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Dutch Oven Recipes for Camping or Your Backyard Fire Pit

I have a love affair with my Dutch Oven and I’ve vowed to use it more often this summer–whether it’s while camping or in our backyard firepit. If you’re intimidated by cooking in this outdoor mini oven, no need to be. There are plenty of online tutorials to guide you through but the gist of the Dutch Oven is to place hot coals on the bottom and top to bake in it, or keep coals underneath to cook, just like you would on your stove stop. 

Here are some delicious recipes to try during your next cookout! 

Sprite Chicken. After a long day in the outdoors, this cheesy, bacon-filled chicken casserole hits the spot. Get the recipe.

spritechicken

Sloppy Joes are a great food when camping and this dutch oven recipe makes them super simple. Click here for the recipe.

sloppy

 

Cheesy Garlic Bites. Believe it or not, it’s easy to cook really yummy bread in the dutch oven. The secret ingredient: Rhodes frozen dough. You CAN cook amazing bread in the dutch oven without all the fuss.

Cheesy-Garlic-Bites

Campfire Red Beans and Rice. Eating healthy while camping can be difficult without refrigeration. This recipe does not call for highly processed (highly-preserved) ingredients and is just as delicious as it looks.

redbeans

Pizza. Simply use a pre-made pizza crust that comes in a tube and the Dutch Oven gives it a delicious, rich flavor that can’t be beat. Be sure to add your favorite toppings!

Pizza21

Chili With Cornbread Dumplings. The recipe consists of your standard chili ingredients combined with your standard cornbread ingredients. Together, they are magic!

chili

Here’s an insider tip: Blueberry muffins even better in the woods when cooked in an orange. Recipe here.blueberry

Who doesn’t want to wake up on a crisp morning, get out of your tent and chow down in to warm, gooey, carmel apple cinnamon rolls? Click Here for the recipe.

CarmelApplePie

Do you guys love S’mores just as much as I do? This 10 minute Dutch Oven S’mores Cake recipe is a fun spin on the classic s’more.smores

Want an easy and delicious cobbler that can be made in your oven or while out camping?! Check out this amazing Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler.

cobbler

Virtual Reality Arcade Opens at DMNS

VR Arcade” opened on July 9, at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The pop-up experience uses virtual reality technology and features six bays for individual VR opportunities and a four-person Virtual Reality Transporter ride. “VR Arcade” is located on the first floor of the Museum near the popular “Space Odyssey” exhibition.

 “We tested a VR experience for the past year that was very popular with our guests, so we are expanding the VR offerings,” said George Sparks, President and CEO of the Museum. “We hope this will surprise and delight our guests and inspire them to enjoy exploring wherever their curiosity leads.” 

These are the games offered in “VR Arcade”:

  •  Google Earth VR
  • Beat Saber
  • V-Racer Hoverbike
  • Mars Odyssey
  • Plank Not Included
  • Eagle Flight
  • Job Simulator
  • Eleven: Table Tennis
  • Sea of Memories
  • Glider Island

 “VR Arcade” will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and requires a special ticket purchase. For more information, visit dmns.org.

What you need to know before buying or selling a used car seat

Summer has arrived in Colorado, which means garage-sale season is in full swing. If getting rid of an old car seat is on your summer to-do list — or if you’re an expectant parent hoping to save a few bucks by obtaining a secondhand seat — there are a few things you need to know. While reusing car seats may seem economical and environmentally friendly, there are some safety risks involved. Whether you’re looking to sell, give away, borrow or buy a used car seat, being able to answer these questions could save a child’s life:

  • Has the car seat expired?
    Car seats expire, just like that questionable milk in your fridge. Materials wear down over time, each model is only safety tested for a typical lifespan, and technology and safety standards change. The same is true for booster seats. You can find the expiration date stamped on the manufacturer label on the side or base of the seat. Generally, car seats expire six years after the date of manufacture.
  • Has it ever been recalled?
    If so, was the recall addressed and resolved? To check for recalls, you will need the make, model, model number and date of manufacture for the car seat. You can search for recalls on the Car Seats Colorado
  • Has it ever been involved in a crash?
    The quality of a car seat is compromised after it has been in a moderate or severe crash — even if you can’t see evidence of any damage to the seat. Avoid using a used car seat unless you know its entire
  • Can you verify the car seat has all its original parts?
    This includes hardware, harnesses and tether straps. If you’re not sure, get out the owner’s manual and check that all the parts are present. Otherwise, you may not realize a part is missing or damaged until it’s too late.
  • Does it have the original owner’s manual? Car seats are not always the most intuitive products to install. Without an owner’s manual and instructions, you run the risk of improperly installing the car seat — a common problem. This also includes any special care instructions for the seat. Just using the wrong soap to clean the straps can reduce safety.

If you can’t confidently answer all of these questions about a used car seat — do not buy or attempt to sell or donate it.

So, what should you do with an old, expired or damaged car seat? Recycle it. Car Seats Colorado offers a free recycling program for unusable car seats. You can find a statewide list of recycling drop-off locations at CarSeatsColorado.com. Some retailers also hold trade-in events where you can bring in old car seats to be recycled and receive a discount on a new one.

For more Colorado car seat information and resources, visit CarSeatsColorado.com.

