background img

Kneaders Overnight French Toast Recipe

If you love French toast, this recipe for Kneaders Chunky Cinnamon Overnight French Toast will become a new favorite. Of course, the better the bread, the better the taste and this recipe calls for the mother of all breakfast toasts: THICK slices of Kneaders’ Chunky Cinnamon Bread. Cinnamon and brown sugar are swirled throughout and an unbelievable caramel syrup tops off this tasty recipe.

Ingredients:

1 loaf Kneaders Chunky Cinnamon bread, loaf ends removed
8 large eggs
3 cups milk
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter, divided

Directions:

Generously butter a 9×13″ baking dish with 1 Tbsp. of butter. Slice bread into 8 pieces.

Lay 6 slices of bread in baking dish. Cut remaining two slices into smaller pieces to fill gaps.

Whisk eggs, milk, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Pour mixture over bread.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.

Just before baking, cut remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter into small pieces. Dot bread with butter.

Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes at 350˚ F.

Enjoy warm with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Drizzle with Kneaders Famous Caramel Syrup, now available for purchase at every Kneaders location!

 

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Hair for the Holidays

Winter season is busy enough, the last thing you want to worry about is dry, unhealthy hair! Suzanne Payne, personal hair stylist just off Colorado Boulevard in Glendale offers several tips on how busy moms can keep their hair merry and bright this holiday season.  

Dry Hair

Keep your hair soft and moisturized during the dry winter months by using a hair balm once a week like Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Conditioner. If your hair is very dry you can use the balm daily, just avoid your roots and crown of your head so it doesn’t weigh your hair down. 

Cut back your dry time and heat damage with a product like KMS Free Shape Quick Blow Dry spray can significantly improve your hair’s health. Let your hair air-dry as long as possible then use the quick spray on damp hair just before drying. All products work better on damp, not wet hair. A leave-in conditioning spray like Nexxus Humectress Luxe can help combat frizz and dryness while a finishing product like Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle can add softness and smooth flyaways, just apply when hair is damp before blow drying.

Stylin’

 In a rush for a quick hairstyle for a holiday party? Keep it simple by using a curling iron to create barrel curls or soft and sexy waves. Hold the curling iron so the barrel is facing the floor, then wrap your hair around it, starting from the roots wrapping towards the ends. This adds volume to your roots and will make the curls last longer.  Make sure not to twist hair before wrapping it around the curling iron, lay it flat over the iron as you wrap. Work in small sections, not grabbing too much hair at once, otherwise the curl may not hold.  Avoid the urge to touch your hair after you style it! It’s important to let it cool completely before adding a finishing hairspray. 

You can also try a baby bun by pulling your hair into a low bun with a deep part and pulling out a few pieces to twist or braid around, then secure with a few bobby pins.  The fastest way to pull off a quick party updo is create a high sleek ponytail. Straighten your hair and try using Garnier Sleek and Shine Hair Spray. Secure with a ponytail holder and wrap one piece of hair around to hide the holder then tuck in with a bobby pin.

Discount 

Getting your hair cut every six weeks, depending on its length can keep hair healthy and avoids split ends. Members of Mile High Mamas are offered a special 25% discount on their first appointment at Suzanne Payne’s Studio, located in a quiet, private suite off Colorado Boulevard in Glendale.  Enjoy some much deserved “me time” during your next hair appointment in a relaxed, casual atmosphere by calling Suzanne at:  720.335.3350 or on Facebook.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas

 

29 holiday events and fun things to do this week

Welcome to December! Awesome events include 9News’ Parade of Lights, the Holiday Flea, a candlelight walk and more. See our event calendar for full details. 

9News Parade of Lights 
Dec 1 –2
Begin your holiday season at the spectacular 43rd Annual 9NEWS Parade of Lights. The two-mile parade route in Downtown Denver is the stage for Colorado’s brightest holiday tradition. The FREE holiday spectacular features marching bands, ornate floats, and, of course, a special appearance by Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa.

Peace: A Holiday Concert 
Dec 1 – 2
Celebrate the holiday season with the Colorado Repertory Singers as we bring cherished favorites to the stage and reflect on our need for peace through music and lyrics. From traditional carols to modern winter themes, this choral program brings to life the sounds and songs of the season from a variety of cultures, time periods, and religions. Join us for this December staple in the Broomfield community and an audience favorite.

Ultimate Family Dino Fun at Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
Nov 30, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
There’s a different dino to delight everyone in the family at this prehistoric party celebrating our latest temporary exhibition Ultimate Dinosaurs. Check out some of the most spectacular fossils unearthed in recent years as you venture through the exhibition, find out how fossils form, and make your own family fossil to take home.

