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Cool Off this Summer at Colorado’s Best Beaches

Beaches are one of the best-kept secrets of land-locked Colorado with breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains that you won’t typically find along ocean coastlines. Whether it’s sunbathing, camping, watersports or building sandcastles, a Colorado summer beach vacation will provide plenty of adventure and relaxation. For more information, visit http://www.colorado.com/articles/colorados-best-beaches

Bear Creek State Park. (Lakewood) The sandy swim beach at Big Soda Lake is perfect for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., there are picnic sites, a playground, two sand volleyball courts, a conession stand and a lap swimming lane. 

Dillon Reservoir (Frisco). The Frisco Bay Marina at Lake Dillon allows visitors to enjoy flat-water activities such as boat rentals and guided boat tours, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, sailing and stand-up paddle boarding, from early June through mid September. Additionally, with 25 miles of shoreline surrounded by mountain peaks, the sandy beach is ideal for catching rays.
 
Medano Creek at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (Alamosa). The Great Sand Dunes are the tallest dunes in North America and while many visitors enjoy spending their time exploring the sandy hills, in mid-May through June, Medano Creek allows guests to cool off in the fresh spring runoff. Guests can enjoy non-motorized and non-mechanized activities in the creek, including splashing, surfing, wading, skim boarding, floating, sand castle building and sand sculpting.
 
Blue Mesa Reservoir

Blue Mesa Reservoir

Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison). In the summertime, Blue Mesa Reservoir’s sparkling sapphire waters and shoreline are bustling with recreational activities. Popular pursuits include sailing, power boating, fishing and water skiing. Windsurfing is favored among those looking to get a workout on the water. Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the country making it an angler’s paradise.

 
Cherry Creek State Park (Aurora) . Anchored around a 880 surface acre reservoir, the park offers a natural prairie environment of gentle, rolling hills and complete outdoor recreation facilities, including camping, swimming, picnicking and facilities for group events.

Boulder Reservoir (Boulder). 700 acres on the Boulder Reservoir invite visitors to enjoy all aspects of this multi-use recreation facility. Runners, walkers and cyclists who work up a sweat on the trails surrounding the reservoir can take a dip in the water to cool off or relax on the sandy beaches. In the warmer months, swimming as well as paddle boarding, boating, water skiing, fishing and wildlife viewing keep the reservoir buzzing.
 
Grand Lake (Grand County). Located just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is where pristine shores meet the Rocky Mountains. From the sandy beach at Grand Lake, visitors can swim, fish, kayak, paddle, row or just kick back and watch the people and the waves. Guests can either rent or bring their own ski boats, pontoon boats, pleasure boats or fishing boats to enjoy a day on Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake.
 
Jackson Lake State Park (Orchard). An oasis amid Colorado’s eastern plains, Jackson Lake’s warm, South Platte River-fed water and sandy bottom beaches welcome swimmers and water skiers looking to cool off each summer. Chosen as one of the “Top 15 Park Beaches” by Reserve America, Jackson Lake is a must visit spot if you’re vacationing in the area or just passing through Colorado’s eastern plains.
 
Chatfield

Chatfield

Chatfield State Park (Littleton). This beautiful Denver park is popular with hikers, boaters, campers, bikers, fishermen, and picnickers. The park also features a full service marina, stable concession, off-leash dog walking area, and a summer-time swim beach. 

 
John Martin Reservoir State Park (Hasty).  A peaceful paradise in Colorado’s southeastern plains, John Martin Reservoir State Park is located where mild weather allows for plenty of beach days throughout the summer. Those looking for a vacation on the water can reserve a campsite along Lake Hasty. The nearby reservoir provides uncrowded boating, waterskiing and spectacular conditions for a wide variety of wind water sports.
 
Aurora Reservoir (Aurora). With over 800 acres of water surface, Aurora Reservoir is one of the city’s largest park and open space sites. The reservoir has a seasonal swim beach (open Memorial Day – late September) for sunbathing and swimming and offers an array of rental boats. Cool off in the AWQUA Lounge, just steps from the swim beach and learn about the amazing journey water takes to reach our faucet.
 
Ridgway State Park (Ridgway). Ridgway State Park allows for fantastic views of the San Juan Mountains as visitors float on the water. The park’s popular campgrounds and beautiful reservoir are family favorites as the beach features playground equipment and there’s always room to pitch a volleyball net. 

