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23 things to do in Denver this weekend

We’re entering the final weekend of the National Western Stock Show. Other fun events include the Colorado Indian Market, Sesame Street Live, Buckaroo Breakfast and free days. See our event calendar for additional details. 

Sensory-friendly Rodeo at Denver Coliseum 
Jan 18, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Sensory Friendly Rodeo Featuring Westernaires presented by Sunward Steel & Frontier Airlines Mutton Bustin’.

National Western Presents an Evening of Dancing Horses at National Western Complex 
Jan 18 – 19
The wine and roses event of the National Western Stock Show, An Evening of Dancing Horses ® brings the best equestrian talent together in front of live music. Enjoy an evening full of formal dressage, reining, liberty and other talent from around the world.

Colorado Indian Market and Southwest Showcase 
Jan 19 –21
Dazzling displays of art and continuous world class performances. Now in its 37th year!

Free Day at Denver Zoo 
Jan 19 – 20 
Explore the Denver Zoo for free two days in a row.

Family Magic Show 
Jan 19, 7 – 8 pm
Do you want amazement and laughter? Join us for a magical night of honest family entertainment with Matthew Brandt. This family-friendly magic show is fun and interactive – as magicians get the audience involved with the show. Children 2 and under free but must sit on parent’s lap.

Buckaroo Breakfast at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus 
Jan 20, 8 – 10:00 am
Grandparents – grab your grandkids and join us for a rootin’ tootin’ good time at this year’s Buckaroo Breakfast! Lasso up some fun with a morning of private play throughout the Museum, a cowboy breakfast and wild-west inspired activities. Cowboy attire is encouraged. Yeehaw!

Engineers Morning Out for Families at Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Jan 20, 8:00 – 11:00 am
Get your build on first thing in the morning! Let out your inner engineer by designing buildings, bridges, and more. Once you’ve built all you can, enjoy a special screening of Dream Big 3D in Phipps IMAX Theater. Includes continental breakfast, activities, and movie.

Family Fun Days | STEAM Fest at CU South Denver 
Jan 20 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
How does nature solve different survival challenges? We’ll look to plants and animals for inspiration for how to blend together science, technology, engineering, art and math to create exciting sustainable solutions to different challenges.

Frosty’s Frozen Five and Ten 
Jan 20, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Frosty’s Frozen Five & Ten is a flat and fast 5 mile and 10 mile race held each January in Littleton, Colorado. The race starts and finishes at Hudson Gardens and the course travels the paved Platte River Trail. An innovative technical running shirt, chip timing, and a great finish line expo make this epic winter race the best in Colorado!

Free Day at Molly Brown House Museum 
Jan 20, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Free admission for the residents of: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties – must show ID. January 20, March 28, June 3, August 1 (Colorado Day), September 22, and November 10 (Veteran’s Day). On a free day, please consider making a donation according to your ability. 

Winter Fun Day at Mount Vernon Canyon Club 
Jan 20, 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Bundle up for a fun afternoon of hay rides around the Mount Vernon Canyon Club grounds, lunch on the grill including burgers and brats, and a hot chocolate bar. Sledding and snow painting will commence if the weather allows. This all ages event is open to the public, giving non-members a rare opportunity to enjoy an afternoon with the entire family at MVCC’s beautiful Lookout Mountain location! Register in advance by calling 303-526-0616.

Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party at Bellco Theatre 
Jan 20 – 21 
Jump to the beat with your friends on Sesame Street! Introducing an all-new, interactive show that unfolds on one of the world’s most famous streets at the funniest, furriest party in the neighborhood… get ready for Sesame Street Live.

Ongoing Events and Exhibits

Storyland at CU South Denver
September 23, 2017 – January 28, 2018, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Step into the pages of beloved children’s books and enter a world of early literacy adventures! Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites™ immerses children and adults in favorite picture books, from the gardens of The Tale of Peter Rabbit to the urban snowscape of The Snowy Day and the tropical island of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Designed for children from birth through eight years old and adults, Storyland engages visitors in storylines and literacy activities that lead them to discover that it’s never too early to develop a love of reading.

Backstory: Western American Art in Context at the History Colorado Center
March 18, 2017-February 11, 2018, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The exhibition is a masterful pairing of world class art and unique artifacts. Visitors will be captivated by the beauty, wonder and rich stories waiting to be uncovered.