By Colorado State Patrol Trooper Tim Sutherland, Program Coordinator for Car Seats Colorado

 

Family Travel: 11 Colorado Waterfalls

Waterfalls are one of the best side effects of a Colorado hike. They might be tiny, wispy ones you happen by along a scenic trail, or they might be bigger destinations unto themselves.

Colorado.com shares these Colorado waterfalls that are worth making the trip.

1. South Mineral Creek Falls
Reached via the South Mineral Creek Campground, hikers will trace South Fork Mineral Creek on the way to these falls, which flow into an ethereal turquoise pool, with red and grey peaks standing sentinel in the distance. Nearby towns: Durango and Silverton (featured image)

Bridal Veil

2. Seven Falls
Trek up 224 steps alongside the Seven Falls (or take the in-mountain elevator), which tumble 181 feet down the canyon in seven distinct segments. Nature trails and views of Colorado Springs and the sprawling Great Plains to the east add to this attraction’s natural appeal. Nearby Town: Colorado Springs

3. Bridal Veil Falls
The well-preserved Victorian-era town of Telluride — nestled at the foot of a box canyon — is a beguiling sight all on its own. But 365 feet above, the white spray of Colorado’s tallest waterfall plummets to the canyon’s depths, adding the final touch to a charming scene. Nearby Town: Telluride

4. Helen Hunt Falls
Colorado Springs’ North Cheyenne Cañon Park is home to these falls, which can be reached after a steep but manageable hike amid spectacular views. A visitor center gives details about the area and the falls’ geology. Nearby Town: Colorado Springs

5. Fish Creek Falls
These waterfalls are spectacular any time of year, but they are most breathtaking in the spring. When temperatures rise and the snowmelt reaches its peak and winds its way downhill, water whooshes over Fish Creek’s cliff, emitting a thunderous sound and a gentle spray that serves as a cool reward to those who’ve trekked in to see the water works. Nearby Town: Steamboat Springs

6. North Clear Creek Falls
For a hidden treasure along the Silver Thread Scenic Byway, keep your eyes out for Forest Road 510 on your left, just past Spring Creek pass. A short distance down the road affords views of gushing North Clear Creek Falls as it plummets from a willow-covered bench into a box canyon. Nearby Town: Lake City

7. Zapata Falls
As hikers approach the Zapata Falls along a windy trail at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the way to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, it feels a bit like they’re chasing it — they can hear the roar of the 40-foot-tall gusher and feel its cooling effect long before they can actually see it. Nearby Town: Alamosa

8. Box Canyon Falls
Tucked in a narrow Ouray box canyon, Box Canyon Falls‘ 280-foot cascade can be experienced top to bottom via staircase, hiking trail and suspension bridge. As thousands of gallons of water rush and roar their way down, take a moment to look up — the National Audubon Society has named the area an important bird site. Nearby Town: Ouray

9. Ouzel Falls
On the path to Ouzel Falls inside Rocky Mountain National Park, in one of the greenest, must lush spots in the state, hikers come across several smaller falls and cascades that entreat them to keep moving to the mother lode. Breathtaking Ouzel drops more than 40 feet through a sliver in the dark rock wall surrounding it and flows into a chilly pool filled with boulders and fallen trees. Also check out the park’s Columbine Falls, near Chasm Lake, with view of Longs Peak in the distance. Nearby Town: Estes Park

10. Rifle Falls State Park
On a hot summer day, the mist that drifts from the exhilarating gush of water over 70-foot-high limestone cliffs and the dark caves below them in Rifle Falls State Park are a sublime natural air conditioner. Nearby Town: Rifle

11. Hanging Lake Colorado
Appearing to cling to the edge of a mountainside, this almost supernaturally teal-green Hanging Lake is surrounded by moss-covered rocks and a meandering trail. Waterfalls cascade quietly off a cliff into the lake’s still depths, adding to an already surreal atmosphere. Note: This is a busy place. Find out how to navigate it and help preserve its beauty here. Nearby Town: Glenwood Springs

Deals: Rock the Runway Model Search, Teen Titans Movie & More!

I am excited to be invited back as a judge for the Rock the Runway Model Search at the Outlets at Castle Rock. On Saturday, July 29 starting at 10 a.m. hundreds will strut their stuff to be in advertisements and model shows for the Outlets (Castle Rock, Silverthorne and Loveland).  Show your model stuff and be there to try out!  

Denver Art Museum. General admission is free for all youth all year long (every day) at the Denver Art Museum – but on Friday, July 20 the museum admission for adults is just $1.25 in honor of their 125th anniversary! 

Teen Titans Movie. You and your family are invited to the free advance screening of TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES on Saturday, July 21st in Denver. Visit www.wbtickets.com/TTGMHM for a chance to download your complimentary passes. (Passes admit up to 4, while supplies last. Passes do not guarantee admission as theater is overbooked. ARRIVE EARLY!) #TeenTitansGOMovie in theaters July 27. 

See’s Candy. There is a day for everything. Friday, July 20 is National Lollypop Day. (Who knew?) in honor, See’s Candies is offering a free lollypop (chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch) while supplies last. One per customer. 

Firehouse Subs. H2O for Heros campaign at Firehouse Subs is back in action. On Saturday, August 4, bring in an unopened 24-pack of bottled water and receive a medium sub. All the waters will go to local fire and police departments to be distributed to those in need. Deal for you deal for them. 

