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Summer Camp: Pedalheads Bike Camps

The thing about learning to ride a bike is that it’s about so much more than simply learning to ride a bike. It’s about confidence, freedom and independence. At Pedalheads Bike Camps, we understand that we’re not in the bike business, we’re in the childhood business, and we know that this rite of passage is something our campers will remember for a lifetime! 

 Pedalheads is a week-long bike safety and skills program for kids ages 3-10. Traffic and densely populated urban areas make it difficult for parents to teach their kids to ride bikes. At Pedalheads, we help give kids the confidence they need to ride safely on the road, in parks and around their neighborhoods! Our goal is to provide our little campers with a fun, educational program that will help them ditch their training wheels and set them on the path to a lifetime of cycling fun! 

Since 1995 we have taught over 250,000 children to ride, using our own Pedalheads teaching method, combined with small classes and exceptional instructors. Our delivery of camps and lessons that promote kids’ health and development has earned us a reputation of excellence in the communities that we serve. We teach beginners right up to competent riders the skills they need to succeed on the trails and the streets.  

One of the most gratifying things for us at Pedalheads is seeing what we call “a Pedalheads moment.” It’s that moment when a child who started off nervous and unsure of themselves, rides by themselves for the very first time and realizes “Yes, I CAN do it!” That’s the real magic of Pedalheads! 

Camp Details

We have four awesome camp locations in Denver, which can be found in Stapleton, Belcaro, Hampden South and Highlands Ranch.  We can’t wait for this summer in the Mile High City! 

Camps run Monday to Friday May 29th-August 3rd. Choose between morning camps (9:30am to 12:00pm), afternoon camps (1:00pm to 3:30pm) or all-day Camps (9:00am to 4:00pm, at select locations). We also offer private lessons. There are several different programs to choose from, depending on your child’s age and skill level. Before and after care is available for all-day camps.

Registration is now open! For site-specific information, locations and maps, visit www.pedalheads.com or call 1.888.886.6464. Keep up with all the latest Pedalheads news through our Facebook,  Twitter and Instagram feeds.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas

The Abuse of 265 Gymnasts – and You

In January and February 2017, dozens upon dozens of gymnast-survivors confronted their abuser in a United States court. Their personal accounts are devastating and their demands are righteous. 

May their courage and mandate for change echo every corner of youth sports – from the elite gymnasiums of Olympic Gymnastics to T-ball and dance classes. And echo to you, parents, the front line for keeping children safe.
 
The sexual abuser, Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics team doctor, will spend the rest of his life in prison. And the enablers – the multitude of people who turned a blind eye – finally are falling away under pressure.
 
But where does that leave your children? Are your children safe in sports programs?
 
Parents, the responsibility is in your hands. Kids are only ever protected when parents rally together, speak up and become the agents who change society. Are you willing to take three actions to protect your children from child sexual abuse in sports programs?

#1 – Call or meet in person with the director of your child’s sports program and ask for a written copy of the program’s child sexual abuse prevention policies. If they don’t exist, find out when they will and keep asking until you have them. It is unacceptable to be operating a youth-serving program without policies that address:

  • Time alone with children during and outside of activities.
  • Texting and social media between coaches and kids.
  • Annual staff training for staff in child sexual abuse prevention.
  • Staff screening that includes both background checks and interview questions about the appropriate and inappropriate touch of children.
  • Mandated reporting of suspected or known abuse.
  • Chain of accountability and monitoring of policies.

#2 – Speaking with the director is important because it tells you something about the culture of the program, but it’s not enough. Also talk with the coaches, youth leaders, trainers, and volunteers who interact directly with your children. To make it easier, buy a pack of Parenting Safe Children Conversation Starter Cards ($10 for 25 cards) and use them to help you speak with your child’s coach or teacher, as a jumping off place. Let him or her know:

  • Your child has body-safety rules.
  • Your child does not keep secrets.
  • Your child will obey the rules unless one of their body-safety rules is being violated in which case your child has permission to say “No” and tell a trusted adult.

#3 – Bring any questions or concerns about carrying out these actions to Parenting Safe Children on Facebook, where I offer guidance, encouragement, and support. I know that parents sometimes feel awkward speaking up, and I’m here to support you. Are you willing to feel a little uncomfortable so your kids don’t have to?  You can be sure, if you have a question, so does someone else. We really can do this together by supporting each other.
 
Imagine if every parent took these actions. We would create a sea change in our culture – putting children before our fear of speaking up, children before hero worship in sports, and children before all those who turn a blind eye.

If you want some inspiration, check out what this courageous mom shared this week when it was time to leave her daughters with a piano teacher.

People who sexually abuse children or sexually assault women don’t stop until they have to. If you have the opportunity to speak up, do it – and don’t stop until someone believes you and intervenes.

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Did you know that Parenting Safe Children has reached over 30,000 parents and professionals with its prevention programs. You, too, can learn how to raise children with healthy body pride and keep children safe from sexual abuse. Register today for Feather’s Parenting Safe Children Workshop — LIVE or ONLINE!