Be the Astronaut at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
October 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018; Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (Wings) enthusiastically announces the arrival of Be The Astronaut, an interactive pod-based exhibit that thrusts visitors into a world of space discovery.  Broken down into three interactive parts, Be The Astronaut first places “explorers” at a NAV (Navigation) Station to explore basic concepts of the universe. Second, guests move to a SCI (Science) Station that reinvents the way users think about the science and technology needed to thrive in outer space. Finally, participants move to the FLY Station. The FLY Station puts guests in control of a variety of spacecraft, including a lander, a rover and an interplanetary spaceship, on a wide variety of extraterrestrial missions.

Becoming Butterflies at CU South Denver
June 7, 2017-June 2, 2018, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: CU South Denver
Becoming Butterflies is a fascinating look at some of the world’s most captivating insects throughout their entire life cycle. A successful journey means overcoming natural enemies, evading predators and transforming from a tiny egg to creeping caterpillar to delicate winged flyer. Learn how butterflies impact our lives and the role we play in their survival.

Dream Big 3D: Engineering our World at Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS)
February 17, 2017 – February 15, 2018, 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Dream Big 3D will transform how you think about the E in STEM. This adventure takes you around the world to explore engineering marvels both large and small, ancient and modern. From the Great Wall of China to the high-tech Shanghai Tower, from underwater robots to solar powered cars, you will see how human ingenuity pushes the limits of innovation. Dream Big celebrates engineers who build, invent, and shape our world, and inspire the youth of today who will be the great minds of tomorrow.

Denver Puzzling Adventure at Civic Center Park
Puzzling Adventures™ are a cross between a scavenger hunt, an informative self-guided tour, and The Amazing Race®. Each adventure consists of a series of locations that you are guided to where you are required to answer questions or solve puzzles to receive your next instruction.

Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
November 21, 2017 – February 14, 2018, 11 a.m-7 p.m.
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 $6-$8.

Eyes On at Denver Art Museum
December 3, 2017 – July 8, 2018, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Xiaoze Xie has a lifelong passion for books. In his worldview, books are conveyers of prestige and signifiers of collective cultural knowledge: repositories of historical meaning, cultural conflict, and political strife. For Eyes On: Xiaoze Xie, the artist has created still-life paintings of books, videos, and installations based on banned and forbidden books in China.

Ice Skating at the Pond
January 4 – February 19, 2018
Come join the Shops at Southlands at The Pond for some ice skating.

Past the Tangled Present at the Denver Art Museum
November 14, 2017 – October 28, 2018, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This interactive and immersive installation by Denver artist Jaime Molina was born of imagination and the joy of discovery. Step into a different world where the paintings on the wall flow into 3-D objects that Molina created for the space. Sit on boxes painted with faces and play in a garden of fabricated cacti.

Creatures of Light at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (upcoming)
February 23- June 10, 2018
They light up our lives, but have you ever wondered how? Delve into the world of living things that blink, glow, flash, and flicker, from tiny fireflies to strange creatures in the ocean depths. The new exhibition Creatures of Light explores the mysterious world of bioluminescence and biofluorescence, visible light emitted by living things. This enlightening experience features larger-than-life models, engaging immersive environments, fun activities, and real animals, fungi, and minerals that get their glow on.

Contest: Town of Parker Offers Winter Activities Perfect for the Whole Family

Known for its hometown charm, the Town of Parker offers visitors and residents a variety of fun activities for the entire family.  From skating along the Ice Trail at Discovery Park, appreciating local art, catching a performance at the PACE Center, indulging in retail therapy, and more, this great community has everything needed for fun-seekers looking to escape for the day.

A perfect outdoor activity when opting to stay on the Front Range and not battle ski traffic, adults and kiddos alike can slip on their skates and glide along the Parker Ice Trail at Discovery Park – one of the only Ice Trails in the country! The 450-foot long Ice Trail is designed to loop through the landscape like a frozen river. Stay warm by taking a seat next to any of three nearby fire pits, or by purchasing hot chocolate at the on-site concession stand. Cost to skate is $6-10, excluding skate rental.

For families looking for a little art and culture, take in a performance at the PACE Center, a state-of-the-art facility located on Parker’s historic Mainstreet, offering the best of touring acts, as well as local performances, exhibits and educational programs. In 2018, some kiddo-friendly highlights include The Little Mermaid, Under the Sea Luncheon, Henry and Mudge, and the Family Discovery Series. In addition to the 536-seat Mainstage theater, the PACE Center is home to a 3,000 square foot event room, art gallery, dance studio, teaching culinary kitchen, four multi-use classrooms and a unique interactive musical outdoor playground called Harmony Park. View the calendar for a list of upcoming shows and events. The PACE Center is also a great destination for date night!