Arapahoe County Fair. Brief description Find Fair Fun for Everyone at the Arapahoe County Fair, July 26-29. Get online DISCOUNT tickets now for only $10. It is fun the whole herd with UNLIMITED carnival rides, two nights of fireworks, two rodeos, concerts, barnyard friends, truck and tractor pulls, high-flying dog shows, heritage activities and more. $10 discount tickets are available online NOW through July 26. Join the fun. BUY your tickets today at arapahoecountyfair.com 

Rino Art Scavenger Hunt. Finding something for a teenager to do with you that would make them happy too is sometimes like well….a bit of a scavenger hunt. Spend an afternoon in one of Denver’s trendiest neighborhoods, discovering new art while bringing awareness to the struggles Coloradoans are facing. Volunteers of America Colorado and Denver Graffiti Tour are hosting a FREE scavenger hunt on July 21 starting at 10 a.m. Find the colorful masterpieces hidden throughout the streets and alleyways of the River North Art District (RiNo). Plus, there are prizes up for grabs! Sign up here. 

Amazon Prime Day. Some day that Prime Day has deals like Black Friday with the amazing deals. If you are a Prime member (you can sign up now – the first 30 days are free – and cancel after). Prime days are July 16 and 17

Alamo Draft House. Looking for something fun and cheap to do with the kids INSIDE (aka in air conditioning)? Choose your own ticket price ($1, $3, or $5) movies. Buy tickets online to reserve seats. 100% of the sales are donated to local nonprofits! Most screenings are for kids 3 and up. https://drafthouse.com/denver   

Summer Concerts and Movies outside. We pulled together a list of some of the best of free concerts and outdoor movie showings. There is something for everyone – all across town. 

Glenwood Caverns. Get a 50% OFF Tram Ride Admission to experience America’s only mountain-top theme park…Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.  It’s a full day of family fun and adventure for everyone, with great kid-friendly rides and attractions along with awesome thrill rides and amazine cave tours. Go to glenwoodcaverns.com for hours and info. Buy online and enter promo code MHMAMA for discount.

 

Contest: How to Get a “Good Buy” On Your Baby Gear

Summer boredom has started creeping into the house. Knees can only be skinned at the playground so many times. Let’s call it: sometimes you just need a day inside, with quiet times, books, and maybe something to keep those popsicle-stained hands busy for a bit.

Good Buy Gear to the rescue! My kids and I explored the website and found great play options in their Art & Music, Building, and Puzzles & Games sections. A lot of the offerings are gently used, but they also have many new, but still discounted, items from well-known companies like Melissa & Doug, Cra-Z-art, and others.

We chose four very fun looking craft kits. I could have chosen the 1-3 day delivery option for $5 (free for orders over $60), but instead we opted to make a trip to the Good Buy Gear warehouse for free pickup. After a few hours, I got a notification that our order was ready for pickup! I was super-impressed with the speedy service and convenient options.

Picking up our order wasn’t any more challenging than going to the store, although my daughter remarked it was “edgy” which added to the adventure! (Don’t worry. It’s only edgy if you are under 12.) We rang the bell as instructed and were let in immediately. Our crafty stuff was bagged and waiting. It was so easy and the staff we encountered was very friendly.

Good Buy Gear was there when we needed a change of routine but didn’t want to spend a fortune!

Contest

Win $50 shopping spree on Good Buy Gear. You may enter as many as five times below. 

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For those who have gear to sell, don’t miss our review on their White Glove pickup service. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Staycationing in Denver? The Urban Corridor’s Best Summer Adventures

My editor says summer is half-over, and I’m thinking, nope, we have two-thirds left. However you see it, the end of July and month of August are actually the biggest vacation spans for families in America. And, in June, we were just tempting you with ideas. Here’s our definitive list of Colorado spots in addition to the top eight (link) we released in early June starting with Colorado’s Urban Corridor. Happy, safe and vigilant travels. It’s wildfire season, please travel with caution. Mountain towns and resorts are up next. Where do you like to go on the Front Range?

Boulder

Always a nice choice for families is Chautauqua Park located at the base of the Flatirons in Boulder. This National Historic Landmark has rental cottages with 48 miles of hiking trails and thousands of acres of natural lands right outside the front door.

(Dining Hall)

On weekends in July, Arts in the Open will take audience members on a moderate hike amidst the scenic backdrop of Boulder Open Space while scenes from “Goldilocks” are performed along the way.

The historic Chautauqua Dining Hall (a tradition since 1898) has recently undergone a huge overhaul and the wraparound porch offers some of the best patio dining in Colorado. If you visit on a Saturday, be sure to also visit the Boulder’s Farmer’s Market (voted the best in Colorado by USAToday readers). Still need more? Head to the trendy, historic Pearl Street Mall’s restaurants, shops, street performers and Pop Jet Fountain–they never fail to entertain. (boulderdowntown.com)

Colorado Springs

We love Colorado Springs staples like the Garden of the Gods Park, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center and Manitou Cliff Dwellings but the big news this summer are additions like the country’s first indoor drone racing facility, a public marketplace and a new adventure experience at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park. Don’t miss Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s new Gray Wolf pups, either. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s newish $13.5 million exhibit Encounter Africa. Highlights include an amphitheater that allows guests to see elephant training, enrichment and husbandry, a new exhibit for the African lion pride and a “Skybridge” that takes guests from the exhibit to the barn, enabling them to see the elephants from above. (cmzoo.org)