Stuff Your Stocking: A First Friday of Small Gifts & Big Giving at the Ink Lounge
Dec 1 
Join Ink Lounge and a select group of local makers for Stuff Your Stocking, a First Friday Micro Market featuring small gifts with a big impact. From jams to jewelry and chocolate to clay, each artist has a unique craft that is sure to please everyone on your list.

Holiday Flea 
Dec 1 –3, 5:00 pm
Come spread the holiday cheer and drink the spiced punch! The next Denver Flea is going down December 1st – December 3rd at a top secret location (released soon). They’ll kick things off Friday night from 6-9PM with a full-on holiday party. This is your exclusive ticket for pre-Flea shopping paired with festive drinks, good food and groovy tunes.

Ugly Sweater Night with Santa at Park Meadows Retail Resort 
Dec 1, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Put on Your Ugliest Sweater for Santa! Break out your ugliest holiday sweater (you know the one) and take a fun photo with Santa. Whether its adorned with pom pom snowmen or glitter gingerbread man, the sillier the sweater the better.

30th Annual Candlelight Walk at City of Golden 
Dec 1, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Since 1988 Golden’s Candlelight Walk has been a traditional favorite. This FREE community event brings thousands of families and friends into Golden.

STEAM Powered | Dream Big at CU South Denver
Dec 1, 6:00 – 9:30 pm
This Friday evening series is designed to celebrate advances in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) through unique programming centered around our amazing 3D Daily Films.

Gateway Classic Cars Holiday Party at Gateway Classic Cars of Denver
Dec 2 
Celebrate Christmas Season with Gateway Classic Cars on December 2nd from 10am – 3pm! Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. In return you will receive Free Admission! Enjoy lunch, classic cars, exotic cars, and of course Santa! Bring the whole family and give to a great charity making childrens dreams come true! Lunch will be served from 11am till 2pm.

Breakfast With Santa at CU South Denver
Dec 2, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be stopping by to enjoy breakfast with you and yours and to jot down everyone’s wish list. Families will enjoy a breakfast buffet. Adults can sip bloody marys and mimosas (for an additional charge) while the kids make festive crafts and give their wish lists to Santa.

Breakfast with Santa at Hard Rock Cafe 
Dec 2, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Now is your time to bring your lil’ rockers to Hard Rock Cafe Denver for this year’s memorable Breakfast with Santa.

Brunch with Father Christmas at Four Mile Historic Park 
Dec 2, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Before settling in for a long winter’s nap, settle in by the fireplace for a morning with the big guy himself. Father Christmas hosts this occasion for families to feast on seasonal fare—served up by Relish Catering and Events—and participate in traditional holiday merrymaking at the site of Denver’s oldest standing house.

Wiggins Elementary Holiday Craft Fair 
Dec 2, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Join us for a Holiday Craft Show, free chili lunch and local entertainment. December 2, 2017 at the Wiggins elementary School.

Olde Golden Christmas Parades at City of Golden 
Dec 2 –16
Saturdays in December, authentic and historic downtown Golden becomes a festive holiday center with traditional decorations and fun family events. The free Olde Golden Christmas Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. with cowboys on horses, floats, marching bands, old cars, elves on unicycles, the Grinch in his corvette, and of course, Santa Claus.

St. Nick on the Bricks 
Dec 2, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Kids of all ages can visit with Santa at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center for FREE. Bring your list and a camera to capture priceless holiday memories.

Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Dec 2 – 17
For 25 years, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble has been blending dance, live music, spoken word, and seasonal celebrations and customs from around the world into a memorable holiday tradition like none other.

Lights of December Parade 
Dec 2, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
In its 30th year, spectators will enjoy floats created and decorated by local businesses, churches and civic groups. Crowds will enjoy marching bands, lit fire engines, holiday carolers and much more. The grand finale includes an appearance by the jolly old man himself – Santa Claus!

Dolls’ Tea Party at The Oxford Hotel 
Dec 3 
Experience one of Denver’s favorite family traditions this holiday season with The Oxford Hotel Dolls’ Tea Party on Sunday, Dec. 3rd. Held for more than 50 years at LoDo’s most historic boutique hotel, The Oxford Dolls’ Tea is a classic tea party featuring hot cocoa and treats for the children and tea and a light sandwich snack for the adults

The Nutcracker at Joanna Ramsey Theatre 
Dec 3 
This Christmas, treat yourself to a magical evening with Clara and the Nutcracker as Littleton Youth Ballet and Littleton Ballet Academy cast a spell over you and your entire family with its captivating production of The Nutcracker.