Families can also take a self-guided tour through the Town of Parker’s celebrated pieces of public art at any time with Otocast, the mobile audio app. The Parker Artists Guild (PAG) has taken advantage of the platform to help visitors hear from the artists themselves and learn more about their works. Simply download the app from Google Play or the Apple App Store and select “Parker Arts” to get started.

 For the foodie families, visitors can savor their way through a selection of cozy, internationally inspired cuisine. And with more than 60 local restaurants, Parker has something to satisfy any craving. Take a mid-day break with delicious Swedish-American drinks from Fika Coffeehouse.  Portofino Pizza and Pasta is a perfect spot that will leave every family member feeling satisfied, or for those feeling like a taste of Asia, visit Indochine, which is a local’s favorite and offers a variety of delicious gluten-free, soy-free and vegan-friendly options. Looking to satisfy that sweet tooth? The award-winning Posh Pastries serves up special baked treats with a French twist, or stop by Le Baugette de Normandy for breads, pastries, handmade chocolates and more.

 In addition to all of this, the Town of Parker currently maintains approximately 250 acres of developed parkland, more than 1,200 acres of open space and over 30 miles of concrete and soft surface trails throughout Parker. The Town’s expansive parks and trails system provides endless opportunities to enjoy this beautiful region of Colorado, regardless of the time of year.

To learn more about the Town of Parker or to download a visitor’s guide, please visit


Mile High Mamas is giving away 4 Day Passes and 4 Skate Rentals to the Ice Trail at Discovery Park, a $20 Gift Certificate to the Concession Stand at the Ice Trail and a $100 Gift Certificate to the PAC Center. Total Value: $150. You may enter as many as five times below. 

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Day Passes/Rentals can be used all at the same time or at different times (i.e. family of four could go once, parent and kiddo could go twice, etc). There is no expiration date.  The $100 PACE Center GC can be used toward any event/performance throughout the 2018 Year.

‘This is Me’: A Tribute to The Greatest Showman

(Circus preview show)

I had heard a lot of positive buzz about Hugh Jackman’s movie, The Greatest Showman, but honestly, it wasn’t on my radar at all. Even though Sound of Music is my favorite movie of all time, I’m generally not a huge fan of musicals because they often come across as forced and trite but from the opening scene, I knew this was something special. 

Based on the true life story of P.T. Barnum, this visionary rose from nothing to create “The Greatest Show on Earth,” a spectacle and celebration of his larger-than-life imagination that captivated audiences around the globe. 

I have done a lot of promotions with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus over the years and we were given some cool access to the productions and preview shows. Over the years, they have been plagued with allegations of mistreatment of animals  and have fought back, even removing elephants from their shows. But in the world of hyperconnectivity and YouTube, the audiences just weren’t there anymore and after a run of 146 years, their performances came to an end last year. 

I’ll never forget the looks of sheer wonder when I took my kids to the circus and I’m so grateful they were numbered among the final generation to be a part of this celebration of what is possible.

The Greatest Showman is about love and acceptance, of how a bunch of “misfits” in society who rejected by their pwn families were brought together to create magic. With every song that was sung, I kept thinking “this is my favorite” and then each one would be topped with a new favorite.

“This Is Me” was sung by the bearded lady, Lettie Lutz (played by Keala Settle). I loved it so much that when I got home from the movie, I found a version of it on YouTube that completely blew me away. The movie was seven years in development. Prior to getting approved, all of the performers, producers and Fox executives had to meet together in NYC (a process that took eight months) to do a read-through and perform the songs. 

No one had ever heard Keala sing “This is Me” live and what transpired became what she called an “otherworldly experience” in this anthem for the underdog.

If you haven’t seen The Greatest Showman yet, go. Take your children. And teach them that we all play an important role in this big, beautiful world.

[Verse 1: Lettie Lutz] I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

[Pre-Chorus: Lettie Lutz] But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

[Chorus: Lettie Lutz] When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

[Post-Chorus: Ensemble] Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

Deals: Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month, Snow Mountain Ranch & More!

