunny visits A-Basin for an egg hunt that both skiing and non-skiing children can enjoy. Kids on skis will head to one of the beginner trails to search for eggs, and those who wish to hunt on foot can search in the learning spaces near the base area. Each egg hunt will include a special “golden egg” with either a 5 and under season pass for the 2013 – 14 season (in the 5 and under Molly Hogan area) or a child’s 2013 – 14 season pass (the on-mountain egg hunt). arapahoebasin.com

Ski Granby Ranch. March 30 – 31 Closing Weekend. Ski Granby Ranch will have a DJ on the patio both days of closing weekend, and will be firing up the outdoor grill. On March 31, join the resort and the Easter Bunny who will be stopping by Ski Granby Ranch once again this year to bring plenty of eggs and cheer. The Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 11 a.m. Guests can celebrate with traditional spring splash at 1:30 p.m. and music at the base area. The festivities are free to the public. More information can be found at http://www.granbyranch.com/event-calendar.html.

Easter Egg Hunt – Mountair Park in Lakewood

Join Mountair Christian Church for a FREE Community Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m. The event will be held at Mountair Park located at 5620 W. 14th Ave. in Lakewood.

Jared’s Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, Mar 30 10 a.m.

Jared’s 5th Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday March 30th at Jared’s Nursery, Gift and Garden.

Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, Mar 30 10:00a

Easter Egg Hunt for all ages! Everyone is welcome! There will be age appropriate “eggs” for children under age 3. Leave your baskets at home, bags will be provided.

Highlands Ranch Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, Mar 30 10 a.m.
Northridge Park, Littleton

Grab your basket because the Easter Bunny is coming! Join us for the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Northridge Park.

Easter Breakfast and Egg Hunt

Friday, Mar 29 9:00a

Enjoy a hot breakfast before heading out to the backyard to see what the Easter Bunny left in this Festive Friday event!

Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, Mar 30 10:00a
Roosevelt Park, Longmont

Bring your Easter Baskets and join us for a FREE Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun at Roosevelt Park in Longmont…

Breakfast and Brunch with the Easter Bunny

Saturday, Mar 30 8:30a

WHAT: Visitors are welcome to hop on over to Downtown Aquarium Denver to enjoy egg-cellent Easter celebrations.

Bunny Bolt 5k/10k

Saturday, Mar 30 9:00a

Hop, run or walk on over to the 2nd Annual Bunny Bolt 5k/10k in beautiful City Park! Are you an avid runner? Slow walker? Parent with small kids? Well, we have something for everyone!

Easter Family Festival

Saturday, Mar 30 10:00a

Don’t Miss This fun family event – Easter Festival at Bear Valley Church, 10,001 W. Jewell Ave. in Lakewood, on March 30, 10:00 a.m.-noon.

Grandrabbit’s 37th Annual Easter Egg Event

Sunday, Mar 31 7:00p

The activities are for kids 10 and under. Race times: 1-3 years: 10am, 11am, Noon, 1pm 4-6 years: 10:20am, 11:20am, 12:20pm, and 1:20pm 7-10 years: 10:40am, 11:40am, 12:40pm, and 1:40pm.

Easter Brunch at St Julien

Sunday, Mar 31 9:00a

Guests will be served in Jill’s Restaurant and The Great Room. The Easter Bunny will be present for an Egg Hunt starting at 11:30 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m.

Easter Brunch Celebration Buffet — Loveland, Colorado

Sunday, Mar 31 10:00a

Enjoy a Loveland favorite Easter Buffet with lots of delicate holiday desserts! Assorted Fresh Baked Rolls and Breads. Assorted Fresh Baked Desserts Served in the Heritage Lodge.

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Free First Saturdays, sponsored by Target. The Denver Art Museum offers free general admission on the first Saturday of the month. Visitors can enjoy all of the museum’s regular offerings for free, including the many galleries and exhibitions on view throughout the complex. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; distribution of free tickets begins at 10 a.m. Tickets are available on-site only and while supplies last. Free First Saturdays are sponsored by Target and made possible by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

AMC Theatres Bring Your Baby Matinee, First Tuesday of Every Month. Crying babies? Breastfeeding? Stroller parking? All of the above is allowed at these special showings for parents like you.  On TuesdayApril 2 at noon see the movie The Host in a baby-friendly zone. That means the lights are brighter, the volume is lowered, and poopy diapers are not frowned upon. Plus, you can feel good about having some fun! Part of your ticket purchase will go to the Will Rogers Institute, a nonprofit that provides much-needed equipment to neonatal intensive care units and promotes research, treatment and education on cardio-pulmonary diseases. See the movie matinee at AMC Arapahoe Crossings 16, AMC Highlands Ranch 24, AMC Southlands Stadium 16, AMC Westminster 24.

