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Slain toddler’s memory lives through bicycle project for toddlers

When Jen Charrette watches toddlers scooting around on pedal-less Strider bikes, she feels a grief-tinged happiness. The children remind her of Axel, her 2-year-old son who was slain in a Mexican beach town while the family was wintering there in February 2013.

Axel liked nothing better than to push himself along on his Strider — or his “chariot” as his parents called it — as fast as his chubby little legs would take him.

“It is bittersweet,” Jen Charrette said about watching other kids on the bikes now. “It mostly just makes me feel good to remember him in that way.”

Instead of withdrawing into grief, Jen, her husband, Randy, and their oldest son, Kalden, continue to honor Axel by ensuring other kids learn to enjoy cycling. Through their Axel Project foundation they have given away 120 of the beginner Strider bikes and introduced countless kids to the benefits of exercise through Axel Adventure Zones at cycling events like the recent Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge.

Jen and Randy Charette honor their son's death through raising awareness during the USA Pro Challenge race in Denver, CO.On Saturday, the Charrettes held the Axel Project fundraiser bike ride from their town of Ridgway to Telluride and back. More than 80 people who have been moved by Axel’s story registered to pedal over Dallas Divide.

The riders are from around the country and did include pro racer

Tom Danielson, who recently won the Tour of Utah and was second in the Pro Challenge. But Danielson’s successes, and his team’s new schedule for him, forced him to withdraw from the Axel ride this week — but not to pull back on his support for the cause.

Danielson has promised to collaborate with the Charrettes on a fundraising ride in Boulder at Thanksgiving.

While the Charrettes have been devoting themselves to building the Axel Project, they have also been working to make sure Axel’s suspected killer and an accomplice are prosecuted in Mexico. The two have been held in a Mexican jail since the day of the slaying.

“It’s been a long process,” Randy Charrette said. “They are still in the middle of the trial.”

The Charrettes have retained a lawyer in Mexico to keep them informed about the case. The Mexican Consulate in Puerto Vallarta also has been helpful, Randy said.

Eleodoro Carlos Rodriguez Sanchez is standing trial on charges of rape and murder. His former girlfriend, Nancy Saralee Solorio Perez, is being tried for homicide because she allegedly did nothing to stop the killing after she let Sanchez into the Charrettes’ gated rental home in Sayulita. She was babysitting the Charrette children.

Jen Charrette said when she attends Axel Project events, including the ride and the Strider zones this weekend, she does not focus on those grim circumstances. She stays positive by watching excited kids taking their first spin.

Nowadays, she sometimes does that with a baby strapped in a pack.

Lars Charrette was born three months ago to the 40-year-old mother who shouldn’t have been able to have more children. Her tubes had been tied after Axel was born. Her chance of getting pregnant was less than 1 percent.

“We call him our little miracle baby,” she said.

And in 10 months or so, she said, Lars will be clambering on a little bike — just like Axel did.

Nancy Lofholm

Randy Charrette shows off the tattoo of his son that he has on his right forearm next to his booth The Axel Project at Civic Center in Denver, August 24, 2014. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Randy Charrette shows off the tattoo of his son that he has on his right forearm next to his booth The Axel Project at Civic Center in Denver, August 24, 2014. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Teen confession sites: What they are and what parents can do about them

Last week my husband stumbled on a Twitter account that shared “compliments” about local high school students. While many of the Tweets were harmless – “The juniors have the hottest guys” or “Kelly is the sweetest girl I know” – frequently, they veered into more explicit territory, commenting on students’ sexual prowess and worse. Some posts were anonymous; others included Twitter handles or the students’ full names.

Then we found another account, this one sharing anonymous “confessions” (many appear to be rumors) from area students. Most of the posts involve drug abuse and casual sex. Many include first and last names and/or the name of the school the “confession” originated from. Few are fit to be reprinted here.

Reading through these was enough to make me want to ban both of my girls from the Internet and social media until they’ve graduated from college.

