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Happy Holidays!

Mile High Mamas hopes you have the happiest of holidays! We will be taking the week off to enjoy with your families but we have many fun surprises in store for you in 2018. Until then, always remember:

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
-Burton Hillis

As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.
– Donald E. Westlake

“Mistletoe,” said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry’s head. He jumped out from under it.
“Good thinking,” said Luna seriously. “It’s often infested with nargles.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Consider yourselves warned and have a happy holiday!

Start your New Year with “First Day Hikes”

On January 1st, Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites all Coloradans to welcome 2018 by heading outside to enjoy the trails in a Colorado State Park. First Day Hikes offer a chance to start the new year right by getting people out for some exercise in nature. This year​, 26 state parks are participating by hosting an organized hike. Each park offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the new year, with most parks offering guided hikes and some parks providing multiple options to choose from, allowing you to select the time and route you prefer. 

Many parks are also offering refreshments and free giveaways for this event, such as mugs and pens, thanks to a grant provided by the Colorado Parks Foundation. The hikes ​​are free but park visitors must possess a valid parks pass to participate.

 All First Day Hikes will vary in ability levels and length depending on location and weather conditions.​​​​ Bring snacks and water, dress in layers and be prepared with traction and/or trekking poles for winter hiking in snow or on icy trails; if there is snow, consider bringing snowshoes.  Sign up here. 

Hope and Healing for Traumatized Kids on Sesame Street

When a child endures a traumatic experience, the whole family feels the impact. But adults hold the power to help lessen its effects. Several factors can change the course of kids’ lives: feeling seen and heard by a caring adult, being patiently taught coping strategies and resilience-building techniques, and being with adults who know about the effects of such experiences. Here are ways to bring these factors to life.

Seseame Street has created a landing page with additional resources for kids dealing with trauma. Go to for more information.

5 years after tragedy, Jessica Ridgeway’s mom welcomes baby girl

The reminders of Jessica Ridgeway are everywhere, from her sweet 10-year-old smile to her favorite color.

On Oct. 5, 2012, Jessica Ridgeway was kidnapped on her way to school and killed. Her mom Sarah Pindell-Ridgeway got married last year and on Oct. 15, 2017, Jessica became a big sister. Read more at 9News.

20 New Year’s Eve Events in Denver 2017!



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

Children can experience the excitement, thrills and festive fun of New Year’s Eve in Times Square right here in Denver — all before bedtime! Noon Year’s Eve celebrates the New Year with glittery ball drops, rainbows of confetti and huge sheets of bubble wrap (the museum’s version of fireworks) for kids to stomp on. After the ball drops, the celebration keeps going with sparkling art projects and heaps of activities on the plaza. 


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017 
WHERE: Downtown Denver

The sky will once again sparkle over downtown at the close of 2017 with the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Downtown. The two spectacular fireworks shows will occur at 9 p.m. and midnight. For the best viewpoints, stand along the 16th Street Mall. Costumed entertainers will interact with crowds between shows, including magicians, mascots, balloon artists, stilt walkers and comedians.

Please note, between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., RTD Light Rail trains will not cross the 16th Street Mall, and mall ride shuttles will stop temporarily during the two fireworks shows.


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.


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017, 5:30-9 p.m.
WHERE: Denver Zoo

This New Year’s Eve, take the kids on a safari through the Denver Zoo, where you’ll spot more than 150 illuminated animal sculptures, from swinging monkeys to jumping kangaroos. 


WHEN: Nov. 21, 2017–Feb. 14, 2018
WHERE: Skyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
Grab your family and friends and head to 16th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver to the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park. Skate rentals are $6-$8, or bring your own pair and take a spin on the ice for free! Free days for kids will take place throughout the season. Look for regularly scheduled entertainment and activities each week including: Friday night DJs; Saturday morning skating lessons; Saturday night concerts; and Sunday afternoon family entertainment. 