Christmas with Cody at Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave 
Dec 3, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
The entire family will enjoy meeting Santa Cody! Create crafts, meet historic figures, and tour the Museum during the FREE holiday celebration. See website for times.

Peppa Pig Live! at Paramount Theatre
Dec 3, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Peppa Pig, the #1 Family show of 2016, is back with an action-packed live show featuring your favorite characters as life size puppets and costume characters in Peppa Pig’s Surprise! Come join Peppa, George, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and more in an all singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games and surprises.

Boulder Opera: Cinderella at Longmont Museum
Dec 3,  3:00 – 4:15 pm
Boulder Opera presents Cinderella, a perfect introduction for children to the spellbinding world of opera. Based on the much loved fairytale, this rare 19th century work will be presented as a specially reduced one hour version.

Ongoing Holiday Events

Blossoms of Light, Denver Botanic Gardens 
Nov 24 – Jan 1, 2018
This annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland.

Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms 
Nov 24 – Dec 24 
Santa and his friends are moving to Chatfield Farms in November! Chatfield Farms will be transformed into a magical village. Join us for a new and exciting holiday experience for all ages. Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s cinema and find unique holiday gifts in his workshop.

DEN Ice Skating Rink at Denver International Airport 
Nov 24, 2017 – Jan 7, 2018 
Once again, the DEN Plaza will be home to a FREE 34’wide X 60’length ice skating rink.

Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
Nov 21 – Feb. 14, 2018
Ready. Set. Skate. Skyline Park is the place for fun this holiday season. The Downtown Denver Partnership invites you and your family to join us for FREE skating at the Skyline Rink, located at 16th & Arapahoe in Downtown Denver. Ice skating is free! You may bring your own skates or rent a pair for just $2. Through February 14.

A Christmas Carol at Stage Theatre 
Nov 24 – Dec 24
Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol promises to “warm your heart and renew your holiday spirit” according to the Examiner. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations.

Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House 
Nov 25 – Dec 24 
Recently recognized as the best-loved Nutcracker in the U.S., Colorado Ballet’s holiday classic The Nutcracker features timeless choreography paired with Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

Winter Wonderlights at Chapungu Sculpture Park 
Nov 18 – Jan 7, 2018 
Each night, visitors and locals will revel in holiday string lights, twinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, illuminated African stone sculptures, the only 20’ LED mappable Christmas Tree in the state and 30-minute music and light shows. 

How to Save Money When Choosing Your Healthcare Coverage

Open enrollment is a once-a-year opportunity to pick a health benefits plan that fits your family’s needs. Your health, and the health of your family, is precious, so this is one of the most important decisions you can make each year.

The majority of Americans, more than 175 million, have employer-provided coverage, according to the annual report on health insurance coverage from the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet no matter how you obtain health insurance, it’s important to review your options and ask questions. 

People who review their health plan options may find ways to save money on their family’s health care costs – whether it’s through selecting a plan that will cover more of their expected health costs for a major event (such as surgery or having a baby), reviewing which doctors are in the plan’s care provider network or evaluating prescription drug coverage.

Each family has unique health needs – there is no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting a health plan. The following tips can help you make more informed choices, and maybe even save money, when choosing a health plan for your family.

  • Do any of your family members take medications regularly? If so, evaluate prescription drug coverage for each plan offering and ensure you’ll have access to your family’s prescription drugs. Remember costs can change from year to year, so check that you’ll continue to have coverage of your drugs at a cost you can afford. Your plan’s prescription drug list contains the most commonly prescribed medications on your pharmacy plan. Drugs are listed by common categories or classes and placed in tiers that represent the cost you pay.
  • Do any of your family members see doctors regularly? If so, make sure those doctors are in the health plan’s care provider network.
  • Are you planning to undergo surgery or have a baby? If so, make sure your doctors and hospital are in-network.
  • Would virtual visits/telehealth be of value to you and your family? If so, look for a plan that offers this benefit. Virtual visits are for non-emergency, minor medical conditions. They can be a huge family time-saver for people who may have a bladder or urinary tract infection, a respiratory or sinus infection, a rash, stomachache or diarrhea, or a migraine headache. Some care providers offer telehealth visits for ongoing help for chronic conditions or behavioral health issues.
  • Don’t forget about “specialty” benefits. Specialty benefits, such as dental, vision, accident or critical-illness insurance plans, are often lower-cost options that can protect you and your family from head to toe.  Research shows a connection between oral health and overall health, so adding a dental plan may help prevent larger medical problems. A vision plan may offer eye exams that can identify chronic conditions like diabetes, and offer reduced pricing on frames and lenses. Critical-illness plans can provide important financial benefits for unexpected health situations.
  • Take advantage of wellness programs offered by your employer, especially those that reward you. Some health plans, including UnitedHealthcare, offer wellness programs for employers that enable their employees to earn financial incentives, such as lower premium costs or deductible credits, for completing health assessments, signing up for a health coaching program, lowering cholesterol, going to a gym or even using a fitness tracker to monitor daily walking patterns (e.g. UHC Motion).