(Broadmoor’s Soaring Adventure)

For a thrill, check out the Cave of the Winds’ Wind Walker Challenge Ropes Course that is located on the rim of a 600-foot drop into Williams Canyon.  Colorado Wolf Adventures have teamed up to host “Up Close with the Wolves” this summer. The 4,400 square-foot Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument’s Visitor Center offers more fossils on display and interactive exhibits.  If a train ride is on your bucket list, the South side of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park takes on a new look with the addition of Pinon Ridge Play-Land, a 2,000-square foot playground built specifically to blend into the natural surroundings. And last but certainly not least, The Broadmoor Soaring Adventure consists of 10 zip-lines that range in distance from 300 feet to 1,800 feet as well as moderate hiking and rope bridges while you enjoy the Seven Falls area. Dine at the new Sevens Falls Restaurant 1858 and don’t miss their trout fritters, honey lemonade and peach cobbler. (visitcos.com)

 Denver

 Denver is exploding with commerce from new hotels, restaurants, breweries, kid gyms, it seems to be at its peak in terms of construction and neighborhood transformations from RiNo and lower downtown, to Stanley Marketplace lies right on the line of Denver and Aurora, Denver is in an epic era. Here’s what families need to know to experience this sizzling summer in the city. If your family is around during Independence Day, make sure you venture over to Civic Center Park on July 3 to enjoy a concert, light show and fireworks display that you will never forget. If you haven’t ventured to the RiNo art district, this summer it’s going to be on the bucket list, especially with Central Market, Shake Shack and new family-friendly joints in the urban mecca. This district features colorful murals as well that the children will enjoy. Hotels are popping up monthly it seems and there is plenty of exploring to be done.

(Arapahoe County Fair)

As always, visit the Denver Art Museum, it’s one of our favorite Rocky Mountain cultural institutions, and arguably, one of the best art museums in the nation! From rotating exhibitions to great family programming, adventure backpacks and fountains to splash in out front of the museum, it’s a great choice on a hot day to cool off, plus, it’s FREE for kids! (dam.org) The Arapahoe County Fair, July 26-29, is a summer tradition since 1906 with carnival rides, rodeos, concerts, fireworks, 4-H shows, tractor pulls and so much more.

Denver Zoo, History Colorado Center, Main Branch of Denver Public Library, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Children’s Museum, City Park, Washington Park, Sloan’s Lake, Denver Mint, Capital tours, Highlands neighborhood, Old South Gaylord Street—family fun, summer educational opportunities and so much more have never been more prolific in Denver. Summer in the city! (visitdenver.org)

Fort Collins

Visit the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and don’t miss out on the Tornado Tunnel, it’s a kid and adult favorite. More kid fun includes wandering through the Gardens at Spring Creek, a trip on the Magic School Bus offering up kid tours, farm tours and history tours. Stroll down Main Street (College Avenue) near the CSU Campus and take in the coed culture and the blooms at the Annual Trial Garden. The Farm at Lee Martinez Park is an agricultural oasis smack dab in town. And, to top off any day, had to The Colorado Room for some of my favorite local eats in town, may I recommend the bison poutine?

Photo: Richard Haro

Got a kiddo who likes to groove, the new 164-room Elizabeth Hotel in Old Town (111 Chestnut Street) opened to the public in November and pays tribute to FoCo’s deep-rooted music scene. With record players in the guest rooms, a piano in the hotel’s Sky Bar, jazz music at the rooftop Sunset Lounge, a lending library chock full of musical instruments you can borrow and even a Music Suite complete with a baby grand piano, the musical theme permeates this modern luxury hotel. 

I scream, you scream . . .The latest endeavor from Denver fave Little Man Ice Cream – called Churn – opens this summer at The Exchange, an innovative new development featuring food, entertainment, mercantile and creative outdoor areas (located at 200 North College Ave). Fittingly, Churn will anchor the open-air central quarter.

There is weekend ‘Toons at The Lyric Cinema’ on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9 am till around noon for free cartoons on the big screen. You never know what’s playing – old-school Looney Tunes, maybe The Tick or Johnny Bravo – but you can count on an all-you-can-eat cereal bar for just $5 and a full brunch menu from the kitchen. (lyriccinema.com/weekend-toons).

Ready for a little pinball revival? Pinball Jones, an Old Town original since 2011, recently expanded to a second location. This “barcade” is a true arcade, chock full of vintage and brand-new pinball machines, as well as pool tables, air-hockey tables, skeeball and more.

Get your junior jam on at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, which features a permanent music-oriented exhibit. The Music & Sound Lab explores the physics of sound, the history of the Fort Collins music scene and some of the technology behind everything from Edison wax cylinders to iPods. The museums’ OtterBox Digital Dome Theater hosts concerts as well as a monthly “Acoustic Treatment” event, where a rising local musician shares tales in between an intimate acoustic set.

Don’t forget that Fort Collins has Colorado’s only Wild & Scenic River that is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Systems. Cache la Poudre River located in the northern Front Range and dubbed the “Poudre” by local residents and longtime visitors, the main and south forks of the river originate in Rocky Mountain National Park and then flow north and east through the Roosevelt National Forest before eventually passing through Fort Collins.

