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Denver Deal: Free Days, Ski Expo, Arts Week, Turkey and More

I spent last week lounging on a beach in Cancun and it was totally relaxing. So relaxing in fact, that I missed my flight back to Denver! But I did get a few days at home – so I feel like I am relaxed and excited to share some great deals this week with you!

FREE DAYS. The Denver Zoo has several free days this month  – Nov 3, 14 and 20. Denver Botanic Gardens is free on Nov. 14 and 15 (with their holiday sale). Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is free on Tues., Nov. 4. Children’s Museum of Denver host their monthly free evening on Tues., Nov 5 (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

Cash in on candy. If your kids brought home more candy than you want them to eat (again), consider donating any excess to the Halloween Candy Buy-Back. From Nov. 3 to 7, children can bring Halloween candy to participating dental practices and trade it for cash (sometimes $1 per pound) and prizes. Perhaps the kiddos won’t part with all of their candy, but they may be more willing when they learn it becomes part of Operation Gratitude, which ships boxes containing treats, toiletries, handwritten notes and more to American troops. Find a participating dental practice near you on the Buy-Back website, then contact that office for specific days and times. halloweencandybuyback.com

 Sam’s Club. I’m pretty sure that one of the reasons that I maintain my Sam’s Club membership is because I like to gorge on the samples on the weekend. I am usually sort of surprised by what the “meal” will be. But I recently received an email spelling out what the samples will be this next month. Nov 5-6 Coffee Creations; Nov 15-16 Tempting Holiday Bites; and Nov 21-23 Crowd-pleasing classics. But honestly they have some great deals on food in bulk (you knew that though right?) So if you have a big crew coming on Thanksgiving – Sam’s is THE place to go!

Albertson’s Talks Turkey. Albertson’s grocery store will offer you a FREE turkey (Honeysuckle up to 16 lbs) with coupon found in the circular (I get my circulars in the mail on Wednesdays) with the purchase of $100 or more in a singular transaction. (Sorry, the cost of the turkey doesn’t count in the $100). 

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Santa makes his arrival for the year at Park Meadows this Saturday, November 8 at 9:30 a.m. in the Dining Hall. The grand event will include milk & cookies, arts & crafts, activities and guest appearances! Santa also arrives along with “Frozen” at Cherry Creek on Thursday, November 6. Festivities will include milk, treats, Dicken’s carolers and of course, the jolly fellow. 

Denver Art’s Week. Mark your calendar now for Denver Arts Week  November 7 – 15. The celebration has over 300 events planned from a blown-out party for First Fridays (some special art pieces will be marked just $52.80), Night At The Museums on November 8 with free late night admission to 24 museums. Visit favorites like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science as well as the Denver Art Museum or discover somewhere new like the Golden History Museum or the Museum of Transportation. One of my favorites is Denver On Stage. Denver’s performing arts world struts its stuff all week long during Denver’s On Stage, featuring special deals and discounts for theater, dance, music and more. From discounts to a full day of free dance performances and lessons on November 8, there are dozens of performing arts specials throughout the week. Find out all the details at DenverArtsWeek.com

Ski and Snowboard Expo Finally we are having the weather for winter! Just like Mother Nature was reading our mind – the Ski and Snowboard Expo makes the annual return to the Colorado Convention Center. Score loads of great deals on ski apparel, equipment and lift tickets! Not only can you get some great deals but there is also all kinds of family entertainment planned.  The Expo is open from 1pm to 10 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9. Admission is $15 for adults or $12 with a discount coupon available in The Denver Post or at any Colorado Ski & Golf location or at www.skisnowexpo.com.  Kids 12 and under are free.

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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.

 

The Giant Pumpkin of Horrors: How to Terrorize the Neighborhood

Our evil plan was hatched quite by accident.

TaRhonda Thomas, a 9News reporter, interviewed my husband Jamie a.k.a. The Pumpkin Man last week. As a fun kicker to the end of the story, she decided to climb inside the 1,292-pound beast.

TaRhonda Thomas

TaRhonda Thomas

Though Jamie has been growing giant pumpkins for years, it’s the first time anyone ever climbed into it and Jamie shared an idea with me.