To help you prepare for open enrollment, UnitedHealthcare has created a simple, educational resource at UHC.com/openenrollment.

-By Marc Neely, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Colorado and Wyoming. In partnership with Mile High Mamas

 

Reaction to Matt Lauer’s termination over sexual misconduct

The world woke up to the grim news that Matt Lauer, beloved anchor of “Today” for two decades, was fired by NBC News after a detailed complaint about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.

I was horrified to hear the accusations surrounding Harry Weinstein but I had zero personal connection to him.  Like so many people, I’ve been watching Matt Lauer on morning TV for years. Though I admit I was devastated to hear the news, my initial reaction then turned to disappointment and anger. How could he?  

Denver mom Julie Marsh made this poignant observation:

It isn’t “sad” that Matt Lauer was fired. Mouse away from the teary-faced reactions, and think about how we are FINALLY coming to grips with inappropriate behavior that devalues victims, be they female or male. It was wrong when the perpetrator was Thomas Jefferson, JFK, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush, and Donald Trump. It was wrong when it was Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Kevin Spacey. It was wrong when it was that sleazeball who talked nasty to me at work — and the one who did the same to you.

It was always WRONG. Save your sadness for the men and women who’ve been the victims, and celebrate the fact that we’re beginning to expose this behavior and make it socially unacceptable.

Guide to Denver’s Holiday Happenings & Santa Sightings

The holiday season is a magical time to visit Denver with theater, music and dance performances. Plus, Santa sightings, holiday shopping and lighting extravaganzas. There’s fun for all ages. Visit Denver shares these memorable ways to celebrate the holidays this year.

THE POLAR EXPRESSTM TRAIN RIDE

WHEN: Nov. 24–26 and 29–30; Dec. 1–3, 6–10 and 13–23, 2017
WHERE: Colorado Railroad Museum

The story of The Polar ExpressTM is theatrically re-created and combined with a magical train ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Children get to meet Santa and experience all the sights and sounds of this classic tale as if happening all around them.

BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT

WHEN: Nov. 24, 2017–Jan. 1, 2018
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

Embrace the holiday season at Blossoms of Light. The first night will display over one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs highlighting the Gardens’ winter beauty. Enjoy sparkling passages, new displays and romantic kissing spots under the mistletoe, all made even more beautiful through HoloSpex glasses. Warm drinks and tasty treats will also be available. 

ICE SKATING AT DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

WHEN: Nov. 24, 2017–Jan. 7, 2018
WHERE: Denver International Airport

Heading out of town? Get to Denver International Airport early and enjoy their free ice skating rink, entertainment and family-friendly music on the DEN plaza. Or make a special trip just for the fun of it!

DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET

WHEN: Nov. 17–Dec. 23, 2017
WHERE: Skyline Park
The Christkindl Market includes vendors from Germany and other countries, as well as local artisans, offering high-quality, handcrafted gifts such as traditional hand-carved wooden figurines, handmade candles and ornaments. Traditional German food will tempt your taste buds. Sip on warm Glühwein (hot spiced wine) as you listen to traditional Christmas carols and live German music. Entry is free and the entire family is invited to enjoy this great tradition! 

DOWNTOWN DENVER RINK AT SKYLINE PARK

WHENNov. 21, 2017–Feb. 14, 2018
WHERESkyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
One of the most popular holiday events in Denver, the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Parkin Downtown Denver returns in 2017 with ice skating and family fun. The rink is free and open to the public with the option to bring your own skates or rent a pair at a minimal cost. 

SANTA’S VILLAGE

WHEN: Nov. 24–Dec. 24, 2017
WHERE
Chatfield Farms Botanic Gardens
Explore Chatfield Farms as it is transformed into a magical Christmas village. Santa’s Village is a family-friendly holiday event including hayrides, holiday gifts, a trail of lights, Santa’s Workshop and so much more.