After the local paper reported on the confessions account, I checked in with Google to see if this was just a local phenomenon. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Google “Twitter high school confessions” and you’ll get pages and pages of high school confessions accounts and news stories like this one from across the country reporting on this new brand of over sharing and cyber bullying.

Posts range from tame: “Happy Easter!” To wistful: “I regret not kissing you.” To desperate: “No one sees the scars or cuts on my legs.”

But sex seems to be the most popular subject matter – especially the sex other people may or may not be having.

There’s even an account with more than 21,000 followers that curates the best student confessions from around the U.S.

Confessions are collected in a variety of ways – I found accounts using Twitter’s direct messaging, posting a phone number for people to text to, and using third-party services like Survey Monkey, Google Docs or Ask.fm.

And Twitter isn’t the only place you’ll find these types of posts; teens have taken to Tumblr and Facebook too, creating pages with their school’s name (but often denying any affiliation with the school).

While the content is shocking and inappropriate, Erin Hollenbaugh, an assistant professor of communication studies at Kent State University at Stark told CantonRep.com that using social media in this way can be cathartic for teens.

“Twitter is like a big bathroom stall,” she said. “Teenagers have always done this sort of thing. Human nature is not necessarily different just because the avenues have changed. There are so many avenues now for people to gossip.”

Plus, if it’s any consolation, the accounts don’t appear to have very long lifespans – many have been around for less than a year and are only active for a few months at a time.

What you can do about it

You might not be able to stop your kid or other kids from writing on a digital bathroom stall, but if you’re worried about your child, you can be proactive about following them on Twitter and searching for mentions of their full name or username. In addition, you can try searching for “confessions” or “compliments” accounts linked to the school or school district your child attends.

There are several actions you can take if you or your child is on the receiving end of inappropriate or unwanted Tweets.

Twitter offers several suggestions for dealing with online abuse including unfollowing and blocking the user. If you continue receiving unwanted @replies, Twitter recommends reporting the abusive user if they are posting private information, being abusive or sending violent threats.

If the abuse goes beyond name-calling and you feel there is danger of a physical threat, Twitter recommends alerting local law enforcement about the harassing behavior. Be sure to document all interactions either with screenshots or print-outs, be specific about why you’re concerned, and offer authorities any insight you have as to who is involved – including any evidence of abusive behavior you’ve found on other sites – and share any previous threats you’ve received.

Check out Twitter’s ”Safety & Security” page for more ideas on how to protect yourself and address concerns you might have for content you’ve found on the site.

While unwelcome Tweets aren’t typically grounds for criminal charges, police would be interested if there’s a threat made to a school or individual. If you want to pursue legal action, defamation lawsuits from Tweets are on the rise around the world. The legal help site Nolo offers a helpful article on social media and online defamation to help you decide whether the content that was shared was worth pursuing legal action.

Finally, there are several resources available for addressing cyber bullying including the National Crime Prevention Council, Cyberbullying Research Center, StopBullying.gov and ConnectSafely.org.

By the time my girls are old enough to be using social media, I imagine the proverbial bathroom stall will have transformed again. And in the probable event that I’m unable to ban them from the Internet, I guess the best I can do is teach them to respect themselves and respect others before writing their own confessions.

Susan Jennings

Foodie Friday: Grilled Chicken Paillards with Peach and Arugula Salad

Labor Day, summer’s last hurrah, is a feast day. And mostly — tell the truth! — we tend to overdo it. Ribs, steaks, burgers and hot dogs? Check!

Vegetables and other light fare? Not so much. The standard routine amounts to the summer version of Thanksgiving, except that after the meal everyone collapses onto the lawn rather than a couch.

Allow me to propose an alternative — a dish that’s simultaneously light and refreshing and substantial: chicken paillard. Paillard is a French culinary term referring to a piece of meat pounded thin, then grilled or sautéed. In this case, we’re going to marinate and grill chicken breasts, then top them off with a peach and arugula salad glorified with a full-fat blue cheese dressing.