Westin Family Weekends: Our Fun Denver Staycation

One of the many little slivers of wisdom I share with my kids is how lucky they are to grow up close to a major city. There are countless ways to explore cultural offerings and we are a family that loves to take advantage of all Denver has to offer. But there’s a downside. We never get the chance to play tourist in our own city. Recently, we had the opportunity to see Denver through a fresh lens.

When kids enter a hotel room, the best thing to do is stand back and watch their reactions. It’s a BED! And another?! It’s a window! Look at these little SOAPS! They like to christen the bathroom, try on the robes, stake a claim on a bed, and determine what to order from the room service menu, if presented with such a magical opportunity. I still feel this way when I travel, sometimes. There is something restorative about switching up home base, even for a single night. I guarantee, however, there wasn’t a game of cornhole waiting for us to play, or a teepee set up to hide inside at hotels when I was a kid. Westin_Denver_Downtown_Cornhole

Our very own Westin Denver Downtown offers an innovative way for families to forge memories. If you travelled with your family as a child, no doubt some of the most vivid memories you treasure are those spent exploring new places with people you loved. Westin Family Weekend Escapes provides a great jumping-off place to all downtown Denver has to offer. They focus not only on the cozy comfort of all their guests, but on vibrantly delicious foods, thoughtful touches like in-room games and play, their gorgeous roof-top pool, and the chance to sink into that pampered feeling you get when you stay in a hotel.

Sometimes, parents hesitate to take their kids to a hotel for a weekend, especially when they have a perfectly good house thirty miles away. Westin Family Weekend Escapes were created by people who know how kids are in love with the hotel experience. They take it to a new level of fun. Families are greeted in their rooms with thoughtful gifts and snacks. Colorado-oriented books (that are yours to keep!) are poised to become bedtime stories. How about a milk and cookies delivery to send everyone off to dreamland while snuggled in for a movie night? They aim to please.

Westin_Denver_Downtown_WelcomeThe Westin Downtown Denver is located in the perfect spot, surrounded by some of the city’s most beloved attractions, museums, and people watching opportunities. There are excursions to places like The Downtown Aquarium and The Denver Art Museum. Take a ride on the Platte Valley Trolley or cheer on the hometown boys at a Colorado Rockies game. On Sundays, the Westin offers late check-outs (with availability) so you don’t have to feel like you are getting the boot when there is still so much to see and do.

While you are out exploring downtown Denver, make sure to fill out the scavenger hunt booklet along the way. It encourages kids to use all their senses and keep their eyes peeled for new sights. There’s a list of missions to accomplish, like to try a new food, challenge yourself to a screen-free day, and jot down special memories.

What about feeding all those little hungry people? Kids twelve and under eat for free at the Westin’s gorgeous restaurant, Augusta, with every adult entree. The food was truly delicious, colorful, and appealing to kids while emphasizing nutrition. John Everett, the general manager of the Westin Denver Downtown, summed up the heart behind the program, “We want all of the Westin kids to experience our pillars just as our adult guests do: sleep well, play well, move well, eat well and be well. Through the careful construction of special menus for kids, they can try new things and fuel their bodies with the nutrients needed for a day full of adventure.”

What if you have a larger family or need space to stretch out? Westin Family Weekend offers a 25% discount on a second room and will do their best to make sure they are connecting rooms, when available. That way, it’s double the robes and little soaps!

For more information, or to book your own highly memorable family weekend, visit The Westin Denver Downtown.

(The Westin Denver Downtown hosted our family so we could experience the Westin Family Weekend Escapes and share with our readers.)

Deals: CycleBar, 4th of July, and Bass Pro Shop

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine. I was talking about food. I eat it. I like most foods and I think I must be pretty lucky that I LOVE fruits and vegetables but she eats food because it is fuel (she’s an athlete). How much do you think about the food you eat? Do you think about what it is doing for you and your body? I recently came across Well & Company (that same guy you see on channel 9 – James Rouse)  Their gluten-free, non GMO products are positioned to help improve your mood, reduce stress and aid in restful sleep (not to mention one is a CHOCOLATE snack). Want to try it? You have a chance to win one of 2 raffles. Each will include a Rest Well, Wake Well, Revive Well and Indulge Well Chocolates. When you enter on their facebook page, just make sure you mention Gretchen’s Deals on MileHighMamas.
 
Fourth of July. The Fourth of July weekend in Denver boasts plenty of family-friendly events that include the Star-Spangled Splash at Boulder Reservoir, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Independence Eve at Civic Center Park and Park Hill 4th of July Parade, Denver’s largest Independence Day march. Go to our event calendar for additional information. 
 