COLORADO BALLET’S ‘THE NUTCRACKER’

WHEN: Nov. 25–Dec. 24, 2017
WHERE: Ellie Caulkins Opera House

It’s not the holidays until you see visions of sugar-plum fairies dancing before your eyes. Colorado Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” is a cherished family holiday tradition and the largest production of the holiday favorite in Colorado.

ZOO LIGHTS

WHEN: Dec. 1–31, 2017
WHERE: Denver Zoo

Zoo Lights spans 70 acres of Denver Zoo’s campus with nightly entertainment, animal encounters, Santa meet-and-greets and, of course, illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns hide in bushes and appear in places where they’re least expected.

ANNUAL TUBACHRISTMAS

WHEN: Dec. 17, 2017
WHERE: Downtown Denver
Tired of the same old holiday soundtrack? Revive your holiday spirit at the Annual TubaChristmas Concert in Skyline Park! Tap your toes to your favorite holiday tunes being played by 300 tuba players from all over the region. Skyline Park will be decorated for the season, making it a perfect setting to experience this holiday spectacular.

DENVER PAVILIONS HOLIDAY CAROUSEL

WHEN: Dec. 15, 2017–Jan. 2, 2018
WHERE: Denver Pavilions

Create Memories for years to come at the Denver Pavilions beautiful downtown Holiday Carousel. Throughout December, families can enjoy the magic of the holidays from the perch of a horse on a beautiful carousel. $3 per ride.

OLDE GOLDEN CHRISTMAS

WHEN: Candlelight Walk, Dec. 1, 2017; Christmas Parades, Dec. 2, 9 and 16, 2017
WHERE: 911 10th Street, Golden

Olde Golden Christmas includes a community candlelight walk, Victorian carolers, free Newfoundland dog-pulled cart rides, holiday art market, parades, shopping, music and theater productions, Santa Claus, holiday lights, art and more!

NOON YEAR’S EVE

WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

Enjoy the sights, sounds. and excitement of Times Square, all before bedtime! Each hour, count down to a glittering ball drop and pop bubble wrap fireworks as fountains of confetti flutter all around for Noon Year’s Eve!

NYE GREAT GATSBY WHITE ROSE GALA

WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Known as one of Denver’s Top New Year Eve Parties, the NYE Great Gatsby White Rose Gala is a high end and elegant charity event where you are enveloped by musical and theatrical performances that take you back to the Roaring 20’s.

NATIONAL WESTERN STOCK SHOW & RODEO

WHEN: Jan. 6–21, 2018
WHERE: National Western Complex

Held every January, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is the world’s largest stock show, involving more than 15,000 animals. Enjoy rodeos featuring top-notch bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions and auctions. 

Santa Sightings

SANTA’S FLIGHT ACADEMY

WHEN: Nov. 9–Dec. 24, 2017
WHERE: Cherry Creek Shopping Center
Santa’s Flight Academy is a wholly interactive and magical hero’s journey that transforms children into key members of Santa’s Flight Crew. Create memorable and sharable moments for families, including the Flight Suit Visualizer and the Flight Navigation Station. Experience a magical snow and light show inside Santa’s sleigh and, of course, a visit with Santa Claus.

SANTA’S VILLAGE

WHEN: Nov. 24–Dec. 24, 2017
WHERE
Chatfield Farms Botanic Gardens
Explore Chatfield Farms as it is transformed into a magical village. Santa’s Village is a family-friendly holiday event including hayrides, holiday gifts, Santa’s Workshop and so much more.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

WHEN: Dec. 9–10, 16–17 and 22–24, 2017
WHERE: Downtown Aquarium
Join Sharkey and Santa for a delicious breakfast buffet at Denver’s Downtown Aquarium! After breakfast, explore the Aquarium Adventure Exhibit with more than one million gallons of extraordinary marine life. 

SANTA ON THE SQUARE

WHEN: Saturdays (Nov. 25 – Decc 2310:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sundays (Nov. 26 – Dec. 2412:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Larimer Square, Larimer Street, between 14th and 15th streets
Throughout the month of December, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting Larimer Square. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell Santa what you want for Christmas and to make sure you’ve made the Nice list this year. Photos will Santa and Mrs. Claus are free but please bring your own camera.

PHOTOS WITH SANTA

WHEN: Nov. 10–Dec. 24, 2017
WHERE: Park Meadows Retail Resort
Colorado’s largest enclosed shopping center will offer plenty of time with Santa this holiday season. With events from Pet Nights to Family Portraits, Park Meadows offers a Santa experience for the entire family.