If you would like a little guidance on your first adventure, Fort Collins-based Front Range Ride Guides is ready to take you on your first fat-bike adventure. (visitfortcollins.com)

Photo: Visit Golden

Golden

Summer is in full swing in Golden! The Golden History Museum Grand Re-Opening was on June 23rd! New inclusions added to the museum include The History Lab, The Salon, Touch Gallery, and Epic Events. This renovated museum is not something you want to miss this summer. The inaugural Artsweek Golden occurs during the week of July 16 – 22. This is a weeklong arts celebration full of art festivals, sidewalk paintings, performance art, beer and art pairings, and so much fun! Don’t forget to explore Golden Summer Nights every Saturday & Sunday with free carriage rides, live music, extended store hours, activities and more. (visitgolden.com)

 Loveland

If you are on your way to the Rocky Mountain National Park, you must make a stop in Loveland. The Larimer County Fair & PRCA Rodeo (August 3-7), is something that you can’t miss. It is the biggest event that happens in The Ranch, for good reason. There are an abundance of activities including parades, concerts, and fireworks. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuits because Loveland is also a huge water destination that includes Boyd Lake State Park, Carter Lake as well as Lake Loveland Swim Beach. If you are looking to spend a day truly connecting with your family check out Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch dude ranch vacations. This is a great way for the whole family to unplug and reconnect with each other. Kids have the option to learn horseback riding and go to kids camp with fun activities. (VisitLovelandCO.com)

 

 

 

Having Another Child After Experiencing Pregnancy-Related Depression & Anxiety

Having another child is a difficult decision for anyone, but making the decision to have another child after experiencing pregnancy-related depression and anxiety is even more difficult and scary.  Growing up I always wanted to have two children, a boy and a girl. My husband and I got exactly that, but neither feel ready to stop after our second. There are a lot of things to consider, but one of the biggest obstacles for us is my struggle with pregnancy-related  depression and anxiety after my daughter was born.

We just celebrated our baby’s 3rd birthday this last weekend.  It’s hard to believe that 3 years ago I was bringing her home and a few weeks later I started experiencing pregnancy-related depression and anxiety.  I refer to that time as a “dark time”.  I feel like I missed out on so much of my little girl’s life because of it.  I never want to feel that way again, so why would my husband and I be considering having a third child?!

For the last two years we have been going back and forth about having a third child.  Some days I think I just want to have another baby because I missed out on our daughter’s first 6-9 months of life.  It was a horrible time where I had thoughts of hurting my baby and toddler, and thoughts about just packing up and leaving everyone and starting over.  I felt like I was a selfish mom because I wanted my time back to myself. I struggled with feelings of intense love and intense hate for my sweet baby. Somedays I would comment to my husband that I’m a horrible mother and I should never have had kids.  I resented my husband for being able to sleep and not getting woken up at night by the baby. The sleepless nights took a toll on me and my mental wellbeing. Being a working mother and one who works the night shift did not help any of that either.

I don’t want to go through pregnancy-related depression and anxiety again and I don’t want my family to have to go through it.  As a nurse in Labor and Delivery I know my chances of experiencing pregnancy-related depression and anxiety are increased because of my history.  I have also learned in the last 2+ years that I have an amazing support system who will be there for me. After I spoke up and started being open about my experience I had so many friends and co-workers tell me they would have been there for me if I had just told them.

The decision to have another baby after my experience became easier as I considered my resources and my work with a local pregnancy-related depression and anxiety group.  I decided that I want to spend the next year enjoying my time with my daughter before we do bring another baby into our family. During that time I will take care of myself.  I will continue to take my medications and I will tap into my support system when I start getting overwhelmed.  I will take time for myself and not feel guilty.  As a mother I know how much my children need me, but I also know that I need to take care of myself in order to take care of them.  I will also take the time to start seeing a counselor so that I have things in place ahead of time. I will also be honest and speak up about what I am experiencing and ask for help.  I know that is easier said than done, but feel if I have the resources in place, including a husband who knows what to look for, I’ll get help for myself sooner if I experience it again.

Making the decision to have another baby after experiencing any sort of perinatal mood disorder is a personal decision.  I am not telling anyone what to do; a woman needs to decide what is best for her and for her family.  If you do decide to have another child, get your support system in place, talk to your OB/GYN, check out your local resources, and have a plan ahead of time so it is all in place in case you need it.  Share your plan with your support system so they know how to best help you.

You don’t have to be “supermom”. It’s okay to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family.  It’s okay to ask for help. For more information about pregnancy-related depression and anxiety, including local support groups and resources, I encourage you and your support system to visit postpartum.net/colorado or call 1-800-944-4773.

By Ashlyn R. Baird

43 family-friendly events in Denver this week

From Broncos movie night to the Colorado Irish Festival, Dive-in Movie and Bastille Day, summer is in full swing in Denver! See our event calendar for full listings.

Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks at  Coors Field – Home of the Colorado Rockies
July 10 – 12

Enjoy exciting major league baseball and come out to this series between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sidewalk Sale
July 12 – 14
The $idewalk $ale at the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures is known for its unique treasures at amazing bargains. From jewelry and clothing to glassware and antiques, you are assured to find that one-of-a-kind item or gift for a special person.