CycleBar.  CycleBar Lone Tree a new concept in premium indoor cycling that offers a high energy workout in a concert-like atmosphere will open on July 11th at 7824 Park Meadows Drive Ste. 150, Lone Tree, Colo. 80124. The new studio is one of 100 CycleBar studios to open to riders in 2016 and the second to open in Colorado. From June 30-July 9, CycleBar Lone Tree will hold its CycleBlast, to celebrate its grand opening by offering 50 free classes over 10 days. Registration is required at lonetree.cyclebar.com
 
Family Adventure Quest. Families of all ages are encouraged to spend their Fourth of July weekend at Copper Mountain, Colo., and take part in the inaugural Copper Family Adventure Quest on July 2. The Copper Adventure Quest, presented by the Kids Adventure Games, will offer families a chance to experience an adventure course like no other with zip lines, mud pits, slacklines, cargo nets, trekking, biking and a variety of other unique challenges in the Village at Copper and on Copper Mountain. Teams will consist of two challengers, one adult/teen and one child, who will tackle the course while they work together on building confidence, teamwork, communication and fun. The Kids Adventure Games offers kids, ages 6 through 14, the opportunity to experience the thrill of adventure racing.  http://www.kidsadventuregames.com/case-studies/copper-mountain/
 
Bass Pro Shop Summer Camp. I can’t afford to send my kids off to camp for weeks at a time. That is why I love Bass Pro Shop’s summer camp. June 25 – July 24 (yep, a whole month long) the store (which is a field trip unto itself), will host summer activities like free catch and release, casting clinics, shooting gallery, crafts, photos and more. They even give you a chance to win pins (kind of like badges for boy/girl scouts) when you attend and complete camps.
 
FlatIron Crossing. Shopping areas are more than just shops. They really are community centers with a lot of fun activities. Some of the highlights of this summer’s fun? Concerts every Thursday (full line up is on our free concerts round up),  Play Nintendo Tour 2016 – July  1-3 from 10am until 9pm Friday and Saturday and 11a until 6pm Sunday, in Dillard’s Court kids and the young-at-hear can get their hands on the New Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS, play games, and have a chance to strike a pose with some of their favorite characters. And the Carnival rolls in June 30 – July 3.
 
Foodies. FOODIES Festival Markets are a twice weekly artisanal, outdoor food and lifestyle market in Denver, Colo. featuring a variety of prepared dishes, local packaged foods and farm-fresh produce, live music, tented community dining-tables, Colorado craft beer and wine, fine art and crafts, and family activities. The market operates Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the new Belleview Station in Denver near the Denver Tech Center, located just west of  I-25 and north of Belleview. The market is open through the end of October
 
Rubios. Rubio’s® Restaurants will hold a Grand Opening their newest location (224 Union Blvd at the corner of Union and 2nd Pl. next to St. Anthony hospital) in Lakewood, CO on Thursday, June 30, 2016. The first fifty guests to visit on opening day will receive free Rubio’s merchandise and $50 in Rubio’s gift cards.
 
Sonic Happy Hour. The summer flag is flying! Sonic is having happy hour from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. Slushies and drinks are half priced and corn dogs are just 99 cents.
 
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Summer is in full swing at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs. The mountain-top park offers a full day of family fun with tram and thrill rides, cave tours and family-friendly attractions, plus live music and entertainment throughout the summer. The best value for visiting the park is the Funday Pass, which includes two cave tours, tram or bus ride and unlimited access to all rides, for $50 per adult and $45 per child ages 3 – 12. If you’re planning to come back at least once during the next year, the Annual Thrill Pass pays for itself on your second visit, and includes discounts at the restaurants and gift shops. For an extra treat, the Ride & Relax Combo Package includes discounted admission to the park and the new Iron Mountain Hot Springs. It’s valid for one visit to each during a seven-day period, and is available at either ticket counter. (http://glenwoodcaverns.com/glenwood-springs-visitor-information/imhs/) Learn more at www.GlenwoodCaverns.comFacebook.com/GlenwoodCaverns or800-530-1635, ext. 0.
 
Peak 10 Skin. My skin is always so dry I feel like I need a gallon of lotion. Peak 10 Skin has skin care to the next level they have created a skin care line that knows and fights the daily issues of dry skin, aging, and our mountain climate. We understand the need for great products for your skin in this climate.  Peak10 Skincare is elevating skin health and hydration at 10,000 feet…so we know we can do the same for all the Mamas who are ‘mile high’! MileHighMamas readers get 25% off when you use coupon code milehighmama.
 