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017, 5 and 6 p.m.
WHERE: Comedy Works Downtown and South Locations
Both of Comedy Works’ locations will offer all-ages family comedy shows on New Year’s Eve.  Comedians are Al Goodwin, Dan Cummins, and Steve ‘Mudflap’ Mcgrew.



WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: McNichols Civic Center Building, Denver Arts and Venues

This New Year’s bash boasts three floors of DJs, dance parties, live music, art installations and open bars. Don’t want to miss the fireworks? You don’t have to! The McNichols Building offers a direct view of the Denver New Year’s Eve Fireworks show. 


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: Grand Hyatt Denver

Can’t decide what to do for NYE? Enjoy three parties in one at the Grand Hyatt Denver! Rock out to the sounds of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s with the Nacho Men; dance to today’s hottest beats with Club X; or make your own music in the karaoke lobby. Denver’s Grandest New Year’s Eve Party includes open bar with premium pour, a dinner buffet, balloon drops and a champagne toast at midnight. 


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017 starting at 9 p.m.
WHERE: Denver Union Station
Denver Union Stationis offering three separate rousing New Year’s Eve events: 1) Great Hall Light Show & Silent Disco: The Ultimate NYE Experience. Dance the night away at a Silent Disco leading up to an extravagant light show on the Great Hall ceiling at midnightTickets: $50 in advance, $75 at door. 2) VIP Lower Level Lounge Party. An exclusive lounge party in an intimate setting in the Lower Level event space at Denver Union Station. Tickets: $150 in advance, $175 at the door. 3) NYE Countdown in the Cooper Lounge. Countdown the clock in Denver’s most romantic spot, the Cooper Lounge. $75 per person, reservations required: 720-460-3738Each event has limited availability, so advanced purchase is highly recommended. Please visit for more details or to purchase your tickets today. 


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

It’s been nearly a century, but the Roaring 20’s are still the epitome of glitz and glamor, swing and style — everything you want in a New Year’s Eve celebration. Don your best flapper dress or fedora and enjoy multiple rooms of music, from live swing bands to DJs spinning the latest club music and hip hop. 


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: Tavern Downtown and Cowboy Lounge

Attendees gain access to both Tavern Downtown and the adjacent Cowboy Lounge to enjoy three DJs, a photo booth, balloon drop and raffle prizes. Revelers will have a front-row seat to the biggest fireworks show in LoDo, with the display going off directly across from Tavern Downtown’s rooftop.


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: Tavern Tech Center

This celebration will take you back to the days of leg warmers, shoulder pads and Madonna-esque attire. Guests are encouraged to search through their closets and don their finest ’80s outfits. Admission includes a beer, Fireball shot, champagne toast, party favors and big raffle prizes.


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: Pepsi Center

Fireworks on ice? Believe it. Come cheer on the Colorado Avalanche as they take on the New York Islanders, and stay for the post-game fireworks show — an Avs game first!


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Celebrate the end of the year by cheering on the Denver Broncos as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs.



WHEN: Dec. 29–31, 2017
WHERE: Fillmore Auditorium​

Jam out to the psychedelic stylings of Umphrey’s McGee at the Fillmore Auditorium this New Year’s Eve weekend. 


WHEN: Dec. 29–31, 2017
WHERE: Globe Hall

Slim Cessna, Munly Munly and the rest of the Auto Club captivate with their weird and wild brand of country music in this three-night series that culminates on New Year’s Eve. 


WHEN: Dec. 30–31, 2017
WHERE: Colorado Convention Center

The theme of this two-night dance and music celebration is “City Beyond Tomorrow” —and what better time to look to the future than when you’re ringing in a new year? This year’s event features artists like Bassnectar, Diplo, Gramatik, Armin van Buuren, Galantis, ODESZA and many more.


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017 
WHERE: Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex

Join the Colorado Symphony as they transport you to Austria with an evening of polkas, waltzes and marches conducted by Music Director Brett Mitchell. This annual tradition is the perfect way to say Auf Wiedersehen to 2017. 