I have lived in Colorado all my life. Part of the new year every year is the National Western Stock Show. When I was little and lived in Steamboat, my family had a horse but I can’t say we were ever real cowboys the way the Show Show is. But it is fun to be a part of something that is so uniquely Denver. Plus, it is really inexpensive entertainment. You can usually score deals on Groupon or Living Social, go the last day for Fan Appreciation Day ($10 for adults and kids 3-11 years old are just $3), or get a deal with your Powerball or Lucky for Life lottery tickets (buy $10 get a Buy One Get one Voucher).
Exxon and Shell BOGO Ski Tickets. Buy 10 gallons or more of gas at a participating Shell or Exxon Station – Get a Buy One Get One Free Ski ticket voucher. Take that voucher to one of the participating ski resorts (Copper, Crested Butte, Powderhorn, or Sunlight). When you purchase one adult lift ticket you get one free.
Einstein Bros. Bagels. Mondays through the Month of January, Einstein wants to get your week started right. Get 13 bagels for just $7.
Pretzelmaker. Grab a pretzel at Pretzelmaker for just $1 every Tuesday through January.
Denver Travel, Design & Food Festival. I love expos. Because for a small amount of money you can spend a n entire day walking around and dreaming. This event happens Fab 10 & 11 at the National Western Complex. It is just $10 at the door  – but you can save $3 per ticket by buying online before you go! Travel agents get Free Admission with Business card at the door.
Colorado Indian Market. I have a friend who owns a Native American bead shop on South Broadway. She told me about the Colorado Indian Market January 19-21 at the Denver Mart. They will have paintings, wall art, pottery, sculptures, decor, jewelry, wallets, clothes and more. Admission is $15 for adults but kids under 13 years old are free.
Cherry Creek North Sidewalk SaleShake off the post-holiday blues with a little retail therapy at the InSidewalk Sale in Cherry Creek North! What better way to kick off the New Year than getting awesome deals at your favorite businesses? Don’t miss the Cherry Creek North InSidewalk Sale goes through Saturday, January 20 at over 30 participating businesses throughout the area.
IHOP All You Can EatBreakfast lover? We have a delicious deal for you – All You Can Eat Pancakes! To celebrate their 60th anniversary and show appreciation for you, take advantage of limitless pancakes for $3.99! Dig into unlimited orders of freshly made, world-famous Buttermilk Pancakes now through February 12th. Fulfill your pancake craving!
Motomaki. Try a sushi burrito or poke bowl at Motomaki after a day of skiing. Bring your lift ticket or season pass and the Colorado Mills location will give you 25% off your order!
Snow Mountain Ranch. Are you ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics? The Snow Mountain Ranch (part of YMCA of the Rockies in Granby, CO) team is gearing up and offering Olympic-themed programs this month and next (dates below). Overnight and day visitors pick up an Olympics passport and get a stamp for every activity completed. Once the passport is full, guests can enter to win a two-night stay in a lodge room at Snow Mountain Ranch. Upcoming Olympic-themed weekends include January 26-28 (there are additional dates in Feb). Live like an Olympian with activities including bobsledding, broomball, cross country ski races, curling, ice dancingnerf gun biathlon, podium photos, Olympic crafts and so much more. If you feel like training for the next summer Olympic games, you can head indoors to practice some swimming, archery, or basketball. 
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month which means…get out there and try it!
·         Arapahoe Basin Ski AreaArapahoe Basin Ski Area will host a Safety Village in Mountain Goat Plaza on Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more information, visit
·         Aspen Snowmass. Aspen Snowmass will host its annual safety week January 25-31, 2018. The week will include activities such as interactive safety booths, a ski patrol meet and greet, avalanche dogs, lift operations trivia, terrain park safety demonstrations and more. For more information, visit
·         Cooper. Get your Cooper posters, rack cards and business cards with the slide in control steps. Cooper will also host an educational Safety Scavenger Hunt for children with prizes. For more information, visit
·         Copper Mountain. For the month of January, Copper will open its ski patrol duty stations for guests to come by for some free hot cocoa, some insider tips from the pros, and the possibility of meeting an avalanche dogs. Participate in the annual SafetyFest, a weekend of safe skiing and riding education, demonstrations and giveaways. For more information, visit
·         Crested Butte Mountain Resort.Avalanche Safety Demonstrations. Crested Butte will hold avalanche safety demonstrations weekends throughout January (depending on snow conditions). Meet the avalanche dogs weekends in January. For more information, visit
·         EldoraLearn slope-safety awareness during January. Eldora employees will be handing out Know the Your Responsibility Code stickers and cards, Smart Style stickers, and a Freestyle Terrain User’s Guide to guests every day of the month. Guests who show a knowledge and aptitude for on-snow awareness will win special giveaways donated by sponsors, and Eldora will also offer retail promotions and giveaways to raise awareness. In addition, Eldora will host a safety poster contest for kids 12 and under. For more information, visit
·         Loveland Ski Area. Loveland Ski Area will host a safety education weekend on Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Guests can stop by for kid-friendly snow safety education, ski patrol demos, terrain park safety, helmet information and a Know the Your Responsibility Code challenge with prizes. There is no cost to participate, and Loveland Patrol Dogs will be on hand as Ski Patrol provides avalanche information including how to use of beacons and outdoor winter safety. Prizes will be available for guests who can recite the Your Responsibility Code. For more information, visit
·         Monarch Mountain. Monarch will host events for guests to engage with the Your Responsibility Code, Monarch’s Ski Patrol, backcountry skiing safety tips, avalanche awareness, children’s helmet use, terrain park safety and more. For more information, visit
·         Powderhorn Mountain Resort. Ski or ride with a professional Ski Patroller and learn some of the tools of the trade such as safety, transporting, and caring for guests on the mountain. Guests of all ages will learn about the role of ski patrol, their importance to the resort, and what it takes to work in the ski industry. Participation will cost $75 per person for two hours or $95 for four hours. For more information, visit
·         Sunlight Mountain Resort. Sunlight Safety Day (March 3) includes a free testing clinic, educational safety booths and discounted pricing on 2018/19 lift tickets. For more information, visit
·         Telluride. Telluride will host events and activities designed to educate skiers and riders about safety. Events will include an avalanche dog demonstration, a children’s safety poster contest, visits to local schools for safety talks, a Safety Bingo Scavenger Hunt, “Know Before You Go” avalanche education classes and more. For more information, visit
·         Winter Park Resort. Winter Park Resort will host a contest during January for local elementary through high school children to take part in a special poster contest. Students will create a poster depicting some aspect of the Your Responsibility Code. On January 19, the winners of the contest will be announced in a ceremony at West Portal, and on January 26, the winners will get a chance to be a “Patroller for a Day” with Winter Park’s Professional Ski Patrol. For more information, visit
·         Wolf Creek Ski Area. Wolf Creek’s annual safety poster contest will invite elementary, junior and high school students to illustrate one or more aspects of the Your Responsibility Code. Posters will be displayed in the Base Camp Building where the illustrations will be voted on by Wolf Creek staff and guests. First through third place winners will be awarded a free ski day with immediate family members. For more information, visit 