Golden Bike Library. I love biking and I love libraries! What could be better? Nothing!  The Golden Bike Library is a bike share program, where residents, visitors, local employees and students can “check-out” a bike for local use in Golden. Located at the Golden Visitors Center at 1010 Washington, the Golden Bike Library will offer 40 bikes available for two hour rentals for free, or a $10 daily fee.  Bikes will be available on Thursday-Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. What’s even better is they have all different kinds of bike (including kids bicycles).
  
Harkins Summer Movies. Harkins Theatres’ popular annual kid’s movie program, Summer Movie fun, kicks off Monday, June 6. Season tickets for all 10 movies are just $5. Individual tickets are available the day of the show for $2 each. Doors open at 9 a.m.and all shows begin at 9:45 a.m. with movies running every weekday through Friday, August 12.  June 20-July 1: Minions; July 4-8 Kung Fu Panda 2; July 11-14: The SpongeBob Movie; July 18-22: Hotel Transylvania2; July 25-July 29: Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs; August 1-5: Walking with Dinosaurs; August 1-12: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. Harkins Northfield 18: 8300 E. Northfield Blvd., Denver.  http://www.harkinstheatres.com/smf.aspx
 
 
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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!
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If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.
 
 

4th of July Celebrations in Denver 2016

The Fourth of July weekend in Denver boasts plenty of family-friendly events that include the Star-Spangled Splash at Boulder Reservoir, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Independence Eve at Civic Center Park and Park Hill 4th of July Parade, Denver’s largest Independence Day march. Go to our event calendar for additional information. 

Family Adventure Quest at Copper Mountain, Colo 
July 1 – 2 
Families of all ages are encouraged to spend their Fourth of July weekend at Copper Mountain, Colo., and take part in the inaugural Copper Family Adventure Quest on July 2. The Copper Adventure Quest, presented by the Kids Adventure Games, will offer families a chance to experience an adventure course like no other with zip lines, mud pits, slacklines, cargo nets, trekking, biking and a variety of other unique challenges in the Village at Copper and on Copper Mountain.

ivivva Coast to Coast Summer Festival at Cheesman Park Tickets 
June 29, 5:00 – 7:30 pm
ivivva Cherry Creek and Park Meadows have come together to create the biggest yoga festival for girls the Mile High City has ever seen. Get ready for yoga (lead by Denvers most influential instructors), sunset Dreams&Goals, DJ lead dance party, food trucks and more! Better yet, this is a complimentary event that the whole family can join in.

PACE Patio Party at the PACE Center Patio 
June 29, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
PACE Patio Parties are free events held on their beautiful West Patio. Guests can bring a picnic dinner (no outside alcohol allowed) or purchase snacks and drinks, while enjoying the sunset in a laid-back atmosphere. Space is limited to the first 200 people to arrive. The patio opens at 5:00 PM. 

Sing A Mile High International Children’s Choral Festival at Newman Center for Performing Arts 
June 29 – July 3 
Join us for our 11th annual Sing A Mile High International Children’s Choral Festival! This year we are thrilled to welcome back guest conductors Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory who will be conducting the massed choir performance as well as the premier of their commissioned work. Dr. Catherine Sailor will return as the Conducting Masterclass Clinician.

First Friday: All American Early Fourth of July Celebration at Museo de las Americas 
July 1, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Join the Museo de las Americas for First Friday Art Walk and visit the Resistance/Restistencia exhibition featuring artist Saner. There will also be plenty of Fourth of July activities for kids.

Independence Celebration at Four Mile Historic Park 
July 1,  5:00 – 10:00 pm
Come celebrate with old-time games, historic demonstrations, live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more! Bring your blanket and stay to watch the Glendale fireworks show. Food trucks and a beer garden (valid ID required) will be on site. Admission is free, but there is a charge for food, refreshments, and some activities.

La Alma Connection Art Celebration Block Party and Parade at Arts Street 
July 1, 5:30 – 9:00 pm
Featuring live music, street art, food trucks and local vendors. A parade of upcycle floats will move down West 10th Avenue to celebrate the “Neighborhood Connection” of the Osage Light Rail and the Santa Fe Arts District.

A Young People’s concert: Machines and Dreams 
July 2, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Percussion joins Music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni and the CMF orchestra for a fun introduction to classical music with a program that will entertain and delight the entire family. Inspired by Mozart’s Toy Symphony, Colin Matthew’s Machines and Dreams is a symphonic masterpiece that has been described as “full of broad as well as sly humor,” and features as solo “instruments,” everything from toy pianos to fishing rods to bird calls.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival at Cherry Creek North 
July 2 – 4
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival (CCAF) takes place 4th of July weekend. This annual event is a world-class and award-winning celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts, and enjoys an attendance of 350,000 visitors over the 3-day event.

