Capitol Hill People’s Fair. On June 1-2, the largest of Denver’s summer festivals, this fun and funky event in Civic Center Park features live music, one-of-a-kind arts and crafts, and a food bazaar with Colorado cuisine. This year the Kids Corral will include a carnival as well as free craft projects and activities for kids including spin art from KOSI 101 and crafts projects from the Girl Scouts and Home Depot. Don’t miss the bungee trampolines, bounce houses, rock climbing wall and more from the kid’s carnival! http://www.peoplesfair.com/
Theatre-Hikes Colorado. June 1 and 2, 11 a.m.; June 8 and 9 11 a.m.; June 15 and 16 10:30 a.m.; June 23, 10:30 a.m. Join Theatre-Hikes Colorado for an exciting retelling of “Snow White” by Marjorie Sokokoff where audience and actors take a moderate hike amidst the scenic backdrop of Boulder Open Space while scenes from “Snow White” are performed along the way. This updated version of the classic story unveils the villain’s perspective, from her tragic childhood to her quest for revenge. Join all seven quirky dwarves, a tongue-tied prince, a sassy mirror, a dancing chicken, and of course Snow White, in a tale about beauty, friendship and happily-ever-afters with a twist. Audience members are encouraged to bring camping chairs and/or blankets and mats to sit on while watching the scenes. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children 10 and under. Meet in the Chautauqua Picnic Shelter. Theatre-Hikes Colorado.
Elitch Gardens. The nation’s ONLY downtown theme and water park is now open daily for the summer. 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. New additions this year include a family-friendly rollercoaster Blazin’ Buckaroo and seven new shows including the must-see Cirque Conjure in the Trocadero Theater, a sophisticated combination of illusions, music, dance and comedy parents and kids will enjoy. elitchgardens.com
The Heritage Square Music Hall Children’s Theatre presents “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Emperor Mullinium is the original “Fashionista” and thinks more of his clothes than his own people! Is that any way for an Emperor to behave? We think not! It’s up to the audience to help him get his priorities straight. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” runs through August 31, 2013 with performances every Saturday at 1:30 PM. Tickets: $8 for children and adults, $7 for seniors (62 and up). Special rates for groups of ten or more children apply. Weekday performances are available, but vary, so call for information. For reservations, call 303-279-7800. Heritage Square Music Hall Children’s Theatre is located at 18301 W. Colfax D-103, Golden, CO 80401. More information at www.hsmusichall.com
Golden’s First Friday Street Fair on June 7. Year round, Golden’s downtown merchants offer extended hours and special deals and events on the first Friday of each month, but during the months of June through October (June 7, July 5, August 2, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4), First Fridays include a lively Street Fair from 5-8 p.m. on Washington Avenue. There will be entertainment, music, specialty foods from Golden restaurants, and more. A Golden favorite, free horse-drawn carriage rides, are available. Pick up your ride on 12th Street between Washington and Arapahoe. visitgolden.com
Arvada’s 2nd Saturday Street Festival. Summer evenings in Olde Town Arvada will again come to life at the upcoming 2nd Saturday Street Festivals, presented by Historic Olde Town Arvada. The music of top-notch local favorites Chris Daniels and the Kings, The Wendy Woo Band, and The Indulgers will echo down Grandview Avenue on June 8, July 13, and August 10 from 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m. The best way to enjoy live music in a charming historic shopping district is with a plate of tasty street food and an ice cold beer (be sure to try some ice cream and candy from Scrumptious, authentic Belgian fries from Manneken Frites, or any number of dining choices such as Udi’s Pizza Cafe Bar, Archive Room, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop or live music and eats at the D Note). Visitors will find plenty of food choices, beer and wine, and shopping options from vendor booths lining the street. A wide array of kids’ activities will create a fun, safe, and welcoming environment for guests of all ages. www.oldetownarvada.orgh
Cherry Creek Arts Festival. The annual festival July 5-7 is a world-class and award-winning celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts and enjoys an annual attendance of over 350,000 visitors. Special exhibits, art and culinary demonstrations, and interactive family activities on “Artivity Avenue” complement the free festival experience. Hours: 10 a.m-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. CherryArts.org
Public Works Theatre Company is setting up shop in Lafayette, offering professional theatrical productions and educational programs for family audiences with its first show and kids’ clown camp in July. Public Works’ first production, “Wanda & The Wave,” will open in Boulder on June 21-23 at The Wesley Chapel, and show in Lafayette on July 13-14 at The Mary Miller Theater. This whimsical tale about appreciating the world around us will be told through puppetry and is adapted by Blanchard from the children’s book The Old Woman and The Wave by Shelley Jackson. http://www.publicworkstheatre.com
Free Parenting Seminar: Being a Voice for Your Child with Special Healthcare Needs. Do you want more information on how you can be a voice for your child at school, in the doctor’s office, or in a patient room? On Tuesday, June 13 from 6-8 p.m., make sure you know what to ask your physician and when it is time to ask for a second opinion. Children’s Hospital Colorado Main Campus, Mt. Harvard, 2nd Floor Conference and Education Center. Admission to the seminar is free, but space is limited! Please reserve your spot today. Questions? Call 720.777.4630.