This week: Just Between Friends Arvada Children’s Consignment Event

It’s finally mere! Don’t miss the Just Between Friends Arvada Children’s Consignment Event Grand Opening March 1st-5th at Flatirons Marketplace, 271 E Flatiron Crossing Broomfield, CO 80021.  There will be tens of thousands of items at bargain prices–everything you need from strollers, to bikes, to clothes/shoes, toys, bedding, and the list goes on and on. 

As a fun bonus, Paw Patrol will be coming to their spring event on Saturday March 3rd from 10 a.m.-noon.  Free tickets are available online at the Just Between Friends Arvada website and be sure to register hereSaturday morning will include door prizes and of course pictures with your favorite Paw Patrol characters.  There will be door prizes given away each day and a contest to find the golden egg hidden in the store to win a JBF gift certificate. 

Times:

March 1-4th 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.

March 5th 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Do you want to shop early and be the first in the doors to find amazing bargains? 

On February 28, presale passes are available! 

2 p.m. Event helpers presale starts

3:30 p.m. Consignor presale

4 p.m. Prime Time Presale Pass (Passes are purchased for $10 per adult)

5 p.m. First time parent/grandparent/teacher/military/foster parents presale

Presale closes at 9 p.m. on February 28th.

Just Between Friends Arvada consignors also give back to the community by donating thousands of items each event to local charities to help families in need in our area.

Thank you for your support!

Deals: Awesome expos, free days, consignment sales and more!

I am getting ready to go on a big trip and I love the build-up of going somewhere. But, I also like a good surprise. I’ve seen feeds on my Facebook page of parents surprising their kids with a trip to Disneyland, something I could never swing because a). I couldn’t afford it and b). I have a big mouth. Do you build up trips or do you have a great story of a super surprise? Maybe I can surprise my kids with a trip to the Colorado RV, Sport and Travel show and it may feel like we’re traveling somewhere.
 
Expo Time: I love this time of year for the expos that come to town. You can spend a full day perusing the aisle and aisles of great ideas and fun. Plus, most of them are super cheap to bring the kiddos to as well!
·         Colorado Garden & Home Show. Discover the Rocky Mountain region’s oldest, largest and most prestigious garden and home show at the Colorado Convention Center  through March 4. Find inspiration from the latest ideas and trends in landscaping, gardening and home improvement. Most days adults are $12 and kids 12 and under are FREE. (Some days there is a 2 for 1 deal). Also, get $2 off when you donate a non-perishable food item.
·         Rocky Mountain Train ShowMarch 3 and 4 the Merchandise Mart (451 E 58th) will turn into a 2-1/2 acreTrain Extravaganza! Kids Under 12, Scouts in Uniform and Active Duty Military with ID – FREE (adults are $10) You can take part in clinics, win door prizes, see different toy train manufacturers, and more!
·         Colorado RV, Sport and Travel Show. March 1-4 at the National Western Complex (4655 Humboldt Street) be a part of the largest outdoor recreation show in the region and check out Colorado’s largest display of RVs, outdoor products, accessories, vacation spots, fun daily seminars, and much more.
·         Colorado Book Festival. Enjoy A free, day-long event for lovers of reading and writing. Talk to authors, reporters, bloggers, poets and published writers of all kinds Writer-led panels about reading, current issues, your questions Behind the scenes, who-knew-it-was-this-cool library tours.
 
Free Days. We have some awesome free days coming up this next week!
·         Friday, March 2 – Clyfford Still Museum (Free every Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
·         Saturday, March 3 – Denver Art Museum
 
Consignment SalesWe have one of Denver’s biggest lists of  kids consignment sales. (Consigning the kid’s clothes and items – no matter how much you may want to give those rascals away sometimes). This week’s sale is the Just Between Friends of Arvada sale on March 1-5ThursdaySaturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (Saturday new items); Sunday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (tags without stars 50% off); Monday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (tags without stars 50% off AND tags marked “donate 75% off). $2 admission or get your free ticket here. At Flatiron Marketplace, 271 E Flatiron Cir Broomfield, CO  80021

IHOP National Pancake Day. Do good AND get a great deal? I’m in! Clear your schedule, set a reminder, and text your friendsFebruary 27, 2018 is IHOP National Pancake Day. Visit your local IHOP® from 7am – 7pm to celebrate with a FREE short stack of Original Buttermilk Pancakes and donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. All money raised stays local. 

Prom Dress ExchangeThe Prom Dress Exchange started almost 20 years ago by two women who had a desire to see every girl who wanted to attend prom have access to a beautiful dress, regardless of their family’s income.  Every year around prom season, the annual event where girls throughout Denver can come and shop an inventory of gently used and new formal dresses.  If they find a dress
they like, take it home for a nominal fee, $10. Mark your calendars!  The Annual Event will be held: March 3, 2018 – 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Noah’s Event Venue (11885 Bradburn Blvd.Westminster CO)
 

Bass Pro Shop. Celebrate Kids Weekend at Bass Pro Shop March 3 – 4. You kids can participate in the casting challenge, bait toss, download a cool photo, do a kids craft and enter for a giveaway! The Ladies Clinic is on March 3 at 1:30 p.m. and teaches you fishing basics.
 