Free Day at Denver Art Museum 
July 2, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Youth 18 and under are always free. The general public is free the first Saturday of the month. Join the Denver Art Museum for a dance spectacular featuring twenty different dance groups on four stages. 

Meet in the Street 
July 2 – 3 
Join us for five consecutive weekends this summer for Meet in the Street on the 16th Street Mall! Unique experiences await at every turn including more than 10 expanded patio cafes, fitness classes, arts and cultural programming, live music and more. 

Free Day, Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys 
July 3, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys ($1 donation suggested). 

City Park Jazz at City Park Bandstand
July 3, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a free concert in City Park? City Park Jazz takes place every Sunday evening in June and July. This weekend, enjoy the sounds of Ritmo Jazz Latino, one of Denver’s finest jazz ensembles.

Independence Eve at Civic Center Park 
July 3, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
This Independence Eve presented by Anadarko, the seventh-annual free community celebration featuring a concert, light show and fireworks display in Denver’s Civic Center Park (Colfax & Broadway) beginning at 8:00 p.m. The concert will feature patriotic and contemporary favorites from Colorado favorites Chris Daniels and the Kings and the 101st Army Band from Buckley Air Force Base.

Star-Spangled Splash at Boulder Reservoir 
July 4, 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
A huge post-race party presented by Boulder Beer will follow the 5K & 10K Run. All participants will receive a FREE BEER after the race (must be 21 years or older). The City of Boulder will have slip-n-slides, DJs, vendors, bouncy castles and activities on the beach. Plus, yard games and volleyball courts will be set-up during the day. 

Liberty Run and Firecrackers Kids Fun Run at Washington Park Tickets 
July 4, 7:30 am – 11:00 am
Work off all the BBQ, ice cream and apple pie by running in the Liberty Run. This four-mile run around beautiful Washington Park is a July 4th tradition in The Mile High City and benefits veterans. In addition to awards for the winners of the race itself, prizes will be given to kids and adults with the most patriotic flair, so wear your best red, white and blue. After the run, enjoy food, beverages and a patriotic celebration, including the free Firecracker Kids Fun Run for your littles.

July 4 parade, 5K, fireworks at  Highlands Ranch
July 4, 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Celebrate 4th of July in Highlands Ranch with a parade, 5K race, live music, games, beer, and fireworks.

Evergreen Music Festival 
July 4, 10:00 am – 7:30 pm
Join Evergreen Music Festival for a full day of music, dance, vintage/hot rod car show and children’s activities – plus an evening concert and dance party featuring The Hazel Miller Band! THis will be the 27th year of honoring military personnel and providing outstanding musical entertainment to attendees of all ages from Evergreen and the surrounding communities.

Park Hill 4th of July Parade at Park Hill Neighborhood 
July 4, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
The Park Hill 4th of July Parade is Denver’s largest Independence Day march. It’s a traditional parade with everything you’d expect, including marching bands, floats, classic cars, costumed characters and much more!

4th of July Celebration at Lutz/Stenger Sports Complex 
July 4, 4:00 – 10:00 pm
 Thousands of people enjoying the day with free activities and fireworks. Face painters, bouncy houses, sensory games, human hamster balls, many community vendors and tons of fun! Purchase great food from our many different vendors and come buy wares from the community vendors.

Celebrate 4th of July at Waneka Lake 
July 4, 4:00 – 10:00 pm
Enjoy an old fashioned July 4th with food concessions, beer (liquid mechanics) and wine garden, free face painting.  Kids’ activities including pony rides, bungee trampoline, bounce house and more. Free concert featuring Chris Daniels and the Kings Free Fireworks show at dusk.

Fireworks at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park 
July 4, 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Spend the day riding the roller coasters and the water slides at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park, Denver’s downtown amusement park, then watch a brilliant fireworks display light up the night sky.

Fireworks at Folsom Field 
July 4 at 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast has been an annual tradition since 1941. Locals flock to the University of Colorado’s football stadium, Folsom Field, to take part in stadium-wide sing-along, listen to live music, see Ralphie — the real buffalo that is CU’s mascot — and, of course, watch the live fireworks show. 

Green Valley Ranch Concert and Fireworks Spectacular at Green Valley Ranch
July 4, 6:00 – 9:30 pm
Don’t miss the official kick off to the 2016 Green Valley Ranch Concert Series and join us on Monday, July 4 for a free concert and spectacular fireworks display.