Where do you find these skinny cuts of chicken? Chances are you can pick up thin chicken breast cutlets at the supermarket. Or you can buy chicken breasts of average girth, pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes, then cut them horizontally into two thin cutlets.

Whatever kind of breasts you start with, you’ll need to pound the cutlets to the desired thinness. And you’ll want to avoid shredding them in the process, which happens sometimes.

Here’s a little trick to avoid any shredding. Sprinkle both sides of the cutlet with cold water before putting it between two sheets of plastic wrap (or in a zip-close plastic bag). Then pound away, as planned, with a meat pounder or a rolling pin. You’ll notice that the water cushions the meat, preventing it from sticking to the plastic and shredding.

Next, it’s time to bathe the cutlets for an hour in a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon and garlic. Their thinness helps them to soak up the flavor fast. Grilling the cutlets takes almost no time at all, about 1 minute per side. Let them rest for 5 minutes, and they’re good to go.

They also happen to be delicious at room temperature an hour later, which gives you the option of grilling the chicken ahead of time, thus cutting down the stress of cooking while the party people are swarming the grill. However you do it, remember to save the juices from the plate on which the cutlets were resting; you’ll want to drizzle it onto the chicken before topping it with the salad.

And the salad is a cinch — sliced fresh summer peaches and baby arugula (or your favorite greens) tossed with a blue cheese dressing. Happily, a little bit of full-fat blue cheese goes a long way. In this recipe, 1 ounce serves four people. Indeed, it’s so rich that I’ve combined it with low-fat mayonnaise, Greek yogurt and a little bit of water to thin it out. Toasted walnuts (a king among nuts, health-wise) provide the final touch.

See if this dish doesn’t allow you to kiss off the summer with abandon without knocking you to your knees in the process.

[yumprint-recipe id=’29’]By Sara Moulton
Associated Press

“Exasperating” video goes viral when mom announces pregnancy to preschooler

“What were you thinking?”

It’s not very often that a 4-year-old responds that way to his mom after she happily announces she is pregnant. 

But that’s exactly how Tré reacted to his mom Shanee Gibson Hart from Fort Lewis in Washington.

And do you know what else? He claims: “This is exasperating.”

Parents these days.


Video

Hello Kitty not a real cat? Gretchen reveals her real mom!

I first heard it on the Today show this morning: Hello Kitty is not, in actuality, even a cat.

I wondered if my entire life was a lie?

Apparently I wasn’t the only one and be sure to check out our beloved Gretchen’s hilarious post about the matter.

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Late last night, the news broke. The internet went wild. Bafflement ensued. The masses learned Hello Kitty is not actually a Felis catus sporting a Redis Hairbowis near her pointy little ear. Many expressed shock and wonderment at the news. Of course Hello Kitty is a cat. She has ears and whiskers! Next, you’ll be telling us that Goofy is not a kangaroo.

It turns out Hello Kitty is a third grader named Kitty White.

As I read about Hello Kitty, it slowly dawned on me. I am the mother of Hello Kitty. Of course, there are a few inconsistencies but the main facts are this:

~ Beatrix is in third grade. So is Hello Kitty.

~ Beatrix’s nickname since birth has been “Kitty Cat” or just “Kitty.” In fact, we call her “Kitty” more than we call her Beatrix sometimes. I wake her up every morning by saying, “Kitty, time to get up Kitty-girl!”

~ Our last name  CLICK TO KEEP READING

Advanced newborn expert shares 5 must-haves and 5 “nice to haves” for baby’s nursery

I’m a first-time mom. While I’m totally in love with my five-month-old, I can’t stand excessive amounts of baby stuff or the clutter it creates. There seems to be a gadget for everything related to babies. (Hmm-bottle sterilize? Hot water and soap has been working for generations.) You could easily spend a mini fortune and fill every gap of space in your home with baby related items.