Girls in Science. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will host the Girls in Science event this weekend on March 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come explore a variety of Science Clubhouses, where girls (and boys!) and their families will meet women Career Mentors in STEAM and experience the many diverse opportunities a future career in science, technology, engineering, art, and math can bring. This day is all about igniting a passion for science—so try it on, test it out, and play! This event is included in the price of Museum admission. Ages 3–18: $4 general Museum admission. Members: Free. SNAP Access: Free, just show your EBT card at Ticketing. Military (current, reservist, and National Guard members): Free
 
Academy Award Nominees. Through March 4, join Regal Cinemas for the Best Picture Film Festival, featuring the 9 Academy Award-nominated Best Pictures. The Series Pass is just $35. Get it at the box office and through the Regal Mobile App.
 
Colorado Avalanche. Avalanche offers include: Every Avalanche home game will feature a minimum of 150, $15 entry passes. Locations will be determined by day of game or family nights when you get 4 tickets + 4 chicken tenders + 4 Pepsis starting at $120! The next one is March 4 vs. the Nashville Predators.
 
Hamilton Tickets. Didn’t get tickets to see Hamilton when they went on sale? It’s ok! Plus, now you can get a total DEAL on them (for just $10)! A digital lottery for HAMILTON tickets will begin in conjunction with the show’s first performance (February 27) in Denver at The Buell Theatre.  Forty (40) orchestra tickets will be sold for every performance for $10 each.  The digital lottery will open at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 25 for tickets to the Tuesday, February 27 performance.  Subsequent digital lotteries will begin two days prior to each performance. The digital lottery will begin two days prior to each performance. 
 
YMCA of the Rockies. If guests book a stay at YMCA of the Rockies by February 28, they can take advantage of the “Warm Memories” special, which is 25% off lodging rates when they book three nights in a lodge room or four nights in a cabin for stays through April 15.​ ​ Also, don’t miss the Family Mountaineering Weekend March 1-4Easter at YMCA of the Rockies with egg hunts, the Easter Bunny, banquet and Easter Sunday service.  The new Boone Family Mountain Center will have its Grand Opening from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on April 28, 2018. The center provides a base camp for nature, environmental and high-adventure activities at YMCA of the Rockies, as well as a hands-on educational nature center and two-story climbing wall. 
 
Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs Celebrates 1 Year. Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs, part of the North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, is excited to announce its first anniversary celebration on Friday, February 23. The festivities will kick-off at 1 p.m. with a celebratory cake and balloons, pictures with Great Wolf Lodge’s signature characters, button making, a lemonade stand and more. 

Spring Break in Denver 2018: Over 50 activities listed!

The countdown is on for Spring Break 2018! If you’re staying in Denver, no need to dismay as we have updated last year’s popular Spring Break guide. Whether you want to hunker down indoors, get outside or explore something new, we have you covered with these fabulous Spring Break offerings, categorized by geographic area.  

Also, if you want to travel, don’t miss 15 Affordable Family Spring Break Adventures in Colorado.

CENTRAL DENVER

  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science— 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. 
  • Denver Zoo–The Denver Zoo is 80 acres of fun in City Park. Don’t miss the new baby sloth or live demonstrations in the Toyota Elephant Passage.
  • Mizel Museum

    Mizel Museum

    Botanic Gardens  – These top-ranked U.S. botanical gardens offers spectacular garden displays, outdoor art exhibits, gardening classes, spring break camps and workshops at two great locations–Chatfield and Denver.

  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Discover the natural wonders of Colorado as you scale a towering three-story mountain to the summit for the premiere lookout over Denver and the Rockies.
  • The Denver Firefighters Museum (downtown) – The Museum offers not only outstanding exhibits on the history of fire fighting in Denver focusing on the Denver Fire Department, but innovative and exciting hands-on activities that allow visitors to interact with the traditional exhibits
  • History Colorado Center–This $110 million experiential museum makes Colorado history fun and has exciting new workshops, exhibits, programs, and performances that spark curiosity and ignite the imagination.
  • United States Mint Tour (downtown) – Discover how our currency is made and take home a souvenir – FREE. Reservations are required for the 45-minute tours that are run every 90 minutes.
  • Molly Brown House Museum (downtown) – Learn about the life and times of “Unsinkable” Molly Brown in her restored Victorian home in Denver, Colorado. This is one of the most visited historic sites in the state of Colorado, and one of only a handful of sites nationally dedicated to the interpretation of a woman’s story. Admission to the Molly Brown House Museum is by guided tour only.
  • Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. Where beloved childhood toys are elevated to art, and workshops are inexpensive.
  • Denver Art Museum (downtown) – Each spring break they have a themed break that allows the whole gang to make art in the galleries, work alongside artists, and check out Family Backpacks from the Family Activity Cart. Kids 18 and younger receive free general admission.
  • Downtown Aquarium. This features over 500 species of marine life and mammals in the million-gallon Aquarium Adventure Exhibit.
  • Mizel Museum. Rooted in Jewish values that have universal relevance, the Mizel Museum is a gem tucked away in a residential area in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood. Kids will love their interactive road map as they journey along the 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks. They’ll learn about art, artifacts and digital media that narrates and illuminates Jewish history and culture.