July 4th Festival at E.B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park 
July 4 at 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Let’s celebrate America’s birthday in this free event for the entire community! Bring your family and friends and enjoy plenty of fun, food, music, patriotism and fireworks. Activities include: a 4-mile Run, pancake breakfast, duckie derby, military salute, car show and patriotic parades for youth and dogs. 

The Colorado Symphony’s Family Friendly Fourth of July 
July 4 at 7:30 – 10:00 pm
It’s the return of the Family Friendly Fourth of July with even more surprises and star-studded talent. This family-friendly program features your favorite contemporary scores and the best fireworks the Front Range has to offer! Celebrate America with the Armed Forces Salute, Stars and Stripes Forever, the Overture of 1812, God Bless America and a slew of your favorite hits from stage and screen.

15+ crafts, recipes and fun for Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and what could be more fun than throwing a red-, white- and blue-themed bash!? There are so many fantastically creative ideas out there and we’ve rounded up 15 of our favorites.

These popcorn lollipops are adorable.

lollipops=====

Kids could make these Oreo pops at your party.

oreo=====

It’s an oldie but a goodie: patriotic Jell-o.28

jello=====

Easy and cute mini banana splits.banana splits=====

Marshmallow and fruit kabobs. kabobsFruit pizza. If there is fruit in it, it’s gotta be healthy, right?

fruitpizza=====

Antipasto kabobs for that picnic.antipasto=====

Who knew Red Vines could be so patriotic! Great to handout before the fireworks.

licorice=====

For a great beverage, get some shaved ice and flavored liquid. Put a strawberry on top and you’re good to go!drink

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Who says holidays need to be unhealthy?! Here’s a creative option.veggie====

Here’s another light and fresh idea.watermelon=====

Make your own 4th of July slime? Now that’s a holiday!slime===== 

How about this easy craft: patriotic wands?

wands=====

Talk about a cute Q-tip firework craft.

qtipWhat ideas do you have for Independence Day?

goodnessknows you’ll have a blast with these adventures along Ralston Creek Trail

Last Wednesday, Mile High Mamas partnered with goodnessknows snack squares to host a group ride in celebration of Bike to Work Day. We met at an official Bike to Work station behind Arvada’s City Hall where we fueled up with complimentary breakfast burritos, cinnamon rolls and, of course, goodnessknows snack squares. Our group of about 20 riders then set out along this beautiful route as we made a few playground stops, played in the creek, climbed trees, discovered a secret bike park with a rope swing and had the time of our lives. 

The important thing about Bike to Work Day’s city-wide campaign is it encourages people of all ages to get outside and be active. I was thrilled to ride a darling goodnessknows-themed Public Bike with a basket chock full of goodnessknows snack squares that I passed out during our ride. This delicious and amazingly satisfying snack combines the goodness of whole nuts, real fruit like cranberries and tart cherries, toasted oats and dark chocolate with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners with naturally occurring cocoa flavanols and is the perfect energy boost throughout your day. goodnessknows

We put our goodnessknows  “Gear Up and Go” swag bags to good use as we explored Arvada’s trail system and here are some tips for exploring this summer:

Memorial Park. We started at the expansive park behind Arvada’s City Hall (8001 West 59th Avenue) with one of the steepest slides in the city and plenty of gorgeous shade trees that are perfect for picnicking. For Bike to Work Day, there were a lot of people passing through, playing Johnny Roberts Disc Golf Course and busting out some cool moves at the Memorial Park Skate Spot.goodness2

Ralston-Central Park. Just a mile west from Memorial Park along the Ralston Creek Trail, this newish area has spray fountains, a killer playground, pavilions and is the hottest spot in Arvada on a hot day. We chugged water from our goodnessknows water bottles for a brief cool down.

goodness8Oak Park. The Ralston Creek Trail briefly goes through a residential area (just stay on Brooks Drive and follow the trail signs). By this time we’d been biking for about 15 minutes, the perfect opportunity to  take a snack break with goodnessknows snack squares. Just 150 calories and divided into four snackable squares per serving, they come in three flavors: 1. cranberry, almond, dark chocolate; 2. apple, almond & peanut, dark chocolate; and 3. peach & cherry, almond, dark chocolate.

Apex Center and Arvada Skate Park. The Ralston Creek Trail passes the backside of the Apex Center, which offers one of the best indoor waterparks in Colorado.  Just adjacent, the outdoor (and free) 40,000-square foot Arvada Skate Park is the third largest skate park in the country and has hosted several large-scale skating events.  