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017

Rock in the new year with My Morning Jacket at Broomfield’s 1STBANK Center


WHEN: Dec. 31, 2017
WHERE: Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

Colorado’s most iconic music venue is welcoming 2018 with its first-ever New Year’s concert, featuring The Migos, Post Malone, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, Dizzy Wright, King Green, Maleman, Jairon, Cassidy and Splyt. 

10 non-tech gift ideas for your kids this holiday

Delaney Ruston is a filmmaker, Stanford trained physician and mother of two. Delaney made the documentary “Screenagers” because she believes deeply in the importance of helping kids find balance in our tech filled world.  She is passionate about having the film be a vehicle to bring parents, educators and kids together for post screening discussions so change can happen not just in our homes but in our schools and communities. To find or host a screening, be sure to go here. 

It’s that time of year again, food, friends, family, gifts (and hopefully not too much stress). Tech takes up so much of our attention all year long; I find the holidays are a great time to slow down and enjoy some non-tech family fun. I’ve put together a list of some engaging, non-tech toys for your Screenagers.

Be it the latest from young adult literature favorite John Greene or silly explorations like The Big Bento Box of Useless Japanese Inventions, books should be on everyone’s list. My 16 year old just finished The Hate You Give, and she told all her friends the next day about how amazing and powerful it was (it did make her cry three times). Now she has a list of friends wanting to borrow the book from her.

I also think a pop-up book makes a fantastic gift—the engineering that goes into making each unique page blows my mind. One that is near and dear to my heart is the French story, The Little Prince. My dad would read it to me—and now it is available as an incredible pop-up book.

Stargazing will take on a whole new meaning if the stars you are looking at have a personal connection. At Star Registry, you can give the constellations personalized names. You will receive a certificate the name of your star, the location, and coordinates. Perfect for your budding astronomer.  

An alternative to spacing out on screens is spacing out with pen and paper. Coloring books were big last year and continue to be today. Spirograph, also big when I was a kid, is back on toy store shelves. Creating the circular shapes is very meditative.

Kimochis, which means “feelings” in Japanese, are a collection of stuffed animals designed to help kids understand their varying feelings. Similar to the Mr. Men and Little Miss books of my childhood, Kimochis have several characters (moody Cloud, confident Cat and sensitive Bella Rose) that kids will identify with. Don’t rule out older kids for this gift. While it may be perfect for younger kids, I know quite a few middle and high schoolers who love the cuddly characters.

Root-Vue Farm is something you and your kids can continue to enjoy long past the holidays. The see-through acrylic garden shows the life cycle of several vegetables from seed to root to plant.

You are never too old for jigsaw puzzles. They are an excellent family activity, especially if you are putting together something that can be framed. The “I AM” collection from Madd Capp Puzzle is fantastic. The photo-realistic animal heads are challenging to put together but wonderful to look at when completed.

Know a kid or teen who gets stomach aches, cramps? I love these hot water bottles. (This is a set of 2, but you can buy just one).  I just used the grey one last night going to bed—and it was so comforting. I also love that these can help with saving energy—I have the heat low in the house, and then I put the hot water bottle put in my bed, and when I finally hit the mattress it’s nice and warm.

When my son was 11 I got him a cookbook called Get Cooking, authored by a teen from England named Sam Stern. Even though we keep moving every two years I have made sure to keep this book. I highly recommend getting a cookbook for any males in your life—I bet they will be motivated to try something in it! Sam Stern wrote his first cookbook when he was 14.

For this TTT, discuss some non-tech ways you and your family can spend time together.

  1. What are some of your non-tech gift ideas?
  2. What do you enjoy doing together as a family?
  3. Start a family tradition of tech-free tree decorating, cookie making, or whatever activity you and your family enjoy doing.

Deals: Winter break camps, gift card bonus deals

Do you have a special holiday tradition? Something you do that makes the holidays feel like…well, they holidays? My family loves to go to Zoo Lights. There is something about all the lights, walking around the Denver Zoo with a hot cider in hand and trying to figure out how many hours they spend stringing all those lights (and how much the person must have to get paid to untangle them each year). While some might still have shopping to do (and maybe the mall is your holiday tradition), we at Mile High Mamas, want to wish you the happiest of holidays no matter how you celebrate.