NORTH

  • APEX Movement. Do you want to be the next American Ninja Warrior? Many of the TV’s program’s best athletes train at APEX Movement in Boulder. Classes, birthday parties and open gym are available so your kids can challenge themselves the Ninja Warrior way.
    (Apex Movement)

    (Apex Movement)

  • Mid-air Adventures. Mid-Air Adventures offers a safe, active and unique experience for guests of all ages. Their 12,000 sq. ft. facility offers giant swings, zip lines, 20’ climbing wall, rope bridges, slides and a toddler area.
  • Hammonds Candy Factory Tour (Denver) – Hammond’s complimentary candy factory tours are fun and educational for candy lovers of all ages. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe have seen how their famous, handcrafted candy canes, ribbon candy, and lollipops are pulled, twisted, and shaped by hand. No reservations are required for small groups.
  • WOW Children’s Museum (Lafeyette)–This interactive museum educates children in the areas of arts, sciences and life. At the new and improved Bank of WOW! Exhibit, children and families can practice money recognition, counting and basic math skills, and learn about saving and spending
  • Butterfly Pavilion (Westminster) – Home to over 5,000 animals including Rosie the tarantula and a tropical forest where 1,600 butterflies rule the sky. They offer a daily spring break camp.
  • Gateway Park Fun Center. Boulder’s only indoor and outdoor family fun center with batting cages, go-carts, mini golf, an arcade, driving range, inline hockey and more.
  • Go hiking. There are so many beautiful hikes in the Boulder area and my favorites are at Chautauqua Open Space Park. Be sure to stop in the Ranger’s Cottage for interactive fun or eat at the historic Dining Hall. For here for more Boulder hiking ideas.
  • Louisville Community Park is a park that has it all. There is a grassy area for the kids to run free in, spray grounds to cool off in the summer, a large sandbox, playground and even a dog park with swim beach to watch the pooches play.
  • Boondocks Fun Center (Northglenn)–This 8-acre indoor/outdoor amusement center offers everything from bumper boats to laser tag to a Kiddie Cove to batting cages.
  • Greeley Freight Station Museum: Examine intricate model railroad layouts, a wooden caboose from the Colorado and Southern Railroad and more than 1,000 railroad artifacts. See actual trains come and go on nearby tracks.
  • Adventure Golf and Raceway (Westminster). This is a great place for mini golf and go karts in the Denver area. 
  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge (Commerce City)–Located 10 minutes from downtown Denver, this 17,000-acre refuge is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the United States. It consists of open lakes, wetlands, prairie grasslands, and woodlands and an excellent hands-on visitor’s center.
  • Celestial Seasonings. Visit the Celestial Seasonings headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and unlock the mysteries of tea with a free guided tea tour.

SOUTH

  • Hudson Gardens (Littleton) – The Hudson Gardens’ 30 acres non-profit botanical gardens are located along the bank of the South Platte River. Admission is free every day.
  • Westlands Park (Greenwood Village) – The Westlands playground includes three play areas sized for toddlers to teens. There are two large climbing structures which satisfy both the technical climber as well as the inexperienced child. In addition to the main play area, there are three multi-use playing fields, an in-line hockey rink, a natural water sculpture, a pond and a hike / bike trail.
  • Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park (Littleton, Lakewood, Greenwood Village) – Wall-to-wall trampolines provide fun, indoor exercise and a perfect outlet for inclement weather days.
  • Carson Nature Center

    Carson Nature Center

    Jungle Quest (Littleton). Exciting Indoor Ziplines, Huge Safari Swing, 20-foot High Rock Climbing Wall, Swinging Cargo Net, Burma Bridges, Treehouse and Slides and Jungle Caves –for Kids 5 and up.

  • Carson Nature Center (Littleton)–South Platte Park has over 880 acres of open space along the South Platte River with five lakes open to fishing, 2.5 miles of the South Platte River and the Mary Carter Greenway for walking and biking, nearly 4 miles of natural surface trails, and the Carson Nature Center and classroom.
  • Lollipop Park (Centennial)–This indoor children’s amusement park is located inside the Family Sports Center and offers a carousel, bounce castles, train ride, small Ferris wheel, teacup ride and more.
  • Great Play (Highlands Ranch)–This unique gym for kids 6 months-10 years old makes it fun while developing motor skills, sport skills, fitness and coordination in their patented Interactive Arena.
  • Gameworks (Stapleton)–This 36,000-square-foot pubby amusement center and sports bar features hundreds of electronic games, a laser tag arena, big-screen TVs and comfort food.
  • Robert F. Clement Park (Littleton)–Clement Park is set on a 60-acre lake with a 1.4-mile walking path around it, tennis course, baseball fields, batting cages, multi-purpose fields, horseshoe pits and three separate playgrounds.
  • Littleton Museum. Located on 39 acres, this free museum consists of two living history farms (one from the 1860’s and one from the 1890’s), a small lake, a collections center, and a main exhibition and administration building.
  • iFLY Denver Indoor Sky Diving (Lone Tree). Fun,  safe indoor skydiving adventure Safe for ages 3 and up.