Ralston Valley Park. There are so many gorgeous park areas along the Ralston Creek Trail. One of our favorites is Ralston Valley Park, located off Beech Street. Serpentine Ralston Creek is perfect for wandering on a hot summer’s day so we kicked off our shoes to wade, climbed trees, had a blast at the playground and then dried off with our goodnessknows towels.goodness4

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Secret Dirt Bike Park. I’ve been vicariously reliving my youth by banking turns in this secret bike park inconspicuously tucked away in a grove of trees off the Ralston Creek Trail at approximately 68th Avenue and Eldridge Street. The kids (all of whom have lived in Arvada their entire lives) had no ideas this secret wonderland existed–it may be small but it is mighty! Be sure to try the rope swing as well. Bonus: our goodnessknows swag bags had a small first-aid kit that was perfect for a banged-up knee; one of the kids’ not mine. This Mile High Mama prevailed!goodness10

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From this point, your options are many. You may keep going westward on the Ralston Creek Trail for several more miles all the way to Tucker and Long Lakes adjacent to Highway 73. We opted to do a loop by going south on Eldridge Street that dead-ends and reconnects with the trails through Van Bibber Open Space Park. 

The kids arrived home exhausted yet exuberant. I posted our adventures on Facebook and my friend Dave commented “Isn’t that really just Bike to the Park Day?” Maybe but guaranteed, we had a lot more fun than going to work and being active while enjoying a wonderful taste of goodnessknows throughout our entire day.  Be sure to #TryALittleGoodness this summer in Arvada! 

Sponsored by goodnessknows snack squares

Summer in Arvada: 20+ Activities for Your Family!

We welcome you to Arvada! Located just 15 minutes from Downtown Denver, Arvada manages to balance the business and commerce of a major metropolitan area with eclectic, small-town charm.  As you’ll see, we have lots to offer residents and visitors alike.  So grab your hiking boots, fishing pole, and dancing shoes and come play with us.  We promise there’s something for everyone, and that you’ll soon understand why Arvada was named one of America’s most livable cities by msn.com in 2015.  Arvada: a wonderful place to live, work and play! 

 Every summer, Arvada offers tons of activities for residents and visitors alike.  Rain or shine, spend a fun day in Arvada!  

What to do under the Colorado bluebird skies

  • Head down to the Apex Center for a fun day of swimming.  The Apex Center offers two public pools: the Secrest Pool at 6820 W. 66th Avenue and the Lake Arbor Pool at 7451 W. 83rd Way.  Stop by between 12 pm – 6 pm daily to wear off some energy (or soak in the sun.)
  •   Take a free walking tour of Olde Town Arvada! After finding gold in Ralston Creek in 1850, Arvada flourished. Learn about Arvada’s rich history while experiencing the vibrant shops and restaurants of Olde Town (and don’t forget to stop by Scrumptious at 7523 Grandview Avenue for some unique candy and delicious ice cream). Come to the Visitor’s Center for more information.
  •  Looking for a secluded national park feel without having to make the drive? Explore Two Ponds Wildlife Refuge, the smallest urban unit in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Hike a hundred feet in and you’ll forget Downtown Denver is 20 minutes away! Explore Tuesday through Saturday between 8 am and 4 pm.
  •  Don’t let the summer heat get you down! Visit one of our free splash pads for a refreshing, fun time in the water. Check one out in Olde Town or at Ralston Park. 
  • Do you love biking? The Ralston Creek Trail extends 13.6 miles through some of Arvada’s most scenic areas.
  •  Enjoy some local Colorado artists and wander around the free Sculpture Garden at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities.
  •  Head down to the Arvada/Blunn Reservoir to fish, enjoy a picnic, or just enjoy the incredible views.
  • Thinking of heading to Arvada on a Saturday? Wait until the second of every month, when Olde Town holds its free 2nd Saturdays Festival, which includes an awesome Kid’s Zone.  Explore different local vendors while your kids get their faces painted, jump on inflatables, and more.
Apex Center

Apex Center

Don’t let the rain slow you down

            Even in the rain, Arvada has plenty of activities to occupy your family’s time.