When it came to baby gear, I adapted the “less is more” philosophy because of….

1)    My “Type-A” Personality- I like our house neat, clean and organized. Less stuff makes that easier for me.
2)    The Need to Save Money and Space- Enough said.
3)    Our Need for Adult Space & Sanity-At day’s end, I want to drink a glass a wine with my hubby and act like a well-rested sophisticated adult while not stepping on Sophie the Giraffe or tripping over trucks. Keeping the baby stuff to a minimum in our living spaces, especially after he goes to bed, helps us focus on one another and talk about other things than our baby!

While my preference on baby stuff is “less is more,” you might feel differently and want all the gadgets, bells, whistles and newest creations. And of course, that is totally fine! Either way, list below is still applicable as these are “Must-Have” recommendations for all parents!

Kris Bineau of Hush A Bye Baby Newborns is a certified advanced newborn care specialist in Parker, Colorado who has been helping babies for 30 years and has worked with over 100 families including multiples.  Together we compiled a list of the five “Must Haves” for your new baby followed by the five “Nice to Haves”.  Declaimer: These lists do not include the truly obvious things… diapers, crib, car seat etc…

5 Must-Haves

1)    Miracle Blanket – This is a one size fits all up to three-four months. No annoying Velcro and helps prevent facial scratches by securing arms. Babies can’t break out of this swaddle so they are able to get a much better and deeper sleep! If swaddling isn’t for your baby, try The Woombie, which our baby, Dec, just loved! The Woombie allowed more freedom for him to move his hands and I was happy knowing he was still contained!
2)    Homedics Sound Spa – Set on white noise and use all night & for all naps. The consistent soft noise helps calm babies and encourages a better night sleep. Another option is a white noise phone app!
3)    Blackout Curtains– I was very hesitant to purchase these and didn’t do so until Dec was over 3 months old. Once I did, he slept much later in the mornings- extra sleep for Mom (and baby) is priceless. Try Target for affordable options or Pottery Barn if you want to splurge.
4)    MamaRoo by 4moms (or other compact swing/bouncer)- Every mom needs a safe place to put baby down so you can get things done (How about a shower!)  Yes, the Mamaroo is pricey, but it provides different types of swing, speed and incline options so you can find your baby’s perfect motion. It’s also great to use for reflux, stuffy noses or multiple babies. And since it is portable, lightweight and small, I move it throughout the house as needed. Another option is the Rock-N-Play which is less expensive and offers fewer options, yet still a safe and portable resting spot for baby.
5)    Video Monitor– Some adults might think this is overkill. When used for reasons other than just staring at your sleeping baby, parents can actually save themselves time and energy while also encouraging better sleep habits for the baby! Seeing your baby on the monitor helps determine if parent intervention is necessary or not. This encourages your baby to self soothe and keeps Mom and Dad from rushing into the bedroom at every noise. While higher priced than some, I love Motorola Color Video Monitor.  It is small, easy to set up, portable, tilts and scans to find wiggly babies. A nice plus is that it is available in different monitor sizes to fit different budgets.

5 Nice to Haves

1)    Ubbi Diaper Pail– There are no special bags needed for this pail! It is made of stainless steel so it doesn’t absorb smell and comes in 12 colors to match any nursery! A bit more expensive than the others, but incredibly worth it as the cost evens out after just a few months since there is no need to purchase special bags!
2)    Great Stroller– Getting out of the house can be scary with a newborn. Make it easier on yourself to meet friends for a walk or coffee by getting a great stroller! Think about your family’s need before purchasing:  perhaps a jogging stroller, small snap & go, or something more versatile. Personally I love my Baby Jogger Summit X3 for running and walks with friends and the Graco Snap-And-Go for quick trips to the mall, airports, restaurants and farmers markets.
3)    Activity Gym– This offers another place to put the baby down safely and helps them developmentally from day one. By how you place the baby on the mat you have tummy time options and objects hanging help eyes to focus. Attempting to touch the objects can keep a baby busy developing their hand-eye coordination. It’s also so easy to move from room to room. I like Skip & Hop “Alphabet Zoo.”  You can change out the hanging toys and there are different tactile experiences for baby on the mat.
4)    Sweetpea gowns from Sweet Peanut  – Absolutely great for those middle-of-the-night diaper changes with no buttons or zips!
5)    Nosefrida  – Finally, something that works great for little noses. Those hospital bulbs are way too big, not specifically made for noses, and are disgusting (full of bacteria, mold and old boogies when you cut them open!)