Activities & Events to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Denver

Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is commemorated in The Mile High City every January with what has grown to be one of the largest MLK Day celebrations in the U.S. — even larger than that of Washington, D.C.


Monday, January 16, 2017
Join fellow marchers and parade fans in this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Marade. Participants will congregate at the Dr. King memorial site in City Park at 9 a.m. The Marade begins at 10 a.m. with participants marching together to Civic Center Park, where cake will be served. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. yearbook will be signed again this year at the Colorado State Capitol Building, and program festivities are expected to end at 1 p.m.


Monday, January 16, 2017
Coinciding with the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, the Martin Luther King Jr. African-American Rodeo of Champions at the National Western Complex (4655 Humboldt St.) aims to show how black cowboys and cowgirls impacted the West throughout history. The Rodeo begins at 6 p.m.


7 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Crafts for Kids




Paddington Bear Returns to Sweeten Screens This Weekend

Is Paddington 2 a breath of fresh air, perfect for whisking away the January doldrums? Is marmalade sticky? In case you’ve never tried the sticky tangy sweet concoction, favorite of talking bears, the answer is decidedly yes.

Based on the wildly popular children’s book series, the Paddington movies bring the ever-innocent and well meaning young bear to brilliant, creative life. The Browns, Paddington’s adopted family, have settled into a comfortable co-existence with the shaggy little fellow. It’s a happy home made happier because of his sunny outlook, even if he is a bit clumsy, destructive, and takes advice a bit too literally.

Did you know a group of bears is called a “sleuth?” It only makes sense that the central story in Paddington 2 features a mystery driven by a puzzling book. Much like the first film, the Brown family finds themselves trying to save Paddington from the questionable situations — and people — he finds himself connected to through an outlandish chain of events.

One of the biggest bright spots of the film is Hugh Grant’s all-in portrayal of a fading London actor, Phoenix Buchanan. He’s a master of disguises who is after the same book Paddington wants. While Paddington wants to give it as a birthday gift to his dear Aunt Lucy, Phoenix Buchanan has suspicions that the book is key to a massive hidden treasure. When the book is stolen, fingers point squarely at the most innocent furry face in all of London.

Hugh Grant is pure joy to watch in this film. He never takes himself too seriously and seems to revel in poking fun at himself as a serious British actor. He doesn’t hold back and truly commits to being simultaneously clownish and devious. The Brown family cast remains the same, with steady, skeptical dad Henry Brown (Hugh Bonneville) and warm, quirky mom Sally Brown (Sally Hawkins) being the mama bear who risks much to save one of her own. Paddington 2 gives neighbors, friends, and cellmates a larger role. Yes, cellmates.