EAST

  • Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum (Denver) –An extensive collection of aircraft and related aviation and military exhibits preserving the history of the service men and women who served at Lowry Airforce Base. There are more than three dozen aircrafts on display in this 44,000-square foot space.
  • Dart Warz (Centennial)–Want an ultra cool alternative to paintball or airsoft? Look no further than Dart Warz.
  • Centennial Center Park–This 11-acre city park has a killer playground, nature areas, amphitheater and a water area in the summer. Located on the north side of Arapahoe Rd., between S. Revere Pkwy. and S. Vaughn St., adjacent to the Centennial Civic Center.
  • Monkey Bizness (Centennial, Denver, Lone Tree) -You’ll find interactive inflatables, play structures, climbing walls, and games of all shapes and sizes. There is a separate section just for toddlers with their own play equipment.
  • Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch (Aurora). Star K Ranch “regulars” include mule deer, painted turtles, snapping turtles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, western meadowlarks, great horned owls, and blue jays. Costumes, blocks, puppets, kids’ books, and live animal exhibits make Morrison Nature Center a great place for kids.
  • Plains Conservation Center (Aurora)–The Plains Conservation Center is an outdoor education facility and state-designated natural area that educates children about Colorado’s eco-history, and nurture conservation efforts.
  • Unser Cart Racing – Kids… go carts. Can’t lose right? 

 WEST

  • Dinosaur Ridge (Morrison) – Part of the Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark, Dinosaur Ridge area is one of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossil localities. Enjoy exhibits, a shuttle tour, and real dinosaur tracks. 
  • Majestic View Nature Center (Arvada)–Majestic View Nature Center and Community Park has more than majestic views–The 3,000- square foot Nature Center features hands-on nature and environmental displays, wildlife exhibits, a kid’s area, classrooms and meeting space.
    Apex Center

    Apex Center

    Earth Treks Climbing Center (Golden)–Earth Treks Golden features more than 28,500 sq ft of climbing with walls up to 48 ft high, including tons of bouldering and roped climbing for all ages and abilities.

  • Majestic View Nature Center (Arvada)–Majestic View Nature Center and Community Park has more than majestic views–The 3,000- square foot Nature Center features hands-on nature and environmental displays, wildlife exhibits, a kid’s area, classrooms and meeting space.
  • Apex Center (Arvada)–Perfect for an inclement weather day, this recreation and entertainment center houses two ice rinks, an awesome indoor aquatic play area, climbing wall, gyms, indoor track, themed indoor playground and more.
  • Colorado Railroad Museum (Golden)–Lose track of time year-round at this 15-acre railyard featuring over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, a garden railway, renowned library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable.
  • Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave (Golden) – The Buffalo Bill Museum’s exhibits include memorabilia from Buffalo Bill’s life and Wild West shows, Indian artifacts, antique firearms and more. The spectacular views overlooking Denver are a bonus!
  • Casa Bonita (Lakewood) – It’s about the atmosphere and entertainment, kids love it, menu is limited.  Euphoric memories from your childhood?  Visit again–it hasn’t changed.
  • Lookout Mountain Nature Center (Golden)–Lookout Mountain Nature Center invites kids to connect with the natural world through interactive exhibits about the flora and fauna of the foothills ecosystem. Kids enjoy a hands-on play room and observation room.
  • Hiking. The western slope is home to some of Denver’s best hiking trails. Our favorites including Red Rocks, Matthews/Winters, Evergreen, Deer Creek and much more. Go here for maps, directions and regulations: http://jeffco.us/parks/open-space/.

-JoAnn Rasmussen contributed to this list.

15 Affordable Family Spring Break Adventures in Colorado

Spring in Colorado offers sunshine, powder, ideal temperatures and a wide array of spring break deals for family adventures throughout the state. From swooshing down the slopes of iconic resorts such as Aspen or Vail or some of Colorado’s gem resorts such as Purgatory and Monarch Mountain to indulging in a true western experience at any one of the state’s dude and guest ranches, springtime in Colorado showcases a variety of experiences for a memorable spring family getaway.

Staying in Denver? Don’t miss these 50 Spring Break Activities, divided by geographic area. 

Spring Ski Discounts:

 Aspen Skiing Company. Known for it’s four diverse mountains, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass, Aspen offers a variety of terrain for any kind of skier or snowboarder. This spring, the resort is offering the Perfect Storm Package, allowing visitors to buy four days of skiing and get a fifth day free. With this package, skiers will also receive a resort card with deep discounts on everything from dining to shopping. The package is available until March 31. From April 1-15, the resort is offering 40 percent off a minimum of two-day lift tickets.
 
Beaver Creek. Skiers and snowboarders who visit Beaver Creek this spring will discover one of the best times to visit with longer days to enjoy the resort’s 1,832 skiable acres and traditionally warmer weather to partake in on-mountain and village events and activities. Stays of one to three nights can save up to 10 percent on lodging; stays of four to six nights can save up to 20 percent; and stays of seven or more nights can save up to 30 percent. For the best lodging rates, visitors should consider The Pines Lodge, A RockResort, The Osprey, A RockResort or one of Beaver Creek’s two- or three-bedroom premium condos, many located slopeside or within walking distance to the lifts.
 
Crested Butte. Crested Butte, a quaint 1880’s mining town, offers a charming historic-town feel with a ski resort that includes a thousand plus acres of terrain ranging from beginner and intermediate groomers to extreme glades and steeps. This spring, visitors can take advantage of three nights of lodging and three-day lift tickets for the price of two for stays between March 16 and April 8. For families looking to indulge in a family spring ski vacation, Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers all children ages 12 and under free skiing and riding from April 1 through April 8.
 