The Big Eat at DPAC/Denver Performing Arts Complex
July 12, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Taste your way through the city at this year’s The Big Eat, EatDenver’s signature culinary party! Kicking off Slow Food Nations weekend, this culinary experience highlights the independent restaurant community through specialty bites from more than 60 of Denver’s top restaurants and over 15 sips highlighting Colorado’s beverage producers. Uniquely organized by neighborhood, each participating restaurant brings a taste of what they do best. Come hungry and try everything (twice)!

Colorado Irish Festival
July 13 – 15
The 2018 Colorado Irish Festival will be commemorating its 24th Anniversary. Held in the heather of Clement Park in Littleton, with a backdrop of the Rocky Mountain Highlands, the Colorado Irish Festival celebrates all that is Green. This eclectic gathering of tens of thousands is known throughout the west for its outrageous display of kilts and bagpipes; Gaelic sports and Irish step dancing; and the best Irish rock and classic music this side of the Emerald Isle. The 2018 line up promises to be a memorable weekend of great entertainment.

Fantastic Family Theatre: Perseus & Medusa
July 13
BackStory Theatre Academy’s fantastic summer performance program is unique in that our 8-13 year old students are taught/directed by teams of teens from our Youth Leadership Program (overseen on-site by a professional artistic instructor) in the afternoons for one week culminating with a public stage performance on a Friday evening at the Broomfield Auditorium.

Boulder County Free Days at the Colorado Railroad Museum
July 13, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
In honor of our partnership with the City of Boulder, the Colorado Railroad Museum is proud to offer free admission to Boulder County residents select Fridays throughout the year. Denver Garden Railway Society members operate their model train layout behind the Museum Depot Building from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. Admission: Boulder Residents, Museum Members and Children under 2 are free, Children $5, Adults $10, and Seniors $8.

Colorado Black Arts Festival at City Park
July 13 – 15
Come celebrate the 32nd annual Colorado Black Art Festival showcasing the rich and creative talents of local, regional, and national African Americans in art and culture. The three day event will feature three performing stages filled with dance, jazz, blues, soul, reggae, gospel, traditional African drum and dance. This is a family friendly event with programming and activities for the entire family.

Denver County Fair at National Western Complex
July 13 – 15
The National Western Complex will be jam-packed with carnival rides and blue-ribbon pies. This indoor/outdoor fair will include a line-up of events and activities with alpaca costume parade, bug and hot dog eating contests, chicken agility and a petting zoo. Plus, a variety of unique fanfare including a vinyl record sale, roller derby, Little Man Ice Cream Social and the first-ever 5K Mullet Run.

Free day at Four Mile Historic Park
July 13, 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.

Summer Flea
July 13– 15
We’re bringin’ the heat for Summer Flea, so much so that we’re adding an extra night of fun to this round of the Fleakin’ weekend! The biggest party of the summer returns July 13-15 to the Rock Drill in RiNo with 100s of vendors to style up your summer. The festivities kick into gear on Friday night with a totally bitchin’ “Talking Heads and Tacos” party from 5-9 p.m., complete with a concert by local Talking Heads tribute band Little Creatures, tacos from your fave Denver spots, and the chance to shop early with Flea vendors. If Friday night ain’t your thing, no worries! Come shop, drink, and eat on Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.!

The Morrison Biergarten Festival
July 13 – 15
The T.E.V. Edelweiss Club announces its annual Beer Festival to be held on July 13th, 14th and 15th, 2018. This three-day event is a replica of an authentic German Festival complete with German bands, dancers, home made food and of course, German beer.

Colorado Rockies vs. Seattle Mariners at Coors Field – Home of the Colorado Rockies
July 13 – 15
Enjoy exciting major league baseball and come out to this series between the Colorado Rockies and the Seattle Mariners.

Broncos Movie Night Featuring Coco at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
July 13, 7:30 – 8:30 pm
The Denver Broncos are hosting a movie night featuring the Disney Pixar film ‘Coco’ on Friday, July 13, 2018 at the stadium. The event is open to fans of all ages. Visit broncosbunch.com for details. – Doors open at 6:30 p.m. – Movie begins at 7:30 p.m.

Dive-in Movie- COCO at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
July 13, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Dive-In Movies are shown in Island Kingdom Water Park every Friday night June 29 – August 3. The Water Park closes at 6 p.m. with the exception of the Wave Pool, movies beginning around 7:30 p.m. Movies are free with any park admission or Season Pass.

Summer at the Center: Michael Martin Murphey at Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
July 13, 7:30 – 8:30 pm
 In the early 1970s, Rolling Stone Magazine called Michael Martin Murphey “one of the best songwriters in America.” Since that time, Murphey has left an indelible mark on the American Music Landscape crafting and recording such iconic hits as “Wildfire,” “Carolina In The Pines”, “Geronimo’s Cadillac”, “Cowboy Logic,” “Cherokee Fiddle”, “Boy From The Country” and more.

Free Day at the Plains Conservation Center
July 14, 9:00 am – 7:00 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.

Free day at Longmont Museum
July 14, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
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.

String of Pearls 5K Run Walk
July 14, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
This run is for everyone! Men, Women, Children, Athletes, Non-Athletes. There will be a bounce house, music and most importantly a beautiful Colorado summer day to enjoy with friends and family. The String of Pearls 5K Run/Walk was organized to bring together the community and its surrounding areas through a fun, exciting and family-friendly event to raise funding through sponsorship’s, donations and registration fees to benefit String of Pearls, a local nonprofit.