Even completely improbable sequences are well executed, including a high speed chase with a train, a plane, and perfect timing. It’s all part of the Paddington charm. He is always polite, always hopeful, always believing the best of everyone he encounters.

Paddington 2 opens on January 12, 2018, the first new family film of the year. It is rated PG.

How This Boulder Mom Is Helping You Find a Babysitter…Fast!

We’ve all been there. You have a big event and your babysitter cancels or you need a last-minute mental-health break, but trying to get one of your regular sitters brings on a bigger headache. Where do you turn?

 What is Sitter? is here to help. Sitter is an app developed by Boulder mom, Kristen Stiles. It’s a one-stop shop for all of your babysitting needs. Use the app to book your own babysitters hassle-free, share important notes including bedtime routines and emergency contacts, and even pay your sitter at the end of the night. Regular sitters not available? Find new sitters through friends or access professionally screened nannies with the new Sitter Platinum membership.

 What does “professional screening” provide?

Sitter has partnered with Adventure Nannies, a premier APNA-certified agency, to provide Denver & Boulder parents with access to amazing nannies for their occasional babysitting needs.

 Having APNA certification means the agency is one of the most established in the country and follows rigorous standards for childcare provider screening. APNA agencies are experts in finding the best nannies and sitters and have done all the work for you, including:

  • Background Checks (national and county criminal checks, sex offender registry check, social security validation, watchlist check)
  • Professional Reference Checks
  • Education Verification
  • Internet Screening (including social media)
  • Face-to-Face Interviews

 And now, Sitter Platinum users can book these incredible nannies too.

 What is Sitter Platinum?

Sitter Platinum is Sitter’s newest plan. With Sitter Platinum, you can:

  • Find professionally screened nannies for your occasional needs
  • Book and pay any sitter you use
  • Connect with friends and see the sitters they recommend
  • Manage all critical family information including emergency contacts, allergies, media restrictions and more.

 To ensure that there are enough nannies available to meet the demand, Sitter is limiting the Platinum Membership program to 50 annual memberships at this time. They would like to extend an invitation to join to Mile High Mamas readers.

Sign up today! Click here.

16 fun things to do in Denver this week

This special holiday weekend, events include the Martin Luther King Marade and the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo. See our event calendar for full listings. 

Martin Luther King Marade (March and Parade) at City Park
Jan 15, 9:30 – 11:30 am
Celebrate the largest Martin Luther King Jr. march and rally in the United States. Participants gather at City Park and march to Civic Center Park, where a large rally commemorates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

National Western Stock Show & Rodeo at the National Western Complex 
Jan 6 – Jan 21 
Bulls and broncs, cowboys and cowgirls – rodeo’s biggest superstars perform amazing feats of athleticism during each performance of this professional rodeo. Showcasing the elegance and athleticism of the world’s top reining horses, the hard-hitting competition of Denver Professional Bull Riders Chute-Out and the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza, this event has something for everyone.

National Western Xtreme Dogs at the National Western Complex
Jan 15 – 16 
Dog lovers unite! Bringing you an all-new show full of amazing tricks, aerial stunts and comedy antics all performed by man’s best friend, Xtreme Dogs is one of the National Western’s hottest family events. The cast thrills audiences with their athletic prowess and surprisingly unpredictable antics. Trained to run, jump and retrieve at incredible speeds and jump and soar to unbelievable heights, they have become the world’s most popular dogs.

Budweiser Clydesdales Return to Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins Brewery 
Jan 10 – 22 
The iconic Budweiser Clydesdales have returned home to the Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins Brewery and Tour Center now until Tuesday, Jan 23. Guests will have the opportunity to visit the Budweiser Clydesdales at the brewery stables from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Monday, and Wednesday through Sunday, throughout the Clydesdales’ visit. 

Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, Colorado
Jan 10 –  13 
The Town of Breckenridge invites snow lovers of all ages to join the party. During Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, don’t be surprised to see horned Viking hats adorning the heads of skiers and snowboarders, the biggest bonfire in town, and more than 12,000 Ullr enthusiasts filling the streets for the Ullr Parade with crazy float participants skiing off jumps on Main Street or gliding along town in a hot tub. Join us to rejoice with Ullr himself… he’s ready for a good party.

Closing Reception: George Perez at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus 
Jan 10, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Join us for a fond farewell to our winter artist-in-residence, George Perez. Chat with the artist, enjoy light refreshments and get a first glance at the custom piece George made just for the Museum!