**Honorable Mention:
Hospital Grade Pump and Hands Free Bra- This will save you tons of time if you’re breastfeeding. I loved my pump and all accessories by Medela.

What are your must haves?

Special thanks to Kris Bineau, certified newborn care specialist, from Hush A Bye Baby Newborns in Parker, Colorado, for her help and expertise!

Elissa Sungar is the Co-Creator of If Not You, Who?  a free website that offers easy and fun in-home educational activities that help prepare children for kindergarten and life and recently became a new mom to her baby boy!  Her passion for early childhood education grew out of her experience as a pre-school teacher at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School. Elissa loves spending time with her family, hiking, running, tennis, yoga, cute workout clothes, good cheese, great baked goods and exploring Denver!   Twitter: @ElissaINYW

Dealing with Anxiety: One Mom’s Double Whammy

My life completely changed this year.  And not the way I thought it would.

On December 31, 2013, I toasted the beginning of 2014.  That year had been hard and I felt sure 2014 would be better.  The book that I had been working on for years would finally be released just after the New Year, so how could I not look at the coming months with anything but optimism?

Huh.  Stay tuned.

Here Goes Nothin’: lauching into a new career!

We’ve had quite a summer at our house.  Mixed in with some quiet weeks at home enjoying all the swimming Boulder has to offer, we took a month and drove to the east coast to spend some quality time with family.  We didn’t know what to expect but went for it anyway and were not disappointed.  In fact we had the time of our lives, but that’s a story for another day.

During the last week of the vacation, we started bracing ourselves for the return to reality.  My husband graduated from grad school this past year, so our future includes very limited funds now that we are unable to live off of education loans.  I’d been looking for work but hadn’t had any luck.  Among other things, our trip was a way to avoid thinking about any of that for a bit.

Then I got an email from the husband of a former Raising Little Heroes board member with a possible job opportunity.  All I knew was his company is called BASHO & Friends and that he is working on a new educational web series focused on teaching kids Spanish through music.  He was looking for someone to help him get it off the ground and had heard good things about me.  We set up a time to meet the day after we rolled back into town.

 I went into that first meeting knowing only what I’d been able to glean from his videos. I was impressed with what I saw but didn’t know in what capacity he needed help. I was willing to talk about it no matter what the job entailed, however.  It was a bonus the endeavor was a creative one because my pre-parent career life was spent in the theatre world and I had been missing it like crazy.  I love being a mother to my two young children but there’s something about the adrenaline rush that inevitably accompanies setting an artistic ship to sail.

Luckily for me, Basho is as adventurous and kind as he is innovative and talented because he decided to take a chance on me even though others in his position would have considered my time at home with the kids these past few years a detriment.  The father and early childhood educator in him knew the value in what I’ve been doing because it’s a big part of what drives his work.  We are both dedicated to enriching the lives of young children and feel inspired to do so in fresh, creative ways.

 I was thrilled to start supporting Basho’s work.  It was immediately clear the importance of a quality product and quantity of fun integrated into presenting that product to the world are on level ground in Basho’s eyes.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

 So keep your eyes peeled and your fingers crossed as this adventure takes flight. Wish me luck! 