SANTA’S TOY FACTORY

WHEN: Nov. 11–Dec. 24, 2017
WHERE: Southwest Plaza
Kids can make like elves and test new toys and even digitally design their own at Santa’s Toy Factory in Southwest Plaza. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet jolly St. Nick himself, including a Holiday PJ Night with Santa, Ugly Sweater Night with Santa and Caroling Night with Santa. Pet lovers can even bring their four-legged friends for Pet Photos with Santa!

 

Deals: PeakMed, Gift Card Bonus Deals & More

Did you score some great Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals? Now it’s time to relax and enjoy a bit of the holiday festivities. Are you heading downtown this weekend for the Parade of Lights (FREE event)? Catch a super show like A Christmas Carol at the Denver Center? 

The American Heart Association will offer a free infant CPR and choking relief training session at 8 a.m. and free adult hands-only CPR training sessions at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at North High School, 2960 N. Speer Blvd, Denver, CO. Each session will take approximately 45 minutes. All event participants will receive an American Heart Association CPR Anytime Kit that contains a manikin and instructional DVD, which can be used to train other individuals. Attendees are welcome to participate in both the infant and adult training sessions.The training sessions are free and walk-ins are welcome, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP at www.heart.org/savealifeco.

PeakMed is like Netflix for health care. It provides unlimited family practice medicine using an affordable monthly-membership model that doesn’t bill insurance. With PeakMed there are no co-pays or doctor bills requiring you to cover what insurance doesn’t. Members can see their physician during clinic hours or communicate (via text, email, video chat or phone) with their doctor 24/7 for illness, disease management, physicals and preventative care. When your family frequently visits the doctor, the membership fee pays for itself and can save you money on after-hours urgent care or emergency room visits. Visit PeakMed.com for more information or to become a member.

Get Plus Give. Want to save up to 75% OFF your favorite brand name products & everyday essentials? Give10Back.com has all of your favorite brand name toys, baby items, kitchen & home goods, & much more at the lowest prices on the web PLUS we donate 10% of EVERY sale to your school, church, or favorite charity! Give10Back.com – You Shop. You Save. We Donate.

King Soopers. Save now with deals every day through December 25th. Each day a special coupon will be posted that you can digitally download to your King Soopers Card. Plus, checkout the holiday recipes each day as well! 

Bonus Deals. Many retailers offer a little something extra if you buy their gift-cards directly from them (or if you buy them from a retailer like King Soopers or Safeway who often include bonus gas points).

  • Tokyo Joe’s. Buy a gift card for $25 get and additional card worth $5.
  • Buy a gift card worth $100 get a bonus of $15; buy a card worth $150 get a bonus $25; buy a gift card worth $200 get a bonus of $50.
  • Alamo Draft House. When you purchase a $50 gift card it comes with a $10 snack pass.
  • Chick-Fil-A. Buy the 2018 Calendar for just $8 get free food and/or drinks each month through the year.
  • Cinemark Theaters. Buy a $25 gift card get a $5 concession coupon.
  • Get a $20 Bonus Card when you purchase a gift card for $100. Then get even more when you score an additional $5 for every $50 over the first $100.
  • Wendy’s. Buy the $2 Frosty Key Tag get a FREE Jr. Frosty with any purchase through all of 2018.
  • Spent $50 get $10 bonus at: Yard House, Vesta, Root Down, Red Robin, Red Lobster, Panera, Outback Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Native Foods, Linger, Chili’s, Carrabba’s Grill, Bonefish Grill, Benihana, & Applebee’s.

DEFINE body +mind is excited to announce the opening of its Boulder location on Saturday, December 2nd.  Founded in 2009 by Henry Richardson, DEFINE body + mind offers five different classes — incorporating barre, cycling, yoga, trampoline, and hammock workouts. The public is invited to take part in the studio’s Grand Opening festivities on Saturday December 2nd from 8:30am – 12:30pm. There will be free classes, complimentary snacks and drinks, an opportunity to win raffle prizes (including a three month membership, class packs, sticky socks and more). The new Boulder studio is located at 2408 Arapahoe Ave, between Folsom Street and Arapahoe Ave, in the Arapahoe Village Shopping Center. 