Denver International Sportsmen’s Exposition at Colorado Convention Center 
Jan 11 – 14 
Few states offer the range and quality of outdoor activities that Coloradans pursue. This is why ISE appeals to a diverse customer base, with hunting and fishing the core activities.

Free Day at the Denver Zoo
Jan 11, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, January 11
Friday, January 19
Saturday, January 20

Denver Boat Show at the Colorado Convention Center 
Jan 12 – 14 
Join us January 12-14, 2018 at the Colorado Convention Center for more boats, more fun, and more entertainment for the whole family!

Four Mile Free Days at Four Mile Historic Par
Jan 12, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Travel back to 1859… for free! Enjoy historic demonstrations, a tour of the Four Mile House Museum—a Denver landmark!—and meeting our many farm animals. Our Hay Bales & Tall Tales story and activity time will also be offered from 12-1 pm.

Teen Lounge at Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
Jan 12, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Teens take over the Museum at this unique free event! Venture through Museum exhibits, get hands-on with entertaining activities, jam to music and win awesome giveaways. Chill with friends and eat free snacks. Reservations highly recommended.

Double Grand Opening at Sterling Ranch 
Jan 13 
Taylor Morrison Denver is hosting a double grand opening event on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to celebrate the opening of Sterling Ranch in Littleton and Terrain Ravenwood in Castle Rock. The football-themed event gives visitors a chance to win an exciting prize, just by visiting these beautiful and newly-opened communities.

2018 Denver Preschool Showcase at Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being 
Jan 13, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The sixth annual Preschool Showcase is a free, one-stop opportunity for Denver families to connect with a variety of quality-rated programs throughout the city and learn about early childhood resources, including tuition support through the Denver Preschool Program. The event will feature free food, dental screenings, story times and family-friendly activities, including photo ops with the Minions.

Free Day at the Longmont Museum 
Jan 13, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
The second Saturday of each month is a Free Day. The Longmont Museum, housed in a distinctive contemporary building, features changing exhibits in history, art, and science, as well as the award-winning Front Range Rising, a long-term exhibit on the history and culture of this region. The Museum recently opened an expansion, featuring the 250-seat Stewart Auditorium and Cone-Shortall stage, the Swan Atrium, and the Kaiser Permanente Education Center.

Taylor Morrison Community Grand Opening at Sterling Ranch 
Jan 13, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Mom loves interior design. Dad loves football. Taylor Morrison has put them together for a day of free, family-friendly fun and a chance to win a new 60” 4K HD TV. Simply tour new Taylor Morrison homes at Sterling Ranch in Littleton and Ravenwood at Terrain in Castle Rock on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for free food and fun. Each adult to tour the new homes can enter for a chance to win a 4K TV.

Free Entrance for Martin Luther King Jr. Day at National Parks
Jan 15, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Come experience the national parks! On four days in 2018, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2018:

Free Day at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Jan 15, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free Days occur throughout the year at both York Street and Chatfield Farms, thanks to funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). No tickets are needed for admission to Free Days. Free Days are for regular Gardens hours only and do not include ticketed events.

Resolved to save money this year? Here’s how!

Do you have the same New Year’s resolutions every year? Every year I think, “Christmas shopping would have been easier if I would have planned ahead and saved some money. I resolve to save money this year.” I have heard that if you don’t have a Starbucks a day coffee habit, you can save something like $1,300 dollars in a year. But what do you do if you rarely go to Starbucks (less the few times I’ve wandered into one for meeting a friend and used a $5 gift card that I’ve held on to like it is gold)? And seriously, why bag on Starbucks anyway – It’s my fault that I can’t seem to save money like I want to, not Starbucks.

Here are a few ideas I ran across to get the job done for this year.