Sarah Stith lives in Boulder with her husband and 2 children (3 and 6). Before moving to Colorado, the family lived in Brooklyn, NY where Sarah worked as a dresser at The Lion King on Broadway. She now works from home as Assistant Producer with BASHO & Friends and Volunteer Coordinator for her organization Raising Little Heroes, a group devoted to finding volunteer opportunities for families with young children. She also writes about her life on her blog, “A Day in the Life of My Little Brood.”

Denver Deal: Sierra Trading Post, Pancakes at Park Meadows, Taste of Colorado & More

When I was in Junior High my friend and I would go to the local pool and pretend we were mermaids. I think I foolishly added it to my then bucket list–“become a mermaid is what I had written.” I knew that was probably not going to happen but I did get to at least check “swim with mermaids” off my list last weekend as my friend and I were in the fish tank at the Denver Aquarium when the mermaid show was happening. I won the opportunity to swim with the fishes at the Denver Aquarium from a Twitter contest sponsored by Mile High Sports Magazine – but you can purchase your chance to swim (kids have to be 6 years old). I’m still pinching myself. Yes, that was real.

Taste of Colorado

Taste of Colorado will take place at Civic Center Park this weekend. The “Taste” is not just taste in food (although that is a giant component) there are also several different stages of FREE music (with BIG name bands/performers), arts & crafts and an amazing Kids Zone with activities and fun.

Session Kitchen

Session Kitchen wants to buy you a drink. You’ve earned it— from diaper changing to dorm room arranging and everything in between. You have the world’s most important job, and we can’t thank you enough for doing what you do. During Friday lunch, all moms who ask for the Wine Down Friday deal at Session Kitchen will receive one free glass of tap wine or prosecco.

Sports Optical
The kind folks at Sports Optical (4337 Tennyson St. Denver, CO 80212) are offering Mile High Mamas readers $50 off a pair of glasses with Rx – or $25 off a pair of non prescription. For real! No catch! My son, who is going into high school this year has asked for Oakley sunglasses for his Christmas gift – I will be heading over to Sports Optical to snap up a pair for him. If you are looking for something for yourself OR your kiddos – they will fit you with your prescription too!
 
Sierra Trading Post
Sierra Trading Post is having a Grand Opening on Thursday, August 28 (starting at 8 a.m.) at their newest location at University and Orchard. Grab deals like 70% off your favorite adventure brands and 20% off on Grand Opening day.

Children’s Consignment Sales
Twice a year, Mile High Mamas does a round-up detailing Colorado’s popular children’s consignment sales. Thousands of shoppers find bargains on kids’ clothing for newborn-preteen, toys, strollers, furniture, baby equipment, books, shoes, maternity items and more…all at 50-90 percent below retail. This week’s sale: Rhea Lana-Southeast Denver.

Park Meadows Retail Resort Pancake Breakfast
This August, Park Meadows celebrates 18 years of being Colorado’s only Retail Resort. To mark the occasion, the Retail Resort celebrates each year with an annual free pancake breakfast in the Dining Hall on August 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. with special VIP-celebrity “flippers” and live entertainment from the trio American Honey playing Colorado Classics. Commemorative gifts will be handed out to guests and prizes will be given away throughout the celebration. This event is open to the public.
 
ODYSSEO by CAVALIA
The internationally-acclaimed Cavalia pushes the limits of live entertainment once again with its second production Odysseo. Cavalia marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels. A veritable revolution in live performance, Odysseo by Cavalia features 67 horses and 48 artists in a larger-than-life theatrical production that sends hearts racing. This breathtaking ode to horse and man, imagined by one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, is an absolute feast for the eyes that succeeds in delivering the spectacular with soul. Odysseo by Cavalia will make its premiere under the White Big Top at Pepsi Center in Denver on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. MHM Readers save on Kids Tickets to Odysseo by Cavalia. Kids tickets for only $30 – Use Promo Code: FAMILY Minimum purchase of 2 adults tickets and up to a maximum of 6 tickets.
 