Colorado Renaissance Festival
July 14 – 15
Flash back to the 16th Century and journey through a medieval city. Enjoy full-armor jousting, tasty turkey legs, music and a marketplace featuring more than 200 artisans.

Dinosaur Express Train at the Colorado Railroad Museum
July 14, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Make fresh tracks through prehistory with a day of exciting activities and surprises for the whole family. Ride behind a historic Denver & Rio Grande Western Steam Locomotive and follow the dinosaur tracks around the Museum’s 15-acre railyard and enjoy dinosaur themed activities.

Hands-on History Family Fun Days at the History Colorado Center
July 14, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
On the second Saturday of each month, families have the opportunity to explore and create their own history, art, and culture through hands-on, immersive activities like adobe brick making, building log cabins, live performances, and role playing in our exhibits.

Urban Home Show
July 14, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
An event designed for homeowners in all stages of remodeling, landscaping and decorating their homes. Homeowners will be inspired with countless ideas on enhancing their home’s comfort and functionality, as well as its aesthetic appeal and overall value. The Urban Home Show is the place for you to experience what’s new in Home, Gardening, Remodeling, Home Decor, and Much More! The show offers you the opportunity to meet the experts and experience a vast array of products and services.

DCF Little Man Ice Cream Social at Little Man Ice Cream
July 14, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Come and enjoy Denver’s favorite ice cream – Little Man at the Denver County Fair! Just $5 for two of your favorite scoops

Bastille Day Block Party!
July 14, 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Join us for a block party at the Alliance Française de Denver to celebrate Bastille Day 2018. Stop by to grab some crêpes, to socialize with other francophiles, to listen to music and dance. Bring your children too as there will be plenty of kids activities!

The Colorado Horse Park Grand Prix Series at Colorado Horse Park
July 14, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Looking for something new to do with your family this summer?  Come on down to the Colorado Horse Park, Colorado’s premier equestrian facility, located in Parker, Colorado.   Watch the nation’s top equestrians compete in the weekly Summer in the Rockies Grand Prix. Gates open at 4, with competition commencing at 5 PM each Saturday, June 9 – July 21.  Parking and general admission are free. Bring a blanket to sit on the grass and enjoy our cash bar, hospitality, vendors, and views.

Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
July 14, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Come and see the exciting match between the Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Sensory-friendly Playtime at WOW! Children’s Museum
July 15, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Sensory Friendly Playtime is a low sensory event for children with autism spectrum or sensory processing disorders. This month, families can explore our new sensory friendly exhibit, Forest of Light, and participate in an adapted music and movement class hosted by special guest A Child’s Song!   WOW! will turn down sounds and lights, and provide adaptive equipment to offer a safe and fun experience for all. Admission is free for participating families, however, reservations are required.

World Soccer Celebration 5K at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
July 15, 8:00 am – 10:45 am
Start your Championship Sunday by getting warmed up with a 5K through DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. Show off your soccer skills in the Fan Fest’s Skill Zone and grab a bite to eat, a drink and kick back as you enjoy the electric atmosphere. Spend your day filled with the best soccer action in the world!

Slow Food Nations: Family Pavilion at Larimer Square
July 15, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Hey kids! Enter the Family Pavilion at Slow Food Nations and get your hands in the dirt. Learn how to grow, cook and enjoy Slow Food — real, delicious, flavorful food. We want kids to know how to make good food choices. How do we do that? By giving them tangible skills and lots of confidence. The seeds we plant now will make a big impact on food and farming in the future. So come on over and have some fun!

Summer at the Center: Good Vibrations at Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
July 15, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Back by popular demand, join the Denver Brass and 17th Avenue Allstars for Good Vibrations. Featuring classic hits worthy of any summer playlist, come relive the magic of America’s golden age of rock through the nostalgic sounds of The Beach Boys, Elvis, Earth Wind and Fire, The Beatles, Chicago, and more. Gather friends and family of all ages for a memorable evening under the stars.

Artsweek Golden at the Foothills Art Center
July 16 – 22
ARTSWEEK GOLDEN is a week-long celebration of the arts orchestrated by Foothills Art Center in partnership with arts-oriented organizations in beautiful Golden, Colorado. Foothills Art Center traces its roots to 1968 when a group of artists formed to renovate the historic First Presbyterian Church into a thriving regional arts center. In 2018 Foothills Art Center will celebrate its 50th Anniversary while continuing to serve artists, house creative exhibits and offer educational programming and classes for learners of all ages.

American Idol: Live! 2018 at the Paramount Theatre
July 16, 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm
American Idol is back on tour! American Idol: Live! 2018 is coming to Denver featuring your Top 7 LIVE on stage, including your 2018 American Idol Winner Maddie! Cade, Caleb, Catie, Gabby, Jurnee, Maddie and Michael plus special guest, Season 8 American Idol Winner, Kris Allen bringing your favorite television competition directly to you in performances you cannot miss!

Ongoing Events and Exhibits

Mindbender Mansion
July 20 
Love brainteasers? Enter “Mindbender Mansion,” a quirky place full of puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges that put minds of all ages to the test. This unique, high-energy experience opens at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on July 20.