Winter Break at the Denver Art Museum means fun for the whole family! The 3-D Studio, Create-n-Takes, and much more are open every day from Friday, December 22, 2017, through Sunday, January 7, 2018. (Closed Christmas Day). Also, see special performances of the family-friendly play, Art Emergency: Stampede Edition at 11 a.m. weekdays during Winter Break (Note: no performances Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and January 4). All Winter Break activities are included in general admission, free for kids 18 and younger.

Uncorked Kitchen’s Winter Break Camps. Looking for something fun to do with the kids while they are on break? Try the Uncorked Kitchen’s Winter Break Camps. “MHMWC2017” is the promo code for Mile High Mamas readers. The code is good for 10% off winter break camp that runs from 12/27 through 12/29 and Jan 2nd through Jan 5th.  The code expires on 12/31.

prAna holiday discount extended. prAna isn’t just for yoga — you can do lots of things in lots of places in your prAna. Here’s an incentive to shop the prAna site for yourself — a 15% discount. Take a look at the versatile and fashionable options for men and women as well as accessories and other items on the site. After you’ve made your choices, enter this code at checkout to get 15% off: MHMLH15.  

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 for more information or to become a member.

Free Dental Care. Comfort Dental is once again, celebrating Care Day on Saturday, December 23. On Care Day – all services are free to anyone. Get free dental care from cleanings to extractions. Patients will be helped on a first come, first served basis. 

Get Plus Give. Want to save up to 75% OFF your favorite brand name products & everyday essentials? 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! – You Shop. You Save. We Donate.

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 for seasonal hours then enter promo code MHMAMA. Or, call 800 530-1635 for more information. 

Stock Show free day. The National Western Stock Show is Jan. 6-12, 2018 and will have a FREE grounds admission day on Tues.  Jan 9. As a Colorado tradition every January, the National Western Stock Show attracts more than 600,000 people each year. It is the premier livestock, rodeo, and horse show in the nation, but this event brings more to Denver than just cattle and horses. It’s full of family fun and events for all ages! You can visit. for a full calendar listing.

Free Movie. Winners find an edge. Icons go over it. You and a guest are invited to the advance screening of I, TONYA, starring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney in Denver on January 3rd.  Please email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Mama Tonya’ for a chance to win seats.  #ITonya in select theaters January 5. 

Denver Preschool Program (DPP) will host its 6th annual Preschool Showcase on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being (3401 Eudora St., Denver, CO 80207). The Showcase is a valuable, once-a-year opportunity for families to FIND and compare quality preschool options, DISCOVER the dollar amount they can get in tuition support from DPP, and APPLY for tuition support.  Spanish translators will also be on-site to communicate these benefits. Plus, it is fun for the whole family including: Free food and refreshments; family-friendly activities and entertainment including dental screenings and story time readings; Online Preschool Locator demonstrations; and Photo opportunities with a Minion or two. 

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 retails 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.
  • Liftopia. 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.
  • DSW. 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.

Ski Deals. Want a deal on ski tickets? 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. Get a deal for yourself too with the 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.

Making Health Care Work for Families with this Cutting-edge New Model

One of the toughest times as a mom is when your kids get sick, really sick.

One. After. Another.

And then YOU get sick while your kids are still miserable with what’s going around. Now your whole house is a germ-infested mess because no one has the energy to clean up, make dinner or even take a bath. Sound familiar?

One of the reasons we live through this illness hell is because going to the doctor is a lot of work when everyone is sick and the copays and bills that come after are frustrating. With long wait times to get an appointment, then short office visits and bills that bombard you later, health insurance is not working for families. But there are options that ensure great health care for every member of your household.

