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Events: A Taste of Colorado, free festivals and more

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Taste of Colorado. A Labor Day tradition in Denver, Taste of Colorado not only has more than 50 of Colorado’s favorite food establishments and 280 Marketplace booths but loads of family-friend events. Featured acts, including Wayne and Wingnut’s “Red Hot Chili Puppets” Comedy Ventriloquist, Bekah Smith’s One-Woman Circus Adventure, and Mr. Kneeel’s Hip Hop for Families, are set to appear on the Comfort Dental KidzStage. Children and adults can stay busy for hours with carnival rides, games, educational exhibits, and more.  The KidZone presented by MIX 100 is a family-friendly area offering play equipment and table tennis. There will also be a great variety of free, hands-on craft activities for children of all ages, presented by 101.9 WAY-FM. KidZone hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 30; and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat., Aug. 31 through Mon., Sept. 2. The four-day, free admission, food, music, and entertainment festival will take place in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park. www.atasteofcolorado.com

5th Annual Smokin’ Brew BBQ. On Friday Aug. 30- Sunday Sept. 1, meat-lovers unite at this KCBS-Sanctioned BBQ competition in Parker, Colo. There will also be teams that will be vendors at the Smokin’ Brew offering samples of brisket, pulled pork, chicken and sausage, not to mention music all three days of the event. For the kids there will be bounce houses and some kid friendly food vendors. http://www.ourparkercolorado.com/smokin-brew-bbq-competition-labor-day-weekend/

Copper Mountain. Copper Mountain’s Labor Day tradition, Copper Country, is a free Labor Day festival tradition celebrating the best of the American spirit. Incredible live music, an arts festival, and Copper Kids Arts & Crafts come together to make this Labor Day weekend event ideal for the entire family. This year’s lineup includes Savannah Jack, The Long Players, Michael McDonald, Texaco Country Showdown and headliner Kenny Rogers. More information can be found at CopperCountryFest.com.

Durango Mountain Resort. Durango Mountain Resort is open weekends and Labor Day now through September 29. Visitors can enjoy a bevy of adventure activities including a new ropes obstacle course, new water runners, mountain biking, hiking, scenic chairlift rides, an alpine slide, climbing wall, bungee trampolines and more. Guests can take advantage of lodging packages starting at $38 per person, per night, and enjoy two nights lodging and Total Adventure Tickets for the entire family, which include Alpine Slide rides, miniature golf and other activities like the bungee trampoline, the new ropes obstacle course, climbing wall, the new Water Runners, and more.  www.DurangoMountainResort.com

The Zoppé Family Circus welcomes guests into the intimate 500 seat tent for a one-ring circus that honors the best history of the Old-World Italian tradition. Starring Nino the clown, the circus is propelled by a central story (as opposed to individual acts) that feature acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation. Tickets are $20 for VIP chair seating or $15 for general admission, and children under 2 are free. There will be one performance Labor Day weekend on Friday, three performances on Saturday and Sunday and one performance on Sunday providing guests ample opportunities to see the show during their Labor Day weekend at Winter Park. For more information, visit WinterParkResort.com/events-and-activities.
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
Be sure to see Peter and the Starcatcher Aug. 15 through Sept. 1 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. A grownup’s prequel to the beloved story of Peter Pan, Broadway’s most mayhem-filled evening of madcap fun launches its national tour in Denver. With enormous talent, ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination, experience the story of a nameless boy who becomes Peter Pan.
Denver’s Annual Rocky Mountain PBS KIDS Fun Fest. On Sept. 7, Rocky Mountain PBS is hosting a fantastic FREE party for families. Ideal for kids preschool age through sixth grade, the event will host PBS characters such as Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Word Girl and Sid the Science Kid. Entertainment from the stage includes performances by outstanding local talent guaranteed to get everyone moving. Healthy refreshments will be offered and kids will enjoy moving around to different activity areas featuring Discovery Street, PBS Healthy Kids Go, PBS Science KIDS, PBS KIDS Create and PBS ABCs & 123s KIDS. The event will be held at Rocky Mountain PBS, 1089 Bannock Street, Denver from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. http://www.rmpbs.org/funfest
Free Library Concert. On Saturday, September 7, the Denver Public Library is hosting a free concert with award-winning children’s musician Jim Gill. Suitable for families with kids ages birth – three, the interactive show will feature energetic rhythms on Jim’s banjo while everyone claps, sings, dances and even sneezes along to the silly and inspiring musical games that he creates.  The concert will take place at the Denver Central Library, B2 Conference Center, 10 W. 14th Ave Parkway (at Broadway), 2 p.m. FREE, no RSVP required. http://denverlibrary.org/jim-gills-family-room-tour
Denver Art Museum Friendship Powwow. On Sept. 7, experience powwow dance and pageantry, participate in a community mural project, enter to win prize drawings, browse vendor booths, and enjoy your first (or 101st) piece of fry bread at the Denver Art Museum.
http://www.denverartmuseum.org/calendar/23rd-annual-denver-art-museum-friendship-powwow
Festival Italiano. On Sept. 7-8, the annual Festival Italiano Food & Wine Festival at Belmar Center is a fun-filled celebration of all things Italian. The event will feature over 70 of the finest Italian food, wine and artisan vendors from the area who will sell ceramics, gelato, sausage, baked goods, pasta, flowers, herbs, sculpture, antique maps, produce, pizza and much more. www.belmarcolorado.com/sub/event/festival_italiano/index.html
Kids Running America. Registration continues through Sept. 16: Registration is open for the KRA Fall Marathon Running Program, an incremental running program designed for kids to run 26.2 miles over a 10- to 12-week time frame, finishing their final mile at Washington Park on Oct. 27. The registration fee is $30 and includes the program, a mileage-tracking system, virtual running map, training incentives, entry into the Final Mile Event, race-day goodie bag, finisher’s medal, T-shirt and certificate of completion. Individuals and teams may register.
 Nick Cave: Soundsuits at the Denver Art Museum. Through September 22, renowned contemporary artist Nick Cave will debut a new body of work at the Denver Art Museum in the summer of 2013. The exhibition features a combination of multimedia elements and performances along with a selection of figurative sculptures the artist dubbed “Soundsuits.”
More Info: www.denverartmuseum.org 
Hike & Seek. National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest conservation organization, is pleased to announce the fourth annual Hike & Seek event on Sept. 28 9 a.m.-noon at South Platte Park, in Littleton. Hike & Seek is a family outing that inspires a child’s sense of adventure by combining a nature hike and scavenger hunt. The event brings families together for a few hours in the great outdoors for some fresh fall air and fun and provides an opportunity to rediscover nature. People are encouraged to sign up at www.hikeandseek.org early to buy tickets and then show up ready to spend some family time in nature.
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Nature Programs