“I could do that.”
“What? Climb into the pumpkin in high heels?”
“No, I could hide inside the pumpkin and scare people on Halloween.”

When you grow The Giant Pumpkin, your house becomes a popular stop on Halloween but I was doubtful about turning it into a Little Shop of Horrors Giant Gourd of Horrors. Undeterred, Jamie made assignments. My role was the cannibalistic witch in Hansel and Gretel as I lured our innocent victims with “do you want a picture with the pumpkin?” We recruited our friend Jared as the photographer while his wife Jenny handed out candy and gave the cue for Jamie to jump out.

The result? Hilarious. We tried to pick on people we knew or older kids. What surprised me was just how many non-reactions there were because I can assure you I would have raced down the block kicking and screaming if he’d have jumped out at me.

I mean, just look at the creeper posed inside the pumpkin prepared to launch.

Inside the pumpkin

Inside the pumpkin

pumpkinman2

Only the best reactions made it onto video so be sure to take a minute and watch it below or here:

The bunny and the man at the end were my favorites. 🙂

Many adults told us it was the highlight of the night and we had only one child who cried but his parents assured us little “Spider-Man” would recover quickly. He is, after all, a superhero.

The next day, Jamie was not only sore from crouching down all night but badly bruised from jumping out.

bruised
But it was worth it and he brushed it off as “The sacrifices I make for my art.”

If jumping out of a giant pumpkin is art, The Pumpkin Man is, indeed, an artist.

“Maleficent” coming out on DVD!

Is it just me or was this year bereft of any notable family-friendly blockbusters?

In my opinion, the one exception was “Maleficent,” the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty, which is being released on Blu-ray and Digital HD on Nov. 4, 2014

When my family was at Disneyland at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference last spring, we were treated to an extended preview of the movie. To top it off, we sang happy 16th birthday to Elle Fanning who played Aurora a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty in the film and Maleficent crashed the party. My daughter Hadley knew then-and-there she wanted to see the movie on opening day for her birthday and we had a blast! (The theater even gave the birthday girl a Maleficent poster and T-shirt).

maleficentThis enchanting fantasy adventure grossed more than $700 million in worldwide box office. The Blu-ray and Digital HD will make it that much better with all-new bonus features, including several deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes that take viewers deeper behind the scenes of the filmmaking magic. Here are a few “extras”:

  • Discover how King Henry and Maleficent’s opening battle scene was created using gigantic wire rigs and elaborate choreography in “Building an Epic Battle.”  
  • Learn how playing Aurora was a fairytale come true for actress Elle Fanning in “Aurora: Becoming A Beauty.”
  • Find out more about the meticulous detail that went into creating Maleficent’s elaborate head wraps, rings and other accessories in “Classic Couture.”
  • Viewers can also relive the film’s journey to the screen through concept art, layered visual effects and behind the scenes footage in “Maleficent Revealed.”

Deleted scenes include  “Stefan In King’s Chamber,” “Pixie Idiots,” “Diaval asks about the Curse,” “Pixies Seek Asylum” and “Suitor.”

*Digital bonus offerings will vary per retailer

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The Sad Truth About the End of Daylight Savings Time

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back and enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

Unless, of course, you have kids.

Is anyone else awake?

Family volunteer opportunity: Rake-up event to help seniors

The Volunteers of America Handyman Program has a wonderful, one day service opportunity to rake Seniors’ yards on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. The program is in great need of volunteers and will help rake leaves for Seniors 60 and older living in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties.

Many of these Seniors can no longer complete this task themselves and need your help.
 
This event is in it’s 12th year and they need YOU to make it a success!

Date: Saturday November 8th
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
(Volunteer check-in at VOA office 8 a.m.-9 a.m.)
Where: Near your neighborhood
(VOA will attempt to place you in an area/zip code of your preference.)

Volunteers and kids of all ages are welcome!

*They ask that you supply your own rakes and gloves for this event. Trash bags will be provided.*

 Interested? Have questions? Contact: Kimberly Nihon, Handyman Program Coordinator, 303-297-0408, knihon@voacolorado.org.