June Family Night at the Denver Botanic Gardens. On Friday, June 21st from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., celebrate Summer Solstice, the start of summer on the longest day of the year. People will discover the science of the solstice, explore the power of the sun, and investigate the life cycle of sunflowers. “The Playmakers” will join us for a special interactive performance of the popular story “Where the Wild Things Are.” Pre-registration is encouraged, but drop-ins are welcome. Cost is $20 member, $25 non-member for family of four; $3 member, $4 non-member for each additional person. Children two and under free. www.botanicgardens.org
Great American Backyard Campout. On June 22, 2013, thousands of people across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in a one-night free event that is sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation. The event encourages an experience for all generations to connect with nature. Go here to register for free, find a campsite and learn more about the program. www.nwf.org/great-american-backyard-campout.
Young People’s Concerts “The Animated Orchestra.” On Saturday, June 29 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. at the Chautauqua Auditorium. The Animated Orchestra is a narrated work about a cartoon score being performed at a symphony concert for ages four and up. The hero of the cartoon is a ferret – an animal known for its insatiable curiosity and playfulness – that inadvertently sneaks into an instrument repair shop late one night while its owner, a sleepy older gentleman, dozes. There’s more to the adventure as things progress beyond the shop! Following each concert, join us on the lawn for a Music Fair where kids can meet real live ferrets, costumed characters, try the instrument petting zoo, enjoy face painting, balloon tying, a scavenger hunt, snacks and more. $8, $7 for groups of 10 or more. www.comusic.org
Oz with Orchestra. On Friday, July 5 7:30 p.m. at the Chautauqua Auditorium, Boulder the Colorado Music Festival presents one of the most beloved films of all time, The Wizard of Oz, in this magical new production. Hearing Judy Garland’s original 1939 studio recordings backed by lush, live orchestration will transport children and adults alike. Come dressed as your favorite Wizard of Oz character and you might just win the costume contest! Tickets $12-$48.
Buffalo Bill Days, July 26-28, Friday, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Thousands of people fill the streets of Golden every summer for this popular three-day celebration. The original event dates back to the 1950’s when the Buffalo Bill Saddle Club gave trail rides to Buffalo Bill’s grave at the top of Lookout Mountain. One year the local Chamber of Commerce decided to expand the trail ride into a full-scale event to promote the city. That summer, a large contingent of trail riders rode up the mountain. But when they rode back down, they circled through the town, and a crowd of people lined the streets to greet them. Thus, the first Buffalo Bill Days parade was born. Over the years, this has become the biggest annual event in Golden with the addition of a Cody’s Wild West event, a car show, the ever popular Muttin Bustin’ competition, a golf tournament, live entertainment, free kiddie train rides, a duck race and other children’s activities, an arts and crafts fair, and more. You’ll find most of the events at these locations: downtown Golden, Parfet Park, and various historical museums and parks around town. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.buffalobilldays.com.
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.
Saturn & Stars 9-10:30 p.m. Friday, June 7 (Pine Valley Ranch Park). Stunning Saturn is quite a sight to see, along with other sparkling gems in the night sky. Join astronomy team members for an engaging, interactive look at the night sky. Weather permitting. (Ages 10+.)
Hildebrand Ranch Special Access Hike. 8-10 a.m. Saturday, June 8 (Meeting location TBD). A portion of Hildebrand Ranch property is designated as sensitive and closed to public access to ensure minimal habitat disturbance. Join this unique opportunity and enjoy the special wildlife area with Jefferson County Open Space Natural Resource Specialists. (Ages 13+.)
National Get Outdoors Day. 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8 (Denver – City Park). Visit Nature Center Naturalists at one of the stops at this Denver event. Find out about different organizations and agencies that can help your family connect to the outdoors. Enjoy fun activities for kids, including outdoor skills, map and compass games, geology and much more. Visit ngod.getoutdoorscolorado.org for details. (All ages.)
Wildflower Festival. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center). Celebrate the incredible diversity and importance of native wildflowers through fun activities for the whole family. Explore stations on wildflowers, pollinators and water conservation. Learn to identify invasive weeds, listen to a plant story, enjoy a wildflower hike, and browse the native plants available for sale. Kids can make crafts and watch a puppet show.
Plant stories at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Puppet shows at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Wildflower hikes at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
All other activities ongoing. Admission is FREE and registration is not required. (All ages.)
40th Anniversary Exhibit
March 19 to November 17 (Hiwan Homestead Museum)
Come celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Jefferson County Historical Society and Jefferson County Open Space, which was voted into existence in 1972 and began receiving funds in 1973. Displays will center on important points in history, interesting facts about the development of Open Space and a variety of memorabilia.
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. New additions this year include a new family-friendly rollercoaster Blazin’ Buckaroo and seven new shows including the must-see Cirque Conjure in the Trocadero Theater, a sophisticated combination of illusions, music, dance and comedy parents and kids will enjoy. elitchgardens.com
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
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
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.