  • The one-of a-kind Cussler Museum is home to a unique collection of cars from across the ages.  Kids are only $5!
  • Keep learning outside of school with a fun, unique class at Majestic View Nature Center.  Majestic View offers all sorts of classes throughout the summer, but we think “Beekeeping Up Close” sounds extra fun. Visit www.arvada.org/nature for the full schedule and to register.
  •  The Apex Center has more than just a pool. Bring a group and book a time to play.
  • Bubble Soccer at the Apex Field House, 5724 Oak Street. Bubble soccer is a great, thrilling activity for kids and adults.  E-mail whitneyw@apexprd.org for more information or to book your session.
  • Head down to the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities for free galleries (this summer, it’s all about watercolors) and the Arvada History Museum. Check out how Arvada’s founders lived, and let your kids explore the world of local, Colorado art.  The galleries are open 9:00 am – 7:30 pm Monday – Friday. 
  • If the History Museum is a hit, head down to the Arvada Flour Mill in Olde Town. Call (303) 431-1261 to schedule a tour.
  • Grab lunch or dinner at Steuben’s Arvada for a delicious meal for mom and dad, and options the kids will love!  AND they get a free ice cream cone with their kid’s meal!  If Steuben’s is too busy, hit Homegrown Tap & Dough for delicious artisanal pizza and a great, outdoor patio.

We hope to see you in Arvada this summer. Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor’s Center at 7305 Grandview Avenue for more recommendations.

Meet the App Changing Parenting at a Monthly Growth Rate of 39%

When ParentsWare first conceptualized OurPact, they knew success was on their heels. It was only a matter of time before remote screen time management would become a conventional parenting measure.

OurPact, ParentsWare’s free iOS application. Internet and apps vanish at-a-touch or through recurring schedules set up within parent’s phones or tablets, transforming an all-too-common parenting conundrum into an effortless undertaking.

The launch of OurPact in February 2015 was perfectly timed; the market was ripe for picking, and no similar solution was available – nor able – to operate effectively under Apple’s stringent guidelines. In tandem with release, a goal was set by the team to acquire 150,000 users by year’s end. Within the first two weeks of 2016, their user base stands at well over a quarter million, representing a growth of 1,150% since June 2015 alone. This milestone can be expected to double in a fraction of the time, given their plans to release Android in the coming months.

“The momentum hasn’t stopped building,” Jim Magner, the president of ParentsWare states. “We have an amazing team, a stunning product, and a virtually untapped market. To top it off, this app is truly making a difference for families. Ten years from now, kids on the other end of our software will be thanking us.”

To date, ParentsWare has raised $6 million from sophisticated investors around the world experienced in founding, operating and selling industry-leading companies. Paired with an accomplished advisory board, ParentsWare’s OurPact has benefitted from the guidance of experts in software, finance, media, and public health.

As of now, OurPact is ranked as the number one parental control app in the iOS App Store. Just last month, esteemed chef Jamie Oliver took it upon himself to share a home video explaining how the app operates and that it has ‘changed his life’. Since the clip was shared, it has garnered just short of 4 million views and almost 27,000 likes.

This momentum OurPact is experiencing is impressive, but to say it’s surprising is a far cry. Parents dream of using this app before they even know it exists.

-PR Newswire

FREE ivivva Coast to Coast Festival at Cheeseman Park

Summer air, sunset views and yoga will culminate in one epic night at Cheeseman Park. The event, hosted by every girls’ favorite active wear line, ivivva, will celebrate movement and confidence. This June  young women and their families will connect at the iconic marble pavilions for a one-of-a-kind festival in the heart of our city. 

ivivva-social-wk19-select-2ivivva Cherry Creek and Park Meadows have planned an evening to be remembered. Expect to be swept away into a world of free expression, dance, motivation and new connections. Participants can look forward a stretch and flow led by Denver’s most influential instructors, Dreams&Goals sessions happening a dusk, a DJ featured dance party, multiple food trucks and so much more. Best of all, the entire event is complimentary and perfect for an entire family to enjoy. 

Gather up your yoga mats and mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 29th at 5:00PM. Simply RSVP by clicking on the “I’M GOING!” at: https://coasttocoastdreaming.splashthat.com and the ivivva team will see you there! 

Fun Friday: Water Activities for Kids

Every Friday during the summer, we’ll feature five fun activities for kids. 

  1. All you need is a slide, a tarp and a sprinkler and you’ve created a fun splash pad for a slide.

slide

 

2. This DIY kiddie car wash is absolutely perfect for summer outdoor fun, easy to build, and something the kiddos absolutely LOVE.

kiddiecarwash

3. This is a fun water relay game but the twist? Poke holes in the cup!

shark

4. Sure, the limbo is fun but what about Sprinkler Limbo? This easy and fun DIY jtakes PVC pipe.

sprinklerlimbo

5. Win mom of the Year by transforming pool noodles and a tarp into a backyard hockey rink.

Water-Hockey