Celebrate International Bacon Day
This year, alongside bacon lovers near and far, the Farmland Bacon Club is celebrating International Bacon Day on Saturday, August 30 with The Great Bacon Treasure Hunt. One lucky winner in Denver will get a year supply of free bacon, a Bacon Club prize pack and cold hard cash. Even better, members of the Bacon Club are eligible to win a trip to the annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines Participate by joining the Farmland Bacon Club or following Farmland on Facebook and Twitter and keeping an eye out for clues beginning at noon on August 30.

Schwan’s Home Service

Schwan’s Home Service has provides frozen foods with convenient home delivery. Their foods are flash frozen at the peak of freshness and flavor. Choose from USDA Choice meats, wild-caught seafood, flavorful skillet meals, Grade A fruits and vegetables, or heritage ice cream, distinctive desserts and more. Foods to satisfy everyone, including family members with special dietary needs including: No gluten ingredients, Vegetarian, No sugar added, Heart healthy, Low calorie, and Low sodium choices. Schwan’s offers weekly specials, coupons, online hot deals and new customer special offers. Join the Schwan’s Rewards program and earn 5% back on every online purchase, to be used on a future order. MHM Readers Save $ On Your First Order at Schwans Home Service! – $5 off $25 Order – Coupon Code: JULIEN2; $10 off $50 Order – Coupon Code: JULIEN2; $15 off $75 Order – Coupon Code: JULIEN15

Ski Deals

We have posted a round-up of Ski Deals. Many of them start this weekend. If you plan on skiing/snowboarding check them out.

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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.
If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Kids Eat Free

Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

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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.
If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

 

Labor Day Weekend Kicks Off Deals On Ski/Snowboard Equipment and Passes

Yes, the venerable start to fall means more than just the kids going back to school. It means it’s time to start thinking about snow and all the fun activities that come with it! Labor Day weekend is the kick-off to the ski season – where you can get your season passes, ticket deals and deals on gear. Just like any great sale – the key is all in WHEN you purchase. Most of the season passes will continue to be on sale through Thanksgiving weekend – but the prices will continually creep up. Best deals will be Labor Day Weekend.

Denver has a couple great competing sales that start Labor Day weekend. Sports Authority’s Sniagrab (Bargains spelled backwards) and Colorado Ski & Golf’s Ski Rex.

Ski Rex is at all Colorado Ski & Golf Locations, Boulder Ski Deals and Colorado Ski & Sport starting August 29 with prices 30-70% off last year’s items and pre-season pricing in this year’s stuff! (It’s all new stuff). Ski Rex also where you can snag a Junior Trade In Deal (Ski and snowboard exchange program for young skiers and snowboarders that provides deep discounts on a full set up (skis, bindings, poles, boots and safety check) and ability to exchange gear each season as youngsters grow. Prices start at $99.99 for full first season and $49.99 for subsequent full seasons on used equipment and $199.99 for new gear the first year and $99.99 for subsequent seasons on new gear).  Also while kids are at the Ski Rex sale, at the Aurora Colorado Ski & Golf location, little “wannabe” snowboarders can try the Burton Ringlet learn-to-ride course guided by Keystone instructors…for free.

Sniagrab.  The 60th Annual sale, Sniagrab begins to the general public on August 30 (it starts a week earlier for The League Members) at Denver SportsCastle and Sports Authority locations in Littleton, Park Meadows, Boulder, Ft. Collins, and Colorado Springs (as well as Salt Lake City Sports Castle). Get skis, snowboards, apparel, and accessories for 40-90% off original prices! We’re talking big brand names on sale! Plus, they are offering some great promotions to get you in line early. On Saturday, August 30 the first 250 in line will get bonus bucks ranging from $10-$100 that you can use toward Sniagrab purchases; Purchase $300 or more get a Sports Authority Cash card worth more of a discount the more you purchase; Register to win a Vail Resorts Epic Local pass worth $549 (six winners chosen); Plus one winner at each location (on Sat Aug. 30 only) will be chosen to receive $500 gift card toward their Sniagrab purchase.