Ski Deals. Yippee! Ski areas are opening! Finally! There are still a few ways to get deals if you think your family is going to ski. Get season tickets. Really they seem like a lot of money now – but when you break it down by day most them are an amazing deal! Get your 5th Grader the 5th Grade Passport (it’s free and allows 3 days of skiing at the participating ski areas plus a beginner lesson). Larson Ski Swap is this weekend. Score deals there. Did you know there are consignment stores for ski equipment. (Breckenridge has one of my favorites).  Gems Cards are now on sale – for just $25 you get either two 2-for-1 lift tickets or two 30% off lift tickets at the ten Colorado Gems Resorts.

Glenwood Caverns. Get a 50% OFF Tram Ride Admission to the ‘Winter on the Mountain’ experience at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.  Check out one of the Western Slope’s largest displays of dazzling lights, holiday displays, a giant musical tree, fire pits for roasting s’mores and other family attractions to celebrate the season.  Rides, cave tours, mountain-top dining and more. Go to glenwoodcaverns.com for seasonal hours then enter promo code MHMAMA. Or, call 800 530-1635 for more information.

Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland Magic!

Before we left for Great Wolf Lodge, my five-year-old son kept calling it, “Fox.” He helped me pack  by providing twelves pairs of underwear and relentless questions.

“Does Fox have pillows? Does Fox have forks and spoons? Does Fox have water?”

Does it ever! By the way, little man, it is called Great Wolf Lodge and they have bunches of water. That’s what I genuinely believed. Great Wolf Lodge is a place I’ve always wanted to visit. It’s a hotel with a water park, or maybe a water park with a hotel? It turns out it is more than any of us expected. It has forks and spoons plus, oh, all this:

Snowland and other seasonal fun means any time of year is a good time to go. Because Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs is less than a year old, this is their first Snowland and it was a joy to experience! The lobby is decorated with beautiful trees and hanging snowflakes. The centerpiece, however, is a real life-sized Gingerbread House made of hundreds of pounds of gingerbread, decorated with real candies and treats, and held together with dozens of pounds of frosting. It gets better: For only $20, you can reserve the table inside and eat your meal from one of the restaurants (cost not included) inside. The $20 reservation fee goes to the Ronald McDonald House.

The winter wonderland effect is heightened by daily indoor snow showers and special appearances by Santa Claus. He has a beautiful nook in the Adventure Park where your kids can visit with him and leave a letter in a mailbox. Snowland runs from now until December 31st, 2017. What a fantastic family winter surprise gift!

50,000 square foot perpetually-84 degrees indoor water park with play features, slides, rafts, a wave pool, and more. Our kids adored Fort Mackenzie©, a towering tree house style play area with cascading water and multiple little kid-friendly slides. Another favorite spot to get water logged is Slap Tail Pond©, a wave pool that unleashes every five minutes when the Great Wolf himself howls.

This water park is exclusively for resort guests and admission is included in the price of your suite. When you arrive the day of your stay, they’ll store your luggage until your room is ready so you can start splashing immediately. Then, when you checkout, you can play until the water park closes. It is open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Great Wolf Adventure Park packed with eight diverse dry play activities. For kids and grown kids, they offer the physically challenging Howler’s Peak Ropes Course©, where adventurers navigate a series of suspended boards and tight ropes while harnessed two stories above the ground. Conquer Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall while you are busy going full Colorado with your outdoorsy (but indoors) prowess.

If your kids aren’t into dangling from heights (or you aren’t into seeing them dangle from heights) you can purchase a magic wand from MagiQuest© and then embark on your own. This is a cool interactive scavenger hunt spread all over the Great Wolf Lodge’s property. You choose one of three quests, load it onto your wand, and begin hunting for certain objects you need to defeat a villain, like a Dragon! When you vanquish one bad guy, do another! For little ones who want to quest, but would rather snuggle, try the Clubhouse Crew. They get to choose a Great Wolf Lodge character, help stuff it, dress it in an outfit, and then hunt around for stations to check in through a sensor in the paw.

If you want some old school entertainment diversions, try Howl in One Mini Golf, Ten Paw Alley™ (bowling!), Northern Lights™ Arcade, and Oliver’s Mining Company. Obviously, there is no reason to be bored.

The Great Wolf Kids© Program runs year-round. From morning until night, you and your kids can participate in group activities with old and new friends. Start your day with yoga and wrap it up with a night time dance parties or a pajama story time. In between, do afternoon crafts, balloon animals, face painting. Seasonal activities abound as well.

Dining options are plenty and innovative! Did you know Great Wolf Lodge is a nut-free facility? As a mom with several peanut and tree nut allergic kids, this made me grateful. You can relax knowing that the kitchens are committed to maintaining the highest allergy aware standards. If you have other food allergies, let the chefs know! They are happy to provide personal attention to your needs.