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.

Preschool Nature Nuts: Wild Homes
Thursday, September 5
10:15 or 11:15 AM Lookout Mountain Nature Center
Wild homes can be anywhere. Discover which animals live in the dirt, dead trees, nests, and hives. Create a collage and search for these wild homes outside.
Kids ages 3-5 with an adult.

Preschool Nature Nuts: Wild Homes
Saturday, September 7
10:15 or 11:15 AM Lookout Mountain Nature Center
Wild homes can be anywhere. Discover which animals live in the dirt, dead trees, nests, and hives. Create a collage and search for these wild homes outside.
Kids ages 3-5 with an adult.

Fall Wildflowers
Sunday, September 8
9:00 – 11:00 AM South Valley Park
Walk with a Native Plant Master and discover the importance of our native plants to wildlife and humans.
Ages 13-adult.

They Eat What?! Hike & Family Picnic
Saturday, September 14
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Flying J Ranch Park
You won’t believe what some creatures consider food. Join this interactive, savory look at wildlife feeding habits before we dive into our own picnic lunches.
All ages.

Fall Stories
Sunday, September 15
2:00 – 3:30 PM Lookout Mountain Nature Center
Take a short walk to discover what is interesting in the pine woods on that day, then come inside for a story about nature and place.
Ages 6-adult.

Toddler Nature Nuts: Wild Homes
Thursday, September 19
10:15 or 11:15 AM Lookout Mountain Nature Center
Wild homes can be anywhere. Discover which animals live in the dirt, dead trees, nests, and hives. Create a collage and search for these wild homes outside.
Kids 2-years old with an adult.

Harvest Moon Rise
Friday, September 20
7:00 – 8:30 PM Deer Creek Canyon Park
Enjoy an evening hike to a ridge top as we watch the Harvest Moon rise over the plains. Learn about phases, features and traditional Harvest Moon tales.
Ages 6-adult.

Jr. Naturalists: Fabulous Fliers
Saturday, September 21
1:00 – 2:30 PM Lookout Mountain Nature Center
Ever want to soar like an eagle or be as graceful as a dragonfly? Join us and learn how birds, bats and insects make it look so easy.
Kids ages 6-10 w/ adult.

Aspens: The Greatest Survivors
Sunday, September 22
1:00 – 3:00 PM Meyer Ranch Park
Our beautiful Rocky Mountain Aspens with thin trunks and dainty leaves are no weaklings. In the fall, you are charmed by their color. Now learn why they may be the mightiest tree in nature.
Ages 6-adult.

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.
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Ongoing Fun for the Whole Family

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

Spun: Adventures in Textiles
Through September 22, Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) takes a wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to modern fiber art, Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography.
More Info: www.denverartmuseum.org

Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture
Through January 12, 2014, Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens celebrates the achievements and vision of Colorado sculptors in this astonishing outdoor group exhibition. Twelve artists view the garden spaces differently, altering the landscape with amazing 3-D work.
More Info: www.botanicgardens.org

 

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