Powder Daze at Christy’s Sports boasts up to 70% off. They have a Denver location (near Southwest Plaza Mall) but also locations in the mountains including Dillon, Steamboat and online.

Lift ticket deals and Area Specific Deals

Vail Resorts (which includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin) has several different options of passes based on where you would like to ski (and have access to ski). For a full list of their passes visit epicpass.com/css. Vail also offers the School of Shred Program for 5th and 6th Graders (see below).

Arapahoe Basin will begin offering the Elevation 4 pass (online and at area ski sales events). Which allows the pass holder to ski/snowboard for four days for just $129. (Non transferrable and non refundable).

Aspen/Snowmass offers what they call the Classic Pass which allows the passholder to purchase tickets that are highly discounted. You can purchase either a four day or a seven day pass. The Classic pass starts at $229 for adults $184 for kids.

One of my favorite places, Copper Mountain‘s season pass will be on sale as well as their four pack for just $149. If you purchase the four-pack at Christy Sport Powder Daze you can score an additional day on your four pack (wouldn’t that be a five pack?). Copper has partnered with ski areas in other states so if you are traveling this winter you can also ski in California, Utah, Las Vegas Nevada (yes, they have skiing) and Vermont. You can also purchase the Rocky Mountain Super Pass which partners Copper with Winter Park/Mary Jane.

I hate to admit I’ve never snowboarded at Crested Butte. I love it in the summer (We go every summer because that is where my dad’s family is from). But maybe I will need to this year because they are offering the Getaway Pass which includes lodging for one night and two lift tickets for two people starting at just $249! Weekend away anyone?

I LOVE the Loveland deal. You can get four lift tickets for just $129. These are real tickets. Meaning – share them with your friends or hog them all for yourself at just $33 per day grab a few!

Monarch Ski Area has a three pack for just $99 available at Powder Daze and Sniagrab (Colorado Springs Location). They do have some blackout dates on this offer though.

Steamboat is home for me. I went to elementary school there. So it stands to reason that I think of “great childhood” when I think about Steamboat. It’s not all in my head. Steamboat was the first resort to offer Ski Ski Free. For every Adult day ticket your child 12 and under will get to ski for free. Labor Day Weekend Steamboat will begin selling their season passes. They will also be selling the three pass. This pass is good for three (non-consecutive) days of skiing for just $129. (there are some date restrictions on the three day).

Mountain Resorts offers a wide variety of attractive, well-maintained accommodations at prime locations in Steamboat Springs, Colorado surrounding the Steamboat Ski Area, with rates ranging from affordable to indulgent. If you’re planning a winter vacation to Steamboat Springs there is no better time to book your trip. When you book early you have access to the best properties at the greatest discounts. Check out these early booking deals. Up to 35% off lodging and 25% off lift tickets! For more information and reservations call 800-995-6049 or visit us online 

Winter Park/Mary Jane is talking all about the Rocky Mountain Super Pass. For just $509 you will be able to get unliminted skiing at Winter Park, Mary Jane, Copper, and Eldora in addition to three days at Crested Butte and six days at Steamboat. 

Fifth and Sixth Graders
Do you know of a friend, family member, or neighbor who has kids who are in 5th AND 6th Grades? The ski areas are once again offering FREE programs for 5th and 6th Graders to get their passes for FREE! Yep, I said FREE. Vail Resorts calls their program School of Shred – it is free to both 5th and 6th graders – you just have to visit the nearest Colorado Ski and Golf Location (Boulder Ski Deals or Colorado Ski and Sport) and bring in proof that your kiddo is in that grade. Colorado Ski Country’s program is called the Passport – it is free to 5th graders and a nominal fee for 6th graders. Ski Country’s program is a mail in option to be announced just after Labor Day. You can participate in BOTH programs (I did). Each programs give one free lesson and equipment rental.
 
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