Provider Access at a Flat Rate

“We don’t worry about copays or how much it will cost if one of the kids gets sick,” Hailey Norman said about her experience with PeakMed, her family’s health care provider. PeakMed is membership-based family medicine, similar to direct primary care. Members pay a monthly fee and see their doctors as much as they want. Additionally they can text, email, call or video chat with their doctor when necessary, so members can still get medical issues addressed after office hours.

Norman lives in Colorado Springs and has six children ranging in age from three years old to 16 years old. She is acutely aware of the need to have a doctor available to meet the needs of their large family.

Meghan LoRe and her son may have a smaller family, but they signed up for PeakMed for the same reasons. “My son is three and in daycare and sick all of the time. I knew we would need to to be at the doctor more often,” LoRe said. Her son had an after-hours rash and a high fever recently. She was grateful to be able to send photos of the rash to their provider who explained the treatment and that it wasn’t anything that required an urgent care or emergency room visit. He’s all better now and she is thankful for not having to pay extra money for a run to the ER.

Quality Time with Providers

One perk to this health care model is that providers have the time work with you on your health care goals. Many clinics have 10-15 minute doctor appointments. At a direct primary care facility, those times are longer. At PeakMed, providers will meet with you for up to an hour.

Prior to joining PeakMed, Diana Alestri and her family of four grew increasingly frustrated with the long wait times accompanying visits to their pediatrician. “I loved my pediatrician at the time but hated spending more time in the waiting room than I was at the actual appointments. I was ready for a change.”

For months, Norman struggled with ringing in her ear, followed by a muscle spasm down her spine and shooting pain into her head. She saw many specialists about her health issues but the quality time she’s able to spend with her PeakMed provider, diagnosing the problem, led to a breakthrough. “I am functioning so much better.”

Saving Money, Better Health Care

Norman’s family still carries catastrophic health coverage for their family in the event of an emergency, but she is confident investing in a monthly membership at PeakMed has saved them thousands of dollars on health care since they began in April 2017.

LoRe is very happy with the care she and her son have received for the affordable rate that PeakMed provides. But aside from that she feels that the caring staff is just what the doctor ordered. “I feel more a part of a family. They are always nice and there for you. I so much prefer PeakMed over insurance.”

With so many families frustrated with the care they receive through their health insurance, it’s time for innovation. PeakMed is redesigning health care so moms, dads and children can see the doctor when they need to and not only because they can afford to.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

WestJetChristmas Miracle: 12 Flights of Christmas

The WestJet Christmas miracle strikes again!

Building upon their viral holiday campaign in 2013 where a gaggle of weary travelers was treated to a Christmas miracle that turned an airport into Santa’s workshop, for 12 days, they surprised thousands of guests to spread a little #WestJetChristmas cheer. 

Their WestJetters and special guests brought them to life, but the vision came straight from the minds of those who know Christmas magic the best – children.

A Brief History of WestJet Christmas

Each year, we challenge ourselves to come up with a new and unique way to spread Christmas cheer and to celebrate the season with our guests. What started as a (relatively) simple Christmas flash mob evolved into a more elaborate Christmas Miracle surprise that still captures the imaginations of people 4 years later. Our blue hat-wearing WestJetters helped Blue Santa give gifts to a community in Dominican Replublic who need them most. We then asked our 12,000 WestJetters to help us spread the Christmas spirit from London to Hawaii and from Costa Rica to Yellowknife. And, of course, who could forget Fort McMurray last year. That one is still near and dear to our hearts.

Each of these Christmas endeavors comes with its own unique challenges. Whether it involves importing a snow-making machine into a tropical country, relying on complete strangers to show up and make it work or hoping that some snow (any snow!) will turn a brown field into a winter wonderland for our big Christmas event, we’ve always had some good luck to go with our hard work.

Hilarious viral photo shows toddler signaling for ‘help’

We teach our kids about “Stranger Danger” and yet every Christmas, we submit them to a hairy, scary man in red. 

This photo went viral 12 years ago and is making the rounds again for good reason. From the boy’s mother, Kerry Spencer:

“We taught our baby sign language. This is the sign for ‘help.’ You’re welcome.”