Disney on Ice Treasure Trove. On April 4-7 at the Denver Coliseum, get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn and enter the worlds of your other favorite Disney princesses –Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan and of course, the one who started it all, Snow White. Set sail with Peter Pan, the always sassy Tinker Bell and the cantankerous Captain Hook and his pirate pals on an adventure beyond Never Land. Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon as they discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’  Tick-Tock!  Tick-Tock!  Don’t be late to a very important date with Alice and the Mad Hatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army Of Cards.  Be sure to see this show full of memories guaranteed to last a lifetime. http://www.Ticketmaster.com/Treasure

Slush Huck at Crested Butte Mountain Resort will once again feature its Annual Slush Huck pond skimming event. On Saturday, April 6 cold water, costumes, skis, snowboards and good times come together for an entertaining show, as contestants attempt to make their way down the snow and across a 50 foot pond of water. Spectators will line the slopes and judges are on the edge of their seats for this once-a-year event. www.skicb.com/roost

 Schneetag at Snowmass. This hilarious event on April 14 makes Snowmass Mountain closing day an attendance must. The 6th Annual Schneetag event (pronounced Sch-knee Tog) invites teams of four to create a craft that they will pilot down a slope and attempt to float across a 75×20 ft. pond. Each team has a theme and will perform a skit before descending. Past prizes included a trip to the ESPN Summer X Games in Los Angeles, tickets to a professional sporting event in Denver and skis and snowboards. This year’s prizes are still to be determined.  www.aspensnowmass.com/events-and-activities.

Copper Man Winter Adventure Race. On Sunday, April 14, thrill-seeking snow lovers will embark on the 2nd Annual CopperMan Winter Adventure Race. A part of the Sunsation festival, this 3k foot race strides throughout Copper’s Village areas and includes frozen obstacles like a Hot Chocolate Pit and Human Luge and many more. Costumes are highly encouraged; pre-registration online is $25 and $30 the day-of. The celebration will finish with a free concert by Ozomotli at 3 p.m. in Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village.

Through April 28. A spunky little mouse learns some important life lessons in the Denver Children’s Theatre production of “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.” Based on the books by Caldecott Honor-winning author Kevin Henkes, the show tells the story of little Lilly and the trouble she encounters when she gets a bit too excited about her snazzy purse. In addition to the Sunday public performances, shows for school groups are available on weekdays, too. 1 p.m. Sundays, except March 31 and April 14. Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St.; 303-316-6360. Tickets are $10 general admission; $9 for children, students and seniors. To buy tickets in advance, call or visit maccjcc.org.

No Dogs Allowed at the Arvada Center.  From Feb. 7 – April 13. Leaving the Bronx for a day at the lake is a rare treat for Iris and her close-knit extended family. Despite Papi’s instructions to pack light, Mami brings enough food for a week and Iris sneaks in the family dog – after all El Exigente is part of the family! The drive to the lake is filled with all sorts of misadventure, but the family finally arrives at their destination, only to discover there are … No Dogs Allowed! Good humor prevails as everyone comes together to save the day in this warm and cheery family venture. Tickets $8 and $10. Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. http://arvadacenter.org/on-stage/no-dogs-allowed
Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age. On Feb. 15, return to the Ice Age at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Marvel at life-size models of awe-inspiring Ice Age animals, fossil tusks and skulls, interactive videos, and hands-on activities. Examine the differences between mammoths—beasts weighing up to eight tons, bearing tusks up to 16 feet long—and mastodons, their shorter, stockier cousins. The 13,000-square-foot exhibition also looks at the role human predation, climate change, and other factors may have played in the eventual extinction of these giants. Tickets will go on sale Feb. 1. www.dmns.org/mammoths

GPS Adventures at the Wildlife Museum. Starting on Feb. 9, the Wildlife Experience opens its newest exhibit, which sets you on a course for hidden treasure… all you need is a GPS unit and a sense of adventure. This life-sized maze exhibition introduces visitors to cutting-edge Global Positioning Systems (GPS) through Geocaching – a family friendly treasure hunting game.  More than four million people around the world are on the hunt for over a million hidden treasures.  In addition to hidden booty, these geocachers are finding the real treasure: reconnecting with family, community and nature in a meaningful way.