Summer in the City
June 1-August 1
The city of Aurora, Colorado invites you to join us this summer for some FREE, fun entertainment. It’s a great way to get the kids outside this summer. This event just for kids offers fun throughout the summer. There will be free, healthy snacks, inflatables, board and field games, an opportunity to try your hand at golf and the gymnastics team will be onsite as well. The library will be there with fun crafts as well as the Aurora History Museum. Come discover all the other programs that the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department offers.

Happy City: Art for the People” is a six-week (May 18-June 30) citywide art intervention produced by The Denver Theatre District at Denver Union Station’s Plaza and Great Hall. The art instillation sites are located throughout Denver and includes streets, alleyways, billboards, video screens and Union Station, among other locations.

Play Ball! and LEGOradoat the History Colorado Center
April 7-September 30, 2018
See classic baseball artifacts—from Babe Ruth to the Blake Street Bombers. Treasured memorabilia and iconic photographs bring the past to life through stories that begin on the ball field and echo through American history. Size up your hand against Babe Ruth’s. Find the nails Ty Cobb used to hold his favorite bat together, and admire the glove flashed by Willie Mays to make some of the game’s most memorable catches. Also, don’t miss LEGOrado where you can unlock the stories that have shaped the past by exploring a giant LEGO® re-creation of Colorado history. The pro builders from the Colorado and Wyoming LEGO Users Group have created this sprawling concoction of Colorado scenes—both factful and fanciful.historycolorado.org/exhibit/play-ball

Dead Sea Scrolls at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
March 16-Sept. 3
Dead Sea Scrolls is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years. The scrolls will be dramatically presented within a massive exhibit case featuring carefully regulated individual chambers, along with the full English translation. dmns.org/dead-sea-scrolls

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

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

AI Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads
Oct. 18, 2017–Oct. 17, 2018
The 12 bronze heads of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals represent the 12 animals of the traditional Chinese zodiac. See it for free at Civic Center Park! https://www.denver.org

Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects
Nov. 21, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018
History Colorado created a brand-new space, the Tim Schultz Gallery, to house this 3,700-square-foot exhibit of 100 objects, each of which had a role in shaping the history and culture of Colorado. https://www.historycolorado.org/venue/history-colorado-center

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting
April 28–Sept. 23, 2018
Mike Whiting’s geometric sculptures at the Denver Botanic Gardens also represent the intersection of two distinct visual styles: 8-bit pixel graphics—which have enjoyed a recent resurgence in games like Minecraft—and minimalist sculpture. Technological limitations in early video games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders reduced the graphics to simplified shapes, while the minimalist art movement created artworks that purposely lacked detail. Pixelated investigates the opposite intents of these two artistic approaches that result in a strikingly similar visual outcome. https://www.botanicgardens.org/exhibits/pixelated-sculpture-mike-whiting

Peak-A-Boo Play
Peak-A-Boo Play launched in spring 2018 in The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace. The space is a clean, safe, pop-up experience offering drop-in, open play for kiddos three years of age and under. Parents/caretakers must be present and will have opportunities to socialize, grab coffee and take a breather while kids explore over 500-square-feet of mats, plush tumbling gear, sensory toys, bubbles, music and more. Summer admission is $10 per child with sibling discounts available. Hours of operation are Monday and Thursday mornings, 9 to noon; however, schedule is subject to change/expand and will be regularly posted to website and social channels.

Winning Wednesday: Win Tickets to the Arapahoe County Fair July 26-29!

Summer is here and that means the Arapahoe County Fair is just around the corner, July 26 – 29, 2018 at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Events Center in Aurora.

It’s a super bargain with pre-sale online admission tickets only $10 per person. Tickets include unlimited carnival rides, rodeos and concerts on the main stage, fireworks, 4-H shows, tractor pulls, tasty food and a petting farm to name a few.

A summer tradition since 1906, the Arapahoe County Fair is a time to celebrate our heritage. See rabbits, pigs and poultry in the east wing and horses, cattle, llamas, alpacas, goats and sheep in the livestock pavilion.

Each year, you can enjoy returning crowd favorites plus new events and activities.

Arapahoe County Fair

New this year is the high-flying Dueling Dogs, where dogs run, jump, swim and retrieve a buoy in a race against one another. If shopping is more your style, peruse more than 40 vendors or check out the new Gypsy Farmhouse Market, a collection of local vendors selling vintage items and wares.

Fairgoers 21 and older can purchase tickets for the fifth annual Craft Brew Festival July 27 for $20 per person and features local brewers, food and live music. For the first time, a Home Brew competition will be held July 28 to determine the best-tasting beer from locals who have a passion for this popular hobby.

Residents of all counties are invited to enter their handmade and homegrown treasures in the Open Class Competition for a chance to win ribbons and cash prizes. Fairgoers also can marvel at and bid on quality market animals that 4-H youth work diligently to raise at the Youth Livestock Auction July 28.

Discounted Tickets

“Save Big with Parker Pig” and buy discounted tickets online now for only $10 per person, or pay $15 onsite. Parking is $5 per vehicle (cash only). Fair gates open 4 p.m. July 26 and 11 a.m., July 27 – 29. The Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Events Center is located at 25690 E. Quincy Ave., Aurora, 2 miles east of E-470 at exit 13.

Buy discount tickets or get more information, please visit www.arapahoecountyfair.com.

Contest

Mile High Mamas is giving away TWO family four-packs of tickets. You may enter as many as five times below!

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