Eight dining options await, ranging from familiar and fast Dunkin’ Donuts to Barnwood, a gorgeous restaurant with seasonal offerings, locally-sourced. It would be a great date night spot. The Loose Moose Family Kitchen is a breakfast and lunch buffet stocked with plenty of options for adventurous and not-so adventurous eaters. For mid-day bites, Hungry As a Wolf© serves pizza, pasta, and salad options. Or, if you are busy in the pool, walk right up to Buckets Incredible Craveables™ for burgers, fries, and ice cream. You don’t have to go to the pool for your ice cream fix, however. There is a Ben & Jerry’s on site!

Scooop’s© Kid Spa is a little slice of indulgence. It’s adorably ice cream themed with kid-sized mani and pedi stations. There are two adult pedicure chair with massage and you better believe they are comfortable. I wish I was sitting in one right now. My daughter got her first mini manicure with deliciously scented lotion, hair scent as a bonus, and other treats like a scoop of ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s and a tiara in case there is any doubt she’s a princess.

What about accommodations? We’ve established there is no way the word “bored” could and should be said under Great Wolf Lodge’s soaring, occasionally snowing, ceiling. But, there comes a time in everyone’s life when sleep is a must! Handily, thousands of comfortable beds are an elevator ride away. The suites can accommodate from four to nine guests and every group in between. With eleven different types of suites available, you’ll find the perfect place to settle in for a night, or much-needed afternoon nap. For you.

Imagine stowing your little sleepyheads in a Wolf Pup Den Suite. They’ll have their own built in cubby with a bunk bed and TV, decorated to look like they’re relaxing in the woods wolf-style. The Junior Wolf Pup Den Suite sleeps four with its queen-sized bed. The Wolf Pup Den Suite sleeps five, with the addition of a twin sofa sleeper. These suite types are reserved quickly, so guests need to pounce quickly to snag their stay in one of these innovative spaces.

Another can’t-go-wrong suite type perfect for a larger family or family reunion is the Royal Wolf Suite. It sleeps up to seven, with private bedroom with a king-sized bed and twin sleeper sofa. The main area has two queen-sized beds. It’s super roomy, so you can spread out after your day of togetherness and enjoy a slice of privacy.

The Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs, Colorado

9494 Federal Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80921. For reservations, visit greatwolf.com/colorado-springs or call 844.553.9653.

Remember, Snowland runs from now until December 31, 2018.

Great Wolf Lodge hosted our family for purposes of review. The opinions expressed are based solely on our experiences.

Denver 7th Grader Gets Named America’s ‘Top Young Scientist’ With This Invention

Eleven-year-old Gitanjali Rao became concerned about lead in drinking water two years ago, when she learned of the crisis in Flint, Michigan. And it’s not just Flint, says the student from the Denver suburb of Lone Tree, approximately 5,000 water systems in the U.S. have problems with lead contamination.

The seventh grader at STEM School Highlands Ranch told Colorado Matters that troubling statistic was on her mind when she heard of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a national competition for middle schoolers to find innovative solutions to everyday problems.  This month Rao won that competition, and a $25,000 prize, for a lead-detection device she invented.

Her device is called Thethys, named for the Greek goddess of fresh water. “It includes three main parts,” she says. “A core device, a housing processor with a Bluetooth extension, a 9 volt battery, and a slot to enter a disposable cartridge. And ot all connects to a Smartphone.

Click to keep reading or listen go the interview!

A Great Lesson for Giving Back This Holiday Season

Moms, here’s a great teachable moment for our children. Why not have your child personally donate a toy (one that they would really enjoy themselves) to your local toy drive? They might grumble or pout (like my kids) but as parents we want to instill the notion of giving, i.e. that ‘it’s better to give than to receive’. Then on Christmas morning your child can unwrap the very SAME toy and you can remind them that the excitement that they feel at that precise moment is how they made a less fortunate child feel. Everybody wins!

Here’s how it works…

Give10Back.com not only allows you to buy, on average, two toys for the price of one, we also donate 10% of EVERY sale to your favorite cause, whether it be your child’s school, your family’s church, your favorite non-profit, e.g. Toys-For-Tots.

Why pay retail prices to buy and donate toys this Holiday season? Why not get TWICE the toys for the same price? That way you can buy one toy for your child and have him/her donate the other one to your favorite toy drive – all while saving money, helping your favorite non-profit or school, and making TWO children very happy!

Check out Give10Back.com’s toy warehouse online at: https://give10back.com/collections/toys-games

Thank you & Happy Holidays!

In partnership with Mile High Mamas