  1. Jump on the savings train now. Take action now when you’re thinking about it. Saving just $1 per how many weeks left until Christmas (counting down). Put $52 in a special Christmas account (or jar) this week, $51 next week, $50 the following week and so on.
  2. Think about where you can cut your bills. Do you have a gym membership that you pay for but never use? Cancel it – but pay yourself (into that Christmas savings). Do you hardly ever watch TV – cut the cable cord (I’ve not done this yet – but if you have please give me your advice/thoughts).
  3. Eat at home. This sounds sort of old fashioned (and maybe not that delicious for all those that cook as well as I do). This includes fast food places. At Chipotle, a naked burrito is essentially beans and rice that can be as cheap – well under $1! Plan your meals so that you also have leftovers for lunches – you can eat at work as well as home. And while we’re talking about food, plan-ahead and use it all. In a study done by the Natural Resources Defense Council the Average American household throws out between $1,350 and $2,275 in food each year!
  4. When my sister and I were little my mom didn’t like us going to the grocery store with her because we would beg for things that we really didn’t need. Fruit leathers were just 90 cents each. My mom would say, “you girls can 90 cents me to the poor house.” Boo! I used to get so mad, but now as a mom and as a deals blogger, I pay attention to every 90 cents too. When you control your spending and learn the value of the word no (even if it is toward that cute little peanut) you can save tons of money! Money magazine reports that 84% of us have bought something on a whim, many of these purchases are just $25 or less. (Do that just four times and you’ve totally blown $100!)
  5. Track your spending. Really the crux of this is set a budget. But sometimes knowing where to start is the hardest part. My favorite budgeting spending tracker is EveryDollar. The app helps you set up your budget but also can connect to your bank account – so you can really see how you’re doing against that budget you set up.
  6. Try to gamify it. Games are not just for kids anymore! We try to have No Spend weeks (we’ve amp’d this up from the no spend days). But we make a game of it. We try to think of fun things to do. Going to the park is…FREE and eating those frozen leftovers well planned out meal planning is a challenge.
  7. Greeting card switch up. We stopped giving greeting cards several years ago. Now, we give magazines. There are a couple sites we love like where you can get a whole year of a favorite magazine around $4. That is what we were spending on one card. That way the person you gift it to gets something in the mail from you every month. Plus they get a whole lot more reading/enjoying time with a whole year’s worth of magazines than a 1-2 line card! (Just make sure the person knows the subscription is from you – when my sister mentioned that she was getting a magazine she didn’t pay for…we told her it was from us. But she had already been getting it for several months before she said anything).
  8. Planning your summer trip on the cheap. There are lots of ways you can make travel less expensive. Try an Air BnB instead of a hotel. You can save not only on the nightly rate but also eating in (See #3) will save money. Consider driving instead of flying – particularly if you have a larger family. By the time you pay the average airfare of $367 per person and have to pay for a rental car in your destination you could save a lot of money driving and having your own car.
  9. Rent it out. There are tons of things you have that you can rent out Rent out your house (Air BnB), Rent your car, Rent your RV (Outdoorsy) or rent your other stuff.
  10. Let’s face it kids are expensive. But here are some tricky ways to help save money when it comes to kids… potty train (diapers are expensive!), trade babysitting (swap with neighbors or friends who will get to watch the kids), consignment sales for clothes (Mile High Mama posts great sales round ups twice a year).

Like anything, while these ideas may be simple and easy – it is actually doing them that counts. Try just one? Maybe this is the year that the saving money New Year’s Resolution may stick.


The new anonymous app that’s going viral with teens

For additional Tech Talk Tuesday conversations, go to Screenager’s fantastic blog to help guide you through the teenage years. 

The latest app to join the social networking roster, TBH (To Be Honest) is meant to share positive vibes. Users anonymously receive and can send superlatives, such as “Best person to get a cup of coffee with?” or “Who is most likely to keep in touch with friends after ten years? ”

TBH was the most popular download in the iTunes store in late September 2017. It is only available for iPhones and is only available in a select number of states.

The user, let’s call her Julie, downloads the app and gives TBH her grade and school. The app uses that info, along with her contact list, to push out invites to Julie’s friends to see if they will join her TBH friend list.

Julie will get a positive statement, such as “most likely to succeed,” and four names of people in her TBH list from which to choose. Let’s say she chooses, Sally. Later Sally will receive that compliment but will not see it is from Julie. In the same way, Julie will receive compliments from others anonymously.

Ranking people has been around long before social apps, but tech adds a major new dimension. These apps are especially concerning in our current societal trend of heightened individualism and competitiveness.

What is particularly interesting is not the widespread popularity of anonymous apps, but their lack of staying power. For example, my co-producer’s teenage daughter deleted it saying, “It’s the same question answered over and over again. With Instagram and others, you are looking at video and seeing new pictures and content all the time.”

She added that the anonymous feature didn’t work because in her group of friends there was only one boy who was playing, so you knew it was him. I have had other teens tell me the same thing.

Josh Constine writes in TechCrunch about the demise of YikYak and why he thinks anonymous apps don’t have staying power:

“The problem with anonymous apps is that over time they start to feel exhausting. The crude stories, played-out jokes stolen from Reddit and cringe-worthy bullying wear on people. While they might have a few juicy quips of their own to share, blowing off steam can eventually feel pointless. That’s why my Secret and Yik Yak usage dried up.”

Go to Tech Talk Tuesday for additional questions to ask your teens about anonymous apps.