Monarch Mountain. Monarch Mountain ski area, known for it’s deep snow, tree skiing, crowdless slopes and more, sits atop a mountain pass in the Sawatch Mountain Range. Getting the family on the slopes for the first time is easy and affordable at Monarch. Visitors buying a lift ticket and rental package for the kids, ages 7-12, receive a free ski or snowboard lesson. This special has no black-out dates and is good for the rest of the season.
 

Purgatory Resort (Durango). Springtime at Purgatory Resort offers fun celebrations and activities for all ages. Visitors can get airborne with the Big Air Bag Jump, experience a fun tubing event during Uncle Clyde’s Run & Slide, build a cardboard derby and ride it down the hill during McDonald’s Cardboard Derby contest or make a splash with the annual Pond Skimming contest.  For a parents’ night out, take a scenic snowcat tour with breathtaking views or savor a unique culinary experience with the Snowcat Dinner Excursions. From now until April 30, guests can enjoy two nights of lodging at 25 to 40 percent off and get the kids’ lift tickets for free when parents buy two adult two-day lift tickets.

Ski Cooper (Leadville). Famous for being the former training site for the 10th Mountain Division, the legendary World War II ski troops, Ski Cooper now offers it’s sweeping runs to families at an affordable price. For families that are beginning to ski or advance skills while on spring break, Ski School packages include Panda Patrol (lift ticket, rentals, full-day lesson and lunch for $199 per child) for the kids and the First Timer Program (lift ticket, rentals and a two-hour lesson for $89) for the adults.
 
Ski, Swim, Stay (Glenwood Springs). Available through March 31, visitors to Glenwood Springs can ski or board at Sunlight Mountain Resort for the day followed by a soak in the world’s largest hot springs pool at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. The Ski, Swim, Stay package starts at $150 and includes lodging at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, unlimited hot springs pool access, one Sunlight Mountain lift ticket per night, per adult and one free lift ticket for kids ages 12 and under per paying adult.

Spring Break on the Ranch:

C Lazy U Ranch (Granby). C Lazy U Ranch, conveniently located two-hours northwest of Denver just past Winter Park Ski Resort and Ski Granby Ranch, offers a complimentary daily resort shuttle for skiers, a kids program for ages 3-17, a luxury spa and limitless outdoor activities, most of which are part of the inclusive rates. The C Lazy U Spring Break Package runs March 12-31 with a two-night minimum stay requirement.  The inclusive package covers lodging, gourmet dining, kids programs, horseback riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, a tubing hill and ice skating along with all equipment and guides.  Rates are $366 per adult, per night and $232 per child, per night.
 
The Home Ranch (Steamboat Springs). Set amid the timeless beauty of the Elk River Valley, The Home Ranch is an all-inclusive, 14-room luxury guest ranch that sits on 4,000 acres of private property at an elevation of 7,200 feet. Families can “play in the snow” this season as The Home Ranch debuts a Spring Break Ranch Vacation from March 1 – 24, 2018 that combines backcountry skiing, snow tubing, winter horseback riding, snowshoeing, and gourmet cuisine in a Rocky Mountain hideaway. After a day “playing in the snow,” families can relax over gourmet meals in the Main Lodge or retreat to their private cabin where a soothing hot tub and wood-burning stove await. Rates begin from $765 per night for two persons plus tax with a two-night minimum stay required.
 
Vista Verde (Steamboat Springs). An all-inclusive Colorado luxury dude ranch located just north of Steamboat Springs, Vista Verde has a diverse offering of activities, amazing food, a spa and stunning views. The ranch offers personalized service that comes when you mix AAA Four Diamond amenities with Western hospitality. Families visiting the ranch can gather for meals and share experiences together while at the same time splitting up to pursue different activities during the day. Vista Verde’s spring dates have been extended until March 31. Rates starting at $1,350 per person and families of four or larger that book a seven-night stay will receive a complimentary snowmobile ride for all guests of driving age.

Family-Friendly Lodging Packages:

Destination Residences Snowmass.Celebrating its 50th anniversary this winter, Snowmass offers Destination Hotels spacious condominiums for families wanting to spend quality time together. Ski-in/ski-out is available in the private retreat along with adventures such as dog sledding, horse drawn sleigh rides, alpine coaster rides, tubing under the stars and more. In celebration of the spring season, Destination Hotels is offering 25 percent off  Snowmass condo rentals for stays through April 15. Prices vary based on the size and location of the condominium.
 
The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs). Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, The Broadmoor remains an iconic resort offering unparalleled luxury, outdoor adventures and endless activities for the whole family. Take a spring break getaway this year at The Broadmoor with a special package including classic accommodations per night (upgrade options available), a discount on golf green fee, kids 10 and under eat free with a paying adult, discount on the adult ticket price at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and a 25 percent discount off of published suite rates. Package prices start at $125 per person based on double occupancy. 
 
The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block (Denver). At Denver’s new Maven Hotel at Dairy Block, families can indulge in an urban overnight in a unique Journeyman Bunkroom featuring a modern twin bed built over a king bed.  LoDo’s newest industrial-chic hotel caters to curious kiddos with an inviting lobby featuring dozens of interesting Colorado art pieces, antique pinball machines in the Poka Lola Social Club and an Airstream trailer that serves breakfast. Starting at $359 per night, the Maven’s Family Fun Found package includes accommodations, four passes to the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, to-go breakfast from The Maven’s Airstream and more.
 