Titans of the Ice Age 3D at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Opens February 15.  Titans of the Ice Age 3D transports you back 10,000 years before modern civilization to the beautiful and otherworldly landscapes of North America, Europe, and Asia. Peer through the 3D canvas as dazzling computer-generated imagery brings this mysterious era and its giant animals to life. You will  come face to face with saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and woolly mammoths as they share the land with early humans who both feared and relied upon these majestic beasts. Experience this dynamic chapter in the age-old story of human ingenuity, a “trial by ice” that compelled our ancestors to seek understanding and meaning in nature. www.dmns.org

 NEW! Flight of the Butterflies 3D at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Opens February 15. A scientific adventure. A compelling detective story. A stunning sight to see. Flight of the Butterflies 3D is all this and more. Dr. Fred Urquhart spent nearly 40 years working to discover the monarch butterflies’ secret hideaway and solve the mystery of their unique migration path. In this dazzling 3D film, you will experience the inspiring story of this scientist’s passion and see up close the lifecycle of these beautiful creatures. Get a butterfly’s-view of the world as you fly over North America and into the isolated mountaintops in Mexico where you will encounter hundreds of millions of fluttering monarchs. www.dmns.org

Daily. After a popular run in 2012, the Children’s Museum of Denver relaunches its “3, 2, 1 … Blast Off!” exhibit. Created in conjunction with United Launch Alliance, “Blast Off!” teaches kids about the basics of rocket science by letting them build and launch their own rockets. The new version of “Blast Off!” includes two giant-size models of real-life rockets, plus a vaulted ceiling for vertical rocket launches — the previous space allowed only for horizontal flights. Museum members are invited to arrive at 9 a.m. Saturday for a special members-only hour before the museum opens. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. $9 for guests ages 2 to 59; $7 for 1-year-olds and seniors age 60 and older. mychildsmuseum.org.

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Also, don’t miss this event from Jeffco parks. LMNC programs are FREE and registration is required unless otherwise noted. Register online or by calling 720-497-7600. Looking for a program for your class, scout troop, or other group? Visit their website or call to learn about group programs.

 Full Crow Moon Yoga Practice and Meditation

7-8:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Native Americans celebrate the first cawing of the crows in March as one of the first signs of spring. Please join us for a thoughtful, flowing yoga practice honoring the Full Crow Moon, which will rise outside the Nature Center windows as we finish our practice with a silent meditation. (Ages 10+.)

 Easter Pancake Breakfast

8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday, March 31 (Fairgrounds)

 Toddler Times: Hawks

10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Thursday, April 4 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Look up for hawks on Lookout Mountain. Discover the awesome adaptations of these amazing birds. (Ages 2-5, with an adult.)

Toddler Times: Hawks

10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Saturday, April 6 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Look up for hawks on Lookout Mountain. Discover the awesome adaptations of these amazing birds. (Ages 2-5, with an adult.)

 Observatory Open House

8:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13 (Pine Valley Ranch Park)

Join Astronomy Team members for an engaging look at the night sky and a tour of the historic William Baehr Observatory. Along the hike up Star View trail, stop at stations to view constellations, Saturn, nebula and more. Weather permitting, view through historic and modern telescopes. (Ages 10+.)

Too many worksheets? What parents should expect for homework

Worksheets.

What memories does the word conjure up for you?

I still have a deep olfactory memory of the damp mimeograph worksheets we used to sniff in class. Sometimes they were so damp a pencil barely worked.

You’d think that all school worksheets today would be online but they’re not. Some kids – right here in high tech happy Colorado –  are still coming home with mountains of good ‘ol worksheets.

So, do these pieces of paper really assist learning? Some probably do. Others, not so much. If you’re among the parents who question the value of so many worksheets at the younger grades, then you’ll appreciate the advice recently shared with EdNews readers from expert, teacher educator and mom Kathleen Luttenegger.

Movie review: “The Croods” a fantastic animated journey

Rated PG. 91 minutes. At area theaters

The following observation comes with apologies to the Geico Caveman:

Full of code-enabled visual artistry and infused with story-telling wisdom, “The Croods” is epochs ahead of its fear-driven cave-dad Grug.

And yet, the family that leaves their cave out of necessity and embarks on a journey in DreamWorks’ latest animated feature turns out to be a touching poster clan for the joys and pangs, risks and rewards of evolving.