YMCA of the Rockies (Estes Park). Recently named “Best Family Resort in America” by USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards, YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park provides a unique setting on 800+ acres bordering Rocky Mountain National Park and daily activities including archery lessons, horseback riding, an arts and craft center and, new this year, a 370-foot-long zip line. Spring visits at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park offers beautiful hiking opportunities with YMCA’s experienced guide masters, and visitors coming over the March 1-4, 2018 weekend will be able to check out the 3rd Annual Family Mountaineering Weekend, featuring family snowshoe hikes, backcountry ski meet-ups, outdoor winter survival trainings and more. Rooms start at $99 per night.
 
For more information, visit www.colorado.com.

Momsplaining Episode 2: Kids Party Goals

Take Ellen Degeneres, add Kristen Bell and you have a whole lot of laughter!

“Momsplaining” is a hilarious six-episode original digital series created by Ellen Degeneres in partnership with OLLY Nutrition.

In this week’s episode, an expectant mom of two – soon to be three – gets some help in throwing the ultimate “Frozen” birthday party for her 7-year-old daughter… in a way only a real “Frozen” princess could!

Preparing our kids for Big Futures…at Engineering for Kids Summer Camp

When we were kids, and in many cases still today, students learned Math in Math Class, Science in Science Class and Technology looked a lot like typing class.

About ten years ago, a movement in education coined as “STEM”, an acronym for Science, Technology Engineering & Math was created so that kids, who were not as interested in learning math and science the “old way” would have new opportunities to experience Math and Science through Engineering and Technology and as a way to prepare for future innovations. 

The STEM movement started, for the most part, because of the shortage of workers needed to fill the Computer, TECHNOLOGY and ENGINEERING jobs of the future. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that STEM jobs pay much more than non-STEM jobs, and computer based and engineering occupations are expected to grow to over one million new job openings between now and 2024.   That is just SIX YEARS from now.

However, today, there are even more reasons to introduce STEM to your kids:  It is now easier than ever!   The quality of tools, curricula and programs available to us as parents and consumers is better than ever, more accessible and even more affordable.

My family and I started Engineering for Kids, a summer camp and STEM learning center five years ago as a way to support kids who love to build, and who wanted to learn more about Engineering. But today, Engineering for Kids is for every kid – because our mission is for every kid to learn to love STEM.

Just imagine learning the basics of programming through painting a large tapestry with a rolling robot or by choreographing a robot Dance Party?  Summer Camp is now more than a fun way to spend a summer, it’s the beginning to learning how to code, and building sustainable skills that lay a foundation for fundamental math and science understanding.

Camps at Engineering for Kids begin with learning programming and coding through fun tools that kids love:  Minecraft, Robots, Electronic components and Space, and the learning doesn’t stop on Friday at the end of Camp. 

In most cases at Engineering for Kids, the technology – robots, online programing subscriptions, or micro-components go home with the kids.   Instructors focus on teaching sustainable lessons so that kids can explore after Camp, at home, on vacation and even well into the year. 

 

Now is the time to DIVE into STEM with Camps at Engineering for Kids, and make a choice for learning beyond just the summer and in preparation for Big Futures ahead.

———————-

Summer Camps are held Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (after care is available).  Ages groups includes a Master Engineering Camps for ages 12 -1 4, Apprentice Engineering Camps for ages 9 – 11 and Junior Engineering Camps for ages 6 -8. No experience necessary, just a desire to have fun and learn something new! Registration site:  https://www.amilia.com/store/en/EFKdenver/shop/programs 

In partnership with Mile High Mamas

 

Don’t miss Creative Waves’ new crafting corner!

Hello Mile High Mamas – It’s Nikoletta from Creative Waves stopping by today to share with you a simple, pattern-free way to sew an eyeglass case.  

While visiting Pier1 Imports at the Flatirons mall in Broomfield in search of a hidden treasure, I discovered a rack of bonded leather (and other beautiful materials) for a mere $2 a sheet!  The sheets came to about 11×17 and were available in many colors and textures.  My mind went into overdrive thinking of all the great things I could make with it:  leather handles for serving trays, hanging leather slings for plants, clutch purses and wallets, the options seem endless!  For this tutorial, I decided to use this find to make a super easy, hand-sewn eyeglass case that will keep your glasses from harm while in your bag.

Step 1:  Put the glasses you are intending the case for on the edge of the leather piece.   I was on the fence about using the existing decorative edge but decided to keep it.  

Step 2: Draw with a pencil a line above and next to where the glasses sit.  

Step 3: Fold the bonded leather piece to double the area you marked in pencil and cut out this area.  Lay the cut out piece flat and place the glasses on one side, fold the piece over to double check you have enough material.

Step 4: Soften the edges by rounding them out with your scissors, or include any edging designs you’d like.  I chose to make the front of the case lower than the back, giving me easier access when rummaging around in my bag.

Step 5: Using any thread and needle (no need for waxed thread and leather needles for this project) sew up the 2 edges using an overcast stitch.  You can do this by making a series of equally-spaced, diagonal stitches that loop around the edge of the leather.  Keep your stitches equally spaced and start on the bottom of your case.  I was glad to have kept the decorative stitching on the material as it served as a guide to keep my stitches even.  Another way to achieve a straight line is to place some painter’s tape to use as a guide when hand stitching.

That’s it!  Custom sized, inexpensive, quick and handmade–can’t beat that.  

If you can’t make it to the Broomfield Pier1, check your local furniture stores to see if they have material swatches they no longer use or are obsolete.  You can also try second hand art supply stores like Art Parts in Boulder for inexpensive materials.

If you’d like to try your hand at sewing real leather with waxed thread and stitching chisels, check out Creative Waves’ workshops in Boulder.  We’ll be making a gusseted clutch purse from super soft Italian leather from the Leather Hide Store this Spring. We’d love to have you join us and make more awesome creations!  

Top 20 events in Denver this week

February is almost a wrap and there are plenty of fun events to celebrate. Don’t miss the opening of the Creatures of Light Exhibit, Denver Restaurant Week and the Snowman Stampede. See our event calendar for the full listings. 

Creatures of Light Exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science 
Feb 23 
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.

Denver Restaurant Week 
Feb 23 – March 4
The 14th annual Denver Restaurant Week will take place from Feb. 23 – March 4, 2018. Hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants offer multi-course dinners for tasty prices.

Wish Night, benefiting Make-A-Wish Colorado at the Hyatt Regency Denver 
Feb 23, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Join Make-A-Wish® Colorado for a magical journey as together we experience the power of wish from the wish selection by an 8-year-old girl battling a critical illness to the granting of the wish. In addition to this rare insider’s view, Wish Night will feature performances by local wish kids and a special acoustic set by Joe King from The Fray, as well as a cocktail hour, silent and live auction, dinner and plenty of surprises along the way!

Boulder International Film Festival
Feb 22 – 25 
The Boulder International Film Festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to Boulder for a four-day celebration of the art of cinema. Featuring a wide variety of films from local, national, and international filmmakers, including many that have gone on to significant box-office success and multiple Oscar nominations.

Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs at the Pepsi Center 
Feb 23, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the San Antonio Spurs.

Inside the Orchestra’s Tiny Tots Performances at Stanley Marketplace 
Feb 24 and 26
Tiny Tots gets children truly inside the orchestra by seating the audience on the floor and surrounding them with a 30+ piece orchestra. Designed for children six and under, this 45-minute program gives young ones the chance to interact with the music and learn about the instruments in the process. Tiny Tots audiences receive an up-close-and-personal performance in a casual, fun environment. The experience is one-of-a-kind!

Low Sensory Morning at the Denver Art Museum 
Feb 24, 8:30 – 10:00 am
At the DAM, we embrace the unique qualities of all who walk through our doors, and appreciate that many visitors need to explore the museum in different ways. For individuals and families who prefer a quiet, less sensory-stimulating environment we offer our Low Sensory Morning events on select Saturday mornings, before public hours.

Snowman Stampede
Feb 24, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The Snowman Stampede is a flat and fast half marathon, 10K and 5K race held every February in Littleton, Colorado. Come to Hudson Gardens and run the race that everyone is talking about. With chip timing, an innovative technical running shirt, and a finish line expo with vendors and food, this race will make you want to come back for more!

Jeff & Paige at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History 
Feb 24, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Two shows with Jeff & Paige and everyone’s welcome! But wait, there’s more! Kid-friendly science and natural history exhibits, monthly family days and this 6th annual concert day with Jeff & Paige. Come to either show or come to both.

Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Sleeping Beauty Tea Party at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance 
Feb 24 – 25 
Ballet Ariel infuses new life into an ages-old tale. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is an original and fanciful production flawlessly danced by Ballet Ariel’s professional company. Choreographed by Director Ilena Norton and her creative team, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice will beguile children of all ages, introducing them to the enduring art of ballet in an exciting and delightful afternoon. 

Denver Pops Orchestra: Myths, Legends, and Tales 
Feb 24, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Join the Denver Pops Orchestra for an exciting concert at Denver’s historical Central Presbyterian Church. From Greek mythology to Game of Thrones, our “Myths, Legends, and Tales” concert will awaken your mind to some of the great tales that have sparked our imaginations.

The Music of George Gershwin and Billy Joel 
Feb 25, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Acclaimed concert pianist, Avguste Antonov, will present a program featuring George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and several pieces by Billy Joel including Reverie, Fantasy, Air and Rot Beer Rag. Known more for his pop songs, Billy Joel is also an accomplished composer of classical music.

Denver Nuggets vs. Houston Rockets at the Pepsi Center 
Feb 25, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the Houston Rockets.

Ongoing Events and Exhibits

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. http://wingsmuseum.org/

Becoming Butterflies at CU South Denver
Now through 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. http://southdenver.cu.edu/events/event/becoming-butterflies/

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. http://www.dmns.org/imax/current-films/dream-big-3d-engineering-our-world/

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. http://puzzlingadventures.com

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. http://www.downtowndenver.com/

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. http://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/eyes-on-xiaoze-xie

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. http://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/past-tangled-present

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. http://www.dmns.org